Archive | March, 2012

Fishing in Turbulent Waters

Introduction Newly initiated development projects in the Northern and Eastern Provinces in post-war Sri Lanka are expected to open new avenues towards ethnic reconciliation, as proclaimed not only by government media but also by the mainstream development scholarship. However, this popular perception about opening up new avenues for reconciliation through development seems to foreclose certain […]

In conversation with Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu: The resolution in Geneva and its discontents

Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu is the Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, the institutional anchor of Groundviews. He is today one of three human rights defenders senior government ministers consider traitors and would like to, as in ancient times, kill, and, inter alia, break the limbs of. Though Sri Lanka’s foreign minister distanced himself […]

After the fuel hikes and slide of rupee: State of Sri Lanka’s economy and future prospects

Dr. Neavis Morais is a Senior Lecturer in Economics at the Open University of Sri Lanka, and in this interview looks at the state of Sri Lanka’s economy. As couple of days ago the Economist Intelligence Unit noted that, tweet Around the same time, Sri Lanka’s Central Bank said it cut this 2012’s economic growth […]

The Geneva II debacle

Photo courtesy Vikalpa, from protest against US resolution in Colombo, 27 February 2012 The US-sponsored resolution at the UNHRC had to be defeated. It was not. 24 in favour, 15 against, 8 abstained. Hearts are broken, glasses are shattered, the ‘gods’ have ignored our prayers, there is madness surrounding us; 2012, we are now sure, […]

Defending the Country

They cry foul in that cauldron of a news room, saying these human rights defenders are traitors, publishing their names and photographs, inciting fears of death squads preparing to drive white vans to their residences. The warning by the UN Human Rights Commissioner to protect witnesses is welcome, quixotic. How will her office stop disappearances […]

Desertification and Biodiversity

Photo courtesy NASA The link between land degradation and desertification has been made abundantly clear in studies conducted in Africa and Australia. A loss of natural vegetation, a loss in soil organic matter and a loss of soil stability contribute greatly to the process.  These processes are often interlinked.  Vegetation encourages soil stability by providing […]

Geneva 2012: The signs missed, lessons unlearnt

Photo courtesy JDS Let’s learn the right lessons from the Geneva outcome, not the wrong ones. It is not the case that a small country such as Sri Lanka cannot fight a diplomatic battle with the mighty USA and win.  Minutes after the Sri Lanka vote at the HRC this time, the Cubans moved a […]

changeABLE cohesion: Dance and disability

Groundviews caught up with Gustavo Fijalkow, one of two (the other being Gerda König) responsible for the concept behind ‘changeABLE cohesion‘, a contemporary dance performance that will kick off the Colombo International Theater Festival on 26th March. changeABLE cohesion features six dancers, two women and four men, three with and three without physical disabilities. In […]


  The passage of the United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution on Sri Lanka raises a fundamental question: what next? When the dust settles and tempers calm, all parties concerned will be faced with the actuality that things have changed quite dramatically. This piece attempts to identify the challenges and opportunities presented by the passage […]

After the UNHRC Resolution Vote: Don’t Hold Your Breath for Truth, Justice or Reconciliation

Photo courtesy JDS/Guy Calaf, Agence France-Presse​ By the time this article is published, the votes on the hotly-contested UN Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka will have been cast and counted.  I am writing this as the debate over the resolutions is taking place in Geneva, and I find myself wondering if the outcome […]

Counter-productive propaganda and human rights in Sri Lanka

As the three Sri Lankan human rights defenders who have come most under attack by the state media in Sri Lanka in the past week, because of our active involvement with the on-going session of the UN Human rights Council in Geneva, we feel compelled to issue this statement of clarification. We do not deny […]

Choosing What to Believe

Photo courtesy of Reuters/Dinuka Liyanawatte [Editors’ note: The article below was sent to us by a regular contributor to the site whose name we have redacted due to security considerations.] With the airing of Channel 4’s new film, Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished, a follow-up to their first one Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields […]

A question Sri Lanka’s leaders keep dodging: Where are the disappeared?

Photo courtesy Avaaz I’d been in Sri Lanka just three weeks when I first heard of someone disappearing. It was May 2009 and I got an anonymous email telling me that Stephen Sunthararaj, a human rights worker from northern Sri Lanka, had been abducted at gunpoint and taken away in a white van in the […]