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Defending Sri Lanka: Response to Michael Colin Cooke

Image taken from ‘Interrogating a public intellectual: Noted bloggers and youth activists engage Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka‘, published on Groundviews The phrase ‘a man for all seasons’ being a compliment -which is clearly not the writer’s intent- I find Mr Michael Colin Cooke’s sense of irony rather leaden (read A Man for all political Seasons: Dr Dayan […]

A Man for all political Seasons: Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

  “… I remain passionately committed to the notion of universality and universal values which derive from our common human condition. The values of humanism are part of these universal values”. Dr Dayan Jayatilleka[1] “History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation.” Julian Barnes [2] […]

Silva’s Report, Role of International Community and Reconciliation in Sri Lanka

GV caption: Three terrorists, two terrorists, former terrorists, patriots or a hero? How one sees this image is  measure of how much Sri Lanka remains divided post-war. Image shows Secretary of Defense Gotabaya Rajapaksa speaking during the inaugural National Conference on Reconciliation in Colombo November 24 ,2011. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte, courtesy MSNBC. One of the most fundamental […]

The Final Report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission: A Response

Photo courtesy JDS The concluding report of Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) was finally made public in mid-December, after multiple delays and an interim report that went mostly unnoticed. The Commission’s report has sparked considerable debate within an increasingly stifled public sphere, rejuvenating conversations in Sri Lanka about governance, human rights, and […]


Photo courtesy JDS The New Year brought a valuable gift in my email. It was a dossier entitled ‘Seeking Space for State Reform’ and carried an even more beguiling subtitle, ‘Consensus and Contradictions in Public Perceptions’.  A publication of the ICES (the International Centre for Ethnic Studies, from and of which I hadn’t heard for […]

How hard is it to admit fault, Ambassador Wickramasuriya?

Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the US, Jaliya Wickramasuriya, recently responded to the Crisis Group Report’s assertion that assault on women in Sri Lanka is on the rise. On the one hand, the Ambassador denies the very existence of rape or violence against women in Sri Lanka – “Rapes, this and that not taking any place […]

Good English skills over a University education?

Image courtesy Seven myths about English Education in Sri Lanka, by Ajith P. Perera It was not so long ago that the post-nominals B.A. (Calcutta) Failed was a sure route to employment in the administrative cadre of the  Government of India, in addition to being a matter of distinction in their own right. Even a decade ago, the university degree […]

Ending the Exile and Back to Roots: Fears, Challenges and Hopes

[Editors note: The author was married to Dr. Rajini Thiranagama (née Rajasingham), a Tamil human rights activist and feminist murdered in 1989 by the LTTE. She was one of the founding members of the University Teachers for Human Rights, Jaffna, which during the war, published some of the most hard hitting critiques and exposes of Government as […]

Wishes for a peaceful and a happy New Year from the President

I probably was one among millions of people in Sri Lanka privileged to receive a SMS from the President, wishing me “a peaceful and a happy New Year”. (A large majority who do not own a cell phone would receive no such wishes from the highest in the land). While many might argue this to […]

Reconciliation – What is the Big Deal?

It looks like the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Committee (LLRC) took their job far more seriously than expected. Some stake holders in the Government who insisted that it is fully worth spending time to bring about reconciliation through the LLRC came out on TV to say that LLRC has over-stepped the bounds of its mandate. […]

Clouds of Deception: Jeyaraj anoints and cloaks Niromi Tigress

Writing from a Tamil nationalist position which occasionally earned the LTTE monster’s ire, David Jeyaraj has provided the world with invaluable service over the years. He had considerable information on both the Tiger operations and behind the scene events in the Tamil north. I have utilized his articles on numerous occasions.[i] However,  in jumping to […]