Tuesday, 1st September 2015

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Editorial

Maithripala Sirisena could not have dreamed of defeating Mahinda Rajapaksa without the support of the United National Party (UNP). This is why he had to forge a pact (or have one forged for him) with the leader of the UNP, Ranil Wickremesinghe. The UNP would help him and if he won (which he did) the UNP would offer parliamentary...
Full Article Saturday, 16 May 2015 00:00
The private sector is corrupt. No, it’s not the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, Frontline Socialist Party, one of the many parties that grew out of the Communist Party or one of those people who used to call themselves ‘left intellectuals’ that said it. It was the leader of the undisputed right wing party of Sri Lanka which is also...
Full Article Saturday, 09 May 2015 00:00
First of all, welcome to Sri Lanka. Don’t worry, it’s all heart and not courtesy. This country has embraced one and all. Invader, interferer, brigand, smuggler, embezzler, immigrant, condescending missionary determined to ‘save’ the heathen, marauder, city-sacker, control-freak, you name it, we got them all.
Full Article Saturday, 02 May 2015 00:00
President Maithripala Sirisena has appeared to have preferred a backseat in political affairs since being elected.  He informs us that this is not true.  Indeed it can be argued that being President is more than making a song and dance about each and everything one does. Work is one thing, talking about it and getting it all recorded and disseminated...
Full Article Saturday, 25 April 2015 00:00
‘SLC’ stands for Sri Lanka Cricket.  That’s not what the headline refers to.  The headline refers to Sri Lanka cricket (note the lower case ‘c’) or cricket in Sri Lanka.  Our cricketers, individually and collectively, have brought more glory to the country than most politicians and officials, including, and especially those who run Sri Lanka Cricket (note the upper case…
Full Article Saturday, 18 April 2015 00:00
Three years ago, ‘The Nation’ observed the following editorially: ‘Common and commonality are an integral part of who we are. Tolerance and accommodation are integral to our world view. This is true of all communities living in this island. Whatever hardships we face, we find time for one another, find ways of giving and sharing.
Full Article Saturday, 11 April 2015 00:00
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe ruffled some media feathers the other day when he said that journalists were up for purchase. He was careful enough to add, ‘like politicians,’ the humility of the latter compensating for the brashness of the former. If humility begets humility then yes, we need to acknowledge that whether or not journalists choose to be bought they...
Full Article Saturday, 04 April 2015 00:00
Nimal Siripala Silva is the official Leader of the Opposition. The leader of his party is the President of the country. No office is vested with even a fracture of the powers of the President. Silva’s party, moreover, has a parliamentary majority. That Silva is the Opposition Leader in these circumstances is a monumental joke. It makes a mockery of…
Full Article Saturday, 04 April 2015 00:00
The 19th Amendment, which seeks to ‘reform’ the executive presidency, has now been tabled in Parliament. It has the approval of the entire cabinet sans the sole representative of the Jathika Hela Urumaya. One would assume that it has the blessings of President Sirisena.  The text, as it stands, contains contradictions with regard to who the real ‘Head of State’...
Full Article Saturday, 28 March 2015 00:00
There were two key decisions made by the new Government with respect to long-standing complaints raised by elected representatives from areas populated by a majority of Tamils. The first was to appoint a civilian as the Governor of the Northern Provincial Council. The previous Governor was officially a civilian, but he was also an ex-soldier...
Full Article Saturday, 21 March 2015 00:00
Deputy Minister of Policy Planning and Economic Affairs, referring to the controversy surrounding the Central Bank bond issue of February 27, 2015 (i.e. allegations of insider trade where Governor Arjuna Mahendran is on the spot over his son-in-law Arjun Aloysius making quite a packet within a few days) pats his Prime Minister and party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe on the...
Full Article Saturday, 14 March 2015 00:00
Financial irregularity was one of the many charges leveled at the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime. The ‘rot’ so to speak began at the top, according to critics. It was and still is argued that this state of affairs is a direct or indirect product of a system of governance marked by centralization of power following the dictum ‘power corrupts, absolute power…
Full Article Sunday, 08 March 2015 00:00
Ranil Wickremesinghe didn’t run for the Presidency. Indeed, we can safely conclude that Ranil Wickremesinghe could not have won had he contested simply because if ‘reform’ was his thing then it is more easily obtained by winning the Presidency rather than waiting on the largesse of someone else who was elected. As things stand, we are not even sure if...
Full Article Sunday, 01 March 2015 00:00
The new Government has hit the ground running when it comes to ‘show’.  Allegations are a dime a dozen so to speak, these days.   There’s a lot of ‘show’, but little to see, strangely.  Sure, the law doesn’t move as fast as the vengeful or the righteous want it to.  There is a thing called ‘due process’ after all.
Full Article Sunday, 22 February 2015 00:00
The Northern Provincial Council (NPC) has passed a resolution charging successive governments of perpetrating genocide on Tamils in Sri Lanka. For a Council that has an ex-judge of the Supreme Court as Chief Minister the interjection of the word ‘genocide’ is mischievous at best. If language legislation in 1956 amounts to ‘genocide’ then clearly Wigneswaran does not understand the meaning…
Full Article Sunday, 15 February 2015 00:00
Apart from the goodies promised (and delivered with a view to win votes in a soon-to-be-held General Election) there are two elements of President Maithripala Sirisena’s manifesto that can have far-reaching and democratizing impact. The first is the promise to interject checks and balances to the all-powerful office of the Executive President through the repeal of the 18th...
Full Article Sunday, 08 February 2015 00:00
The existing electoral system is seen as a serious problem and one which encourages corruption and violence. This was observed by President Maithripala Sirisena in his manifesto. He also observed that it is an issue that successive governments failed to address. He pledged to abolish the existing system. The replacement would be a mix of the first-past-the-post system...
Full Article Sunday, 01 February 2015 00:00
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

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