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Open letter to Mark Davis, presenter of SBS Dateline on ‘Sri Lanka’s New Wave’

[Editors note: Watch SBS Dateline's Sri Lanka's New Wave, broadcast first in Australia on 28 August 2012, here.] Dear Mark, I am intensely troubled by the tenor of your report on Sri Lankan Tamil refugees on today’s Dateline. The picture you painted of the country doesn’t accord with any of the accounts I’ve heard, nor with […]

A Child of Apollo Salutes His First Hero: Remembering Neil Armstrong

Apollo 11 bootprint When Neil Armstrong took that first ’small step’ on to the Moon, at 10.56 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST) on 20 July 1969, a quarter of humanity — following it live on radio or TV — collectively held their breath. In the next moment, our various divides disappeared…at least for a brief […]

Rural entrepreneurship in post-war Sri Lanka: Jobs for youth and ICTs

Her day job aside, Sandya Salgado is a Director of the Foundation for Advancing Rural Opportunity and approached Groundviews recently to talk with us about the organisation’s model for rural entrepreneurship in particular, and the prospects for BPO writ large in post-war Sri Lanka. In this brief conversation, we first talk about FARO’s BPO model […]

‘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 […]