Author Archive for Malinda Seneviratne

Reading the ‘re-election’ statement

Friday, July 23rd, 2021

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E ‘The boss has said it loud and clear that he will contest a second time! Now the other side (opposition) would have to nominate Basil. If not, even someone from the tuk-tuk party could also do the job!’ The above is the rough English translation of an FB post by someone who has […]

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Obtaining probables from one piece of a jigsaw puzzle is a political game

Friday, July 16th, 2021

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E Political commentary is easy. Good political commentary is rare. Think of a jigsaw puzzle. A tough one, not the one with just a dozen pieces, but one with a thousand and where the picture to be obtained has colour-line elements that are similar and scattered all over it. Poor political commentary or in […]

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Island of a thousand hypocrites

Friday, July 16th, 2021

Malinda Seneviratne A very wise man, then an undergraduate at the University of Peradeniya, once said that there are no wrongdoers in this world — everyone justifies their actions/decisions. The act or decision may be illegal or unethical respectively, but in the mind of the doer it is justified, it is right, it is even […]

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As the New Old Left turns 50…

Monday, April 5th, 2021

Malinda Seneviratne Revolutionaries, self-styled or otherwise, are hard to imagine as old people, the exception of course being Fidel Castro. Castro grew old with a Cuban Revolution that has demonstrated surprising resilience. Che Guevara was effectively stilled, literally and metaphorically when he was just 39, ensuring iconic longevity — and the wild haired image with […]

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Unclear. Untold. Unfair. Untenable

Monday, April 5th, 2021

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E Unclear. Untold. Unfair. These are words that one can reasonably expect in any decent conversation or review of the recent UN Human Rights Council resolution on/against Sri Lanka. However, such dismal descriptives are applicable to other matters, institutions and processes as well. Just the other day, those words were uttered at the launch […]

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Prerogatives following the Geneva Kangaroo Court decision

Friday, March 26th, 2021

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E Few countries can boast of anything close to the track record of Britain when it comes to gross human rights violations. Genocide and monumental plunder have marked the history of that country and indeed have been the main source of the wealth and sway its citizens and governments, respectively, have enjoyed over several […]

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Wanted: An International Center on Vexatious Persecution

Friday, March 26th, 2021

Malinda Seneviratne The vote on the resolution against Sri Lanka was adopted on Tuesdays at the 46th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. That slant was reflected in the vote as well. The resolution was passed 22-11 with 14 abstentions. First let us examine the story told by the numbers. There were […]

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Cheerio EU, hello EA (and more, hopefully!)

Monday, March 22nd, 2021

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E EU. That’s the European Union. EA stands for East Asia. It’s a crude categorization in terms of what’s happening right now in Geneva with regard to Sri Lanka. Russia, after all, is ‘East’ according to some, West according to others. Pakistan is not East enough so to speak. Both countries are backing Sri […]

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March 22nd will come and go, Sri Lanka will remain resilient

Monday, March 22nd, 2021

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E omorrow (that is Monday the 22nd of March, 2021) a vote will be taken in Geneva on a resolution against Sri Lanka to be tabled the same day. The outcome will decide the fate of Sri Lanka or so some believe. Let’s be sober here. First of all, given the power wielded by […]

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UNHRC: ‘When the end justifies the means…’

Monday, March 22nd, 2021

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E In Geneva, essentially, it will be a West vs East battle, considering the key players. It is no secret that moves against Sri Lanka are orchestrated principally by Britain and EU countries, operating as proxies more or less of the USA, which opted out of the UNHRC’s annual drama on account of the […]

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It’s time Tamil Eelamists shed half-truths

Monday, March 22nd, 2021

Malinda Seneviratne In the year 1977, the Tamli United Liberation Front (TULF) contested the General Election on a separatist ticket. The TULF swept the Tamil vote. That result was and is interpreted as an unofficial referendum on the Tamil people’s views on separation. And so the argument can be made as follows: if in any […]

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Is India in the West or East, that’s the question?

Saturday, March 6th, 2021

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E What if the British High Commissioner in Colombo Sarah Hulton met with the Ambassador of South Korea Woonjin Jeong on Tuesday, the 2nd of March, 2021? What if he was accompanied by former Foreign Minister and the man who happily tossed Sri Lanka under the UNHRC bus driven by a warmongering Uncle Sam? […]

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India in Geneva: friend, foe or navel-gazer?

Saturday, March 6th, 2021

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E ‘If you are not with me, I will assume that you are against me,’ is a prudent rule of thumb, but only in certain situations. Not all questions can be answered with either ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Complex realities don’t often offer such luxurious indulgences. This is true of people, it is true of […]

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A march, a tweet, some angst and mild sabre-rattling

Monday, February 15th, 2021

Malinda Seneviratne If something deserves to be called ‘Event of the Week’ it would be the ‘Pothuvil to Poligandy (P2P) March’ which ended on Sunday, February 7. At the end of the march there were around 2,000 people. Most significantly, it was an event that saw the participation of both Tamils and Muslims. The basic […]

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It’s time for the Geneva Circus replete with molehills and mountains

Saturday, February 6th, 2021

  by Malinda Seneviratne Courtesy The Island Circus Pacifica, Apollo Circus and of course the amazing Chinese Circus — readers of an earlier generation will no doubt remember these. The Apollo Circus however planted itself on Pedris Park for quite awhile, but the others were rare. Perhaps the antics of politicians, political parties, activists of […]

