Archive | January, 2012

Longing and Belonging series: From London to Jaffna for the first time

The Nallur festival was in full flow. Kavadi drummers played for the crowds of devotees that swelled around Jaffna’s famous temple. Dotted around me were visitors from abroad. It was wonderful to see they were back, tracing lost roots and reconnecting with family and friends. I wanted to meet them and to understand what it […]

Optics and politics of grief

Photo courtesy “I was on my motorcycle going through this area behind a couple on a motorcycle. The woman was pregnant and they were out probably to do some shopping. The couple was coming fast. They signalled to me and I moved aside to let them overtake. I suddenly saw the couple fall down for […]


Photo courtesy Reuters Hey, MAN! Yup you. Got a minute? Because I would like to talk to you. Yup, to you. Because you whistled out a love song in my honour from your guard-post on Bauddhaloka Mawatha as I was hopping out of a tuk-tuk to get into work this morning. You were on duty. […]

Longing and belonging series: Diaspora shorts

Editors note: Groundviews is very pleased to host the web premiere of Longing and belonging series: Diaspora shorts by Kannan Arunasalam. We’ve featured Kannan’s visually stunning and compelling work before in Koothu, kerosene and paper: portraits of resilience, part of the Moving Images series commissioned by Groundviews. Over the coming week we’ll progressively upload Kannan’s […]

Mahinda Rajapaksa as a Modern Mahāvāsala and Font of Clemency? The Roots of Populist Authoritarianism in Sri Lanka

On 4th December 2011 the Sunday Island carried a headline: “Mahinda ready to meet General Fonseka’s family over pardon” — with a picture alongside showing President Mahinda Rajapaksa seated in an armchair perusing an official document – a document in royal red and marked by a recognisable state seal. It is the juxtaposition of the […]

Going beyond the 13th Amendment: Newspaper coverage of the Sri Lankan’s President’s assurance to India

Our affiliate Vikalpa did a short media monitoring exercise anchored to the front page reportage of the Indian Foreign Minister’s official visit to Sri Lanka and the press conference in which the President’s commitment to going beyond the 13th Amendment was reiterated by him. The following is a translation of the report that first appeared […]

Mahinda, Marxism and Michael

Photo courtesy Daylife. Activists of Sri Lanka’s opposition Marxist People’s Liberation Front, wearing masks that represent President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brothers, walk in a protest against the government in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Wednesday, Dec. 2011. ### Michael Colin Cooke titles his response to my response “Once more into the breach”. If I may be permitted […]

Once more into the breach

“The bloody massacre in Bangladesh quickly covered over the memory of the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia, the assassination of Allende drowned out the groans of Bangladesh, the war in the Sinai Desert made people forget Allende, and so on and so forth until ultimately everyone lets everything be forgotten.” Milan Kundera[1] “…. Some [intellectuals] served […]

Examining Sri Lanka’s Diplomacy Machine

Photo courtesy JDS As promised, the Sri Lankan government made the final report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) public last month. It has also recently released its “National Action Plan for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights: 2011-2016.” The Action Plan was developed in accordance with a commitment the government had […]

Examinations Department should pass the Integrity Test

Image courtesy Asian Mirror Basic Questions to Answer In the late 1970s, a Deputy Commissioner of Examinations was prosecuted for interfering with the results of a son of a Minister and a son of a school principal. He was jailed.  It was possible to  prosecute him because the then Commissioner got wind of this illegal […]

The Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA): What implications for Sri Lanka?

There are a lot of websites in the US that have gone black to protest against the proposed Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). Wikipedia has gone to the extent of taking down its site for the day, and lists its reasons here. Action across such a large number of […]

Is Power Sharing in Land Administration Practical in Sri Lanka?

Editors note: The author informs us that this Long Reads article is the result of many months of research, and aimed at promoting reconciliation. It is a dispassionate take on a vexed issue, and the author has in recent weeks shared it on a personal basis with selected political figures in the Government and Opposition. […]

Curated updates from Indian Foreign Minister’s official visit to Sri Lanka

Tweets from Syed Akbaruddin, Official Spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs, India & other media reporting on Indian Foreign Minister’s official visit to Sri Lanka in January 2012. Note in particular the reference to the implementation of the 13th Amendment Plus by the Sri Lankan government. [View the story “Updates from Indian Foreign Minister’s official visit […]