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How Decent a Society are we?

Editors’ note: This article was first published in the Daily Mirror on the 18th of March 2011. Groundviews invites its readers for further discussion and debate. Avishai Margalit the Israeli philosopher wrote a treatise on the Decent Society from which I have quoted often. In it he defines a civilized society as one in which […]

Jaffna and the Vanni today: The reality beneath the rhetoric

Photo credit: Indi Samarajiva, 2010 The drive along the A9 from Vavuniya to Killinochchi is brought to a temporary halt at the ‘exit-entry point’ at what used to be the forward defence line at Omanthai. On the side of the dusty dirt road, in a series of sheds, military personnel are stationed with the sole […]

What few care to know: Challenges and opportunities in post-war Sri Lanka

Transcript of speech delivered by Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu accepting the first Citizens Peace Award, 28 February 2011. Video of speech below. Members of the Head Table, Venerable Sirs, Your Excellency President Kumaratunga and Friends, Let me begin by thanking the National Peace Council for this inaugural Citizens’ Peace Award, which I accept in all humility. […]

The Duplicitous Disclaimer: GOSL, the UN and Accountability

In consideration of the vague exposition on the reasons behind the meeting between Ban Ki-moon and representatives of the Sri Lankan Government in New York on the 23rd of February 2011, as well as the Government’s own disclaimer on the meeting, it is clear that there has been a concerted effort to disclose as little […]

Winds of Change 2.0 and its Implications

The sweeping wave of protests over West Asia is refreshing to see twenty-two years after the fall of the Berlin wall. The demise of repressive communist regimes in Eastern Europe was not due to the direct intervention of the west, but the overall impact of home grown people’s power movements, which gathered pace as the […]

Democracy in Sri Lanka: Ideas and responses

In March 2010, Groundviews launched a unique initiative online to ascertain what citizens perceived and accepted as democracy in Sri Lanka. To date, 74 people have submitted 42 ideas and cast 596 votes, but what do YOU think? Click on To coincide with a planned in-depth survey on democracy in Sri Lanka by Social Indicator, the polling arm of […]

Commemorative lecture on second death anniversary of Lasantha Wickrematunge

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” ~ Martin Luther King Jr, (15 January 1929 ~ 4 April 1968), (Activist, Clergyman, and prominent leader in African ~ American Civil rights movement) A commemorative lecture to mark the second death anniversary of Sunday leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunge was held […]

GLF: A space for activists?

A playground for Colombo’s “artsy fartsy?” A personal initiative by G. Dobbs (Founder) to increase the per capita income of G. Dobbs? A promotional tactic to draw tourists to our fair land? An ideal getaway for the middle and upper classes to catch up with old friends and make merry? A platform for cultural and […]

Sri Lanka and war crimes investigations: Nothing to Lose, but a World to Win

To rephrase the words of Marx and Engels: a spectre is haunting Sri Lanka – the spectre of an international investigation. More specifically, a demand has been made by the West, and will be made in the future too: a demand for an international investigation. The response to such a demand, without any doubt, should […]

Archive of Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) submissions and media reports

Image courtesy Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) Groundviews is pleased to announce the launch of two archives covering media reports on and submissions to the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC). The archives are now live here. At the time of the launch, there are over 220 media reports and over 100 English submissions […]

The Tamil In The Room At The War’s End

On May 19th 2009 the last shots in the nearly three decade long war between the Sri Lankan state and the LTTE were fired. The end came in the form of the virtual destruction of the LTTE including its leadership, after a gruelling campaign in the northern Vanni region leading to the deaths of thousands […]

Fire and Storm: Essays in Sri Lankan Politics by Michael Roberts commends citizen journalism during war

Fire and Storm: Essays in Sri Lankan Politics is the latest book by Prof. Michael Roberts. Michael was trained in history and the social sciences at Peradeniya University in Sri Lanka. Read a fuller description of the author on his blog and watch a recent interview, produced for broadcast TV and featured on Groundviews here. […]

Julian Assange’s turn for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011

Photo courtesy Wired A week or so ago, a veteran editor cum journalist in a conversation on conflict and peace said, his choice for the next peace prize is Julian Assange. Agreed. But what qualifies a person for the Nobel Prize for Peace ? Alfred Nobel said it must be awarded to the person who […]

A tragi-comedy? The UN Advisory Panel and war crimes in Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy Inner City Press There is nothing to scratch heads for, to find the reason why Moon at the UN and Mahinda in Colombo agreed to have the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Panel on Sri Lanka, make a sudden visit to Colombo and meet SL President’s “Lessons Learnt & Reconciliation Commission” (LLRC). Its simple […]

Thanks, Guys

Liu Xiaobo , Winner of Nobel Peace Prize 2010, “ CHRD Vassals, serfs, dependent states, including erstwhile defenders of human rights, we appreciate and respect your well-considered decisions to absent yourselves from the Nobel Peace Prize ceremonies for the common prisoner who shall not here be named, who has filled pages of certain duplicitous democracies […]