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Wikileaks on Sri Lanka: A breakdown and implications

Updated 2.15pm, 30th November with added analysis of tags “The first is that, in Sri Lanka, it would never be possible for any one to play “Julian Assange” and dare face an open media briefing in Colombo, to justify his or her claims on war crimes and torture. Right or wrong, excessive or not, that […]

Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Second-Term: A New Beginning?

When the LTTE showed, consistently and convincingly, that it did not understand the language of ‘peace’, President Mahinda Rajapaksa, correctly, turned to a language that the LTTE understood well; ‘war’. All other options were exhausted, and any option, other than the granting of a separate Tamil Eelam State, was bound to fail because what the […]

The Gaza Monologues: An interview with Ruhanie Perera and Jake Oorloff

[Editors note: Also see A review of the Gaza Monologues for video footage from and a review of the production.] Ruhanie Perera and Jake Oorloff co-created Floating Space in 2007. Gaza Monologues was their latest production, running to packed houses and good reviews recently in Colombo. As noted on the  group’s blog, Floating Space a […]

Record-breaking rice cakes, but at what cost?

Photo of kiri bath courtesy le sauce Most performances of Dhananjaya Karunarathne’s brilliant script Last Bus Eke Kathawa (The Story of the Last Bus) are memorable not just because of the acting, but also because the audience becomes, without at first knowing it, part of the theatre. Chewing gum or boiled sweets are distributed to […]

These Sri Lankan whores! Serve them right!

Name and shame the whores that act in pornographic films online. Their seedy grainy stuck-between-teeth pictures plastered across newspapers will be the deterrent for other whores who have the same idea. Designate parks for young people to canoodle in (but ensure someone watches over the canoodlers for we don’t want them to canoodle with naked […]

Nation building post war

Written to mark the forthcoming publication of Challenges for Nation Building: Priorities for Sustainability and Inclusivity, Edited by Gnana Moonesinghe We are no closer to nation building post war than we were during it, and before it. More accurately, we are no closer to the recognition that nation building needs to embrace the possibility, and […]

Response to S. L. Gunasekara’s article titled ‘Cardinal Errors’

‘Our lives begin to end the day we remain silent about things that matter’ - Dr Martin Luther King I feel compelled to defend the blasphemy committed through the article titled ‘Cardinal Errors’ (Island, 10th November, 2010) against holy Churchmen of the highest ranks who expressed their concerns in the interest of peace and reconciliation. It […]

A Just War or was it just war?

[Editors note: This short article responds to, in part, the submission made by someone called ‘Maverick’ on the Ada Derena website in response to a previous article by the author. Maverick’s comment is well-written and thought-provoking, and reproduced in full at the end of this article. The Wikipedia entry on Just War can be found […]

JVP and the emerging crisis in Sri Lankan universities

[Editors note: See map of campus and university student related violence over 2010 alone here.] ‘Youth groups, not yet settled in established adulthood, are traditional locus of high spirits, riot and disorder, as even medieval university rectors knew, and revolutionary passions are more common at eighteen than at thirty five…Eric Hobsbawm, The Age of Extremes,1914-1991,London, […]

Excellence in exile

Battered and bleeding, journalist Poddala Jayantha lay on his hospital bed when we visited him on June 2, 2009. He was lucky to be alive after being brutally assaulted by a group of unidentified assailants just the previous day. This was a terrible time for the Sri Lankan media.  Personally, I was struggling to recover […]

Ariyasinha urges NGOs to change strategy: A response

Image courtesy South Asia Foreign Relations Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU, Ravinatha Aryasinha says that NGOs need to complement the work done by Sri Lanka in a post-conflict environment, where reconstruction and development takes precedence and either their inability or refusal to accept this stark reality has led to misunderstandings and […]

LLRC: Interim report to Government

Though there have been a few reports anchored to this report, we do not know of any place it was published in full. Unsurprisingly, this document looks more at long-term systemic change and does not reference controversial testimony by survivors of the last leg of the war. For more coverage of the submissions given to […]

Jaffna and the North of Sri Lanka today: Post war realities, challenges and opportunities

[Editors note: Also  see interview with Dr. Muttukrishna Sarvananthan here, along with one other from a leading rights activist in Jaffna. From the psycho-social trauma and destruction of the social fabric in Jaffna after close upon three decades of brutal war to the challenges of post-war development, entrepreneurship and economic revival, these two interviews focus […]