Wednesday, 28th January 2015

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Editorial

With the 100-Day program of the Maithripala Sirisena government now in effect, it has become all about promises -- the ones kept, the ones that need to be kept and the ones that have already been broken. Some pledges, such as the one to limit the Cabinet of Ministers to 25, have already been quietly pushed aside for the sake…
Full Article Sunday, 25 January 2015 00:00
Of all that is pernicious in all resolutions tabled in the UNHRC against Sri Lanka the most scandalous and disgusting perhaps is limiting investigations calls for to the last few months of the war.  We are talking about a conflict that dragged for almost three decades.  We are talking about a couple of hundred thousand killed.
Full Article Sunday, 18 January 2015 00:00
An election was held. Someone won and someone lost. Accordingly, those who voted for the winner would consider themselves shareholders of the victory and those who backed the loser would partake of the defeat. On the other hand, the winners do not automatically become special and the losers lesser citizens. Maithripala Sirisena is the President of the entire country,...
Full Article Sunday, 11 January 2015 00:00
In our Notebook of an achiever, Kusumanjalee Thilakarathna interviews cartoon storyteller Bandula Harischandra, where he quite rightly points out that the fact Sri Lankan artists are reluctant to stick together and take a stand is to their disadvantage.On the contrary, the French national and even the international reaction to the terrorist attack on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo,...
Full Article Sunday, 11 January 2015 00:00
It was a landmark decision by the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka. It was not exactly what the petitioners wanted, but even the ‘compromise’ contained in the determination to force the tobacco industry to have pictorial warnings about the possible ill-effects of smoking was a considerable victory. As has been the case in all parts of the world, where people...
Full Article Sunday, 04 January 2015 00:00
The Bar Association of Sri Lanka often tries to claim moral high ground and political neutrality. This was particularly apparent during moves to oust the former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. Whenever issues pertaining to the profession come up, the office-bearers and the membership articulate positions. They also speak up whenever they feel the independence of the judiciary is under threat.
Full Article Sunday, 28 December 2014 00:00
Christmas, in this island where Christians are a small minority tending towards an even smaller slice in the population pie, is celebrated as though it is the religion of the majority. Well, at least in the major cities. It helps when countless retail outlets use Christmas to move stuff off the shelves. Come Christmas time, in this tropical island that...
Full Article Sunday, 21 December 2014 00:00
‘We are not in the business of issuing character certificates to those who cross,’ JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said.   The past few weeks have seen a lot of politicians crossing party lines.  These moves have been received with jeers and cheers, depending on whether the person left or arrived, respectively.  Interestingly, if you took names of...
Full Article Sunday, 14 December 2014 00:00
Phil Hughes.  Mahinda vs Chandrika.  Feguson, Missouri.  Eric Garner. Akai Gurley. US hypocrisy.  Yes-we-can Obama to We-are-blind Obama.  These are all possible headlines for an editorial comment this week.  We go with something else.  Someone else, to be precise. Rukshan Abeywansha.
Full Article Sunday, 07 December 2014 00:00
‘Podu Apekshakaya’ (common candidate) screams one set of people. ‘Podu apekshaawa’ (common hope) screams another. We are in ‘podu’ or ‘common’ days. The days of the people. Common people. Voters, to be precise. The ‘commoners’ have got their once-every-six years (well, every four years, since of late) moment. They will be salaamed. They will be placated with promises. They will…
Full Article Sunday, 30 November 2014 00:00
After weeks of speculation the Opposition has come up with a name. A solid one too. Maithripala Sirisena. It’s a name calculated to split the major partner of the ruling coalition, i.e. the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). Some MPs have already crossed over. Other defections are on the cards. It is a time of speculation, of risks and of…
Full Article Sunday, 23 November 2014 00:00
Former TNA leader and veteran politician R Sampanthan has raised important concerns that are shared by many outside his party’s constituency  China.  He is worried that ‘Chinese influence on Sri Lanka has grown exponentially’.  This goes counter to a foreign policy that has ‘followed non-alignment for decades,’ he says.
Full Article Sunday, 16 November 2014 00:00
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein is upset with the Government of Sri Lanka. He said, ‘The Government has refused point blank to cooperate with the investigation (into allegations of human rights violations in the last phase of the war); such refusal does not undermine the integrity of an investigation set up by the Council...
Full Article Sunday, 09 November 2014 00:00
How many deaths does it for something to be called a ‘tragedy’? What is more tragic, a long-drawn-out war that takes more than a 100,000 lives, an insurrection that takes 60,000, a tsunami that kills 50,000, Dengue or CKDu that affects tens of thousands, a flood or landslide that takes away a hundred or a child who has just learned…
Full Article Sunday, 02 November 2014 00:00
The JVP’s Sunil Handunnetti captured the Opposition’s sentiments with regard to Budget 2015 best. He said ‘අද අය වැය දිනය නෙමෙයි...වඩා හොඳයි මේකට අල්ලස් දිනය කියල කිව්වා නම්’ (this is not Budget Day…it would be more appropriate to call it Bribe Day). There was at once dismay (at the political impact of the budget) and acknowledgment that at least on…
Full Article Sunday, 26 October 2014 00:00
During the heady days of the Ceasefire Agreement between the then Government and the LTTE, the advertising agency Phoenix O&M organized an exhibition titled ‘The Other Side,’ featuring the creative work of its staff outside of advertising briefs.  Harith Gunawardena, a Creative Director, came up with a simple cardboard box carrying the legend ‘fkda¾fõ rdcHfhka ñ,skao fudrf.dvg ;E.a.laa’ (A gift…
Full Article Sunday, 19 October 2014 00:00
The Minister of Higher Education S.B. Dissanayake doesn’t mince his words, this everyone knows. Integrity is not his strongest suit. He has a loose tongue which has got him into trouble many times, even earning him a jail sentence on one occasion. Just the other day, after students of Sabaragamuwa University tried to block him from attending the opening of…
Full Article Sunday, 12 October 2014 00:00
It was reported that the United States of America had softened its stand on Sri Lanka.  This was after President Mahinda Rajapaksa met US Secretary of State John Kerry on the margins of the UN General Assembly.  Jen Psaki, spokesperson for Kerry and the US State Department has since said that the US position on Sri Lanka had not changed. 
Full Article Sunday, 05 October 2014 00:00
Addressing the UN General Assembly last week, President Mahinda Rajapaksa subsequent to what can be called a pointed but relatively mild critique of the movers and shakers of the organization, reiterated the bottom-line of Sri Lanka’s foreign policy: ‘Friendship towards all and enmity towards none.’We live in a world where it is not easy to distinguish friend from enemy or
Full Article Sunday, 28 September 2014 00:00
In his classic work of historical sociology, ‘The long twentieth century,’ Giovanni Arrighi uses the term ‘long century’ to connote eras of domination, tracing the unfolding of capitalism through the fortunes of Florence, Venice, Genoa, the Dutch, English and finally the USA. The twentieth century, the last of the 7 centuries long relationship between capital accumulation and state formation, belonged…
Full Article Sunday, 21 September 2014 00:00

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