The Lucky Ones Photo via Open, Equal Free I wish it were easier not to care. I wish I could grow up to be a corporate lawyer or a banker and just be content with a “normal” life. Have common, cliché` dreams like a beautiful house, a flashy car, a happy marriage and kids, learn to find joy in the little victories ...

Disabled and Denied? Photo by REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte, via FT Although a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities since 2007, the rights of people with disabilities in Sri Lanka has remained at a dismal state over the past several decades. A recent manifestation of this issue has occurred at my Alma Mater, Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo, where a ...

The Central Bank Bond Controversy Revisited By Sam Samarasinghe and Dushyantha Mendis The Ministry of Policy Planning and Economic Affairs has on April 19 issued a press release announcing some findings of the three-member committee that Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe appointed “to look into matters related to the 30-year bond issued on February 27” (PM’s special statement to Parliament, 17th March). The “findings,” however, instead ...

A Clear-eyed Assessment from Afar Photo courtesy The Republic Square Darkness, movement in the bathroom. No need for lights until somebody breaks a toe. Ouch. I would’ve never known it was broken if it weren’t sticking so clearly in the wrong direction. There is not that much pain, but a visit to the emergency room seems to be in order. And then I’m there ...

Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers: Reflections from visit to Sri Lanka Photo by DushiYanthini Kanagasabapathipillai I first visited Sri Lanka in 2003. I took leave from the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship for a short humanitarian stint with a Sri Lankan NGO during a Norwegian Peace Initiative-ceasefire. The civil war spanning over 25 years ended with the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009. During my ...

A Port City or a Garden City for Colombo? The call for full transparency regarding the negotiations that led to the Port City must be provided to the public, however the deliberations and resolution at a political level will take a ponderously slow pace. The information that is now before us, suggest that the entire ‘Port City’ project, was done on the whims and personal interests of certain ...

Frangipani : Opening Ourselves to Dialogue Frangipani; 90 min. Sinhala feature film with English subtitles Frangipani is a Sinhala film made in Sri Lanka in 2014 written, directed and produced by Visakesa Chandrasekaram, a Sydney-based lawyer and creative writer.  While it is an important and welcome addition to the genre of queer film in South Asia, it would be doing it a disservice to label ...

Are Sri Lankan Tamils prone to collective political suicide? Photo by AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena via SBS We have entered the ninth decade since the Donoughmore Reforms leading to the first State Council elections of 1931. Through the early part of these eight and a half decades, Sri Lankan Tamils had occupied a dominant position in this country, politically, economically and socially. The leading political institution of this community in ...

Rape and domestic violence in Sri Lanka: Triggered by a mind-set? Image courtesy Beyond Borders Water runs through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence. The same could be said about changing a nation’s mind-set.  “A culture that propagates violence against women and children is not a culture, it is a nightmare we still need to wake up from,” said Rosanna Flamer-Caldera, Executive Director at the ...

Thoughts count Photo from Wired At almost two years of age I attempted to write my own story, when I ran out of words I tried to draw. It wasn’t a worthless effort however because as I was always told “It’s the thought that counts.” At the age of four on Mothers’ Day I tried to make waffles with my older ...

Stooping to Rise: An Easter Reflection Why Jesus died Jesus did not die by accident. He was killed through a conspiracy by those whose oppressive ways were exposed by his dual thrust of compassion and truth. But death was not the last word. Jesus was raised by God as a sign that compassionate-truth surpasses the evil schemes of the wicked and will eventually overcome violence. ...

The gender paradox in Sri Lanka Photo courtesy Talking Economics Women make up 50% of the population but only 5% of the parliament  – how can this be solved? ”If the women of a country are slaves, the men can never be free”. These were the words written by the Editorial, in the Sri Lankan magazine Voice of Women, as long back as January, 1980. Sri Lanka ...

Bikes, Helmets and Public Safety Concerns The official government news portal of Sri Lanka recently reported that a ban on full-face helmets will be re-imposed starting April 02. The report argues that the “face of the motorcyclist should remain open for easy identification.” The ban, which was initially set to be imposed on March 21, is expected to counter the presumed increase in the number ...

‘Naya Qanoon’ and the 19th Amendment Photo courtesy Bloomberg The draft 19th Amendment reminds me of the story ‘Naya Qanoon’ (New Constitution) written by the late Saadat Manto, regarded by many as the finest writer of short stories in Urdu and as the greatest South Asian writer of the 20th century. Set in pre-independence Lahore of the 1930s the main protagonist of the story is ...

The Bond Issue Controversy: An Analysis Image courtesy Ada Derana By Sam Samarasinghe and Dushyantha Mendis The issue of government bonds on February 27 has raised a huge controversy, involving questions as to the competence of the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), and also allegations of insider dealing. The government has been slow to respond to the ...

Photo courtesy EPA/M.A.PUSHPA KUMARA via Sky News As the new administration has begun to unpack promises made during a hasty election campaign, it is clear that they are constrained by their own political capacity, the limitations of a minority government and more generally by what is politically feasible at present. Within the government, ministerial appointments have had to exceed the ...

CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM: A LIBERAL WISH LIST Photo via News First The Sri Lankan constitutional reform process has been ebbing and flowing, but in recent weeks, the promise of 8th January seemed to be more ebbing than flowing in the usual morass that our political class is uniquely capable of producing. But if some reports are to be believed, then it seems as if the ‘Troika’ ...

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