Harim Peiris

Political and Reconciliation perspectives from Sri Lanka

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Archive for February, 2011

A Sri Lankan Problem for India

Posted by harimpeiris on February 24, 2011

India, has a Sri Lankan problem which is two dimensional, one aspect of the problem having a technical solution and the other requiring a political one. The first part of the problem was mitigated for the moment last week with the release of over one hundred Indian fishermen that had been arrested and remanded by the relevant authorities for poaching in Sri Lankan waters. Now the attraction of Sri Lankan waters for fishing is understandable. For the past several decades through the period of the war, deep sea fishing in Northern waters was prohibited by the military and consequently our Northern waters teem with fish making poaching a very attractive proposition for Indian fishermen. However, this aspect of India’s Sri Lankan problem can be resolved through technical solutions, including a better coast guard program, joint patrolling with the Indians and other protective measures of maritime boundaries and fisheries resources. The mechanism to arrive at such solutions is the Indo-Lankan Joint Committee that was established way back in 2006, but has never got off the ground, an error that is being rectified now.

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Elections and Dialogue with the TNA

Posted by harimpeiris on February 17, 2011

“Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown” (Shakespeare) and though President Rajapakse does not literarily wear a crown like Shakespeare’s Henry IV, the Rajapakse presidency further empowered by the 18th amendment to the constitution, certainly demonstrates to various degrees all the substantive features of an absolute monarchy, from the absence of any time limit on rule, the grooming of an eldest son as heir apparent, the role and function of a ruling family, an intolerance of dissent, a subservient judiciary, a cowed public service and a somewhat repressive security regime.

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Attacks on E-Lanka News, the UNP, patriotism and human rights

Posted by harimpeiris on February 10, 2011

63rd Independence Celebrations

Last week Sri Lanka commemorated her 63rd anniversary of freedom from colonial rule and Sri Lankans rightly celebrated the achievement of our political independence and democratic rights as a free and sovereign nation. That freedom and sovereignty has not been without challenge, the most serious of which was the three decades long challenge by the LTTE. However, the two JVP armed insurrections and the attempted military coup in the nineteen sixties must also rank as undemocratic measures that sought to take away our post colonial freedom.

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Presidents Ben Ali, Mubarak and Rajapakse – A Trilogy

Posted by harimpeiris on February 3, 2011

President Ben Ali of Tunisia’s thirty year rule ended late last month, when popular unrest and street protests in that once calm and seemingly idyllic country erupted across the country and brought an unforeseen and abrupt end to a long rule that had provided stability and initially rising prosperity to Tunisia. However the social compact in Tunisia was seemingly to trade rising economic growth for political freedoms and while Tunisia had periodic elections which President Ben Ali predictably and convincingly won, as the economic growth benefits stopped flowing down to an increasingly restive younger generation, the end suddenly came.

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