Author Archive for Malinda Seneviratne

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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A budget presented amid celebrations and acquittals

Wednesday, November 25th, 2020

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E Over the last few weeks there has been a concerted campaign in social media attacking President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The ‘Gota Fail Campaign,’ as it was, promoted a strong response questioning the success of the President’s detractors. The campaign was clearly targeting the President’s first anniversary celebrations and the impending reading of the budget. […]

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Gota’s no-frills first year, whines and whiners

Saturday, November 21st, 2020

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E It was obvious not a year that made for pomp and pageantry, even if that was the desire. All issues have been either framed or impacted by Covid19. In any case, he’s not, for example, a Mahinda Rajapaksa. Covid19 of course was so sobering that the contrast was lost.No-frills is good but presidents […]

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The 19th, 20th and judicial appointments

Sunday, November 15th, 2020

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E Draconian. Dictatorial. Authoritarian. Hitler-like. These are the words that were used when Gotabaya Rajaakssa first announced the decision to contest, throughout the election campaign and even now, as he approaches one year in office. Interestingly, the Colombot twitterati understandably disappointed by the fact that their outcome preferences did not materialize, are the chief […]

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A new constitution, seriously?

Thursday, November 5th, 2020

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E Crisis. This is interestingly a word that at some level warms the cockles of a politician’s heart. Governments can point to calamities and pooh-pooh demands to address issues that have plagued society for a long time. They provide ammunition to the opposition, even one which is weak, clueless and indeed precipitated the issues […]

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Narendra Modi spikes the good neighbor drink

Friday, October 2nd, 2020

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E Which country would not be happy if another country said ‘we have a you-first security policy?’ The cynical have the option of retorting ‘most countries would be terrified if, for example, the USA said something like that.’ The world is not flat. Not all countries are equal in terms of financial might and […]

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Three Theras and a baby

Thursday, August 27th, 2020

Malinda Seneviratne On December 26, 2004, just two days after Sri Lanka was hit by the tsunami, an infant was found among the debris on the Kalmunai beach. Abhilash was his name, but no one knew it. He was given a number, 81. There were various people claiming parenthood. The matter was eventually resolved by […]

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Finding paths to being enslaved by the USA

Tuesday, June 16th, 2020

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E The USA is in the news. Exposed. Exposed to those who believed the balderdash about that country being the greatest success story of democracy, freedom and the good life, to be more precise. The USA markets lies very well. Whereas other nations as bad or worse are crude the USA is cute in […]

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Michelle Bachelet needs a tutor

Sunday, March 1st, 2020

BY MALINDA SENEVIRATNE A year ago, UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet made the following observation in her report on Sri Lanka (tabled on March 8, 2019): ‘On 29 May 2018, human skeletal remains were discovered at a construction site in Mannar (Northern Province). Excavations, concluded with the support of the Office on Missing Persons, […]

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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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