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The subterfuge called All Parties Representatives Committee

Deception has two extreme poles at each end of the untruth. One end is witty, subtle, astute and artistic. A magician, for example, perplexes us with pleasant surprise, tickling our innocent perception of truth as something illusive, though the deceptive role involved in the trick is taken for granted by everyone, magician and spectator alike. […]


Note: Interacting with Willie Senanayake, Lionel Bopage and other moderates in Australia I found them composing a “Handbook of Answers” to typical objections against devolution presented within the Sinhala speech community. This can be an useful exercise. But then one is facing one’s debating opponents on terrain of their choosing. I propose rather to create […]

What Can We Expect from the APRC?

The All Party Representative Committee (APRC) is supposed submit its report to the President on January 23. When the APRC together with the expert committee began its deliberations, many people including myself were optimistic and saw it as a ‘glimmer of hope’. However, glimmer of hope began to fade away with the submission of the […]


By Bhumi. Based on field trip from 10th – 14th December 2007. Introduction The East is ‘liberated’. It has been so since last June when the government requested it to be celebrated with ‘patriotic joy’. Over 300,000 civilians were displaced in the process and a majority have been ‘resettled’ since then. But a significant minority […]


[Editors note: Scholars and serious readers are encouraged to download the Adobe PDF version of this article that includes all annotations and references in the original.] Sri Lanka today is a fractured polity and has been so for some time. This is a trite saying: everyone knows this. But in order to comprehend the process […]


Malinda Seneviratne Yesterday the proclamation of independence, The cloud burst on drought-ridden histories, The feverish composition of anthem, the dance of peacocks, The sunrise greeted by a 21-gun salute The colouring of hope and the overflowing of milk and honey. Yesterday the unthinkable embrace of leader and led The wild humour of illusion and the […]

Bloody anniversaries: Indepedence, pogroms, war and peace

The decisive year with terrible beginnings is also a year of anniversaries — 60 years of independence and 25 since the horrific pogrom of July 1983. It may be the case that the crucial push into the Wanni will begin in deadly earnest to coincide with the anniversary of independence, whilst if the pronouncements of […]

My life and my choices in a country at war: A personal reflection

By Packiam Where to start, what to write…. 2007 gone, 2008 started. When I ask myself what I wish in year 2008 I sincerely, hardly find any answer for myself. However, lot of life stories were replayed in my mind. Competing for attention, I’m torn between these choices. How am I to choose? I’m thinking […]

Post-CFA politics, war and peace in Sri Lanka: A few thoughts

I wrote some a few thoughts this morning in response to the Government’s decision, taken last night, to withdraw from the Ceasefire Agreement with the LTTE signed in February 2002. This significant decision gives us a hint of the Government’s thinking on war and peace and what we can accordingly expect it to say and […]

The persuasive power of numbers (Part 2): “54 per cent of Tamils live outside the North and East”

My earlier article (The persuasive power of numbers and the mystery “8.5%” figure) highlighted the dangers of using incomplete census data and how it has been manipulated to bolster political agendas. Another persuasive number that is routinely cited is the figure of “54%”, used in connection with the proportion of ‘Tamils’ living outside of the […]

Looking back, looking forward: A brief chat with HRW Human Rights Defender Award winner Sunila Abeysekera on war and peace in Sri Lanka

Sunila Abeysekera, a recipient of the prestigious Human Rights Defender Awards by Human Rights Watch, speaks on the year that was and what lies ahead in 2008 . In her interview, Sunila strikes a sombre note and says: “I think [2007] is the worst year I’ve seen in Sri Lanka in terms of human rights… […]

Lionel Bopage: Protection of fundamental human rights is a responsibility of a democratic government

by Lionel Bopage Lionel Bopage was a former General Secretary of the JVP. He was involved with the JVP since 1968 and resigned in 1984. Any government genuinely looking after the interests of its people would stand for pluralism and the fundamental democratic and human rights of its people. Thus that government will be obliged […]