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It is time to decide on Sri Lanka’s university system

The trade union action called by the Federation of University Teachers Association (FUTA), has once again highlighted the crisis in our universities. Unfortunately it is the strikes, the clashes and the protests that bring the universities to the news headline, and not their silent contributions to educating the youth and equipping them with skills and […]

Seminar on defeating terrorism: Sharing Sri Lanka’s experience

Original image from AFP | The Sydney Morning Herald The Sri Lanka defense establishment is organizing a counter-insurgency seminar from the 31st of May to 2nd of June 2011. It has invited over 50 countries for the seminar with a stated objective of sharing the Sri Lankan experience of successful counter insurgency operation against the LTTE. […]

How will Delhi listen to Jayalalithaa calling Rajapaksa a ‘war criminal’?

“Declare Rajapakse a war criminal: Jayalalithaa tells Centre” was a banner headline on 13 Friday in the “Indian Express”, following AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa’s march to victory, at the Tamil Nadu assembly elections concluded last week. No analyst expected the DMK-Congress alliance in TN to be so unmercifully smothered, at this elections. Never has the DMK […]

From draft to official text: Wikileaks reveals the US response to the end of war in Sri Lanka

The Norwegian newspaper Afterposten published on 7th May a cable from the Wikileaks tranche of US diplomatic cables (confidential briefings) dealing the US government’s response to the end of war in Sri Lanka. Wikileaks on Sri Lanka: A breakdown and implications was an in-depth account we exclusively published last year exploring the fallout of the so-called […]

Opposition to the UN Panel report: Any method to this madness?

There is obviously much confusion in official circles on what to do with the report of the panel appointed by the UN Secretary General to look into issues of accountability in Sri Lanka, which has flagged credible allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity. As we flagged on our Twitter feed, the country’s foreign […]

Anti-UN sentiment in Jaffna: Fact or fiction?

The Uthayan newspaper runs a revealing story on its website which suggests that on 8th May, the campaign to collect a million signatures against the UN Panel’s report basically forced people to sign up to the campaign. Groundviews has already covered this bizarre, mindless campaign when it started in Colombo, before in fact the UN […]

From Haiti Hell: Perspectives from the ground a year after the earthquake

Words Hugh Bohane. Pictures Alison Thompson. Australian nurse, filmmaker and author Alison Thompson is making a name for herself, selflessly volunteering to help in dangerous global calamities, such as in the aftermath of the 2004 Asian Tsunami – and now in Haiti. When the Haiti earthquake struck in January 2010, her buddy, two-time Academy Award-winning […]

Proud of being a ‘half-caste': Perceptions of Eurasians in Sri Lanka

Although there were times when to be an Eurasian meant that one was generally looked down upon, considered ‘half caste’, Rosemarie is proud of her mixed heritage. At the time when she was growing up, Eurasians and Burghers saw themselves as being distinct and different from each other. Now, both communities are a rarity in […]

Osama Bin Laden and Sri Lanka’s WMD Moment

Image courtesy stuff.co.nz The killing of Osama Bin Laden by chopper-borne US Special forces and Navy Seals is good news and a job well done by that country. Shortly after the attack on the Twin Towers the Sri Lankan papers carried a piece I wrote entitled ‘Why Osama Ain’t My Hero’, a full-on critique of […]

Training for University Entrants in Army Camps and at District Level

Photo from Wikipedia The Ministry of Higher Education has decided to make compulsory for all university entrants a 3-week training in army camps (supposedly because they are the only places that can accommodate all the entrants) and then give them 3 months of training in English and Information Technology (IT) at District level. While the […]

Educating the Soul, the Spirit and then the Mind

Photo courtesy The Schools Project Background Over the years, I have spent much time with children and teachers in schools running leadership programs not only in Sri Lanka, but also in Canada, the Indian subcontinent and in Africa where I do a  simple exercise on their Hopes & Fears, and I am always moved by, […]

War Crimes Accountability In Sri Lanka: Is There A Liberal Democratic Alternative To International Action?

Sri Lanka’s President pictured here with the Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal (L) and his brother Basil Rajapaksa, the Economic Development Minister (R) has repeatedly called the war a “humanitarian rescue operation with a zero civilian casualty policy”. Photo credit: REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte The report of the three-member panel of independent experts, appointed […]

An elephantine gestation: UN Panel’s report on accountability in Sri Lanka released

Leaked versions of the UN Panel’s report found their way into The Island newspaper, where over the past week, Groundviews has contextualised the content that was published in print. Today, the Hindustan Times published an article based on the full version of the report, based on a leaked version of the full report the paper […]

UNSG Panel Report on Sri Lanka: Revisiting ‘Accountability’

Original photo from JDS Ensuring ‘accountability’ is important, but doing so is a complex task. Who is to ensure accountability, when, where, how? – are questions which have always aroused serious debate, and will do, in the future. While there may be no ‘independent/internal’ investigations, one need not be starry-eyed about ‘independent/international’ investigations. For example, […]