Category Archives: accountability

Malinda and Shenali tilt at SOFA and MCC Schemes

Editor: I have not had the time to study the SOFA and MCC proposals or the several conflicting reports on this set of topics; while I have reservations about my own deciphering capacity on economic issues. An academic with a broad span of experience across several countries indicated to me this month  that the discussions surrounding these two issues has been marked by writings that “[ignore] facts that are unfavorable to the case that is being made or willfully distorting facts or using outright lies”.

He added: : ‘Unfortunately, this kind of unacceptable commentary is now common practice the world over and that includes some people in the highest levels of US government and academia.”

To this caution I add Sam Samarasinghe’s[i] cautionary email note to me a few months back where he indicated that the USA’s governing order is complex and its various arms do not always work with one mind.[ii]

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Extremist Fervour as Roadblock for Reconciliation: A High Profile Example from the Galle-Lit-Fest

RK Radhakrishnan, in The Hindu, 2011 (?)https://www.thehindu.com/books/books-reviews/reconciliation-elusive-on-the-ground/article6164031.ece

The packed hall at the Galle Literary Festival was stunned into silence by a series of abuses hurled on a Sri Lankan human rights activist by a member in the audience. The hurler of abuses, a well-known journalist, questioned the activist’s patriotism, labelled her pro-Tiger, and described her as a ‘stooge’ of the Western nations. Oh yes, that was just the printable part.

The activist at the receiving end was Sunila Abeysekera. She was one of the panelists on ‘Aftershock: The lingering legacy of civil war,’ presented by the BBC World Service. Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and event moderator Bridget Kendall (BBC’s diplomatic correspondent) were on stage. The exchange presented a clear idea of the differing perceptions on the concept of reconciliation.

Rajpal Abeynaike

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Devanee Jayathilaka stands firm … and the Video Tale goes viral

Malinda Seneviratne, in Daily Mirror, 13 February 2020, with this title “Devanee vs Sanath: who do you want to back, Citizen?”

A YouTube video going viral on social media has a state official going one-on-one with a politician.  Well, not exactly one-on-one because the politician had in his corner what could be assumed was a section of his constituency. Not exactly in the corner. They were in the ring, so to speak. 

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Yasmin Azad’s “Stay, Daughter” hits the Bookshelves

Muslims of Sri Lanka who, decades ago, grew up in communities that were moderate and broadminded often wonder why Islamic fundamentalism has come back with such force. What made a once-tolerant people want to set themselves apart from everyone else?

This question lies at the heart of Stay, Daughter, a memoir that gives an intimate glimpse into the world of Muslims as times changed and the impact of the modern and Westernized world was felt.

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US Scheming Looms over India and Lanka

Shenali Waduge, in Lankaweb, 9 February 2020, where the title is Balkanizing India: National Security dimensions for India & Sri Lanka”

Indo-Sri Lanka relations have never been what either country would have liked it to be. What both countries should realize is that small as Sri Lanka may be, India cannot afford to bully it or destabilize it as India would have liked. The terrain is now far different than when India could call the shots in 1980s. There are bigger and far more powerful players that even India needs to weather with caution. There are many faux pas that India will not like to admit to, but what India must realize is that if it is in Sri Lanka’s best interest to ensure India remains unbalkanized, it is to India’s best interest that Sri Lanka remains without elements that covertly propose to do what was done to the Soviet Union & the former Yugoslavia.

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Wuhan: Slavoj Žižek’s Reflections against the Common Grain

Slavoj Žižek, in Die Welt, February 2020

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Modi and Gota. India and Sri Lanka … and A Pilgrimage

Rajeewa Jayaweera, in Island, 10 February 2020, where the title runs “

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has once again sung his favorite rhapsody reserved for Sri Lankan leaders, during the joint press meet with visiting Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa,

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