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“We don’t understand it because it’s in Tamil”: The JHU’s comment on the NPC’s Letter

Image taken from video produced by Vikalpa I just came across an excerpt of a statement made by Mr. Nishantha Warnasinghe, the National Organiser and Media Spokesperson of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), at a recent press conference of the party. This excerpt, which was available on a Sri Lankan news website, was titled ‘JHU […]

The Five-Year Tongue Twisters

Photo courtesy ISHARA S.KODIKARA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES, via The Global Mail [five times five things to try to say quickly] 1. The misters assisted in shelling these shells on the seashore war, The shells they shelled were not sea-shells, I’m sure. Some of the people they shelled aren’t there any more. And if they shelled the seashore […]

Opened letter to His Majesty Mahinda Rajapakse the Lord of Sri Lanka and the Universe also

Dear Majesty, My name is Silva. The Silva. I am common man. Very common. So common I am always voting for your Majesty and Your Majesty’s government. However, please be notified that I am only giving the back part of my name. Front part I am keeping to myself due to security reasons. I am […]

THE MASTER: GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ

Photo by YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images, via Huffington Post “Fermina”, he said, “I have waited for this opportunity for more than half a century, to repeat to you once again my vow of eternal fidelity and everlasting love.” – From ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’ by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Gabriel Jose Garcia Marquez the writer par […]

Pricing and availability of ‘Short & Sweet’: An anthology of Sri Lankan hint fiction

The launch of Short & Sweet, Sri Lanka’s first hint fiction anthology, will take place exactly a week hence in Colombo. Details of the book as well as the venue for the launch can be accessed here. You can also follow key updates around the launch via an event page on Facebook. Perera-Hussein Books, the publishers […]

The evolution of the Sinhala typeface: In conversation with Sumanthri Samarawickrama Jayaweera

Sumanthri Samarawickrama Jayaweera is a Lecturer at the University of Moratuwa. Sumanthri was part of a panel discussion at the presentation of Visual Diversity in Sri Lanka, a book on design, at the Goethe-Institut late last year. She spoke about the evolution of the Sinhala script and typography, and this is also where our conversation […]

Launch of Short & Sweet: An anthology of (very) short stories on Sri Lanka

After over an year in production, ‘Short & Sweet’, Sri Lanka’s first hint fiction anthology is almost ready to hit the bookshelves in Sri Lanka, and online bookstores. As noted in the original call for submissions on Groundviews in August 2012, “But before form comes content. Twitter’s @sixwordstories demonstrates that even as little as six […]

Book review: The Hungry Ghosts

The Hungry Ghosts is Shyam Selvadurai’s fourth novel, and almost certainly his best. The themes are familiar, from the personal strife caused by the narrator’s sexuality and ethnicity, to the political backdrop of Sri Lanka’s civil war, but the whole narrative is handled with an accomplishment and quiet authority that marks a real step up […]

In conversation with Michael Mendis: Winner of 2013 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Asia

Michael Mendis is the winner of the 2013 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Asia. ‘The Sarong-Man in the Old House, and an Incubus for a Rainy Night’ can be read in full on Granta. Upon winning the prestigious prize, Michael averred, “Although writing, for me, is inherently a personal exercise, involving a distillation of private […]

Shakespeare – Is he “Wellington’s Lieutenant?”

Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty via The Guardian Among the many twists and turns of history, few can be more contrived than that which led to the establishment of Shakespeare’s tongue as a second or link language in a little island thousands of miles from England where Englishmen have scarcely set foot in Shakespeare’s lifetime (1564 – […]

ABC, Gordon Weiss and authoress Niromi de Soyza

Like many people I used to think that such agencies as the BBC and ABC provided balanced reviews and were relatively unbiased. No more. Further confirmation: a recent panel presentation by ABC in March 2013, entitled “Continuing Genocide in Sri Lanka” and anchored by Jane Hutcheon, exposed in blatant nudity the lop-sided perspectives within Aunty […]

Colonizing Childhood and Zionist Pedagogy: Interview With Prof. Nurit Peled-Elhanan

Nurit Peled-Elhanan is a professor of language and education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, peace educator and activist and co-laureate along with late Prof. Izzat Gazzawi of the 2001 Sakharov Prize for Human Rights and the Freedom of Speech awarded by the European parliament. Peled-Elhanan has translated Albert Memmi‘s Le Racisme (1982) and Marguerite […]

A simple experiment to highlight ingrained racism in Sri Lanka

When Etisalat dreams of a Sri Lanka where everyone is connected, it’s clearly thinking only of the Sinhalese. Why else would the company’s website feature, so prominently, a Lion to depict ‘everyone’ in Sri Lanka? In popular media, corporate marketing and government output, there are numerous other examples of a racism so deeply internalised and […]