OPEN AND SHUT: ANOTHER LETTER TO OUR MAJESTY Photo courtesy The Daily Beast Your Highness, I am writing to be Informing you that my wife is leaving home today, threatening to be joining the Opposition. Please do not be thinking she is traitor. She is still very much devoted to you and is thinking the Opposition is way too common for the liking of even very common ...

Archive of tweets on 2015 Presidential Election Groundviews is archiving every single tweet with the hashtag #PresPollSL, used by mainstream media, leading civic media and citizen journalism initiatives in Sri Lanka to post updates around the up-coming Presidential Election. The archive is currently updated every hour, 24/7. Given the unprecedented use of the #PresPollSL hashtag in just a week since the creation of the archive, we’ve had ...

Supreme Court’s opinion on the President’s Reference Image courtesy Asian Tribune At last, the Supreme Court’s opinion on the President’s reference has seen the light of day, albeit unofficially, and it makes for miserable reading. The feature that stands out in the opinion is not only the unctuous tone which the Court has adopted in responding to the President’s request for an opinion, but also the sanctimonious ...

The Tamil Elephant in the Green (Blue?) Room Photo courtesy Sri Lanka Brief Kalana Senaratne’s characteristically perceptive article on the implications of Maithripala Sirisena’s common candidacy for the upcoming Presidential election flags the Tamil question: what role do Tamils and issues of concern to them play in the politics of the election? Kalana deems the Tamils the ‘forgotten other’ of the upcoming campaign, noting that the contest ...

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 […]

We often think of blog posts as being just a few paragraphs long, or being a “less serious” kind of writing. Not so! In this challenge, we’ll focus on writing longform pieces that are equally at home on your blog or in a magazine. Whether you have trouble organizing your thoughts in longer pieces of writing or simply want to ...

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 ...

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