Dangerous defeat in Geneva

Image courtesy Wikipedia “The passage of the resolution marks a historic moment…” Having lost the crucial vote in Geneva and opened the door to an international investigation, Sri Lanka is now in new territory. Sri Lankans saw who their real friends were at the UNHRC on Thursday night. Our friends, Pakistan, Cuba, China, Russia — […]

CBK takes on religious intolerance in Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy Dinouk Colombage President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga has since her graceful retirement from office more than eight years ago after the completion of a constitutionally mandated two term limit, busied herself with an impressive portfolio of issues internationally, issues which are also crucial to our South Asia region. Her status as an elder stateswoman, […]

Video of Ruki Fernando’s interview with the BBC

Photo by Pat Roque/AP, courtesy The Guardian The recent arrest of human rights activists Ruki Fernando and Father Praveen Mahesan under Sri Lanka’s draconian PTA law resulted in widespread condemnation within Sri Lanka and from the international community. As we noted in a previous article, “this is happening when deliberations at the Human Rights Council […]

Arresting Performance: Shelling Sri Lanka’s zone in Geneva

Photo courtesy Janikissima on Flickr “He who tries to defend everything, defends nothing”- Sun Tzu (‘The Art of War’) With the arrests of an outspoken middle aged Tamil woman activist with no history of violence, her detention in Boossa under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, the handover of her 13 year old daughter to the child protection […]

Arrest of Ruki Fernando and Father Praveen

Photo courtesy Janikissima on Flickr Last night’s arrest of Ruki Fernando and Fr. Praveen in Kilinochchi on terrorism charges, soon after the arrest of Jeyakumari Balendran and her young daughter on suspicion of harbouring a criminal, is extremely disturbing and an urgent call to action. In stark contrast to what the Government says in Geneva […]

From mass grave to cemetery: Questioning the claims in Mannar

Various explanations have been offered by Government officials around the discovery of skeletal remains in Mannar some months ago. The BBC reported in January that a government medical official overseeing the excavation, Dhananjaya Waidyarathne, said the bodies had been buried in layers and that he was “very much worried” (sic) that no signs of clothing […]

Buddhists challenged to respect their religion

Photo by Dinouk Colombage, via Groundviews The third resolution on Sri Lanka to be taken up for vote at the 25th Sessions of the UNHRC now in progress, saw even Galaboda Gnanissara Thera, the “Gangarama podi hamuduruwo” as some call him, getting on the street in ugly protests. Gangarama Podi Hamuduruwo was not considered the […]

Cultural Domination and Subordination among the Sinhalese: Colonialism, Resistance, Religion and Critical Discourse

Image from Rough Guides In my previous two articles I discussed Caste and Class domination and subordination.  In this article, I am looking closely at cultural domination in the context of post-independent Sri Lanka, in particular the contemporary period. Some comparison with the colonial period is also inevitable in this exercise. Culture defined simply as […]

Colossal Mihin Lanka losses: Some context

Photo courtesy Wikipedia Through The Republic Square and other media we learn that Mihin Lanka, the brainchild of Sri Lanka’s current President Mahinda Rajapaksa, lost 2.2 billion over the current financial year. As Colombo Page notes, Civil Aviation Minister Priyankara Jayaratne made this revelation in response to a question posed by United National Party (UNP) parliamentarian […]

The National and International Significance of the 13th Amendment

Image courtesy DBS Jeyaraj It appears to be widely believed in our country that Indian foreign policy, particularly in relation to Sri Lanka, is shaped by the ethnic politics of Sri Lanka. Disseminating such a belief may serve the interests of various political leaders in diverse ways. It may help to sustain the morale of […]

“Strong Women”: A book review

In the post-war phase, discourse around women and their rights remains extremely weak. As such, attention must be paid to the day-to-day increase of violence against women and girls across the country. The continuing ethnic issues and insecurity together with other socio-economic factors, including the rising cost of living, have placed a great burden upon […]

In conversation with Lakshman Joseph de Saram

Lakshman Joseph de Saram is an internationally acclaimed Film Composer, classical musician & Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Society of Colombo. We begin our conversation by looking at Lakshman’s childhood – the social milieu he grew up in as well as the circumstances of his household, which were early invitations to the world of […]

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