Wijith DeChickera

A new ‘Do Not Attempt’ approach to nation-building and other non-starters

Views - 207 Friday, 2 March 2018 00:00

A recent announcement from the retiring editor of a citizen-journalism forum had us reaching for our French dick. It said, “Plus ca change.


Something happened out there, but what’s going on in here right now?

Views - 210 Friday, 23 February 2018 00:00

I have a confession to make. Yours truly has really lost track of what’s happening in the arena we call national politics.


Move on, mandate still in place

Views - 458 Wednesday, 14 February 2018 00:10

In the post polls blogosphere, sundry pundits are having a field day. It is open mic session in media, both social and mainstream


Polls: war by other means

Views - 290 Friday, 9 February 2018 00:00

By the time you read this heaven knows what other cat our political leadership would have let out of the diplomatic bag.


The new math or the same old matrix

Views - 192 Wednesday, 7 February 2018 00:00

If members of parliament are O-Level-failed, it’s a failure of the legislature that reflects poorly on the struggling electorate as much as on state education


Is there LIFE in an old republic?

Views - 205 Friday, 2 February 2018 00:00

I feel something queer come over me, as the actress said to the bishop. There’s a certain je ne sais quoi in the air these days


Woozy on the boozy big picture

Views - 221 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 - 188 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 - 131 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 - 368 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 - 157 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 - 202 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 - 223 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 - 225 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 - 234 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 - 442 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 - 399 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 - 217 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 - 210 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 - 554 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 - 292 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 - 825 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 - 1222 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 - 1573 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 - 1516 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 - 1700 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 - 1765 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 - 1881 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 - 2278 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 - 2121 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


Today's Columnists

Discipline and freedom under the reign of Gota

Saturday, 23 February 2019

There’s nothing like a well-crafted marketing slogan for a prospective Presidential candidate. Gotabaya Rajapaksa is emerging more clearly into the daylight as the Opposition’s candidate for executive president. Against a redone image in the back


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


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