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How can society protect vulnerable women from post war atrocities?

I just viewed a documentary produced recently by Al Jazeera titled ‘Civil war leaves Sri Lankan women vulnerable’. The film has left me deeply disturbed, shocked and ashamed particularly because as a woman, I am not doing my duty in protesting vociferously against such atrocities. Some sections of the documentary appear to have been deliberately […]

Vesak and Violence Against Women

Original photograph REUTERS/Damir Sagolj I have not hidden my increasing disdain for the way Buddhism is practiced and promoted in Sri Lanka. To say the least, we have not only forgotten what it is truly about, we often downright contradict and insult it. I wrote about it here, almost exactly a year ago, after the Poson […]

‘National security’ in post-war Sri Lanka: Women’s (In) security in the North

Photo from Hear My VOICE: Jalajakumari Selvarasa ~ “I could often feel the nostalgia” Resurrecting the ‘undead Tiger’[1] to secure the citizen: How the situation of women belie the dominant security narrative ‘The world should appreciate our successful anti-terrorist effort. But today we are being hounded by those who turned a blind eye to LTTE atrocities […]

Celebrating WOMEN: Women’s Photography Exhibition 2011

“Men ~ their rights, and nothing more; WOMEN~ their rights, and nothing less.” ~ Susan Brownell Anthony (15th February 1820 ~ 13th March  1906, American Women’s Rights Activist, Civil Rights leader and suffragist) Journalism is still a heavily male dominated field in Sri Lanka. Women are slowly but steadily getting into the field of journalism. […]

Violence Against Women and Girls in Sri Lanka: No April Fools joke

Interviews published on this site with Kumudini Samuel, founder of Women and Media Collective and with Sunila Abeysekara, a leading human rights activist, addressed the prevalence of Gender Based Violence both during war and in post-war Sri Lanka, particularly in the North and East. Addressing the same vexed issue is a production slated for 1st […]

A perennial struggle: Women’s political representation in Sri Lanka

Women constitute 52% of Sri Lanka’s population, however women constitute only 2% of elected members of Local Authorities. A critical concern is the very low levels of nominations received by women (approximately 6%) from political parties (See table below). Much of the blame for this under representation must be borne by the major political parties […]

These Sri Lankan whores! Serve them right!

Name and shame the whores that act in pornographic films online. Their seedy grainy stuck-between-teeth pictures plastered across newspapers will be the deterrent for other whores who have the same idea. Designate parks for young people to canoodle in (but ensure someone watches over the canoodlers for we don’t want them to canoodle with naked […]


Photo courtesy Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai Sanctity, or rather a loss of sanctity, anchors the meditations that you will find in the few passages below. A recent article in the Economist made a mildly facetious account of the current administration’s efforts to create a Sri Lankan society grounded in ‘good values and ethics.’  The article goes on […]

Why women in politics always matters: A conversation with Chulani Kodikara

Chulani Kodikara has written five articles for Groundviews, three on the topic of women in mainstream politics in Sri Lanka. Revealingly, they are comparatively three of the most under-read articles on this site. Women are not willing to go back to pre-war status quo, a compelling essay written for the special edition on the end […]

A conversation with Kumudini Samuel

Kumudini Samuel is the founder of Women and Media Collective, a women’s group working for the inclusion of women concerns in peace process and the change of attitudes towards gender issues. We begin our conversation over Kumudini’s interesting naming of her son, leading to larger questions over discrimination and negotiation of identity, race and ethnicity […]

LLRC: Testimony by Ferial Ashraff

Groundviews was able to obtain the audio recording of the testimony by Ferial Ashraff to the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) on 24 September 2010. The recording is around 40 minutes long. Ms. Ashraff incorporates into this vital testimony the opinion of many women, including those directly affected by war.

USJP Students’ Union: Harassment and Gender Discrimination over clothing

Many believe that women in Sri Lanka are in a better place compared to its counterparts in South Asia. This is true up to a certain extent where women enjoy a high level of education, high life expectancy at birth (74 years) and access to economic opportunities. Sri Lanka elected the first ever female head […]