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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 […]

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 […]

The ‘Mad Monk’ Phenomenon: BBS as the underside of Sinhala-Buddhism

Photo courtesy Today The marauding Buddhist monks, who appear to be tied to a long political leash, have run out of control. They need to be stopped. But it is equally necessary to take a cold look at the complexity of the phenomenon that groups such as Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) have come to represent. […]

Women and Children: The Cutting Edge of International Law

Photo by UN/Myriam Asmani, via World Education Blog The Grotius Lecture 2014[1] PREFACE Sometime at the end of 2011, while I was still the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict, I met an ambassador from an Asian country just before a United Nations Security Council meeting on children […]

The arrest, detention and torture of Tamils in post-war Sri Lanka

Image from The Anti-Torture Initiative There is an alarming trend in the Sri Lankan security forces operation, of arresting the family members of suspects and keeping them as hostages in detention camps. Irrespective of their age, gender and connection to those suspects, the family members are kept under arrest/ detention most notably in the infamous […]

Generating Calamity, 2008-2014: An Overview of Tamil Nationalist Operations and Their Marvels

Summarising previous essays (see bibliography below) this article proceeds in point-form with an eye on greater impact via succinctness. A. During the last phase of Eelam War IV in 2008/09 the LTTE attempted an international heist that is unprecedented in world history:[1] they used some 320,000 of their own people to manufacture a picture of […]

Remembering Sithie Tiruchelvam

Photo courtesy The Hindu Writing a tribute to Sithie Tiruchelvam is not an easy task. Sithie was an intensely private person who was averse to public, over-the-top displays of emotion and sentimentality. I am aware that a piece that says little about her private persona could sound impersonal, even clinical. I have therefore attempted to […]

Dangerous defeat in Geneva

Image courtesy Wikipedia “The passage of the resolution marks a historic moment…” Having lost the crucial vote in Geneva and opened the door to an international investigation, Sri Lanka is now in new territory. Sri Lankans saw who their real friends were at the UNHRC on Thursday night. Our friends, Pakistan, Cuba, China, Russia — […]

CBK takes on religious intolerance in Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy Dinouk Colombage President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga has since her graceful retirement from office more than eight years ago after the completion of a constitutionally mandated two term limit, busied herself with an impressive portfolio of issues internationally, issues which are also crucial to our South Asia region. Her status as an elder stateswoman, […]

Arrest of Ruki Fernando and Father Praveen

Photo courtesy Janikissima on Flickr Last night’s arrest of Ruki Fernando and Fr. Praveen in Kilinochchi on terrorism charges, soon after the arrest of Jeyakumari Balendran and her young daughter on suspicion of harbouring a criminal, is extremely disturbing and an urgent call to action. In stark contrast to what the Government says in Geneva […]

From mass grave to cemetery: Questioning the claims in Mannar

Various explanations have been offered by Government officials around the discovery of skeletal remains in Mannar some months ago. The BBC reported in January that a government medical official overseeing the excavation, Dhananjaya Waidyarathne, said the bodies had been buried in layers and that he was “very much worried” (sic) that no signs of clothing […]

Colossal Mihin Lanka losses: Some context

Photo courtesy Wikipedia Through The Republic Square and other media we learn that Mihin Lanka, the brainchild of Sri Lanka’s current President Mahinda Rajapaksa, lost 2.2 billion over the current financial year. As Colombo Page notes, Civil Aviation Minister Priyankara Jayaratne made this revelation in response to a question posed by United National Party (UNP) parliamentarian […]

In conversation with Lakshman Joseph de Saram

Lakshman Joseph de Saram is an internationally acclaimed Film Composer, classical musician & Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Society of Colombo. We begin our conversation by looking at Lakshman’s childhood – the social milieu he grew up in as well as the circumstances of his household, which were early invitations to the world of […]

Archive of #askcbsl: Twitter Q&A with the Governor of the Central Bank

Image courtesy Centralbanking.com On 17th February, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivad Cabraal participated in an unprecedented Q&A session over Twitter, in the vein of similar interactions with Lalith Weeratunge, the President’s Secretary and the President himself last year. Groundviews archived every single tweet with the official hashtag for the event #askcbsl from the time it was tweeted on […]