Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe has stated that if national unity is to be obtained then the primacy of the law has to be protected. He has made the further point that the collapse of law and order has not only caused anxiety among Muslims and Tamils but has impacted everyone. He is correct. While Wickremesinghe has taken pains ...

The word ‘defense’ is confused I am a noun. Check your online dictionary and you’ll find that I am a useful noun. Indeed, I am a necessary noun in these times of arrogance and aggression and not just originating from verbal (meaning ‘from verb’) quarters. That’s always been the case, come to think of it. But these are aggressive days of the missile kind. In ...

Twenty years ago, while a student in Cambridge, Massachusetts, I received a letter from a friend in Ampara. He wanted to buy a ‘Landmaster’, a hand-tractor. He had some money but was short of some Rs.20,000. This friend was a batchmate at Peradeniya. He wanted to buy this for his younger brother, Kumara. The oldest in the family was a ...

Mahela's timely retirement and other tidbits Mahela's decisionMahela Jayawardena has announced his retirement from Test Cricket. Good. He's realized he has reached his peak and is on the way out anyway. Best time to go. Like Murali did. Like Sanath did not. Now if only everyone knew how to pick that moment to say 'This is it, I am done, thanks for the good times, bye-bye!' ...

Remembering Richard and forgetting Ranjithan There were some 60,000 people killed in what is clearly the bloodiest period in post-Independence Sri Lanka, 1988-1990. Our roadsides were turned into crematoriums, our rivers, canals and such into cemeteries. I remember a day in June 1988, in Bingiriya. I remember distinctly thinking this thought: ‘I can’t do anything to stop this!’ ‘This’, then, was an inevitable hurtling of ...

Years ago, at a preliminary round of a junior best-speaker contest, Suresh De Mel spoke of his ambition. He wanted to be an accountant. The reason was ‘fascination with numbers’. He went on to enter university after studying in the Mathematics stream and later re-invented himself as an economist. He was and I believe still is teaching in the Economics ...

What if there’s a law saying you should eat your own trash? Courtesy ft.lkBeauty is context bound, this everyone knows. Depends on angle. Lighting. Mood. Things like that. It is made of particular configurations of elements. Take one contributing factor out and that which was thought to be beautiful would appear plain. We can of course compensate with memory and still say ‘beautiful’ but that’s a life-trick and self-delusion. I am thinking ...

History is written by the winners, this is well known. In other words, chronicling is an exercise that is framed by power realities. Those who win and those who wield power frequently bend the story in ways that glorify them. It is the exceptional historian that would paint things in colours closest to the truth and resist embellishment as well ...

History is written by the winners, this is well known. In other words, chronicling is an exercise that is framed by power realities. Those who win and those who wield power frequently bend the story in ways that glorify them. It is the exceptional historian that would paint things in colours closest to the truth and resist embellishment as well ...

‘Gaza’ and its many WTF moments Over 200 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces over the past ten 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 ...

The Government has taken some tentative steps to keep NGOs in check. Although the big-names in the NGO fraternity have howled in protest, a careful reading of the directive issued by the NGO Secretariat clearly indicates that there’s been little more than reiteration of existing caveats pertaining to NGO activity. Moreover, those with the shrillest objections do not even belong ...

Ven Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera expresses remorse Wimal Weerawansa, the ardent defender of the regime, staunch nationalist, anti-imperialist and in fact the jaathiye panchaayudaya (self-proclaimed) had come. He had seen, he had chit-chatted, he had posed for photographs and he had left. Ven Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera blessed them all with the customary ‘suwapath wethva’ and went into his bedroom. It had been an animated conversation. They had ...

The accidental tourist Ramaphosa and other tidbits Ramaphosa the Accidental TouristThe opposition frequently claims that the number trotted out by the Government with respect to tourist arrivals are highly inflated. Every visit, even by Sri Lankans working abroad who take a break to spend time with their families, the opposition claims. We don't know the truth, but this particular arrival has to go as 'tourist'. The controversial ...

A conversation with Marlon Ariyasinghe about gates and gatekeepers There was a rare literary event at the University of Peradeniyaabout four years ago. Dubbed ‘SLAM 2010’, it consisted of writers reading from published, to-be-published and perhaps ‘unpublishable’ work and a couple of panel discussions, one on ‘post-war literature’ and one on the publishing industry. Vihanga Perera, poet, novelist, academic and event-organizer, quipped that the proceedings would have given me ...

You are forgiven too Lou Vincent Courtesy www.stuff.co.nzLou Vincent, former New Zealand cricketer, was slapped with a life ban for match-fixing. You do wrong, you get caught, you pay. That’s it. You cannot expect people to feel sorry for you. I don’t feel sorry for Lou Vincent. I just admire the guy and the admiration has nothing to do with cricket or match-fixing. It has nothing ...

No monuments for you Viji* Several years ago, when I was at the Sunday Island, the editor, Manik De Silva, an old Royalist himself, assigned me to do a profile of Viji Weerasinghe, the inimitable former Deputy Principal of Royal College. This was as a part of a series on people of his generation, i.e. those over 70 years of age who were icons in ...

Human rights activists plan a trip to France ‘We have to do something about it,’ Psychosothy Paranamuttu started things off at Celery Café, Colombo 3 where some hardcore HR hawks had gathered to obtain comfort of companionship in trying times.‘Yes, since we are not nationalists, we have to show nationalists and everyone else that we are internationalists,’ J.C. Galamuna opined.‘I agree. We are beyond narrow identities. We don’t ...

Referring to an article I wrote titled 'There are republics I would die for,’ Indrani Peries recalls an incident that had taken place some decades ago. She remembered being annoyed by the way an Asian friend had responded to a remark made by an English female. It was a reference to skin colour. She had been upset not by the ...

The ‘Syrian Vote/Veto’ undressed the self-righteous 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 ...

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