Author Archive for Malinda Seneviratne

China and India: friendship and ‘friendship’

Friday, August 5th, 2022

Malinda Seneviratne India is reported to have ‘raised concerns at the highest levels’ over Sri Lanka’s decision to allow the Chinese research vessel Yuan Wang 5 to dock at the Hambantota Port. Yuan Wang 5 is said to be a ship engaged in marine scientific research, but benign though that sounds, it is also one […]

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අරගලයේ දේශපාලන ඉතිරිය

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

Malinda Seneviratne “ස්වයං විවේශනය, දුෂ්ටත්වයේ හරය තෙක් දිවෙන දරුණු, නොමසුරු, අනුකම්පා විරහිත විවේචනය නිර්ධන පාන්තික ව්‍යාපාරයක ජීවය සහ හුස්ම පොද වේ” — රෝසා ලක්සන්බ(ර්)ග් අරගලය අවසන් වුනා කියල සමහරු කියනවා. අරගල ඉවර වෙන්නෙත් නෑ ඉවර කරන්නත් බෑ කියල තවත් අය කියනවා. කෙසේ වෙතත් ‘අරගලය’ නමින් හැඳින් වූ දේශපාලන ක්‍රියාවලිය එක්තරා ආකාරයක නිමාවකට ඇවිල්ලයි තියෙන්නේ. අරගලය […]

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අරගල, විප්ලව සහ දේශපාලයේ අවලස්සන යටිපැත්ත

Monday, August 1st, 2022

Malinda Seneviratne ජනතා නැගිටීමක්, උද්ඝෝෂණයක්, රටක දේශපාලන නායකත්වයට අභියෝග කරන දේශපාලන ක්‍රියාවලියක්, දේශපාලන පෙරළියක් — මේ හැම එකක්ම අරගලයක් කියල කියන්න පුළුවන්. විප්ලවයක් කියල කියන්න බෑ. සමහර අරගල විප්ලව බවට පරිවර්තනය වෙන්න පුළුවන්. කොන්දේසි තියෙනවා. පහුගිය මාස කිහිපය හරහා ලංකාවේ සිදුවුණා නැත්තම් සිදු කරන ලද අරගලය විප්ලවයක් බවට පෙරලුනේ නැහැ. ඒක ‘අරගලයක්’ නෙවෙයි, ඇත්තටම. එතන […]

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Ambassador Chung and xeroxable change

Friday, July 29th, 2022

Malinda Seneviratne Aragalaya. Translatable as revolt, uprising, protest, agitation, struggle or even insurrection. Aragalaya is singular, but considering statements and actions it was certainly not marked by concert, ideological agreement, unity of purpose etc. Eclecticism was the signature of the rumbling. There was mumbling, nothing more, about system-change, but a revolution it certainly was not. So, aragalaya: singular; aragala: […]

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ජනසතු අරගලය ජනතාකරණයට ලක් වුනාද?

Thursday, July 21st, 2022

Malinda Seneviratne ජනතා අරගලයක් අලුතින් ජනසතු කරන්න ඕනේ නෑ.  තිබ්බේ අරගලයක් නෙවෙයි, අරගලයන්. බහුවචනයෙන් තමයි කතා කරන්න වෙන්නේ. එක් එක් අරගල වල එක එක ජන කොටස්. සමපාත වුන තැනුත් තිබුනා. නොවුන තැනුත් තිබුනා. වඩා නිවැරදිව කිව්වොත් කවුරු කවුරුත් ‘අරගලයක්’ තුල හිටියා, ඉන්නවා සහ තමන් තේරුම් ගත්ත කුමන හෝ අරගලයක් සමග අනන්‍ය වුනා, අනන්‍ය වෙලා ඉන්නවා. […]

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The Aragalaya: a postscript

Thursday, July 21st, 2022

Malinda Seneviratne Ranil Wickremesinghe is no longer president in an acting capacity. He is the president, period. Did someone say ‘I don’t know whether to laugh or cry?’ I am pretty sure someone did. Did someone say, ’who wudda thunk?’ Well, if two or three years ago, if anyone suggested that in July 2023 Ranil […]

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ව්‍යවස්ථා සංශෝධන මාෆියාව/මේනියාව

Monday, July 18th, 2022

Malinda Seneviratne #gotagohome අරගලය නොහොත් ගෝටව ගෙදර යැවීමේ ව්‍යාපෘතිය නොහොත් ආදරයේ අරගලය අනන්‍ය වූ ඇතැම් පුද්ගලයින්, සංවිධාන සහ බලවේග මුල සිටම ව්‍යවස්ථා සංශෝධන අවශ්‍ය යැයි තර්ක කළෝය. ආර්ථික අර්බුදය කෙසේ වෙතත් දේශපාලන අර්බුද වලට දිගු කාලීන විසඳුම එය යැයි ප්‍රකාශ කරන ලදී. 1978 ව්‍යවස්ථාවේ අවුල් දකින්නත් විසඳුම් යෝජනා කරන්නත්, විසඳන්න ඉදිරිපත් වෙන්නත් අර්බුද අවශ්‍ය නොමැති […]

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Vee da (වීද) hoo da (හූද) people?

