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‘Where every prospect pleases, man alone is vile’

Image courtesy Aaron Joel Santos The title of this article is a line from a beautifully haunting hymn written by Bishop Heber of Calcutta who, clearly, had an imperialistic mindset.  He visited our island in 1825, and the hymn must have been written around that time.  The next line reads, ‘The Heathen in his blindness bows […]

A Tolerant Sri Lanka: How far will we go?

The past few weeks have seen a rise in incidents and publicly expressed sentiments against the Muslim community by groups who claim to represent the rights of Sinhala Buddhists in Sri Lanka. Expressing concerns of undue place given to Muslims in Sri Lanka – from entrance to the Law College to issuing Halal certification to […]

Impeachment of Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice and its impact: Poll results

Photo courtesy Euronews From 6 – 21 March 2013, Groundviews ran an online poll to ascertain opinions on the lasting impact of the unprecedented impeachment of Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice. The online poll was hosted on Typeform.com. 177 responses were generated. The questionnaire can be downloaded as a PDF here. The full poll results, for […]

Taking old friends too seriously: Sri Lanka, Burma and Buddhist extremism

People collect pieces of metal from the rubble of a neighbourhood in Pauktaw township that was burned in recent violence October 27, 2012. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun (Caption and content from Reuters) Sri Lanka’s long relationship with Burma is something that anyone who has even a nodding acquaintance with Sri Lankan history is aware of. In both […]

Helping the Police arrest brutish “monks” in Sri Lanka

Apparently the infamous Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) has condemned the attack on Fashion Bug warehouse a few days ago and asked the Police to arrest those involved in it, even if they are monks. A Daily Mirror news report suggests BBS thinks the individuals captured on film destroyed private property were actually impostors. Prima facie, […]

The State of the Free Education System in Sri Lanka: Confessions of a Disgruntled Student

Image courtesy The Nation I am one of the 243,876 lucky students who sat for the Advanced Level Examinations in 2011. It has been almost one-and-a-half-years since then, and I received my university registration form only yesterday (6 – 4 – 2012). I was privileged enough to receive A/L results four times in the space […]

Geneva and Bodu Bala Sena: Two Dimensions of a Crisis

  Original image by Azzam Ameen, on Twitter There are tensions and schisms erupting, there is a crisis in the making. One dimension of this crisis is the unfolding diplomatic debacle: the Geneva-crisis. The group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) represents, and gives expression to, another dimension. The emergence of both was to be expected; both, […]

Bodu Bala Sena: A Threat To Sri Lanka’s Future

Goatabaya Rajapaksa ceremonially declaring open a Buddhist Leadership Academy of the Bodhu Bala Sena in Galle, via dbsjeyaraj.com Sri Lanka’s fragile attempt of reconciliation, following the end of the thirty-year civil war, faces a potentially backbreaking obstacle. The growing Sinhala Buddhist nationalism that is the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) movement is threatening to divide an […]

Sons and daughters missing, missed, forgotten: LLRC’s failure in Sri Lanka

Tamil mothers, sisters, wives and daughters have not yet given up their hopes to find their disappeared sons, brothers, husbands and fathers. The tragedy of endless search continues for them. Some Tamil women have more than one tragedy to digest. Vasanthathevi Kathirkamanathan is still searching for her missing daughter. And, her husband has been missing […]

The Numbers Never Lie: A Comprehensive Assessment of Sri Lanka’s LLRC Progress

Download the report in full here, or view in inline here. ### Introduction Nearly four years since the end of the country’s civil war, Sri Lanka remains a divided, post-war society, as the ethnic conflict burns on. It has been fifteen months since the Final Report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) was […]

Police detains families of disappeared from Northern Sri Lanka and prevents peaceful protest and petition to the UN

[Editors note: See our earlier report, Police impeding the movement of Tamils.] March 5th, 2013, Vavuniya On March 5th, 2013, at about 8.30pm, the Police blocked about 600 persons, comprising families of the disappeared and civil society activists from the North, from traveling from Vavuniya to Colombo to attend a protest organized by the ‘Association of […]

Impeachment of Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice and its impact: What do you think?

Photo courtesy Euronews Just a few weeks since the impeachment of Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, no one is really talking about it anymore. Interviews conducted by and featured on Groundviews at the time impeachment proceedings were on clearly flagged serious fears over the independence of the judiciary. In order to ascertain the lasting […]

The Numbers Never Lie: A Quick Look at Sri Lanka’s LLRC Progress

The administration of President Mahinda Rajapaksa won the ethnic war, but Sri Lanka’s protracted conflict is more alive than ever. There is a lot of talk about how the situation in the North and East has improved, but most of these assertions are misleading. The rebuilding of physical infrastructure alone is not a very helpful […]

Stratfor and Sri Lanka: An initial study of ‘The Global Intelligence Files’

Groundviews and Wikileaks Groundviews has in the past published two key article based on content obtained through Wikileaks. Wikileaks on Sri Lanka: A breakdown and implications was the first article on the unprecedented release of US diplomatic cables, and published just hours after the tranche was made available on the now well known, and much […]

“Building the base”: An interview with Sunila Abeysekara about post-war Sri Lanka

Sunila, how do you look at Sri Lanka today?  There are different interpretations ranging from a constitutional dictatorship to clan- run ‘deep state’? And you have decades of human rights activism behind you; you have been to the Geneva Human Rights council for nearly a decade to campaign for rights in Sri Lanka, but today […]