Columnists

The Battle of the Blasé

Views - 5379 Friday, 10 March 2017 00:00

IT’S NOT THE ECONOMY, STUPID – As dismal and discouraging as recent commentary in certain quarters might make Sri Lanka’s past and present financial and fiduciary showing to be, it’s stress and tension in other spheres that


A ‘House’ divided, and a country at crossroads

Views - 5716 Friday, 3 March 2017 00:00

In the past week or so, two news items of national interest have driven if not dominated some media discussion. The first was when a spokesman for the governing coalition reawakened a country’s dormant interest in the constitutional reform p


A ‘Big Match’ ban: Monkey business?

Views - 6115 Friday, 24 February 2017 00:00

FEVER – There is a sense in which tradition (not always defensible on rational grounds) is a rite of passage for politicians as much as for schoolboys in which to “Be (Thou) Forever” means players from all walks of life partake i


Of media freedom and other “myth”

Views - 5442 Wednesday, 15 February 2017 10:23

 FOURTH ESTATE, OR FIFTH COLUMN – “I may disagree with what you say. But I will to defend to the death your right to say it.” So much has been said and reams written on the nature and scope of the free media in Sri Lanka whi


A country sans corruption and other soft sixty-niners

Views - 5185 Thursday, 9 February 2017 00:00

 THE POLITICS OF PRINCIPLED PRECEPTS NOT PRACTISED? – When political messiahs ride to the rescue of a republic tottering under the totalitarianism of an oppressive regime, the people expected to be rescued from repression as much as rot


No! To Nugegoda as a Nuremberg?

Views - 6223 Tuesday, 31 January 2017 00:00

    The crowd is large. The scenery is packed with stormtroopers. The energy of the rally is tangible. In the street, banners defy the breeze. On stage, speakers define the new world order. On closer inspection, it appear


Make Sri Lanka great again?

Views - 5059 Wednesday, 25 January 2017 00:00

THE GREAT DIVIDES – While the powers that be plod the ‘Rubber tyres from Marangoni’ route, a more plebeian opposition is still shouting subversive slogans in the ears of folks for whom ‘Rice from the Moon’ is not too


A Prosperity Gospel on the peerless Silk Route

Views - 5076 Friday, 20 January 2017 00:04

  I was down south a little over a week ago today. At the increasingly misnamed Galle Literary Festival (GLF): which, in its more recent incarnations particularly, is more ‘culinary’ than ‘literary’! B


‘Humbugstota’ and more humbling happenings: Moral fable sans morale

Views - 5344 Friday, 13 January 2017 00:00

The sun rises in the south. While Colombo sleeps peacefully and the rest of Sri Lanka slumbers fitfully. Many times before, the first stirrings of dissent have been felt south of the border between patrician illusion and plebeian reality. In time


An Epiphany for Egregious Governance

Views - 5210 Friday, 6 January 2017 00:00

THE USUAL SUSPECTS – While those who committed the media crime of the century still skulk about, an unhappy band of pilgrims continues to make an annual commitment to a graveside vigil. When Government will act with true vigour and


The Grinch that stole Good Government’s Christmas gift

Views - 5724 Thursday, 29 December 2016 08:15

GOOD GOVERNANCE GIVETH, AND GOOD GOVERNANCE TAKETH AWAY – The unspeakable, unutterable, unfathomable gift was the focus of Christmases past. Maybe as the New Year dawns and the Caravans of Constitutional Republicanism hasten toward


A voice from the past

Views - 4869 Thursday, 22 December 2016 00:00

A DEAD RINGER FOR DUPLICITY – While the republic reels under the regime-normalising deceptiveness of realpolitik, voices from the past speak to their former readership from beyond the grave and their present polity in funereal tones


Is the Ship of State listing to Port?

Views - 5055 Friday, 16 December 2016 00:05

SHIPWRECK? – Between the Scylla of statesmanship turned sour and the Charybdis of allegations of corruption and politicisation, the ship of state is floundering in troubled waters. But it doesn’t have to end in tears; for thos


Governance: On the bus! Or has it missed the bus?

Views - 5038 Friday, 9 December 2016 00:01

‘ISSARAHA BAHINAWAA’ – civil society’s proclivity is bow out of a crowded bus when private interests and partisan agendas win the argument over reason and responsibility; but now, more than ever perhaps, is the tim


Plod, Goon, and other PG-rated plug-uglies

Views - 4667 Friday, 2 December 2016 00:01

I have a confession to make. A visit to the local constabulary reduces me – never the bravest of scribes, anyway (because I have far too much imagination to be sanguine about such things) – to a gibbering wreck. Of course, to be fair,


State monies and shadow missions

Views - 4815 Tuesday, 29 November 2016 00:01

My wife earns more than I do. I sometimes feel a worm on account of it. And other times I rationalise the income disparity. To each their own. We all make choices in life. Political, social, economic. One opts to work full-time in the formal econo


We all live in a Whitened Submarine

Views - 3278 Thursday, 24 November 2016 00:01

CROSSING GUARD – Perhaps we don’t need to enact new legislation to curb the free flow of dangerous chauvinist traffic into the mainstream of political discourse. Maybe a more meaningful response to moonstruck madness would be


The last trump, the last trick

Views - 3339 Friday, 18 November 2016 00:00

Some men lead lives of quiet desperation. Poets, philosophers, people in the street or on plebeian public transport, taxpaying citizens hard-pressed by budgetary policy and burgeoning prices. Far from the cut and thrust of parliamentary politics,


Jackboot off Journalism?

