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World Press Freedom day, Uthayan and Freedom of Expression in Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy SIDA “Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties” John Milton 3rd May was declared as World Press Freedom day by the UN General Assembly in 1991. Since then, it is celebrated every year, around the world. It is a time to cherish, […]

‘Rally for Unity’, a March towards Reconciliation

Photo by Anushan Selvarajah, from Flickr photo set on rally It is often the case that a nation which experienced a protracted war will tend to look forward rather than backward. For Sri Lankans, over the years, the war became a part of their lives, and survival a part of their routine. In such a context, […]

Rally for Unity: Standing up for an inclusive Sri Lanka

Groundviews strongly endorsed a rally held in Colombo on Sunday to reaffirm the fact that Sri Lanka is not only a Sinhala-Buddhist country. As the movement’s Facebook event page noted, this non-partisan, non-violent awareness raising rally aims to empower the silent majority of moderate Sri Lankans to stand up for an inclusive Sri Lanka. At […]

Archiving ‘Her Stories': In conversation with Radhika Hettiarachchi

Her Stories, a unique archive of oral history, was conceived of and curated by Radhika Hettiarachchi. We begin by Radhika going in to what the archive is, and how it came about. Featuring 240 stories of mothers, the archive’s website avers, These histories or ‘Herstories’ showcase a shared history and highlight how we Sri Lankans […]

First Failure in Geneva: Trap, Blunder or Model?

However bad Sri Lanka’s foreign policy is and external relations are, they have yet to hit the nadir that they did under President Jayewardene in the 1980s. The first ever resolution on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka adopted in Geneva by the Human Rights Commission was in March 1987, while the first decision, […]

Of Foreign Policy Failures, Geneva Resolutions, Double Standards and other excuses for Non-Reconciliation in Sri Lanka

Photograph of, by some accounts, the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka.  Reminiscences of Sri Lanka’s foreign policy triumphs spearheaded by the late lamented Lakshman Kadirgamar are fresh in my  mind given that it was only the other day (12 April) that we marked what might have been  his 81st birth anniversary with a tribute to […]

Strategy of Tension versus National Unity

Photo via The Globe and Mail, by Eranga Jayawardena/Associated Press The power system in modern societies is polycentric and therefore there are innumerable movers and shakers that influence society either in conflict or conciliation. Compared with olden societies, relying on a few powerful stakeholders does not lead to quick fix of problems due to its multi-polar […]

‘Long War, Cold Peace’ & the Return of Dayan Jayatilleka

After what seemed to be a brief but palpable and conspicuous absence from serious public engagement (in late 2012), Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka has returned from Paris; a return marked by his characteristic interventions in the press and the release of a book, titled ‘Long War, Cold Peace: Conflict and Crisis in Sri Lanka’ (Vijitha Yapa, […]

ABC, Gordon Weiss and authoress Niromi de Soyza

Like many people I used to think that such agencies as the BBC and ABC provided balanced reviews and were relatively unbiased. No more. Further confirmation: a recent panel presentation by ABC in March 2013, entitled “Continuing Genocide in Sri Lanka” and anchored by Jane Hutcheon, exposed in blatant nudity the lop-sided perspectives within Aunty […]

Review of ‘Fire and Storm’ by Michael Roberts

When Michael Roberts left Peradeniya in the late seventies, he was part of an exodus of intellectuals from the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya, arguably one of the best universities at that time. The exodus of academics at that time was compelled by the economic difficulties faced by university dons. It was the second wave of […]

Gotabaya Rajapaksa: Are you listening?

Image from Lanka Standard After nearly 7 years of postgraduate education and independent research experience abroad, I returned to Sri Lanka in mid 2003, to work in my mother country Sri Lanka that gave me free education all the way upto university level. When I left Johns Hopkins University in USA, some of my friends […]

Sri Lanka’s racism juggernaut and the war against it

Sri Lankan society is being divided and systematically targeted as the racism juggernaut continues to gain momentum around the country. Minorities face growing persecution with nationalist groups sprouting up and feeding on the insecurities and economic decline of the nation. The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) was the first organised group to rise up and openly […]

Protecting violent protesters and dispersing peaceful protesters: New role for Police and some Buddhists in Sri Lanka?

Image courtesy Colombo Telegraph On 12th April, around 7pm, I was amongst a group of people gathered on the pavement, outside the Sri Sambuddha Jayanthi building, situated at 32, Havelock Road, Colombo 5. This is the address of the Bodu Bala Sena, which has been accused of inciting and unleashing violence against minority religious communities, […]

ANTI-BBS VIGIL: A CRITIQUE OF MALINDA SENEVIRATNE’S CRITIQUE

An image of a true, 100% verified, authentic, original, perfect Buddhist. Not.  I wasn’t at the vigil because I don’t do vigils and if I were to make an exception it would be for an anti-BBS/SR demonstration spearheaded by the Left (in our case that would be the JVP and FSP), as are most anti-racist […]