When Worlds Collide, by Nalaka Gunawardene

Text of my ‘When Worlds Collide’ column published in Ceylon Today Sunday newspaper on 17 February 2013

Growing up in a very different Sri Lanka during the 1970s and 1980s, I used to have a recurrent dream.

A daring press baron takes on an overbearing Lankan government. As the irate head of state lines up the formidable powers of bureaucracy, police and even the military to muzzle the last untamed newspaper standing, the publisher ups the game.

A special evening edition, laden with incriminating exposés of government misdeeds, rolls out and is distributed for free. As people scramble to get copies, battle tanks line up outside the newspaper’s suburban printing press, and take aim…

I always woke up at this point, alarmed and restless. Oh, we shouldn’t interpret our dreams too seriously, but as later events showed, my childhood imagination had some eerie parallels in the real world.

We haven’t…

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