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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 […]

Exploring International and Domestic Modalities for Truth and Justice in Sri Lanka

AFP PHOTO/LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHILAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images via FT blog The ‘Declaration of Peace’ by the Government of Sri Lanka at the 67th Independence Day Celebrations held on 4th February 2015 is a notable shift in its recognition of the past and the need for healing and unity. The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) made a […]

Sri Lanka’s geopolitical importance to the United States

Image courtesy California Bangla An analysis of Nisha Biswal’s visit to island nation During late January and early February 2015, Sri Lanka witnessed the visits of many foreign officials to the country. Prominently featured among them were the visits of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister of State, Hugo Swire, the United States Assistant […]

Economics of the Colombo Port City Project

Image courtesy Yamu The government recently took a cabinet decision to go ahead with the $15 billion Colombo Port City Project (CPCP). Cabinet spokesperson Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, trying to justify the decision told the media that it was a “business venture” done together with one of Sri Lanka’s “long-standing friends,” China. A day later Prime […]

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 […]

Signs of Blemishes in Good Governance

Photo courtesy Bloomberg Sam Samarasinghe and Chandrasiri Seneviratne In the first three weeks of its tenure the Sirisena/Wickramasinghe administration has generally adhered to the principles of good governance in their effort to implement the One-Hundred Day Program. President Sirisena’s interview on Rupavahini TV last weekend further buttressed his good governance credentials. Both President Maithripala Sirisena […]

How Free is Free Education?: Educational Stratification in Sri Lanka: 1985-2010

Image courtesy Rose Sri Lanka Sri Lanka’s Free Education Scheme aims to provide each child an equal opportunity at educational success, but there is debate over to what extent it succeeds in this endeavor. Notably, some critics are concerned that private spending on education (for private and international schools, universities, and tuition) may be diluting […]

Memory and Movement: An Independence Day Reflection

Photo by REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte, via RFI Independence Day reminds us that we are one country called to become one reconciled people. Experience teaches that when addressed, dominant national realities become paths to reconciliation. Economic dignity The real enemy is not next door but at the economic extremes. Poverty is humiliating; excessive wealth intoxicates. Since there […]

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 […]

#icanChangeSL & #wecanChangeSL: Shaping a new Sri Lanka

Engage with this campaign in Tamil (புதிய இலங்கையை வடிவமைப்போம்…) or Sinhala (ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ අනාගතය හැඩගැස්වීම සදහා…) too! ### The Presidential poll of 8 January 2015 inspired the largest number of voters in Sri Lanka’s history to turn out to elect a new president. The #IVotedSL campaign, which went viral in the lead up to and on the day […]

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 […]

An Eastminster for a New Sri Lanka: The First XI Institutional Reforms for a Parliamentary State

Photograph courtesy Article 14 blog “Vous l’avez voulu [You asked for it], George Dandin” mischievously exclaimed the Soulbury Commission’s report 70 years ago implying that their recommendation of the British parliamentary system was at Ceylonese instigation if anything went wrong. The report quoted French playwright Molière’s 1668 comedy Dandin, and defended their counsel that Ceylon […]

A Whistleblower Protection Act needs to Accompany the proposed Freedom of Information Act

Image courtesy Transparency International By S W R de A Samarasinghe & Tissa Jayatilaka The presidential election results of 8 January suggest that a significant segment of our electorate concurred with the assertion of the then common Opposition that bribery and corruption that tainted the administration of the incumbent president Mahinda Rajapaksa which, in turn, […]