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Is Sri Lankan Tourism Safe?

By Indi Samarajiva The animal assault on tourists in Tangalle is a tragedy, but not a trend. Sri Lanka remains a safe and friendly place to visit. The lawlessness and empowerment of government thugs, however, is a trend, just not one that usually affects foreigners. Now that it has, the government has to make a [...]

Traditional Fears: War, Collapse And Dictatorship

By Indi Samarajiva There are still a few common fears floating around Colombo and the pages of this newspaper. They are that the country will return to war, that the economy will collapse and that we will descend into a totalitarian dictatorship soon. These are the traditional rallying cries of the disenfranchised elite, but I [...]

The Rock And The Hard Place

The government has a problem acknowledging reality, but so do its critics. The war was not all good and the Rajapaksas are not all bad. That is the middle ground. LLRC With the LLRC report, the government has admitted that civilians were killed, that hospitals were shelled and that people were detained and at times [...]

The Unawatuna Story, First Hand

No businesses were demolished in Unawatuna. The beach, however, has been wrecked, at least temporarily. I drove down to Unawatuna on the Southern Expressway and you can see that things are both better and worse than you would imagine. Hotels And Restaurants Are Not Destroyed It is not like Kingfisher is destroyed, just their deck, [...]

Sri Lanka’s Development Boom

When I lived in America we’d come back to visit Sri Lanka once every three or four years. In my memory, it never changed. Same buses, same cars, same streets, same stuff to do. In the last year, however, Colombo and Sri Lanka have changed dramatically, and these changes seem to be picking up steam. [...]

Geek Intellectualism

US Masters Degrees, by subject. Data from the NCES I applied for some degree programs last year though, in all honesty, I couldn’t find much to learn from them. Journalism programs basically end their digital media components where I am right now, and other programs are not directly related. Either through sour grapes or truthiness, [...]

Mahinda Moves

In the face of worker protests, Mahinda has retreated rapidly, resigning the head of police and withdrawing a dumb bill. This goes to show that he still depends on public consent. Parades, tamashas and titles aside, Mahinda’s rule depends on consent. It seems that the minute he messes with people’s money, the people will hit [...]

Uzbek Dentist Turned Sex Worker

I’ve often wondered what possessed a girl to leave China or Russia (or environs) and sell sex to Sri Lankans. But I’ve never actually talked to a prostitute. My friend Navin Weeraratne, however, has. He took the time to talk to one such girl from Uzbekistan and posted her story on Facebook. He was kind [...]

Post-War People

It’s been two years since the war ended. It’s actually kinda weird seeing the conflict referred to in the past tense. Growing up it seemed like the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, doomed to drag out until the parties died and/or Armageddon. But then it ended. In a bloody, absolute way, it ended. So, the end. Or not. [...]

Fall Of The Raj

Raj Rajaratnam was the richest Sri Lankan in the world. The last big time Sri Lankan I heard of was Sanjay Kumar, CEO of Computer Associates who got sentenced to 12 years for fraud. It’s really sad that we keep making headlines this way. Raj was recently found guilty of insider trading. It’s a compelling [...]

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