Sinhala, Tamil and the National Identity of Sri Lanka

May 27, 2020

In March 2015, the unexpected newly elected president of Sri Lanka, Maithripala Sirisena, stated that the national anthem could be sung in Tamil at official and institutional events. For anyone alien to life on the teardrop island, this announcement may have come as a surprise since, after all,...

Remembering the Easter Sunday Victims in the Shadow of COVID-19

Apr 14, 2020

Nearly one year has passed since the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka, and in the midst of a lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, the anniversary was marked under somber circumstances. The trauma of these terrorist attacks — which occurred when an Islamic extremist group bombed churches...

In Sri Lanka, Cartoonists Take on the Alt-Right

Oct 14, 2019

It has been traditionally accepted in modern societies that the media play a key role in the way they function. Journalists counteract the abuses of power by governments, frame political issues and are implicitly recognized as being part of the political system with a remarkable amount of...

Sri Lanka Stands Up to Extremism

Oct 02, 2019

On July 30, a remarkable event took place in Colombo, Sri Lanka, when representatives of multiple religions — Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Christianity and Judaism — came together to express solidarity with the victims and survivors of the terrorist attacks that shook the island nation in...

The Radical Right Makes a Comeback in Sri Lanka

Aug 12, 2019

Opposition to the postwar liberal world order seems like the new back to normal, as it is based on a natural impulse to shut out the feared “other” in order to be safe, rather than recklessly open and vulnerable. Neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky notes why this back to normal is natural and...

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