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Sri Lanka’s seventh presidential election, billed as too close to call ended in a somewhat anti-climactic fashion on Friday when Maithripala Sirisena was elected as the country’s sixth Executive President, securing 51.3 percent of the vote and defeating Mahinda Rajapaksa. The first results that came in, postal votes from the Ratnapura district put Rajapaksa ahead but then, Sirisena led in the...

Full Article Sunday, 11 January 2015 00:00

He was one of the few seniors in the Sri Lanka Freedom Party to openly back Mahinda Rajapaksa when the latter first ran for President in 2005.  Although by dint of seniority, popularity within the party, dynamism and energy, and proven organizational skill he ought to have been in the running for the post of Prime Minister whenever it was considered ‘up for grabs’ (i.e. after a Presidential or General Election), he was overlooked in favor of others.

Full Article Sunday, 11 January 2015 00:00

Maithripala Sirisena has been elected as the sixth Executive President of Sri Lanka.  A few months ago few would have envisaged this result.  Indeed, a few months ago no one even considered Maithripala as a possible challenger to the incumbent, Mahinda Rajapaksa.  The not-thought-of happened.  Some may say that this was less a vote FOR Maithripala than a vote AGAINST Mahinda.

Full Article Sunday, 11 January 2015 00:00

I had grand plans this morning. I was going to open up my various pieces of writing and send them off to sundry recipients from my agent to editors at journals near and far. Instead I’m sitting here feeling slightly paralyzed by my feelings about the attacks in Paris, and the response that has followed.

Full Article Sunday, 11 January 2015 00:00

Islamabad, Pakistan (AFP)- In the face of Pakistan’s prolific use of blasphemy laws and a culture of political violence, cartoonists must tread a thin line. But they do find ways to poke fun at the powerful -- including religious extremists. The conservative nation of 200 million people is consistently ranked one the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists, with reporters often caught...

Full Article Sunday, 11 January 2015 00:00

As citizens we lived through 30 years in constant fear, worrying about the safety of ourselves and loved ones. Every moment through those dreadful years we prepared ourselves to accept the worst. The reality was that no one was insulated from the inhumane and horrific suicide missions carried out relentlessly by the LTTE in every corner of Sri Lanka. On November 19, 2005...

Full Article Sunday, 11 January 2015 00:00

Winston Churchill defeated the scourge of the Hitler’s Nazism that killed between 50 to 80 million people. Wikipedia states that “World War II fatality statistics vary, with estimates of total dead ranging from 50 million to more than 80 million.The sources cited in this article document an estimated death toll in World War II that range from approximately 60 to 85 million, making it the deadliest...

Full Article Sunday, 11 January 2015 00:00

In 2005 when Mahinda Rajapaksa was elected President, it was argued that he won because of the LTTE ordering Tamils living in areas controlled by that organization to boycott the election.  Had they voted, Mahinda’s opponent Ranil Wickremesinghe of the UNP would have got that ‘extra something’ needed to win, it is argued. 

Full Article Sunday, 11 January 2015 00:00

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