‘Sex symbols’ a poor proxy in Sri Lanka

By Eve Aronson, Marlijn Meijer, Eleonora Maria Mazzoli and Filiz Dagci  A movie star, a beauty queen and a popular model are among candidates running in Sri Lankan’s provincial elections on March 29, leading some Sri Lankans to accuse political parties of pushing “sex symbols” in the name of female political representation.  The arrival of models and actresses onto the political stage, with their pictures splashed across newspapers, is beginning to make voters wonder about the political motivation behind such moves.  “Today, we must grapple with the possibility that celebrities, mainly women celebrities, are being used as smokescreens in politics,” said … Continue reading ‘Sex symbols’ a poor proxy in Sri Lanka

Racial hatred as policy in Myanmar

By Brian McCartan Recent communal violence in Myanmar has underscored the risks that unresolved ethnic and religious issues represent to the long-term sustainability of recent political and economic reforms. While the former military regime is to blame for perpetuating ethnic and religious bigotry, many of those military officers-turned-politicians together with the democratic opposition now have an opportunity to reshape these crucial relations. The violence that erupted in central Myanmar town of Meiktila on March 20 represented the first large-scale anti-Muslim riots outside of Rakhine State since 2001. Mosques, homes and shops were burnt and destroyed in an orgy of violence … Continue reading Racial hatred as policy in Myanmar