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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, […]

Inter-Religious Integration in Sri Lanka—Inclusion not Intrusion

Image courtesy Maliban Biscuit Over the past months Sri Lankans have been educated on two Arabic words: halal and haram (that which is permissible and not permissible). Unfortunately the circumstances of learning have been an unprecedented antagonism towards the Muslim community much deeper than the halal issue. This trend must be addressed without delay by […]

Bodu Bala Sena: A Threat To Sri Lanka’s Future

Goatabaya Rajapaksa ceremonially declaring open a Buddhist Leadership Academy of the Bodhu Bala Sena in Galle, via dbsjeyaraj.com Sri Lanka’s fragile attempt of reconciliation, following the end of the thirty-year civil war, faces a potentially backbreaking obstacle. The growing Sinhala Buddhist nationalism that is the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) movement is threatening to divide an […]

The Sinhalese…

[The triple gem of Anuradhapura; Abhayagiriya facing north and its synthesis of Theravada and Mahayana represents the spiritual values of balance and integration; Ruvanweliseya in the western corner symbolizes caution, orthodoxy and conservatism; Jethavanaramaya in the eastern corner symbolizes optimism and progress – the mentality of the rising sun. To the south is materialism into […]

Mixed Messages and Bland Oversimplification in President Rajapaksa’s Independence Day Speech

In a significant act of outreach the Independence Day ceremonies were held in Trincomalee, a provincial city with a pronounced ethnic mix; while President Rajapaksa presented one part of his message in Tamil, repeating what he had said earlier (in English?) and then reiterating the same points in Sinhala. In keeping with the occasion and […]

Ini Avan: Hauntingly beautiful but…

Ini Avan, Asoka Handagama’s latest film, in Tamil, has won international cinematic acclaim. And it is easy to see why. The film has interesting characters who within their confined destinies take some unpredictable turns and moves at a compelling and deliberate pace through carefully designed frames with strong aesthetic appeal that are also revisited, like […]

Jaffna Sri Lanka

Will the Tamils Lose the Plot Again?

  Photo courtesy Christian Science Monitor Chaos and Fear Much has happened in the space of three months. Soon after the Eastern Provincial Council election came the Divi Neguma bill and the subsequent calls for the abolition of the 13th Amendment. The impeachment motion against the Chief Justice and the recruitment of Tamil women to […]

Give Full Force and Effect to the Separation of Powers & Unity in Diversity

Photo courtesy Sri Lanka Guardian On the 19th day of May 2009, with the end of the military conflict that had divided the country for over thirty years, Sri Lanka entered a new era. The next step that Sri Lanka has to face is also extremely sensitive due to nationalistic feelings of the various ethnic groups. […]

Which way forward in post-conflict Sri Lanka? Lessons from the so-called ‘powerless’ women of the North

Image courtesy Sri Lanka Brief Introduction Before the war, we were all together. Now, we are widows with no security, and no one sees what we have to live through. But we go on, try to find some money to get us through the day…we have to eat, no? The cooking and cleaning needs to […]

Religious sensitivities, the Islamic world and the communication revolution

Much hue and cry has been raised the world over the US made video titled “The Innocence of Islam”. In Sri Lanka too we have seen protests and numerous articles on the issue, most lambasting the USA. At the United Nations (UN) General Assembly last week, many leaders from Muslim nations accused the West of […]

Elections in the East, reconciliation and politics: In conversation with Javid Yusuf

Javid Yusuf is an Attorney-at-Law and former diplomat. Groundviews last featured him over two years ago, just after the Presidential Election in early 2010. In this programme, we talked about the recently concluded elections in the North Central, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern Provinces in Sri Lanka and more generally, on politics and reconciliation in post-war Sri […]