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Thoughts on Sri Lanka’s Future on Another Vesak Day

Photo courtesy 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 […]


Image courtesy 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 […]

Freedom of assembly in post-war Sri Lanka

Sandya Ekneligoda, wife of missing journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda, center,  speaks to reporters during a protest rally out side the parliament in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013. Relatives, colleagues and opposition activists staged a protest rally Thursday demanding that the Sri Lanka government hold proper investigation to find out what happened to Ekneligoda who […]

The consequences of political representation or the lack of it

Image from The focus of  my article in the Sunday Leader of 5 May was on the need for Northern Provincial representation. It now looks as if those elections may be held in September 2013. I will elaborate on the likely consequences of representation, or the lack of it, drawing on past experience in […]

A New Political Regime Post-2010 in Sri Lanka: A Hybrid Regime

Image courtesy Brisbane Times by Laksiri Jayasuriya, University of Western Australia Introduction The 2010 Sri Lankan Presidential and Parliamentary elections that took place shortly after the end of a debilitating 25 year-old civil war in 2009 constitutes a watershed in Sri Lanka’s politics. Despite the unsettled conditions over the last two decades emanating from this […]

‘Women’s Issues’: Shooting the messenger

Image courtesy ICRW ‘Are we not raped every day when we walk down the street and are leered at ? Are we not raped when we are treated as sex objects, denied our rights, oppressed in so many ways ?’ Archives of Manushi, written by Sohaila (1983) Sri Lanka reminds one of one’s gender. To be female in a […]

Conviction of Efraín Ríos Montt and the need for accountability

Image courtesy The Guardian On 10 May 2013, former Guatemalan dictator Efraín Ríos Montt was found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity and sentenced to 80 years in prison. It was the first time that an ex-head of state had been convicted for genocide by a court in his or her own country. The […]

People, Politics and the Constitution: Reading ‘The Sri Lankan Republic at 40′ (edited by Asanga Welikala)

Photo courtesy Vikalpa, taken at the launch of the book in Colombo. Reading a tome on constitutional history, theory and practice – like Asanga Welikala’s edited collection titled The Sri Lankan Republic at 40 – can be a daunting task. For a start, such books have too much to say about constitutions. The more you […]

Sri Lanka Today: Due Process & Civil Liberties or Security State?

Photo courtesy The Nation “And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?” ‘The Second Coming’, WB Yeats (1919) Must the Sri Lankan citizenry accept or acquiesce in the sacrifice, even in peacetime, of due process and civil liberties at the altar of an absolutist model of security? […]


I approach this subject as a political scientist, a former diplomat and briefly a Minister in the Cabinet of the North East Provincial Council. At the overlap of these experiences and roles is what is classifiable as a Realist perspective. As a Realist, I reject outright three myths about devolution which have been around for […]

Is the Tamil Diaspora Against Unity in Sri Lanka?

“The great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes The Tamil Diaspora is a diverse ethnic group. Amongst it, the majority are strongly connected to their kith and kin in the island of Sri Lanka. Arguably, the Tamil Diaspora is […]