Author Archive for H. L. D. Mahindapala

A review of Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka’s latest book, Long War, Cold Peace -

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

H. L. D. Mahindapala Devolution bad for Ceylon and worse for Tamils — G. G. Ponnambalam My friend Dayan Jayatilleka takes great pride and pleasure in branding himself as a “political scientist”. That is his right and privilege. Besides, it is a term very fashionable in academic circles even though the research in this pseudo-science […]

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Continuing book review of Dayan Jayatilleka’s, Long War, Cold Peace — Part V- INDIA PAVING THE PATH TO THIRD WORLD WAR

Saturday, May 25th, 2013

H. L. D. Mahindapala India has not only lost its moral compass in foreign policy which was packaged and hailed as the “Panchaseela” at the height of the Non-Aligned Movement but also the strategic compass to navigate in the Indian Ocean. India needs an ethical / balanced foreign policy to win back the moral and […]

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Continuing the book review of Dayan Jayatilleka’s Long war, Cold Peace — Part IV -INDIA A THREAT TO REGIONAL PEACE AND SECURITY

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

H. L. D. Mahindapala The main thrust in my friend Dayan’s political predictions — both domestic and foreign — is invariably aimed at projecting passing fears, laced with his political preferences / prejudices, into impending doomsday scenarios . In his calculations it is always going to be the end of the world for Sri Lanka […]

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Response of H. L. D. Mahindapala, former Editor of THE OBSERVER, to Chris Johnson, Political Editor of the SUNDAY AGE, an Australian newspaper in the state of Victoria. .

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

H. L. D. Mahindapala, former Editor of THE OBSERVER Chris Johnson is the Political Editor of the SUNDAY AGE, an Australian newspaper in the state of Victoria. In his column last Sunday he was raising concerns about Australia handing over the chair of CHOGM for two years to Sri Lanka.  Here is the response of H. L. D. […]

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Continuing the review of Dayan Jayatilleka’s book, Long War, Cold Peace — Part II- Searching for ethics in a five-month war

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

H. L. D. Mahindapala Of the many tangled and intertwining issues that are bound to sprout from the 33-year-old war there are only two serious questions worth asking for those pursing reconciliation, peace, justice, understanding the past and, above all, the ethics of the overwhelming violence that impacted on all communities: 1. was the war […]

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Dayan’s gods and theories that failed

Saturday, April 27th, 2013

H. L. D. Mahindapala My friend Dayan Jayatileka ‘s latest book Long War, Cold Peace is exactly what I anticipated it to be: 1. overloaded with quotes from the Marxist mafia; 2. an equal measure of theoretical puffery; 3. self-contradictions; 4. self-congratulatory passages; 5. the least amount analysis of the historical roots that preceded the official […]

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Navi Pillai a misfit at UNHRC

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

H. L. D. Mahindapala The saga of the anti-Sri Lankan Resolution, which snaked its way through the hands of the power-brokers in the corridors of the UNHRC in Geneva, has a rather intriguing history: it reveals more about the machinations of big power politics and the moral and institutional failure of the UN to uphold the […]

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Dudley’s “coup” a figment of Sir. John’s imagination

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

H. L. D. Mahindapala Michael Ondaatje told a mouthful when he said that “in Sri Lanka a well-told lie is worth a thousand facts.” (Running in the Family). The tall tales of Sir John Kotelawela about Dudley Senanayake’s involvement in the coup certainly come within the category of one of those “well-told lies”. K.K.S.Perera in his response to Neville […]

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Bandaranaike — the Great Sinhala-Buddhist Liberal

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

H. L. D. Mahindapala At the annual SLFP convention held in Kurunegala in 1959 Prime Minister S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike was feeling the rising heat of the right-wing forces, within his own party, ganging up against him. There were several disaffected forces railing against him but the most vicious and deadly thrust was spearheaded […]

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UNHRC cracking under overbearing weight of Navy Pillai

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

H. L. D. Mahindapala UNHRC is stuck in a crisis of its own making. It has begun to crack under the watch of Ms. Navy Pillai, the UN High Commissioner. It is time for her to get her act together and hold the scales evenly to preserve the image of the UNHRC as a credible […]

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Big power politics flush UN Charter down the toilet

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

H. L. D. Mahindapala  Of all the human rights issues in global conflict and post-conflict zones why is India, EU and USA focussed relentlessly —  and, more importantly, selectively — on Sri Lanka? What is behind their persistent and the holier-than-thou obsession to hunt Sri Lanka with a vengeance? Is it pursued to fulfill the aims […]

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Time to probe the INGOs and NGOs

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

H. L. D. Mahindapala At a recent meeting the Australian Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, delivered a blunt message to his diplomats : “We are running a foreign policy for a nation-state; not for a non-governmental organisation.” (The Australian –7/2/2013, p.12.) This is an out-and-out rejection of I/NGOs as overseers or interventionists in the domestic affairs […]

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Parliament is right in rejecting Supreme Court judgment

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

H. L. D. Mahindapala Now that the sound and fury of the brouhaha about the former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake have subsided it is time look back and assess not only the triumph of the Legislature over the Judiciary but also why the legal pundits who backed the doomed case failed, particularly in cooking up legal fictions to […]

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Shirani Bandaranayake, Ph. D — white lily or prawn-head?

