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Prince Salie: A story of sapphires and steamships

Mohammed Usuff Mohammed Salie was born in 1877.  He was the grandson of Mohamed Usuff, the Alim of the Kandawatte mosque in Galle, who was responsible for handwriting a Quran he knew by memory for his mosque. Prince Salie was sent at a young age to Madras for his religious education. Like generations before and […]

AFTER A LONG JOURNEY HOME: SOLITUDE IN JAFFNA AND THE SILENCE OF A CITY

[Editors note: Dr. Rajini Thiranagama (née Rajasingham), was a Tamil human rights activist and feminist murdered in 1989 by the LTTE. She was one of the founding members of the University Teachers for Human Rights, Jaffna, which during the war, published some of the most hard hitting critiques and exposes of Government as well as LTTE atrocities […]

Protecting the Enigmatic Blue Whales of Sri Lanka: In Conversation with Asha de Vos

The largest animal on the planet, the blue whale, is found in Sri Lankan waters. Unusually, the blue whales off our coast do not to migrate to polar waters for feeding – a characteristic of other populations. We do not yet know why. In this interview, we talk about additional qualities that make them unique […]

In conversation with Shashi Tharoor at Galle Literary Festival

As part of the Galle Literary Festival, I had the opportunity to speak with Shashi Tharoor, whose writing I’ve immensely enjoyed read since my University days in India. As the festival’s website notes, Shashi Tharoor is the prize-winning author of twelve books, both fiction and non-fiction, including the classic The Great Indian Novel (1989), India: […]

Review of ‘Right of Way: A journey of resettlement’

I was delighted when asked to review Right of Way: A journey of resettlement by Sharni Jayawardena and published by the Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA). Sharni’s skill in photography is enviable, and was the co-creator of Walkabout: Slave Island, supported by Groundviews. At the time of review, the publication was not in the public […]

E01: The spectacular beauty & life-threatening dangers of Sri Lanka’s Southern Expressway

We drove down to Galle today on the newly opened E01 road, more commonly known as the Southern Highway / Expressway. Setting off at 6.33am, we were in Galle at 7.45am, and setting off after a leisurely breakfast at around 9.45am, we were back in Kottawa around 10.45am. Many will take this same journey in […]

GLF: A space for activists?

A playground for Colombo’s “artsy fartsy?” A personal initiative by G. Dobbs (Founder) to increase the per capita income of G. Dobbs? A promotional tactic to draw tourists to our fair land? An ideal getaway for the middle and upper classes to catch up with old friends and make merry? A platform for cultural and […]

Writing against the RSF/JDS appeal to boycott the Galle Literary Festival

[Editors note: We were sent this personal letter from Sunila Abeysekara addressed to a leading signatory of the RSF/JDS appeal to boycott the Galle Literary Festival. She kindly agreed to publish it on Groundviews for a wider appreciation. As noted in our response to the RSF/JDS appeal, Sunila is an outspoken and award winning human […]

Responding to a facile appeal: Galle Literary Festival and the freedom of expression

Michelle de Kretser signing. Photo by Sharni Jayawardena, courtesy Galle Literary Festival The Editors of Groundviews received via email this morning intimation of an international appeal made by Reporters Without Borders and Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS), a network of exiled Sri Lankan journalists. The Galle literary festival appeal notes inter alia, “We […]

Needed: An Agenda for Reform on Groundviews

Whilst it is not clear as to whether we would be voting in both the presidential and general elections on the same day, it is clear that we will be voting in at least one of them in the next three months, followed soon thereafter by the other.  Most likely it will be the presidential […]

What now about the Rajapaksa regime, after the South?

What now about the Rajapaksa regime, after the South ? It was Velupillai Prabhakaran the late Tamil Tiger leader who once said the Sinhala people have only a short memory. Perhaps it is so and it seems quite in order at this elections, where the war against the Tamil Tigers with Prabhakaran projected as the […]