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Sri Lanka’s political moment: Rediscovering our kinship and common history

Photo courtesy EPA/M.A.PUSHPA KUMARA via Sky News As the new administration has begun to unpack promises made during a hasty election campaign, it is clear that they are constrained by their own political capacity, the limitations of a minority government and more generally by what is politically feasible at present. Within the government, ministerial appointments have […]

Sri Lankan National Anthem: Symbolism, Nationalism, Racism and Other Stories

Photo by REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte via Channel 4 To write a piece of this nature while holding an academic position in a state university is quite a controversial move. Those who read this piece purely for the sake of critiquing it might find ample fuel in it to provoke the fires. Some may perceive this to be […]

Sovereignty and Colombo Port City

Image courtesy Yamu Throughout the world, the owning or holding of and that belongs to another sovereign nation, termed “territories held” have recently been largely returned. The Panama Canal was returned to Panama in January 2000, Hong Kong was returned to China by the United Kingdom in 1997, and Portugal returned Macau Island to China in […]

The other side of Narendra Modi’s Sri Lanka visit

Photograph via Quartz Ever since becoming the Prime Minister of the world’s largest democracy, Narendra Modi has concentrated on building strong diplomatic ties with foreign nations. The process began with the swearing-in ceremony of the new Indian Prime Minister when Modi extended a formal invite to the heads of state of neighbouring countries which included […]

Post-war reconstruction and women: Has the Indian Housing Project become a debt trap?

Photo courtesy Red Cross Following the end of the armed conflict, people returned to their areas of origin in the conflict affected areas with limited, and in some cases no resources, to re-build their lives. This forced them to access new and freely available credit to re-establish a habitable space and restart livelihoods. Due to […]

The President in the Nineteenth Amendment

Photo courtesy Maithripala Sirisena website The Maithripala Sirisena manifesto promised to implement a programme to stabilise the country in two stages, and the first of those stages is the Hundred Day programme which would be devoted to solving urgent issues. Among those matters that were signposted for reform during the first stage is the abolition of […]

In Search for a Domestic Truth and Justice Process in Sri Lanka

Image courtesy Justice in Conflict The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) is presently facilitating a stimulating online debate titled ‘Is the International Community Abandoning the Fight Against Impunity?’ The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, argues that the international community is not abandoning the fight against impunity, highlighting successes in […]

A Short Note on the Historical Legacy of International Women’s Day

Introduction In the West, International Women’s Day was first observed as a popular event after 1977 when the United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for women’s rights and world peace. Its theme for 2015 is ‘Make It Happen’ with a dedicated hashtag for social media. “Empowering […]

Heroes, Traitors and Tamil Politics: Lessons (Un) Learnt

Photo by AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena via Yahoo Following the deferral of the presentation of the report of the UN Human Rights Council mandated investigation on Sri Lanka (IOSL) conducted by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) passed a resolution on 10 February 2015 urging the UN to […]

A Fifty of a Hundred Days to Few, or too Many?

Image courtesy Sri Lanka Guardian A former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson made the oft- quoted remark that a week is a long time in politics. What then of fifty days, not to mention a hundred? Half way into the government’s 100 -day governance reform programme, public reaction and that of some political actors in […]

A Tale of Two Chief Justices: From Process to Principles – Part II

AFP PHOTO/ Ishara S. KODIKARA, via The Malaysian Insider By Luwie Ganeshathasan and Sanjayan Rajasingham. Read Part I here. A Broader Analysis The legality of Mr. Sirisena’s decision to reinstate Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake through executive order was questionable, though not strictly illegal.[i] This is largely because it stemmed from a unique situation. This involved the initial removal […]