Posts By Nilan Fernando
February 1, 2012
Since Sri Lanka’s decades-long civil war ended in 2009, we’re now witnessing the beginning of reconstruction in the country’s battered North and East. The government is rapidly investing in roads, rail, ports, and telecommunications that help connect marginalized communities with the vibrant, growing capital of Colombo.
October 19, 2011
For many first- and second-generation people of Sri Lankan heritage, Sri Lanka casts a curious spell. It may be a result of being fed a steady diet of their parents’ nostalgia pie. Other children of recent immigrants from Asia, Eastern Europe, Central America, and Africa might experience the same emotional tug, but if you’ve grown [...]
July 27, 2011
On July 23, Sri Lanka had the second of three rounds of local government elections planned for this year. Sixty-five councils were up for grabs but the focus of attention was on 20 councils in the Tamil majority Northern Province. The first round on March 17, was for 234 councils out of a total of 335. The balance will be elected in a third round before the end of the year. In last week’s election, the opposition Tamil National Alliance (TNA) won 15 of 20 councils in the North.
July 27, 2011
In Hong Kong on Monday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Asian business leaders to stay calm and not “overreact” to the U.S. debt-ceiling crisis. Despite such a call for calm, some say the saga is swiftly eroding American moral standing in Asia and throughout the world in the areas of governance and democracy.
September 8, 2010
The dust has settled from two general elections in Sri Lanka this year. In the presidential election on January 26, incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) defeated former army commander Sarath Fonseka, who was the common candidate put forward by opposition parties including the United National Party (UNP), Sri Lanka’s [...]
February 24, 2010
Although the civil war in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province ended in May 2009, decades of armed conflict have damaged the relationship between state and civil society, between the government and the governed. Because of the war, elections for municipal councils, urban councils, and pradeshiya sabhas (local authorities that mostly govern in rural areas) in the [...]
January 25, 2010
Sri Lanka’s presidential election will be held on January 26, 2010. The race has been more competitive than people expected. The incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), elected in 2005, is battling for a second term against the former army chief, General Sarath Fonseka, who together with the president and [...]
June 24, 2009
Situated at Sri Lanka’s highest point, the Nuwara Eliya District is one of the county’s most popular tourist destinations with refreshingly cool breezes that offer a respite from the sultry tropics of the lowlands. The hillsides shimmer a vibrant green from the tea bushes that produce the famous Ceylon tea enjoyed throughout the world. The [...]
April 22, 2009
The civil war in Sri Lanka has taken a terrible toll. No one knows for sure how many people have died, but it is probably not an exaggeration to say that, on average, 5,000-10,000 people have died annually for the past 25 years. Most of these casualties, both Tamil and Sinhalese, have come from the [...]
March 25, 2009
In Sri Lanka, legal aid is implicitly recognized as a fundamental right of all citizens under the constitution. Both the governmental and non-governmental sectors are committed to common goals for legal aid service delivery, service providers operate independently, and beneficiaries indicate a high level of satisfaction with services provided to them, according to a study [...]