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A turn for the worse? Undergraduate protests and unrest in Sri Lanka

View Student unrest in Sri Lanka in a larger map. Recent months in Sri Lanka have seen a dramatic increase in the number of protests involving thousands of university students, many of which have turned violent. An online poll by the Daily Mirror has, out of 795 votes to date, 79% agreeing that the involvement […]


Photo courtesy Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai Sanctity, or rather a loss of sanctity, anchors the meditations that you will find in the few passages below. A recent article in the Economist made a mildly facetious account of the current administration’s efforts to create a Sri Lankan society grounded in ‘good values and ethics.’  The article goes on […]

The Media and the Future of Sri Lanka: Young Canadians’ Peace Dialogue on Sri Lanka

The co-editor of Groundviews Nigel Nugawela spoke recently at a progressive forum of young Canadian – Sri Lankans in Toronto on the role of media in post-war Sri Lanka, including the use of new media and ICTs. The discussion also featured, V.V. GANESHANANTHAN – Novelist (Love Marriage), Blogger and Journalist ARJUNA RANAWANA – News Manager, […]

Parallel Governments: Living between terror and counter terror in northern Lanka (1982-2009)

Authors note: Article derived from paper first presented at the conference, Globalizing Religions and Cultures in the Asia Pacific, University of Adelaide, 1–5 December 2008 and developed version published in Journal of Asian and African Studies. Download this paper as a PDF here. Introduction It was Thomas Hobbes (1651) who first pointed out that behind […]

From WikiLeaks to WikiLanka: War Is Definitely Savage Though “Accusations” Differ

The latest WikiLeaks “dump” of around 400,000 US classified war reports on Iraq from 2003 to 2009, the biggest “war leaks” ever in US history, reveals how inhuman and savage the war is, never mind who conducts it and where. A few months ago in July this year, WikiLeaks’ first dump of over 90,000 US […]

The Cost of Defying Political Authority

Reams have been written on the two main topics widely discussed in Sri Lanka today. One is the fate of the army commander who chose to defy the authority of the Rajapakse brothers and the other is the 18th amendment that was passed with a large majority in parliament (161 for and 17 against) on […]

Political Satire in Sri Lanka: When Making Fun is No Laughing Matter

Review of Wimalege Colama (Wimale’s Column), a collection of satirical columns by Wimalanath Weeraratne Sinhala; 232 pp; Author publication; September 2010 Political satire is nothing new: it has been around for as long as organised government trying to keep the wielders of power in check. Over the centuries, it has manifested in many oral, literary […]

Reconciliation through ‘Rehabilitation’ & ‘Reintegration’ of Ex-LTTE members in Sri Lanka: Separating Fact from Fiction

Photo courtesy Northern Provincial Council ‘They should learn that there is a better world beyond waging war’- Gotabaya Rajapakse[1] Once in a while you may have seen local media reports about persons referred to as former combatants or members of the LTTE. These reports were probably either based entirely on content sourced from a state […]

Why women in politics always matters: A conversation with Chulani Kodikara

Chulani Kodikara has written five articles for Groundviews, three on the topic of women in mainstream politics in Sri Lanka. Revealingly, they are comparatively three of the most under-read articles on this site. Women are not willing to go back to pre-war status quo, a compelling essay written for the special edition on the end […]

Allergy to analysis and historical amnesia in Sri Lanka

The trouble with Sri Lankan political and civil society is that everyone’s an amateur psychologist. Instead of listening to or reading what someone says and treating it on its merits, the name of the game is to speculate on what motivated him. What’s s/he after? Who is he with now? Thus it is that gossip […]

A Brief Commentary and Table on the Local Authorities Elections (Amendment) Bill 2010

By Bhavani Fonseka, Supipi Jayawardena and Mirak Raheem October 2010 The Local Authorities Elections (Amendment) Bill 2010 (Bill) proposes a series of changes to the laws relating to the election of local authorities (LA) that include Municipal Councils, Urban Councils and Pradeshiya Sabhas. A principal change proposed in the Bill is the introduction of a […]

Rally calling for the immediate release Sarath Fonseka: Video and photos

The JVP organised a massive rally in Colombo on 11 October calling for the release of Sarath Fonseka from prison. Eye-witness accounts suggest over 3,000 people were part of this rally in the heart of Colombo, which took place in front of the prison where Sarath Fonseka is incarcerated. No violence was recorded. Mainstream print […]