Moragahakanda: where devolutionists will drown A mild and entertaining debate was sparked when President Maithripala Sirisena took part in a ceremony to enshrine treasures at the site of the Moragahakanda-Kalu Ganga Irrigation Development Project. The question was one of bragging rights. In short, the question was whether it Mahinda or Maithri who ‘owns’ the project. That’s politics in Sri Lanka, good for a bit of ...

Put hope on hold, democrats: blackmail's been scripted into 'good governance' President Maithripala did it. Quite unabashedly. The President, who is also the leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) summoned those Members of Parliament who identify with the ‘Joint Opposition’ and outlined what was licit and what was illicit in his (Maithripala’s) book of ‘good governance’. He declared that ‘any member who continues to contravene party decisions and work ...

Ranil applies brakes on media freedom Ranil Wickremesinghe’s views on media freedom are two-faced. One, when in the opposition and one when in power. One sports a smile and the other a scowl. This two-facedness, if you will, is not Mr Wickremesinghe’s preserve. It’s part of the political culture. In general those in power mimic those they replaced and those who are replaced mimic those who ...

Angelo, Dinesh and others must do a Murali on the Aussies Steve Smith, the Australian cricket captain has heaped praised on Muttiah Muralitharan. Darren Lehmann too. They have reason to do so. The Australian cricket team is in Sri Lanka and although on paper they are clear favorites, the Aussies are not taking any chances. That’s being professional. Yes, they are not leaving anything to chance. Less than a month ago ...

Let's cut into the business of medicine and treatment This article was first published on July 24, 2010 in the Daily News under the title "Further cuts into the business of medicine and treatment". Things don't seem to have changed much. The language of resistance or contestation is typically appropriated by the resisted/contested for fairly pragmatic reasons. Word is weapon and therefore it makes perfect sense for oppressor to ...

DISCLAIMER: This is for kids. Adults be warned: you may rediscover a child within you. A little girl wanted a pair of canvas shoes. She’s not so little, actually. She’s almost 13. Anyway, she wanted ‘sneakers’. That’s what the school authorities had told her. Sneakers was an important part of the dress code for students who signed up for a ...

Good governance, 'good medicine' and relevant ethics This article was first published in the 'Daily Mirror six years ago (July 24, 2010), long before many yahapalanists heard of 'good governance' and long before its most ardent users robbed it of meaning. It was titled "Further cuts into the business of medicine and treatment." The language of resistance or contestation is typically appropriated by the resisted/contested for fairly ...

Contexts count. Hostage rescue operations are different from wars. Responding to military aggression is different from declaring war on a country on a pretext such as the possession of non-existent weapons of mass destruction. July ’83 is different from July ’16. Clashes between raggers and anti-raggers are different from the clash that took place a few days ago at the ...

Jayasena Jayakoday: an architect of our today Six years ago, Prasanna Jayakody, film-maker, came to see me. This was a couple of months after his father, the renowned writer Jayasena Jayakody had passed away. He spoke of his father and about the the difficult times. He told me that his father had broken both legs in an accident and once broken his arm as well. Accidents. He ...

The unsung and un-honoured also make history ‘No man is a front,’ they say. There are rare instances when the action of a single individual has changed the course of history, but typically there is a long ‘before’ and a considerable ‘after’ that allows for event and personality to be associated with singular historic moment. Also typically that kind of marking is largely contingent on the chronicler’s ...

Amid the carnage there will always be those who keep life alive The late eighties was a terrible time. It was a time of death, of monumental loss, tragedy beyond description and helplessness that was not considered newsworthy by the bleeding heart champions of human rights. I’ve often wondered how we recovered. I suppose we never recovered fully, for as my friend and batch-mate, Werawellalage Premasiri pointed out recently the roots of ...

Nisha Biswal shoots from a no-fire zone Exactly one month ago, i.e. on the 16thof June 2016, the High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein offering a global update at the 32nd session of the Human Rights Council made a dire observation. He said ‘hate is being mainstreamed’. Just two days ago, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, invoked the insidious Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine. ...

Whatever happens, hold on to your heart* Tough fights, the really tough ones, can cost you. If you take on the beast, comrades, then you’ve got to run the risk of being bitten or worse. Take it as a given – when the enemy is desperate, the enemy can get really nasty. Tear gas and baton charges are on the cards. Abductions and torture. Count these as ...

It is said that the poetry of Jelaluddin Rumi mirrors back to us an ocean of woven speech too intricate and dynamic for any grammarian to untangle. Reading this observation by Coleman Barks in a collection titled ‘The Essential Rumi’ it occurred to me that perhaps I am privileged in that I am happily oblivious to grammar rule out of ...

DISCLAIMER: This is for kids. Adults be warned: you may rediscover a child within you. There comes a time when everything goes wrong, when everyone seems to treat you badly, when even your friends, your brothers and sisters, and even your parents are so, so, so unfair. That’s when you wonder if you were adopted. That’s when you start thinking ...

Care to walk along the highway of death? It is known locally as El Camino de la Muerte, that’s Spanish for ‘Road of Death’. It is a 43 mile road from La Paz to Coroico, 35 miles northeast of La Paz in the Yungas region of Bolivia. It is also called the Yungas Road. It has been christened as the World’s Most Dangerous Road and it is estimated ...

Local government elections and the widening democracy deficit The controversy over the appointment of the Central Bank Governor was almost like an exercise to obtain the answer to the question ‘who’s the boss?’ The then incumbent, whose tenure was marked by matters which discredited the office and dented investor confidence, was defended. The President himself expressed displeasure and even stated that he wanted the man removed. Possible replacements ...

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