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Whither enemies of the state: The political debate in Sri Lanka today

“Unarm, Eros; the long day’s task is done“ – Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, 4.14 The current Sri Lankan political discourse, thin gruel though it is, contains three morsels of content:  democracy, the electoral system and national sovereignty. Some question whether the ‘mere fact of elections’ qualifies Sri Lanka, or any country for that matter, as […]

Aroused by Akon’s Sexy Bitch: the Rise of Sinhala-Buddhist Fundamentalism?

Could it be that the sight of the Buddha statue was a complete turn-off to those who were utterly aroused by the dancing girls, the ‘sexy chicks’, seen in the music video ‘Sexy Bitch’, by David Gruetta, which featured Akon? If not, can such a scene, which in this particular video lasted for not more […]

Politics of Sinhala Nationalism: Underpinning of the UPFA Victory and Undermining of the Sri Lankan Nationhood

“Politically speaking, tribal nationalism always insists that its own people is surrounded by a world of enemies, one against all, that a fundamental difference exists between this people and all others. It claims its people to be unique, individual, incompatible with all others, and denies theoretically the very possibility of a common mankind long before […]

Bell Pottinger and Sri Lanka: Millions spent for what?

Bell Pottinger hired Qorvis Communications as a subcontractor for its work with the government of Sri Lanka, starting December 1, according to a filing with the US Department of Justice. Qorvis is providing media relations and monitoring, crisis communications planning, and stakeholder representation in the US. The budget is approximately $483,000. Though freely available on […]

Ranil’s road, Mahinda’s map

Does the UNP and Opposition leader Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe suffer from a compulsion towards electoral suicide or is it a condition of political sado-masochism? Only someone who is politically suicidal or sadistic towards his own party and its supporters could have gone to Jaffna last week, in the throes of a crucial election campaign at […]

Still waiting for justice in Sri Lanka

Several Commissions of Inquiry into Disappearances of Persons (COIs) had been appointed by successive  governments  since 1990.  Of these, the writer had been the Secretary to what is known as the Central Zone Commission and the All Island Commission appointed in 1994 and 1998, respectively. Militancy of Sinhala youth in the South and the Tamil […]

Revisiting former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva’s views on the ICCPR

The arrest of General Sarath Fonseka marked the beginning of an unfortunate episode in Sri Lanka’s contemporary political history (or should it be ‘political drama’). However much flawed the individual may be (just like many others engaged in domestic politics in Sri Lanka), and however much I opposed his candidature, such flaws are not reasons […]

The Muslim question and resettlement of Muslim IDPs in post-war Sri Lanka: Two comprehensive interviews

The question of Muslim identity, displacement and forcible evictions during war and their enduring socio-political impact in post-war Sri Lanka is often underplayed in the media and mainstream politics. Muslim IDPs in the East are amongst those who have been in IDP camps the longest, often in conditions no better than Tamils interned in Manik […]

The TNA manifesto and Tamil self-determination in Sri Lanka

Here we go again, or should I say here they come again, or is it here they go again? In an opening scene in the movie 300, based on Frank Miller’s freely rendered comic book version of the battle of Thermopylae in Herodotus’ Histories, Spartan king Leonidas boots an arrogant  emissary of Persian king Xerxes […]

Post-war Sri Lanka: A conversation with Shanthi Sachithananthan

Shanthi Sachithananthan, the Chairperson of Viluthu has been featured on Groundviews during the war. This interview, conducted late 2009 after war’s end, considers significant developments over the course of the year including the demise of the LTTE. Shanthi talks about the need to change the timbre of political interactions between the South and the tamil […]