Columnists

Neutral umpires vs. home umpires

Views - 9047 Tuesday, 19 April 2016 00:20

Should foreign judges participate in the probe initiated by UNHRC? Soon after the end of war in May 2009, the Secretary General of the United Nations visited Sri Lanka and at the end of the visit there was a joint declaration by the P


What should the strategic direction of the Bhikkhu society be today?

Views - 9404 Monday, 14 March 2016 00:00

Walpola Rahula Thero wrote a book called ‘Brikshuvage Urumaya’ in Sinhala in 1946, justifying so-called Bhikkhu politics or as he emphasised public service of bhikkhus. He translated this book into English later.  The reason for


Would Wigneswaran be a spoiler?

Views - 9904 Wednesday, 6 January 2016 00:00

  I have been a columnist for the Sinhala monthly publication Samabima. In early 2013, I along with the fellow columnists, were criticised by a Buddhist monk that we were writing against the Sinhala extremism but not against


Constitutional reforms are on the way

Views - 10834 Thursday, 3 December 2015 00:10

  Democracy which is practiced in Sri Lanka and for that matter in other countries in the Asian region is quite different to the democracy practiced in the countries it was originated and evolved over a period   M


The direction of the Government

Views - 33057 Tuesday, 10 November 2015 00:06

The direction of the Government is being criticised by many. It was stated that the Government is not efficient and it is slow. It gives confusing signals and being dragged to different directions. It catches the sprats and not the sharks. It acco


Geneva resolution and a few points to contemplate

Views - 10822 Saturday, 3 October 2015 00:00

We as citizens need justice from the Judiciary, not anything else, and also it should appear to be that the Judiciary is capable of delivering justice   The resolution about Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council


From ‘A Gentle Creature’ to ‘With You, Without You’

Views - 12025 Saturday, 19 September 2015 00:08

  By Harsha Gunasena This is not a critique of a film but I would like to pen down my feelings after viewing ‘With You, Without You’, the one hour and 30 minute film directed by Prasanna Vithanage. Lead roles


Rising of democracy and fading away of autocracy

Views - 9555 Tuesday, 25 August 2015 01:11

The unconventional move of former President Rajapaksa to contest and win the general election failed. The Central Committee of the UPFA has already taken the line of the President and agreed to a National Government. At the same time, although he


Rajapaksa’s swansong

Views - 11004 Wednesday, 1 July 2015 00:00

    A comparison between Slobodan Milosevic and Mahinda Rajapaksa   Slobodan Milosevic was the President of Serbia from 1989 to 1997 and President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1997


Value of practical training in education

Views - 8700 Wednesday, 17 June 2015 00:00

There is a constant complaint by private sector organisations that the graduates produced by the educational institutions do not have the necessary attributes they expect. In addition to the appropriate educational background and attitudes, gradua


Lessons to be learnt from the British parliamentary elections

Views - 2682 Friday, 15 May 2015 00:00

 The general elections of the United Kingdom are over. There are two main features of the election results. One is that after a long time the incumbent Government increased its parliamentary majority and the other is that the Scottish Nationa


Ranil Wickremesinghe: The good, the bad or the ugly?

Views - 8915 Tuesday, 28 April 2015 00:09

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is considered a political strategist by many. LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran once feared his actions. He takes certain bold decisions in the situations where other leaders are reluctant to act. On the other han


Should SC be empowered more in constitutional amendments process?

Views - 2814 Friday, 17 April 2015 03:52

The United States of America introduced the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution on 24 March 1947. It went on to say: “No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or a


Political consensus drifts away

Views - 2923 Friday, 10 April 2015 00:05

  We face an unprecedented situation in the political history of this country and in the political history of any other democratic country in the world. The common opposition and the civil society got together to defeat the most autocrat


What is this Lichchavi system the PM talks about?

Views - 3681 Monday, 9 February 2015 00:00

The current Sri Lankan Parliament is in a unique position and it would be quite interesting to watch its proceedings. The President is the Head of the Government and the Cabinet of Ministers and on the other hand he is the Leader of the main Oppositi


The end of the kingship

Views - 2910 Friday, 16 January 2015 00:05

An epilogue to Rajapaksa regime The presidential election ended and power was transferred from Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was referred as the ‘King of Sri Lanka,’ to a commoner. Rajapaksa, when he was the Minister of Labour


Independence and impartiality of the Judiciary

Views - 3167 Wednesday, 10 December 2014 00:00

In my last article, ‘Democratic Values vs. Sri Lankan Values,’ I mentioned that justice was a democratic value as indicated in the Declaration of Independence of United States in 1776 and in the preamble of the Constitution of United States. I al


Democratic values vs. Sri Lankan values

Views - 2983 Friday, 28 November 2014 01:24

An assessment in light of the presidential election 2015 The presidential election was declared and there will be two opposing candidates, incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa and common Opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena. It is likely to


Where does the power come from?

