Columnists

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

Views - 4683 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 - 4835 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 - 3294 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 - 3364 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 - 3511 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 - 2910 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 - 3044 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 - 3373 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 - 3303 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 - 3162 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 - 3465 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 - 3073 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 - 2833 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 - 3091 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 - 3141 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 - 2740 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 - 2600 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 - 2645 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 - 2465 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 - 2576 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 - 2951 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 - 2498 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 - 3097 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 - 2391 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 - 2343 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 - 2444 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 - 2307 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 - 2384 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 - 2693 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 - 2405 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


Today's Columnists

Taking sides – on the side of the law

Monday, 19 November 2018

I am under criticism for “taking sides” in the ongoing dispute between the UNF and UPFA. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has accused me thus: “Yesterday a commissioner from the Elections Commission went to the Supreme Court saying that the P


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

Monday, 19 November 2018

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


The only way out

Monday, 19 November 2018

Leaving aside the legalities, politicalities, constitutionalities and the complexities of the current imbroglio in which the nation is grounded (temporarily), the underlying issues in the constitutional crisis can be reduced to one single question: a


Man-made constitutional crisis: Personal vendettas should not be allowed to destroy the country

Monday, 19 November 2018

President is simply one presiding over an entity of people It all came to surface as the culmination of a personal vendetta between President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The country at large knew of it when the Pre


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