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A strategy to deal with Modi

The just-concluded general elections in India have clear significance in the entire region, including Sri Lanka — and especially when there is a new dispensation of unknown qualities at the helm of affairs in New Delhi. The theory across the board is that the election of Shri Narendra Modi from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) [...]

Yes to Pope; No to Dalai Lama

The announcement earlier this week that the popular Pope Francis would make a State visit to Colombo on the invitation of the Government of Sri Lanka would have warmed the hearts of the Sri Lankan Catholic population. Visits by Sri Lankan leaders from the President onwards, regular pilgrim parties and a local Cardinal with strong links [...]

Vesak: Turn the lights inward

Sri Lanka commemorates the birth, enlightenment and passing away of Lord Buddha with Vesak Poya falling next week. More money is now spent on heralding this thrice-blessed event than ever before. The major cities are illuminated with pandals, lanterns and multi-coloured electric bulbs. In northern Jaffna, the Security Forces are putting up the tallest pandal [...]

The workers forgotten on May Day

May Day has come and gone and the working class will need to wait until next year to be commemorated again. In the intervening 364 days, the working people will face the overt threat of Police riot squads and water cannon if they take to the streets making demands, and the covert moves by the [...]

India: Vibrant democracy, but no Pancha Seela

India — the ‘biggest democracy on planet Earth’ is now voting to elect a new Government. There is no hint of vote rigging. There is no abuse of State machinery, and even if there was, a truly independent Elections Commission with ‘teeth’ to prosecute the high and mighty can impose strictures. These are elections where [...]

Whispering hope

Around this time last year, the country was witnessing a bizarre onslaught on the Muslim community by a miniscule but vocal section of the majority community. Just when a long drawn-out insurgency had been put down, racial tension rose to a peak with a new foe. It was a case of the insensitivity of one [...]

The ghosts of the LTTE

The decision by the Government to list a host of organisations that largely mushroomed after the LTTE (Tamil Tigers) was liquidated has set a new poser. Is the ghost of the Tigers emerging? Or are we merely chasing dragons and phantoms? These organisations dared not exist when the LTTE was around. For the LTTE claimed [...]

Geneva vote: Govt. in the dock

“Illegal”; “totally reject”; “biased”; “double standards” – these stock phrases have been the refrain from Government voices these past weeks leading to the vote on the resolution against Sri Lanka at the UN’s Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions in Geneva last Thursday. And post-vote, we have heard a learned professor say that Sri Lanka in [...]

Dealing with India: From parippu to fish diplomacy

President Mahinda Rajapaksa in an uncustomary lashing out – not so obliquely either – at India last weekend set the tone for Sri Lanka’s reaction to the upcoming resolution against the country at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. While Ministers of his Government have so far vented their wrath restrictively on the West, [...]

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