Still looking for that secret passage?* Many believe that the world is made of secrets. One reason for this is that we are not born knowing everything. There’s so much we don’t know. The moment we recognize this, we start getting curious. We want to know stuff. We want to know the names of things we encounter for the first time. We want to know what’s ...

Heroes and heroism are great but… This is the eighth in a series of articles on rebels and rebellion written for the FREE section of 'The Nation'. 'FREE' is dedicated to youth and youthfulness.A hero is someone who does something totally unexpected, something that no one even imagines of doing and something that can even cost the person his life. Some heroes live to tell the ...

Name-calling is a fun game There are governments and each of them has an Opposition. There are strong governments and weak ones. Likewise, the Opposition is sometimes strong and sometimes weak. Very weak. Regardless of relative strengths, it can safely be said that they need each other. They need each other not for the text-book reason of critique being a necessary part of streamlining things ...

The nice thing about writing a regular column is that one gets a lot of feedback. Well, to be honest, it is not nice when people poke fun at me, but sometimes even the not-nice stuff contains valuable insights. I received one of those nice-stinkers the other day. Here’s the gist.Kolombians classify those around them as “English Speaking” and “Non ...

Former TNA leader and veteran politician R Sampanthan has raised important concerns that are shared by many outside his party’s constituency. China. He is worried that ‘Chinese influence on Sri Lanka has grown exponentially’. This goes counter to a foreign policy that has ‘followed non-alignment for decades,’ he says.Sampanthan is particularly upset that the Government has privileged China over India. ...

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, ...

Dear Rebel, P is (also) for Proportion Pic by Rukshan AbeywanshaThis is the seventh in a series of articles on rebels and rebellion written for the FREE section of 'The Nation'. 'FREE' is dedicated to youth and youthfulness.More than twenty years ago some undergraduates staged a protest. This was at the University of Peradeniya. It was not a major issue but for some reason the student leaders ...

Rohana Wijeweera’s fading political signature He still makes it to the 'May Day Stage'. Barely.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 ...

It is cool to slosh around ‘I can’t stand seeing paddy fields like this!’ a 13 year old girl blurts out. The said paddy field had probably been ploughed a day or two previously. Ploughed but not evened out for transplanting. The soil was upturned. There had been a lot of rain and so it was all a mess of earthy lumps. All muddy. One would ...

When the 'boys' of '83 and '89 turned on the freshness TEAM 83 with their die-hard fansThey were the oldest among the Old Boys of Royal College who had gathered at the CR&FC grounds. They had gathered to play rugby. That’s six-a-side rugby. Inter-batch. Organized by the Group of ’91. Three categories: Over 40, Between 30 and 40, and Below 30. The members of the Group of 83 or ’83 Batch’ ...

These are moving-around days. There’s talk of people crossing party lines. There are people plotting regime-change. There are people getting ready to counter such moves. People are talking to people. We have the Constitution Abolishers. We have the Constitution Amenders. Then there are people trying to cobble together parties and other political groups as well as prominent personalities in a ...

The Bourse is ours Everyone takes note. Some keep notes. Some in diaries and journals. Some in their minds and hears. Some of these are shared via email or on Facebook or blog; some are not. Among these people are Kolombians, people from Colombo who know much -- so much that they are wont to think that others don't know and can't think. This ...

‘There was a country’ is Chinua Achabe’s personal history of Biafra. It is a personal story of a collective history, of a violent past that rolled into a political present. It is a memoir. Historical account. Literature. It is not an uncommon story. The world is full of violence. There’s war. There is insurrection. And the ‘collateral’. That’s how it ...

Mr Zeid’s integrity gripe The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein is upset with the Government of Sri Lanka. He said, ‘The Government has refused point blank to cooperate with the investigation (into allegations of human rights violations in the last phase of the war); such refusal does not undermine the integrity of an investigation set up by the Council ...

A better-late-than-never foreword Twenty nine years ago almost to the day, Prof Ashley Halpe, then Head, Department of English, University of Peradeniya, addressed about 400 first year students of the Arts Faculty. This was at Ratnayake Hall, Dumbara Campus. I can’t remember everything he said. In fact I remember only the following.‘If 100 children enter Grade 1 in this country, only one of ...

Eight years ago, during my first stint at 'The Nation,' when among other things I wrote the weekly Editorial, I wrote about the British band, UB40 or rather drew from their lyrics to comment on things that were more immediate. It was a two part editorial, referring to two situations but drawing from the same song: One in Ten. Someone ...

So what do you want to do with the rain? A Sri Lankan once wrote to a friend living a small town called Ithaca in the State of New York. It was winter. It was a particularly harsh winter. Lots of snow. Ice on the sidewalks. People slipping and sliding. Hard work for everyone because driveways would have to be shoveled to get their cars out. Shoveling snow is hard ...

It’s all about timing This is the sixth in a series of articles on rebels and rebellion written for the FREE section of 'The Nation'. 'FREE' is dedicated to youth and youthfulness. A thirteen year old girl in the USA had run into a fellow student she hadn’t seen in a while. The ‘friend’ had, by way of greeting, exclaimed, ‘Oh my god, you ...

Constitutions are made, talked about, cursed and amended. They never speak although they frame much of what happens in a country. In a parallel universe constitutions would talk. They would, as the Americans of the US say 'kick ass'. They would complain of aches and pains. In a parallel universe the Second Republican Constitution of Sri Lanka (democratic, socialist, let's ...

You name it, the Kolombians own it! Pic Courtesy www.tour.lkEveryone takes note. Some keep notes. Some in diaries and journals. Some in their minds and hears. Some of these are shared via email or on Facebook or blog; some are not. Among these people are Kolombians, people from Colombo who know much -- so much that they are wont to think that others don't know and can't ...

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