Realpolitik #12 – Competing Nationalisms

This is an essay I wrote that was recently published online for my university’s undergraduate international affairs magazine, ‘The Sydney Globalist.’ It’s a historical account of the separatist conflict that has been waged in Sri Lanka for over half a century. The original publication can be found here.


The separatist conflict in Sri Lanka has finally come to an end. In May last year, after the loss of over 80,000 lives, the Rajapaksa government celebrated its victory over the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), killing their charismatic leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran. International responses to the end of the war have overwhelmingly been concerned with brokering a more inclusive political environment to ensure that such brutal and intractable conflicts do not occur again.

Previous negotiations to ratify a suitable deal that appeases both the Tamil and Sinhalese communities have broken down on various grounds. These negotiations date back to the Bandaranaike-Chelvanayakam Pact made more than half a century ago. After briefly tracing the roots of the conflict, this article continues with a history of the negotiations between Sinhala and Tamil representatives, and concludes by suggesting possible improvements and solutions to the intractable Sinhala-Tamil tensions.

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Rebecca Black – A Beast of Our Own Making

Rebecca Black’s new song ‘Friday’ is terrible. Probably one of the worst songs to ever see the light of day. The media backlash has been swift and universal. Hipsters and music journos, newspapers and TV shows have all dedicated time to decry this abomination of a song. Most of the abuse has been heaped on Black herself, a 13-year-old Californian whose self-image has probably been damaged beyond repair. But have we ever considered the possibility that all of us are perhaps slightly to blame for this abomination?

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