You will not find me volunteering for charity driven “causes” and the like. I am not for vainglorious philanthropy. I do not make donations to third parties. I do not believe in middle men. I need to see where my money is going. More importantly, I need to see where my help is going. I need to make eye contact. ...

The Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the UK may or may not have been beaten up by a government catcher at an official function in New York. He may or may not have resigned. I don’t know because the mainstream media reports nothing to really clarify. There’s basically a media blackout. And it’s not just this. When the police execute prisoners, ...

A Monaragala problem for the Rajapakse Regime Speculation mounts not just in political circles but also in civil society of an impending presidential election, early in the New Year. The Uva Provincial Council elections, which besides being constitutionally required, were also a testing of the political waters by the Rajapakse Administration and the results could not have been more disturbing to those in the corridors of ...

On Restoring Forests It is rumored that the Government will set about the task of having 35% of Sri Lanka covered with forest.  If so, that is a laudable goal. But one hopes that this activity will be framed by the knowledge that allowed Sri Lanka to make the following statement at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP III, in Buenos ...

Emma Watson’s Unexceptional, Somewhat Ignorant Speech Emma Watson, at the UN A young, educated, privileged, white woman-celebrity gets appointed a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador six months ago (UN Women is the United Nations organisation that works with women’s rights and issues). At the UN General Assembly, to launch a UN Women campaign on gender equality, this celebrity spokesperson, the Goodwill Ambassador, is asked to make a ...

Emma Watson’s Unexceptional, Somewhat Ignorant Speech Emma Watson, at the UN A young, educated, privileged, white woman-celebrity gets appointed a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador six months ago (UN Women is the United Nations organisation that works with women’s rights and issues). At the UN General Assembly, to launch a UN Women campaign on gender equality, this celebrity spokesperson, the Goodwill Ambassador, is asked to make a ...

William Blake, Buddhism and Human Rights – value of praxis over ideology [William Blake 1757-1827 demonstrated through his art and poetry how opposite views were actually relative and dependent on each other and that they were reconcilable once we overcame the mental trap of ‘abstraction’ and solidification, the act of removing something out of its context and turning it into an absolute] [The Asokan pillar is a symbol of fearlessness that ...

We’re back with another collection of our favorite stories from across all of WordPress! You can find our past collections here — and you can follow Longreads on WordPress.com for more daily reading recommendations. Publishers, writers, keep those stories coming: share links to essays and interviews (over 1,500 words) on Twitter (#longreads) and WordPress.com by tagging your posts longreads. * ...

The Silva Elections Photo courtesy The Daily Beast The news from the Uva side is not good. The vote base of Our Majesty’s government is doing a Jack and Jill – tumbling down the hillside. This is causing much worry to very common people like myself. What is going to be happening if the votes are continuing to be tumbling down? Already ...

Around the World in Eight Photos Join us as we explore the world through the street photography tag on WordPress.com. Here you’ll find no airport lineups, no grumpy customs agents, and you never get the middle seat. On belgianstreets, photographer Andy Townend recently shot “stripfeest,” an annual comics festival held in Brussels, Belgium. We loved how Andy captures this young reader fully ensconced in his comic ...

Independence Referendum: The Morning After First published here. A win for independence in Scotland would have led to drastic changes to parliament in the UK including the short-to-medium term irrelevance of Labour A little over half of those who went to bed last Thursday in Scotland, wondering what Friday will hold, woke up to the news that the United Kingdom will remain as it ...

The Uva results and implications for the Presidential Poll Photo courtesy The Republic Square The UPFA barely hung on in Uva. Grimly winning a narrow victory, that saw a significant dent in voter support for the ruling Rajapakse Administration. The UPFA Uva campaign was led by a presidential nephew, incumbent chief minister Shasendra Rajapakse being the son of Speaker Chamal Rajapakse. The decline in voter support was quite ...

Last week I met a long lost friend of mine. Currently he is working at the Human Resources department of one of the biggest business groups in Sri Lanka. So what are you up to now? I asked. He is a social media analytic. He apparently handles social media research and analysis of the candidates and potential candidates. What the hell is that now? Well its the next level of human resource

Urban Warfare and the Sounds of Silence Photo courtesy Maatram I was sitting at my desk in Colombo 08 yesterday and all of a sudden, a somewhat loud but also muffled ‘boom’ broke the usual afternoon sounds of traffic on the road to Parliament. My first thought was a memory from December 2006, a much louder BOOM from two blocks away that marked the assassination attempt in ...

INFOGRAPHIC: Views From Uva With the Uva Provincial Council elections taking place tomorrow, Social Indicator, the survey research unit of the Centre for Policy Alternatives has analysed data from field work conducted in May and June 2014 to get a sense of the issues and priorities of the people of Uva as they go to vote. The current state of the economy has ...

And they all fall down This afternoon, the remaining residents of 34 watta in Wanathamulla had surprise visitors. Brigadier Samarasinghe who is the Project Director of the UDA’s Urban Regeneration Programme, accompanied by several other UDA officials, police and demolition equipment turned up at 34 watta and informed the residents of imminent evictions and the destruction of their homes. Most of the residents of ...

INFOGRAPHIC: Military Presence in the North of Sri Lanka Five years since the end of the war, a significant military presence still remains in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. This despite repeated assurances by the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) that the military presence is, and will be phased out in order to pave way for post-war reconciliation efforts. In a context of increased militarization, the Centre ...

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