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Political settlement or regime change!

Photo by AFP, via SBS “I fled down labyrinthine ways And glooms of chasmed fears” (Not exactly Francis Thompson) This essay is premised on an ill-omened reading of the Geneva tea-leaves. What be this ominous message I see floating in the cup? For reasons I will lay out in the initial paragraphs I find it […]

A new phase of mediation to get from post-war to post-conflict Sri Lanka

Image courtesy BBC Five years after the end of the war, Sri Lanka remains a post-war society that has yet to make the transition to a post-conflict society. While the violence has ceased, the political roots of the conflict that gave rise to war remain to be addressed. There continues to be extreme political polarization […]

The Silly Idealist

Photography courtesy Dev Policy Blog Everyone called her a “Silly Idealist”. Some said it fondly, some with contempt, some with anger, and others even with disgust. But, she didn’t care. She truly believed with all her heart, in a one people – a one country. And nobody could deny her that dream. Change would come. […]

Opened letter to His Majesty Mahinda Rajapakse the Lord of Sri Lanka and the Universe also

Dear Majesty, My name is Silva. The Silva. I am common man. Very common. So common I am always voting for your Majesty and Your Majesty’s government. However, please be notified that I am only giving the back part of my name. Front part I am keeping to myself due to security reasons. I am […]

Five years on, where we are now: Reconciliation, the Rule of Law and governance

Photo by AP, via VOA News It is five years now after the defeat of the LTTE. As the Government then claimed it marked the end of terrorism and the beginning of a new era of reconciliation and renewal throughout Sri Lanka. The Government’s specific goals were the restoration of peace, rehabilitation of the ravages […]

Badiou’s Event and the defeat of the Tigers: A Brief Response to Dayan Jayatilleka

Photo by EPA/M.A.PUSHPA KUMARA courtesy LA Times What follows is a brief rejoinder to my friend, Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka, whose use of the philosophy of Alain Badiou, in his recently published article “Plato’s Cave in the Indian Ocean: Elite Failure in Sri Lanka”, I find somewhat problematic, at best, or downright misleading, at worst. I shall not, […]

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 […]

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 […]