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Celluloid Nationalism in Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy Cinema.lk In post war Sri Lanka, where triumphalism is an ever-present threat to reconciliation, and where issues of religious and language diversity continue to engender conflict, we are encountering a reassertion of Sinhala-Buddhist nationalism through the powerful medium of film. In the recent past we have seen the grand dramatization of several episodes […]

From Merchant Prince to Akbar Brothers: Inayat Akbarally and the Bohras of Sri Lanka

Photography by Alefiya Akbarally and Kannan Arunasalam Inayet Akbarally tells the remarkable story of his great grandfather Careemjee Jafferjee and how he became the first member of the Dawoodi Bohra community to set foot in Ceylon believed to be around 1830. A “Peterite” through and through, he reflects on the days when where you went to school trumped […]

Gotabaya Rajapaksa and National Security: The Kotelawala Defence University lecture

Photo courtesy Business Today As a citizen of Sri Lanka, naturally I was keen to know what the country’s secretary of defense thinks about the current security situation and the military history of Sri Lanka. Therefore, I went through his “lecture”  under the National Interest Module of the inaugural MPhil/PhD Programme of the Kotelawala Defense […]

Viroda Vipakshaya, General Fonseka and early presidential stakes

Image courtesy The Australian The political opposition in Sri Lanka seems freshly energized if recent events are anything to go by. The UNP has formed some form of a broader opposition coalition through the “Viroda Vipakshaya” and released a draft constitution as a discussion document for public and civil society debate, while the JVP galvanized by the […]

Sri Lanka’s Global Vulnerability & the Devolution Conundrum

Photo courtesy The Hindustan Times/AP A society or state that demonstrates repeated violent convulsions over a fairly prolonged period such as decades does so because of a deep underlying problem. In the case of Sri Lanka this is the problem of the relations between the Sinhalese, Tamils and the state or to put it another […]

Spot Fixing Sri Lanka Style: Revisiting the Enumeration of Vital Events

Image courtesy Thuppahi blog In November 2011, Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, said that discovering how many civilians “died or went missing during the last few months of the conflict” would be “a first step towards reconciliation.”[1] The government’s Enumeration of Vital Events (EVE) attempted to answer that question by collecting information about people […]

My Esteem for the Buddha: An open letter at Wesak to my Buddhist Sisters and Brothers

Photo courtesy Reuters My good friend, the Ven. Bellanwila Wimalarathana wrote a letter to Christians on his understanding of Christ at Christmas last year.  This has prompted me to reciprocate with this letter to you at Wesak. A seekers vision I write in my personal capacity as a disciple of Christ, a student of Buddhism […]

Ganesan Nimalaruban: A murder and responses of Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice

Photo courtesy Vikalpa Ganesan Nimalaruban’s murder in July last year wasn’t an issue for or comprehensively covered in the mainstream media in Sri Lanka. Vikalpa covered the circumstances of his murder and funeral, and this content was translated into English and published onGroundviews. Responses to the stories on both sites included a former high ranking UN diplomat and […]

Use Vesak decorations to reflect upon Dhamma

Lord Buddha gave different meditation objects to different people. For some, just focusing on rubbing two pieces of material against each other worked, and for some others focusing on the breath worked. On Vesak poya day, we celebrate the birth, enlightenment, and the passing away of this great teacher. In Sri Lanka, almost every Buddhist […]

Reconciliation, Rights & Freedom: Four years after the end of war in SRi Lanka

Image courtesy The Telegraph It is now 4 years after the end of the war. The way we Sri Lankans will remember the end of the war is likely to demonstrate once again how divided we are, as North and South, as Sinhalese and Tamils. Some Tamil friends in the North told me that they […]

A New Political Regime Post-2010 in Sri Lanka: A Hybrid Regime

Image courtesy Brisbane Times by Laksiri Jayasuriya, University of Western Australia Introduction The 2010 Sri Lankan Presidential and Parliamentary elections that took place shortly after the end of a debilitating 25 year-old civil war in 2009 constitutes a watershed in Sri Lanka’s politics. Despite the unsettled conditions over the last two decades emanating from this […]

Sri Lanka Today: Due Process & Civil Liberties or Security State?

Photo courtesy The Nation “And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?” ‘The Second Coming’, WB Yeats (1919) Must the Sri Lankan citizenry accept or acquiesce in the sacrifice, even in peacetime, of due process and civil liberties at the altar of an absolutist model of security? […]

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 […]