Gabriel Garcia Marquez, in his celebrated novel ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ describes the signing of an agreement between two warring parties, the liberals and conservatives. Colonel Aureliano Buendia, rebel leader, is surrounded by his lawyers. The draft document is not a give-and-take agreement, but an absolute surrender. The fact is pointed out to him: ‘But Colonel, if we agree
The fourth annual defense seminar organized by the Sri Lanka Army was held in Colombo amid much pageantry and fanfare. In the words of the Army itself, the event was ‘aimed at inspiring discourse on the rise of Nations after a conflict with the objective of showcasing Sri Lanka’s progress in development and reconciliation’.The three-day gathering having concluded has
Parliament last week could have been just another week without anything special to talk about but for a special lecture organized by the Sri Lanka Parliamentary Journalists’ Association (SLPJA). The lecture was delivered on Wednesday (20) by Prof Rohan Gunaratna, head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at the S. Rajaratnam
Elephants are majestic creatures. They are also beasts of burden. They give stature to pageants. Those who have tusks are especially valuable to the point that they are hunted, killed and divested of their prized ‘possessions’. They also enhance status of owners. Elephants are sought then for a variety of reasons. There are therefore laws about acquisition. Whether these a
Last week’s sitting of Parliament was a lackluster affair except for Badulla District UNP MP Harin Fernando resigning and K. Velayuthan filling the vacancy. Fernando’s resignation and his party’s plans to field him as the chief ministerial candidate in the forthcoming elections to the Uva Provincial council had been announced some weeks ago, thus it was no hard news.
Ask anyone the question ‘Are you a racist?’ and the answer would be ‘no’. You can replace racist with communalist, fundamentalist, extremist, chauvinist or any other derogatory term and you’ll get the same answer. ‘No’. You can ask ‘Are you arrogant, jealous, wicked, deceitful etc etc’ and you will still get ‘no’. No one ever does anything wrong.
Some eight years ago I titled a note for these columns, ‘Holocaust in Palestine’. It carried a lot of ‘facts and figures’. Those particulars have been reinforced since.The assault on Gaza in 2008 brought Barack Obama ‘the Nobel Peace Prize’ for his service to that act of genocide; he simply looked away and stayed mum like a good boy. Several…
‘We have new evidence that the Russians intend to deliver heavier and more powerful rocket launchers to the separatist forces in Ukraine, and have evidence that Russia is firing artillery from within Russia to attack Ukrainian military positions,’ US State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters during the Thursday afternoon briefing last week.
Lobby correspondence is considered one of the mainstream beats of journalism in countries where parliamentary democracy prevails. The term lobby correspondent is originally British and BBC describes it as the name given to a member of small group of journalists who enjoyed privileged access to certain parts of parliament. Though reporting on legislature seemed to be a tradition that we
He was at one time the foremost Tamil leader espousing the Eelam cause, a man who fired the separatist imagination of a generation of Tamil youth, a man who went from being referred to ‘Thalapathy’ (Commander/General) by admiring supporters to ‘Thurogi’ (traitor) by the very same one-time admirers and later killed by forces he himself unleashed. He was assassinated on…
Over 100 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces over the past five days. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to continue ‘Operation Protective Edge’. The UN’s top human rights official, Navi Pillay says that the Israeli action ‘may violate international laws prohibiting the targeting of civilians’; key word ‘may’. When over half the dead are civilians, when residential…
Last week of sittings of Parliament could be termed historic. For the first time in the history of the Sri Lankan parliamentary a report of Consultative Committees was tabled on Wednesday. The report elaborates the progress of all Consultative Committees and is to be made available for the members on a monthly basis. The reports are expected to highlight the
The United States of America and its allies are a trigger happy lot. They are also heavily invested in hanging people. Sorry, that’s a crass claim. There is a caveat to all this: selective. They are ready-’n-able to shoot some people, invade some countries, drag some people to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and push through UNHRC resolutions on some…
Our Members of Parliament enjoy lots of privileges – some of those privileges are guaranteed to them by the country’s law. The Parliament (Powers and Privileges) Act has enabled them to utter anything in the House and get away from being prosecuted. This provision, abused by MPs for their political gain, has however been included in the Act with the
Minister of Technology and Research Patali Champika Ranawaka slams English language media and ‘citizen’ journalists on social media for fabricating stories about the incidents in Aluthgama Those who are eagerly bashing Sinhala Buddhists as ‘racist terrorists’ are conveniently ignoring the rise of Muslim fundamentalism within the country, Minister of Technology and Research Patali Champika Ranawaka said.
Would you agree if somebody tells you that our Parliamentarians (yes, they are ours for we elected them in the last election. Didn’t we?) are a bunch of freewheeling, freeloading fraudsters? I don’t, because our MPs are not freewheeling although they may take us for a ride in the guise of making law. And they are certainly not freeloading though
A special meeting of party leaders was held at the Parliamentary complex on Friday. Summoned at short notice it was so special because the intention of the meeting was to change a previously agreed plan regarding the next sitting week. Going by the previous schedule there were plans to take up for discussion a motion submitted by nine UPFA members,
It seemed that the leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe has got a shot in his arms during his recent foreign junket. He has come back more vigorously, obviously with more strength. Unlike the one who usually beats around the bush, now he is showing a readiness to take the bull by horns. It was two weeks back that
The following letter was sent to Human Rights Watch’s Kenneth Roth on behalf of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Adolfo Pérez Esquivel and Mairead Maguire; former UN Assistant Secretary General Hans von Sponeck; current UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories Richard Falk; and over 100 scholars.
It is the usual practice in the House to allocate a specific date to pass votes of condolences on the demise of MPs. This has been the tradition since its beginning. There is no specific time limit for votes of condolences. Usually the family members of the late MP are invited to Parliament, hosted at the Members’ canteen and then