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Resource book for historians, researchers and media: A year of tweeting from Groundviews

Visualisation of our Twitter followers. See larger version here. We used the web service Tweet Book to capture all our tweets over the past year in a single PDF. We’ve tweeted thousands of times over the past twelve months and have covered, The media fallout of the farcical fast of senior government Minister Wimal Weerawansa in […]

Months after the 18th Amendment: Is the Executive really more accountable to Parliament?

Image credit Sunday Leader The 18th Amendment, we were told, would make the President more accountable to Parliament. The Editorial of the Sunday Observer noted back in the day, By making it mandatory for the President to attend Parliament at least once in three months to answer questions by MPs, the 18th Amendment has not […]

In conversation with Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu

Almost one year ago, Groundviews first featured an interview with Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu. At the time, just after the parliamentary elections leading from the decisive presidential election, the government was riding a wave of popular support. In the year that passed, from the reprehensible 18th Amendment and grotesque examples of the government’s wastefulness, democratic governance that instead […]

How Decent a Society are we?

Editors’ note: This article was first published in the Daily Mirror on the 18th of March 2011. Groundviews invites its readers for further discussion and debate. Avishai Margalit the Israeli philosopher wrote a treatise on the Decent Society from which I have quoted often. In it he defines a civilized society as one in which […]

What few care to know: Challenges and opportunities in post-war Sri Lanka

Transcript of speech delivered by Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu accepting the first Citizens Peace Award, 28 February 2011. Video of speech below. Members of the Head Table, Venerable Sirs, Your Excellency President Kumaratunga and Friends, Let me begin by thanking the National Peace Council for this inaugural Citizens’ Peace Award, which I accept in all humility. […]

The Cost of Defying Political Authority

Reams have been written on the two main topics widely discussed in Sri Lanka today. One is the fate of the army commander who chose to defy the authority of the Rajapakse brothers and the other is the 18th amendment that was passed with a large majority in parliament (161 for and 17 against) on […]

Inquiry into a Sri Lankan Man’s Stolen Bicycle

On a beautiful late summer day, the eighth of September 2010 to be precise, outside the railway station in the historic university city of Bridgetown, England, I found this Sri Lankan chap, Sivapuranam Thevaram, of whom we have read a bit in these pages recently: the structure of his name, his debt to his father […]

In conversation with Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne

Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne is a President’s Counsel in Sri Lanka and has also served with the Sri Lankan government in various capacities as Senior Adviser to the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs and member of the Sri Lankan Law Commission. He holds a PhD in Human rights and a Master of Public Administration from University of […]


I support power sharing. Therefore, my attention is drawn to this proposal, irrespective of  the unacceptability or denial by any government authority of this purported proposal. In the last few weeks, the mainstream media have reported that a Development Authority is to be established for the City of Colombo, with the concurrent move to abolish […]

Hansard on 18th Amendment debate, 8 September 2010

Exclusive video: Parliamentary debate and objections to 18th Amendment, “Sound is no substitute for argument”: Exclusive video of TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran’s speech in parliament against 18th Amendment and Final text of TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran’s speech in Parliament opposing the 18th Amendment published exclusively on Groundviews capture the chaos that reigned during the parliamentary […]

Urgent questions to pose to the Leader of the Opposition

The opposition leader and party leader of the UNP, Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe,  appears to be play acting before the public, playing the two key roles of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. An e-mail invitation that went out to leaders of Civil Society and Human Rights Non-Profit Organisations on Monday, September 13, 2010 from the Secretary […]


“In other words it now becomes evident that (to quote Marx) people do not treat somebody as a king because he is a king in himself; he is a king because and as long as people treat him as one.” (Slavoj Zizek, ‘The Ticklish Subject’, p192, italics in the original). ****** If God is dead, […]

Final text of TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran’s speech in Parliament opposing the 18th Amendment

Though the text of TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran’s speech was published earlier on the Internet, Groundviews was sent today the final version of the text, approved by the MP, which incorporates into the text his responses to interruptions during its delivery in Parliament on 8 September 2010. This text needs to be read in conjunction […]

“Sound is no substitute for argument”: Exclusive video of TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran’s speech in parliament against 18th Amendment

This video complements Exclusive video: Parliamentary debate and objections to 18th Amendment published on Groundviews. The reasoned, well-argued full text of the speech made by TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran against the 18th amendment bill is published elsewhere on the Internet. However this video, procured exclusively by Groundviews, captures much more than the TNA MP’s own submission […]

Exclusive video: Parliamentary debate and objections to 18th Amendment

Groundviews was able to procure exclusive video with highlights from the parliamentary debates on the 18th Amendment Bill. This video was recorded on 7th September 2010. This one hour video begins with the point of order raised by TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran, the synopsis of which can be read here. Inter alia, a salient point […]