Columnists

Heroes and zeroes who write history

Views - 3144 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 - 3439 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 - 3057 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 - 2821 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 - 3071 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 - 3126 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 - 2729 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 - 2579 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 - 2618 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 - 2446 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 - 2549 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 - 2929 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 - 2480 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 - 3074 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 - 2376 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 - 2327 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 - 2429 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 - 2285 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 - 2362 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 - 2675 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 - 2388 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 - 2567 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 - 2459 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 - 2914 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 - 2458 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 - 2290 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 - 2508 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 - 2228 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 - 2239 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 - 2113 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


Today's Columnists

Ranil’s tactical success, Mahinda’s strategic victory

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Who will defeat the UNP? The people, with or without the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. That was proved at the local government


Betraying the very foundation of the Unity Government- Consensus

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Soon after the results of the Local Government bodies were released, it was reported that the President wanted the resignation of the Prime Minister


Sri Lankan consumer under pressure

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Whilst Sri Lanka is grappling to understand how to structure the Government to run the country, the reality is thWhilst Sri Lanka


More of the same

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Those of you who’ve read what I have written over the years could, justifiably, experience a sense of déjà vu as you read what follows. That said, I will make no apology for the burden of this piece because it will, again, state the eternal verit


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