Archive | Politics and Governance RSS feed for this section

Sri Lanka: After the world’s media has moved on

As the Editor of Groundviews, I was invited by World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN/IFRA) to give a presentation on Sri Lanka at the 20th World Editors Forum (WEF) and the 65th World Newspaper Congress, held recently in Bangkok, Thailand. As noted on the WAN/IFRA WEF site, “The World Editors Forum is the […]

Sri Lanka’s Global Vulnerability & the Devolution Conundrum

Photo courtesy The Hindustan Times/AP A society or state that demonstrates repeated violent convulsions over a fairly prolonged period such as decades does so because of a deep underlying problem. In the case of Sri Lanka this is the problem of the relations between the Sinhalese, Tamils and the state or to put it another […]

UNP’S DRAFT, TNA’S OPTIONS & THE CBK COMEBACK SCENARIO

Photo courtesy China Daily The UNP’s constitutional draft makes a most positive contribution by unambiguously committing itself to a unitary state form with the devolution of power to the provinces. This avoids the extreme of over-centralisation. Over-centralisation can take three forms: a unitary state without devolution, devolution only to units smaller than the province or […]

The Asymmetric Relationship of Buddhist-Muslim Bond in Sri Lanka

Photo via IBN Live, taken by Reuters The Buddhist –Muslim relationship in Sri Lanka is centuries old. It grew from the pre-Islamic Arab relationship with Sri Lanka and continued beyond the advent of Islam. Principally, the Arabs who built vibrant trade relation with Sri Lanka put their roots here and made Sri Lanka a second […]

Radical UNP and its New Constitutional Proposals: A Radical Farce?

Photo courtesy Sunday Observer When regimes are dictatorial and dangerous, alternative forces which promise a better society and future do tend to be taken seriously by the people. This, quite simply, is because the future promised by such alternative forces tends to be better than the present. But one thing many people can’t do about […]

Sri Lanka at a critical crossroad: JHU and the 13th Amendment

Udaya Gammanpila, Senior Member of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), courtesy FT.lk The country stands at a crossroad. A parliamentary victory for the JHU bill will complete the negative process which commenced with Sinhala Only in 1956 and the distortion in 1972 of the laudable shift to a Republic with mono-linguistic and mono-religious hegemony. If […]

Spot Fixing Sri Lanka Style: Revisiting the Enumeration of Vital Events

Image courtesy Thuppahi blog In November 2011, Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, said that discovering how many civilians “died or went missing during the last few months of the conflict” would be “a first step towards reconciliation.”[1] The government’s Enumeration of Vital Events (EVE) attempted to answer that question by collecting information about people […]

Thoughts on Sri Lanka’s Future on Another Vesak Day

Photo courtesy Dawn.com/AFP The  Vesak Poya day has come and gone several times since May 2009 when the prolonged war with the LTTE ended. And we Sri Lankans are yet trapped in post-war rhetoric and caught up in punches and counter-punches arising from different visions of what post-war Sri Lanka ought to be. Some think […]

Ganesan Nimalaruban: A murder and responses of Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice

Photo courtesy Vikalpa Ganesan Nimalaruban’s murder in July last year wasn’t an issue for or comprehensively covered in the mainstream media in Sri Lanka. Vikalpa covered the circumstances of his murder and funeral, and this content was translated into English and published onGroundviews. Responses to the stories on both sites included a former high ranking UN diplomat and […]

Review of The Sri Lankan Republic at 40: Reflections on Constitutional History, Theory and Practice edited by Asanga Welikala

Coming as it did at the end of 2012, The Sri Lankan Republic at 40: Reflections on Constitutional History, Theory and Practice, is much more than two edited volumes or an extensive anthology. Rather, on close reading it seems more a living embodiment of current and critical debate at the very heart of the Sri Lankan […]

Beyond Nostalgia: ‘Children of Olcott’ Must Revisit History

Review of: Mahinde Thamai Iskole (Mahinda is the School!) by Sundara Nihathamani de Mel (Suratha Publishers, Mt Lavinia, Sri Lanka; 220 pages; LKR 600 I have never been able to understand why apparently grown Lankan men instantly turn so nostalgic — and sometimes completely incoherent — at the mere mention of their primary or secondary […]

OPPOSITION MYTHS, POLITICAL REALITIES

Image courtesy Asianews.it Erroneous political thinking and analysis obscure and obstruct the path of the political recovery of the Opposition in Sri Lanka. They can be disaggregated into six myths. Myth 1 is that unity at all costs in the ranks of the main democratic opposition party is a necessary and sufficient condition of political […]

Reconciliation, Rights & Freedom: Four years after the end of war in SRi Lanka

Image courtesy The Telegraph It is now 4 years after the end of the war. The way we Sri Lankans will remember the end of the war is likely to demonstrate once again how divided we are, as North and South, as Sinhalese and Tamils. Some Tamil friends in the North told me that they […]