Why Sri Lanka’s protestors must topple the statue of Bandaranaike in Colombo

A monument to a man who oversaw two anti-Tamil pogroms and the architect behind one of the most racist pieces of legislation on the island’s history overlooks the Galle Face protests. If these protests are to be inclusive of all in Sri Lanka, that statue must go.

'This is what caused Sri Lanka’s worst economic crisis'

The doctrine of Sinhala Buddhist nationalism, which has been instrumental in the Sri Lankan nation-building project, is the driving force behind the current economic crisis, writes Madura Rasaratnam, an associate professor at the University of London, in The Indian Express this week. The ruling Rajapaksa family has seen a rapid decline in popularity amidst an economic crisis that has created mass insecurity on the island. The crisis is largely viewed as a consequence of economic mismanagement at the hands of president Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his government. On 12 April the finance ministry...

‘Sri Lanka’s economic crisis has created a political one’

Responding to the ongoing crisis in Sri Lanka, the Economist slams the governance of the Rajapaksa regime noting that their response has been “a mix of intimidation and ineptitude” which has produced “a political crisis to compound the economic disaster”.

‘Gota needs to go – but so does the ethnocratic state’

Responding to the crisis which has engulfed Sri Lanka, Mario Arulthas, an advisor to People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL), stresses that for a “more just stable and prosperous island”, it is not the President that needs to go but the deeply entrenched ethnocratic state. His opinion piece in Al Jazeera comes as there are widespread protests across Sri Lanka denouncing the President for the current economic crisis which has left the country with a severe shortage in food, fuel and medicines. However, Arulthas notes that while these demonstrations are harshly critical of the President...

'How Four Powerful Brothers Broke an Island Nation'

Writing in the Bloomberg, Ruth Pollard highlighted that the Rajapaksa regime has "lost control of Sri Lanka’s economy" as the island continues to suffer from an economic crisis "mostly of its own making". "From an ill-fated fertiliser ban that led to a dramatic fall in yields of crops like rice and tea, to its failure to deal with a foreign-currency crisis that’s now a humanitarian emergency, the government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is fast running out of solutions. Relying until now on help from its two major backers — India and China — and stubbornly refusing wider international aid, the country is on the verge of default," Pollard wrote.

An inconsistent international order - Lessons from Ukraine

With global outrage and distress at Russia’s actions, however, there has also been growing dismay around the world at the radically different lens through which Western states have viewed Moscow’s offensive and Ukraine’s resistance to it. The past week has made it abundantly clear to many peoples around the world; it is not that Western states do not understand the politics of resistance to oppression. It is that they deem some nations or people as apparently unworthy of practising it.

The call to boycott Chennai Super Kings – On popular culture and oppression in Tamil Nadu

In their book Dialectic of Enlightenment , Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer wrote about the role of popular culture in “seducing the masses into desiring their own domination”. The current situation in Tamil Nadu certainly has echoes of that. Throughout the state’s history, the people of Tamil Nadu have proven susceptible to ignoring their political rights for the altar of mass entertainment and hero-worship. Cinema has been the most influential medium of popular entertainment and MGR’s example has inspired subsequent super-stars to consider parlaying their popularity into a career in...

Regional Autonomy and Genocide Prevention In the Tamil Homeland: Learning Lessons from the Kurds

Today we meet at a critical conjuncture when efforts are being made to water down the Tamils’ demand for political rights and a political solution to the toothless provincial council system created by the 13th amendment to the Sri Lankan constitution. When we speak of a political solution, many of us fail to understand that it should be a means of preventing genocide.

The Red Flag

The first and most important thing to understand about the Sri Lankan flag is that every version of the lion flag is, definitionally, racist and fascist in symbolism, including the official one. It was intentionally designed that way, by committee.

'PTA reform: A farce in multiple acts'

Writing in The Morning, Ambika Satkunanathan, former Human Rights Commissioner of Sri Lankan (HRCSL), explains how most of the recently announced proposed 'reforms' to the notorious Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) "already exist and are not new."