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Chaos in Colombo: Mêlée over jobs indicates a serious economic problem in Sri Lanka?

Anushka Wijesinha (who blogs here), a Research Economist at the Institute of Policy Studies, sent us these incredible photos and video of the chaos in Colombo today when thousands of Korean job seekers appeared for Korean exam applications at the Police Park down Havelock Road. Mainstream media reports a figure of 10,000, which going by […]

Katunayake Protest as an Invitation to Political Economy

Photo courtesy Vikalpa [Editors note: For background on the Katunayake protests, read Protests in Katunayake Free Trade Zone: No police in sight] The state sponsored triumphalist ideological noise of Sinhalese ethno-nationalism was suddenly disturbed, on the eve of the officially declared month for the commemoration of war heroes (ranaviru), by an unexpected eruption of workers […]

Killing and State Intervention into a Funeral: A New Form of Suppressing Liberty in Sri Lanka

Crime of “Dissent” & of Murder Killing of Roshen Shanaka Ratnasekara,  a factory worker in the Free Trade Zone (FTZ), Katunayaka gives a signal to the country on how peaceful protesters would be dealt with. Those who are familiar with police accountability will accept that police cannot carry guns and ammunition, without accountability. The records […]

The limits of the Mahinda Chintanaya: FTZ workers and Buddhist monks rise up against government

Photo courtesy Vikalpa Protests in Katunayake Free Trade Zone: No police in sight has audio and video footage of the violent protests over the course of the week in the Katunayake Free Trade Zone. A 10 minute video of the protests on Thursday, after the Police killed 21 year old Free Trade Zone (FTZ) worker […]

People are not a flock of sheep: The murder of a 21 year old by the Police

The 21 year old Free Trade Zone (FTZ) worker Roshan Chanaka, who was seriously injured during the clash between the police and the FTZ protesters on Monday, passed away mid-week to his deadly injuries. His death has now sent shock waves to the government. According to reliable sources, prominent cabinet ministers were seen at his […]

Protests in Katunayake Free Trade Zone: No police in sight

Vikalpa captured these images and video at the protest held yesterday in the Katunayake Free Trade Zone. Tens of thousands of workers have been involved in violent demonstrations this week against a proposed pension bill seen as grossly unfair. Over 200 were injured on Monday alone, by Tuesday, the demonstrations forced the closure of 70% […]

Placing ‘Defeating Terrorism: Sri Lankan Experience Seminar’ in a critical light

Admirably, the Government was kind and open enough to provide a live web feed of the proceedings of the three day Defeating Terrorism: Sri Lankan Experience seminar, held in Colombo. This allowed for non-invitees and non-participants like us to monitor the saccharine presentations via the web, flagging inconsistencies as well as inconvenient truths that were […]

Some Quick Reflections on the Legislative Process in Sri Lanka

The author (centre) with Ambassdor Terry Miller, Director Center for International Trade and Economics and Lisa Curtis, Senior Research Fellow Heritage Foundation and some guests at the talk delivered at the Heritage Foundation. ### I am on an American Airlines flight from Phoenix, Arizona to St Louis, Missouri having enjoyed the only break in the […]

Democracy, Economic Growth And Terrorism: The Sri Lankan Case

Photo courtesy Vikalpa This article will briefly discuss alternative explanations to the two youth insurrections and the separatist movements that occurred in post-independence Sri Lanka.[1] While the most recent conflict between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is more widely known, there have been two additional, and equally destructive insurgencies in Sri Lanka that […]

Lanka @ 63: The ‘military business model’ of post-war economic development

On 4 February, Sri Lanka celebrated its 63rd birthday. After nearly three decades of armed conflict, it is now one of Southasia’s calmest and fastest-growing countries. Its social indicators, apart from the northeast zone, remain the best in the region, and its strategic location is inviting investments from both Asian giants, China and India. Its […]

“Chiran Jayathu” – “Aayubowewa”

Let all as citizens comprising the civil society of Sri Lanka, join together in unison and with one voice, in response to the earnest appeal made by Renton de Alwis in “Back to Basics” stating “Our President is taking on the next phase of his governance. There is so much more he has to do […]

Jaffna and the North of Sri Lanka today: Post war realities, challenges and opportunities

[Editors note: Also  see interview with Dr. Muttukrishna Sarvananthan here, along with one other from a leading rights activist in Jaffna. From the psycho-social trauma and destruction of the social fabric in Jaffna after close upon three decades of brutal war to the challenges of post-war development, entrepreneurship and economic revival, these two interviews focus […]

Submission before Lessons Learnt & Reconciliation Committee (LLRC) by Chandra Jayaratne

[Editors note: Chandra Jayaratne is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka and of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK, a former President of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and LMD Sri Lankan of the year 2001.] ### 1. Appreciation of Opportunity The eminent members of the Commission and its […]

In conversation with Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy on Sri Lanka’s post-war economic development

Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy is a Former Director, Economic Affairs Division at the Commonwealth Secretariat. Indrajit was also a staff officer at the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. As Wikipedia notes, From 1981 t 1989 he was seconded to the Ministry of Finance and Planning. Thereafter he worked for the Commonwealth Secretariat from 1990–2008, holding the […]