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On backing Maithripala Sirisena: Beyond critical support and resigned endorsement

Photograph via VOA News The irony of the present political moment in Sri Lanka is that it appears the message of both Mahinda and Maithripala is essentially the same: ‘there is no substitute’. Both build their politics on how dangerous the other is, seeking to thrive on a politics of anxiety. And for these reasons alone […]

Collective awakenings and watershed changes in society: Are they in the offing?

Photo courtesy Asian Tribune When the Berlin Wall fell as a result of continuous and determined efforts of the people of then East Germany, and the Perestroika initiated by Gorbechev, it was not only a watershed moment in Europe but an inspiring, momentous event characterised by the sufferings and future aspirations of millions of East […]

Archive of tweets on 2015 Presidential Election

Groundviews is archiving every single tweet with the hashtag #PresPollSL, used by mainstream media, leading civic media and citizen journalism initiatives in Sri Lanka to post updates around the up-coming Presidential Election. The archive is currently updated every hour, 24/7. Given the unprecedented use of the #PresPollSL hashtag in just a week since the creation of […]

Supreme Court’s opinion on the President’s Reference

Image courtesy Asian Tribune At last, the Supreme Court’s opinion on the President’s reference has seen the light of day, albeit unofficially, and it makes for miserable reading. The feature that stands out in the opinion is not only the unctuous tone which the Court has adopted in responding to the President’s request for an opinion, […]

The political need of the hour: Transformational approach to constitution making

Photo courtesy the Daily Beast A long awaited concerted action has now been initiated by the opposition parties in their identification of a common candidate for the upcoming presidential elections, and the agenda for action. Understandably, the opposition needs a simple yet mass rallying slogan for their campaign. The abolishing of the executive presidential system […]

Maithripala, a good governance challenge from within to Mahinda Rajapakse

Photo by AFP PHOTO/ Ishara S.KODIKARA via The Japan Times This analyst has always maintained that the formulae for the defeat of the Rajapakse regime, was a divided government and a unified opposition. Given the absolute fragmented disarray in which the main opposition United National Party was in, only a very short while ago, it was […]

The Tamil Elephant in the Green (Blue?) Room

Photo courtesy Sri Lanka Brief Kalana Senaratne’s characteristically perceptive article on the implications of Maithripala Sirisena’s common candidacy for the upcoming Presidential election flags the Tamil question: what role do Tamils and issues of concern to them play in the politics of the election? Kalana deems the Tamils the ‘forgotten other’ of the upcoming campaign, […]

Critically Supporting the Anti-Regime Campaign

Photograph via VOA News It had to happen that way, and the break was only possible with a serious split within the regime. The moment had come for members of the SLFP to take the plunge. And when finally Vasantha Senanayake, MP, crossed over (the first member of the brave ‘suicide squad’) and mentioned that […]

Social Responsibility in Universities in Unstable Times

Photograph courtesy Vikalpa Guest lecture delivered at the international conference, ‘Revisiting Social Responsibility in Contexts of Crisis: Challenges and Possibilities in Sri Lanka’ at Faculty of Arts, University of Colombo, 17 November 2014 Vice Chancellor, the dean and colleagues, let me wish all of you a very good morning. When the Dean, Faculty of Arts […]

THE SIRISENA SURGE: WHY MAHINDA IS STILL WAY AHEAD

Photo by AFP, via AsiaOne Two cheers then for Maithripala Sirisena whose act of resistance and rebellion is truly heroic. Why cheer at all? And why two cheers instead of three? Hearty cheers are entirely warranted because Maithripala Sirisena has produced a Black Swan event; a real game changer. Having argued in the print and […]

Synthetic development, commodification of the body and the vote under neo-liberal economic policies: Where to now?

Photo credit Marvellous Sri Lanka In modern day governance, there are certain principles that peace-loving people expect the rulers to implement. One of them is accountability. Accountability for the actions, expenditure, decisions, and appointments that governments make. In advanced democratic societies, there are mechanisms to ensure accountability with vested powers to seek and collect information, […]

The new Yarl Devi to Jaffna: What do people in Jaffna think?

Photograph courtesy Colombo Gazette. A version of this article appears on the author’s blog. The Yarl Devi was a train. A hulking pile of metal on wheels, just like any other train. It began its run around 1956; neither the first train to make the trip to the North of Sri Lanka, nor the only […]

Do we enjoy universal adult Franchise?

Image courtesy SBS We did enjoy full adult voting rights in our island for 18 years after the far reaching Donoughmore reforms of 1931 (reaching further than many of our leaders, Sinhalese Tamil and Muslim asked for or even wanted). But two Acts of 1949, among the earliest post-independence legislation, took away citizenship and voting […]

Koslanda landslide: Before and after images now on Google Earth

Groundviews was able to obtain from Digital Globe imagery around the aftermath of the Koslanda landslide. The following image was the area as it was on 30th May 2012. The following image was taken after the landslide by Digital Globe satellites. A rough Google Earth based measurement puts the length of the landslide at around 855m. […]