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V-Day: Writings to end violence against women and girls

The Sri Lankan government’s denial of things extends well beyond allegations of war crimes. Earlier this year, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the US, Jaliya Wickramasuriya “Rapes, this and that not taking any place in Sri Lanka”. Writing about this daft and peculiar statement, Roel Raymond noted, I don’t understand this. I don’t understand why our […]

changeABLE cohesion: Dance and disability

Groundviews caught up with Gustavo Fijalkow, one of two (the other being Gerda König) responsible for the concept behind ‘changeABLE cohesion‘, a contemporary dance performance that will kick off the Colombo International Theater Festival on 26th March. changeABLE cohesion features six dancers, two women and four men, three with and three without physical disabilities. In […]

Women’s Day 2012: Concerns, challenges and opportunities from Sri Lanka

For years, Groundviews has featured content that probes gender from a Sri Lankan perspective. For Women’s Day 2012 we have created a Bundlr bundle of over 35 of the most compelling submissions. The content covers a range of issues, from the outrageous denial of the existence of rape by Sri Lanka’s witless Ambassador to the […]

Forging a Culture of Mutual Tolerance among Sri Lankans: A Path to Reconciliation?

Photo courtesy Reuters Alertnet “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist” – Friedrich Nietzsche I recently learned that intervening in favor of a “[...] modernist, inclusive Sri Lankan nation that transcends narrow, parochial ethno-cultural identities” (cf. Asanga Welikela’s […]


Photo courtesy Sri Lanka Guardian Much is being written nowadays about post-war Sri Lankan identity and the challenges of unity in diversity, among which are well-meaning interventions extolling the virtues of building a modernist, inclusive Sri Lankan nation that transcends narrow, parochial ethno-cultural identities. Given the fact that we completely and calamitously muffed the first […]

A Search for Identity: Tomorrow’s Sri Lankan!

Few are those who believe in the existence of what I would like to call a post-war Sri Lankan identity. Indeed, most of us will identify themselves according to their ethnicity, some according to their religion, beliefs and aspirations and some according to their country of birth. Yet, the fact is that we do not […]

A Road to Reconciliation in Sri Lanka: Will We Take It?

Photo courtesy REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte Despite the many limitations and criticisms levied at the final report of the LLRC, it must be recognized that in the presentation, the report reached a level of professionalism, objectivity and breadth in scope, within the relatively short period of time mandated to the Commission. The much talked about Truth and Reconciliation […]


Photo courtesy Reuters Hey, MAN! Yup you. Got a minute? Because I would like to talk to you. Yup, to you. Because you whistled out a love song in my honour from your guard-post on Bauddhaloka Mawatha as I was hopping out of a tuk-tuk to get into work this morning. You were on duty. […]

Why not sing Kolaveri Di in Jaffna Tamil?

It was less than 200 years ago that the title of “orator” or “navalar” was bestowed on Kandar Arumukam Pillai, by the grateful inhabitants of South India. Leaving his native Jaffna for a time, he had spearheaded a renaissance of the Tamil language and culture in South India preaching, printing and endowing educational institutions. Thus […]

Ending the Exile and Back to Roots: Fears, Challenges and Hopes

[Editors note: The author was married to Dr. Rajini Thiranagama (née Rajasingham), a Tamil human rights activist and feminist murdered in 1989 by the LTTE. She was one of the founding members of the University Teachers for Human Rights, Jaffna, which during the war, published some of the most hard hitting critiques and exposes of Government as […]

The Incomplete Thombu: A compelling interlace of architecture, drawing, memory and art

Front cover of The Incomplete Thombu. Click here for larger image. Put simply, The Incomplete Thombu by Sri Lankan Tamil artist T. Shanaathanan is, for us, one of 2011’s most compelling publications. It is art, but in the form of a book that deftly entwines it with architecture, drawing, the memory of loss and an […]

Response to Michael Roberts’ ‘Turning Former LTTE Personnel into Sri Lankan Citizens?’

Photo courtesy Lankapuvath Michael Roberts’ recent Groundviews piece on the government’s rehabilitation programme of alleged former LTTE combatants is generally approving of that programme, not only directly but also indirectly in making the kinds of criticisms that actually add to the approbation. Professor Roberts has added his distinguished academic authority to a set of circumstances […]