Columnists

An old presidential ethic, or a new political culture?

Views - 2744 Friday, 26 August 2016 00:06

  THE X FILES – the more some things change, the more they remain the same… You could think we would know better by now not to make future heroes out of former zeroes. We have had our idolatrous fingers burned by


A rip in time and militating against the fall of night...

Views - 2604 Friday, 19 August 2016 00:01

  RAGE AGAINST THE DYING OF THE LIGHT – The debacle in the House last Friday pales in comparison with the desolation suffered (and still being experienced) by a lost generation of Sri Lankans today. While passing and/or blocking


Memories of midnight

Views - 2646 Friday, 12 August 2016 00:04

THE LONG MARCH – not so much a blast from the past, but a whimper from the world of wishful thinking? That the juggernaut which once swept everything in its path from Colombo to Kataragama (Pãda Yãthrã 1.0) &nda


Ignorant armies march by day

Views - 2468 Friday, 5 August 2016 00:00

  MARCH – Pointless foot-soldiery of a passé regime, or potent force for present and future political-culture change?   When 1.5 million people vote with their feet, governments get noticeably, unders


The New Republic: Making it or Faking it?

Views - 2586 Friday, 29 July 2016 00:00

A week and more ago, those of us who remembered celebrated humanity’s greatest adventure yet: our first (manned spacecraft) moon landing on 20 July 1969. And yet a significant segment of web-crawlers still believes that the whole operation w


“Nationalist” Government – to counter nationalistic rhetoric?

Views - 2954 Friday, 22 July 2016 00:00

NOT BY MIGHT, NOR BY POWER – The spirit of a nascent Sri Lankan nationalism (inclusive, tolerant, Other-embracing) might be compromised if Government and civil society together don’t challenge competing nationalisms Ca


A Coalition that seems all at C

Views - 2501 Thursday, 14 July 2016 00:00

CORRUPTION – that third C in the triad, not mentioned in the article below with its other two companions: Car-pālanaya and Comrade-principled politics – comes in many forms, shapes, and disguises. Governments touting Good Gov


All the President’s mien

Views - 3100 Thursday, 7 July 2016 00:00

Much ink has been spilled over the alleged (we’re still COPE-ing) CBSL bond scam, the stubborn refusal to deal with an issue, power-plays around personalities and preferences rather than principles, and the value of compromise in a republic


Soft exit strategy for silent old guard, while our young republican watchdogs bay for blood

Views - 2395 Wednesday, 29 June 2016 00:00

  The silent treatment   It’s the clever young man who writes a column for another newspaper who made me realise for the first time what’s really wrong. He was so clear and trés articulate that


Heroes, heroin, and the shadow republic

Views - 2350 Wednesday, 22 June 2016 00:00

 Drug busts of gargantuan dimensions signal that detection is ongoing, even if a crackdown on crime cartels in the present does not necessarily mean that past offenders will be brought to book by the same measure. Turf wars of yore which rema


Pragmatic democracy and other disasters

Views - 2445 Wednesday, 15 June 2016 00:00

 How can the new political culture justify excesses such as supplementary estimates amounting to billions of rupees amidst exigencies such as natural and unnatural disasters burying its people under tragedy, death, and taxes? How a superfluit


Attack of the Corrupt Clones

Views - 2312 Wednesday, 8 June 2016 00:00

The London 2016 Global Anticorruption Summit (GAS) may have supplied practitioners of the classic island defence of retreating to the high moral ground when under attack with fresh inspiration and ammunition to ward off hostile media tryi


The sound of silence deafens democracy?

Views - 2389 Wednesday, 1 June 2016 00:00

   Courtesy: Osho News    Before anything critical of our crumbling republican government (the ‘GG’s) is further essayed, one thing must be said. The dogs may bark, but the caravan moves on m


Noah’s Albatross and Postdiluvian Politics

Views - 2698 Friday, 27 May 2016 00:00

 APRÈS MOI, LE DÉLUGE! In the aftermath of the Great Flood of 2016, if Sri Lanka is to Build Back Better, the political leadership must be instrumental in syncing Government actors and State agencies in working together with gre


Presidential sonatas in five not-so easy pieces

Views - 2408 Friday, 20 May 2016 00:05

    There’s a nip in the air these days … and I don’t mean the depressive cyclonic weather that we’ve been flooded by. It’s the windy, heady, overflow of adrenaline that comes once in a whil


Has our whole House gone with the wind?

Views - 2587 Friday, 13 May 2016 00:10

 CAPTAIN SRI LANKA: CIVIL WAR – While the nation struggles to transform itself from a post-war to a post-conflict society, our elected representatives appear to have set an ironic agenda for themselves – to bicker and brawl like t


Who let the war-dogs out – again?

Views - 2484 Saturday, 7 May 2016 00:00

We hear with some interest the recent argument of the Prime Minister that the free media has a fair share of the blame to bear for the spread of anti-republican “scare-tactic type” rumours. Speaking on the occasion of a day to commemor


On the fast track – or on the road to dusty death?

