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Photo essay: Freedom, Religion, and Dambulla

Navin Weeraratne’s photo essay around the recent violence in Dambulla has already been shared widely on Facebook, and elsewhere on the web. Describing himself to us as “an amateur photographer, toy painter, and pub quizzer”, Navin has succeeded in capturing some of the best photos on the controversy surrounding the mosque ostensibly within the “sacred […]

The middle finger to the middle-path in Sri Lanka

A week ago, we disgraced ourselves. Racist louts, some in the garb of Buddhist monks, engaged openly in speech and behaviour so violent, even those who led it were forced to suggest later the footage broadcast on TV and now globally viewed on YouTube was doctored. This was, of course, not the case. Sri Lanka’s […]

Not In Our Name: Against religious extremism in Sri Lanka

A week ago, a violent a mob of about 2,000 Sinhalese, including a group of Buddhist monks led by the Mahanayaka of the Rangiri Dambulu chapter Inamaluwe Sumangala thero, stormed and vandalised a mosque in Dambulla. The mosque was declared an illegal structure, but it is unclear how this far this is accurate. The shameful […]

Dambulla Mosque attack: Is there a hidden hand?

Image courtesy BBC The storming of the Dambulla Mosque on Friday the 20th April and chasing away of the Muslim worshippers attending Friday prayers by a mob led by Buddhist priests is epoch making in modern Sri Lankan history. The majority of the people of all communities are shocked and incensed by the way Buddhist […]

Protecting the Enigmatic Blue Whales of Sri Lanka: In Conversation with Asha de Vos

The largest animal on the planet, the blue whale, is found in Sri Lankan waters. Unusually, the blue whales off our coast do not to migrate to polar waters for feeding – a characteristic of other populations. We do not yet know why. In this interview, we talk about additional qualities that make them unique […]

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 […]

JAYATISSA, JEYARAJ AND JACOBINISM: DEBATING ‘SRI LANKAN-NESS’ IN POST-WAR SRI LANKA

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 […]