Thursday, 29th January 2015

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Issues

On January 8, 2015 Sri Lankan voters voted for a President to lead the nation. The election that was to vote a President ended up with a Prime Minister being sworn in followed by close to 50 MPs majority belonging to the UNP while the rest composed of MPs that crossed over from the previous government and those that were…
Full Article Sunday, 25 January 2015 00:00
Recent regime change in Colombo, Sri Lanka did not take place in vacuum. There was international support and networks to depose the former regime led by Mr. Rajapaksa who provided political leadership to defeat the Tamil Tigers and local political actors contributed to the scheme planned by powerful actors.
Full Article Sunday, 25 January 2015 00:00

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) enjoys a Parliamentary majority.  The party has all but elected the new President as its leader, the very same individual who ran against the candidate fielded by the SLFP.  The United National Party (UNP) has the second largest number of MPs (second by a large margin, note).

Full Article Sunday, 25 January 2015 00:00

Wickramabahu Karunaratne of the Nava Sama Samaaja Party (NSSP) has claimed that ‘the working class fulfilled a massive task’ in securing the victory of Maithripala Sirisena. What is implied here is that class consciousness was what compelled this particular populations segment to vote for Sirisena. ‘Bahu’ as usual inscribes a lot of ‘motive’ on the actions of all kinds of...

Full Article Sunday, 18 January 2015 00:00

Now it can be argued that Ranil Wickremesinghe was robbed, so to speak, both in 1999 and 2005.  In 1999 a close election went the incumbent’s way when she lost an eye in a terrorist attack, the resulting sympathy translating into a vote-sway.  Moreover, S.B. Dissanayake once claimed that he had ensured that 400,000 fydr Pkao (illegal votes) were cast in her favor.

Full Article Sunday, 28 December 2014 00:00

Election Day is less than three weeks away.   Campaigns are gathering intensity.  Candidates and their supporters are falling over each other promising the sun, moon, stars and whatever else they think could please the voter.  They all talk about a clean society and don’t seem to mind the dirty friends that surround them.  They talk of a new political culture...

Full Article Sunday, 21 December 2014 00:00

Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri is better known by a nickname he earned as an undergraduate, ‘Vamaa’, translatable as ‘Lefty’. Whether or not this had anything to do with ideological preferences, Nirmal has certainly been fascinated with Left politics. Indeed, to the extent that left-right distinction is still valid in Marxian and subjective terms (read self-identified) Nirmal is still ‘Left’. Perhaps this...

Full Article Sunday, 07 December 2014 00:00

Tilvin Silva of the JVP made an interesting point at the commemoration of comrades slain in 1988-89: ‘Mahinda has already run half the race.’  The constitution favors incumbent.  Authorities turn a blind eye on the abuse of state resources and indeed the institutional arrangement is so poor in terms of checks and balances that this is a ‘given’.  Citizens have, sadly,...

Full Article Sunday, 16 November 2014 00:00

Twenty-five years ago a man was killed. He was one of some 60,000 who had been killed in those gruesome days of the late eighties. It is reported that he had been tortured and shot. It is reported that he was still alive when he was tossed into the incinerator at the General Cemetery, Borella. This was at the tail end...

Full Article Sunday, 09 November 2014 00:00

If it is about who will be the principal presidential candidate of the Opposition, then it boils down to who wins Ranil Wickremesinghe’s endorsement, in the event that he chooses not to contest of course. This is because the United National Party is the main Opposition party and the one that can secure support from important sections of the rest of the Opposition.

Full Article Sunday, 02 November 2014 00:00

Dayan Jayatilleka in an article published in the Colombo Telegraph (How a weak opposition could still play it smart) offers that the Opposition is actually helping President Mahinda Rajapaksa secure a third term. He claims that the Opposition has picked the wrong slogan, that of ‘constitutional change’ when ‘it has little prospect of acting as a rallying cry among millions

Full Article Sunday, 19 October 2014 00:00

The revelations by the website Colombo Telegraph pointing to fraud and deceit by the Center for Policy Alternatives (CPA) in an article titled ‘Exposé: Center for Policy Alternatives defrauded and hoodwinked donors,’ (see page 5) are serious and damaging to say the least.   Obtaining funds from multiple donors for a single project, submitting invoices for workshops never held, double-billing and entering non-p

Full Article Sunday, 12 October 2014 00:00

Nimalka Fernando asked an interesting question when Thilini was arrested by the Police. Thilini is the woman who responded to alleged lewd remarks by a person called Selva by slapping him repeatedly (all caught on camera). Nimalka asked if the police arrest all men who beat up women.Now a situation of domestic abuse is more complicated that an insulted

Full Article Sunday, 07 September 2014 00:00

There are parties and there are coalitions.  We’ve seen both rise and fall, falter and prosper.  There are party candidates and there are common candidates. We’ve seen both types and both have tasted success and failure.  
Common fronts were not uncommon in the period before J R Jayewardene came up with the Second Republican Constitution in 1978 with proportional representation,

Full Article Sunday, 24 August 2014 00:00
Like many ordinary Sri Lankan citizens who feel genuinely concerned about the future of the country, I have been apprehensively watching a steady flow of potentially inflammatory talk about so-called Sinhala Buddhist extremism against Muslims, as well as actual incidence of violence particularly over the past few months. It is implied that Sinhala Buddhist chauvinism is chronic in our island
Full Article Sunday, 03 August 2014 00:00
The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) recently revealed that an alarming 95% of abuses reported on children are carried out by persons known to them, including their relatives. Children are often victims of abuse, assaults and sexual harassment simply because of the assumption that they do not have a way to voice their problems and their issues.
Full Article Sunday, 27 July 2014 00:00
Sometime this summer, probably when as many Americans as possible are tanning on a beach and not paying attention, the White House is expected to release a version of a classified report on torture during the Bush years. Actually, what’s likely to become public is only the executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report; the entire thing,
Full Article Sunday, 27 July 2014 00:00
Commissioner of Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission (HRC), Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa states that the commission has sent a proposal to amend the current Human Rights Act in a way that it could give more powers to the HRC. In an interview with The Nation Dr. Mahanamahewa stated that currently the HRC could only provide recommendations. However, he said that the...
Full Article Sunday, 20 July 2014 00:00
‘Mandarins’ could refer to the officially adopted form of the Chinese language or to the fruit we all know. Here it refers to a term, adopted somewhat scornfully by those who failed to join it, to the members of the Ceylon Civil Service (CCS). The Cambridge Dictionary puts it thus: ‘A person who has a very important job...
Full Article Sunday, 20 July 2014 00:00
There is light at the end of the tunnel they say and liars will eventually get exposed. Not bad news at all. The position taken by the Tony Abbot Government is commendable. ‘Increasingly shrill’ was what Scott Morrison Australia’s Immigration Minister called critics. Having visited Sri Lanka and toured North Sri Lanka he was in a better position to declare…
Full Article Sunday, 13 July 2014 00:00

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