The p-word cuts both ways This is the third in a series of articles on rebels and rebellion I am writing for the FREE section of 'The Nation'. 'FREE' is dedicated to youth and youthfulness. People say this is the Age of Communication. It’s not enough to know the word. You have to say it. It has to go around. You got to update status, ...

It was a Tuesday. Ratnayake Hall. Dumbara Campus, University of Peradeniya. First day. I remember it being a cold morning. There was an English Test. An hour, perhaps a little longer. I am not sure if there was one of those orientation-programmes after the exam, although I do remember Prof Ashley Halpe giving a lecture on responsibility to us freshers ...

Options for the Opposition Dayan Jayatilleka in an article published in the Colombo Telegraph (How a weak opposition could still play it smart) offers that the Opposition is actually helping President Mahinda Rajapaksa secure a third term. He claims that the Opposition has picked the wrong slogan, that of ‘constitutional change’ when ‘it has little prospect of acting as a rallying cry among millions ...

Did the European Court of Justice slip Mahinda a trump card? Here’s the ‘word on the street’ or rather ‘word on the walls’ on Saturday October 18, 2014: ‘යුරෝපාසංගමයLTTE තහනමඉවත්කරයි…රනිල්යුරෝපයෙන්වැඩඅරඹයි’ (The EU lifts LTTE ban – Ranil embarks (on campaign) from Europe).’ It is a neat juxtaposition. The first part is true in part. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) annulled the EU regulations proscribing the LTTE but did so with ...

In the early 1990s a director of a state institution was at the receiving end of efforts to remove him orchestrated by the particular subject minister who used the institute’s trade union. His detractors produced a series of scurrilous pamphlets about the man full of invective and unsubstantiated allegations laced with foul language. The director, each time he came across ...

This is the third in a series of articles on rebels and rebellion I am writing for the FREE section of 'The Nation'. 'FREE' is dedicated to youth and youthfulness. Ok, so you’ve picked your fight. You’ve decided to object. So you must have some idea of what you are objecting to. Consequently you probably have a good sense of ...

SB’s teaching methods There are those in which world who don’t mince their words. Being forthright has its pluses and minuses. Honesty is rewarded but then again in this day and age deceit is far more profitable. A silver tongue that is owned by a person of integrity is quite potent. The Minister of Higher Education S.B. Dissanayake is not such a man. ...

You can fly if you want to Pic courtesy www.flyingtots.co.ukThere was a little boy who liked to write poetry. He was about 12 years old. He wrote of waterfalls and forgotten islands. He wrote of colors so new that they were not yet named. He gave them incredible names. He showed his poems to his father who smiled and asked him softly, ‘when did you visit these ...

The revelations by the website Colombo Telegraph pointing to fraud and deceit by the Center for Policy Alternatives (CPA) in an article titled ‘Exposé: Center for Policy Alternatives defrauded and hoodwinked donors,’ are serious and damaging to say the least. Obtaining funds from multiple donors for a single project, submitting invoices for workshops never held, double-billing and entering non-project related ...

The United Kingdon’s Deputy High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Laura Davies is a lady on the move. It’s all official of course, although in an age where diplomats double up as spies we don’t really need to place too much value on ‘official’ claims. Still, there’s no denying that she moves around. She’s gone to the East. From Arugam Bay ...

Thank you Mahinda for the avocado prawns Pic courtesy http://jonoandjules.com/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 ...

There was animated conversation in the Senior Common Room of a prominent state university. This was unusual because academics had long since given up on debate and discussion of any kind let alone scholarship and matters concerning academics. Understandably the topic of conversation was politics; not political philosophy, ideological preferences, the worth of this system over that or trends in ...

There are moments when I feel I’ve lived through these times before. I have heard others say the same thing. Life is replay, it seems at times. Yesterday I got an email from someone who reads my articles regularly and offers comments now and then. He related a story. He had on a whim wanted to find out how Chinthana ...

The inflation of Sajith Premadasa Dayan Jayatilleka in an article titled ‘The Uva effect and the Presidency’ argues against the UNP fielding Ranil Wickremesinghe as its presidential candidate in a repeat of the 2005 face-off with Mahinda Rajapaksa. He has, with the use of a few important statistics, shot down the notion of a UNP resurgence that some commentators have seen in the Uva result. ...

The happiest days of our lives Birthdays are the best. They are so good that from the day following the birthday no one can blame anyone for thinking about the next birthday. There are other good days of course. Holidays are nice. Avurudda is nice. The birthdays of brothers and sisters are nice. Christmas is a nice day for those who celebrate it. The first day ...

Have you considered carefully the f-word? Think back. Who was your best friend when you were in the kindergarten? How about in Primary School? How many best friends did you have since the boy or girl who happened to be seated next to you became your ‘bestie’? Have you wondered what happened to them? Who is your current best friend? The current best friend is always ...

It was reported that the United States of America had softened its stand on Sri Lanka. This was after President Mahinda Rajapaksa met US Secretary of State John Kerry on the margins of the UN General Assembly. Jen Psaki, spokesperson for Kerry and the US State Department has since said that the US position on Sri Lanka had not changed. ...

In May 2009 and for a few months thereafter Colombo appeared (as it had appeared for several years) like a besieged and threatened city. ‘High Security Alert’ seemed to be written all over the face of the capital. There were those who took umbrage at what was seen to be infringement on freedoms and the deliberate gagging of democracy. Fortunately ...

The Common Candidate conundrum The 18th Amendment stumped those who thought ‘2 terms and MR is out’. It was a master move on the part of the regime. It made perfect political sense to ensure that the best bet remains eligible. The 18th Amendment, never mind its democratic-worth, was the equivalent of many amendments pushed through Parliament courtesy a massive majority obtained in 1977 ...

The true owners of the UNP The true owners of the UNPRanil? Wrong. Sajith? Wrong. The Leadership Council? Wrong. Hold your breath. It's the media! Well, certain sections of it. That's what Tissa Attanayake has said. The appointment of a person to no less a position as the Deputy Leader has been orchestrated by two media houses, one of which is owned by a member of ...

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