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At a time when so many urgent tasks are pending – not least that of rebuilding the war-ravaged areas of the country and resettling lakhs of IDPs in proper homes with proper facilities – colossal expenditure on a premature election could be seen as criminally irresponsible. Why, then, was it undertaken? Clearly, the incumbent president […]

Citizens held hostage in the name of ‘Nationalism’

Desperation for my Paradise Isle had turned to appreciation this time around when the plane landed in Katunayake. I quietly celebrated that sense of relief and relaxation that spreads through my whole body when in the motherland. Even after over 10 hours of flying in a cramped, fart filled plane my heart overflowed. By reason […]

Breaking the Piper’s charm

“Of all the pleasant sights they see, which the Piper also promised me. For he led us, he said, to a joyous land, joining the town and just at hand, where waters gushed and fruit-trees grew, and flowers put forth a fairer hue, and everything was strange and new.” – The Pied Piper by Robert […]

Visualising Mahinda Chintanaya 2010: The President’s election manifesto

Groundviews was the first website in Sri Lanka to visualise key statements by a Presidential candidate in the public domain. We followed up with a visualisation of Sarath Fonseka’s manifesto. The incumbent Executive’s manifesto was released in English on 14 January. On the website, it is called Mahinda Chinthana – Vision of Future. The cover page […]

The Fonseka Effect?

Cartoon by Dharshana Karunathilake, published in Irida Lakbima, 3 Jan 2010. Translation: General Fonseka (on left): “I promise to give you….” President Rajapaksa, interrupting: “Whatever he promises, I promise to give you all those!” ~ “Civilization is an interlude between ice ages,” said the noted historian Will Durant. We might adapt that to characterise the […]

Reflections on the Underlying Issues that Determine the Outcome of the Election: Who has got the Edge?

The Presidential election battle is gathering momentum with incredible speed. Defections and pledges of support to Sarath Fonseka (SF) have injected some nervousness for the Mahinda Rajapaksa (MR) campaign.  The challenge could either induce panic and disarray or revitalize the campaign. Crucial to success will be understanding the electoral pulse of the people, learning the […]

From Politics of Fear to Politics of Hope

“The passion to be reckoned upon is fear.” Thomas Hobbes “The very act of voting is a joyful statement that we are not under a tyrant. And there may be happy victories. But the best government we get is a foreshadowing. Peace and justice are approximated now.” John Piper I admit to being a political […]

We can believe in NO candidate in 2010. What’s new though, right?

The big day is fast approaching, and every water-cooler, tea/cigarette break, meeting intermission is a hive of discussion on the latest thoughts on the election. But the whole run up to the election seems familiar, ridiculous and sad. For Sri Lanka there will never be change we can truly believe in. It will always be […]

Standing the world on its head!

I can’t understand this, so will someone explain it –please. It is being reported in the local press and local electronic media that the Rajapakses have gained popularity among Sinhala voters in recent days because the UN Special Reporter Philip Alston, the UN Secretary General, and the Western press, have reinforced their accusations of human […]

“Believable Change” with unbelievable contradictions: Sarath Fonseka’s manifesto

[Authors note: Please also read Part 1 of this article, “Believable Change” with unbelievable evasiveness: Sarath Fonseka’s manifesto] The much awaited manifesto of General (Rtd) Fonseka the Common Candidate launched on 7January which proves the Opposition Alliance is too loose to offer the people the “Believable Change” its campaign leaders are promising on platform, is […]

The murder of Lasantha Wickremetunge: A letter to the President and a record of shame

[Editors note: The following text is from a speech at the Platform for Freedom event commemorating Lasantha Wickremetunge's brutal murder a year ago. The widow of the slain editor, Sonali Samarasinghe Wickrematunge, also sent a strongly worded letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa on 4th January 2010, which can be read in full here. Both the text […]

The Shocking Behaviour of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka

With frustrated resignation, Sri Lankans are used to how government departments (the Police in particular) and public property are misused and abused by the party in power during elections for partisan advantage. For sheer insouciance though, the emergent new kid on the block during this presidential election, the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRC), […]

“Believable Change” with unbelievable evasiveness: Sarath Fonseka’s manifesto

Part 1 The presidential election manifesto of the opposition Common Candidate General (Rtd) Sarath Fonseka was released on 7 January, 2009 at a media launch in Colombo, titled “Believable Change”.  He says “I am different. I am change. I will bring about believable change” writing for himself, in the manifesto in which he tries to […]

The Future Tamil Politics

Eelam War IV shattered and devastated Tamils social, economical, cultural and political structural factors. These four structural factors were corner stone’s of the Tamil National Struggle and were intricately interconnected to each other. These became primary targets during the war and were destroyed. To give this research paper a focus and due to contextual developments […]