Columnists,Wijith DeChickera,Opinion and Issues

The plate tectonics of local-global coup politics

Views - 257 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 - 460 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


MS, RW and MR must put the country first

Views - 152 Friday, 23 November 2018 00:00

The events that unfolded on 26 October have led the country towards an unprecedented chaos. Almost a month later, we are still awaiting a firm interpretation of the decisions and the credibility of actions while pondering if all the sudden changes ha


Coup Sri Lanka: some winners, mostly losers

Views - 1600 Wednesday, 21 November 2018 00:00

As a president proves shockingly stubborn, a nation waits with baited breath as to what His Excellency the loose cannon on a rocky slope will do next. Two Prime Ministers and the fates of their respective parliamentary groups hang in the balance lik


Hang the House! It’s OUR country, future, etc.

Views - 629 Monday, 19 November 2018 00:10

I have rarely if ever empathised with the Sri Lanka Police Department. But when I saw those hapless cops ducking chilli bombs in Parliament, my heart went out to those whom I had previously seen as simply being PC Plods or Mr Goons. Sorry to say that


Courting democracy; Housing disaster?

Views - 510 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 - 215 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 - 205 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 - 357 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 - 243 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 - 371 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 - 492 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 - 541 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 - 508 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 - 179 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 - 618 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 - 293 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 - 293 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 - 569 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 - 295 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 - 281 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 - 1232 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 - 478 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 - 616 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 - 184 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 - 250 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 - 294 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 - 238 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 - 365 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 - 344 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


Today's Columnists

Tea with NM

Saturday, 20 July 2019

One of my most treasured memories is that of NM, better known as Dr. N.M. Perera. It was when I was a student in the UK that I first met him. NM was already a formidable left leader in Sri Lanka, an accomplished parliamentarian, a larger-than-life fi


Biosphere will one day be replaced by technosphere

Saturday, 20 July 2019

I am now nearly 90 and in my lifetime I have seen and heard the world changing so fast that homo sapiens (Latin: “wise man”), the species to which all modern human beings belong, are changing into a technology-dependent sub species, . Homo sapien


Expand employer-backed childcare to close the gender gap in Sri Lanka

Friday, 19 July 2019

In Sri Lanka, women’s formal workforce participation is at only 36%, compared with 75% for men. Sri Lanka could raise its gross domestic product by as much as 20% in the long-run by closing the gender gap in the workforce, according to one estimate


Who should be our next president?

Friday, 19 July 2019

After the recent terrorist attacks and the subsequent violence unleashed against innocent Muslims by racists, Sri Lankans are searching for a leader who can save the country. Many have lost faith in the leaders, due to the breakdown in the security a


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