Columnists,Wijith DeChickera,Opinion and Issues

Courting democracy; Housing disaster?

Views - 438 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 - 188 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


The fault line in our joint fate

Views - 177 Friday, 9 November 2018 00:00

As we struggle to put it down in black and white today, the writing on the wall is still visible if fading. It suggests that Sri Lanka as an emerging democratic republic has been weighed in the scales and found wanting in the balance. And not simply


Politicians: the good, the bad, and the ugly

Views - 268 Thursday, 8 November 2018 00:00

I have been following Eran Wickramaratne for a long time. Not in the creepy way political animals hunt, track, or sniff each other out to play, mate, or slaughter. There is not much to be said for a mutual admiration society in which one servile crea


Of hype, hypocrisy, hysteria, homophobia – and, hope?

Views - 221 Wednesday, 7 November 2018 00:26

It is ironic that the rally to ‘guard a glory of the land’ gathered in plain sight of the empty grandeur of Parliament. For days before that, and since the presidential coup which undemocratically replaced one prime minister with another, irate p


Cards on the table, crisis in the House?

Views - 335 Tuesday, 6 November 2018 00:10

I am a democratic-republican, I believe. I believe in the will of the people as exercised through a majority mandate being invested in elected representatives. The checks and balances that the three arms of government bring, commonly known as divisio


Democracy under House arrest

Views - 464 Monday, 5 November 2018 00:10

At a recent launch of another of its public interest initiatives, Verité Research asked the provocative question: “Who owns the audience?” It was in relation to the media, and the Colombo-based think tank was seeking to keep the reading and view


Mea culpa! Step back to move forward? (Confessions of a Constitution reader...)

Views - 509 Friday, 2 November 2018 00:00

I am not often wrong. But when I err, I sometimes do so in spades. Sorry, but Homer nodded in his last column on many legal grounds. However, a ‘Mistake’ does not become a ‘Sin’ until or unless one refuses to acknowledge and rectify albeit in


Liberty at the barricades

Views - 475 Thursday, 1 November 2018 00:03

I am not a political animal. Not enamoured of personages, I have sought out principled politicians who could or should have rescued Sri Lanka from the mire and turned our blessed isle’s face towards the sun again – after a bitter and brutal war,


Pity the paltry state of a sick political culture

Views - 160 Wednesday, 31 October 2018 00:00

I am no constitutional or legal expert. But like most other politically-aware readers, I know what I like to see in my democratically-elected leaders. Sorry to say that despite being something of a maverick when it comes to the herd instinct, I agree


The dead ropes

Views - 584 Monday, 29 October 2018 00:14

In politics, as in life, there are no permanent friends – or enemies. All is in flux. When circumstances or situations change, people go with the flow. Rare is the man (or woman) in public life who stays rooted in one dear spot. Although we ‘grav


When shame and honour take the hypocritical centre stage

Views - 268 Friday, 19 October 2018 00:00

As human beings, we experience a gamut of emotions. These help individuals to express themselves, and authorities to exercise control over entire societies. The most common feelings engendered by our race span a spectrum from guilt and shame to fear.


The free media: but no such beast

Views - 244 Friday, 5 October 2018 00:00

I think we liberals are quite a bit mistaken about the so-called free media. Or at least are naïve or idealistic about it. We value the honesty, integrity and outspokenness of the Fourth Estate. Up to the very heart-stopping gut-wrenching moment whe


Of ‘Cardinal’ sin, error, virtue, etcetera

Views - 530 Tuesday, 2 October 2018 00:00

Of late, the deep state has been the least of my worries. It has not kept me awake at night since the doldrums of the post 2015 revolution – fiasco though that has turned out to be. But it is deeper states of mind – to do with faith and philosoph


Megalomaniacal Megalopolises

Views - 237 Friday, 28 September 2018 00:00

I note with interest the incumbent administration’s determination to develop our country’s rural periphery and the many paths it sees to get there. Then, as I read the related newspaper articles more closely, my active interest changes to anxious


The bald truth about fake news, etc.

