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This columnist has been associated for the past several years with that much-maligned minority that can be broadly labelled ‘liberal federalists’ on the question of peace and constitutional reform in Sri Lanka. Allowing for individual nuances of emphasis and premise, Sri Lankan liberal federalists are those who have advocated (a) a negotiated resolution to the […]

Suggestion to the Select Committee on Electoral Reform

by R.M.B. Senanayake The Select Committee on Electoral Reform headed by Minister Dinesh Gunawardene has submitted a very good report making recommendations which will clean up our electoral politics by removing structures which encourage corruption. It recommends a mix of the First Past the Post system and Proportional Representation. But unfortunately it has lost its […]

The Mangala Sutra: Preliminary observations on Mangala’s third way

My article, in Sinhala, is a brief sketch on Mangala Samaraweera’s dramatic break from the SLFP and the introduction of his third-way of politics. I raise a note of skepticism ont he eventual fate of his policies and vision, but accept as necessary and vital his voice and alternatives to the dystopia brought about by […]

All the President’s media

Taken from Al Jazeera Transforming State media Recent reports in the State media loudly proclaimed the President’s desire to depoliticise State media and his instructions to this effect. As pointed out in the Free Media Movement statement in response to the President’s comments, President Rajapakse had ‘pointed out that the government owned media should play […]

Mangala’s party and the Citizen’s dream

I begin my article with some quips and observations from friends and colleagues on Mangala’s new political party and his political vision as articulated by him to the media recently. Clearly, the field is not united in their appreciation of Mangala – some see him as a bold new visionary, others see old wine in […]

Fighting for democracy

“Ignorance and prejudice are the handmaidens of propaganda, and in most modern conflict, the men of war prey on the ignorance of the populace to install fears and arouse hatreds.” Sashi Tharoor, Bookless in Baghdad Mark Whitaker captures well the perversity of Sri Lanka today in a compelling biography of murdered Tamil journalist Sivaram Dharmeratnam […]


Unveiling his political vision for a ‘new Sri Lankan order’ this week, Mangala Samaraweera challenged Sri Lankans to envision a better future. Dare, he said, to dream which, as a rallying cry in these miasmic times, has an even more piquant ring to it in the Sinhalese ‘Sihinaye Abhiyogaya’. The SLFP-Mahajana Wing’s discussion document is […]