Author Archive for Malinda Seneviratne

Reshuffling incompetency, inefficiency and insecurity

Sunday, May 6th, 2018

BY MALINDA SENEVIRATNE Exactly one year ago, just after the Joint Opposition picked up the gauntlet thrown by the Yahapalana Government (that of filling Galle Face Green on May Day) and put up an unprecedented show of force, I posted the following comment on Facebook: චැලේන්ජ් එකක් අවශ්‍ය නම් මෙන්න: එජාපයේ හෝ ජවිපෙ හෝ ශ්‍රීලංනිපයේ […]

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The ‘scientific’ logic of Maithripala and Ranil

Sunday, May 6th, 2018

BY MALINDA SENEVIRATNE The word on the street thanks to President Maithripala Sirisena is ‘science’. The cabinet reshuffle, Sirisena said, would be done scientifically this time. He went on to say that he had discussed (presumably scientifically) about it and made changes. He implies that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe submitted to the power of his […]

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USAID Moves On The Bar Association

Sunday, May 6th, 2018

Malinda Seneviratne First they offer help and then they enslave ‘First they had the book and we had the land. Then they said close your eyes, let us pray”. When we opened our eyes, we had the book and they had the land.’ — Bishop Desmond Tutu on the relationship between invader and missionary in […]

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The government survives on dead cats!

Friday, March 16th, 2018

BY MALINDA SENEVIRATNE The term is attributed to Lynton Crosby, a political strategist who has managed campaigns of right-of-center parties in several countries.  Boris Johnson, who employed Crosby during London mayoral elections explains the term thus: There is one thing that is absolutely certain about throwing a dead cat on the dining room table – and […]

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The danger of a blank canvas in tense times

Wednesday, March 7th, 2018

BY MALINDA SENEVIRATNE President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in recent statements have alluded to people fishing in troubled waters for political gain. It’s an ‘it’s not us’ kind of position to take. Safe.  Dangerous too. We all know how the United National Party of J.R. Jayewardene used that line to proscribe the […]

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The low down of the low-and-odour government

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

BY MALINDA SENEVIRATNE Law and Order. This seems to be the one thing that the yahapalana government has cottoned onto in the aftermath of the election rout. And I don’t mean that in a good way.  The United National Party in particular has climbed down and fast from grand pronouncements of victory (no less!). Party […]

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රනිල් මහත්තයෝ දැන් කොරපු වැරදි කිව්වනම්……

Sunday, February 25th, 2018

මලින්ද සෙනවිරත්න ‘පළාත් පාලන මැතිවරණ ප්‍රතිඵල වලින් පෙනෙන්නේ අපගේ වැඩපිළිවලට ජනතාව අකමැති බවයි. අපි එයාලගේ බලාපොරොත්තු බිඳදමලයි තියෙන්නේ. ඒ නිසා අපි තීරණය කෙරුව අපේ වැරදි නිවැරදි කරගෙන ඉදිරියට යන්න.’ මෙහෙම කියන්නේ අගමැතිතුමා. ඒ කියන්නේ එක්සත් ජාතික පක්ෂයේ නායක රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ.  නිහතමානී මනුස්සයා.  වටිනා කියන මනුස්සයා.  ආඩම්බර විය යුතුයි එහෙම කෙනෙක් අපේ රටේ අගමැති වීම ගැන, […]

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Buds that (are said) to bloom

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

BY MALINDA SENEVIRATNE A bud is a metaphor and it is one that has naturally led to over-use because it is the party symbol of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), the nelum pohottuwa. ‘The bud will bloom,’ they said with as much conviction as the rhetoricians of other parties predicted its withering. The results are […]

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Dissolve or be dissolved

Sunday, February 18th, 2018

BY MALINDA SENEVIRATNE Constitutions are not always made with good intention. Even when the intention is good the unexpected trumps the word. They are supposed to be documents of the ‘forever’ kind, but if one thing is certain it is the fact that the sum total of human knowledge is but a speck of dust compared […]

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Mandate lost: no two words about it