Views - 2920 Wednesday, 12 November 2014 00:00

Leaders throughout the world exercise power; some were derived from authority and some were derived from personal capacity. Some exercise legitimate power and some exercise illegitimate power. In some societies when illegitimate power is exercised i


Thinking behind the economic policies of the Government and the Budget

Views - 2020 Wednesday, 5 November 2014 00:00

The Government has presented the Budget for the fiscal year 2015 and there is widespread accusation that it is a giveaway budget aiming at anticipated elections in early next year. At the same time, the Budget is praised by the private sector for its


Warmongering and statesmanship

Views - 2365 Thursday, 16 October 2014 00:00

In defeating the LTTE, the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, then Army Commander and the then military leaders did a wonderful job by way of strategic military plans and implementing the same. Sun Tzu, a military commander who lived in China


Suppression in Sri Lankan society

Views - 5923 Thursday, 18 September 2014 00:00

There was a news item in the media a few weeks back about a girl, namely Thilini Amalka, delivering a series of slaps to a young man at the Wariyapola bus stand. The incident was videoed and published on the web by a freelance journalist. This result


Nudity and sex in cinema

Views - 4841 Friday, 12 September 2014 01:38

I was watching movies directed by world-acclaimed artistes one after the other shuttling among the theatres of Regal, NFC, MC Superior, Empire Cineplex and Goethe Institut. It was a wonderful experience. The movies showed during the film festival we


Checks and balances

Views - 7524 Friday, 15 August 2014 01:23

The term ‘checks and balances’ is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as follows: “Counterbalancing influences by which an organisation or system is regulated, typically those ensuring that power in political institutions is not concentrated in th


Following people instead of leading them

Views - 1704 Friday, 25 July 2014 00:00

When leaders are forced to take decisions related to racial sentiments or sentiments where the nation is divided very sharply, then it is a hard task. Farsighted leaders who lead from the front take strong decisions in such times and take the nation


Government rushes in where angels fear to tread

Views - 2493 Wednesday, 25 June 2014 00:00

In July 1983, Tamils who were residing in predominantly-Sinhala areas were attacked systematically. Although it was not proved beyond any doubts, the attack was planned by the forces behind the Government. Attackers were not simply emotional. The at


Who are the war heroes?

Views - 5765 Wednesday, 18 June 2014 00:00

By Harsha Gunasena When a war is fought between two parties, there are rules agreed upon and applied. War is a test of strength and in the civilised world it is understood that the parties to it would follow the rules of war. Mahabharatha was the ol


Sri Lanka’s foreign policy and India

Views - 3982 Tuesday, 10 June 2014 00:13

New Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi representing the Bharathiya Janatha Party captured more than 50% of the seats in Lok Sabha. After decades India is having a strong government in the centre. It was mentioned that a strong India is good for Sri


Why isn’t the Western form of democracy effective in the East?

Views - 2391 Tuesday, 20 May 2014 00:00

I have received a web response for my last article, ‘From Political Autocracy to Economic Autocracy,’ stating that sometimes autocracy is better than chaos of ‘democrazy’. I have heard this view many a time in Sri Lanka, citing examples of Ea


From political autocracy to economic autocracy

Views - 1669 Friday, 9 May 2014 00:00

It was reported in the Daily FT that Jonathan Alles, CEO and Managing Director of Hatton National Bank, sounded an alarm on the consequences of proposed consolidation of the financial sector. According to the newspaper, he said: “It is not that I


Today's Columnists

The fish that swallowed the whale

Friday, 16 November 2018

This is an easy-peasy, elementary effort of an ordinary citizen to comprehend the mad scramble for power among the political class. It is undertaken in the belief that the crisis we face is an opportunity to reject the family kleptocracy of Mahinda R


Courting democracy; Housing disaster?

Thursday, 15 November 2018

A small step was taken by a sovereign court the day before yesterday. It was a giant leap for the supremacy of the Constitution over all three arms of government in a recently benighted Sri Lanka. As well as being the tangible proof of intra-governme


Sri Lanka’s Judiciary in its finest hour

Thursday, 15 November 2018

“We must never forget that the only real source of power we as judges can tap is the respect of the people” –Justice Thurgood Marshall


When scholars turn slayers of reason

Thursday, 15 November 2018

“… I think, that the intellectual is an individual endowed with a faculty of representing, embodying, articulating a message, a view, an attitude, philosophy or opinion to, as well as for, a public. And this role has an edge to it, and cannot be


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