Treating any politician as a near-deity, and giving him or her absolute power, is a dangerous course, says Savi Hensman. In concentrating power in his own hands, President Mahinda Rajapaksa resembles the ruthless Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.
In Sri Lanka in recent decades, the term "traitor" has been flung about with wild abandon, says Savi Hensman, raising questions about what loyalty people might owe to a nation and what this might mean in practice.
Back in 2000 I was honoured to be part of a British and Irish churches' team supporting an interreligious peace delegation from Sri Lanka on a visit to build solidarity links here. One of the participants was Duleep de Chickera, now Anglican Bishop of Colombo. A remarkable man, his 2010 Easter message of hope has a resonance both within and beyond the particular tragedies of Sri Lanka.