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

BY MALINDA SENEVIRATNE Mahinda Rajapaksa, after losing the Presidential Election, making his now infamous from-the-window speech, blamed it ‘on the Tamils’.  It was a crass, knee-jerk conclusion which was racist and a complete disavowal of his own and significant flaws.  He has since sobered up.   Maybe the United National Party (UNP) will also sober up soon.  It’s to […]

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The cockeyed and absurd claims about Ranil’s economic expertise

Thursday, February 8th, 2018

BY MALINDA SENEVIRATNE Shyamon Jayasinghe, in an article published in the Colombo Telegraph (‘The political tug-o-war in Sri Lanka is cockeyed and absurd: only Ranil talks of economic goals’) dwells on the ‘dooshanaya-discourse’ or the ‘discussion on corruption.’  Shyamon makes an interesting observation: One never observes any printed or online media that tries to balance the imbalance […]

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The UNP’s heart, mind and other body parts

Tuesday, February 6th, 2018

BY MALINDA SENEVIRATNE There’s a pithy Sinhala saying that probably predates Sigmund Freud’s notion of the slip that reveals the deliberately concealed truth: කට බොරු කිව්වත් දිව බොරු කියන්නේ නෑ (even if the mouth lies, the tongue does not). So we are talking about mouths and tongues.  And we are talking about the United National Party […]

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Sujeewa Pushpakumara Doloswala owns the local government

Tuesday, February 6th, 2018

BY MALINDA SENEVIRATNE Let’s get to the name and the man later.  Let’s begin with what this is all about.  Local Government.  Local government elections, that is.  In other words, municipal councils, urban councils and pradesheeya sabhas; all reduced, in the parlance of the political, to the gama or village.   Whether it is a candidate or a party, a man or a […]

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Ranil and Maithri: Vassals of the Empire

Sunday, February 4th, 2018

BY MALINDA SENEVIRATNE The Foreign Affairs Ministry and the British High Commission declared in a joint statement released on Friday (February 2, 2018) that a document offering ‘Royal Etiquette Guidelines’ circulated by an entity calling itself ‘Welcome Committee of British Royals’ is false.  Both parties stated that neither had set up any such committee.  It was headlined […]

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It is ok if you forgot what happened on January 25th (as I often did)*

Friday, January 26th, 2018

BY MALINDA SENEVIRATNE Another January 25th is upon us.  No big deal.  Not the first, not the last.  Follows a January 24th and will be followed by a January 26th.  In a sense dates are meaningless things, relevant only in part and irrelevant in the larger order of things.  We are, however, frail creatures who do not […]

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Resilient systems and a resilient citizenry

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

BY MALINDA SENEVIRATNE We are a resilient nation and I’ve insisted on the point before.  Sri Lanka is not a failed state but has signs of failing.  That is not new either.  The signs have been there at least as long as the moment J.R. Jayewardena brought in the Second Republican Constitution in 1978.  Nineteen amendments later, all things […]

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That curious creature called ‘civil society’

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

BY MALINDA SENEVIRATNE  Words are easy for politicians and in politics.  Take ‘the people’ for example.  It’s hard to think of a term that has been as abused.  It’s all ‘in the name of the people’ isn’t it?  There are of course other useful (and cheap) words in the lexicon of politics.  ‘The nation’ has a lot of utility value, […]

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එතකොට මෛත්‍රී බොරුද කිව්වේ?

Thursday, January 11th, 2018

BY MALINDA SENEVIRATNE තමන්ගේ ධූරකාලය අවසන් වන්නේ කවදාද කියල මෛත්‍රිපාල සිරිසේන ජනාධිපති තුමා ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණයෙන් විමසලා තියෙනවා. ජනාධිපති මාධ්‍ය ඒකකයට අනුව එහෙම විමසලා තියෙන්නේ “ධූරකාලය පිලිබඳ මත දෙකක කතිකාවක් සිවිල් සහ දේශපාලන ක්ෂේත්‍ර වල පවතින නිසා” ලු.  එහෙම කතිකාවක් ගැන ඇහුවමයි! ‘මගේ ධූරකාලය ස්වකැමැත්තෙන් අවුරුදු හයේ සිට පහකට අඩුකරා…..එහෙම අඩු කරපු වෙන නායකයෙක් මේ ලෝකේ කොහෙවත් […]

