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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

THE POLITICS OF HATE, THE POLITICS OF HURT, AND THE POLITICS OF THE HAUGHTY: THREE THREATS TO CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM IN SRI LANKA

Photo courtesy Maithripala Sirisena website “To give freedom is still more easy. It is not necessary to guide; it only requires to let go the rein. But to form a free government; that is, to temper together these opposite elements of liberty and restraint in one work, requires much thought, deep reflection, a sagacious, powerful, […]

Storming to Performing in 100 Days

Photo courtesy The Business Times Taking over the country’s governance, especially under the current circumstances in Sri Lanka must take an emotional and physical toll on the politicians.   At this level of stress, how can one keep a rational and a logical perspective, especially when there are so many complex, risky, divisive issues to deal […]

Sri Lanka’s Newfound (Cautious) Optimism

Photo courtesy Colombo Gazette Amra Ghouse, Kumaran Nadesan, Suthamie Poologasingham, Nima Ranawana and Viranjith Tilakaratne When Sri Lanka celebrated its 67th Independence Day on February 4, it did so filled with hope that it can finally realize its true social, political and economic potential. Many Sri Lankan Canadians too are now cautiously optimistic about that […]

Sri Lanka’s political moment

  Image via Maithripala Sirisena A change of guard The future of Sri Lanka’s democracy has reached a pivotal point. On the 9th of January, it awoke after decades of paralytic slumber. The nepotism, corruption and excesses of the Rajapakse regime were not unknown or unsuspected; but Mahinda himself was seen as a strong leader […]

Sri Lanka: A Democratic Revolution in the Making?

Image courtesy Sri Lanka Guardian by Rohini Hensman and Faizun Zackaria A time for gratitude Two disasters were recently averted in Sri Lanka. The first would have been the re-election of the corrupt and brutal Rajapaksa regime in the presidential election of 8 January 2015. For this we must be grateful, first and foremost, to democracy […]

IMPLEMENTING THE THIRTEENTH AMENDMENT: THE FIRST STEP OF A LONG JOURNEY

Photo courtesy Sri Lanka Guardian “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu In his first trip abroad to India, the new Foreign Minister has stated that the new government is committed to implementing the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Similarly, in his first address to Parliament after the formation […]

THE EXECUTIVE PRESIDENCY AND THE SRI LANKAN STATE: MYTHS AND REALITIES

Photo courtesy The Business Times If there was a central plank to the common opposition platform in the presidential election, it was about what to do with the executive presidential system in general and the Eighteenth Amendment in particular, in view of the crisis of democratic governance created by the insidious authoritarianism and pervasive corruption […]

First week of “Good Governance”: Three Good Speeches, One Promise Kept and One Postponed

The One-Hundred-Day Programme of President Maithripala Sirisena (MS) was launched last week with three good speeches, one of two promises largely kept and the third postponed, hopefully to be fulfilled sooner rather than later. President Sirisena made three good speeches in the last seven days, the first at his swearing-in ceremony, the second in Kandy […]

Ideas for a Road Map for Truth and Justice in Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy Aquila Style The new year has brought significant changes in Sri Lanka. President Maithripala Sirisena and his Government face many challenges and opportunities. Reform has been promised and expectations are high. In the wake of the elections, Pope Francis’ visit to Sri Lanka to canonize the country’s first saint was a highlight. Those […]

DONOUGHMORE, BUNDESTAG, WESTMINSTER, OR ‘YAHA PAALANAYA’? AN ALTERNATIVE PROPOSAL FOR THE REFORM OF THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE SYSTEM

Photo by Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images, via Huffington Post According to President Maithripala Sirisena’s timetable for his 100-day reform programme, the Standing Orders of Parliament are to be amended on 20th January to reform the parliamentary committee system. According to the 100days.lk website, “The Standing Orders will be amended and, in terms of Proposal 67/10 now […]