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A simple experiment to highlight ingrained racism in Sri Lanka

When Etisalat dreams of a Sri Lanka where everyone is connected, it’s clearly thinking only of the Sinhalese. Why else would the company’s website feature, so prominently, a Lion to depict ‘everyone’ in Sri Lanka? In popular media, corporate marketing and government output, there are numerous other examples of a racism so deeply internalised and […]

The Sri Lankan President’s Twitter archive and Propaganda 2.0: New challenges for online dissent

The President enters Twitter Last month, the President of Sri Lanka began tweeting officially as @PresRajapaksa. The account is already authenticated by Twitter. Though @PresRajapaksa’s profile notes that “tweets from the President are signed MR.” there is, to date, not a single tweet penned by the President himself. The launch of the account was instructive […]

Sri Lanka’s 65th Anniversary of Independence

Photo via NowPublic Greetings Lanka! Today marks the 65th Anniversary of Independence of our country. This year would also mark the fourth year anniversary of ‘defeating terrorism’. But, little has changed, and there is little to celebrate this year. The country is treading a catastrophic path and our future is a disaster waiting to happen. […]

Another US Resolution on Sri Lanka: The Road to Nowhere?

Photo courtesy JDS So it looks like the US will bring another resolution on Sri Lanka at the next session of the UN’s Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva this March. Quite frankly – I am shocked. US foreign policy as it relates to Sri Lanka has been confusing and is replete with complications and […]

Implementing LLRC recommendations in Sri Lanka: Progress?

Image via Sri Lanka Brief Sri Lanka has achieved considerable progress in implementing the recommendations made by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and ready to defend its record at the next session in Geneva, Foreign Secretary Karunathilaka Amunugama said. So says the President’s Media Unit. We are a tad less sanguine. Even a […]

Black January: Ceaseless media suppression in Sri Lanka, with total impunity

Image via RNW The month of January is coming to an end and yet again it has been filled with a number of major attacks on media freedom in Sri Lanka. For this reason the month is often referred to as the ‘Black January’ of media suppression. This year too, journalists’ and organisations in the […]

Prageeth Ekneligoda: A 3 year struggle to find husband, father, cartoonist and journalist

Image courtesy Vikalpa I had never met Prageeth Ekneligoda. But after he disappeared, on 24th Jan. 2010, I read some of his articles. I found them to be thought provoking and cover many issues related to freedom of expression, human rights in general, democracy etc. But what struck me most was some of his cartoons. […]

Book Review: The Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

Image courtesy National Youth Front A Genre Defying Future Classic on the Psyche of a Republic A contemporary masterpiece that interweaves fact, fiction and fantasy with seamless and vibrant prose, the Constitution is a must read for all literature lovers. The Constitution was first published in 1978 in not one, but three languages – the […]

The devastating impeachment of the Chief Justice in Sri Lanka: Interview with Asanga Welikala

Image courtesy The Hindu Groundviews interviewed Asanga Welikala, a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Policy Alternatives (the institutional anchor of this website) on the unprecedented constitutional crisis that has gripped Sri Lanka. Over the years, Asanga’s appeared many times on Groundviews, including most recently, speaking about the dynamics of constitution making in Sri Lanka […]

Appointment of the new Chief Justice in Sri Lanka: Resistance should continue

Photo by AFP/ Ishara S. Kodikara, via Arab News ‘We won’t allow you to let the judiciary go to hell. We won’t allow you to do that.’ - (Mathiaparanan Abraham Sumanthiran MP) No self-respecting person with integrity, or a shred of concern for justice should accept the President’s offer to become the next Chief Justice of […]

The consequences of the Black Friday impeachment will be game changing

Image by AP, courtesy The Hindu The Black Friday impeachment is another shameful day in the history of our country. The absolute majority in parliament obtained through dubious means has been used once again by this government to deny justice to the chief justice of our country and undermine the independence of the judiciary. It […]

A legal primer: The impeachment of the Chief Justice in Sri Lanka

Photo from MSN News Groundviews interviewed Luwie Ganeshathasan, a Researcher in the Legal and Constitutional Unit of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (the institutional home of this website), on several key issues arising from the impeachment proceedings against the current Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, Shirani Bandaranayake. ### Is there provision in the constitution to […]

The Rajapaksa ‘Sangamaya’: Creating employees and customers of citizens

Image from Lanka Standard The following video features the last couple of a minutes of a longer speech delivered by Dr. Nihal Jayawickrama at the launch of The Sri Lankan Republic at 40: Reflections on Constitutional History, Theory and Practice, a collection of scholarly essays edited by Asanga Welikala, a Senior Researcher at the Centre […]

Bridging Sri Lanka’s Deficit of Hope

The opening scene in the German-Sri Lanka feature film Machan (2008) unfolds at a garbage-strewn Colombo street, somewhere in the city’s underbelly. Three young men are putting up political posters, playing hide and seek with policemen on night patrol. Conversation reveals that the men are doing this to earn a few rupees. Soon, the inevitable […]

Racing Tanks with Bicycles: A Parable of ‘Reconciliation’ in Sri Lanka

Photo via Facebook photo set by Akiy Photography, direct link here. Note that original photo does not blur the face of the child. Some photographs of ‘aid’ being provided to Sri Lankan Tamils in Keppapilavu were recently posted online. The Keppapilavu community were the last to be released from the Menik Farm Camp, but were […]