A New Political Regime Post-2010 in Sri Lanka: A Hybrid Regime

Image courtesy Brisbane Times by Laksiri Jayasuriya, University of Western Australia Introduction The 2010 Sri Lankan Presidential and Parliamentary elections that took place shortly after the end of a debilitating 25 year-old civil war in 2009 constitutes a watershed in Sri Lanka’s politics. Despite the unsettled conditions over the last two decades emanating from this […]

‘Women’s Issues’: Shooting the messenger

Image courtesy ICRW ‘Are we not raped every day when we walk down the street and are leered at ? Are we not raped when we are treated as sex objects, denied our rights, oppressed in so many ways ?’ Archives of Manushi, written by Sohaila (1983) Sri Lanka reminds one of one’s gender. To be female in a […]

Conviction of Efraín Ríos Montt and the need for accountability

Image courtesy The Guardian On 10 May 2013, former Guatemalan dictator Efraín Ríos Montt was found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity and sentenced to 80 years in prison. It was the first time that an ex-head of state had been convicted for genocide by a court in his or her own country. The […]

People, Politics and the Constitution: Reading ‘The Sri Lankan Republic at 40′ (edited by Asanga Welikala)

Photo courtesy Vikalpa, taken at the launch of the book in Colombo. Reading a tome on constitutional history, theory and practice – like Asanga Welikala’s edited collection titled The Sri Lankan Republic at 40 – can be a daunting task. For a start, such books have too much to say about constitutions. The more you […]

Sri Lanka Today: Due Process & Civil Liberties or Security State?

Photo courtesy The Nation “And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?” ‘The Second Coming’, WB Yeats (1919) Must the Sri Lankan citizenry accept or acquiesce in the sacrifice, even in peacetime, of due process and civil liberties at the altar of an absolutist model of security? […]

Responding to a reader who critiqued ‘Where every prospect pleases, man alone is vile’

I appreciate Anoja Fernando’s response (The Island, Tuesday 7th May) to my article (‘Where every prospect pleases, man alone is vile’, published on Groundviews) and her reference to those of DLO Mendis and E de S Wijeyaratna. Was the Bishop’s reference to Buddhist and Hindus (and Muslims?) in Sri Lanka, or to non Christian every […]

NORTHERN PROVINCIAL COUNCIL: THE DEVOLUTION DEBATE

I approach this subject as a political scientist, a former diplomat and briefly a Minister in the Cabinet of the North East Provincial Council. At the overlap of these experiences and roles is what is classifiable as a Realist perspective. As a Realist, I reject outright three myths about devolution which have been around for […]

Is the Tamil Diaspora Against Unity in Sri Lanka?

“The great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes The Tamil Diaspora is a diverse ethnic group. Amongst it, the majority are strongly connected to their kith and kin in the island of Sri Lanka. Arguably, the Tamil Diaspora is […]

World Press Freedom day, Uthayan and Freedom of Expression in Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy SIDA “Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties” John Milton 3rd May was declared as World Press Freedom day by the UN General Assembly in 1991. Since then, it is celebrated every year, around the world. It is a time to cherish, […]

‘Rally for Unity’, a March towards Reconciliation

Photo by Anushan Selvarajah, from Flickr photo set on rally It is often the case that a nation which experienced a protracted war will tend to look forward rather than backward. For Sri Lankans, over the years, the war became a part of their lives, and survival a part of their routine. In such a context, […]

Rally for Unity: Standing up for an inclusive Sri Lanka

Groundviews strongly endorsed a rally held in Colombo on Sunday to reaffirm the fact that Sri Lanka is not only a Sinhala-Buddhist country. As the movement’s Facebook event page noted, this non-partisan, non-violent awareness raising rally aims to empower the silent majority of moderate Sri Lankans to stand up for an inclusive Sri Lanka. At […]

Archiving ‘Her Stories’: In conversation with Radhika Hettiarachchi

Her Stories, a unique archive of oral history, was conceived of and curated by Radhika Hettiarachchi. We begin by Radhika going in to what the archive is, and how it came about. Featuring 240 stories of mothers, the archive’s website avers, These histories or ‘Herstories’ showcase a shared history and highlight how we Sri Lankans […]

First Failure in Geneva: Trap, Blunder or Model?

However bad Sri Lanka’s foreign policy is and external relations are, they have yet to hit the nadir that they did under President Jayewardene in the 1980s. The first ever resolution on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka adopted in Geneva by the Human Rights Commission was in March 1987, while the first decision, […]

Of Foreign Policy Failures, Geneva Resolutions, Double Standards and other excuses for Non-Reconciliation in Sri Lanka

Photograph of, by some accounts, the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka.  Reminiscences of Sri Lanka’s foreign policy triumphs spearheaded by the late lamented Lakshman Kadirgamar are fresh in my  mind given that it was only the other day (12 April) that we marked what might have been  his 81st birth anniversary with a tribute to […]

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