Essay

Dissident Memory and Democratic Citizenship: Sandya Ekneligoda and Her Struggle for Justice – Chulani Kodikara*

Sandya Ekneligoda holding a flame and trident (24 January 2019). (Photo: Nilshan Fernando) Prageeth Ekneligoda, journalist, cartoonist, and political activist, disappeared 12 years ago on this day, somewhere between 8.30 and 9.30 pm on his way to a meeting with an acquaintance unknown to his friends or family. On the day of his disappearance, Prageeth had left home …

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Democracy in the Global Interregnum – Devaka Gunawardena

Source The meaning of democracy is becoming unmoored. Since the end of World War II, the US claimed the banner of democracy, while it underwent profound transformation at home through the civil rights movement and other popular struggles. At the same time, the US allied with repressive regimes abroad, ostensibly to defeat communism. The concept …

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Nationality, Complex Identities, and Multiple Belongings – Rohini Hensman

Source As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of Pravada/Polity, it is a pleasure to have been associated with it, as a regular contributor, over this period. One reason I did so was because it was extremely satisfying to be linked to a good quality, left-wing but non-dogmatic publication, which was discussing issues vital to the …

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The Office on Missing Persons post-2020: Who and What is it for? Chulani Kodikara

Demonstration held in front of the National War Heroes’ Monument by the National Collective of War Heroes (Jathika Ranawiru Ekamuthuwa), several other civil society organisations, and Members of Parliament of the Joint Opposition, on 12 August 2016. Photo Credit: Nisal Baduge[i] The 2022 budget has allocated Rs. 300 million to “compensate the disappearances of people during different eras owing to various reasons” …

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Debating the Transition from a Closed to an Open Economy – Devaka Gunawardena

Source The year of 1977 has become a highly charged symbol for understanding the current crisis. After the transition from a “closed” to an “open” economy, many now claim that Sri Lanka is moving backwards. But we must be clear on what is responsible for the ongoing breakdown. Over the decades since Sri Lanka began …

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‘Executive Authoritarianism’ as Sri Lanka’s New Political Normal since COVID-19* – Jayadeva Uyangoda

Source The ways in which countries from the global North to the global South have politically managed the unprecedented public health emergency situation brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has both national and global dimensions, have given rise to much anxiety among democratic communities across the world. In fact, these anxieties came to be …

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Tea Smallholders in Sri Lanka’s Organic Fertiliser Crisis – Kaushini Dammalage

Source The plantation economy took root in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) with the onset of British colonialism in the 19th century. The British government in Ceylon took measures to provide the necessary fiscal incentives and initiate changes in the base structure in favour of commercialisation, with a view to promoting a minimal state and capitalist …

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Making ‘Delete Nothing’: Making a Feminist Internet – Zainab Ibrahim and Sachini Perera

Delete Nothing is a trilingual platform that aims to document technology-related gender-based violence (GBV) in Sri Lanka, particularly—but not limited to—the experiences of girls, women, and queer and trans people. It also attempts to break down what technology-related violence looks like; ways of dealing with such violence including and beyond the law; and connect survivors …

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