Power, privilege and discrimination

There is always some discussion going on in smaller and wider circles that I am privy to about power, privilege and discrimination.  And recently we have the #MeToo campaign on violence against women which exposes how many women have encountered sexual harassment and violence in their lives.   Even if this exposé is limited to  women on facebook and twitter, the number is quite (unsurprisingly) staggering.   More than a little disconcerted however,  that young feminists are questioning the right of men, even queer men, to post the #MeToo  hashtag. 
Violence is an expression of the abuse of power whatever form it takes, and we should be against violence in all its manifestations, irrespective of who is the perpetrator or who is the victim.  The wonderful Tanaka Mhishi, sole representative of the next generation in our rather unproductive family tree, survived a date rape, and turned his experience into a writing/performing theatre project exploring the experiences of male survivors of …

Listening to "what the women say"

Was at a meeting this morning organised by FOKUS Women and the Office of National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) by virtue of the fact that I am a Board Member of ONUR. The meeting was conceptualised around the FOKUS Women publication Reconciling Sri Lanka, what the WOMEN say which is an interesting compilation of case studies of 30 women’s views on reconciliation. The agenda included testimonies from some of the women who  featured in the book, but also interventions from government  officials and a minister and some poetry and songs from women who had been directly  affected by  the war. Present at the meeting were four women parliamentarians, some members of the diplomatic corps including the High Commissioner of South Africa in Sri Lanka, women from different age and ethnic groups from  different parts of the country and  from different walks of life. 
The meeting would not have achieved anything had it not had simultaneous translation allowing everyone to speak in either English…

STI Forum- Co-Chairs Report to the HLPF-what happened to gender equality?

This last week I received the report of the Co-Chairs of the STI Forum on the SDGs 2017 and followed the presentation to the HLPF on the UN webcasting site.  The STI Forum may not be the only culprits, this could be a general malaise across the whole UN  & SDG system, but I was  disappointed that the report and the presentation of the co-chairs reflected an inability to follow an innovative line  of thinking – despite the rhetoric of transformation,  the repeated references to the interrelatedness of the seventeen goals, the continued emphasis on the need to focus on people,  the importance of ‘leaving no one behind’ and the concern that development activity does not destroy our planet.  There was far too much rooted in the past, in business as usual, and far too little linked to achieving a different kind of future.   As the Secretary General has observed, the 2030 Agenda is “a means to improve the lives of people, communities and societies without harming our planet, and a rout…

Saman Kelegama - obituary


What happened to appropriate technology?


the business of cutting down trees

This time outside my office in Bangsar Utama 9, Kuala Lumpur.  
Recalling  my blog of May 9, 2011

What 'Orwellian' really means