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Unity of the Ruling Political Class and the National Government

Photo by Ishara S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images via The Baltimore Sun The talks of establishing a national government, among other things, highlight the underlying unity of the ruling class in Sri Lanka. Irrespective of party differences and occasional incidents of politico arrests and then release on bail, the ruling class in Sri Lanka has commonalities in terms of […]

Army in the North: Contesting the views of Prof. Rohan Gunaratna

Photo by STR/AFP/Getty Images, via A Sri Lankan Quest This is in response to the views expressed by “International Terrorism Expert” Prof. Rohan Gunaratna to Zahrah Imtiaz in the article titled “Don’t Withdraw Army from North: Prof. Rohan Gunaratna” published in the Ceylon Today of Sunday 15 February 2015, page 10. Security I do agree with […]

A Tale of Two Chief Justices: From Process to Principles – Part I

Photo courtesy The Malaysian Insider / AFP PHOTO/ Ishara S. KODIKARA By Luwie Ganeshathasan and Sanjayan Rajasingham Introduction The declaration that Mohan Peiris’s appointment as Chief Justice was void ab initio (invalid from the beginning), and the subsequent reinstatement of Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, raises many questions. What was the legal basis for these acts? Was the proper procedure […]

Beating the Communal Drum by Hardcore Sinhala Nationalists

Photo courtesy Daily FT Yesterday’s rally in Nugegoda organised by the hard-core Sinhala nationalists, i.e. Weerawansa, Dinesh, Gammanpila and Vasudeva with the blessings of former President Mahinda Rajapakse and their pseudo intellectual appendage Dayan Jayatilleke reminds us that the politicians who made a life out of Sinhala communalism/nationalism at the expense of a pluralist, liberal […]

Deconstructing Independence Day Discourse 2015: A Response to Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena, via South China Morning Post The 2015 Independence Day celebration was invested with the dignity of understatement – a complete departure from the showmanship and bravura performances which characterized the previous events under the patronage of Mahinda Rajapaksa. In total contrast to the former President’s rhetoric, which generally included noble sentiments in […]

Open Letter to the Government of Sri Lanka: On the Port City Review

Image courtesy Yamu Prime Minister Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe Minister Hon. Rajitha Senaratne Minister Hon Lakshman Kiriella Dear Sirs, On the Port City Review I am writing this open letter to you all as I have doubts that you might receive it through the layers of bureaucracy and entrenched interests that support the proposed ‘Port City’ […]

Truth and accountability: Corruption, human rights abuses and war crimes

Photo courtesy International Business Times “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it—always” Mahatma Gandhi “Freedom for the wolves has often […]

SMS news alerts: Going beyond cricket and politics

Mainstream politics & cricket dominate SMS news alerts in Sri Lanka. This infographic was made up from 320 SMS updates by a single news provider, covering the period of 23.10.2014 to 16.2.2015 and totalling around 5,228 words. Attribution to the service provider, at the end of each SMS, was stripped from the text that fed into […]

Where are our loved ones who have been abducted, arrested and disappeared?

Image courtesy Today ### To His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Respected President, In the journey towards good governance where are our loved ones who have been abducted, arrested, and disappeared? The 3 decades of war in our country affected all communities, irrespective of ethnicity and religion and […]

Sri Lanka’s Political Moment: Part 2

Photo by REUTERS/Stringer, via Al Jazeera A transformation of the political agenda Despite many detailed analysis of Sri Lanka’s present political moment by a myriad experts, two of its significant aspects have so far been all but overlooked. It is perhaps to be expected that the visible change of regime that took place on 9th January […]

Who rules?

Image courtesy Yamu The media of the 13th Friday had two very different statements on the fate of the ‘Port City “ project. The Daily Mirror reports The Government of Sri Lanka through its acting cabinet spokesman; Minister Lakshman Kiriella stated, “The Port City Project has been automatically stopped as there were so many shortcomings […]

How Free is Free Education? Private Household Spending on Education in Sri Lanka: 1985-2010

Photo courtesy Rose Sri Lanka Sri Lanka’s Free Education Scheme aims to provide each child an equal opportunity at educational success, but there is debate over to what extent it succeeds in this endeavor. Notably, some critics are concerned that private spending on education (for private and international schools, universities, and tuition) may be diluting […]

Expectations and the Disappointments of the New Government

Photo courtesy Asia One The new coalition government formed on January 9, 2015 has just completed its first month, and this leaves only a little more than two months before the parliament is dissolved. During the election campaign, a number of issues were highlighted against Mr Rajapaksa, and they were extensively used as key weapons […]

FM Samaraweera Calls for Patience on Human Rights Front and Improved Sri Lanka-USA Relations

Photo courtesy MFA Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera in his first visit to Washington, D.C. after assuming office addressed a full-house gathering at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) on Wednesday February 11th. The CEIP, founded in 1910, is the oldest international affairs think tank in the United States. In the last few […]

Online Freedom of Expression in Sri Lanka

Introduction The tension between the burgeoning technological capacities for both expression and repression online is a global phenomenon, compounded by the absence of a dedicated international legal framework that sets out obligations for states with regard to the protections of freedom of expression online. Within this context, Sri Lanka is particularly vulnerable: existing protections for […]