I have a unique perspective as a foreigner who has been living in rural Sri Lanka for a decade. Although far from the Colombo fleshpots, I have good contacts among supporters and opponents of the government and with journalists, editors and academics. I am able to adopt a detached but informed viewpoint about Sri Lankan affairs.
My name in the real world is Michael O’Leary. I write under a different name because Michael O’Leary is such a common name that Google gets confused.Any search for “Michael O’Leary” is likely to come up with a lot of stuff about the multimillionaire CEO of RyanAir.
I have been writing a regular column under the name Michael O’Leary for Sri Lanka’s leading business magazine Lanka Monthly Digest (LMD), since 2007. In 2010 they asked me to provide a second monthly column, predicting world events.Recently they asked me to contribute a third column, this one on current happenings in Europe. My articles are also translated for a Sinhala business magazine, Vyápárika Handa. I also write a regular column for LMD’s sister magazine, Living Essentials.
I contribute a regular weekly columns to the the Sri Lankan Sunday paper The Nation. I have also been a regular contributor to two other Sunday newspapers, The Sunday Island and Lakbima News.
Examples of my work can also be seen at http://pcolman.wordpress.com/
An article on Sri Lanka for The Agonist was described by Charles J Brown, Washington Director at the Institute for International Law and Human Rights as “one of the best descriptions of what’s going on in Sri Lanka that I’ve seen anywhere in the media”.
One Diplo reader comments: “I love reading Padraig Colman’s article every month. It is nice to read an intelligent article about Sri Lanka in western media once in a while. You are one of the few journalists I know that can report on complex issues with amazing perspective. Reminds me of Joe Schlesinger, great journalist from Canadian journalist from CBC.”
My articles have been syndicated worldwide in many websites and publications including New York Times, (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/08/opinion/08iht-edcoleman.html) International Herald Tribune and The Scotsman.
I have also contributed to the prestigious monthly magazine Himal Southasian.
I have written for the in-flight magazine Serendib.
I have acted as consultant/editor for three Colombo NGOs and a Kandy animal welfare group.
My more artistic work can be found at www.fictionique.com.
I have a degree in American Studies from Manchester University.
I have been living in Sri Lanka since 2002.
Contact through Facebook:
Michael Patrick Colman O’Leary