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Wilpattu: missing the ecological wood for the communalist trees

Thursday, January 4th, 2018

BY MALINDA SENEVIRATNE Last week I wrote that Wilpattu should be the core issue of the forthcoming local government elections because the said election has taken on a national character and because ‘Wilpattu’ is a national issue. I defined Wilpattu thus:    ‘Wilpattu’ in the sense the term is used here is not a forest reserve […]

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Wilpattu is the ‘National Question of the Day’

Thursday, December 28th, 2017

BY MALINDA SENEVIRATNE It’s not just another punchi chandaya or ‘minor election.’ If the local government election has by default taken on a national character then it is due to the undue importance attached to it by a government that has clearly been fighting shy of facing the voter.    It is ‘national’ for other reasons. For example, […]

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Being snug, dumb and numb in a Kakistocracy

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

BY MALINDA SENEVIRATNE ‘Democracy!’ was the clarion call of Maithripala Sirisena’s campaign against Mahinda Rajapaksa.  Much was promised.  So far, the only victory in this regard is the 19th Amendment and even this is but a shadow of what was pledged.  If there is a greater sense of freedom and more reasons to hope that things […]

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ගම is ok: දෙන්න දෙයක් නැහැ, තිබුනත් දෙන්නෙත් නැහැ

Monday, December 11th, 2017

BY MALINDA SENEVIRATNE  “දෙපැත්තෙන්ම කෑව ඇති.  ජවිපෙට ගම දීල බලමු.”  ජනතා විමුක්ති පෙරමුණේ මැතිවරණ පෝස්ටරය මෙයයි.  මීට අවුරුදු විස්සකට විතර පෙර ඒ වගේම පෝස්ටරයක් ගැහුවා. ‘උනුත් එකයි, මුනුත් එකයි, මෙදා පාර අපි ජවිපෙට.’ ඊට පස්සේ ජවිපෙ විරෝධීන් මෙහම කිව්වා: ‘උනුත් එකයි, මුනුත් එකයි, තොපිත් එකයි.’  මැතිවරණ කාලේ ඔහොම තමයි.  මැතිවරණයක් කියන්නේ ‘මමයි පොර’ කියල කියාගන්න […]

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“අපි….ගෝතයින්ට බයයි නංගියේ…..”

Saturday, December 9th, 2017

BY MALINDA SENEVIRATNE “සකල දේශවාසී ගෝතයිනි මතකය අවදි කරව්; තොපිලට නැතිවීමට ඇත්තේ තොපිලගේ දීනකම් පමණයි”  — කාලකන්ණි මාර්ක්ස් (කාල් මාක්ස් ගේ මුනුපුරු) 1988 වර්ෂයේ අග භාගයේ මුළු රටම එක්තරා පොස්ටරයකින් වැහුන.  ‘මේ කව්ද? මොනවාද කරන්නේ?’ යන ප්‍රශ්න දෙකෙන් හදපු පෝස්ටරයක්. පාට තැඹිලි.  කිතුහලය ප්‍රචාරණය වෙනුවෙන් දේශපාලනයේ යොදාගත් පළමු අවස්ථා ව මෙයයි.  ලංකාවේ.  අදහස වික්ටර් හෙට්ටිගොඩ සහ […]

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So who is afraid of Gotabhaya and why?

Friday, December 8th, 2017

BY MALINDA SENEVIRATNE Way back in the year 1988 an island-wide poster stamped in the public conscious the notion of political teaser advertisements.  It was a simple question: මේ කව්ද? මොනවාද කරන්නේ (Who is this [and] what is he doing? It did not come in colors associated with any of the major parties.  It was in orange.  It […]

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කොඳු ඇති සහ නැති නායකයෝ

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

BY MALINDA SENEVIRATNE හිටපු ජනපති චන්ද්‍රිකා කුමාරතුංග පහුගිය දා වේයන්ගොඩ උත්සවයකට සහභාගී වෙමින් මේ රටට කොන්ද පණ ඇති නායකයින් අවශ්‍යයි යැයි පැවසුවා.   ඔව්.  අවශ්‍යයි.  හිතන දේ කියන, කියන දේ කරන, කරන දේ කියන, වංගු ගහන්නේ නැතුව, ඇල වෙන්නේ නැතුව, ඇඹරෙන්නේ නැතුව කෙලින් කතා කරන, කෙලින් වැඩ කරන අය අවශ්‍යයි. කොන්ද පණ ඇති නායකයෝ වගේ ම […]

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ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණය මහජන උවමනාව සහ දේශපාලන උවමනාව පටලවා ගෙන ද?

