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No One, in the US or Sri Lanka, Should Be Above the Law

Photo by Sudath Silva In a report released last month Human Rights Watch called on the US government to launch criminal investigations into allegations of detainee abuse authorized by senior Bush administration officials. The 107-page report, “Getting Away with Torture: The Bush Administration and Mistreatment of Detainees,” presents substantial information warranting criminal investigations of former President […]

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with TNA MP Suresh Premachandran on the LG elections, Parliamentary Select Committee and Political Solution

Photo from Wikipedia Groundviews caught up with TNA Member of Parliament Suresh Premachandran, who spoke to us about the nature of election violations that occurred in the Northern Province prior to the 23rd of July and on Election Day, which included intimidation, assault, bribery, voter transportation, continuous campaigning and reports of the systematic and forced appropriation […]

The absence of Patriotism, Pluralism and Cosmopolitanism: ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’ in retrospection

ASSOCIATED PRESS PHOTOGRAPHS Former Sri Lankan child soldier Warnakulasuriya Anthony Sunil Rexy (right) laughs with other inmates as they play earlier this month at a government rehabilitation center in Ambepussa. Original in The Washington Times. The TV programme entitled Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields, produced by Channel 4 of the UK, sparked substantial debate and discussion […]

Sports and Governance: A Look at what the Doping Scandals means for International Politics in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka opening batsman Upul Tharanga, who was found guilty of committing an anti-doping rule violation. Photo courtesy International Cricket Council (ICC) In the world of international governance and law, where definitions of human rights, sovereignty, and even war are hotly contested, one rulebook is quite definite in denotation and rather absolute in punishment. An […]

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 […]

Photographic evidence of war crimes in Sri Lanka, or not? (Updated)

“The resulting carnage, photographed by Harun, was indescribable, but worse was to come.” The Living Scotsman’s review of The Cage: The Fight for Sri Lanka and the Last Days of the Tamil Tigers by former UN spokesperson Gordon Weiss flags, inter alia, photos taken by Ret. Col. Harun Khan when his UN convoy came under […]

Two years after the end of the war in Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy Deshan Tennekoon, Groundviews The UN panel report or the Darusman report was condemned and rejected. The stand taken by the government was that “not a single civilian was killed during the last stages of the war. If some of those dead were found to be in civilian clothes, they were Tigers in disguise, […]

The war that confronts us: Looking at Sri Lanka’s official responses to Channel 4 video

Image courtesy Channel 4 Channel 4’s Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields is anything but understated. It is designed to shock, even if you are the most hardened of viewers. Images of blood-soaked bodies assail you from every angle. As a cellphone camera jerks around, you see the bulging eyes of a man-turned-killing machine. He appears to […]

Provoking, persecuting and pushing Sri Lanka: Enough!

Photo credit REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte: Special Forces Combat soldiers ride in a parade during a war victory ceremony in Colombo May 27, 2011. Sri Lanka holds a military parade and memorial for fallen soldiers on Friday to mark the second anniversary of the defeat of the Tamil Tigers, which ended a quarter-century civil war in the […]

21 Years of Hopeless Existence

Image credit PaperMag For about 21 years, more than 100,000 Internally Displaced People from the Northen Province of Sri Lanka have been languishing in camps.  Mainly from the Muslim community, these people were forced out by the LTTE for crimes of not being Tamil.  In the wake of post conflict debates about reconciliation and rehabilitation, […]

Sri Lanka’s Post-War Crisis: War Crimes and Channel 4

Following the broadcast of ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’ on the 14th of June and its public release – for seven days – on Channel 4’s website, there has been an overwhelming international reaction to what has been described as ‘brutal,’ ‘horrific’ and ‘shocking’ footage of war crimes. In an effort to collate the reportage following […]

Twitter explodes with reactions and responses to Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields

Channel 4 broadcast Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields tonight in the UK, which it describes as “a hard-hitting investigation into the final weeks of the Sri Lankan civil war, featuring devastating video evidence of horrific war crimes.” Sri Lanka’s response to the video has been unsurprisingly ham-fisted, but already, the video is having an impact internationally. […]

‘BE YOUNG AND SHUT UP!’: A COURSE IN CIVIC DISENGAGEMENT

‘Sois Jeune et Tais Toi’ – Be Young and Shut Up, May 1968. Image from  Qwiki.   It is always intriguing to revisit the ideas of Paul Goodman; not exclusively for his writing on sexuality, film and politics, but also for his pertinacious desire to problematise key aspects of American society during the 1950s and 1960s. […]

Killing and State Intervention into a Funeral: A New Form of Suppressing Liberty in Sri Lanka

Crime of “Dissent” & of Murder Killing of Roshen Shanaka Ratnasekara,  a factory worker in the Free Trade Zone (FTZ), Katunayaka gives a signal to the country on how peaceful protesters would be dealt with. Those who are familiar with police accountability will accept that police cannot carry guns and ammunition, without accountability. The records […]

Perspectives and Commentary on the Leadership Training Programme for University Undergraduates

[Author’s note: As you are probably aware the leadership training for undergraduates is now well under way in 28 military installations around the country. Although the government has stated that this will be a leadership training program rather than a military training program, it has conceded that the military will be involved in a number of […]