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In conversation with Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu

Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu is the Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives. I begin this interview with a pointed question, asking Dr. Saravanamuttu to flag anything the government has done well since it assumed power in 2005, in the domains of governance and human rights. I go on to ask Dr. Saravanamuttu why it […]

The Psychological Impact of Political Violence in Sri Lanka

Of all the tasks of government, the most basic is to protect its citizens from violence – John Foster Dulles Commonly violence is defined as  the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community that either results in or has a high likelihood […]

“Oya Sinhalade? Demalade?” – Questioning a question in post-war Sri Lanka

“Oya Sinhalade? Demalade?” I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve had that question asked from me over the years. Ironically enough, in these days of ‘peace’ I’ve had it asked of me more and more frequently. Firstly in Colombo and now in Jaffna too. Jaffna – a town where 99% of the […]


Remember the “Bandaranaike yugaya” (the “Bandaranaike Era”)? Well it is now the Rajapakses’ round. The Rajapakse family now dominates the SLFP and Sri Lankan politics in much the same manner as did the Bandaranaikes (Sirima, Felix, Sunethra, Anura, Chandrika, and son in law Kumar, not to mention Mackie and Seewali Ratwatte and irate Ira). In […]

Debating sovereignty in Sri Lanka

A decent enough interval has not lapsed between Dr Nihal Jayawickrama’s first expression of views on sovereignty in the Sunday Island a fortnight ago, and his more reasoned and most recent expression, for the reader to have forgotten his original stand.  In his April 4th reply to me Dr Jayawickrama states I have “rushed to […]

Aiding and abetting to kill plurality in ‘patriotic’ Sri Lanka

“I’m worried about an opponent who uses ‘nation building’ and ‘the military’ in the same sentence.” said George W. Bush Jnr. in Nov 06, 2000, referring to Al Gore and then to journalist Mickey Herskowitz, he said “One of the keys to being seen as a great leader, is to be seen as a Commander-in-Chief.” […]

A response to “News websites caught red-handed doctoring video to make president look racist”

A news item on Lakbima News titled News websites caught red-handed doctoring video to make president look racist has this to say of Groundviews. “Websites such as Groundviews exacerbated the situation by saying there was confusing reportage, not highlighting the obvious doctoring which was apparent to anybody listening to the video soundtrack and the clip. […]

A pseudo democracy in Sri Lanka

‘the middle classes have always been the bulwark of society. Aristotle believed they were democracy’s secret weapon- the protectors of social values, the moderators of political extremism, rampart of reason over fiat, and believers in a society run by laws instead of by strongmen. They have also been the engines of economic growth’ Newsweek, 15/3/2010,from […]

Post War Muslim Minority Party Politics : Surviving Political Quietus

The decision by the leader of the National Unity Alliance (NUA), Minister Ferial Ashraff’s to join the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) in February 2010 raises serious questions for Muslim politics in Sri Lanka and minority politics at large. She did not announce a formal disbanding of NUA, the party’s fate remains unclear. Although NUA […]

A choiceless election to elect a lumpenised parliament

This general election would bring about a parliament with a clear majority. Few if at all, would dispute that. While there is also talk of a two-thirds majority in parliament for President’s UPFA, that possibility seems remote, unless the Southern voter goes berserk. That for the Sinhala voter is not that impossible and then, all […]

Doing It in a Foreign Language

In Jumma: The last bastion of the boys, (Groundviews, 26 March 2010) Nazeeya Faarooq wrote: “…most of the Jumma sermons are totally irrelevant. Firstly they are given in a language they don’t quite understand…”. Presumably the language is Arabic. Such an enforced linguistic barrier between us and our God(s) is common: Latin and Sanskrit are […]