Saturday, July 16th, 2022

Malinda Seneviratne Sri Lankans make a unique and hilarious knicker-twisted nation, exasperated over lengthy fuel lines to the point of ousting a president and then entire families sweating lengthier lines under umbrellas to see his residence. Any uprising cast as being spontaneous invariably runs into a bunch of problems, the most serious being the one […]

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When the centre cannot hold…

Wednesday, July 13th, 2022

Malinda Seneviratne  I write (it is 12.09 pm, on Wednesday) at a time when there’s a remarkable and unprecedented lack of political clarity in the country. As I write, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has left the country. As per the Constitution, if indeed Rajapaksa did resign, or, as reported, Rajapaksa citing Article 37.1 of the constitution , […]

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De-dollarize!

Thursday, June 30th, 2022

Malinda Seneviratne Sometime in the year 1992, an Economics student at the University of Peradeniya confessed confusion over a comment by Dr S B De Silva regarding multinational corporations. Apparently he didn’t have an issue with MNCs and the student had been shocked. Elaboration cleared it all up. What he had meant was that it […]

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The international community, the opposition and the people

Sunday, June 26th, 2022

Malinda Seneviratne Gotabaya Rajapaksa is the worst President we’ve had. He’s the worst leader, counting all presidents, prime ministers, ministers, chairpersons of local government authorities and maranaadhara samithi. He’s the worst Sri Lankan ever. Let’s assume. Let’s assume that as the all-powerful Executive President, all ills are attributable to him. Let’s assume that although this implies […]

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Constitutional Reform: the wages of haste, sloth and expediency.

Thursday, May 26th, 2022

Malinda Seneviratne There are certain rules of thumb with regard to constitutional reform. First, such exercises should never be predicated on political expediency. In other words, one’s allegiance or otherwise to the immediate beneficiary, beneficiaries or political party/coalition should not be a factor in offering support or objecting, respectively. Secondly, one’s allegiance or otherwise to […]

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Personalities and Systems

Thursday, May 19th, 2022

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E ‘The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte,’ one of the more literary essays written by Karl Marx famously, contains many quotable quotes which are of course frequently used in contexts that have little to do with the thrust of the man’s thinking. This, however, is apt for our times: ‘Men make their own history, […]

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The BASL proposals: A review

Saturday, May 14th, 2022

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E Crises prompt proposals for management, recovery and future prosperity. Of the many we’ve seen, perhaps on account of public profile, the set of proposals submitted by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) is one which calls for serious consideration. Indeed, the BASL proposals have been approved by multiple political groups/individuals including the […]

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පුද්ගල චරිත මතුවේ, නිර්පාක්ෂික හැව ගැලැවේ, අරගලය ඉදිරියටම….

Thursday, May 12th, 2022

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E අදේශපාලනික අරගලකරුවන් සිටිය නොහැක. නිශ්චිත නොවුනත්, දේශපාලනික පක්ෂ සහ ඒවායේ අරමුණු සමග අනන්‍ය නොවුනත්, අරගලකරුවා දේශපාලනිකයි. අදේශපාලනික අරගලකරුවන් සිටිය නොහැකි නමුත් නිර්පාක්ෂික අරගලකරුවන් සිටිය හැක.  නිර්පාක්ෂික අරගලකරුවන් අනිවාර්යයෙන්ම නිර්පාක්ෂික නොවූ අරගලකරුවන්ට වඩා උසස් වන්නේ ද පහත් වන්නේ ද නැත. එහෙත් යම් දේශපාලන සංවිධානයක් සමග අනන්‍ය වී ඇති අතරම තමුන් ‘නිර්පාක්ෂික’ යැයි කියන, ‘නිර්පාක්ෂිකයෙකු’ […]

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The Aragalists and the challenge of re-mapping Sri Lanka

