1,000 posts on Groundviews: Bearing witness, shaping peace

Exactly three years after its launch, Groundviews published its 1000th post today. In it Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu identifies the site with quality debate and asks citizens to use it to canvass their ideas for constitutional reform, governance, human rights and the economy and whatever else they see as constituting essential elements of an agenda for change and reform.

Over three years, Groundviews has borne witness to that which traditional print and electronic media did not, and for well-known reasons, could not. Post-war for example, our path-breaking coverage of the situation facing IDPs in Menik Farm was picked up and featured on leading domestic and international media, including the New York Times, Al Jazeera and the BBC. The wealth of debate and submissions online already makes Groundviews unique as an online resource and platform for engaging discussion in Sri Lanka. We are globally recognised as an authoritative voice on Sri Lanka and were the first to feature a mobile version, and the first to leverage social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

At a conservative average word count per submission, we now feature well over one and a half million words on the site of original content. Recently, we hosted the world premiere of a short film on one of Sri Lanka’s least known communities of African origin. Banyan News Reporters, a series of satirical articles on key issues related to war, human rights and peace has generated a cult following, and is sui generis in Sri Lanka as an innovative way to flag issues of significant concern in cycles of violence.  Groundviews has commissioned award winning Sri Lankan poets and dramatists to bear witness to violence. The site has also featured compelling and innovative photojournalism that explores, post-war, hope for a just and enduring peace amongst our citizens. A series of articles commemorating the anti-Tamil pogrom of 1983 and the race riots of 1958, along with a series of short-form videos, remain invaluable resources for the student of conflict resolution and the discernible historian.

Over 160 authors have contributed to the 1,000 posts published on the site to date. There are over 9,300 comments to date generated by this original content, penned by from those as diverse as senior diplomats in government and retired civil servants to university students and those writing into online media for the first time in English. These comments alone feature nearly one million words. Framed by our progressive editorial guidelines, these comments are invaluable insights from citizens in Sri Lanka and from the diaspora unique to the site. For example, The Internment – A Collective Punishment? by Dr. Devanesan Nesiah has been read over twenty-four thousand times and mind-bogglingly generated well over sixty-thousand words of critical comments through over 140 responses to date.

Our 1000th post is a significant milestone in a quest to define journalism as it should be in Sri Lanka, and a peace with dignity for all which we believe is so much more than the absence of war.

We invite you to join us.

  • http://binkulife.blogspot.com ~බිன்ku~

    Congrats! Keep going!

  • niranjan

    Happy B’Day.

  • nibras bawa

    Been an ardent reader though i don’t agree with any of the views put forward on this blog. But thank you for some alternative views and good reads…. Well, i may not agree due to ideological differences, but i wish you guys good luck. Keep going…. Congrats !

  • http://www.groundviews.org/author/mahesan-niranjan/ Mahesan NIranjan

    I find this an enjoyable forum; good ideas and not too much noise in the discussions. I wish more people will write, and write in their own names (yeah, I know all the reasons not to), which is the best way to pressure for better understanding and greater democracy in SL.

    Access rates to posts here are growing faster than protein sequences being deposited in biological databases (www.uniprot.org), so you are doing a good job, congratulations!

  • http://www.esteem.com Justin

    The army commander, who calls himself a “Buddhist” either does not appear to believe in courageous moral standing, instead of running away or facing justice and being accountable for his war crime deeds against the Tamils.

    Buddhists in Sri Lanka are “Buddhists” by accidental birth to “Buddhist parents”. They did not come into it choosing Buddhism as a good way of life.

    Buddhists belive in an abstract path to “Nirvana” by eliminating all attachments in life. The goal in life is therefore to get rid of desires.

    But why are the Buddhists in SL full of desires and goals in life let alone utter greed. They become soldiers, teachers, businessman and professionals. Their goals show that there is no Buddhism in SL.

    The latest desire is to kill people. It started with Tamils and now it is the Sinhalese christians.

    There is no Buddhism in SL. There is a barbaric cult which should be eradicated at all cost. Fonseks addressed this cult while in the US.

  • yapa

    Justin;

    You are writing in hatred. Your mind is spoiled with hatred. Please try to be impartial. Please be sensible. Please open your heart and see whether you have an honest heart.

  • Leon

    Congratulations.Keep up the good work.I enjoy reading the many articles that appear on Groundviews

  • Thaaraka

    Justin,

    If you think all conmen who conduct cheating sessions to spell out illusive devil “A crhistian” you should go and consult psychiatrist. Is this is forum has agenda to insult Sinhala Buddhist?. I observed when I post ideas opposing these kind of views they just do not appear here. However anything to insult Sinhala Buddhists appear in full. Why you all get funding for insulting Buddhists. Or you get any “kalakanny santhosak” ? I doubt ff this is a forum to debate ideas or talk to insult sinhala buddhists.

  • Humanist

    Even though I despair with some of the views expressed here, I think this remains the best forum we’ve got so far to engage in serious discussion.

    Congratulations to all at Groundviews for your hard work to keep this going! And my sincere appreciation to those of you who strive to replace ethnocentrism, sloganeering and hatred with justice, empathy, rationality and compassion in your writing. This is the reason I keep coming back.

  • Justice

    As an avid reader of almost all articles on groundviews,my heart felt congradulations and my sincere appreciation for what you do under increasingly difficult conditions.

  • Idealist?

    Congratulations Groundviews!!! Keep up the great work! :)

  • niranjan

    Groundviews,

    Please take immediate measures to give more publicity to Groundviews in Sri Lanka. A lot of people are unaware that such a website is in existence. Thanks.

  • http://www.groundviews.org Groundviews

    Dear Niranjan,

    Thanks for your comment.

    We rely a lot on the readership to promote the site and the discussions herein. If you’re on Facebook for example, you can encourage your friends to join our Facebook fan page. If you’re on Twitter, you can also encourage those who follow you to join our Twitter feed. And even plain email works!

    Groundviews