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‘Save State Education’ in Sri Lanka: Photos and video from FUTA rally in Colombo

Image courtesy Vikalpa As noted in the mainstream media, “thousands of university teachers, undergraduates and trade unionists marched to the Hyde Park yesterday, accusing the government of turning a blind eye on their grievances. Lecturers representing all universities in the country participated in yesterday’s protest organised by the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA).” Vikalpa […]

Mediated: Portraying hard data on Sri Lanka through art

Mediated, an exhibition around a new aesthetic that seeks to communicate constitutional theory, hard data from economics and social polling and writing on religious identity through compelling art, runs till the 15th of September at the Saskia Fernando Art Gallery. As noted on the exhibition’s website, four individuals – a researcher, an economist, a constitutional theorist […]

Do women play a role in Sri Lanka’s ‘reconciliation’?: Gender dynamics in the transition from war to peace

A mother displaying the photographs of her sons who are missing during the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) session in Trincomalee, December, 3-5, 2010. Photo courtesy Centre for Human Rights Introduction In order to understand the ‘role’ of women in such a vital process of social transition, we have to understand the place of women […]

Re-imagining Lakshman Kadirgamar in Contemporary Sri Lanka: A Different Reading

From 2003, Lakshman Kadirgamar addressing a press conference with the Mahinda Rajapaksa (before he was President) and Sarath Amunugama are also seen. Photo via Ever since his brutal assassination in 2005, those of us who have admired Lakshman Kadirgamar have often imagined what Sri Lanka would have been like, had he remained at the […]

Swimming against the tide: Australia’s new asylum-seeker package

Photo courtesy Sydney Morning Herald Though launched with much fanfare and media acclaim, Australia’s new raft of proposals embodied in the Houston package to handle the surge in asylum-seekers is simply treading water and will get the country nowhere. The flow of migrants to Western countries by both legal and illegal paths has increased steadily […]

Heard of a Sinhala Buddhist ‘Khomeini’?

Photo courtesy “Our future society will be a free society, and all the elements of oppression, cruelty, and force will be destroyed.” – Ayatollah Khomeini (in an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel, Paris, November 7, 1978) A few days ago, I received an invitation to be in the audience at the unveiling of […]

The ‘Miracle of Asia’ and Higher Education

Along with a number of others in the original email list, including the President of Sri Lanka and leading MPs, Groundviews was forwarded a compelling presentation by the University of Moratuwa Teachers Association on Sri Lanka’s higher education crisis. If this was produced by any NGO, the President and Government would no doubt have immediately […]

The Domestic Violence Act: Seven Years On

Photo courtesy Beyond Borders blog On 9th August in 2005, the Sri Lankan parliament unanimously passed the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (PDVA). The Act does not create a new offence of ‘domestic violence’ but instead defines domestic violence, firstly, as acts of physical violence, which constitute only those offences already recognized under Chapter XVI […]

The end of the music?

Photo by Sagara Lakmal De Mel At a time of general cultural degeneration and falling standards, one bright spot in our firmament is the classical music scene, both Western and eastern. Due to the presence of some very good teachers all over the island, bright new talents in piano, violin, guitar, flute, drums, tabla and other […]

Small arms and ammunitions imports into Sri Lanka from 1992-2010: A latent hypocrisy?

Google has just released an interesting visualisation of the global small arms and ammunitions trade (works best in Google Chrome). For those with older browsers, a screencast of the visualisation can be viewed as an HD video below. When disaggregated by country, Sri Lanka’s small arms and ammunitions imports since ’92 to 2010 are very […]

Obliteration of Road Painting Commemorating Neelan Tiruchelvam on Kynsey Road (with photos)

Following the assassination of Neelan Tiruchelvam by the LTTE on 29 July 1999, in a spontaneous outpouring of grief and loss, friends and people with whom he worked, including from the institutions he founded, remembered and honoured him by painting peace and floral motifs and the quote ‘Secure the Sanctity of Life’ in Tamil, Sinhala […]