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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 […]

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 […]