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Protests in Katunayake Free Trade Zone: No police in sight

Vikalpa captured these images and video at the protest held yesterday in the Katunayake Free Trade Zone. Tens of thousands of workers have been involved in violent demonstrations this week against a proposed pension bill seen as grossly unfair. Over 200 were injured on Monday alone, by Tuesday, the demonstrations forced the closure of 70% […]

Placing ‘Defeating Terrorism: Sri Lankan Experience Seminar’ in a critical light

Admirably, the Government was kind and open enough to provide a live web feed of the proceedings of the three day Defeating Terrorism: Sri Lankan Experience seminar, held in Colombo. This allowed for non-invitees and non-participants like us to monitor the saccharine presentations via the web, flagging inconsistencies as well as inconvenient truths that were […]

Some Quick Reflections on the Legislative Process in Sri Lanka

The author (centre) with Ambassdor Terry Miller, Director Center for International Trade and Economics and Lisa Curtis, Senior Research Fellow Heritage Foundation and some guests at the talk delivered at the Heritage Foundation. ### I am on an American Airlines flight from Phoenix, Arizona to St Louis, Missouri having enjoyed the only break in the […]

Democracy, Economic Growth And Terrorism: The Sri Lankan Case

Photo courtesy Vikalpa This article will briefly discuss alternative explanations to the two youth insurrections and the separatist movements that occurred in post-independence Sri Lanka.[1] While the most recent conflict between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is more widely known, there have been two additional, and equally destructive insurgencies in Sri Lanka that […]

Lanka @ 63: The ‘military business model’ of post-war economic development

On 4 February, Sri Lanka celebrated its 63rd birthday. After nearly three decades of armed conflict, it is now one of Southasia’s calmest and fastest-growing countries. Its social indicators, apart from the northeast zone, remain the best in the region, and its strategic location is inviting investments from both Asian giants, China and India. Its […]

“Chiran Jayathu” – “Aayubowewa”

Let all as citizens comprising the civil society of Sri Lanka, join together in unison and with one voice, in response to the earnest appeal made by Renton de Alwis in “Back to Basics” stating “Our President is taking on the next phase of his governance. There is so much more he has to do […]

Jaffna and the North of Sri Lanka today: Post war realities, challenges and opportunities

[Editors note: Also  see interview with Dr. Muttukrishna Sarvananthan here, along with one other from a leading rights activist in Jaffna. From the psycho-social trauma and destruction of the social fabric in Jaffna after close upon three decades of brutal war to the challenges of post-war development, entrepreneurship and economic revival, these two interviews focus […]

Submission before Lessons Learnt & Reconciliation Committee (LLRC) by Chandra Jayaratne

[Editors note: Chandra Jayaratne is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka and of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK, a former President of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and LMD Sri Lankan of the year 2001.] ### 1. Appreciation of Opportunity The eminent members of the Commission and its […]

In conversation with Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy on Sri Lanka’s post-war economic development

Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy is a Former Director, Economic Affairs Division at the Commonwealth Secretariat. Indrajit was also a staff officer at the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. As Wikipedia notes, From 1981 t 1989 he was seconded to the Ministry of Finance and Planning. Thereafter he worked for the Commonwealth Secretariat from 1990–2008, holding the […]

In conversation with Prof. Sumanasiri Liyanage

Prof. Sumanasiri Liyanage, who has written to Groundviews regularly, teaches political economy at the University of Peradeniya, is a well-known political analyst, columnist and on the Board of the South Asia Peace Institute (SAPI). We began our short conversation with the crisis facing the main opposition party in Sri Lanka, the United National Party, flagging serious […]

Compilation of special edition on the end of war in Sri Lanka

Download the 162 page compilation of content as a PDF in high quality (25.4Mb), or low quality (3.7Mb). The low quality version is good enough to read, but the photos will look and print much better in the high quality version. From 19 – 27 May 2010, Groundviews ran a special edition on the end of […]

Sacred Cows and Orbital Dreams in Sri Lanka

It happened 20 years ago, but I still remember the incident. In early 1990, as a young science journalist working for the Asia Technology magazine of Hong Kong, I was being shown around the Pakistani space agency SUPARCO premises in Karachi. At the time, they were readying the country’s first digital communications satellite, Badr 1 […]

Fiscal Devolution: A stepping stone towards conflict resolution in Sri Lanka

[Authors note: This was a talk given at the International Conference entitled ‘Taking the Sri Lankan Peace Process Forward’ organised by the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi on May 11, 2010.] Introduction For too long, the political processes in Sri Lanka to resolve minority grievances have been preoccupied with the nature of the state (unitary […]

Ground realities in Jaffna and its environs: Two key perspectives

From the psycho-social trauma and destruction of the social fabric in Jaffna after close upon three decades of brutal war to the challenges of post-war development, entrepreneurship and economic revival, these two interviews focus on two leading Tamil civil society activists who have lived in Jaffna from when the war was still raging. Dr. Muttukrishna […]