Author Archive for Malinda Seneviratne

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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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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