Views - 228 Friday, 21 September 2018 00:00

In its most innocent forms, we may all enjoy a bit of ‘fake news’ and go to bed with a lighter heart and clean conscience. A meme on Facebook urging social media consumers to caution – “You can’t believe everything you read on the internet


Nuts to you, my dear sir

Views - 1197 Thursday, 13 September 2018 00:00

We all know airline food isn’t much to write home about. So when a sitting president makes international headlines over it, you know something’s up. Whatever it is, it’s not our national carrier’s image or reputation. If it was low before and


Bigger they are, harder they fall

Views - 452 Friday, 7 September 2018 00:00

So, the rally was a success. No, it wasn’t. Yes, it was, because it was bigger than ever and everyone knows that bigger is better. Also, beggars can’t be choosers, so we chose some scoundrels off the streets to represent us at the showdown (like


Yes sir, no sir, three bags full of **it

Views - 579 Thursday, 9 August 2018 00:00

I heard that a politico wants the people who call on him to address him as ‘sir’. He had put up a notice to that effect outside his office. It made me mad. It made me sad. It made me bad to know. There is only so much that we law-abiding citizens


Up, up and away – well, not quite away

Views - 165 Friday, 3 August 2018 00:00

I am writing in much lighter vein today, having dispensed with the drug mafia last week. But don’t let that weigh heavy


A shadow falls over a drugged republic?

Views - 213 Thursday, 26 July 2018 00:00

The political-signal-sending-savvy President’s outspoken call to execute drug dealers has been debated to the death – very nearly literally – most of the past fortnight or so. While prelates and clerics may have had their two cents’ worth to


Religion and politics: a tale of two hypocrisies

Views - 275 Friday, 20 July 2018 00:00

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief,


On leopards and other political animals being clubbed to death

Views - 222 Friday, 29 June 2018 00:10

I have a confession to make. Animals are among my favourite people – for, as Gerald Durrell might have suggested somewhere in his touching trilogy, they’re almost family. So when that poor leopard was clubbed to deat


Why we’re not so keen to keep nepotism in the family

Views - 330 Friday, 22 June 2018 00:00

Some years ago, when the then President of Sri Lanka came in for calumny for having his son accompany him in a prominent


Refuse and recuse in Cloud-Cuckoo-Land

Views - 328 Friday, 15 June 2018 00:38

I had a dream. That there were monsters ruling the land in the disguise of being military champions. But then some knights in slightly tarnished armour rode to the nation’s defence and liberated us from our saviours. And all was well again. At leas


Of GOPs, gobs and godforsaken ops

Views - 132 Friday, 8 June 2018 00:00

There was a time when one might have admired the country’s Grand Old Party (GOP). It was the party of the Grand Old Man


The Rain Maker

Views - 140 Friday, 1 June 2018 00:00

I had been penning long pieces using what the subeditors at your favourite daily are pleased to call ‘dictionary words’, the idiots – all such words are in a dic!


Nebulous in Never-Never Land

Views - 132 Friday, 25 May 2018 00:00

A wag said on social media recently that the inhabitants of our Blessed Isle must have liked the royal wedding so much


Train a hero not a zero

Views - 196 Friday, 18 May 2018 00:00

No man is a hero to his wife or cat. Maybe canines pass muster with men because the former idolise the latter. As much


Twin Piques

Views - 129 Friday, 11 May 2018 00:00

Two things bother me. More than two, really! But let’s just stick to politics


Today's Columnists

The Brahmin footprint in Sri Lankan history

Saturday, 17 November 2018

It is generally said that there are no genuine “Sri Lankan” Brahmins in the island today, and that those Brahmins who officiate as priests in Hindu kovils (temples) are of Indian origin with close ties with Tamil Nadu.


Country paying for Sirisena’s childlike behaviour

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Many were surprised on 26 October to see former President Rajapaksa being appointed Prime Minister by the very man who defeated him a couple years ago, at a considerable risk to himself and to those who helped him win the election. Then events beca


The JR-MR effect

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Sri Lanka over the last few weeks has experienced a twin crisis. One is political provoked by its Constitution, and the other economic engendered by its politics. However, this crisis is the combined effect of two previous presidencies, those of J.R.


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


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