THE SIRISENA SURGE: WHY MAHINDA IS STILL WAY AHEAD Photo by AFP, via AsiaOne Two cheers then for Maithripala Sirisena whose act of resistance and rebellion is truly heroic. Why cheer at all? And why two cheers instead of three? Hearty cheers are entirely warranted because Maithripala Sirisena has produced a Black Swan event; a real game changer. Having argued in the print and electronic media for years ...

Problem: a corrupt administration, an Executive Presidency that basically constitutes of a legal dictatorship, a Rajapakse dynasty with dominance over every major branch of government Solution: Maithripala Sirisena? Until a few days ago, my Facebook was filled with the usual pro-and-anto-feminist rants, pictures of far-off lands and the occasional raging Dota 2 player. Nobody gave […]

Synthetic development, commodification of the body and the vote under neo-liberal economic policies: Where to now? Photo credit Marvellous Sri Lanka In modern day governance, there are certain principles that peace-loving people expect the rulers to implement. One of them is accountability. Accountability for the actions, expenditure, decisions, and appointments that governments make. In advanced democratic societies, there are mechanisms to ensure accountability with vested powers to seek and collect information, summon officials before parliamentary ...

Indi has written something more on the election, specifically on what appears to be the opposition's main platform-the abolishing of the executive presidency. He highlights an issue that also worries me "Nobody is going to put themselves out of a job to see some other mutton-chop get it. "This is a real danger. Power, once tasted is rarely given up. ...

Do we enjoy universal adult Franchise? Image courtesy SBS We did enjoy full adult voting rights in our island for 18 years after the far reaching Donoughmore reforms of 1931 (reaching further than many of our leaders, Sinhalese Tamil and Muslim asked for or even wanted). But two Acts of 1949, among the earliest post-independence legislation, took away citizenship and voting rights of about a ...

Kaleidoscope of Desire Photo by Dominic Sansoni It’s really weird to live in a place and then to come “home” and feel like a stranger there too. It’s unusual to be thinking utensils are superfluous and that all this air-conditioning is making me cold. Yet, throughout the summer to early fall – from Texas to New York to Maryland – the utensils ...

UAVs and peacebuilding: Some thoughts My work with UAVs is largely conceptual, framed by growing up in a context of war, deeply informed by having to deal with the enduring legacy of violent conflict even post-war and anchored to the inalienable yet often callously erased rights of communities and individuals around safety, security and privacy. My interest in UAVs results from the potential they bring ...

UAVs and peacebuilding: Some thoughts My work with UAVs is largely conceptual, framed by growing up in a context of war, deeply informed by having to deal with the enduring legacy of violent conflict even post-war and anchored to the inalienable yet often callously erased rights of communities and individuals around safety, security and privacy. My interest in UAVs results from the potential they bring ...

We’re back with a new collection of our favorite stories from across all of WordPress. 1. Books for the Broken-Hearted Hannah Richell Hannah Richell’s husband Matt was killed in a surfing accident in July. In a recent post, Richell writes about finding comfort in reading words written by people who have also experienced the shock of losing a loved one ...

Vote in Today’s US Midterm Elections Today, across the United States, Americans will go to the polls and vote in the US Midterm Elections. Voting is our most fundamental responsibility as citizens — without it, our American democracy wouldn’t exist. WordPress.com is a platform that gives everyday people the ability to share their voice and we’re asking you to take advantage of this voice — by ...

In conversation with Selyna Peiris Selyna Peiris is an Attorney-at-law and Director at Selyn Handlooms. She is also President of the Sri Lankan Liberal Youth organisation and was elected Chair of the Asian Liberal Youth Caucus. We begin by talking about Selyna’s work around entrepreneurship and fair-trade certification, looking at what the future for traditional industry is in post-war Sri Lanka, with an economy ...

Mahinda Rajapaksa cannot succeed President Rajapaksa I have discussed in these columns some days ago the contention that President Rajapaksa is not qualified to fight an election for a third term by virtue of the operation of Article 31(2) of the Constitution. The repeal of that article by the Eighteenth Amendment does not remove the past operation of anything suffered under the repealed law. Since ...

The Role of Women in Countering Extremism I want to thank the government of the United Arab Emirates for taking this important initiative to have debate and discussion on one of the most pressing issues of our times. I have been invited in my capacity as lead author of the Secretary General’s Global Study on Women Peace and Security mandated by the SC resolution 2122. Most ...

Securely communicate with Groundviews The Editor of Groundviews can now be reached over Telegram, a secure messaging app for mobiles and desktop chat clients. Given the Snowden revelations in general and the pervasive surveillance architectures governing information flows in Sri Lanka, secure communications for whistleblowers, informants, human rights defenders and civil society activists is of paramount importance. As noted on the web, “Telegram ...

Thoughts on hate speech online Comments delivered at the launch of Liking violence: A study of hate speech on Facebook in Sri Lanka held at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies on 29th October 2014. ### Firstly, thank you to the Centre for Policy Alternatives for inviting me to speak today.  I have to admit that I tend to do ...

Pusswedilla is the closest thing to a politically agnostic satire that I’ve seen. For this Gehan Gunatilleke calls it a Trojan Horse, not sufficiently rebellious enough and ‘damaging [to] our political culture’. I’d venture that not rebelling to Gehan’s satisfaction is not the point. I say agnostic because I think Puss, as a piece of theatre, manages to send up ...

On The Daily Post, we host the popular Weekly Photo Challenge each Friday, and we’re always excited to see your snapshots from all over the world. We thought a free photoblogging course mixing the spirit of these photo challenges with bite-sized shooting tips would be a fun way to get you taking pictures and meeting your daily posting goals. Introducing Blogging U.’s Photography 101 ...

2014 Midterm Elections, Get Out The Vote! Since 2004, WordPress has set out with an ambitious goal in mind — to democratize publishing and put state-of-the-art tools in front of publishers both large and small across the planet. We believe strongly in this vision because when more people have access to powerful tools on the web, that in-turn empowers them to do great things and publish ...

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