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A port town’s story of myopic vision and fading development

By Meera Srinivasan “One job per family” is what Sri Lankan authorities promised families like that of Y.B. Henry while taking over their land in 2009 for a deep-water container port. Now ‘resettled’ on government-allocated land located 15 km away from the port, the nearly 475 families are faced with a basic question about livelihood. “My [...]

Sri Lanka’s Post-War Poverty Trap

By Meera Srinivasan The recently-released findings of Sri Lanka’s Household Income and Expenditure Survey has revealed that eight years after the civil war ended, people in the war-hit north and east are gripped by poverty. Kilinochchi, the former rebel stronghold, has the highest level of poverty headcount at 18.2%, over four times the national average. The [...]

A Constitutional Draft Of The Mahasangha?

A common rule well observed in Sri Lanka’s political grammar is: Horrendous mistakes and lies made or uttered by opponents in the past is open licence for those in power to repeat them. That constant refrain we hear from politicians now in or out of power: ‘What did you say and do in your time?’ [...]

Constitution-Making And Catalonia Referendum

by N. Sathiya Moorthy It is sad that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe should allow himself to be caught in an embarrassing situation over the avoidable Karaka Sangha Sabha row, by trying to score a debating-point for a day and getting caught at it. His expose’ that the Mahanayake Thero of the Malwatte Chapter was not [...]

Tribute To Ranil Wickremesinghe By Sri Lankan Planters

Another milestone has been achieved in the political history of Sri Lanka as Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is completing his 40 years of diligent work in the parliament. This day is most ebullient and paramount to all of us as a nation, so I would like to furnish my gratitude and appreciation for the dedicated [...]

Why Does The Opposition Agree On Everything?

‘If two people agree on everything and anything, one person is doing the thinking’ To those of the new generations not familiar with Spanish writer Don Miguel Cervantes’s delightful book Don Quixote, Sancho Panza is a fictional hero who goes around the country fighting imaginary threats on a donkey along with his master Don Quixote [...]

Needed: National Discourse On Strategic Policy And Politics

by N. Sathiya Moorthy Even as the nation is debating the contours and contents of a new Constitution, there is an urgent need to include in it the parameters of a new ‘strategic thinking’. If there is a paradigm-shift of any kind, Sri Lanka should not shy away from discoursing on the subject and take [...]

Whither ‘Mixed Voting System’ To Revive FPP?

Under the proposed ‘Mixed voting system’, it is designed to elect more than 225 parliamentarians through FPP (First-past-the-post) and PR (Proportional representation) on an ad hoc 50:50 basis. The declared objective of FPP is to assign an MP from the area to be responsible for each electorate. In our view, this complex system merely to [...]

Can More Women Politicos Improve Governance?

PC wars then and now Women being granted 25 per cent representation in provincial councils without being voted in, we thought would be a cause for celebrations, at least in a feminine way. Generally, when they win a skirmish in the Battle of the Sexes they don’t dance on the streets after wetting their throats [...]

Refugees And Religion

by N. Sathiya Moorthy Coming as does in the midst of the controversy over ensuring the existing exclusive prominence and predominance of Buddhism in the affairs of Sri Lankan State under the new constitutional scheme, the Rohingya refugee issue may have acquired a religious angle that may have otherwise gone unnoticed, whatever be the motive [...]

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