To quote Mili, Happy Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport Day. Seriously, the government has blanket state and non-state media with advertisements heralding the opening of a new airport in the rural south. They’re trying to buy buzz for a project which is too useless to generate it naturally. Nobody is talking about how awesome the Mattala Airport is of their own accord, so the government has used public money (and private advertising) to buy whole sections. The best is this Daily News article which starts off as a Dialog phone launch and inexplicably segways into a long story about the airport.
Archive for the 'International' Category
Sri Lankan law is loosely based on British law, with the big difference being that we don’t follow it. Sri Lankan government officials and their relatives are effectively above the law, free to commit crimes as far as rape and murder. In one example, sitting MP Duminda Silva previously dodged charges of statutory rape and now murder. Even lower level government officials have gotten away with murder (Re: Tangalle) and political sons have an open license to beat people up.
Rizana Nafeek was just killed by the Saudi government, executed if you want to put an imprint of justice on it. It’s not just. A child died in her care when she was working there at age 17, which was tragic. Saudi Arabia, however, has no real justice system, certainly not for foreigners. Based on a coerced confession (which she retracted) and despite the fact that she was a juvenile, the Saudi government has just executed her.
The ITU (the UN’s ICT Agency) is trying to introduce regulations that would nationalize the Internet, forcing countries to pay fees for content people download and expanding the authority of national governments to censor and control content. Essentially, this body of regulators who I thought mainly held conferences with each other is trying to stage a bit of a coup and take over the Internet. Thankfully, it seems like this won’t happen.
As you can see from the electoral map above, China’s recent election was a landslide. While America has a symbolic electoral college, whereby representatives choose the President, in China it is for reals. The 2000+ members of the National People’s Congress (themselves selected by other representatives and not directly) choose the members of a Central Committee who select the Politburo which is actually already chosen in advance. AFAIK.
According to a recent book, there are only 22 countries that Britain hasn’t invaded, our of the 196 or so in the world. So they’ve invaded the vast majority. The author defines invasion as military presence, including state sanctioned piracy. It’s an impressive/depressive record, depending on how you look at it.
I love Sri Lanka. Every day I wake up and thank God that I’m here. And not in India. So it’s nice to see our beautiful country recognized, in this case by Lonely Planet, as their top destination for 2013. Cause it is.
Nina Paley created Sita Sings The Blues, IMHO the best modern retelling of the Ramayana. She’s been working on something covering Israel/Palestine/Canaan/The Levant, tentatively Seder-Masochism and the short film above is what she’s animated. It’s pretty great, kinda like a more historical Age Of War (the game). Basically a bunch of people killing each other, which becomes more illuminating with the hilarious viewer’s guide she’s written.
Iran’s Fars News Agency recently ran a report from the fake news site The Onion as real news. The Onion published a fake poll saying that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (the President of Iran) was more popular than Barack Obama. They apologized but then sorta doubled down on the mistake, saying “we do believe that if a free opinion poll is conducted in the US, a majority of Americans would prefer anyone outside the US political system to President Barack Obama and American statesmen”. Well, no. What’s more interesting is that they then proceed to list 15 other news fails in a BuzzFeed worthy post.