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Sri Lanka’s Quiet Heroes

Photo courtesy MSF Like many countries, Sri Lanka is a nation struggling with a lot of problems. The prevailing negative trends on the island are well-documented and irrefutable. People talk about national reconciliation, but one doesn’t see much of it. People talk about human rights, but one doesn’t see those being protected either. Perhaps the […]

The Fragmented Republic: Reflections on the 1972 Constitution of Sri Lanka

Review of Welikala, Asanga, ed. The Sri Lankan Republic at 40: Reflections on Constitutional History, Theory and Practice. 2 vols. Colombo: Centre for Policy Alternatives, 2012. 1-1038. ### “We seek your mandate to permit the members of Parliament you elect to function simultaneously as a Constituent Assembly to draft, adopt and operate a new Constitution. […]

Is reconciliation achievable without separation in Sri Lanka?

Image credit Steve Chao, via Al Jazeera “The general population doesn’t know what is happening and it doesn’t even know that it doesn’t know” – Noam Chomsky Introduction In the article Post-War Sri Lanka: Way Forward or More of the Same? published in May 2010, I concluded: If peaceful coexistence through power sharing is not achievable, the […]

THE MASTER: GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ

Photo by YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images, via Huffington Post “Fermina”, he said, “I have waited for this opportunity for more than half a century, to repeat to you once again my vow of eternal fidelity and everlasting love.” – From ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’ by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Gabriel Jose Garcia Marquez the writer par […]

PLATO’S CAVE IN THE INDIAN OCEAN: ELITE FAILURE IN SRI LANKA

Photo by EPA/M.A.PUSHPA KUMARA courtesy LA Times “…one cannot expect an individual or a book to change reality but only to interpret it and to indicate a line of action. Machiavelli had no thought or intention of changing reality; he only wanted to show concretely how the concrete historical forces ought to have acted to change […]

Launch of Special Edition: The end of war in Sri Lanka, five years on

Photograph by the author In the corner of my room, there’s a large air-tight plastic bag I open once a year, and occasionally glance at with mixed emotions. It contains, carefully folded, all the newspapers I could buy on 19th May 2009. Those who tried to buy a newspaper on this day may recall how difficult it was. Almost all […]

THE EXECUTIVE PRESIDENCY & REFORM STRATEGY: A PARTIAL CRITIQUE OF JAYAMPATHY WICKREMARATNE

Photo by Alexander Nikiforov Pro-Opposition strategists and ideologues placing their bets on abolishing the Executive Presidency while the Presidential election is less than a year away, is quite as sensible as placing one’s bets in one’s final year at campus, on agitation for the abolition of the university final exams, instead of studiously preparing to […]

The National Question: All about State Power

Photograph courtesy PACT S.J.V. Chelvanayakam Memorial Oration, 26 April 2014 I am thankful to the S.J.V. Chelvanayakam Commemoration Committee for inviting me to deliver this memorial oration on the occasion of the 37th death anniversary of S.J.V. Chelvanayakam, Q.C., a revered leader of the Sri Lankan Tamils. I am told that I am only the […]

Theocratic fascism in Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy Today I’ve heard of home invasions but this is the first time I’ve watched a Ministry invasion. The country watched while the BBS swarmed into Rishad Bathiudeen’s Ministry in search of missing monk, to wit, Ven Watarekke Vijitha thero. Was the latter a suspect in a case of murder, rape, child molestation or […]

In the name of talent

Image from ‘Kolavari Sri lankan tuition song-By Risinu Gamlath’ video, courtesy Sirasa TV For a very long time now I have watched little children performing at children’s reality shows in Sri Lanka, which are marketed as children’s ‘talent shows’ in our country. Little children come on stage wearing costumes and makeup in the manner of […]

Yet another fleeting opportunity

Photo courtesy Xinhua Anxiety dominates the post-Geneva political climate in Sri Lanka, the result of a heady mixture of different reasons, which sees the ruling regime pursuing short-sighted solutions in order to neutralise. March turned out to be an eventful month for Sri Lanka domestically and internationally, with the passage of the UNHRC resolution, the […]

Right royal battle: The BBS vs. Bathiudeen

Photo courtesy Colombo Gazette The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), a recent and chilling phenomena of Sri Lanka’s post war political landscape is locked in a battle with Minister Rishard Bathiudeen, leader of the All Ceylon Muslim Congress (ACMC), a constituent party of the ruling UPFA. The Minister accuses the BBS of desecrating the Holy Koran, […]

The President and his apparatchiks: Loving children most, their toys even more?

Photo by AP, courtesy The Hindu The other day, killing time in the airport lounge, I picked up the Sunday Observer. Not something I do on a regular basis, never having been able to reciprocate the attention the state controlled media has paid to me over the years. On the front page was an article […]

Toy Pistol Local Governance in Hambantota

Image courtesy Nidahasa The country woke up a few days ago to news that a group of opposition UNP MPs on a fact finding visit to the new airport and port in Hambanthota had come under attack from goon squads. Subsequently, photographs showed His Worship (the UPFA) Lord Mayor of Hambantota, Eraj Ravindra Fernando, chasing […]