Wijith DeChickera

Media Freedom: alive and not so well… is it?

Views - 5 Friday, 22 September 2017 00:00

Today the only corpses in sight are those lining the bullpen – critics and social commentators who have fallen asleep at their desks, lulled by a democracy that offers peace but pre-empts justice. Oscar Wilde,


Powerful zealots and the prisoners of Zen

Views - 160 Friday, 15 September 2017 00:00

I have been thinking about prison and their inmates a lot recently. Not because it is the pleasantest of subjects. But because I have been bombarded by media, social media, and antisocial elements on the subject. And I’m beginning to smell a rat. O


Paper generals playing party games

Views - 492 Friday, 8 September 2017 00:00

I never thought the day would dawn when I could agree with Wimal Weerawansa. Which might explain the heavy rain these days? He says he can’t understand Sarath Fonseka’s stand on war heroes.


If you can’t COPE, quit

Views - 233 Friday, 1 September 2017 00:00

I’m turning the page today. Which is to say: I’m trashing ‘realpolitik’ – which was rubbish in the main anyway – and throwing down the gauntlet.


The good, the bad, and the ugly – and how it is harder to tell them apart now

Views - 761 Friday, 25 August 2017 00:00

As with many other champions of just causes, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe may have gone from campaigning for justice to becoming just another crusader out to claim his own rights and privileges. But unlike many other pseudo-democrats who travers


Cleanse those ‘Augean Stables’ – don’t just bolt the barn doors!

Views - 1163 Friday, 18 August 2017 00:00

I am amazed – and amused – by the spate of “ministerial responses” to Ravi’s exit last week. The Prime Minister has promised to expedite the backlog of anticorruption cases his administration appears to have shelved f


Waiting – still – for ‘Godot’ to come clean

Views - 1513 Friday, 11 August 2017 00:00

Good things come to those who wait… as the actress said to the bishop. But all this making us wait for the inevitable end is the sublime descending into the ridiculous – as the bishop replied. In the end, the man went… as he co


One week later, I still know nothing

Views - 1471 Tuesday, 8 August 2017 00:00

  I am writing this on the morning of the evening when the moon will be full. But I am not sure if the madness which follows has anything to do with lunacy. Since a week or so ago, I have begun to question everything I know&h


Not iron again

Views - 1641 Friday, 4 August 2017 00:00

If politics is the art of the possible, governance is the artifice of the sublime being reduced to the ridiculous in slow, sure, steps. Such as that of a republican government degenerating into a parody of the regime it replaced, while arousing th


The delicious ironies of idiotic democracy

Views - 1725 Friday, 28 July 2017 00:07

Life, as a musically-inclined poet of a previous age once essayed, is what happens when you are planning to do something else. Well, the same may be said for the intentions of Good Governance: that the best-laid plans of mice and men gang aft agle


Corruption: the third leg of a Government’s crooked stool

Views - 1825 Friday, 21 July 2017 00:00

If the human race is fallen, politics – perhaps – is where it shows most blushingly. It is, after all, the world’s oldest profession; having thrived before the fall. In the beginning, when God began to create all the other pastim


Dengue: why I am distraught, but not destroyed, by a Govt.’s response to it

Views - 2224 Friday, 14 July 2017 00:00

With all due respect to those who have been afflicted by it, of course I am. While the desolation of the loss of a loved one to the deadly disease cannot be quantified, my position can be qualified by an argument which one hopes would not be inter


Out of SAITM, out of mind…

Views - 2070 Friday, 7 July 2017 00:09

Maybe the last thing we need is another pseudo-diagnostic comment on the vexed issue of private medical education. For no single piece – article, editorial, news feature – can hope to encompass the gamut of principles, values, passions


On which “beast’s” back does the burden of governance (not) rest?

Views - 2705 Friday, 23 June 2017 00:00

I was very hopeful when circumstances necessitated a national government of sorts in a hazy summer concatenation now long forgotten. At the time, we all thought the union of two major mainstream mindsets would result in a smorgasbord of good thing


‘Good governance’: waiting for Godot? and other fairy tales!

Views - 2747 Friday, 16 June 2017 00:00

  AWAIT: Godot – while Good Governance was critical of a previous administration bringing the Attorney-General’s Dept. under presidential purview and placing urban development in the hands of the de facto defence minister,


‘Good Governance’: Failure of a five-pillared process?

Views - 3127 Friday, 9 June 2017 00:00

When troubles come, they come not single spies but in battalions. And these days, the woes of the State as well as those of the Government are legion. Two months ago, the tragic collapse of that colossal trash-heap let loose a stink about the way


Nor any drop to drink

Views - 3010 Friday, 2 June 2017 00:04

I’LL DO MY CRYING IN THE RAIN: While the heavens weep, and people go to watery graves, politicians and planners whose principal duty is the welfare of their electorates drown in hypocrisy and cupidity. Then, as the flood waters rece


Mayday! Mayhem in the making?

