Wijith DeChickera,Opinion and Issues

No more stones to break Sri Lankan bones

Views - 648 Friday, 19 April 2019 00:10

Trial by fire is not a new ordeal to Christian community. It predates Notre Dame and Nazism by millennia. In fact, a decade or so before Nero torched believers to light Roman avenues, Jewish religious leaders put Jesus-followers to the test as the Ch


The last straw in local politics today

Views - 431 Friday, 15 March 2019 00:10

I don’t despair easily. But a sense of desolation has overtaken me. Since it is abundantly clear that the last of the statesmen is dead and gone in Sri Lanka today. However much you may hold out hope that some knight in shining armour or street-wis


Religion in politics: RIP to good sense, decency and the democratising spirit?

Views - 165 Friday, 8 March 2019 00:20

I read recently that the problem with failed societies is that they listen to their politicians and not their poets. Not once did I read it, but thrice, and in as many forums. There must be something the universe is trying to tell us? Just hope the p


Cry salt tears against Govt. complicity in crime

Views - 140 Friday, 1 March 2019 00:20

What’s worse? A. A hit-and-run where the perp flees the scene; only to surrender himself to the cops the next day; after any evidence of allegedly DUI has been flushed down the tube; literally; or the local constabulary reviews surveillance camera


The chainsaw massacre and other ‘lawful’ horror stories

Views - 251 Friday, 22 February 2019 00:20

Admit it. The headline hooked you. Hope you won’t be disappointed. There are no gory scenes featuring dismembered limbs here. However you might read about the long arm of the law being truncated. Perhaps a chilling scene where the mask of the murde


Discipline and the devil’s disciples

Views - 403 Monday, 18 February 2019 00:55

That coach who repeatedly slapped a boy under his care has generated a storm of controversy on social media. On one side are aunties, bleeding hearts, civil rights champions et al who are outraged or at the very least shocked or surprised. On the oth


Money is the root of all politics

Views - 99 Monday, 18 February 2019 00:21

It is true, politicians have an extremely poor reputation - but if you assume that every politician is like this, then sad to say, it is devoid of good sense or judgment. If they were, then whole infrastructure would collapse before you could even sa


Of pseudo-democrats, discipline and the coming death of liberty?

Views - 162 Friday, 15 February 2019 00:15

I despair of our politicos and would-be politicians. Not that they are not all honourable men. From the honourable prime minister to the former defence secretary discharging his duty honourably after premature retirement! But that honour often dresse


Give me liberty – or the right seat

Views - 248 Friday, 8 February 2019 00:20

I am celebrating Sri Lanka’s Independence Day – today. Not because I want to be perverse or contrary. But because well-meaning liberals have told me I can if I want to. And that in a democracy the individual has a choice. There are others who hav


How and why perceptions count – and corrupt

Views - 168 Friday, 1 February 2019 00:20

Much has been made of it. If you haven’t heard about CPI 2018, you’re probably living under a rock. And if you don’t want to see what creepy-crawlies dwell there alongside a pure in heart you, don’t pick it – the rock, or CPI 2018 – up. B


Paranoia in the nanny state

Views - 192 Tuesday, 29 January 2019 02:40

A week is a long time in politics. In terms of the type of realpolitik practised in certain republics, it’s a grain of sand. Or, to coin a phrase, a line of crack on a glass table. Today (your yesterday, dear unsuspecting reader), marks the end of


Of Dil-scoops, Blake’s 7 and drug busts

Views - 260 Friday, 25 January 2019 00:10

In mid-2018, national cricketer and erstwhile captain Tillakaratne Dilshan sang the praises of President Maithripala Sirisena for taking a certain executive decision. That was to implement the death penalty – customarily commuted to life imprisonme


All the presidents’ mien

Views - 342 Monday, 21 January 2019 00:10

I’m conflicted about the presidency we have. Do we need it like a fish needs a bicycle, or a baboon needs a parliament? Has the opportune time come for stakeholders as diverse as civil society led by a free media movement, conscientious objectors t


Media freedom and a false dichotomy of government

Views - 306 Friday, 11 January 2019 00:02

Is there a void in journalistic reporting today? Has the culture of impunity which prevailed, to the detriment of the free press, been successfully arrested and imprisoned – in the past four years since ‘good government’ came into play? What co


From death to a larger liberty

Views - 388 Wednesday, 9 January 2019 00:00

Why are they all here? The mournful friends and grief-stricken family. That sly fox of a phoenix-like politico. Those happy humbugs. These hysterical hyenas with their hopeful platitudes. Their hypocrisy hamstrung only by the disbelieving silence of


The world we want for a loved land

Views - 213 Monday, 31 December 2018 01:50

I write for many of us. But not as many as one would hope. Since we’re badly divided on community, polity, unity. However, it’s false hope at best or flagrant hypocrisy at worst to think anyone has all the answers – and is actually right about


And so are they all: ‘honourable men’

Views - 1122 Monday, 24 December 2018 00:12

The appointment of the Hon. Ravi Karunanayake, MP as the Minister of Power and Energy has set the polecat among the pigeons. It has got a knowing glance from the national press. While setting social media ablaze. And one can see why. But one might al


Fruits, flowers and futile triumphalism at Galle Face?

