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Good women and bad women of the post-war nation

Photo by Anushka Wijesinha, 2011, via IPS Since the end of war in May 2009, the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government has sought to forge a new overarching Sri Lanka identity inclusive of all ethnic and religious communities. As articulated by the President himself in his first post-war speech to parliament: “the word minorities […]

De Pilo Pendet: Reconciliation and the Catholic Church’s Role in Post-War Sri Lanka

Photo by Dominic Sansoni I have a memory that dates back several years. It is of a Good Friday Service at my family’s parish in Kotte, Sri Lanka and of the length of time I spent standing outside in overcast weather. A Good Friday service calls for a special liturgy, sober reflection, and patience. It’s […]

Arya Sinhala and the restoration of the Commons of Lanka

Submitted to Groundviews as a response to Kalana Senaratne’s assertion that Buddhism does not have a means for contemporary political engagement, in The ‘Mad Monk’ Phenomenon: BBS as the underside of Sinhala-Buddhism. ### Being Sinhala to the village folklorist Farmer Mudiyanse Tennekoon  was not a matter of religion or ethnicity, it was the practise of an elevated […]

Is reconciliation achievable without separation in Sri Lanka?

Image credit Steve Chao, via Al Jazeera “The general population doesn’t know what is happening and it doesn’t even know that it doesn’t know” – Noam Chomsky Introduction In the article Post-War Sri Lanka: Way Forward or More of the Same? published in May 2010, I concluded: If peaceful coexistence through power sharing is not achievable, the […]

THE MASTER: GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ

Photo by YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images, via Huffington Post “Fermina”, he said, “I have waited for this opportunity for more than half a century, to repeat to you once again my vow of eternal fidelity and everlasting love.” – From ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’ by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Gabriel Jose Garcia Marquez the writer par […]

PLATO’S CAVE IN THE INDIAN OCEAN: ELITE FAILURE IN SRI LANKA

Photo by EPA/M.A.PUSHPA KUMARA courtesy LA Times “…one cannot expect an individual or a book to change reality but only to interpret it and to indicate a line of action. Machiavelli had no thought or intention of changing reality; he only wanted to show concretely how the concrete historical forces ought to have acted to change […]

Launch of Special Edition: The end of war in Sri Lanka, five years on

Photograph by the author In the corner of my room, there’s a large air-tight plastic bag I open once a year, and occasionally glance at with mixed emotions. It contains, carefully folded, all the newspapers I could buy on 19th May 2009. Those who tried to buy a newspaper on this day may recall how difficult it was. Almost all […]

The National Question: All about State Power

Photograph courtesy PACT S.J.V. Chelvanayakam Memorial Oration, 26 April 2014 I am thankful to the S.J.V. Chelvanayakam Commemoration Committee for inviting me to deliver this memorial oration on the occasion of the 37th death anniversary of S.J.V. Chelvanayakam, Q.C., a revered leader of the Sri Lankan Tamils. I am told that I am only the […]

Theocratic fascism in Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy Today I’ve heard of home invasions but this is the first time I’ve watched a Ministry invasion. The country watched while the BBS swarmed into Rishad Bathiudeen’s Ministry in search of missing monk, to wit, Ven Watarekke Vijitha thero. Was the latter a suspect in a case of murder, rape, child molestation or […]

Right royal battle: The BBS vs. Bathiudeen

Photo courtesy Colombo Gazette The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), a recent and chilling phenomena of Sri Lanka’s post war political landscape is locked in a battle with Minister Rishard Bathiudeen, leader of the All Ceylon Muslim Congress (ACMC), a constituent party of the ruling UPFA. The Minister accuses the BBS of desecrating the Holy Koran, […]

The ‘Mad Monk’ Phenomenon: BBS as the underside of Sinhala-Buddhism

Photo courtesy Today The marauding Buddhist monks, who appear to be tied to a long political leash, have run out of control. They need to be stopped. But it is equally necessary to take a cold look at the complexity of the phenomenon that groups such as Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) have come to represent. […]

Women and Children: The Cutting Edge of International Law

Photo by UN/Myriam Asmani, via World Education Blog The Grotius Lecture 2014[1] PREFACE Sometime at the end of 2011, while I was still the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict, I met an ambassador from an Asian country just before a United Nations Security Council meeting on children […]