Wednesday, May 11th, 2022

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E It was expected and yet shocking. Expected, because that’s what history has taught us: those in power, having enjoyed all the luxuries that come with power, and especially through abuse of office, are lulled into believing that power is permanent, and therefore rudely shocked when they realise otherwise, seldom exit peacefully. They fight […]

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ලෙයට ලෙය වෙනුවට ආලය

Wednesday, May 11th, 2022

Malinda Seneviratne මසක කාලයක් ගෝල් ෆේස් හි ගොඩනැගු ගෝටාගෝගමෙහි දහස් ගණන් තරුණ තරුණියන් මෙන් ම නොයෙකුත් මතවාදී ධාරාවන් නියෝජනය කරන අන් අය එකට බැඳ තැබූ සුන්දර වරපටය ආදරයයි. එකට එක් වී වැපුරුවේ ආදරයයි. යෙදුනේ හෙට දින රට හදන ව්‍යායාමයක පෙරහුරුවකයි.  අහිංසකත්වය, අවිහිංසාවාදය, නිර්මාණශීලිත්වය, එඩිතරකම, ඉවසීම, සාමුහිකත්වය යනාදියෙන් අරගල භූමිය සුවඳවත් විය. එවැනි අහිංසක, අවිහිංසාවාදී, නිර්මාණශීලී, […]

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Tomorrow, tomorrow and so forth…

Thursday, May 5th, 2022

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E Even in uncertain times, especially times of political turmoil marked by continuous and widespread agitation as well as unmistakable confusion regarding governance and indeed governability, there is clarity on certain matters. It is clear, for example, that for all the political brouhaha of parliamentary intrigue and agitational grandstanding, what brought the citizen out […]

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A season of (il)legitimacies

Thursday, May 5th, 2022

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E Politics is about claims and counter-claims. It is about profit-seeking through exaggeration and pooh-poohing. It is also about wild extrapolation of conclusions wrought in echo-chambers. It is as much about deception as it is about self-deception. Perhaps an example would illustrate the point. Way back in 2010, a few weeks before the presidential […]

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The brink and beyond….

Sunday, April 24th, 2022

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E A line has been crossed. That’s the title of a note doing the rounds referring to the ongoing protests and specifically to the fatal shooting of a protester in Rambukkana.   Yes, a line has been crossed. If anything marked the agitation until this point, barring of course the odd incident of mutual […]

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Rev Fr Cyril Gamini: judge, jury, prosecutor and pernicious rabble-rouser

Friday, April 15th, 2022

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E Rev Fr Cyril Gamini (RFCG hereafter) has found his voice. RFCG, after shooting his mouth and naming names in a zoom discussion, was duly complained about and required to make a statement. Having named names, he was required to offer tangible proof, for lack thereof would amount to defamation. He ducked. He hid […]

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Notes for a Sincerity Project: Elections, electors and elected

Sunday, April 10th, 2022

Malinda Seneviratne There are calls, obviously from oppositional elements, for snap elections. There are of course constitutional provisions for holding parliamentary elections and those who make such demands cannot be ignorant about them. It’s therefore empty rhetoric. There are elections that have not been held, though, which not many seem to be concerned about. Yes, […]

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Easter Sunday Attacks: negligence and the negligent

Sunday, April 10th, 2022

Malinda Seneviratne Someone robs a bank. Now, obviously, it is not always the case that those who carry out such heists do all the planning themselves. The brains prefer not to get their hands dirtied. Also, in case things go wrong, they would obviously want the out of ‘not being involved,’ which of course would […]

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‘One Country, One Law’ in an aggrieved and anxious nation

Friday, December 24th, 2021

MALINDA SENEVIRATN​E The appointment of a presidential task force mandated to draft relevant legislation aimed at operationalising the ‘One Country, One Law’ concept precipitated howls of protests. The howlers weren’t exactly from those opposed in some way to a single corpus of rules; rather they by and large belonged to that small set of people […]

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Thanks goodness for Omicron!

Monday, December 13th, 2021

Malinda Seneviratne Am I being flippant about something that is of serious concern to the health of the economy and the well being of the citizens? No. It’s sarcasm. Unfortunately, it needs to be labeled for the benefit of those who spin doom’s day scenarios with the unabashed objective of living in political territories closer […]

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‘One country, one law’ and forgotten manuscripts

Thursday, November 25th, 2021

Malinda Seneviratne If a priest, to toss in another example, claims that someone is guilty of a crime (for example, an act of terrorism), he/she better substantiate the claim — saying ‘Aney, I am also a victim, it was those in my faith-community who suffered most,’ won’t do. ‘Victimhood’ does not confer special rights to […]

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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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