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Why the Government of Sri Lanka fails internationally

Image courtesy Ishara S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images, via RightsNow This is among the many important challenges to the “democratically elected” Government of “democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka” (GOSL).  There may be various answers but let me offer five reasons why the present Government in the present frame of mind cannot win the support of the international community […]

Gamani Corea: Champion of the Global South

Robert S McNamara, who was US Secretary of Defence under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, then served as President of the World Bank from 1968 to 1981. Despite his contentious legacy in the US government, he is credited to have shifted the Bank’s focus to population and poverty issues. McNamara, whom I once interviewed when in […]

Commonwealth must honour its own commitments

Photo courtesy Contribute Magazine The choice of Sri Lanka as a venue for CHOGM 2013 has always remained controversial. But now that most member countries have agreed to go ahead and participate in the high-profile summit happening in Colombo, the moment has arrived for the Commonwealth to reassess its commitment towards its own values. ### […]

How will India facilitate a credible and independent investigation in Sri Lanka

Image credit PTI, via IANS While domestic politics took centre stage in Delhi this past March with the Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK) pulling out of the ruling coalition, far away from the mêlée, at the UN Human Rights Council’s (HRC) 22nd session in Geneva the Indian representative made some very interesting remarks which gave us […]

A former Ambassador speaks out: Interview with Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

In his first interview for public television in Sri Lanka upon his return to the country after his stint as Ambassador to France and UNESCO in Paris, Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka talked about a number of issues related to governance, foreign policy, devolution, the growing Islamophobia in the country, his work with youth and the critique […]

Interview with Alistair Burt on Sri Lanka

The BBC’s Charles Haviland interviewed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs Minister Alistair Burt on 1st February 2013, during an official visit to Sri Lanka which saw the Minister meet with a range of stakeholders including the government, TNA and civil society as well as travel to the North of the country. […]

In conversation with Shashi Tharoor: India, literature, politics and South Asia

Having moderated a session with Shashi Tharoor earlier this year at the Galle Literary Festival, we met up again in Colombo last week to talk about the writer-politician’s new book, and his views on literature, politics, the freedom of expression and our region. Shashi Tharoor is a well known writer, speaker and politician. From Riot […]

The Geneva Debacle of March 2012: The lessons not learnt

Photo courtesy Vikalpa The outcome in Geneva last year (March 2011) of the voting on Sri Lanka’s conduct of the war and related human rights record was very clearly in favour of the Sri Lankan government. The line up in the voting and the scale of the majority were such that is appeared that this […]

In conversation with Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu: The resolution in Geneva and its discontents

Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu is the Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, the institutional anchor of Groundviews. He is today one of three human rights defenders senior government ministers consider traitors and would like to, as in ancient times, kill, and, inter alia, break the limbs of. Though Sri Lanka’s foreign minister distanced himself […]

The Geneva II debacle

Photo courtesy Vikalpa, from protest against US resolution in Colombo, 27 February 2012 The US-sponsored resolution at the UNHRC had to be defeated. It was not. 24 in favour, 15 against, 8 abstained. Hearts are broken, glasses are shattered, the ‘gods’ have ignored our prayers, there is madness surrounding us; 2012, we are now sure, […]

Geneva 2012: The signs missed, lessons unlearnt

Photo courtesy JDS Let’s learn the right lessons from the Geneva outcome, not the wrong ones. It is not the case that a small country such as Sri Lanka cannot fight a diplomatic battle with the mighty USA and win.  Minutes after the Sri Lanka vote at the HRC this time, the Cubans moved a […]

THE BIG LIE ABOUT THE US RESOLUTION

Image from The Nation It is almost a crime to lie to the people and mislead them on a matter of vital national interest. When it is committed by politicians it is an act of unconscionable opportunism. When it is perpetrated by so-called intellectuals belonging to civil society, it is a counterfeiting of the currency […]

The Geopolitical Matrix of Sri Lanka’s Conflict

Image courtesy South Asia Monitor I am appreciative of the fact that this is a seminar on geopolitics. I think geopolitics has been underestimated; perhaps overestimated earlier and then there was a reaction, the pendulum swung too far in the other direction. I am not a geopolitical determinist. I do not believe that geography is […]

Once more into the breach

“The bloody massacre in Bangladesh quickly covered over the memory of the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia, the assassination of Allende drowned out the groans of Bangladesh, the war in the Sinai Desert made people forget Allende, and so on and so forth until ultimately everyone lets everything be forgotten.” Milan Kundera[1] “…. Some [intellectuals] served […]

THE NORWEGIAN STUDY: A CRITIQUE

The Norwegian (NORAD) commissioned study ‘Pawns of Peace: Evaluation of Norwegian peace efforts in Sri Lanka, 1997-2009’, is useful and good, but analytically flawed at its very core. It is useful because it shows us how the ‘liberal peace’ discourse goes and how that constituency views the conflict in retrospect. This does not mean that […]