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Remembering, to never again repeat: Launch of 30 Years Ago site

Photo by Seshanka Samarajiwa/The Picture Press The culmination of months of dedicated research, travel, challenging production work and curation, I am very pleased to launch 30 Years Ago. The project is an attempt to remember and probe Sri Lanka’s epochal anti-Tamil pogrom of ’83 through perspectives rarely, if ever, featured before. The producers have used a […]

30 Years Ago – The Next Page

To remember Black July, Groundviews brought together leading documentary filmmakers, photographers, activists, theorists and designers, in Sri Lanka and abroad, to focus on just how deeply the anti-Tamil pogrom in 1983 shaped our imagination, lives, society and polity. The project is called 30 Years Ago and details of it can be read here. Sharni Jayawardene was commissioned by Groundviews to look at the […]

Political Violence in Sri Lanka

Image courtesy Huffington Post taken by Ishara S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images An introduction Prosterman in 1976 estimated that some 68 million people have perished from all forms of deliberate human violence from 1820 to 1970. Zimmerman in 2013 found that if the victims of state violence suffering from pogroms, brutal repression, and other forms of state coercion were added, […]

30 Years Ago: How ICTs Are Changing Sri Lanka

To remember Black July, Groundviews brought together leading documentary filmmakers, photographers, activists, theorists and designers, in Sri Lanka and abroad, to focus on just how deeply the anti-Tamil pogrom in 1983 shaped our imagination, lives, society and polity. The project is called 30 Years Ago and details of it can be read here. The Picture Press was commissioned by Groundviews to […]

30 Years Ago: I Was I Am trailer

To remember Black July, Groundviews brought together leading documentary filmmakers, photographers, activists, theorists and designers, in Sri Lanka and abroad, to focus on just how deeply the anti-Tamil pogrom in 1983 shaped our imagination, lives, society and polity. The project is called 30 Years Ago and details of it can be read here. I was, […]

Statement condemning the attack on the Masjid Deenul Islam at Grandpass, Colombo

Photography by Dinouk Colombage We the undersigned strongly condemn the violent and unprovoked attack on the Masjid Deenul Islam in Grandpass area on Saturday, August 10, 2013 by an extremist mob injuring 12 people, in the wake of the Eid Festival. We are outraged over the spate of violent attacks against Christian and Muslim places […]

Sri Lanka and a tale of two clashes

In the space of a week Sri Lanka’s freedoms of speech and religion were overridden by acts of violence and intolerance. A heavy handed response by the government towards protesters in Weliweriya was followed up by their inability to safeguard a mosque from the rampaging mobs of Sinhala Buddhist extremists. Weliweriya, a peaceful protest that […]

Remembering the riots

Image courtesy Thuppahi’s blog June 2013 saw violent clashes between small groups of Sri Lankans at cricket grounds around the UK. Although barely reported by the mainstream media, for members of Voices for Reconciliation (VfR) – a peace-building network that facilitates dialogue within and between every Sri Lankan community in the UK- these altercations served […]

A FRESH BILL OF RIGHTS: FOREVER A FARCE?

In 2009 , the then Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights  (hence disbanded) ‘sought to remedy’ the many deficiencies that exist  in the current fundamental rights chapter of the 1978 constitution. The Ministry appointed a committee chaired by Presidents Counsel Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne, tasked with the preparation of a fresh Bill of Rights to […]

“Who watches the watchmen?” Reforming Sri Lanka’s Detention Centres

Photo by Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP/Getty Images, via Asia Society Rehabilitation and reintegration of ex-militants or “terrorists” as they are more often termed, following the blanket approach that is being taken post 9/11, is still a new concept in the field of counterinsurgency. The plethora of state military actions against nationalist seditions, rebel groups, paramilitaries and other […]

Book review: The Hungry Ghosts

The Hungry Ghosts is Shyam Selvadurai’s fourth novel, and almost certainly his best. The themes are familiar, from the personal strife caused by the narrator’s sexuality and ethnicity, to the political backdrop of Sri Lanka’s civil war, but the whole narrative is handled with an accomplishment and quiet authority that marks a real step up […]

Come Soon

Come soon. The sepalika are growing wild and high. You must see them before you die, before I die. Come soon. The book is finished. The war is done. Yes, I know, I know, boys appear still in dreams and disappear in dribs and drabs, and islanders, who left for foreign lands, must be interviewed […]