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Radical UNP and its New Constitutional Proposals: A Radical Farce?

Photo courtesy Sunday Observer When regimes are dictatorial and dangerous, alternative forces which promise a better society and future do tend to be taken seriously by the people. This, quite simply, is because the future promised by such alternative forces tends to be better than the present. But one thing many people can’t do about […]

Sri Lanka at a critical crossroad: JHU and the 13th Amendment

Udaya Gammanpila, Senior Member of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), courtesy FT.lk The country stands at a crossroad. A parliamentary victory for the JHU bill will complete the negative process which commenced with Sinhala Only in 1956 and the distortion in 1972 of the laudable shift to a Republic with mono-linguistic and mono-religious hegemony. If […]

Illicit Emigrants: Criminals or Victims?

Image courtesy Christian Science Monitor This year’s Bishop Cyril Abeynaike Memorial Oration was a fascinating talk on some aspects of globalization by Dr. Harsha Athurupane.  He spoke mostly of the benefits of globalization but also mentioned some possible ill effects.  In an ideal globalized world, people, goods, services, knowledge, information and technology should move freely […]

Spot Fixing Sri Lanka Style: Revisiting the Enumeration of Vital Events

Image courtesy Thuppahi blog In November 2011, Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, said that discovering how many civilians “died or went missing during the last few months of the conflict” would be “a first step towards reconciliation.”[1] The government’s Enumeration of Vital Events (EVE) attempted to answer that question by collecting information about people […]

Thoughts on Sri Lanka’s Future on Another Vesak Day

Photo courtesy Dawn.com/AFP The  Vesak Poya day has come and gone several times since May 2009 when the prolonged war with the LTTE ended. And we Sri Lankans are yet trapped in post-war rhetoric and caught up in punches and counter-punches arising from different visions of what post-war Sri Lanka ought to be. Some think […]

Interview with MIXED RICE: Standing up for a diverse Sri Lanka

Describe the group of people who curate MIXED RICE. Who are you? Where are you located? What are your ages? Educational and professional backgrounds? The people behind MIXED RICE are a collection of Sri Lankans from various backgrounds who are scattered across the globe from Sri Lanka to Australia, Japan, the US and UK. There […]

My Esteem for the Buddha: An open letter at Wesak to my Buddhist Sisters and Brothers

Photo courtesy Reuters My good friend, the Ven. Bellanwila Wimalarathana wrote a letter to Christians on his understanding of Christ at Christmas last year.  This has prompted me to reciprocate with this letter to you at Wesak. A seekers vision I write in my personal capacity as a disciple of Christ, a student of Buddhism […]

Ganesan Nimalaruban: A murder and responses of Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice

Photo courtesy Vikalpa Ganesan Nimalaruban’s murder in July last year wasn’t an issue for or comprehensively covered in the mainstream media in Sri Lanka. Vikalpa covered the circumstances of his murder and funeral, and this content was translated into English and published onGroundviews. Responses to the stories on both sites included a former high ranking UN diplomat and […]

Shakespeare – Is he “Wellington’s Lieutenant?”

Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty via The Guardian Among the many twists and turns of history, few can be more contrived than that which led to the establishment of Shakespeare’s tongue as a second or link language in a little island thousands of miles from England where Englishmen have scarcely set foot in Shakespeare’s lifetime (1564 – […]

Review of The Sri Lankan Republic at 40: Reflections on Constitutional History, Theory and Practice edited by Asanga Welikala

Coming as it did at the end of 2012, The Sri Lankan Republic at 40: Reflections on Constitutional History, Theory and Practice, is much more than two edited volumes or an extensive anthology. Rather, on close reading it seems more a living embodiment of current and critical debate at the very heart of the Sri Lankan […]

Use Vesak decorations to reflect upon Dhamma

Lord Buddha gave different meditation objects to different people. For some, just focusing on rubbing two pieces of material against each other worked, and for some others focusing on the breath worked. On Vesak poya day, we celebrate the birth, enlightenment, and the passing away of this great teacher. In Sri Lanka, almost every Buddhist […]

Beyond Nostalgia: ‘Children of Olcott’ Must Revisit History

Review of: Mahinde Thamai Iskole (Mahinda is the School!) by Sundara Nihathamani de Mel (Suratha Publishers, Mt Lavinia, Sri Lanka; 220 pages; LKR 600 I have never been able to understand why apparently grown Lankan men instantly turn so nostalgic — and sometimes completely incoherent — at the mere mention of their primary or secondary […]