Why are we wasting our lives in traffic jams for corrupt politicians?

“You should not let these men (politicians) to come out. Their presence in public places itself threatens the common men. I do not know why it has become a matter of prestige for them to move with 10-15 uniform security personnel carrying lethal weapons” a High Court in New Delhi observed in October 2007 during a […]

The Spectre of Terrorism and Cricketing Fears

Michael Roberts Dept of Anthropology, University of Adelaide Guided by existing evidence from the past two decades, in composing an article on 26 November 2008 I contended that “there [was] no evidence of any generalised targeting of Westerners” in the Indian sub-continent. The atrocities perpetrated by a band of Islamist militants in Mumbai, beginning from the […]

A Spectre Haunting Global Capitalism

Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the US Federal Reserve, has described the current financial crises as “probably a once-in-a-century event”. Does he mean very long Kondratiff cycle? In a recent speech, French President Nicolas Sarkozy declared that “laissez-faire is finished, the all powerful market that always knows best is finished”. The crisis began at the […]

Vanni displaced: when will they be free from clutches of tigers and lions?

Several months ago, the government of Sri Lanka made announcements “inviting” displaced people in Vanni to come to government controlled areas, saying that they would be well taken care of. In the last few weeks, media reports indicated that several hundreds of people had come to government controlled areas. Pictures and statements were made to […]

Misconceptions that prolong our ethnic conflict

There is no doubt that our ethnic conflict is the worst scourge that has bedeviled this nation since Independence. An incisive and objective look at the calamity would reveal that it is being prolonged by misconceptions born of prejudice, parochialism and rivalry. Perhaps the initial mis-concept is the impulsive assumption that the conflict has to […]

Is India reaping a harvest of hatred sown by Indians? We have seen it all before-a Sri Lankan perspective

As I write this, Indian security forces are still fighting terrorists in Mumbai, the financial capital of India and centre of its glamorous film industry. Over a hundred people are dead, gunned down by young men in a crazed Columbine style shooting of unarmed civilians. A previously unknown group called the Deccan Mujahedeen have claimed […]

We do not know what no one can deny: Stephen Champion’s Lanka War Stories

On 4th February 2008, as the government celebrated the 60th anniversary of our independence from Britain, it struck me strongly that we Sri Lankans are going round in circles. For some time it has been obvious that ordinary political science terminology and analysis are insufficient and reason inadequate to the strange and twisted trajectory of […]

The man who refused to be His Master’s Voice

Book review of: Palitha Perera Samaga Sajeeva Lesin (Live with Palitha Perera) Surasa Books, Colombo; 2008 ‘What does Palitha Perera know about culture? He’s just a cricket commentator!’ That’s how a senior banker reacted when veteran broadcaster and journalist Palitha Perera’s name was proposed as script writer and narrator for a TV documentary series on […]

So close and yet so far: From Pooneryn to peace in Sri Lanka

The military have now taken the strategic western town of Pooneryn, thus opening up the A-32 highway that links Mantota and the former along the western flank of the Northern Province. This would enable the linking up (via the causeway that traverses the Jaffna lagoon) of the peninsula with the mainland for the first time […]

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