Views - 2948 Friday, 29 April 2016 00:00

THE WRITING IS ON THE WALLSTRÖM: Sri Lanka is looking increasingly like the prettiest girl on the beach in this region. Here, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera and his Swedish counterpart Margot Wallström parley about the i


A time to reflect – and refocus

Views - 2481 Wednesday, 20 April 2016 00:00

GO EAST, YOUNG MAN/ WOMAN/ AND CHILD! As the sun rises over the shallow waters of Passikudah Bay in Sri Lanka’s once war-torn north-east, the mind’s eye begins to envision what a new nation-state consolidated by its new social


Out with the old, in with the new?!

Views - 2318 Tuesday, 12 April 2016 00:01

Sri Lanka is on the cusp of something. Not just #avurudu, which is *aluth* every new year... when the sun transits from the House of Mina (Pisces) to the House of Mesha (Aries), metaphorically showing a new face to a world it supposedly rules. But


The Mãnâpá Papers

Views - 2543 Friday, 8 April 2016 00:00

April is the cruellest month, I wrote in these columns last Friday. Not only usually because *aluth avurudda* is a time when the unkindest cuts (power outages, price hikes, pointless protests, pretty little progress in poverty reduction) affect th


April the cruellest month, after these unkindest cuts

Views - 2253 Friday, 1 April 2016 00:00

THE WASTE LAND: Government resorting to staging protests, Joint Opposition rallies to regroup split parties with splinter groups, mercurial weather gods, a dry and parched populace bereft of both ‘good’ governance and or &lsqu


Ignorant armies clash by night

Views - 2263 Friday, 25 March 2016 00:00

Power struggles are par for the course in developing political-economies (so they say). People power will be exercised at election time to redress power imbalances (so you hope). Problem is no political party is likely to really want to t


More power to the people

Views - 2145 Wednesday, 16 March 2016 00:00

Denmark produces some 140% of its power demand from alternative energy sources such as wind power – so much more than its domestic needs that it exports electricity to neighbouring Scandinavia and even Germany. Sri Lanka once envisa


Occupy Sri Lanka! Be there, or be square?

Views - 2585 Friday, 11 March 2016 00:00

 Occupy The Square – like its inspiration, Occupy Wall Street – was a flash-movement created on social media and driven by the passionate intensity of a few likeminded liberals sensing that an injustice had been done to civilian l


Governance awards: The ‘Oscar’ goes to...

Views - 3053 Friday, 4 March 2016 00:05

  Some things change. Some things don’t. Sometimes, the more things change the more they stay the same. Plus ҫa change. Plus c’est la même chose. The 88th Annual Academy Awards, 2016 – more colloqu


Ravana and his rabid roadhogs

Views - 2593 Friday, 26 February 2016 00:00

    THE KING OF LANKA: Far be it from us to be alarmist! But there may be a move on to tap into the latently mythical psyche of the Lankan soul... And the aggro of road-trippers in a remote village of an ancient kingdom m


The names game

Views - 1920 Friday, 19 February 2016 00:00

  A legendary Aussie PM once said in a speech to the Australian Labour Party: “I do not mind the liberals, still less do I mind the country party, calling me a b*st*rd. In some circumstances, I am only doing my job if they do! But


Flagging belief in freedom’s bells

Views - 2095 Monday, 8 February 2016 00:00

Much ado about nothing? The singing of the national anthem in Tamil on 4 February has generated controversy, constitutional invocations, and no small measure of churlishness, in some quarters of ‘civil’ society. After 68 years of freed


Fourth Estate or Fifth Column?

Views - 1826 Friday, 5 February 2016 00:00

MEN IN THE MEDIA LIMELIGHT: President Sirisena – slated to be Sri Lanka’s last 1978-style chief executive – looks and sounds somewhat uncomfortable under the glare of the unforgiving spotlight these days, despite the pre


Today's Columnists

All the presidents’ mien

Monday, 21 January 2019

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


Banks should subsume technology before technology subsumes them

Monday, 21 January 2019

Returning to IBSL is like ‘coming home’ It is a privilege for me to return to the Institute of Bankers of Sri Lanka, popularly known as IBSL, after the lapse of some 10 years. I had a long association with IBSL from its very beginning – from ar


Ravi K’s discourse on W.A. Wijewardena’s involvement in Treasury bond issue

Monday, 21 January 2019

In his article published previously in the Daily FT, Ravi Karunanayake (the MOF during the period of the infamous CBSL bond scam) appears to have attemptedto pull wool over the eyes andto make a mountain out of a molehill. This exercise gives an impr


Making democracy a national heritage

Monday, 21 January 2019

We are in the year of elections. It is the season of political name calling. Everybody is busy conferring some name on some body. Neo liberal, liberal, dictator, fascist, neo fascist, NGO agent, imperialist lackey are some of these devices that come


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