Archive | September, 2012

“Inventors are like artists – we must celebrate and nurture them!”

Nalaka Gunawardene in conversation with Deepal Sooriyaarachchi, Commissioner, Sri Lanka Inventors Commission For over two decades, Deepal Sooriyaarachchi made a name for himself as an innovative Chartered Marketer and Management Development Consultant. While holding top executive positions in leading companies, he also excelled as a corporate trainer and author on entrepreneurship, especially in Sinhala language. […]

Putting paid to the Government’s false claims: The new IDPs in Sri Lanka

Editors note: On the day Menik Farm was officially closed, an urgent memo was circulated widely on the fate of the IDPs from Keppapilavu. The memo adds vital context to the following story, which also needs to be read in light of Government and Ministry of Defence claims that, there are no longer any IDPs […]

FUTA’s “6 percent for Education” in Sri Lanka: Sensible or Sensational?

Original photo courtesy Vikalpa “It was mainly symbolic”, is how FUTA President Dr. Ranjith Dewaisiri characterized the group’s demand of “6 percent of GDP for education”, which has now gained national attention. This was in response to a question posed by an audience member during ‘THE FORUM with Eran’ held this week (26th) featuring Dr. […]

Higher Education and its Disjunctures: An Interview with Professor Sasanka Perera

The following is an interview with Professor Sasanka Perera of the South Asian University conducted by Mr. Ranjit Perera of the Social Scientists Association of Sri Lanka via Skype on 18th August 2012. Ranjit Perera: Cyberspace and virtual reality are intertwined in the context of today’s communication technology; this came to my mind while conducting […]

Innocence of the Muslims

March in Colombo on 24 September 2012 against the film. Photo courtesy Vikalpa Muslims have never shied away from discussing the private and public life of their Prophet Muhammed (PBUH). In fact they have welcomed an examination of his life and times. However when the Muslim world is geared for a debate and public engagement, […]

Update on the struggle to go home in post war Sri Lanka: Manthuvil in the Mullativu district

In relation to the 6 families who were staying at Our Lady of Velankanni church, original article available here. Due to insistence of the families, the Army had agreed to vacate the lands they (Army) had occupied and allow all six families to go back to their own lands. However, around two acres of lands […]

Elections in the East, reconciliation and politics: In conversation with Javid Yusuf

Javid Yusuf is an Attorney-at-Law and former diplomat. Groundviews last featured him over two years ago, just after the Presidential Election in early 2010. In this programme, we talked about the recently concluded elections in the North Central, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern Provinces in Sri Lanka and more generally, on politics and reconciliation in post-war Sri […]

Rehabilitation of Sri Lankan War Victims: Why NGOs should co-ordinate

Photo courtesy The Asia Foundation Since the war ended in Sri Lanka in May, 2009, the wave of sympathy  for  the victims of the war resulted in philanthropists, members of the Sri Lankan diaspora, individual well wishers and funding organizations providing prospective INGOs, local NGOs and charities with the resources needed to expeditiously  help the […]

Sri Lanka’s forgotten mass graves: Google Earth and remembering the dead in Nandikadal

The end of war in Sri Lanka, captured for posterity by Google Earth published last week by Groundviews was the first look at the end of the war in Sri Lanka through historical satellite imagery freely accessible via Google Earth. The article was an open invitation for those using Google Earth to scan for and […]

Eastern Province election: The big lie about shared power in Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy AP/Eranga Jayawardena Justice Minister Hakeem was reported to have told during campaigning, he should not be made to look like a man taken hostage. Ministers Rambukwella and Premjayantha, invited TNA to form a “National” alliance for the Council in the East. Senior Minister and Communist Party leader DEW Gunasekera says he wrote to President […]

The struggle to go home in post war Sri Lanka: Manthuvil in the Mullativu district

Last Friday, 14th September, I visited friends from Manthuvil and Puthukudiruppu, both in the Mullativu district who are trying to resettle in their own houses. One friend has a lovely house in four acres of land in Manthuvil, along the Puthukudiruppu – Mullativu road. He and I had both heard from separate sources that the […]

AFTER A LONG JOURNEY HOME: SOLITUDE IN JAFFNA AND THE SILENCE OF A CITY

[Editors note: Dr. Rajini Thiranagama (née Rajasingham), was a Tamil human rights activist and feminist murdered in 1989 by the LTTE. She was one of the founding members of the University Teachers for Human Rights, Jaffna, which during the war, published some of the most hard hitting critiques and exposes of Government as well as LTTE atrocities […]

The end of war in Sri Lanka, captured for posterity by Google Earth

When in early 2009, UNOSAT released satellite imagery of what later turned out to be the final weeks of Sri Lanka’s 27-year old war with the LTTE, the images were met with vehement Government condemnation, and counter-analysis by the Ministry of Defence. During this heady, hellish time, the subject of The Cage: The Fight for […]