Invisible incendiaries

“We learn geology the morning after the earthquake” – Ralph Waldo Emerson In the early 80s, and the start of what would be a nearly 30-year brutal war, I was kept awake at night by two things. Planes and ambulances. With fresh military offensives by the Sri Lankan Army incurring heavy casualties, Airforce planes airlifted … Continue reading Invisible incendiaries

Easter Sunday

“It doesn’t make sense.” – Naren Hattotuwa On Monday, my 12 year old son learnt his classmate had passed away at the Intensive Care Unit, a victim of one of the blasts in Colombo. My son’s mother and I grew up in the long shadow of the Black July anti-Tamil pogrom and the UNP-JVP violence … Continue reading Easter Sunday

When a law is not the answer

Wonderful news said all the Sri Lankans. But why Queensland, all the Australians asked. Fifteen years ago, a Rotary World Peace Fellowship award offered seven universities around the world to undertake a Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies. I chose the University of Bradford. I was awarded a place at the University of Queensland, in … Continue reading When a law is not the answer

Principles over promises: Responding to the Christchurch terrorism

Almost exactly a year ago, Facebook was in the news in New Zealand over a row with Privacy Commissioner John Edwards. The heated public exchange between Edwards and the company took place in the context of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which the private information of millions of Facebook users was harvested, illicitly, for deeply … Continue reading Principles over promises: Responding to the Christchurch terrorism

Digital Blooms | Article for LMD, January 2019

Witnessing a constitutional crisis through social media Of the many frames of reference readers may employ to help comprehend the extraordinary developments in Sri Lanka after the 26th of October, I doubt images of flowers in bloom or flower beds would immediately spring to mind. And yet, this is how I see Sri Lanka, or … Continue reading Digital Blooms | Article for LMD, January 2019

Manchurian Candidates

Novelist Richard Condon’s political thriller ‘The Manchurian Candidate’, written in 1959, deals with two central characters, both of whom are brainwashed through what’s often now called psychological operations or psy-ops for short. One character is programmed to kill based on a trigger – which in the novel is something as innocuous as the Queen of … Continue reading Manchurian Candidates

Shape South Asia 2016 & ‘Corridors of Power’

I was invited by the WEF GlobalShapers Colombo Hub (see Facebook page here) to showcase the 'Corridors of Power' exhibition again and also to speak on it. The exhibition, first held in 2015 at the JDA Perera Gallery, was unlike any other project combining design, architecture and constitutional theory. It occupied a very large floor … Continue reading Shape South Asia 2016 & ‘Corridors of Power’