Columnists,Wijith DeChickera,Opinion and Issues

Me, that’s who: I’m afraid of Gota!

Views - 1356 Thursday, 15 August 2019 00:30

NO OFFENCE, BUT THE QUESTION BEGS ITSELF. In a piece titled ‘Who is afraid of Gotabaya (sic) Rajapaksa?’ Daily FT contributor Sarath de Alwis made a cogent argument as to why he was not reassured by Basil’s brief about his brother’s “inhere


Civil strategies contra presidentialism: has political society run out of steam?

Views - 189 Wednesday, 7 August 2019 00:20

SRI LANKAN CITIZENRY AT LARGE HAVE A MIXED BAG OF CHARACTERISTICS. In adversity, we’ve garnered a reputation for being resilient: surviving wars, surmounting insurgencies, emerging from chaos to try and rebuild a broken nation. Under pressure in th


Presidential polls: when the head knows not what the heart wants?

Views - 391 Thursday, 1 August 2019 00:30

SOME THINGS ARE HARD TO GET RID OF. Bad habits – like Bruce Willis in the eponymous movies – ‘die hard’. Even good stuff lurks, in one’s fridge for instance, well past its expiry date. Ugly bits and pieces float around after a night of fat


More power to the people; and more people to power!

Views - 257 Friday, 26 July 2019 00:20

IN THE LEAD UP TO THE PRESIDENTIAL POLL… several trends persuade me that, this time, “something’s gotta give”. Change is in the air; and it’s conflicting with custom, ritual and tradition. First, there’s “the usual suspects”: the arr


Reimagining our reality: the last best hope for us?

Views - 101 Friday, 19 July 2019 00:00

Imagination can be a powerful tool for shaping everyday reality. We use it to construct everything from the mundane to the mystic. A down-to-earth example would be our subscription to the idea of the intrinsic value and worth of every human being. I


The legal fiction of law and order

Views - 344 Thursday, 4 July 2019 02:10

I am watching the high charade unfold. No matter how many important people know the difference between right and wrong – or should – it is criminal the number of times the law collars the wrong person – or the right ones for the wrong reason


11 times ‘Game of Thrones’ got it right about Sri Lanka’s state of politics

Views - 521 Friday, 31 May 2019 00:20

All good things must come to an end. Good Governance, ‘Avengers,’ ‘Game of Thrones’. While the first was not very good and the second went mostly well but was bad in bits with a sad endgame, the last of these got ugly in the season and series


17 things ‘Avengers: Endgame’ teaches us about the state of our superheroes

Views - 559 Friday, 24 May 2019 00:10

Art imitates life. Even movies do. Maybe especially so. In these lean times, there’s nothing like a little laughter to stop the press, stem the blood pressure, ease that stress in life. So here goes. Trust you’ll take these tongue-in-cheek. Or pe


Black Easter’s aftermath: dark ‘narratives’

Views - 1122 Monday, 29 April 2019 00:20

As heads roll (or not, in a prime case), and political ambition among other ignoble motives sees state responses to last Sunday’s carnage descend from the supercilious to the surreal, many questions remain in the minds of Sri Lanka’s average citi


Come, let us build!

Views - 610 Friday, 26 April 2019 00:20

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. Best because Sri Lanka was united in what it did well: being at peace, on an extended sabbatical, pursuing the absence of conflict – even mindlessly – and enjoying the fruit of island life. Wor


The worst time in this global war: healing in failure and brokenness?

Views - 407 Thursday, 25 April 2019 00:20

These are the worst of times for us all in our belovéd blesséd battered bruised broken bleeding isle. And I’m thinking dark thoughts that the twitterati and other tender-minded philosophers would deem unprintable. But will be publish and be damne


No more stones to break Sri Lankan bones

Views - 835 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 - 448 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 - 173 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 - 151 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 - 264 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 - 418 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 - 117 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 - 176 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 - 277 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 - 178 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 - 200 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 - 272 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 - 353 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 - 317 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 - 416 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 - 221 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 - 1143 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 - 432 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 - 512 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


Today's Columnists

Trendvertising: The new world of communication in a hashtag world

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Rahul Bose, an Indian actor, caught a lot of attention for a video post that went viral, where he complained about the price of bananas during his stay at a five-star hotel in Mumbai. As he explained in his story – he went to the gym at his hotel w


Company Law intertwined with Income Tax – Understanding the nexus! Part II

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

A comparison and analysing the impact of corresponding provisions of Companies Act No. 7 of 2007 and Inland Revenue Act No. 24 of 2017 reveals invaluable insights corporate management must be aware of in day-to-day management activities as well as st


Will ‘10 February’ be repeated?

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Whilst Sri Lanka is in election mode, the thought crossing every Sri Lankans mind is, ‘Will the 10 February 2018 elections behaviour be repeated?’ given the head-start that ‘Brand Gota’ has got. Whilst many are speculating who will be the fig


Shanta Devarajan: Economist who cannot get disconnected from his motherland

Monday, 19 August 2019

For me, Shanta Devarajan, formerly the Acting Chief Economist of the World Bank Group succeeding the Nobel Laureate Paul Romer and presently Professor at Georgetown University, USA, was a legend by himself. When I met him in early part of the new mil


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