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“All my life I have been a gentleman to my adversaries, even in war situations surrounded by death. I’ve never humiliated, offended nor wreaked revenge on a single prisoner, not even in the case of the Bay of Pigs while my comrades lay mortally wounded or dead around me…One must be honourable.” – Fidel Castro […]

Going beyond Sarath Fonseka in achieving democracy for people

A visibly shaken wife in tears, Anoma Fonseka told the media “this is the gift my husband got for finishing a 30 year war”. Gen Sarath Fonseka was arrested, or detained, or taken into custody or may have been even abducted by a military group late in the evening on Monday from his office, in […]


The Sri Lankan crisis continues, sourced in and stemming from two major flaws/factors: (i) There is no comprehension that “justice must not only be done, but be seen to be done” and that what is legal in the narrowest sense may not be perceived as legitimate or ethical in the broader sense. The consequences for […]

Mahinda Rajapaksa’s second term: Opportunities and challenges for constitutional reform

I interviewed recently Rohan Edrisinha, who lectures at the Law Faculty, University of Colombo. Along with a number of other issues related to prospects of meaningful constitutional reform in Sri Lanka during Mahinda Rajapaksa’s second term in office, Rohan addressed the farrago of approaches by the Rajapakse administration towards the implementation of the 17th and […]

TNA and the New Era of Tamil Politics: Are They Living Up to the Challenge?

The TNA, the remnant of old politics in the Tamil community has entered a new era. The post LTTE politics has made it possible to create conditions for a democratic culture in the North and East. But the defeat of the LTTE alone will not make it possible to create a genuine democratic culture. The […]

Justice Everywhere?

This article is inspired by a programme called Justice Everywhere – an exhibition and events with Martin Luther King III, son of US Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. presiding held in Colombo and other parts of Sri Lanka in January 2010. A young TV journalist asked me whether Martin Luther Kings’ philosophy of […]

Abolition or reform of Executive Presidency in Sri Lanka?

A pre-presidential election conversation I had with well-known lawyer and activist Javed Yusuf touched upon a number of issues vital to Sri Lanka over the course of 2010 and well-beyond. Javed Yusuf was Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia in the mid-90′s, and in this video strongly argues for the abolition of the office of […]

Yes, I am Tamil!

When Weerasena (1) was interdicted And the sun was on fire Above the textile factory Shouting slogans Screaming hoarsely Brother Nadesan(2) At the flaming pickets I was a Tamil When Weere(3) got the job back Riding on the shoulders “Long live brother Nade(4)….!” The victorious king In the victory parade I was a Tamil When Siripala(1) was shot […]

Should Vice-Chancellors pledge support to the President?

[Groundviews was informed that this open letter was penned on 20 January 2010, before the presidential election. Tellingly, efforts to publish it in the traditional print media before the presidential election, we were told, had failed.] The Official Government News Portal ( carried a news item, datelined 18 January 2010, that vice-chancellors of Sri Lankan […]

President’s second term: Two options before the Supreme Court

There is, at present, much excitement over the question of when re-elected President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s second (and new) term begins. Various news reports concerning the matter have been published in the print media. It was reported once that the President had informed certain media heads that he would consult the Supreme Court to get an […]


“Prabhakaran, a textbook fascist…” - The Economist (‘Victory for the Tiger Slayer’ Jan 28th, 2010) “Resistance to imperialism does not of course involve only armed force or bands of guerrillas. It is mainly allied with nationalism and with an aroused sense of aggrieved religious, cultural or existential identity.”- Edward Said (‘The Voyage In: Third World Intellectuals and Metropolitan […]

Outcome of presidential elections in Sri Lanka: Is there anything to analyse?

On the day after elections, I sat in the afternoon to write this amidst phone calls and text messages inquiring and informing about “strong” rumours on “result rigging” by the Rajapaksa regime. All rumours, spinning wildly in the world of the all knowing urban middle class, who had “access to inside information”, but knew nothing […]