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Sri Lankan diplunacy: Stray dogs, pricks, tigresses and CHOGM 2013

Photo courtesy Transcurrents / by Tony Ashby, AFP Bandula Jayasekara (@bundeljayse) is currently one of Sri Lanka’s highest-ranking diplomats, as Consul General in New South Wales and Queensland, Australia and former Consul General to Toronto, in Canada. His Twitter account has consistently featured bitter invective and all-manner of unsubstantiated allegations against civil society and human […]

Clearing up inconvenient Hindus and laundrymen in Colombo

Recent web media reports flagged that an 85 year old Kovil was going to be relocated in order to create space for a new parking lot to accommodate vehicles arriving at the President’s official residence in Colombo, Temple Trees. Along with the relocation of the Kovil, eviction orders were given to dozens of laundrymen, many […]

In conversation with Michael Mendis: Winner of 2013 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Asia

Michael Mendis is the winner of the 2013 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Asia. ‘The Sarong-Man in the Old House, and an Incubus for a Rainy Night’ can be read in full on Granta. Upon winning the prestigious prize, Michael averred, “Although writing, for me, is inherently a personal exercise, involving a distillation of private […]

Blocking inconvenient truths: Time magazine and Sri Lanka

Image courtesy Al Jazeera (AFP/Christophe Archambault) The Face of Buddhist Terror, cover story of the most recent issue of Time magazine, is banned in Burma. Even though the lead article is primarily on U Wirathu, the leader of the 969 Buddhist Nationalist movement and only has passing reference to Islamophobia in Sri Lanka championed by fascist […]

Why a TNA-run Northern Council is more positive than negative

Image courtesy in.com Had the Government not made the mess it has by fussing over the 13th amendment, it could have shown off the TNA run Northern PC in all global forums as evidence of post-war progress in political reconciliation. Instead of deploying the NPC into an advertisement for Sri Lanka’s domestic process of reconciliation […]

Celluloid Nationalism in Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy Cinema.lk In post war Sri Lanka, where triumphalism is an ever-present threat to reconciliation, and where issues of religious and language diversity continue to engender conflict, we are encountering a reassertion of Sinhala-Buddhist nationalism through the powerful medium of film. In the recent past we have seen the grand dramatization of several episodes […]

From Merchant Prince to Akbar Brothers: Inayat Akbarally and the Bohras of Sri Lanka

Photography by Alefiya Akbarally and Kannan Arunasalam Inayet Akbarally tells the remarkable story of his great grandfather Careemjee Jafferjee and how he became the first member of the Dawoodi Bohra community to set foot in Ceylon believed to be around 1830. A “Peterite” through and through, he reflects on the days when where you went to school trumped […]

Gotabaya Rajapaksa and National Security: The Kotelawala Defence University lecture

Photo courtesy Business Today As a citizen of Sri Lanka, naturally I was keen to know what the country’s secretary of defense thinks about the current security situation and the military history of Sri Lanka. Therefore, I went through his “lecture”  under the National Interest Module of the inaugural MPhil/PhD Programme of the Kotelawala Defense […]

Viroda Vipakshaya, General Fonseka and early presidential stakes

Image courtesy The Australian The political opposition in Sri Lanka seems freshly energized if recent events are anything to go by. The UNP has formed some form of a broader opposition coalition through the “Viroda Vipakshaya” and released a draft constitution as a discussion document for public and civil society debate, while the JVP galvanized by the […]

Sri Lanka’s Global Vulnerability & the Devolution Conundrum

Photo courtesy The Hindustan Times/AP A society or state that demonstrates repeated violent convulsions over a fairly prolonged period such as decades does so because of a deep underlying problem. In the case of Sri Lanka this is the problem of the relations between the Sinhalese, Tamils and the state or to put it another […]

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 […]

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 […]