Columnists,Wijith DeChickera,Opinion and Issues

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

Views - 498 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 - 518 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 - 1097 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 - 593 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 - 401 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 - 821 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 - 439 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 - 170 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 - 145 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 - 256 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 - 411 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 - 105 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 - 168 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 - 270 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 - 173 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 - 196 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 - 266 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 - 347 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 - 315 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 - 406 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 - 218 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 - 1134 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 - 426 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 - 509 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 - 400 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 - 370 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 - 1068 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 - 303 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 - 256 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 - 458 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


Today's Columnists

Those who go by social proof are easy prey to crafty schemers

Monday, 17 June 2019

Going after social proof Swiss writer and novelist, Rolf Dobelli, in one of the essays in his 2013 book ‘The Art of Thinking Clearly’, has given a fine warning to his readers. He has warned against going by ‘social proof’ or ‘majority view


Poson ponderings on positional power: ‘Authority vested’ vs. ‘authority wasted’

Monday, 17 June 2019

We witnessed a serene Poson Poya, in a far more improved security setting in Sri Lanka. Whilst the Sri Lankan life slowly returning to normal, political fronts do not appear to show the same. Has the political power become the people ‘pava’ (sin)


Emperors without clothes: Is Mother Lanka naked too?

Monday, 17 June 2019

The expression ‘The Emperor without clothes’ derives from the Hans Anderson tale that is based on Sufi wisdom. The Emperor in Anderson’s story was without doubt, the finest dressed man in the land and he loved wearing fine clothes and spent al


The confusion of the collision is becoming indescribable!

Monday, 17 June 2019

Strange are the things we are witnessing in the political scene. The fast-evaporating trust and confidence in politicians and the Government are seriously destroying the harmony of the nation. The Prime Minister of the country has admitted that the


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