Views - 3728 Friday, 26 May 2017 00:00

By the time you read this, you would have perused many pieces, no doubt, on the precarious state of the nation of late. The painful memories of April-May – Meethotamulla pitfall and the proposed appointment of a military panjandrum to curb,


Those who wait

Views - 4909 Friday, 7 April 2017 00:00

Today, 5 April, as I write, my heart is strangely at peace. Not because justice has been done… or even looks remotely like it will be done in a singular landmark killing… But because the heart has its own reasons (of which reason kno


‘Storm warning’: Weathering some turbulence with stressful words

Views - 5355 Friday, 31 March 2017 04:55

The weather these days is a little like the political climate. Early sunshine, clouds on the horizon towards afternoon, scattered thundershowers in the late evening. As far as the incumbent administration goes, the bright patches have scurried ove


Of new social contracts and ‘goon squads’ on social media

Views - 5166 Friday, 24 March 2017 02:08

I don’t often quote the United Nations (UN). Not because they don’t say sensible stuff. But because their sound bites are not as memorable as that which their opposition – rogue states, global terrorists – says. Because the


Falsely framing the money shot

Views - 5444 Friday, 17 March 2017 00:00

BOOM AND/OR BUST – on one hand congratulatory enthusiasm by the international monetary and political powers that be, coupled with handouts that underline their largesse as much as global commitment to Sri Lanka’s burgeoning investor an


The Battle of the Blasé

Views - 5372 Friday, 10 March 2017 00:00

IT’S NOT THE ECONOMY, STUPID – As dismal and discouraging as recent commentary in certain quarters might make Sri Lanka’s past and present financial and fiduciary showing to be, it’s stress and tension in other spheres that


A ‘House’ divided, and a country at crossroads

Views - 5700 Friday, 3 March 2017 00:00

In the past week or so, two news items of national interest have driven if not dominated some media discussion. The first was when a spokesman for the governing coalition reawakened a country’s dormant interest in the constitutional reform p


A ‘Big Match’ ban: Monkey business?

Views - 6104 Friday, 24 February 2017 00:00

FEVER – There is a sense in which tradition (not always defensible on rational grounds) is a rite of passage for politicians as much as for schoolboys in which to “Be (Thou) Forever” means players from all walks of life partake i


Of media freedom and other “myth”

Views - 5429 Wednesday, 15 February 2017 10:23

 FOURTH ESTATE, OR FIFTH COLUMN – “I may disagree with what you say. But I will to defend to the death your right to say it.” So much has been said and reams written on the nature and scope of the free media in Sri Lanka whi


A country sans corruption and other soft sixty-niners

Views - 5169 Thursday, 9 February 2017 00:00

 THE POLITICS OF PRINCIPLED PRECEPTS NOT PRACTISED? – When political messiahs ride to the rescue of a republic tottering under the totalitarianism of an oppressive regime, the people expected to be rescued from repression as much as rot


No! To Nugegoda as a Nuremberg?

Views - 6210 Tuesday, 31 January 2017 00:00

    The crowd is large. The scenery is packed with stormtroopers. The energy of the rally is tangible. In the street, banners defy the breeze. On stage, speakers define the new world order. On closer inspection, it appear


Make Sri Lanka great again?

Views - 5038 Wednesday, 25 January 2017 00:00

THE GREAT DIVIDES – While the powers that be plod the ‘Rubber tyres from Marangoni’ route, a more plebeian opposition is still shouting subversive slogans in the ears of folks for whom ‘Rice from the Moon’ is not too


A Prosperity Gospel on the peerless Silk Route

Views - 5059 Friday, 20 January 2017 00:04

  I was down south a little over a week ago today. At the increasingly misnamed Galle Literary Festival (GLF): which, in its more recent incarnations particularly, is more ‘culinary’ than ‘literary’! B


Today's Columnists

Media Freedom: alive and not so well… is it?

Friday, 22 September 2017

Today the only corpses in sight are those lining the bullpen – critics and social commentators who have fallen asleep at their desks, lulled by a democracy that offers peace but pre-empts justice. Oscar Wilde,


Rise of sustainable electric automobiles and the end of petrol and diesel vehicles

Friday, 22 September 2017

The past three years have been the hottest in recorded history and 2017 is already projected to be hotter than 2016! The cause for this heating up of the planet is clearly due to the excessive burning of fossil fuels.


The cry of ‘export or perish’ becoming real to Sri Lanka

Friday, 22 September 2017

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe speaking at the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) Annual Committee held in Colombo said for Sri Lanka to promote exports and investment, the Government will soon introduce several laws in


Why are interest rates high?

Thursday, 21 September 2017

The general public is concerned about the high level of interest rates prevailing in the recent past. Interest rates influences the day-to-day life of ordinary people as it is the benchmark for all economic decisions.


Columnists More