The State Defense and City Development Ministry: From Utopia to Dystopia

Photo from RNW ‘Seek ye first the political kingdom, and all things shall be added unto you.’ Kwame Nkrumah (First President of Ghana, 1960) We got the ‘political’ kingdom and nothing has been added unto us: A lot has been taken away (Chinua Achebe, 30 years later) Security and development are primarily responsibilities of the […]

Web censorship in Sri Lanka: Documenting a growing trend

Over the weekend, a press release issued by the Director General of the Department of Government Information noted that all ‘websites carrying any content relating to Sri Lanka or the people of Sri Lanka… uploaded from Sri Lanka or elsewhere’ to ‘register’ for ‘accreditation’. Several websites Websites including www.lankanewsweb.com, www.srilankamirror.com, www.srilankaguardian.org and www.lankawaynews.com were blocked […]

State Capitalism: Revitalising under performing businesses the Mussolini way

The factory of Sevanagala Sugar Industries Limited. Government supporters have stormed and occupied the factory earmarked for nationalisation under a controversial law. PHOTO/ THE ISLAND via Haveeru Online The media these few days, especially the English media, provides unusually high anti government coverage to the government’s latest move to push through a bill, classified as […]

Desire, Violence and Leadership

Image courtesy Canadian Lawyers Abroad’s Blog It is the human being that should be the primary concern of any development programme.  After all, it is for the benefit of humanity that all development programmes are mooted.  Although often portrayed as an economic and social entity, the human being  is primarily a biological entity composed of myriads […]

Destroying monuments for those killed & disappeared: The Catholic Church and the Sri Lankan Government

On the evening of 26th October 2011, Fr. Srilal Manoj Perera (appointed by Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith to be in charge of land issues for Archdiocese of Colombo), Fr. Prasad Perera, Parish Priest of St. Cecelia’s Church, Raddoluwa (in the Colombo Archdiocese), members of the Parish Council and a lawyer representing them, took the  unprecedented step […]

CHOGM-2011: HOW DIPLOMATIC VICTORIES END IN DISGRACE

[Editors note: As noted by the author below, an example of the distressingly bad propaganda of the Sri Lankan Government, attributed in some websites to the Director General of the President's Media Unit, Bandula Jayasekera. It's not the first time an airbrushed image of CHOGM involving the President has been published in Government controlled media. This […]

Facades of Development: Of Commonwealth Games and Drag Racing at Green Path

We woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of screeching tires, booming exhausts and the smell of burning rubber recently. My cousin’s children had nightmares and could not get back to sleep when the test runs were done. Calls to police emergency numbers were ignored: there seemed to be official patronage […]

Does the present regime encourage lawlessness & promote political thuggery?

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity (The second coming – by W.B. Yeats – 1865 – 1939) Considering the far […]

Peace, Military and People: Are non-military engagements of the military valid?

Sri Lankan Army selling vegetables. Photo: Ministry of Defence – Sri Lanka War or internal armed conflict in the North and East was over; Emergency is no more; but still the military is everywhere. The military is now engaged in peacetime police-work, whale watching, selling vegetables, agriculture,  cleaning, constructions and many other non-military activities. Yet why […]

Australia’s Tamil Eelam Lobby and CHOGM

Photo credit AFP via Haveeru Online Introduction The war on the battle field may be over, but the propaganda war is alive and well. The Australian news media, particularly the Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, were in an uncontrollable frenzy two weeks before the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) by the predictable […]

WE REMEMBER after 21 years…

No. 1, Jesuit Street, Batticaloa, September 24, 2011. The Editor, Groundviews. 21st Year Commemoration Dear Sir, At the last general meeting of the Batticaloa Peace Committee our talks led us to the conviction that we should speak out. We commemorated then the grouping of tragic events in our vicinity 21 years ago that proclaimed the […]

A-Z of Sri Lankan English: M is for monitor lizard

Sunimal Fernando, speaking from the audience at my presentation on Sri Lankan English at the recent conference on Language and Social Cohesion (Colombo, 17-19 October), confirmed my own conclusion, that while the “English as a Life Skill” programme continues, Sri Lankan English has been quietly dropped from the agenda. This may be welcome news to […]

A Prima Facie Critique of The New Bill to Vest in the State Under performing Enterprises and Under Utilized Assets

Editors note: Hotel Developers (Lanka) Plc, a CSE listed company that owns the Colombo Hilton hotel was named in a controversial new bill, rushed through Parliament in secret, not unlike the outrageous 18th Amendment. The Bill appears to have been certified by the Cabinet on the 20th October 2011 as an Urgent Bill and was […]

Sri Lanka and the death of Muammar Gaddafi

Muammar Gaddafi was captured alive and killed thereafter. This is a fact that no one contests today. Even the killer himself accepted the responsibility in front of a mobile camera.  Once any individual is captured, in spite of the crimes allegedly committed by the person, whether victim or perpetrator,  due process and the rule of […]

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