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,...

The Radical Right Makes a Comeback in Sri Lanka

August 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...

Sri Lanka’s Persecuted Muslims Are Turning Radical

May 23, 2019

After decades of persecution by the Sinhalese and Tamils, Sri Lanka’s Muslims are abandoning local syncretic Islam and turning to a more radical version. The Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the Easter Sunday attacks across Sri Lanka. This raises many questions about the...

The Way Forward After Communal Violence in Sri Lanka

March 26, 2018

Sri Lanka needs a platform for genuine and objective discussion in the hope of moving forward and achieving reconciliation. In Sri Lanka, the start of February was about celebration for the past 70 years of independence, but its end was about reflective contemplation over an uncertain...

The Pitfalls of China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative

March 05, 2017

To succeed, China must start acting like a player instead of an economic sugar daddy that hides behind the principle of non-interference. Troubled ports in Pakistan and Sri Lanka—envisioned as part of China’s string of pearls linking the Eurasian heartland to the Middle Kingdom—exemplify...