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The USA threw the strategic baby and kept the human rights bathwater

Thursday, February 4th, 2021

Malinda Seneviratne The Committee on Foreign Relations of the US presented an analysis on Sri Lanka to the Senate on December 7, 2009, i.e. almost seven months after the war on terrorism ended with the world’s most ruthless terrorist outfit, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) being comprehensively defeated by the Sri Lankan security […]

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The political economy of accusation, guilt and punishment

Thursday, January 14th, 2021

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E Whenever predictions are made about repercussions from the international community for things said or left unsaid or else things done or left undone, I am reminded of Libya. Muammar Gaddafi was for decades the bad boy. He decided at one point to try being the good boy. We all know how he was […]

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The Quad halved, then drawn and quartered.

Sunday, January 10th, 2021

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E This column focuses on local politics. As opposed to global affairs. However, ‘local-global’ is, as sociologists would point out, a false dichotomy. What happens or rather can happen here is by and large determined by overarching global political and economic structures. Local affairs don’t always shape global processes unless the particular ‘local’ enjoys […]

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Subramanyam Jaishankar and pounds of flesh

Thursday, January 7th, 2021

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E The Indian Foreign Minister arrived in Sri Lanka on Tuesday. His schedule includes discussions with the President, Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister.  Any visit by any Indian minister or senior official is important, this is undebatable. Not because ‘we are old friends’ or ‘have a long, shared history’ (the ‘friendship’ is debatable […]

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It will take a lot to bury 2020, but let’s give thanks for being alive

Monday, January 4th, 2021

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E The year 2020 was eminently forgettable and that has very little to do with politics. The obvious need not be stated. As for the political, we had parliamentary elections and the passage of the 20th Amendment. The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna effectively consolidated its hold on power, securing close to a two-thirds majority. […]

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The elephant is in the room and will not go away

Sunday, January 3rd, 2021

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E No. Not THAT elephant nor the one which turned itself into a telephone. Neither are in the room. The compass is not in the room either and there’s palpable evidence that even the lotus bud has got displaced. That’s if ‘people’ constitute ‘the room.’ These days, the proverbial elephant in the room is […]

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To bury or not bury is NOT the question

Tuesday, December 29th, 2020

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E Is it absolutely safe to bury those who have died of Covid-19? No one can say with absolute certainty. The World Health Organization (WHO) says it’s safe. However, the WHO’s endorsement is not the last word. It is a decent recommendation, nothing more. Note, also, that the WHO has got a lot of […]

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There’s movement within and without (parties and nations)

Tuesday, December 29th, 2020

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E Those who worship free markets would say, ‘there is no such thing as a free lunch.’ Nothing comes free. Everything has a price which, they claim, is determined by the play of demand and supply in a market where everyone is endowed with the capacity to obtain all relevant information.Nice on paper. But […]

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A disease, a vaccine, a ‘cure’ and the resurrection of burials

Sunday, December 13th, 2020

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E THE WEEK THAT WAS  The third reading of the Budget 2021 was passed in parliament with amendments on Thursday with a majority of 97 votes.  a short while ago, 151 voting in favor while 54 voted against it. It was in a sense a reaffirming of the two-thirds majority that the ruling party, […]

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What happened to the Provincial Councils?

Tuesday, December 8th, 2020

කෝණය – Konaya

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යහපාලන ආණ්ඩුවේ ජාතික ආරක්ෂා යෝජනා කුණු කූඩයටද?

Monday, December 7th, 2020

කෝණය – Konaya අලුත් කෝණයකින් සමාජය, දේශපාලනය සහ සංස්ක්ෘතිය දෙස බලමු.

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Between Mahara and Buravi, amid anxiety and relief

Sunday, December 6th, 2020

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E Fire and brimstone. That’s one way of talking about the week that has passed. Fire, on account of the tragedy that unfolded at the Mahara Prison, brimstone as metaphor for what was feared (but didn’t transpire) by way of a cyclone, Buravi. Of course we are still caught in the so-called Second Wave […]

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The report of the Sectoral Oversight Committee on National Security is gathering dust!

Friday, December 4th, 2020

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E On February 19, 2020, i.e. days before Parliament was dissolved and probably in full cognizance of impending General Elections, a report was released by ‘The Sectoral Oversight Committee on National Security,’ appointed following the Easter Sunday attacks almost a year before. The Easter Sunday attack was a clear indictment on the then government’s […]

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Will ‘Citizen vs Judiciary’ be given ‘Leave to Proceed’?

Thursday, November 26th, 2020

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E It’s a mischievous headline, admittedly. Citizens are not taking the judges to court. And, even if that happened, the simple matter of interest-conflict would force all judges in all courts to recuse themselves from entertaining such a petition. We don’t have a perfect judicial system. Neither is it as horrendous as some have […]

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The 19th Amendment: get over it already!

Wednesday, November 25th, 2020

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E There are all kinds of yahapalanists. There are those who cannot be in denial simply because they were right in the middle of the yahapalana project or rather a project by that name (for good governance was certainly not their cup of tea as history showed and practice demonstrated). Then there are those […]

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