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

BY MALINDA SENEVIRATNE ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණය වෙත පෙත්සම් දෙකක් ඉදිරිපත් කර ඇතැයි සිතමු. දෙකෙන්ම ඉල්ලා සිටින්නේ අදාළ කාරණයේ ජාතික හෝ මහජනයාට ඇති වැදගත් කම හේතුවෙන් සම්පූර්ණ විනිසුරු මණ්ඩලයකින් විභාග කරන ලෙසයි.  එවිට ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණය තීන්දු කල යුත්තේ අදාල කාරණයෙහි වැදගත්කමයි.  එනම් ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණයට මහජන උවමනාව පිලිබඳ යම් අවබෝධයක් තිබිය යුතුයි. එක පෙත්සමක් ගීතා කුමාරසිංහ ගේ ද්විත්ව පුරවැසිභාවය ගැන.  ඉල්ලා සිටින්නේ […]

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කොලේ ඉරාගෙන ඇඟේ හලාගන්නේ නැතුව ඉන්න නම්….

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

 Malinda Seneviratne  ජනාධිපති තුමාට ප්‍රශ්ණයක් ඇත — තමන්ගේ දේශපාලන අනාගතය මේ මොහොතේ අඳුරු ලෙස පෙනීම.  අගමැති ට ද ප්‍රශ්ණයක් ඇත — මෛත්‍රිපාල ඇතුවත් බැරි නැතුවත් බැරි කාරණය.  දිනෙන් දින මෝරන ජනතා අප්‍රසාදය අනෙක් පාර්ශවයට බැර කරන්න මේ දෙන්න වගේම එයාල ගේ අනුගාමිකයින් ද උත්සහා කරන බවක් පෙනේ.   දේශපාලන කසාදයේ අඬදබර ගේ ඇතුලේ විසඳාගැනීම කෙසේ වෙතත් ගේ ඇතුලට […]

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මැච්-ෆික්ස් කරල ඇප නැති කර ගැනීම

Monday, November 27th, 2017

BY MALINDA SENEVIRATNE “බය නැති අගමැති” කියල පුරසාරම් දොඩන්න සූදානම් වෙද්දී හිතුවේ නැද්ද මන්ද රිට(ර්)න් එකක් එයි කියල.  ඇත්තට වුනේ හතර අතින් පෝස්ටරය කෝචෝක් කිරීමයි.  ලැජ්ජ නැති, පණ නැති, විලිලජ්ජ නැති, හොරකමට බය නැති, තිරුපති හැරුණු විට අන් හැමෝටම බය නැති, රට බෙදන්න බය නැති, රට විකුණන්න බය නැති යනාදී ලෙස අගමැති ගේ ප්‍රතිරූපය උස්සල […]

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The Mangala-Sumanthiran bluff on secularism

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

BY MALINDA SENEVIRATNE Mangala Samaraweera, in supporting the report submitted by the Steering Committee on constitutional reform, called for a constitution that ‘will help our nation put its past behind for good and move forward with renewed hope.’  On the face of it, this is a positive statement.   Mangala’s speech also alluded to the Sathara Brahma Viharana or […]

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Bombs in Parliament need to be diffused

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

BY MALINDA SENEVIRATNE Going by the rhetoric and the text pertaining to constitutional reform currently being debated in Parliament, it is all about two things.  1) expunging of the clause supposedly privileging Buddhism, and 2) devolution of power.  Tamil National Alliance MP, M. Sumanthiran, has stated the stand of his party and by and large the […]

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