Archive | Politics and Governance RSS feed for this section

Howling

What shall I do, living in Peru, with this report of systemic failure in U.N. monitoring in Sri Lanka, how bureaucrats drove away from the disaster to come, buried hard- earned stats about civilian deaths and allowed themselves to be brow-beaten, harassed, shouted into silence while 40,000 humans died , mostly from battering shells rained […]

The Challenge of Opposing the Impeachment Motion

Photo courtesy Euronews The clash between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, popularly (and wrongly) perceived as a battle between the executive/legislature and the judiciary, does not provide much hope for the latter. Both parties are presently engaged in a drive to convince the people of their narrative, their case. President Rajapaksa’s publicity […]

Challenges for a Sustainable Economic Development in Sri Lanka

Image courtesy Norwegian Embassy, Sri Lanka First of all, I would like to define sustainable development.  According to the Brundtland report it is “a development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” But it is important to go further in the definition: “Sustainable […]

Post-war Sri Lanka’s media landscape: In conversation with Frederica Jansz

Before she was forced to flee Sri Lanka, before the Sunday Leader started to edit submissions by long-standing and senior columnists critical of government and in particular, the ruling family and before the paper strangely started to apologise for articles published six years ago, Groundviews caught up with its erstwhile Editor and senior journalist Frederica […]

Impeaching Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice: A primer

Image courtesy Read Sri Lanka [Editors note: The Supreme Court ruling on the Divineguma Bill presented to Parliament just before this article was published noted that the Bill has to be passed with 2/3rd majority in Parliament and that Clause 8 has to be approved at a referendum. See original tweet by Daily Mirror here.] The current […]

Many Shades of Accountability: The UN and Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy United Nations In the last stages of the war in Sri Lanka tens of thousands of civilians were killed and no one has been held to account to date. This article though is not about the accountability of the Government of Sri Lanka(GoSL) for the killings. Hundreds, if not thousands, have already discussed, […]

Impeachment of Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice: An Unconstitutional Witch-hunt

Image courtesy AFP and via The Express Tribune The Rajapaksha Regime, through its parliamentarians, handed over an impeachment motion to the Speaker, the elder brother of the President Rajapaksha against the first woman Chief Justice of the country. It appears that the Government of Sri Lanka is in a mighty hurry to “get rid of […]

Which way forward in post-conflict Sri Lanka? Lessons from the so-called ‘powerless’ women of the North

Image courtesy Sri Lanka Brief Introduction Before the war, we were all together. Now, we are widows with no security, and no one sees what we have to live through. But we go on, try to find some money to get us through the day…we have to eat, no? The cooking and cleaning needs to […]

#UPRLKA: Complete tweet archive and related visualisation around Sri Lanka’s UPR review

Image courtesy Sydney Morning Herald On 1st November 2012, Sri Lanka was taken up for discussion as part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC). The last UPR was in 2008, and under scrutiny was Sri Lanka’s human rights record over the past four years, that significantly, saw the […]

Impeachment of the Chief Justice: The Sword of Damocles over Democratic Governance?

In happier days. Photo courtesy Times of AP Accounts, claiming varying degrees of authenticity abound of the impending impeachment of the Chief Justice.  This is not the first time this has been attempted. Denizens of Hulftsdorf within its ranks stopped the UNF government in its tracks from attempting to do this.  A third of the […]

Restrictions and intimidation on journalists covering resettlement process in the Vanni

From Lines Magazine “The Government should ensure the freedom of movement of media personnel in the North and East, as it would help in the exchange of information contributing to reconciliation” (Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, recommendation 9.115-d) After more than 11 months of the LLRC report being handed over to the President, the above […]

Socialism?

Photo courtesy socialistworld.net Over the past months there has been a debate in some newspapers regarding socialism and/or socialism vs. capitalism. It is a great thing to see happening, especially as the globalised economic downturn intensifies and is sure to be a long-lasting one. In this debate, however, it is sometimes hard to see what […]

In conversation with Shashi Tharoor: India, literature, politics and South Asia

Having moderated a session with Shashi Tharoor earlier this year at the Galle Literary Festival, we met up again in Colombo last week to talk about the writer-politician’s new book, and his views on literature, politics, the freedom of expression and our region. Shashi Tharoor is a well known writer, speaker and politician. From Riot […]

A Review of Quotas in University Admissions

Photo courtesy Vikalpa My good friend Somapala Gunadheera has made some thoughtful observations (The Island, 10 Sept 2012) on the problems of University admissions, and noted that in my “ Tamil Language Rights in Sri Lanka”( CPA, April 2012) I had not suggested ways and means of solving them. My analysis and suggestions were expressed […]

“Nothing to call our own…” – The plight of the recently returned, resettled and landless IDPs in Sri Lanka’s North

Photo by author Recently returned to Puthumathalan “As you drive past pile upon pile of corroding vehicles stacked one above the other, past pots, pans, sarees, slippers and plates (that once belonged to the people here), strewn all over the ground, and past the bullet and shrapnel splattered walls of homes ravaged by the war, […]