Views - 419 Wednesday, 19 December 2018 00:05

Every morning, I play voyeur and watch that nice neighbourhood uncle pluck flowers to pooja-fy his guardian deities. He is quite religious about it. And industrious to boot. The problem, of course, is that he doesn’t restrict himself to his garden.


The quality of some justice

Views - 506 Monday, 17 December 2018 02:20

We must, if we are rational beings and not mindless beasts, treat the herd instinct with due vigour. In the week before the Incarnation of the Son of God, a Son of the Soil seems fit for Crucifixion. The UNP’s sleek bloodhounds, some crossover SLFP


Matters to mind (while you wait for Justice to toll the knell)

Views - 394 Friday, 7 December 2018 00:10

Some people can handle pressure. They positively blossom under the spotlight. From celebrities to sports stars, many if not most Sri Lankans in the spotlight have panache and pizzazz. This, it seems sadly, does not include certain leading lights amon


NCM: or, how one flew over the cuckoo’s nest!

Views - 361 Thursday, 6 December 2018 00:10

I’m not a psychologist. Despite three years spent studying the subject and a diploma on my wall. Perhaps if I had invested the time, money, energy, effort, in a degree – I wouldn’t be at a loss these days. To understand the mentality and mindse


First tentative step towards thundering final judgment?

Views - 1061 Wednesday, 5 December 2018 00:10

In a palpable blow felt around the body politic, three courts have delivered a trifecta of punches to the coup’s solar plexus. It is not a full, final or binding ruling. But it is a first step towards something solid, stable, and altogether salutar


Democracy: a tale of two strategies

Views - 298 Tuesday, 4 December 2018 00:56

The problem with democracy these days is that it tends to be defined not by the people, but by the politicians they elected to represent them. In both parliament and presidency, the players strut and fret their hours upon the stage. And expect us cit


The plate tectonics of local-global coup politics

Views - 250 Monday, 3 December 2018 00:45

We live in interesting times. The tension for some time now has been between a stifling volatility and a vapid sameness. On the one hand: political volatility for over a month is stifling country prospects, international support, and any real Governm


The unholy trinity of coup politics’ realpolitik

Views - 454 Friday, 23 November 2018 00:10

Much has been made of Sri Lanka being a sort of ‘anti-Cloud Cuckoo Land’… a nation in a state of absurdly overoptimistic fantasy or unrealistic idealism where everything is perfect. And once upon a time, this was never if ever true. But things


MS, RW and MR must put the country first

Views - 141 Friday, 23 November 2018 00:00

The events that unfolded on 26 October have led the country towards an unprecedented chaos. Almost a month later, we are still awaiting a firm interpretation of the decisions and the credibility of actions while pondering if all the sudden changes ha


Coup Sri Lanka: some winners, mostly losers

Views - 1583 Wednesday, 21 November 2018 00:00

As a president proves shockingly stubborn, a nation waits with baited breath as to what His Excellency the loose cannon on a rocky slope will do next. Two Prime Ministers and the fates of their respective parliamentary groups hang in the balance lik


Hang the House! It’s OUR country, future, etc.

Views - 618 Monday, 19 November 2018 00:10

I have rarely if ever empathised with the Sri Lanka Police Department. But when I saw those hapless cops ducking chilli bombs in Parliament, my heart went out to those whom I had previously seen as simply being PC Plods or Mr Goons. Sorry to say that


Courting democracy; Housing disaster?

Views - 503 Thursday, 15 November 2018 00:10

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


Alien regime where nothing is foreign

Views - 211 Monday, 12 November 2018 00:00

A college professor of mine once told me the definition of an intellectual is ‘one who cannot lie’. But in the heady atmosphere of cerebral activity around a tattered piece of paper called the Constitution, I’m compelled to revisit that ancient


Today's Columnists

Poignant pondering on a patriarch

Monday, 22 April 2019

Almost five months have gone. It is with a profound sense of sadness that we experienced the demise of our veteran teacher, respected author, legal luminary, an accomplished ambassador, an eminent public servant and an amazing human being, Dr. Wickre


Enemies of democracy – Part I Demand for a strongman to rule the country

Monday, 22 April 2019

I posed the following question to a group of university students recently: ‘Do you desire to have a strongman to rule Sri Lanka today?’ The students, made up of both genders in the age group of 25 to 35, chorused the answer in the affirmative. Wh


The sad demise of Jet Airways

Monday, 22 April 2019

Jet Airways of India, once the premier full-service carrier of the sub-continent, has ceased operations. “Jet Airways and its Board of Directors have been forced to take this extreme measure, as prolonged and sustained efforts with lenders and auth


No more stones to break Sri Lankan bones

Friday, 19 April 2019

Trial by fire is not a new ordeal to Christian community. It predates Notre Dame and Nazism by millennia. In fact, a decade or so before Nero torched believers to light Roman avenues, Jewish religious leaders put Jesus-followers to the test as the Ch


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