Theocratic fascism in Sri Lanka Photo courtesy Today I’ve heard of home invasions but this is the first time I’ve watched a Ministry invasion. The country watched while the BBS swarmed into Rishad Bathiudeen’s Ministry in search of missing monk, to wit, Ven Watarekke Vijitha thero. Was the latter a suspect in a case of murder, rape, child molestation or even theft? Nope. His ...

In the name of talent Image from ‘Kolavari Sri lankan tuition song-By Risinu Gamlath’ video, courtesy Sirasa TV For a very long time now I have watched little children performing at children’s reality shows in Sri Lanka, which are marketed as children’s ‘talent shows’ in our country. Little children come on stage wearing costumes and makeup in the manner of adults and perform to ...

Yet another fleeting opportunity Photo courtesy Xinhua Anxiety dominates the post-Geneva political climate in Sri Lanka, the result of a heady mixture of different reasons, which sees the ruling regime pursuing short-sighted solutions in order to neutralise. March turned out to be an eventful month for Sri Lanka domestically and internationally, with the passage of the UNHRC resolution, the arrest and detention of ...

Right royal battle: The BBS vs. Bathiudeen Photo courtesy Colombo Gazette The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), a recent and chilling phenomena of Sri Lanka’s post war political landscape is locked in a battle with Minister Rishard Bathiudeen, leader of the All Ceylon Muslim Congress (ACMC), a constituent party of the ruling UPFA. The Minister accuses the BBS of desecrating the Holy Koran, attacking Mosques and Muslims, ...

Toy Pistol Local Governance in Hambantota Image courtesy Nidahasa The country woke up a few days ago to news that a group of opposition UNP MPs on a fact finding visit to the new airport and port in Hambanthota had come under attack from goon squads. Subsequently, photographs showed His Worship (the UPFA) Lord Mayor of Hambantota, Eraj Ravindra Fernando, chasing the UNP MPs with ...

I was engaged in the thoroughly humdrum activity of marking some LL.B Honours dissertations early this Good Friday morning when I received an email from my old schoolmate, Sam Wickramasinghe, informing me of the death last night of Ananda Chittambalam. I am still shocked at the suddenness of his demise and terribly saddened by the news. But as Dryden said, ...

Colombo’s changing cityscape Introduction Since the end of the war in 2009, reconstruction and development in Sri Lanka has centred primarily on rapid economic development (Bopage, 2010; Goodhand, 2011). This can be seen in the current drive to transform Colombo into a “world-class city”, as a “preferred destination for international business and tourism” (Secretary of Defence and Urban Development). The improvements can ...

Women and Children: The Cutting Edge of International Law Photo by UN/Myriam Asmani, via World Education Blog The Grotius Lecture 2014[1] PREFACE Sometime at the end of 2012, while I was still the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict, I met an ambassador from an Asian country just before a United Nations Security Council meeting on children and armed conflict. He ...

The arrest, detention and torture of Tamils in post-war Sri Lanka Image from The Anti-Torture Initiative There is an alarming trend in the Sri Lankan security forces operation, of arresting the family members of suspects and keeping them as hostages in detention camps. Irrespective of their age, gender and connection to those suspects, the family members are kept under arrest/ detention most notably in the infamous 4th/ 2nd floors in ...

Generating Calamity, 2008-2014: An Overview of Tamil Nationalist Operations and Their Marvels Summarising previous essays (see bibliography below) this article proceeds in point-form with an eye on greater impact via succinctness. A. During the last phase of Eelam War IV in 2008/09 the LTTE attempted an international heist that is unprecedented in world history:[1] they used some 320,000 of their own people to manufacture a picture of an “impending humanitarian disaster” ...

Illusory Economy versus the Real Economy of Sri Lanka Editors note: Read the original article by the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka on Forbes.com or as a PDF here. Photo by Dinuka Liyanawatte/REUTERS, courtesy the Curionimist. ### A Rejoinder to the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka The Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has penned a compelling article entitled “Practical, not Conventional, ...

Rescuing Patriotism from the Extremists Photo: Paula Bronstein for The Global Mail It is almost five years since the military victory of May 2009 brought an end to three decades of armed conflict. Yet, the prospects for securing a stable and inclusive peace in Sri Lanka appear bleak. The first victim of “peace” was the APRC. This long and important process for developing a ...

Sri Lanka: Post-Geneva, Post-Provincial Council Elections Photograph by Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP/Getty Images via Al Jazeera Post- Geneva and post- PC elections, some clarifications are in order because the resolution, locally, came to be obscured by the fog of elections and the scare stories that were put out about sanctions and the electric chair, not to mention the absurdity of the arithmetic of the Geneva vote propounded by ...

UNHRC Resolution: To be reviewed with objectivity Image courtesy Rightsnow “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crises, maintain their neutrality”. John F. Kennedy   The D day in March has passed us by having placed a heavy hand as expected.  The intensely canvassed process for a yes or no to the resolution has ended with a yes to ...

Freedom and bondage: Lankans, then and now Introduction There is a need to question the adequacy and suitability of current conceptions of both ‘human rights’ and ‘secularism’ to meet the challenges of unbridled majoritarianism, which seems perfectly at home within the institutions and procedures of the modern Sri Lankan state. In the first part of this article I propose an alternative vision of human rights. This ...

Remembering Sithie Tiruchelvam Photo courtesy The Hindu Writing a tribute to Sithie Tiruchelvam is not an easy task. Sithie was an intensely private person who was averse to public, over-the-top displays of emotion and sentimentality. I am aware that a piece that says little about her private persona could sound impersonal, even clinical. I have therefore attempted to pay fitting tribute, not ...

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