Category: The Long Tweet

Column for The Nation

Hearts and Minds

The thing is, you can’t browbeat Sinha-le, the BBS, Sihala Ravaya or the likes of Udaya Gammanpila. In recent weeks, opposition to racism has condemned those who promote divisive, inflammatory ideas and content. The PM threatened certain journalists and media institutions, and then threatened to take action against websites that promote racism. The President scoffed

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Murandu-palanaya?

A recent interview with President Sirisena, conducted with the BBC’s Azzam Ameen, is recommended viewing for those who want to assess contemporary politics and the trajectory of governance over 2016 and beyond. Over Twitter, I averred that while some of the President’s answers were positively disturbing, the opportunity given to grill him, and the fact

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The offline effect

Curating, as I have since 2008, online media during election violence monitoring offers insights into the way voters react to propaganda, political parties and politicians. Take for example the lead up to the Presidential Election in January 2015 and the General Election in August of the same year. Mahinda Rajapaksa’s online social media campaigning was

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Real change or realpolitik?

What is it after a year we can celebrate? Much, I would argue. There are photos I’ve taken with my phone of the scene in front of Temple Trees at daybreak, one year ago. Commandoes, armed, were just beginning to disperse, muted camouflage green and brown, with black muzzles, against red buses. They ringed the

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The bra effect

The Government announced last week that it would set up a website to gather public opinion on issues related to reconciliation. This came after an announcement earlier in December that the government intended to establish a secretariat to coordinate activities of various players engaged in reconciliation. In September came the announcement that the government would

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The state of the State

“The truth is that the police reflect America in all of its will and fear, and whatever we might make of this country’s criminal justice policy, it cannot be said that it was imposed by a repressive minority. The abuses that have followed from these policies – the sprawling carceral state, the random detention of

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Constructively yours

“A critique does not consist in saying that things aren’t good the way they are. It consists in seeing on just what type of assumptions, of familiar notions, of established and unexamined ways of thinking the accepted practices are based … To do criticism is to make harder those acts which are now too easy.”

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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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