No we can’t? – Obama’s victory and Sri Lanka

“Obama avoth LTTE ekata vasiyak venewa kiyala kathawak ahala nedda?” (Haven’t you that if Obama wins, it may be advantageous to the LTTE?) Emigration and Customs official, Katunayake International Airport The discovery that I am interested in peacebuilding by an emigration or immigration officer at Katunayake is always an invitation for the brief discussion of […]

Interview with Austin Fernando, a Peacetime Secretary of Defence in Sri Lanka

Interview with Austin Fernando, former Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and author of ‘My Belly is White: Reminiscences of a Peacetime Secretary of Defence‘ (reviewed on Groundviews in Sinhala here).  Austin, disarmingly charming and humble, was Defence Secretary when the Prime Minister at the time, Ranil Wickremesinghe, signed the Norwegian-brokered ceasefire agreement (CFA) with […]

Hands off my TV, please!

The Minister of Mass Media and Information, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, in Gazette Extraordinary dated 10th October, reveals the overarching magic that is the Private Television Broadcasting Station Regulations of 2007. Section 13(e), lists outs the conditions under which the license given to a TV broadcasting company can be cancelled. Namely, they are the broadcasting of […]

Ridicule and reality: SCOPP, War and Peace in Sri Lanka

Sunit Bagree, October 2008 Whenever the government and security forces have faced criticism in relation to Sri Lanka’€™s armed conflict, the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP) has always been swift to launch into a forceful defence of the state. When countering specific allegations, SCOPP’™s responses can occasionally be of some merit. More frequently, […]

The end of the “Gimme…, Gimme…” era?

In the red-golden glow of the global financial crisis, many are looking inwards to see how they allowed it to happen. Skeptics of globalization such as Korten, Stiglitz, Ralston Saul and Pilger envisioned the collapse and warned of the impending apocalypse fueled by consumerism and greed. Their warnings were left unheeded. The very foundations of US […]

Sri Lankan Identity in a Time of Seige

“All along the watchtower, princes kept the view” Bob Dylan, All Along the Watchtower   Though it may seem otherwise at first blush, the agitation in Tamil Nadu is not helping the Tamil cause in Sri Lanka. It is hardening majority opinion on the island and serves as a reminder of the existential threat posed to the […]

Emergency Rule, GSP+, Human Rights and Governance in Sri Lanka

An interview on Emergency Rule, GSP+, Human Rights and Democracy in Sri Lanka conducted with Asanga Welikala, author of A State of Permanent Crisis: Constitutional Government, Fundamental Rights, and States of Emergency in Sri Lanka and, writing as Publius, one of the best read political and constitutional commentators on this site. (If the video is […]

I want to be an activist! : Lindsay Ross, Sanath Balasuriya, and the Glamour of Complacency

Ten years ago at a meeting with the media industry professionals of Sri Lanka, the Colombo Declaration of Media Freedom and Social Responsibility was drawn up. A review conference is currently being held at the Sri Lanka Press Institute to look back upon the developments that have occurred within the past decade. At the first […]

“Today’s terrorist is today’s and tomorrow’s murderer”: Resolving violent conflict in Sri Lanka

“There is a false and foolish and evil saying that today’s terrorist is tomorrow’s freedom fighter. Today’s terrorist is today’s and tomorrow’s murderer.” These were the words used by the former Foreign Minister of Australia Alexander Downer while delivering the Lakshman Kadirgamar memorial lecture 2008 in Colombo on Wednesday (October 15). In an era when some people […]

The end of neo-liberal economics: Great Crash of 2008 and the demise of the Regan-Thatcherism

The end of neo-liberal economics: Great Crash of 2008 and the demise of the Regan-Thatcherism Kumar David The ‘global-state’ (G7 and some G20 governments, central banks, and the IMF and IBRD multilateral agencies) intervened in the international banking system during the October 11-12, 2008 weekend, financially on an unparallel scale, and politically with resolute, coordinated, […]

A thought for the stranded refugees in Vanni

I wish to draw wider public attention to the following extract appearing in “A short note from the Vanni” written by “Witness” and appearing in the Groundviews on September 30, 2008: “The people now staying at Vattakachi and Tharmapuram areas are requesting to announce these areas as “safe zones” for the civilians. Food and shelter […]

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