Views - 3484 Tuesday, 8 November 2016 00:01

DEAD AND ALIVE – The ghosts of a generation of lost journalists still haunt the corridors of power today. Their deaths, or abductions, or disappearances, may have taken place under a previous government’s myopic watch. True en


COPEing with the fallout

Views - 2888 Tuesday, 1 November 2016 00:01

The COPE report on the CBSL imbroglio was a shower of blessings. In the end, it was evidently unbiased and unabridged. It looked the chief suspects of the bond scam squarely in the eye, collared them, and didn’t pull its punches. The Full Mo


Who will guard the guards, when the wardens ward off the law for friends?

Views - 3022 Friday, 28 October 2016 00:01

  SIT IT OUT, NOT QUIT IT!? – Concur or conquer, the machinery of state as in CIABOC as much as the engine of legislative oversight per COPE must be paramount over petty politicking and personal agendas. Pity, then, that agents


Aiyo, sirrah! The last hurrah?

Views - 3344 Thursday, 20 October 2016 00:00

While you were sleeping, some of us dreaming, the world of words changed overnight. Quietly, while almost no one was watching, a superb Sri Lankan expression entered the English language. “Aiyo.” The perfect interjection or exclamation


Brats 3.0 and acting the goat

Views - 3282 Wednesday, 12 October 2016 00:01

BOYS WILL BE BOYS? – was once the war-cry of a plethora of pestilential political progeny – it seems the plague isn’t over… and pesky violators of the public peace are perhaps the casus belli of goon-fuelled perso


Heroes and zeroes who write history

Views - 3142 Friday, 7 October 2016 00:40

History is not what happened. History is what you can – or choose to –remember. However our local history these days is being written by three sets of political actors with a triad of distinct powers of recall. Howbeit this unholy trin


Bringing up the bodies – again

Views - 3437 Wednesday, 28 September 2016 00:01

One government cruelly executes bothersome editors acting as the gadfly conscience of a war-wracked country. Another government carefully – or is it carelessly – exhumes the body. Feels like we have watched the procession of a


People’s representatives as a workforce in power

Views - 3056 Friday, 23 September 2016 00:01

Awake, O sleepers, the time to do some real work has come! Admit it. The headline floored you. There you were on a Friday morning muttering “TGIF!” loudly and fervently if you’re the boss… or furtively und


Give me liberty, or give me death! (or better yet, at least a cool beer at day’s end)

Views - 2820 Thursday, 15 September 2016 00:00

One thing you can count on to see our island-race through some tough times is our legendary sense of resilience. (I’m going to ignore the racists who think there’s more than one race – the human – in our blessed isle.) The


To Ban or not to Ban, that is key to ‘truth’

Views - 3070 Thursday, 8 September 2016 00:06

THERE’S A NEW MOON – it’s once in a blue moon that the stars align in Sri Lanka’s favour; and now that the star players in Sri Lanka’s lately shining-in-the-West political firmament have lined up all the majo


MS and the Managed Spectacle

Views - 3125 Thursday, 1 September 2016 00:10

WHEN TROUBLES COME – an under-siege chief executive is fast discovering that the singular joy of being the Democratic-Republican project’s cherished common candidate is easily undermined by dint of being the Joint Opposition&r


An old presidential ethic, or a new political culture?

Views - 2727 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


Today's Columnists

Why are farmers not utilising their lands and watching them go to waste despite Government efforts?

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Ramanathan (not his real name), a land owner, received a letter from the Govi Jana Sevaya, stating that his fields and some bare lands have not been cultivated for several years.


Betrayal of a Bodhisattva

Thursday, 14 December 2017

‘Koley iragena angey halaganta epa. Londery hathakinn suddda karanta behe’ is the advice in pithy Sinhala idiom, the President offered to his critics and opponents in a recent homily delivered at Nikaweratiya.


India-Sri Lanka economic relations in Modi’s India

Thursday, 14 December 2017

The relationship between Sri Lanka and India has always been characterised by surprises, setbacks and progress, and the three years of the Modi Government in India have not been an exception


Kodak moments for Sri Lanka Tourism

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

It was quite disheartening to see the tourism numbers for November 2017 dropping to 167,511 visitors at 0.2% growth against


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