Wijith DeChickera

Woozy on the boozy big picture

Views - 212 Friday, 26 January 2018 00:00

Welcome me back with a stiff one, cheerful reader, I’m coming to this party a little late. While I was away on vacation


A Clarke orbit not swung round in

Views - 176 Friday, 22 December 2017 00:00

In his 1930 poem W. H. Auden issued this challenge: “Let us honour if we can / the vertical man / though we value none / but the horizontal one/”


Media freedom – the other side of democratic midnight

Views - 116 Friday, 15 December 2017 03:10

Last week I challenged the powers that be to walk the talk on media freedom. Because it had become increasingly obvious that only murder and...


A ‘media conspiracy’ and the real McCoy

Views - 359 Friday, 8 December 2017 00:00

I won’t beat about the bush today. I don’t want to talk about stuff and nonsense when there are better things to discuss such as ‘enterprising’ budgets and how this Government’s growth and development initiatives are made of ‘star stuff


The ‘disappointments’ of a true democracy

Views - 149 Friday, 24 November 2017 00:00

I was distraught to discover the other day that our Head of State had allegedly caused some distress to a naïve young politico.


Starship budgets and the “Bicycle Brigade”

Views - 195 Friday, 17 November 2017 00:08

One has only to read the wide and varied responses to Budget 2018 (B18) to realise how fissured our society is.


Running on full in a “Fuel’s Paradise”

Views - 214 Friday, 10 November 2017 00:10

It would be punny if it weren’t pathetic. I won’t floor the pedal on the issue – even though it is quite a gas. Because by now (even if your tank is still empty – and especially if it is) you must have had it ‘up to here’ with all the


House under water

Views - 215 Thursday, 2 November 2017 00:00

There were a few things that would get us island folk in a flap in days gone by. Cricket, coconut spirits, cost of living – these about cut it then. Today you can add constitutional reform to the heady mix that has us islanders ready to get our sar


Meritocracy in a Democracy and other oxymoron-morons

Views - 223 Friday, 27 October 2017 00:00

Every now and again some state mandarin will make a statement that reminds people (ok, me) of Monty Python’s “Flying Circus”.


Priming the pump to make your MP jump

Views - 431 Friday, 20 October 2017 00:00

Here’s a radical idea. What if – instead of liking it or lumping it as you do for years on end – the voter could hold his or her Member of Parliament accountable for their performance?


That big bad wolf is out to get you!

Views - 390 Friday, 13 October 2017 00:00

I think you know what one means. There is always someone else whose fault it is that life sucks.


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

Views - 195 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 - 198 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 - 541 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 - 285 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 - 812 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 - 1210 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 - 1564 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 - 1506 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 - 1690 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 - 1755 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 - 1865 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 - 2264 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 - 2109 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 - 2743 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 - 2793 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 - 3187 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 - 3047 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 - 3757 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 - 4956 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


Today's Columnists

Finishing the job of ending poverty in South Asia

Thursday, 18 October 2018

“I have a four-year-old son back in my village. I want to make a better life for him,” says Sharmin Akhtar, a 19-year-old employee in one of Dhaka’s many flourishing garment factories. Like thousands of other poor women, Sharmin came down to B


Depreciating rupee: Avoiding a money-go-round

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Sri Lanka’s excessive reliance on foreign capital to finance investment under favourable external financial conditions is now leading to disruptions, as those conditions change in a decisive interest rate tightening phase in the United States. As U


Responsible water stewardship in Sri Lanka

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Unlike many of our regional neighbours, Sri Lanka is blessed with an abundant water table. However, many companies do not feel the full value of this precious resource due to the limited regulation and monitoring of fresh water extraction for busines


Economy in disarray, banks flourishing; can this be true?

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

It is earlier reported that the growth in bank credit accelerated in August despite the tight credit and money conditions and rising non-performing loans in the banking sector. It is further reported that the year-on-year (YoY) growth in credit accel


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