Friday, 25th April 2014

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Editorial

Eraj Ravindra Fernando is one heck of a politician.  Following the incident in Hambantota where a set of UNP parliamentarians were attacked by a mob, Fernando, captured on camera with pistol in hand made a series of statements.  First he said he didn’t have a gun and that he had come to protect the said parliamentarians. Then he said
Full Article Sunday, 20 April 2014 00:00
President Mahinda Rajapaksa knows how to smile.  Everyone knows this, even those who erroneously think that his biggest strength is his affable nature and the ease with which can interact with people from all walks of life. He can make a joke and he can take a joke. As is the case of all leaders he has had his share
Full Article Sunday, 13 April 2014 00:00
As is now par for the course come Season Geneva the usual suspects in the Hang-Sri-Lanka bandwagon came up with self-labeled ‘damning’ evidence of atrocities committed by Sri Lankan security forces.  Let’s not go there, for the lie is known to liar, lied to and lied about.  Geneva is not about truth-falsehood, good-evil, justice-injustice or moral-immoral.  It’s about power.
Full Article Sunday, 06 April 2014 00:00
US Ambassador Michele Sison got it wrong. Addressing a media briefing following the UNHRC vote on Sri Lanka, Sison dismissed allegations that the US-backed resolution was ‘against’ Sri Lanka. In other words it was ‘for’ Sri Lanka, she implies. Now if the Government of Sri Lanka, which represents the people of Sri Lanka, thinks a resolution is ‘for’ the country,
Full Article Sunday, 30 March 2014 00:00
There are road blocks again in the North. That’s an ominous sign. If the threat of terrorism is the reason, then let it be recognized, again, that terrorism is something that is never restricted to a particular territory. Road blocks have their purposes in terms of ensuring security of course. All countries have them. Borders, after all, are guarded. But
Full Article Sunday, 23 March 2014 00:00
We live in a world where the Bible and Quran are used to justify anything and everything, a world where the teachings of the Buddha are (mis)interpreted to buttress political projects quite antithetical to the teachings of Siddhartha Gauthama and a world where the works of Karl Marx are mined for ‘appropriate’ quotes to support preferred political position. In such
Full Article Sunday, 16 March 2014 00:00
Are there wars without witnesses? Technically, no. Some witnesses die with the knowledge. Some, i.e. those who for whatever reason escape ‘liberation’ from bomb and bullet, napalm and whatnot, live on. Some tell their stories, so do not. Some told-stories are dismissed and some are heard, half-believed or believed but swept over by the overwhelming nature of narratives privileged by
Full Article Sunday, 09 March 2014 00:00
Barack Obama is livid. He is angry about unconfirmed reports (‘unconfirmed’ is the word used by the US-friendly British press) of Russian military movements inside Ukraine. Now, for the record, the area in the Ukraine that Obama is suddenly worried about, Crimea, happens to be the only Russian-majority region in that country and is the home of Russian’s Black Sea…
Full Article Sunday, 02 March 2014 00:00
Last Thursday, Minister of Information Keheliya Rambukwella claimed that ‘friendly nations’ will move a counter-resolution to the one the US is to table at the UNHRC which, among other things, it is reported, would call for an international probe on alleged war crimes. Now if there are friendly nations whose friendship is so strong as to and who are powerful
Full Article Sunday, 23 February 2014 00:00
A few weeks ago The Nation exclusively reported that Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella or someone in his personal staff had benefited from an irregular transaction to the tune of Rs 3.3 million.  A few days ago, while briefing the media on Cabinet decisions, a journalist asked the minister ‘whether the attacks launched on him by a ‘Government-controlled newspaper’
Full Article Sunday, 16 February 2014 00:00
A hitherto unknown outfit (at least in Sri Lanka) that calls itself ‘Public Interest Advocacy Centre’ has made a very serious claim: ‘Mass graves may have been systematically destroyed by Sri Lankan security forces at the end of the island’s separatist conflict to hide evidence of large-scale civilian deaths’.  The key word here is ‘may’. 
Full Article Sunday, 09 February 2014 00:00
For years the milk powder industry operated in a context where officials and consumers were blissfully ignorant about the possibility of contamination.  Archaic labeling laws didn’t help either.  There was a flutter of interest in the eighties when a newspaper took Nestle to task over contamination following the Chernobyl disaster, but complacency returned not too long thereafter.
Full Article Sunday, 02 February 2014 00:00
The media loves Mervyn Silva (Doctor).  The controversial minister (‘maverick’ to some) can always be counted on for a juicy quote even when he’s not doing his best to conjure up a juicy story for the media.  Silva is back.  He has been re-appointed as the ruling party’s Organizer of the Kelaniya electorate and few will doubt that he
Full Article Sunday, 26 January 2014 00:00
There are all kinds of security issues. In the last three decades, the word ‘security’ was associated with protection from terrorist attacks. Today, territorial integrity is not threatened by terrorists. If at all, it comes under threat by Indian fishermen and trawlers. Sovereignty, on the other hand, can be compromised in many ways, in particular through trade regimes
Full Article Sunday, 19 January 2014 00:00
The British monarchy is not what it was. Elizabeth is not Victoria. On the other hand, she has outlasted more than a dozen prime ministers, most of whose names few would remember today. She has, when considered fit, snubbed the high and might who rule in the name of the people. Royalty still has currency in that island. It is…
Full Article Sunday, 12 January 2014 00:00
UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake claims that Sri Lanka has become a main drug distribution center in Asia and warns that it could soon become a center for the entire world. The dark predictions do have a tinge of exaggeration, understandable because Attanayake is in the Opposition. Understandable too is the fact that he keeps mum on the key role
Full Article Sunday, 05 January 2014 00:00
The recent claim by a Director attached to the Accounts Division of the Department of Census and Statistics to the effect that he was asked by the Deputy Director-General to change the economic growth rate calculated by the Division (from 5.4% to 6.0%) has shocked one and all.  He alleges that this was a directive of the Director-General. 
Full Article Sunday, 29 December 2013 00:00
The Archaeological Department has a splendid history. The work of the Department has gone a long way in tracing the history of this nation, piecing together the many story-strands, corroborating the narratives embedded in the less tangible such as folklore and those that are hotly contested such as the written word. Glorious as this history of excavation and scholarship is
Full Article Sunday, 22 December 2013 00:00
Two days ago the Police Narcotics Bureau seized 10 kg of heroin from a house in Hikkaduwa following information furnished by a Liberian citizen arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport.  It is said to be the biggest ever heroin haul detected in the Southern Province.  That’s a lot, yes, but still miniscule when compared with the 131 kg detected at…
Full Article Sunday, 15 December 2013 00:00
The world’s most respected and loved elder statesman has passed on.  Nelson Mandela for reasons that do not require elaboration was the one and only person who deserved the epithet ‘Global Citizen’; he did not belong to South Africa alone, he belonged to every continent, every country.  He was grandfather, father and brother to the entire global family.
Full Article Sunday, 08 December 2013 00:00

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