Columnists,Wijith DeChickera,Opinion and Issues

Democracy under House arrest

Views - 480 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 - 521 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 - 494 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 - 170 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 - 604 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 - 282 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 - 276 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 - 548 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 - 269 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 - 254 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 - 1218 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 - 464 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 - 597 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 - 175 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 - 228 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 - 283 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 - 229 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 - 350 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 - 336 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 - 137 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 - 147 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 - 141 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 - 201 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 - 136 Friday, 11 May 2018 00:00

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


Happy New Year, er, or identity

Views - 141 Tuesday, 17 April 2018 00:54

A lamentable trend in national affairs of late has been to interpret reality on the surface of the status quo. If it is managed spectacles like no-confidence motions that divert attention from unpopular fiscal policy, for instance, we pick our horse


Pen still not mightier than the sword of cheap political talk

Views - 336 Thursday, 5 April 2018 00:00

Today, 5 April, as I write, my heart is strangely still at peace since the same time last year. Not because justice has been done… or even looks remotely like it will ever be done in a singular landmark killing on our once war-torn landscape. But b


Caesar’s seizure and a common candidate

Views - 277 Friday, 16 March 2018 00:00

Today (as I write, on 15 March) is a red-letter day for democratic-republicanism. It commemorates the occasion on which a klatch


Dark side of the noonday for netizens

Views - 109 Wednesday, 14 March 2018 00:00

I don’t know when power will come back on, and the people of politico-suburbia be reunited on social media. But at the time of writing


Free Wi-Fi but Facebook fails

Views - 317 Friday, 9 March 2018 00:10

Just one thing today. TGIF. Hope together with the rest of pluralism embracing Sri Lanka that Jumma brings some measure


A big match between fire and fury

Views - 533 Wednesday, 7 March 2018 00:00

If you live in Sri Lanka and truly love it, what’s happening right now must hurt “real bad” (as the vulgar phrase goes).


Today's Columnists

The chainsaw massacre and other ‘lawful’ horror stories

Friday, 22 February 2019

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


What went wrong with Sri Lanka?

Friday, 22 February 2019

If Sri Lanka wants to get out of the present miserable situation, it needs to make a profound change, a paradigm shift in the way it views at everything including the religious, political and economic issues. Such a change could be made only by loo


Regulating foreign workers now a top priority

Friday, 22 February 2019

Sri Lanka is today facing a domestic labour shortage in some key sectors and industries. While demographic, social attitudes, expansion of the economy and outward labour emigration are contributing to the shortfall. Generally a lack of interest in ce


Using the RTI regime as a catalyst for development

Friday, 22 February 2019

President Barack Obama stated the following in issuing a memorandum on the Freedom of Information Act on his first day in Office in 2009. “The presumption of disclosure also means agencies should take affirmative steps to make information public. A


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