Archive | January, 2011

GLF: A space for activists?

A playground for Colombo’s “artsy fartsy?” A personal initiative by G. Dobbs (Founder) to increase the per capita income of G. Dobbs? A promotional tactic to draw tourists to our fair land? An ideal getaway for the middle and upper classes to catch up with old friends and make merry? A platform for cultural and […]

Heshma Wignaraja: Thoughts on dance and choreography

Heshma Wignaraja is the Artistic Director of the Chitrasena Dance Company. Just recently, Groundviews featured an interview with her grand-mother Vajira, rightly often referred to as Sri Lanka’s Prima Ballerina. In the interview, Heshma addresses a question as to how difficult it is to carry on the rich dance traditions of her parents and grandparents […]

Writing against the RSF/JDS appeal to boycott the Galle Literary Festival

[Editors note: We were sent this personal letter from Sunila Abeysekara addressed to a leading signatory of the RSF/JDS appeal to boycott the Galle Literary Festival. She kindly agreed to publish it on Groundviews for a wider appreciation. As noted in our response to the RSF/JDS appeal, Sunila is an outspoken and award winning human […]


Photos courtesy Batticaloa Facebook Page I haven’t been reading the news much lately. I heard about the floods in the East and North Central Province and thought abstractly to myself, ‘how awful’. I watched the downpour in Colombo itself and complained about the shivering cold of that one day during which temperatures fell to 18 […]

Video: Parliamentary debate on deterioration of human security in the North of Sri Lanka

A parliamentary debate on deterioration of human security in the Jaffna Peninsula, North of Sri Lanka, was held on 20 January. Early media coverage of the debate suggested the government was playing down concerns over the deterioration of human security, and heated exchanges between government and opposition MPs. The number of reports on murders and […]

Brief Notes on Mental Health & Psychosocial Support after 2011 Batticaloa Floods

Dr. T. Gadambanathan & Ananda Galappatti The following is a brief response to queries we have received about what considerations should be made during the recovery phase of the flood disaster with regards the possible mental health and psychosocial impacts on affected people.  As individuals and families return to their communities and homes from temporary […]

Responding to a facile appeal: Galle Literary Festival and the freedom of expression

Michelle de Kretser signing. Photo by Sharni Jayawardena, courtesy Galle Literary Festival The Editors of Groundviews received via email this morning intimation of an international appeal made by Reporters Without Borders and Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS), a network of exiled Sri Lankan journalists. The Galle literary festival appeal notes inter alia, “We […]

Hear My VOICE: Bonsika Vadivel Vasanthan ~ “Please bring my father back to me”

Bonsika Vadivel Vasanthan (7) always stays alone and confines to a brown plastic chair with flower work. The chair is bigger than she. She wears a pristine white pleated frock, which is the school uniform with light Blue and white stripe tie. A light blue silk ribbon holds her straight hair into a ponytail, and […]

WikiLeaks, Swiss Banks and Alien invasions

A month ago, I wrote an open letter to the late Sir Arthur C Clarke, titled ‘Living in the Global Glass House’. It was inspired by the WikiLeaks cablegate controversy, which heralded a new level of transparency in international relations triggered by a disruptive technology – something Sir Arthur had predicted decades ago. I researched […]

Sri Lanka and war crimes investigations: Nothing to Lose, but a World to Win

To rephrase the words of Marx and Engels: a spectre is haunting Sri Lanka – the spectre of an international investigation. More specifically, a demand has been made by the West, and will be made in the future too: a demand for an international investigation. The response to such a demand, without any doubt, should […]

Archive of Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) submissions and media reports

Image courtesy Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) Groundviews is pleased to announce the launch of two archives covering media reports on and submissions to the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC). The archives are now live here. At the time of the launch, there are over 220 media reports and over 100 English submissions […]

Shyam Selvadurai: Literature, identity, politics and the Galle Literary Festival

Shyam Selvadurai was born in 1965. His book Funny Boy introduced gay fiction to mainstream English literature in Sri Lanka, and indeed as Shyam notes, in South Asia. Born to a Sinhalese mother and Tamil father, Shyam was 19 when he left Sri Lanka in 1983 for Canada. Funny Boy was as much about class and […]