Author Archive for Malinda Seneviratne

Let’s welcome Jörg Frieden, the Damage-Controller

Tuesday, December 24th, 2019

Malinda Seneviratne A senior Swiss diplomat and former Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Jörg Frieden is on his way to help clarify to Swiss authorities what Switzerland describes as a ‘current crisis’.  The Swiss are perturbed, we are told. ‘Confused’ would be a better descriptive though. They call it a ‘security incident’. The knowledge of the […]

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Ninety four percent voted for ‘One Country, One Law,’ so there!

Tuesday, December 24th, 2019

Malinda Seneviratne The recently held presidential election, like all major elections, was a hard fought affair. In terms of who supported whom, historical antipathy, who wanted to remain in power and who wanted to assume power, there were differences. Well, the candidates themselves, outside of their political homes, were also different in the way they […]

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The new populism is to resist populism and populists

Thursday, December 19th, 2019

Malinda Seneviratne A general election will be held soon. That much is certain. Indeed, if not for the term-related clause in the 19th Amendment Parliament would be dissolved by now. This Parliament feels old. Older than a little over four years. Those of the UNP (United National Party) and the SLFP (Sri Lanka Freedom Party) […]

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Brexit: long overdue!

Tuesday, December 17th, 2019

Malinda Seneviratne The most asked question on Google in the year 2019, according to reports, is ‘Where is Sri Lanka?’ I am not sure who is looking for Sri Lanka or why. Maybe it has something to do with Sri Lanka being picked as the No 1 island to visit. Again, I am not sure […]

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The flooring of ideologies and ideologues

Monday, December 16th, 2019

Malinda Seneviratne Labour gaining ground. One in ten still undecided. Jeremy Corbyn is much closer to becoming Prime Minister than voters think, according to a Conservative party memo. Hung parliament will see Boris Johnson removed from No 10 Downing Street. Labour minority government likely. Opinion polls tightening — Corbyn might just become Prime Minister. These […]

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Swiss Embassy in bid to ‘White Van’ Sri Lanka?

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019

Malinda Seneviratne ‘Safe as houses,’ eh?  No. No way. An embassy would never try that kind of lark now, would it? It’s incredulous. Unthinkable. Out of the questions.  Well, such sentiments are not out of order, really. Nations and embassies do indulge in all kinds of nefarious activities. They are careful about it. Even the […]

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The 13th Amendment and moral obligations

Monday, December 9th, 2019

Malinda Seneviratne Mano Ganesan, leader of the Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) believes that ‘India has the moral duty and political right towards the Tamils of the North and East since the 13th Amendment is the child of the Indo-Lanka Accord.’ Prime Minister Modi, when he met President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in Delhi, flagged the 13th Amendment. […]

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Election results can be skinned any which way you like

Sunday, December 8th, 2019

Malinda Seneviratne People from the same camp, in terms of who they voted for, can and do come up with different reasons for victory, or if that’s the case, defeat.  For example, some who voted for Gotabaya Rajapaksa could put his victory down to one or more of the following: a) ineptitude of the Yahapalana […]

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Switzerland is flat, ladies and gentlemen

Thursday, December 5th, 2019

Malinda Seneviratne It is not advisable to believe one’s own propaganda. That’s a basic rule in political engagement. Blurs vision. Flaws calculation. Usually results in egg on the face. Now consider an article by Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu published last Sunday titled ‘And so it has already begun.’ Here’s the intro: ‘And so it has happened already. […]

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Britain and Post (sic) Colonial Skullduggery

Monday, December 2nd, 2019

Malinda Seneviratne A few weeks ago, indigenous leaders from Australia visited the Manchester Museum. They went there to collect various sacred ceremonial artifacts which were said to have been ‘taken without permission’ by early 20th Century British colonialists. Danny Teece-Johnson, a journalist for Australia’s National Indigenous Television, had an interesting comment on the language of […]

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And here comes the Equivalency Circus

Friday, May 24th, 2019

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E M.S. Fouzul Ameen should have been alive today. The furniture shop owner from Kottaramulla, Nattandiya was killed by a mob on May 13, 2019. Many shops owned by Muslims should still be standing. They are not. No one should have or should show any apprehension of any Muslim, regardless of attire or appearance. […]

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Karannagoda, ‘Rule of Law’ and the Season of Silliness in Geneva

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

By Malinda Seneviratne Sri Lanka’s reconciliation efforts are hounded by the ghosts of that arbitrary past, Ranga Jayasuriya claims in his column titled ‘Adm. Karannagoda trial would not satiate LTTErump, but upholds rule of law.’ What is the ‘that’ of the claim? Jayasuriya’s contention is based on the possible trial-at-bar of formerNavy Commander Admiral Wasantha […]

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20th Amendment without repeal of 13A: A recipe for disaster

Saturday, December 29th, 2018

Malinda Seneviratne ‘Stand Alone’ is a term that was used a lot during the discussion on the power of the president to dissolve parliament. The issue was whether the clause preventing dissolution until Parliament completes four and a half years supersedes the surreptitiously inserted clause permitting dissolution. That insertion was pernicious as was the entire […]

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US-China combine getting Yahapalanists to cough up sovereignty

Thursday, July 26th, 2018

By Malinda Seneviratne Courtesy The Daily Mirror Sovereignty is about authority. In usage, it is about a people or a nation or a state being able to control affairs independent of outside influence. In this globalized world, there are no sovereign states, if you really think about it. What we have is the appearance of sovereignty […]

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Sushma Swaraj’s gumption and India’s abiding arrogance

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

Malinda Seneviratne Courtesy The Daily Mirror The Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, addressing top diplomats posted in neighbouring countries (July 3, 2018), opined that India should not focus on competing with China on resources. That’s sensible considering resource-mismatch. She also said that India must closely watch all Chinese activities. That’s sensible too, considering India’s economic […]

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Will Yahapalanists stand in the cesspool or cesspit now?

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

By Malinda Seneviratne Courtesy The Daily Mirror Take a deep breath. Let it go. Suppress all urges to laugh your guts out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Have a cup of chamomile tea. Think of the best joke you’ve heard so far. Think of Charlie Chaplin and other great comedians. Now read. The US Ambassador to the […]

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Let us keep an eye on Uncle Sam

Wednesday, June 13th, 2018

By Malinda Seneviratne Courtesy The Daily Mirror Anyone who has read Noam Chomsky’s ‘What Uncle Sam really wants’ would not get too excited when a US President, Secretary of State or Ambassador talks about democracy. Neither would they lose any sleep over such worthies speaking in somber tones about individuals, parties or governments they dislike. Chomsky’s […]

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Yahapalanaya: Congenital flaws and their discontents

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

By Malinda Seneviratne Courtesy The Daily Mirror The burning political question of the day appears to be who and how many Parliamentarians received money from Perpetual Treasuries Ltd (PTL) for their respective election campaigns. In a political season marked by scandalous memory-loss some have claimed that they didn’t always know who was depositing money in their […]

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Elections: the Yahapalanists’ true fear

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

By Malinda Seneviratne Courtesy The Daily Mirror Minister Mangala Samaraweera, speaking to the media at the Finance Ministry on Tuesday (May 22), stated that knowing well the crimes committed by Gotabaya Rajapaksa, he is in fact frightened of the former defence secretary. That’s political-speak, obviously. Mangala, after all, was never scared of the LTTE, was never […]

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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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