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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 […]

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 […]

Sheep No More…

Image from video on the vigil, broadcast by News 1st. (A Personal Response to the quashing of the first anti BBS protest on Havelock Road) This evening (Friday, April 12th 2013) around 7.15pm on Havelock Road in front of the Sambuddhatva Jayanthi Building adjoining Laurie’s Road, I was reminded anew that there is no freedom […]

A Tolerant Sri Lanka: Report on online poll

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 […]

Police in Sri Lanka show their true saffron colours

Lest we forget, the Sri Lankan police, who act under the orders and protection of the Ministry of Defence, are far from doyens of impartiality. A few weeks ago, we noted that “it is quite clear that four policemen, no more than 3 feet away from and staring directly into the face of the Buddhist “monk” […]

The empty findings of Sri Lanka’s Military Court of Inquiry

Image courtesy RNW Colombo’s contempt for the international community seems to be increasing. The recent media release on the findings of the Military Court of Inquiry stretch credibility. While I have not had access to the full report and to the evidence presented to the Military Court of Inquiry, I am shocked by the Court […]

‘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, […]