MARCH 23, 2017 EST, USA
 
 
VOL. 17, NO. 351
 

TLA-Exclusive Feature Articles
BLAZING A TRAIL: THE PURPOSE AND PROJECT OF CHANDRA DE SILVA
Sanja de Silva Jayatilleka, jan 30. Trixie Marthenez’s book “Those Delhi Days (1950-54)” tells part of the story. Chandra Samarasinghe was barely out of her teens when she set off to New Delhi from Colombo in 1950, to start a new chapter in her life. She had dreamed of becoming a doctor and was studying for her university entrance exams but there she was sitting in a train with the two other Ceylonese girls who had been selected together with her, for four years at one of Asia’s leading Universities to do an honours degree, having won the coveted scholarships on offer beating a room full of extravagantly dressed applicants. Leaving Ceylon and heading off to a new country, a new way of life, she was soon to introduce herself to her Delhi classmates with a proudly delivered “I am from Lanka”. More...
COULD THE LESSONS LEARNT HAVE BEEN FORSEEN?
Dr DAYAN JAYATILLEKA, sep 1. Testimony by former senior officials at the Lessons Learnt panel has provided useful insights into what went wrong with policy perceptions, process and prescriptions during the CFA. Meanwhile the grapevine has it that the Royal Norwegian Government has called for tenders for academics and think tanks which can participate in its own ‘lessons learnt’ inquiry into what went wrong with its own efforts at a ‘peace process’ in Sri Lanka. More...
AN UNCOMFORTABLE PEACE IN SRI LANKA
by Cédric Gouverneur, August 12, 2010. Mahinda Rajapaksa, strengthened by military victory over the Tamil Tigers, easily won the 2010 Sri Lanka elections. But his government's authoritarianism is frightening the Sinhalese - and the Tamils are afraid of colonisation by the Sinhalese majority More...
THE SELF-IMMOLATION OF THE UNP
DR. DAYAN JAYATILLEKA, Aug 1. ‘Change’ and ‘Unity’ are the two competing slogans within the UNP. Sadly the issue is wrongly framed for either slogan to do much good. The question should be whether change or unity should come first. If unity precedes change, it will also preclude change. Unity is thus being deployed as a slogan to counter that of reform aimed at leadership change or leadership change through reform. More...
WORLD COURT ON KOSOVO: LESSONS FOR LANKA
- DR. DAYAN JAYATILLEKA, Aug 1. Students residing and schooling in Colombo had the bar to university entrance set higher in the mid 1970s, what with district and media wise standardisation the order of the day. For Arts students the Mt Olympus was the Faculty of Law, and those few who had done well enough were informed that they had qualified /been selected for the Law Fac. Getting their kids in over the high bar of standardisation was a dream for parents in Colombo. That year my name was on top of the list of Arts students eligible for the Law Faculty but as Prof Kamal Karunanayake, then registrar of the UGC would testify, I opted instead – over considerable parental pressure-- for Political Science at Peradeniya. The reason was a simple realisation that ‘law’ and ‘justice’ were two quite different things; that law was weighted in favour of the existing power structure and that politics, by contrast, would not veil reality so much as provide a key to the comprehension of the decision making core, which affected everything else including the law. More...
INTERNATIONAL INTERVENTION & THE INTELLIGENTSIA
DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA, july 27. When Julien Benda wrote of the treason of the intellectuals, he didn’t know the half of it. More...
THE STATE & STRATEGY FOR THE NORTH AND EAST
DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA, July 20. My first book had an awful title (‘Sri Lanka: The Travails of a Democracy’) conferred by the publisher in Delhi, but the subtitle was mine, and it was Unfinished War, Protracted Crisis. Today, that war is finished but the crisis protracts. More...
THE POLITICS OF THE UN AND ‘POST-WAR’ SRI LANKA: A BRIEF CRITIQUE
Kalana Senaratne, July 5. The recent appointment of a Panel of Experts by the UN Secretary General (UNSG) is a disturbing development, even though it was bound to happen. Discuss this story More...
NO HOSTAGE TO THE PAST: AN ENCOUNTER WITH MERVYN DE SILVA
ASANGA WELIKALA, june 23. The eleventh anniversary of the death of Mervyn de Silva, the great Sri Lankan journalist and editor, falls on 22nd June. I once had an extraordinary encounter with Mervyn, although sadly as it turned out, at the very empennage of his life. In a wholly spontaneous chat that lasted less than two hours, we (mostly he) talked about the international use of force for humanitarian interventions and Robin Cook’s ‘ethical foreign policy’ in the then fashionable Blairite project (Mervyn wasn’t impressed), F.C. de Saram and M. Sathasivam (and the politico-sociological implications of their fractious dispute over the All Ceylon captaincy in 1947), billiards and snooker (I knew that the latter was invented in the Indian Army, but did not know of the debate whether it was the Jalalabad officers’ mess or the Ootacamund Club), and the relative merits of a pre-prandial aperitif at lunchtime (for one of which he was on his way). More...