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

H. L. D. Mahindapala With each passing day the evidence pointing to the guilt of ex-Chief Justice, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, abusing the powers of her office and misbehaving has mounted to the point of removing all shreds of doubt. The most damning evidence against her has come from the most unexpected source. It has come […]

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Suicidal politics of Hulftsdorp

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

H. L. D. Mahindapala When a senior judge of a superior court puts words into the mouth of an innocent man and sentences him to  a maximum period with the entire legal system looking the other way without raising a finger to save the innocent man, then it is time to ask whether the sovereign people can […]

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Judgement denies Constitution;Parliament’s turn to correct it

Monday, January 7th, 2013

H.L.D.Mahindapala Parliament and the Supreme Court have produced two different findings, both claiming to be vested with the superior authority to overrule the other. Both are loaded with heavy political baggage. Both rely on arguable principles denying the legitimacy of the other. Both are competing for supremacy. This comment, however, is to explore the judgment […]

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Black-coats can’t make Chief Justice lily white

Monday, December 31st, 2012

H. L. D. Mahindapala The raging public discourse on the charges levelled against the Chief Justice, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake is wrapped mostly in legal, constitutional, political and moral principles. The legal luminaries who have defended her have studiously skipped the charges and focused essentially on issues like the legality of the Parliamentary Select Committee to […]

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Judges expose systemic failure in corrupt judiciary

Friday, December 28th, 2012

H. L. D. Mahindapala The anecdotal evidence, revealing what the judges are up to on the bench, should have amused and, more importantly, shocked the Magistrates and District Judges gathered  at the Annual General Meeting of the Judicial Services Association, (JSA)  held on December 22, 2012. For instance, Appeals Court Judge Justice A.W.A Salam , speaking on the theme of judges  falling asleep on the bench while cases are […]

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Lawyers playing politics with the Constitution

Friday, December 21st, 2012

H. L. D. Mahindapala The central issue argued before the Supreme Court was to decide whether the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) has the judicial power to inquire into the allegations made against the Chief Justice, Shirani Bandaranayake, or not. The argument came down to question the right of parliamentarians to judge the judges. Tied to […]

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Judge Weeramantry’s legal propositions condemn CJ Bandaranayake

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

H. L. D. Mahindapala Judge C. G. Weeramantry, the senior most retired judge in the country with 65 years of legal experience behind him, has come forward , out of the blue, to address the current crisis facing the Sri Lankan judiciary by issuing a general message on the subject. His message calling upon “every […]

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CJ Bandaranayake HOISTED by her own PETARD

Monday, December 10th, 2012

H. L. D. MAHINDAPALA One of the arguments thrown in to defend the Chief Justice, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, claims that nowhere in the world does Parliament / legislature sits as accuser, judge, juror and executioner. It is argued that this is a violation of Baron de Montesquieu’s political theory of separation of power where the […]

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How independent is the Judiciary?

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

H. L. D. Mahindapala  The following anecdotal  evidence is narrated to test the independence of the judiciary that was supposed to exist before the current contest between Parliament and the Judiciary broke out. The raging  controversy is based on the claim that the Judiciary was independent and the appointment of a Parliamentary Select Committee to […]

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Legislature cuts the Judiciary down to size

Friday, November 30th, 2012

H. L. D. Mahindapala Let’s face the reality as it is in our faces now. Both sides have taken their gloves off and are fighting with bare knuckles. The judiciary has taken  its glove off and dropped all pretences of fighting for “the independence of the judiciary”. It is now fighting in Courts for the survival […]

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Playing tennis in Hulftsdorp courts

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

H. L. D. Mahindapala  By its very nature impeachments rouse public passions to feverish pitches as seen in the cases of President Bill Clinton and President Ranasinghe Premadasa. One of the reasons is the high public profile of those impeached. Second, the process and the final decision, which are invariably politicized by both sides, intentionally […]

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A question of justice

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

H. L. D. Mahindapala To say that the Chief Justice, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, is the central figure in the impeachment case is to state the obvious. It is her role that will be scrutinised minutely to test how well she has protected and maintained the independence of the judiciary to win the confidence of the public […]

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Obama’s mini revolution

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

H. L. D. Mahindapala  After the gruelling, 6-billion presidential election, America is sitting in the afterglow of a comparatively quiet revolution which has happened with a narrow margin, leaving America divided into two growling halves. The import of the election is yet to surface in full force. Eventually when it makes its presence felt it will stand out as the reference point from […]

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Chief Justice must go to save the judiciary

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

H. L. D. Mahindapala   In the current tensions facing all three arms of the state — the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary — there is one simple, time-tested adage that over-rides all the legal, political and moral principles that would come into play: “Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion.” The 14 charges levelled […]

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Is Indian AI, with Indian Shetty, pushing for Indian intervention?

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

H. L. D. Mahindapala Salil Shetty, an Indian national, was appointed as Secretary-General of Amnesty International, (AI) in June 2010. Under his watch AI’s alliances with the anti-Sri Lankan forces have been strengthened considerably. For instance, AI in Canada took a sum of $50,000 offered by the Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) – an organisation described […]

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Peace prizes for war-mongers, punitive threats for peace- makers

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

H. L. D, Mahindapala In the history of wars Sri Lanka alone stands out as the nation that is charged with the crime of restoring peace and democracy. Of course, as in any other war, peace came at a price. Restoring peace in a time of war inevitably cost lives. No peace has come out […]

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Judging Sri Lanka through Western lenses

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

H. L. D. Mahindapala Emboldened by the back-door attack on the Sri Lanka led by US at the UNHRC in March – April this year the global network of the anti-Sri Lankan lobby has accelerated its offensive to increase international pressure hoping that they can get somewhere if they strike now when the iron is hot. This lobby […]

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