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Thoughts On Decolonising Lanka: From Servility To Dignity

To mark the seventy-first anniversary of Sri Lanka gaining dominion status. 

One of the most insightful pieces of writing one would read this year is scholar-activist Senel Wanniarachchi’s excellent account of encountering Tara, a Buddhist and Hindu mother goddess of mercy and generous compassion at…the British Museum. Several excerpts of Wanniarachchi’s article are worth quoting at some length, and in this ‘independence month’, these words are absolute food for thought to all Sri Lankans: 

Read more here. Published in the Colombo Telegraph, 5 February 2019.

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Shame

Read more here. Published in the Colombo Telegraph, on 19 November 2018.

Advising Mahinda Rajapaksa: A Strategic Perspective?

The publication of an email, sent by Ambassador Dr Dayan Jayatilleka to Prime Minister Rajapaksa via Vasudeva Nanayakkara MP, in the Colombo Telegraph has triggered much interest among many Sri Lankans and foreign observers. In what follows, my objective is to very briefly reflect upon the role of political advisors and strategists in the political camp of a populist and successful national leader. 

Read more here. Published in the Colombo Telegraph, 3 November 2018.

Stand With Ranil: Fight Against Sri Lanka’s Bolsonaro Moment

Read more here. Published in the Colombo Telegraph, 30 October 2018.

White women’s mascot: Dr Savita Halappanavar and the racial politics of abortion rights

Read more here. Published 30 October 2018.

The Rajapaksa Return: Slap On The Face Of Sri Lankan Neoliberalism, Once again?

In a move that left the world shocked, President Maitripala Sirisena ‘appointed’ former President Mahinda Rajapaksa MP as Prime Minister, in the evening of Friday 26th October 2018. 

Read more here.

Published in the Colombo Telegraph, 27 October 2018.

Sri Lanka: British vice-principal bullies LGBT+ pupil

Read more here. Published in Erasing 76 Crimes, on 15 October 2018.

Shame On You: Colombo International School

The Colombo International School and its Acting Principal have been practicing daylight discrimination against a pupil in the most shameless and despicable way. The pupil’s fault? Wanting to include a rainbow flag in a fashion show outfit. When the Acting Principal, a cis white British woman, did not give permission, the child complied, and instead found more creative ways of including the rainbow flag in her routine…

Read more here.

Published in the Colombo Telegraph, 4 October 2018.

Ian Paisley Jr’s Sri Lankan Beach Holiday: On Mediocrity, High Costs & Public Disregard

The best authority for luxury Sri Lankan sun holidays in Northern Ireland, Ian Paisley Jr. caused controversy last July, when he was suspended for 30 sitting days from the British House of Commons, for breaching parliamentary rules, by not disclosing the details of his luxury Sri Lankan escapades, all paid for by Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa administration. 

Read more here.

Published in the Colombo Telegraph, 23 September 2018.

Serena To Tharjini: The Battle For Gender Justice In Sport

Sri Lanka achieved a spectacular victory of 69-50 against Singapore at the 2018 Asian championships. The fantastic performance of the Sri Lankan team’s power women was very much an example of resilience, in a local context in which women in sport face a range of specific challenges, primarily linked to ways in which patriarchy reigns in the sporting sphere. Most often, women in sport do not receive the same visibility, facilities, exposure, pay and recognition as men in sport. This is blatantly apparent, for example, in the sphere of cricket. Systemic forms of discrimination are so entrenched in the sporting sphere that the secondary position women in sport are relegated to, is often taken for granted.

Women in Sport: Challenging Patriarchy and Claiming Space

Read more here.

Published in the Colombo Telegraph, on 16 September 2018.

The Vijayakala Vortex: Standing Up For A Tamil Woman In Sri Lankan Politics

In an article published in the Colombo Telegraph on 6th July 2018, this writer wrote the following:

Read more here.

Originally Published in the Colombo Telegraph, on 10 September 2018.

Ian Paisley Jr’s Luxury Sri Lankan Escapade: On Hypocrisy & Foreign Affairs Mismanagement

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Read more here.

Published in The Colombo Telegraph, on 21st July 2018.

Vijayakala Vilification

 

When writing about ethno-national politics in post-war Sri Lanka, this writer has constantly sought to highlight one point – that there is such a thing called Tamil nationalism. Tamil nationalism is a given, and whether some of us like it or not, it continues to exist and in some quarters thrive. A key component of reasonable steps towards reconciliation involves understanding and acknowledging the existence of stakeholders with colliding and opposed views. 

Sri Lankans who are Tamil nationalists have the right to espouse their Tamil nationalism. However…Read more here.

[Published in The Colombo Telegraph, on 6th July 2018].

AS IRELAND MOVES AHEAD

Read more here. Published in The Last Round, 27 May 2018.

The Brigadier Intervention

The conduct of [now suspended] Brigadier Priyanka Fernando, Defence Attaché of the High Commission of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka to the United Kingdom has already made viral headlines not only in the UK and Sri Lanka, but also across the world. The Brigadier’s throat-slitting’ intervention, intended at Tamil nationalist/secessionist protesters who were protesting on the National Day of Sri Lanka, has resulted in many a debate on social media and beyond. While what happened was unfortunate, this incident sheds light upon crucial issues of relevance to post-war Sri Lanka, which are equally important …[read more here].

[Originally published in The Colombo Telegraph, on 8th February 2018].

The Sirisena Saga: On Yahapālana Misogyny

The National Human Rights Action Plan [hereafter referred to as ‘Action Plan’] is one of the best developments that came out of the otherwise jaundiced SirisenaWickremesinghe joint government. A crucial component of the Action Plan was a call to work towards repealing legislation of… [read more here].

[Originally published in The Colombo Telegraph, 16th January 2018].