Features at Other Sites
RETURNED ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE VS ENTRENCHED ACADEMIC MEDIOCRITY
By Carlo Fonseka, may 13. At one point in your very perceptive editorial of 10 May titled ‘Pay them more; make them work harder’ you refer to President Mahinda Rajapaksha’s appeal to ‘expatriate Sri Lankan experts including academics to return and help develop the country’. Then you ask rhetorically: ‘But who will want to answer his call, return home and settle for a pittance?’ Please give me a little space to tell The Island the story of two such persons – Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole and his wife Dr. Dushyanthi Hoole, who answered the President’s call and the consequent unhappiness they have had to endure. More...
WILL THERE BE A VIOLENT RESURGENCE OF THE LTTE SOON?
D.B.S Jeyarajh, nov 6. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) was virtually demolished in May 2009 by the Sri Lankan armed forces in a series of battles in the Karaithuriapatru AGA division of the Northern Mullaitheevudistrict. More...
FEAST OF A PRESIDENT
Dr. THRISHANTHA NANAYAKKARA, Oct 5. On Feb. 3 2010, I wrote here about how Sri Lanka stepped into post-war peace over one of the most violent presidential elections ever recorded. However, I never thought post-war peace and new rule of law would grow up to be strong enough to make the united opposition presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka end up in jail. Sarath Fonseka, the four-star general who survived two suicide bomb attacks from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, apparently made clear political mistakes during the presidential election. First, he stressed the importance of political reconciliation among former enemies in the war.Discuss this story More...
THE TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE THAT IS THE 18TH AMENDMENT
Shakuntala Perera, Sep 8. Discuss this story More...
REPORT TO CONGRESS ON MEASURES TAKEN BY THE GOVERNMENT OF SRI LANKA AND INTERNATIONAL BODIES TO INVESTIGATE INCIDENTS DURING THE RECENT CONFLICT IN SRI LANKA, AND EVALUATING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF SUCH EFFORTS
Office of War Crimes Issues, August 11, 2010. Report To Congress on Measures Taken by the Government of Sri Lanka and International Bodies To Investigate Incidents During the Recent Conflict in Sri Lanka, and Evaluating the Effectiveness of Such Efforts More...
SAVING SOVEREIGNTY OR SHAMING SRI LANKA?
DR. Dayan Jayatilaka, July 11. Sri Lanka is a sovereign state which belongs to the international system. It must safeguard its sovereignty as well as its membership of that system. Sri Lanka’s enemies have a main objective – a separate state – and two subsidiary objectives which are a prelude to the main objective.Discuss this story Those subsidiary objectives are the encroachment on Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and the isolation of Sri Lanka from the international system. Sri Lanka must defend its sovereignty and its membership of the international order (while we join our friends and allies in seeking to reform that order). We must neither default on defending sovereignty nor must we strive to defend sovereignty in so unintelligent and uniformed a manner that Sri Lanka begins to jeopardise its acceptability as a member of the international system. More...
MURALI'S GREATEST HITS OF THE NOUGHTIES
Cricinfo, July 8. Earlier this year, a 60-strong panel of experts took part in a poll to select Cricinfo’s Cricketer of the 2000s. Ricky Ponting’s list of accomplishments as leader of the dominant Test and ODI team of the era justifiably earned him the top spot.Discuss this story More...

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