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Valalai (Jaffna): Re-militarisation of released villages with façade of resettlement

Valalai[1] is a Tamil village of about 233 acres[2] that was occupied by the military for nearly 25 years and before it was handed back to villagers in March 2015 by President Sirisena. Yet, more than 50 days after that handover, villagers don’t see hope for resettlement as almost nothing has been provided for them […]

Five years ago, today: Evicted and homeless

Photo courtesy JDS On 8th May 2010, the Urban Development Authority (UDA) demolished 20 homes that were occupied by 33 families on Mews Street in Kompannyaveediya, Colombo 2. Families were informed verbally a month prior to the demolition that they will have to vacate their homes and served the same in writing only 3 days […]

The 100 days programme of President Sirisena: People’s perspectives

On the 23rd April, President Sirisena completed a 100 days in office. On a site – one of many – that has monitored the implementation of the 100-days programme, 10 out of 25 promises are indicated to have been fulfilled. This week Groundviews wandered around in Colombo talking to its citizens in an attempt to […]

The Bond Issue Controversy: An Analysis

Image courtesy Ada Derana By Sam Samarasinghe and Dushyantha Mendis The issue of government bonds on February 27 has raised a huge controversy, involving questions as to the competence of the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), and also allegations of insider dealing. The government has been slow […]

Sovereignty and Colombo Port City

Image courtesy Yamu Throughout the world, the owning or holding of and that belongs to another sovereign nation, termed “territories held” have recently been largely returned. The Panama Canal was returned to Panama in January 2000, Hong Kong was returned to China by the United Kingdom in 1997, and Portugal returned Macau Island to China in […]

Post-war reconstruction and women: Has the Indian Housing Project become a debt trap?

Photo courtesy Red Cross Following the end of the armed conflict, people returned to their areas of origin in the conflict affected areas with limited, and in some cases no resources, to re-build their lives. This forced them to access new and freely available credit to re-establish a habitable space and restart livelihoods. Due to […]

A Fifty of a Hundred Days to Few, or too Many?

Image courtesy Sri Lanka Guardian A former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson made the oft- quoted remark that a week is a long time in politics. What then of fifty days, not to mention a hundred? Half way into the government’s 100 -day governance reform programme, public reaction and that of some political actors in […]

Open Letter to the Government of Sri Lanka: On the Port City Review

Image courtesy Yamu Prime Minister Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe Minister Hon. Rajitha Senaratne Minister Hon Lakshman Kiriella Dear Sirs, On the Port City Review I am writing this open letter to you all as I have doubts that you might receive it through the layers of bureaucracy and entrenched interests that support the proposed ‘Port City’ […]

Economics of the Colombo Port City Project

Image courtesy Yamu The government recently took a cabinet decision to go ahead with the $15 billion Colombo Port City Project (CPCP). Cabinet spokesperson Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, trying to justify the decision told the media that it was a “business venture” done together with one of Sri Lanka’s “long-standing friends,” China. A day later Prime […]

Will there be “Maithree” and “Yahapalanaya” for Navy occupied Mullikulam?

Last week, I went to Mullikulam, a beautiful and resourceful village in the Mannar district, which has been illegally occupied by the Navy for more than 7 years. It was my first visit for more than a year. The people didn’t seem to have any fresh hopes of reuniting as one community, regaining their lost […]

Contrasting post civil war development trajectories in Nepal and Sri Lanka

Photograph courtesy Asian Tribune In both Nepal and Sri Lanka the transition from war to durable peace has been painful and is ongoing and not devoid of pitfalls as has been the case elsewhere in the World as well. In the case of Nepal underdevelopment of the vast hinterland has been widely acknowledged as the […]

The tsunami: 10 years on

Groundviews commissioned The Picture Press to capture through photography the tsunami that hit Sri Lanka on Boxing Day, 2004. As journalist Amantha Perera notes, The tsunami took a dramatic toll on unsuspecting Sri Lankans – 35,322 were killed, half a million were displaced, and more than 100,000 houses were destroyed. Half of the damage struck […]