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Colombo’s changing cityscape

Introduction Since the end of the war in 2009, reconstruction and development in Sri Lanka has centred primarily on rapid economic development (Bopage, 2010; Goodhand, 2011). This can be seen in the current drive to transform Colombo into a “world-class city”, as a “preferred destination for international business and tourism” (Secretary of Defence and Urban […]

Will the space between lagging development and devolution be occupied by ‘Prabahakaranism’?

Photo credit Amantha Perera, IPS The current dialogue between development and devolution is taking too much time, getting too drawn out.  Very little information on the process is available for effective public dissemination.  In the meantime the space between the two positions is beginning to be occupied by ‘squatters’ with the Prabhakaran ethos.  Having spent so […]

An economy that unites, reconciliation that divides in Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy Vikalpa There are some issues that divide Sri Lankans and there are some issues that unite Sri Lankans. While the cost of living, unemployment and education bring the opinions of the four main communities together, topics such as reconciliation and identity continue to divide. On the economy, the cost of living is what […]

Innovating Under Duress: Implications of the Global Innovation Index for Sri Lanka

Science writer Nalaka Gunawardene in conversation with Dr Ajith de Alwis, engineer and public intellectual Sri Lanka was ranked at No 98 among 142 countries worldwide in the Global Innovation Index 2013 (GII 2013) released in July. The ranking in 2012 was 94. GII 2013 looks at 142 economies around the world, using 84 indicators […]

State Facilitated Colonization of Northern Sri Lanka – 2013

On 25th September 2012, the Menik Farm camp in Vavuniya, which at its peak, housed close to 300,000 internally displaced persons, was officially closed down when the Government of Sri Lanka relocated the last batch of IDPs. This formally marked the closure of all post-2009 IDP camps in the North of Sri Lanka. Termed ‘welfare […]

What is an economic migrant?

Photo courtesy ABC The governments of Sri Lanka and Australia have recently reached an agreement over how to define the flow of undocumented migrants between these two countries. Both governments seem to agree on the benefits of using the category of “economic migrant” to refer to the thousands of young people who board small vessels to […]

Northern Provincial Council Elections: A Pre-Election Survey

Image courtesy Sri Lanka Brief Provincial Elections in the Northern Province will be held on the 21st of September 2013 – the first time in 25 years. According to the Department of Elections, 714,488 people are registered to vote. Social Indicator, the survey research unit of the Centre for Policy Alternatives conducted an opinion poll […]

Why is land a fundamental issue to the Tamils?

Image courtesy DBS Jeyaraj Introduction President Jayewardene did not like the word ‘colonisation’. Instead, he preferred the terms ‘land settlement’. But the Land Settlement Ordinance uses ‘settlement’ to mean a settlement on claims over ‘land’.  Item 18 of the Provincial Councils List of the 13th Amendment, reads as follows: 18. Land, – Land, that is […]

30 Years Ago: How ICTs Are Changing Sri Lanka

To remember Black July, Groundviews brought together leading documentary filmmakers, photographers, activists, theorists and designers, in Sri Lanka and abroad, to focus on just how deeply the anti-Tamil pogrom in 1983 shaped our imagination, lives, society and polity. The project is called 30 Years Ago and details of it can be read here. The Picture Press was commissioned by Groundviews to […]

Clearing up inconvenient Hindus and laundrymen in Colombo

Recent web media reports flagged that an 85 year old Kovil was going to be relocated in order to create space for a new parking lot to accommodate vehicles arriving at the President’s official residence in Colombo, Temple Trees. Along with the relocation of the Kovil, eviction orders were given to dozens of laundrymen, many […]

‘Women’s Issues’: Shooting the messenger

Image courtesy ICRW ‘Are we not raped every day when we walk down the street and are leered at ? Are we not raped when we are treated as sex objects, denied our rights, oppressed in so many ways ?’ Archives of Manushi, written by Sohaila (1983) Sri Lanka reminds one of one’s gender. To be female in a […]

Strengthening innovation in Sri Lanka: In conversation with Anushka Wijesinha

Anushka Wijesinha is a Research Economist at the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka and is one of the most prominent voices in Sri Lanka today championing innovation. We begin by Anushka explaining what innovation means to him in a Sri Lankan context, and why it is so important to support it in post-war […]

Gratitude for Life

While the word biodiversity is gaining currency worldwide as a result of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) an internationally binding set of agreements. Whose articles are legally binding and used today to address some or other aspect of nature. Thus it is critical to appreciate the true nature of biodiversity and what role it […]