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Column for The Nation

From Bangalore to Bengaluru

Your columnist was an undergraduate student of English at Delhi University when he first undertook a train journey across the length and breadth of India to the National Law School of India University. For whatever reason, the student theatre group he travelled with took went from Delhi to Chennai, then to Pune and finally to […]

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#UPRLKA and accountability

In any given week, Sri Lanka offers much to contemplate in a public column. Choosing what to focus on can be challenging. This week, whilst cyclonic conditions battered the North and East of Sri Lanka, rendering thousands of families destitute and homeless, most Sri Lankans knew far more about the devastation in and around New […]

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Horses and bayonets

In 2008, your columnist was in New York for Super Tuesday as well as the day Obama won the election. On Super Tuesday, Obama was still a candidate, battling the Clintons and others within his own party to secure his candidature. Later that year, when CNN called the election just after 11pm, there wasn’t a […]

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New scalpels of dissent

How does one resist State terror? Counter-terror was tried, and failed, for it only made State terror worse, and more pervasive. The relatively non-violent rallies and demonstrations over democracy deficits in and around the Fort Railway station and Lipton Circus spring to mind, if only because everyone over at least two generations has either witnessed […]

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Regime change

The Rajapaksa government will fall and several in it will have to answer allegations of war crimes. There are many who will disagree with both assertions, indeed, violently and with the usual rhetoric. The animating logic behind regime longevity, seen from within government, is that the international community will forget Nandikadal in May 2009. This […]

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The new news

Your columnist no longer reads a newspaper daily, in print. For the most part, it began as a logistical necessity. Given frequent travel abroad, it was very difficult to accurately monitor dues after stopping and re-starting newspaper delivery several times during a billing cycle. The quality of mainstream media and the rising price of newsprint […]

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Seeya

Seeya died as he lived – with dignity. He was 96. We never talked politics. For 20 years, as I was growing up, he was just there. To drive me to College and back. To teach me, though not as much as he would have liked, carpentry. He was proud to own tools that many […]

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The skeletons in all our cupboards

To remember is a choice, a hard one. To remember is to hold in check those who wish to return to the horrors of the past. To not revisit policies that led to past horrors is to give Sri Lanka a greater chance of healing, and reconciliation. And yet, remembering is never easy, defined or […]

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A cartoon’s footprint

The Network of Women in Media, India called it “a new low point for misogyny in the print media”. The Women and Media Collective said that it had allowed “for gross sexism and crudity to override any form of civility in journalistic communication” and that it was “derogatory to women and women politicians”. The focus […]

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The long arc of Nandikadal

Recent events in Tamil Nadu demonstrate the risk inherent in what most suggest is the Rajapaksa regime’s LLRC gambit – to drag on a process of enfeebled accountability and reductive reconciliation until the sections of the international community interested in independent, international investigations into allegations of war crimes lose interest, shift focus or both. A […]

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