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In conversation with Kalana Senaratne: Religiosity, politics and identity in Sri Lanka

Kalana Senaratne is a distinguished columnist and researcher. Readers of Groundviews would be most familiar with his writing on the rise of militant Buddhism in Sri Lanka, though he has written consistently of issues of governance, rights, politics and religiosity since 2009. We caught up on TV recently to talk about at greater depth and […]

The slow wheels of justice and change: a Sri Lankan case study?

Image via Rights Now Five years since the end of the war, the state of affairs in Sri Lanka is likely to evoke feelings of frustration and despondency for most readers of this series of essays. The military has entrenched itself in the governance of the North and East and continues to suppress Tamil political […]

UNHRC Resolution: To be reviewed with objectivity

Image courtesy Rightsnow “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crises, maintain their neutrality”. John F. Kennedy   The D day in March has passed us by having placed a heavy hand as expected.  The intensely canvassed process for a yes or no to the resolution has ended […]

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 […]

The Lalith Weeratunga Presentation

Image courtesy ITU video Though I cannot say the same of his companions on the voyage, my friend Lalith Weeratunga embodies a rare combination of intelligence, ability, affability and civility. He made a valuable presentation of the government’s case, in Geneva and the USA. Mr Weeratunga has made some very valid points on the dangers […]

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. ### […]

Alistair Burt: Archive of Twitter interview on Sri Lanka

Photo credit FCO [Editors note: Also listen to Interview with Alistair Burt on Sri Lanka] On 5th February 2013, UK Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt hosted a live interview session via Twitter. Alistair Burt is Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs. At the time of the interview, the Minister had recently returned […]

Canadian Senator Hon. Hugh Segal on impeachment of Chief Justice in Sri Lanka

Image courtesy Flickr Debates of the Senate (Hansard) 1st Session, 41st Parliament, Volume 148, Issue 130 Wednesday, December 12, 2012 Hon. Hugh Segal: Honourable senators, the recent and further steps by the Government of Sri Lanka to impeach their Chief Justice should concern all Commonwealth citizens and governments. Clear Commonwealth values around the rule of […]

The political meaning of the retreat in London

Image courtesy ITV News “It was under these circumstances that Rajapaksa agreed to forego his own limousine and travel to Marlborough House at Pall Mall in an unmarked vehicle belonging to the Metropolitan Police . The President and First Lady entered Marlborough House premises in a Range Rover bearing the number plate VX 12 CYY. […]

The questions unanswered by Ass. Sec. Robert Blake: Mapping US engagement in and concerns over Sri Lanka (UPDATED)

Image courtesy Colombo Page From around 5pm to 5.30pm today, Ass. Sec. Blake took questions from those on Twitter in South and Central Asia. Ass. Sec. Blake is the Assistant Secretary, South And Central Asian Affairs at the US State Department and former Ambassador to Sri Lanka. South and Central Asia is a large swathe […]

The Island Abstains

The decision by the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka to abstain from the General Assembly vote calling for an end to violence in Syria, and stepping down of its president, cannot be accused of inconsistency, given the island republic’s wish to continue importing Iranian oil, serve tea at official Syrian garden parties, and its […]