An Appeal to Democratic Forces Photography courtesy Huffington Post The great electoral victory won by democratic forces on 8th January 2015 against the anti-democratic, corrupt, murderous, and authoritarian family rule is in jeopardy. The Rajapaksa family and cronies have begun to regroup in order to reverse the democratic gains we have made. This appears a real threat at present. If these attempts are not ...

One Year Of Maithri: The Good, the Bad and the Ridiculous On February 4, 1948, Ceylon was granted independence by England. The British didn’t exactly pack up their things and move out overnight, however; Ceylon remained a Dominion of the British Commonwealth for the next 24 years. Being a Dominion meant that the Queen, God Bless Her, knew you were independent, but you still had to bend the knee and make ...

Common Ground: A series of photo essays February 4, 1948 was a historic day for Sri Lanka. Yet, often forgotten is the struggle Sri Lankans faced to ensure independence. It was the concerted effort of people, regardless of class, caste, religion or ethnicity, that culminated in Sri Lanka’s emancipation from colonial rule. Sadly, Sri Lankans soon forgot this spirit of unity. For close upon 30 years ...

Yahapalanaya at 1: Is Transitional Justice in Crisis? AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena, via Asian Correspondent In October 2015, the Sri Lankan government took a giant stride towards reconciliation when it co-sponsored a historic resolution at the Human Rights Council. Despite howls of protest from fringe elements within the Sinhala and Tamil community who opposed it, the Resolution was defended stoutly by mainstream members of both ruling parties, the ...

Independence Not An Accident: Muslim Leaders Put ‘Country Before Self’ Featured image courtesy Reuters  The essence of statesmanship is not a rigid adherence to the past, but a prudent and probing concern for the future. –Hubert H. Humphrey  ‘A Small Island of many people’, wrote  S.J. Thambiah, in his lucidly written book,’ Sri Lanka–Ethnic Fratricide and the Dismantling of Democracy ‘ whose political machinery is running down in an environment ...

Dismal failure of the judiciary ends up with people’s demand for hybrid justice mechanism     Featured image courtesy AsianTribune In the co-sponsored UN Resolution (A/HRC/RES/30/1) adopted on 01st October 2015, the government conceded that that people of Sri Lanka have no trust and confidence in the justice system and was compelled to agree for a hybrid justice system with an international dimension, to try alleged serious crimes committed against humanity. However at a recent ...

The Leader and the Led: Politics of Ignorance and Ignorance of Politics Featured image courtesy Senaka Senanayake via patrimoniogallery Racial, ethnic and religious disharmony is as inevitable as death in a pluralist state where more than one race, ethnicity or religion shares the same geographical boundaries and its resources among themselves. It is inevitable not because of the rich diversity that is natural in societies but because of blatant ignorance that is ...

The Embilipitiya death, GSP Plus and a challenge for Yahapalanaya Photo courtesy News1st Sumith Prassana Jayawardena would not normally be a household name. But his sudden and violent death in Embilipitiya following an altercation and clash between guests and the Police at a social function, has become an issue of national interest and indicates the challenges of implementing Yahapalanaya. The story line in Embilipitiya is not unfamiliar in Sri ...

Vetting our way to trust AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena, via Al Jazeera The conversation on Transitional Justice in Sri Lanka has hitherto focused almost exclusively on the government’s stated commitments to establish an Office of Missing Persons, a judicial mechanism with a special prosecutor, a Truth Commission and a Office for Reparations. Unfortunately, this conversation does not address the question of security sector reform, which ...

On the 21st of January 2016 the Daily News published ‘Wariyapola Hit by HIV’ – a news report outlining that “The Kurunegala district has the second largest number of HIV infected cases among all districts in the country and of them, the majority has been reported from Wariyapola.” The article was apparently the result of an Awareness Programme conducted ...

Sri Lankan Expats In Australia: Types and Troubles – Part 1 The following is the first of a two-part amusing insight into the myriad types of Lankans you’d find in Australia, by our very own Australia Correspondent, contributing writer Kelum Wijewardena. Over the years, droves of Sri Lankans have migrated to Australia, making the land Down Under home to one of the largest Sri Lankan communities outside of you know where. ...

“Discover” Great Features You Might Have Missed Late in 2015, we launched Discover — a site to showcase the people who use WordPress and the amazing things they make and do. There, we publish editors’ picks from across the WordPress landscape as well as in-depth features on WordPressers making a splash in the world. Here are five thought-provoking features you might have missed. Anne Thériault: one gutsy ...

Duplicity Of Northern Resettlement: Is The Hate Campaign Back? Image courtesy Young Asia Television The Head of Bodu Bala Sena, Venerable Galabode Aththe Gnanasara Thero, in a statement after meeting with President Sirisena admitted that the previous government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa colonized the North with alien Sinhalese. He claimed that 4500 Sinhala families who were settled in Bogas wewa during the time of the previous government are leaving ...

Online Life; Is it safe? It is true to say that we now live in a global village thanks to enhanced communication links, powerful computers and the internet. Information and communication technology helps man to connect to one another in every aspect of life today from financial transactions to meeting friends. This interlinked world may appear to be fast and convenient but have we ever ...

Sinhale is a sticker and a word, which shouldn’t be that bad. However, given Sri Lanka’s recent history with racism and war, it quickly brings to mind pitchforks and war. In the video here I did a one-take on it for YAMU’s new Weekly Show: I won’t repeat the script here, but suffice it to say that the Sinhale movement ...

Medical education in Sri Lanka: Need for urgent reform Image courtesy YouTube Medical education in Sri Lanka commenced in 1870 with the establishment of the Ceylon Medical College. It became the Faculty of Medicine in 1942 with the establishment of the University of Ceylon.  Sri Lanka produced well-recognized doctors who practice around the world with the quality education they received in our medical colleges.  Post graduate studies in ...

The fabrications of Yahapalanaya: 65,000 metal houses for the North & East Photograph courtesy Reuters In late December 2014, the Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs opened bids from various contractors to build 65,000 houses in the Northern and Eastern Provinces over the next four years.  A statement (available here) issued by a group of civil society organisations raises important concerns about this project but there are ...

Victim and Witness Protection and Transitional Justice: The Imperative Need for Urgent Reform Photograph via International Truth & Justice Project Sri Lanka Sri Lanka has long played host to a culture of impunity, aggression and oppression which have stymied justice and transparency. The judicial system has also been characterized by a lack of competence and independence. The long list of unpunished murders, abductions and other crimes against victims and witnesses of state ...

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