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President CBK – A reflection on her politics of Inclusivity and Tolerence

Photo via Club Madrid In 1994, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, at the age of forty nine years, was elected as the youngest and first ever female President of Sri Lanka. Twenty one years later, in June 2015, as she celebrates her 70th birthday, it is appropriate to look back at the legacy of this amazing lady, who […]

Coconut saplings for war widows – an innovative project worth emulating

Since the end of the war the Government and other organisations  within and outside Sri Lanka  have being helping the victims of the war in the North and the East  to enable them to resume their normal lives.  Among the organisations that helped  were  many  charitable institutions of  the Tamils in the  diaspora.  Their  affinity   […]

After 100 days the stark contrast between the Rajapakse and Sirisena Administrations

Image courtesy Salon The conclusion of the one hundred (100) days is a good time to compare and indeed contrast the Maithripala Sirisena Administration from the Rajapakse rule that it replaced. This is particularly relevant in the context that Brother number two (no pun intended), Gotabhaya Rajapakse, has suggested that Mahinda Rajapakse should be prime […]

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 […]

Contrasting post civil war development trajectories in Nepal and Sri Lanka

Photograph courtesy Asian Tribune In both Nepal and Sri Lanka the transition from war to durable peace has been painful and is ongoing and not devoid of pitfalls as has been the case elsewhere in the World as well. In the case of Nepal underdevelopment of the vast hinterland has been widely acknowledged as the […]

The future of tertiary education in Sri Lanka

Photo by The Picture Press, featured in 30 Years Ago As I emphasized in my previous article, never in our lifetime will we be presented with ideal alternatives. However, as citizens of Sri Lanka, we have a moral responsibility to vote pragmatically on the 8th of January. To this end, having read Presidential candidate Hon. […]

Mahinda Rajapaksa & Maithripala Sirisena 2015 manifesto wordclouds

In 2010, during the last Presidential Election campaign in Sri Lanka, Groundviews visualised the manifestos of Sarath Fonseka and Mahinda Rajapaksa. Using the visualisations, we were able to draw interesting differences between the manifestos of the two leading candidates at the time. We did this for Maithripala Sirisena after he released his manifesto last week (download the manifesto in […]

Crossover Politics, Political Class and the Craving for Positions (tanaturu)

Photo courtesy Thailand News At present there is much drama regarding the cross overs from the ruling coalition to the opposition and vice versa on the political stage. On one hand these cross overs have generated much interest in the political campaign in general and anticipation about who would cross next kind of mentality on […]

“An attack on unarmed citizens”: Interview with Sampath Samarakoon

Image courtesy Nidahasa The Editor of Vikalpa, Sampath Samarakoon, was mercilessly attacked by Hambantota Urban Council Chairman Eraj Frenando (of the toy pistol infamy) yesterday as he was taking part in a street drama with leading rights activists and artistes. A detailed report by the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) around this incident can be read […]

Maithripala, a good governance challenge from within to Mahinda Rajapakse

Photo by AFP PHOTO/ Ishara S.KODIKARA via The Japan Times This analyst has always maintained that the formulae for the defeat of the Rajapakse regime, was a divided government and a unified opposition. Given the absolute fragmented disarray in which the main opposition United National Party was in, only a very short while ago, it was […]

The Tamil Elephant in the Green (Blue?) Room

Photo courtesy Sri Lanka Brief Kalana Senaratne’s characteristically perceptive article on the implications of Maithripala Sirisena’s common candidacy for the upcoming Presidential election flags the Tamil question: what role do Tamils and issues of concern to them play in the politics of the election? Kalana deems the Tamils the ‘forgotten other’ of the upcoming campaign, […]

Review of Neville Jayaweera’s Jaffna: Exorcising the Past and Holding the Vision

Photo courtesy Thomas Berg Part I When I was asked by Marshell Fernando whether I would review the above, I readily agreed. Neville was several years senior to me in the Ceylon Civil Service and also served as Government Agent (GA) Jaffna but 18 years before my turn. I know him well and have some […]

Stop blaming the victims

Photo by Thyagi Ruwanpathirana In the weeks that have passed since 6-15 (15th June) when Sri Lanka witnessed one of the worst outbreaks of anti-Muslim violence, the official narrative has been as chilling as the events. The government initially dismissed the violence that has so far claimed at least four lives directly, displaced over 370 […]

Revaluation of Values: Applying the Pullman Principle to Post-War Sri Lanka

Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images via Al Jazeera America This past couple of weeks I’ve been rereading Philip Pullman’s ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy. I first picked up ‘Northern Lights’ (Book 1) in 2003 while at University in Scotland. My MPhil Thesis (completed in 2004) starts with a quote from ‘The Amber Spyglass’ (Book 3), and […]

The Search for a Political Solution Five Years after the War

Photo via Ministry of Mass Media and Information “The sovereignty of Sri Lanka is very much intact. And we want it to remain intact. We are Sri Lankans… And we don’t want Sri Lanka’s sovereignty to be impacted upon.” R. Sampanthan (Leader of the TNA), Al-Jazeera, 26 March 2014 Sri Lanka’s post-war politics has come […]