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Some Reflections on Post-Election Day

Photo courtesy Die Presse The results are all in and Mahinda Rajapaksa has been defeated at the polls. This is a great victory for almost all concerned. It is a victory for the coalition, which dared to challenge the regime with key players, who either voluntarily or through persuasion gave up their prominence. It is […]

Maithripala Sirisena’s Victory: Winning the Hearts of Women

Photo courtesy The Hindu As the campaigning for both candidates has ended, and the celebrations for the victory of Maithripala Sirisena have begun, larger battles are still being waged, and will be still more important now that the elections are over. The elections held yesterday represent something much greater than a face-off between two personalities, […]

The Chandrika Bandaranaike factor in Sri Lankan politics, Part I

Photo courtesy DBS Jeyaraj A Gaullist executive presidency for Sri Lanka was an idea that J.R. Jayewardene cherished since the early years of the Dominion state. Having won a spectacular majority against Sirima Bandaranaike’s United Front in 1977 (by then disunited and disintegrating), Jayewardene was finally in a position to give expression to his ultimate […]

Voting for Lasantha Again, 26 Years Later

Photo courtesy CNN A quarter century ago, as an eager first time voter, I cast my maiden vote for a young journalist friend who had recently taken to electoral politics. Lasantha Wickrematunge was contesting in the Colombo District from the main opposition party, SLFP, at the General Election of 15 Feb 1989. It was the […]

Why people seek a change

Photo courtesy IPS Today, January 8, approximately 15 million Sri Lankans will seek to elect the island’s next president at a tightly-contested presidential election. The chosen day is a special one. It is the birth anniversary of the founder of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), S.WR.D Bandaranaike and the sixth death anniversary of Lasantha […]

The Moment, Opportunity and the Possibility for Change

Photo via The Republic Square The moment and opportunity have arrived! Sri Lankans are going to the polling booths across the country on this 8th day of January 2015 to elect their next President for a six-year term. The opportunity for voting arrived quite unexpectedly toward the end of last year with much speculation about […]

#IVotedSL infographic: How to vote

Voting is an important civic responsibility and one way all of us exercise and enjoy our Sovereignty. This responsibility becomes particularly important during a Presidential Election, because of the immense power vested in this office. With just a few days more for the 2015 Presidential Election, follow and support #IVotedSL, a trilingual campaign launched by Centre for […]

#IVotedSL infographic: Voter turnout in the region

Voting is an important civic responsibility and one way all of us exercise and enjoy our Sovereignty. This responsibility becomes particularly important during a Presidential Election, because of the immense power vested in this office. With just a few days more for the 2015 Presidential Election, follow and support #IVotedSL, a trilingual campaign launched by Centre for […]

MISSED OPPORTUNITIES – My reflections

Photo by REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte, via Channel 4 I belong to a generation of Sri Lankans who witnessed many missed opportunities. Opportunities to stand proud as a nation, to grow politically and socially as a people, to prosper economically. Many of these opportunities defined by a political event, missed because of political will or lack of it. […]

Remembering Lasantha six years on: Launch of photo-essays on Sri Lanka

Photo by Abdul-Halik Azeez Journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge‘s murder on 8th January 2009 was utterly horrible and yet, even more unforgettable was the Rajapaksa government’s reaction to it. Lasantha’s last editorial, published posthumously, didn’t mince words. It is well known that I was on two occasions brutally assaulted, while on another my house was sprayed with machine-gun fire. […]

Contrasting post civil war development trajectories in Nepal and Sri Lanka

Photograph courtesy Asian Tribune In both Nepal and Sri Lanka the transition from war to durable peace has been painful and is ongoing and not devoid of pitfalls as has been the case elsewhere in the World as well. In the case of Nepal underdevelopment of the vast hinterland has been widely acknowledged as the […]

Towards an Enlightened Nation: An Epiphany Reflection

Photo from Nuklearfishing Epiphany is the festival of enlightenment. It commemorates the visit of the wise-persons from the east to the Christ child and is observed on the 6th of January. The Orthodox Church broadly known as the Eastern Church celebrates Christmas on Epiphany to affirm that those who search for light are drawn to […]