Sunday, 21st September 2014

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Editorial

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
We live in a world of blurred boundaries and deliberate misnaming. We expect words to mean something, but in their activation we discover that they are taken to be something quite different. The much celebrated ‘Arab Spring’ comes to mind. The harshest winter is what that particular ‘moment’ has morphed into, but few, if any, will call it that.
Full Article Sunday, 14 September 2014 00:00
Thanks to social media and the widespread use of mobile devices, which can take pictures, we’ve seen quick dissemination of horror stories in various eateries. In time, hopefully, those who operate and work in restaurants big and small, well known and nondescript, those in Colombo as well as those far away from the capital, will get their act together or…
Full Article Sunday, 07 September 2014 00:00
There’s going to be an election in a few weeks time.   On the face of it yet another provincial council election in the now to-be-expected staggered format that gives the ruling party an inside edge should not excite anyone.  On the other hand, the Uva PC election is being held amid widespread speculation that it will be followed by a
Full Article Sunday, 31 August 2014 00:00
The faith of South Asian people in dynastic rule is astounding considering all the braggadocio about democratic traditions.  There have been the odd ‘outsider’ of course but by and large the political stories of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and as of late the Maldives have been about fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, brothers and sisters.  It’s not a two generation
Full Article Sunday, 24 August 2014 00:00
It has been an incredible run.  The word can be used considering how quickly Sri Lanka became a force to be reckoned with after achieving Test status.  The word ‘incredible’ is apt for many other reasons.  Just check the records chalked up by Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans over the past few years.  Sri Lanka is not one of the…
Full Article Sunday, 17 August 2014 00:00
If you have a persistent headache you might rub some medicinal oil on your head or take a Paracetamol tablet. If you have aches and pains, there’s peyava, there’s koththamalli with some venivelgeta or Siddhalepa. Even a cat medicates itself, chewing on kuppameniya when feeling out of sorts. A little boy trips and bruises his knee and his friends will…
Full Article Sunday, 10 August 2014 00:00
Sri Lanka’s health sector has been plagued by bitter internal strife this year. The power struggle between nurses and midwives over conducting midwifery training for nurses caused havoc recently in hospitals, with strikes, heated arguments and even brawls that ended with people biting each other. This issue is far from resolved.However, just when the public thought some semblance of
Full Article Sunday, 03 August 2014 00:00
People have short memories, some politicians like to think.  But politicians themselves are people and the claim is eminently applicable to that category as well.  Forgive-forget after all is par for the course in a profession about which it is said that there are no permanent enemies or friends.  Indeed, politicians can remember-forget anything and everything, including ‘truths’ ferociously defended
Full Article Sunday, 27 July 2014 00:00
Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe has stated that if national unity is to be obtained then the primacy of the law has to be protected. He has made the further point that the collapse of law and order has not only caused anxiety among Muslims and Tamils but has impacted everyone. He is correct. While Wickremesinghe has taken pains...
Full Article Sunday, 20 July 2014 00:00
The Government has taken some tentative steps to keep NGOs in check.  Although the big-names in the NGO fraternity have howled in protest, a careful reading of the directive issued by the NGO Secretariat clearly indicates that there’s been little more than reiteration of existing caveats pertaining to NGO activity.
Full Article Sunday, 13 July 2014 00:00
Americans of the United States are familiar with the term ‘Pleading the fifth’.  It refers to the 5th Amendment to the Constitution which, in popular understanding, gives witnesses the right to desist responding to questions if it was felt that the answer would contribute to self-incrimination.  It has been used so often, in and out of court, that ‘pleading the
Full Article Sunday, 06 July 2014 00:00
Humility is probably the most powerful propaganda tool around. It is also the least used, especially by politicians. This is why Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe should be applauded for acknowledging that his party erred in July 1983. He said that the then UNP government did not take adequate action to prevent the riots.
Full Article Sunday, 29 June 2014 00:00
These are days of frayed tempers, perceived grievances, real threats and real fears that can cloud and blow away reason.  This is the hour of the rumor-monger.  This is the hour of the extremist.  This is the hour of the passionate, the hour or the irrational.The word on the street is ‘Aluthgama’.  Indeed it is the word on every street...
Full Article Sunday, 22 June 2014 20:20
Some may believe that it was a masterstroke by the Government to go to Parliament with the issue of the team appointed by the UN High Commission for Human Rights.  The ruling party has the number.  Secondly, the opposition (barring the TNA of course) would be caught in a bind because if they oppose the Government’s position it would amount...
Full Article Sunday, 15 June 2014 00:00
Sachithra Senanayake was booed each time he came up to bowl, each time he touched the ball. This is after he ‘Mankaded’ Jos Buttler. A lot has been said and written about the incident. There has been self-righteous indignation, there’s been ‘titting-for-tatting’ arguments and there has been sober reference to ICC laws.
Full Article Sunday, 08 June 2014 00:00
It’s seasonal.  Devolutionists have their ‘on’ days and ‘off’ days.  There was a time way back in the early 1990s when Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu was scared to use the word ‘federal’.  He called it ‘The F Word’.  Then there came a time when those who were not impressed by the ‘F-Word’ were called war-mongers, hawks, Sinhala Buddhist extremists and other such
Full Article Sunday, 01 June 2014 00:00
President Mahinda Rajapaksa did not invite seemingly estranged leaders of coalition partners such as Champika Ranawaka and Wimal Weerawansa to accompany him to the swearing-in ceremony of newly-elected Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  He did not invite his Prime Minister or any other seniors in the Sri Lanka Freedom Party.  He didn’t even invite the Leader of the Opposition,
Full Article Sunday, 25 May 2014 00:00
The end of war means different things to different people.  Those who count themselves among the ‘winners’ will naturally celebrate.  Those who believe they lost, lament, quietly for the most part.  Whichever camp one belongs to, there’s common relief on one matter: the end of gunfire and bomb explosion.  Time passes and those with a political bent re-assess
Full Article Sunday, 18 May 2014 00:00
If the week that just ended had a name, it is undoubtedly ‘Youth’ in view of the 15th World Conference on Youth held in Colombo.  President Mahinda Rajapaksa, speaking at the inauguration of Conference called upon delegates from all parts of the globe not to subvert loyalty to their respective countries to any other interests.  The President expressed these sentiments
Full Article Sunday, 11 May 2014 00:00

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