Rant Against Rajapaksa For The Sri Lankan Parliamentary Elections

By: on 8 Apr 2010

The Sri Lankan Parliamentary elections are ongoing and if the President's party wins a 2/3 majority, they can change the Constitution.

It's always a conundrum to describe hardline rulers who use brutal tactics.  Who do you compare them to?

Against "Immigration Reform", For Immigrants and Sending Countries

By: on 28 Mar 2010

 I'm wary about writing about topics that are too U.S.-centric, primarily for my own sake, but you can't escape your past.  I spent some time from about 2002 to 2006 working on immigration issues in the United States as part of the post 9-11 cottage industry of non-profit workers assisting what have been called 'Muslim-looking people" and then writing about it.  I just note those experiences for the record because they color how I talk about present-day politics around immigration - especially since I haven't been in the United States for 3 1/2 years.

Attack Pandi Graduates to Guns?

By: on 23 Mar 2010

Yes folks, it's time once again to turn our attention to the continuing adventures of Attack Pandi. You might recall previous episodes here and here.

The first link has more about the political strife within the ranks of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) political party. But to sum up, this guy was photographed while living up to his name - attacking and burning down the office of a newspaper in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, resulting in the death of three people: Stop India's Civil War Against Poor People

By: on 8 Nov 2009

This is a guestpost from Sanhati (, a collective of activists/academics who have been working in solidarity with peoples’ movements in India by providing information and analysis, took the initiative to bring together voices from around the world against the Government of India’s planned military offensive in Central India.

Sunday Brunch: The Decline and Rise of Rightwing Extremism in the UK and the US

By: on 13 Sep 2009

Last week, I posted a tidbit about the English Defence League holding a demonstrationg in downtown Birmingham.  This ended in a street fight.  This past Friday, on the 8th anniversary of the attacks in New York, they attempted to hold a demonstration in front a mosque alongside Stop the Islamification of Europe, in Harrow.  That ended in a street fight.  Today, they are holding a counterdemonstrationg in Picadilly Circus in central london because a hardline Islamist group is holding a demonstration there.  I actually don't think this will end in a street fight, thou

The Women's Crusade Without Women

By: on 21 Aug 2009

Nicholas Kristoff seems like a nice guy.  He has on-the-ground experience witnessing - albeit as a NYT journalist - some of the worst abuses that people- and particularly women- face in the poorer parts of the world.  He has brought attention to issues like trafficking, health, labour conditions, and poverty to a greater degree than most white male journalists working for a source as conservomainstream as the New York Times probably would have - and he has done it with a level of human detail that makes these issues moving, rather than eye-glazingly boring.

Reclaiming Hinduism?

By: on 19 Aug 2009

Over the years, I have spent many hours in many different spaces talking to people who I would describe as people who come from a Hindu right orientation (whether vitriolic and violent or whether a tacit support for the first group).  This is an imprecise description that I'd like to improve on because it doesn't help to reify or demonise "Hindutva" because it plays into the mode of conversation they use and is cruel to the person involved, who may or may not subscribe to all the things you think they subscribe to.  So, in point of fact, I have made many errors as w

Time To Set Gaza Free

By: on 9 Aug 2009

There is a an international solidarity march taking place in Gaza on New Years Day, 2010.  I believe it will be a big part of what sets Gaza free, and in the long run, maybe Israelis, Tamils, Sri Lankans and others.  Be like Chomsky and others: endorse the march here and sign up to join the march here.

People Made Of Straw (1): The Scientist

By: on 6 Aug 2009

As part of our ongoing mission of satire and self-satire and meta self-satire, I present to you, The Scientist, in his own words:

Hello. My name is Scientist. I can explain everything to you, including things beyond my field!

Uses and Abuses of the Po Po

By: on 4 Aug 2009

Friend Naureen Shah has written the following Op-Ed in the NY Times.  In addition to posting it because of the pride of seeing her published thusly, it's a very good piece that, among others things, shows the use of Slumdog Millionaire as a hook into issues of import in India being discussed for Western audiences, highlights both the abuses committed by the police as well as the conditions they exist in and their need for labour protections and assistance, and offers some tentative solutions for resolving these problems.  It's also very well written.  Here

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