Category Archives: democratic measures

Encountering Prejudice in Lanka as a Person of Mixed Descent

Krystle Reid, from Groundviews, http://groundviews.org/author/krystle-reid/  where the title is “A Welcoming Nation”

The following is a list of things I’m often asked or told, revealing of Sri Lankan perceptions about the Burgher community.

  1. Are you Sri Lankan?
  2. Can you speak in Sinhalese?
  3. ‘You’re a Burgher? You sure don’t look like one’
  4. ‘Sounds like a Las Vegas stripper name’
  5. ‘They get drunk every Saturday and go to church the next day, no shame’
  6. ‘Burghers? Parents must be divorced then.’
  7. ‘Lansi no? Probably got the job because of her English and the mini skirt’
  8. ‘Burgher…. like a hamburger?’

I could continue but the real point I was trying to make is that 70 years after independence, our ethnicity is still misunderstood. Continue reading

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Political Turmoil NOW: Charting Prospects and Pathways with Huge Question Marks

SWR de A Samarasinghe, in Island, 13 February 2018 where the title is “Ups and Downs of Sri Lankan Politics and Looming Political Uncertainty. The Local Government Elections

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 Last Saturday’s Local Government (LG) Election dealt a stunning blow to President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the two respective political parties, UPFA and UNP, that they lead and paved the way for the major political comeback of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa.

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Our Seventieth Year: Reflections on Sri Lanka’s Independence

Jehan Perera, in Island 5 Feb 2018, where the title is”How to celebrate 71st year of our independence with national unity”
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This year’s Independence Day celebration was marked by a strong effort of the government to represent the diversity of the country’s people in the cultural expressions during the official events at Galle Face. In keeping with the new tradition set by the government in 2015, the national anthem was sung in both Sinhala and Tamil. But more than on previous occasions, the traditional dances and other cultural items that were conducted represented all the communities in their diversities. At the level of the people, this cultural expression represented the reality of the capital city, and also other parts, in which there is a strong representation of all the ethnic and religious communities who coexist in friendship and harmony for the most part. Continue reading

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Three Clowns at Election Corral! Sri Lankan Politics in a Nutshell

Rajan Philips, in Island, 3 February 2018, where the title runs thus “Lanka at 70: Political circus interrupts the country’s constitutional odyssey”…. with highlighting here being the work of The Editor, Thuppahi

As the country marks the seventieth anniversary of independence, its principal political leaders are out-clowning one another and turning the whole political system into a circus of clowns. There is no other charitable way to describe what the President, the Prime Minister and the former President are doing in a desperate three-way shootout – to either produce the best scorecard or avoid the worst scorecard for their respective parties and alliances in the local government elections next Saturday. The scorecard that will be used for political bragging and the commentaries that will go with it will have two lines: the national tally of votes and the number of local bodies won, with special mention for trophy municipalities – Colombo being the big one.

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Celebrating DR Wijewardene and the DAILY NEWS

Lakdev Liyanagama, in Daily News, 3 January 2018, with the title A century’s fruition

The centenary that the Ceylon Daily News celebrates this year is also a hundred years where this newspaper, newspapers in Sri Lanka and indeed the media, in general, have metamorphosed several times over, serving different roles depending on the needs of the day.

“DR’–a classic photograph by Lionel Wendt

A hundred years ago, in 1917, the Ceylon Daily News was born when Don Richard Wijewardene (known as ‘DR’ to all), took ownership of The Ceylonese and re-christened it the Ceylon Daily News. Wijewardene was involved in the movement to gain Independence from Britain and was not shy to use his newspaper for that purpose. In that sense, the Ceylon Daily News had an enmeshed roe in the country’s politics from its very inception. Continue reading

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Balancing Human Rights with Poverty Alleviation

Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka, in The Island, 29 December 2017

Professor Richard Falk’s inspiring and reflective article on Human Rights, Democracy and International Liberalism in ‘The Island’ of Dec 28th (originally titled ‘Democracy, Development, and Reputation: Vietnam, Turkey, and International Liberalism’) re-thinks human rights in a way that potentially introduces a whole new paradigm which  will resonate with many developing countries including Sri Lanka. That it was written by an internationally eminent Professor of Law who has been involved with issues of Human Rights for decades including as Special Rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Council, makes it all the more important.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_A._Falk

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Geo-Political Power in the Human Rights ‘Órder’

Richard Falk, in Island, 28 December 2017, where the title is “Human rights, democracy & international liberalism””

The liberal exclusion of collective rights should be reviewed, and the tendency to gloss over the existence of poverty and gross inequality endemic in capitalist societies should be subjected to critical scrutiny. As well, the tendency of socialist or state-dominated societies to undervalue civil and political rights of individuals should be equally scrutinized.

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