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Needed: An Agenda for Reform on Groundviews

Whilst it is not clear as to whether we would be voting in both the presidential and general elections on the same day, it is clear that we will be voting in at least one of them in the next three months, followed soon thereafter by the other.  Most likely it will be the presidential […]

The Case of Tissainayagam: Who is on Trial?

J.S. Tissainayagam, who had been under detention since March 7- 2009, was convicted on all three charges under the Prevention of Terrorism Act  (PTA) on August 31- 2009 by the High Court of Colombo, and given the maximum sentence of 20 years rigorous incarceration. In a symbolic and focal sense, what has been tried and […]

The Liquidation of the Liberation Tigers of Thamil Eelam (LTTE): Lessons Paid In Blood!

Introduction: The killing of the leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Velupillai Pirapaharan, has brought an end to a stage in the development of the Tamil National Liberation Struggle. There are many crucial lessons to be learned from this experience;- Lessons Paid in Blood! It is imperative that we learn from these […]

Interrogating a public intellectual: Noted bloggers and youth activists engage Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

[Editors note: Beyond Borders, as part of a discussion series aimed at connecting youth activists with key opinion  and decision makers, organised a discussion with Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka on 8 October 2009. Around 25 young people interested in politics participated in the discussion. Well-known bloggers Aachcharya, Negligible Minoritist and SP who were present share some reflections on […]

We, The Spectator State

A young boy was drowned in broad daylight this week. Though not a single newspaper carried it, I’m told B. Sivakumaran was his name. He was “believed” to be mentally retarded and known for throwing stones at passing vehicles and trains. Approximately 100 people watched him die. One even managed to capture on film the […]

Dayan Jayatilleka on post-war politics and enduring obstacles to peace in Sri Lanka

I spoke with Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka recently on his take on post-war politics, his interpretation of the Southern Provincial Council elections, the issue of war crimes and the extension of GSP+, the challenges of peacebuilding (with peace seen as more than the absence of war) and the purported entry of the former Army Commander Gen. […]

Presidential hopefuls and escape-routes for the ‘hopeless’

The buzz in political circles these days is the possibility of there being a ‘common candidate’ (CC) to challenge President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s bid for a second term in the event that a Presidential Election is called before he completes his term, most likely in January 2010.  Among the names thrown around for the CC post […]

A Presidential Election in 2010? The 3rd Amendment and the Continuing Constitutional Crisis

Media reports suggest that President Mahinda Rajapaksa might decide to hold an early Presidential Election in 2010. It is therefore interesting to look into some of the issues relating to the matter. Some of them are the following: i) the rationale behind the introduction of the 3rd Amendment, ii) interpretation of Article 31(3A)(d)(i) of the […]

An African connection: Kaffir culture in Sri Lanka

Historians say that the Kaffirs of Sri Lanka started arriving from the eastern shores of Africa in the 1500s with the Portuguese, and later in more waves with the different colonizers of Sri Lanka. ‘Kaffir culture’ is a video portrait of one such community of Kaffirs and their struggle to keep their culture alive in […]

Post-conflict Transition and Aid Effectiveness: Reconstruction and Reconciliation in Sri Lanka – Part 2

[Editors note: Read Part 1 of this article here.] Economic and Governance Challenges in Post-conflict Areas The Rajapakse government is increasingly dovetailing its policies to make Lanka a destination of Indian and Chinese investment. As a first step in attracting investments in the former north-east conflict zones, the government recently announced a 15-year tax holiday […]