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A response to Basil Fernando: Sri Lanka is not a Gulag Island

I am proud of my country, Sri Lanka, which has just been able to vanquish a formidable, ferocious and fascistic foe, despite its vast global network and in the face of considerable external pressure. I am proud that my country Sri Lanka has been able to restore its territorial unity and integrity and reasssert its […]

Sacrificing essential liberty for temporary safety in Sri Lanka

Despite the successful military victory over terrorism, we continue to be warned by the state that a critical threat to national security continues to stalk the country. Consequently, we have passively assented to a persistent and invasive military presence in our daily life. Furthermore, over quarter of a million Tamils are continuing to be held […]

Sri Lanka on a collision course with the West

Why on earth is the Rajapakse regime on a collision course with the West?  Okay, we are being bullied by the West, but haven’t we asked for it mainly on account of our  stubborn resistance to  international appeals for independent investigations into war crimes and human rights abuses?  Taking blanket cover under a ‘conspiracy theory’ […]

A video of shame and outrage: Responses, positions and clarifications

The video broadcast Channel 4 last week generated a number of responses from the readership of Groundviews. Much has been written about the video, including this well thought out commentary in The Lede, the New York Times news blog. Of the many comments in response to it, this one and the Lede’s response to it […]

Taking a page from Chechnya: Sri Lanka’s insincere constitutional reform and its apologists

[Editors note: This post which first came to me through Facebook was forwarded to Dayan for comment. His response follows. The emphasis at the end of the article is mine. It is hoped that Aacharya and Dayan will continue this debate along with others on this site, which is more open than Facebook to this […]

Sending Dayan home: the triumph of folly in Sri Lankan politics?

I was tempted to write this article after a few days of reading different news reports about the ‘sacking’ of His Excellency Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka, Sri Lanka’s permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva. Different explanations have been provided by different quarters about the ‘reasons’ that led to Colombo’s decision to recall its most […]

Out in the Wilderness – Dayan Jayatilleka on 13th Amendment and getting sacked by Boggles

Sri Lanka’s soon-to-be-ex-Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva took time off from his busy schedule of sipping martinis, getting up the American’s noses, and fighting on the Western Front, to have a little chat with us. This is his first interview since the Foreign Ministry announced that he has been recalled from Geneva, […]

Beyond the time-warp in Sri Lanka

‘About 2000 years ago the Sinhala people started facing the dreadful enemy invasions and threats from diverse communities living in the Indian subcontinent,’ according to extremist politician Cyril Mathew and his associates in a book published thirty years ago, Diabolical Conspiracy. The fact that Sinhalese too originated from the Indian subcontinent, and that rival kingdoms […]

The East and West at the UN Human Rights Council: Never the twain shall meet?

“Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.” (Rudyard Kipling, Barrack-room ballads, 1892) Through a fortuitous twist of fate at the end of May I had the opportunity to be a witness to an event of considerable global importance; the Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council on […]

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Policy: Missing the Woods for the Trees

Sri Lanka’s decisive military victory over the LTTE owed much to a robust foreign policy as it did to a strong military and political leadership with the resolve to defeat the enemy. The results are evident. At the Security Council, it was the steadfast position of permanent member China that the sovereignty of a member-state […]

Potato Farmer’s Poultry Venture

I arrive on holiday at the Colombo airport with my family. It is I, your potato farmer. In my last post I told you about my trial, you might remember. Mine is a complex family: “Look my darling, your children and my children are playing with our children”. We often have quarrels about our respective […]

Post-war reconciliation and nation-building in a global context

There have been three civil wars fought against the Sri Lankan state: 1971, 1986-89, 1979-2009.  The Sri Lankan state prevailed in all three. These three wars settled three basic questions. The first uprising was about the character of the State, society and the economy and it was settled in favor of the market economy and […]

Exclusive video interview with Somawansa Amarasinghe, the Leader of JVP, in English

Two weeks after I had interviewed Prof. Tissa Vitharana on, among other things, the full implementation of the 13th Amendment, I spoke with the Leader of the JVP Somawansa Amarasinghe for his take on constitutional reform. During the course of our interview, Mr. Amarasinghe came out strongly in favour of the rights of all minorities, […]

Sri Lanka: Spice Island or Bland Nation?

Located strategically in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka was a hub in the maritime silk and spice routes for millennia. It drew traders from the east and west for both business and pleasure. Notable among the attractions were spices, whose many aromas and flavours formed an integral part of the tropical paradise experience. The traditional […]