Idols of the Market-Place

One of the well-known parts of Francis Bacon’s philosophy is his enumeration of what he calls “idols” by which he means bad habits of mind that cause people to fall into error. One is “idols of the market-place”. Though I use it in different sense, some respondents to my article have demonstrated that they have […]

Blood is their medal

By Gajaman Nona   Last weekend a friend gave me a CD of songs by Victor Jara, a Chilean teacher, theatre director, poet and political activist.  His album Manifesto reflects his struggle against an American-backed coup in 1973 which brought General Pinochet to power in Chile. Jara saw through the hollow refrain that Chile could […]

Consumer protection in Sri Lanka: Seeing beyond rice, coconut and milkfood

Consumer protection! It’s of those widely desired, critically needed yet rarely found practices in Sri Lanka. When it does happen, even falteringly, the practice is largely confined to everyday consumer goods, mainly food items – ranging from our staples rice and bread to essentials like coconut, sugar and milkfood. Throw in LP gas, pharmaceuticals, fish […]

When meritocracy dies and nepotism reigns supreme

The country got a new Inspector General of Police (IGP) on July 1 with Jayantha Wickremaratna’s appointment to the highest position in the Police Department. His predecessor Victor Perera was not left much time to be twiddling his fingers because he was almost immediately appointed the Governor of the Northern Province. Mr.Perera’s predecessor Chandra Fernando […]

Going for the Kill in More Ways than One

What does the failed abduction attempt against Namal Perera of the Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI), which turned into a brutal assault on him and his friend Mahinda Ratnaweera , Political Officer at the British High Commission, tell us about the Rule of Law, human rights protection, the culture of impunity and law and order […]

GSP PLUS AND THE NEED FOR CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM: WHAT WE DID AND DID NOT SAY

Rohan Edrisinha and Asanga Welikala    The Political Watch Column of the Sunday Island of 22 June titled Opposition at Sea  included a critique of an article co-authored by us which was published on Groundviews (and in the Sunday Leader) sometime ago, in which we argued that if Sri Lanka was serious about ensuring that […]

The voice of an IDP single mother in Puttlam

Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai “We lack road, water, and housing facilities. Our children are unable to attend school regularly as there is no proper transport service. We don’t have any facility and leading the same life even now as same as 18 years ago”. This is a cry of an Internally Displaced single mother from Jaffna, A. […]

When servants of the people become oppressors in Sri Lanka

In the Republic of Sri Lanka, sovereignty is in the people and is inalienable. We elect a President, Members of Parliament, and Provincial Councilors etc using the powers vested with the people to exercise and enjoy that sovereignty through them.  But what is happening today is the reverse. We elect a bunch of people into […]

Intra-Party Democracy

In many countries there is a constitutional prescription that parties’ internal operations be transparent, and in accordance with the general democratic mores of the nation. In Germany, parties’ internal organization ‘must conform to democratic principles’, and they have to publicly account for the source of their funds and other assets, as well as for the […]

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