Sri Lanka's buttock brouhaha

‘It is the intention of Mr Ranil Wickramasinghe to generate a ‘mod’ farmer without hanging cheeks and whose buttocks are not visible as in the traditional clothing.’ So read a pre-election press release this month by one Dr Rajitha Senaratne, Sri Lankan MP and member of the leading opposition United National Party (UNP), whose leader, the aforementioned Mr Wickramasinghe, hopes to become president when the country goes to the polls in three weeks’ time. There are many important issues being contested: recovery from the tsunami, an uneasy ceasefire in the long-running civil war, arguments over...

Strengths and weaknesses of the campaigns

Each vote, even in the most negligible electorate, counts

Democracy and the Northeast

A mix of paramilitary groups and marginalised politicians are being put forward as the actors through which the project of democratizing the Northeast ought to proceed.

Open door to extremism

What are the possibilities for consensus on a solution to Sri Lanka's conflict?

Whither peace after the polls?

Regardless of who wins the Presidential polls, the prospects for a revival of the Norwegian initiative look slim.

Fear and loathing

Anxiety about terrorism is now shaping Britain’s political debate and redefining allegiances.

An impediment to the peace process

It is unfair and unacceptable to choose one party to the peace talks and penalise it.

Development won’t end Sri Lanka’s war

The strategy being advocated by President Chandrika Kumaratunga today is a derivative of her ‘war for peace.’

UN terror resolution enables repression

‘But the open-ended language of the resolution means that it will be of greater help to abusive regimes than to the fight against terrorism’

Pawns on the board

Nevertheless, the primary objective of both Rajapakse and the various groups around him is to ensure his victory.