Archive | October, 2012

Restrictions and intimidation on journalists covering resettlement process in the Vanni

From Lines Magazine “The Government should ensure the freedom of movement of media personnel in the North and East, as it would help in the exchange of information contributing to reconciliation” (Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, recommendation 9.115-d) After more than 11 months of the LLRC report being handed over to the President, the above […]


Photo courtesy Over the past months there has been a debate in some newspapers regarding socialism and/or socialism vs. capitalism. It is a great thing to see happening, especially as the globalised economic downturn intensifies and is sure to be a long-lasting one. In this debate, however, it is sometimes hard to see what […]

A-Z of Sri Lankan English: V is for vel festival

A Hindu vel festival is better described in pictures than words. The photos here were taken a few years ago at the annual festival on Havelock Road, on a rainy August morning… ### A-Z of Sri Lankan English is“an all-new, occasional alphabetical dip“into the variety of English spoken in Sri Lanka, published exclusively on“Groundviews. The […]

In conversation with Shashi Tharoor: India, literature, politics and South Asia

Having moderated a session with Shashi Tharoor earlier this year at the Galle Literary Festival, we met up again in Colombo last week to talk about the writer-politician’s new book, and his views on literature, politics, the freedom of expression and our region. Shashi Tharoor is a well known writer, speaker and politician. From Riot […]

A Review of Quotas in University Admissions

Photo courtesy Vikalpa My good friend Somapala Gunadheera has made some thoughtful observations (The Island, 10 Sept 2012) on the problems of University admissions, and noted that in my “ Tamil Language Rights in Sri Lanka”( CPA, April 2012) I had not suggested ways and means of solving them. My analysis and suggestions were expressed […]

“Nothing to call our own…” – The plight of the recently returned, resettled and landless IDPs in Sri Lanka’s North

Photo by author Recently returned to Puthumathalan “As you drive past pile upon pile of corroding vehicles stacked one above the other, past pots, pans, sarees, slippers and plates (that once belonged to the people here), strewn all over the ground, and past the bullet and shrapnel splattered walls of homes ravaged by the war, […]

FUTA and Free Education in Sri Lanka: Question of Social Justice and Democracy in an Oligarchy

Photo courtesy Vikalpa The results of the so-called ‘mother’s examination’, or the year five scholarship examination of this year, have once again sturdily testified for the importance and significance of preservation and continuation of the free education system of this country. The two students who have achieved the first places hail from two divergently opposing […]

LONG READ | Beyond History, Against the Present: Preliminary Thoughts on Re-imagining ‘South Asia

Original graphic from The Sunday Observer Keynote address delivered at the conference, ‘Connecting South Asia’ organized by the Theertha International Artists’ Collective and the Colombo Institute at the Post Graduate Institute of Archeology, Colombo, 28th September 2012. The speaker is Chair and Professor at Department of Sociology and Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, South Asian […]

Menik Farm: The tragic end of a bitter saga, from detention to forced relocation

“Why can’t the Army go to the jungles instead of taking our lands and sending us to jungles?” “When will we be allowed to re-start cultivation of our lands?” “When can we have access to the sea we were fishing before and will we get back the boats and fishing equipment we left behind in […]

Comprehensive archive of tweets: 8 May to 1 October 2012

Given that Groundviews is extremely active on Twitter, covering, inter alia, unique updates after eventful Presidential Elections, alerting and real time information curation during tsunami warnings and the international fallout over Twitter of media content published domestically, it’s been a real challenge to record our conversations and updates for posterity. This is especially important in a country […]

Religious sensitivities, the Islamic world and the communication revolution

Much hue and cry has been raised the world over the US made video titled “The Innocence of Islam”. In Sri Lanka too we have seen protests and numerous articles on the issue, most lambasting the USA. At the United Nations (UN) General Assembly last week, many leaders from Muslim nations accused the West of […]