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In Sri Lanka, ‘fear and insecurity’ for journalists, activists

Sri Lankan TV journalist Kapila Chandana Kuruppuarachchi thought he was just doing his job when he tried to cover a clash between backers of rival political parties in late September. Instead, he says, a mob of pro-government supporters chased him for almost a kilometer before pelting him with stones. He was hospitalized with major bone […]

Online hate speech stokes fear of religious violence in Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy Thyagi Ruwanpathirana Hate speech is growing more effective and pervasive among media platforms in Sri Lanka, prompting concern from Muslim and Christian minorities amid mounting attacks. The Colombo-based Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) released a report this week on the challenges surrounding the significant uptick in online-based hate speech in post-war Sri Lanka. “The […]

In conversation with Ruhanie Perera: Politics, Space and Theatre in Sri Lanka

Ruhanie Perera is a founding member of the Floating Space theatre company, based in Sri Lanka. Groundviews has both featured and reviewed compelling productions by Floating Space and directed by Ruhanie. We begin by talking about why Ruhanie founded a new theatre company seven years ago, and how the name of the company came about. Ruhanie speaks […]

Terror, Performance and Anxieties of Our Times: Reading Rustom Bharucha and Reliving Terror

(Terror and Performance by Rustom Bharucha (2014). Tulika Books, New Delhi; ISBN 978-93-82381-37-2; pp. xvi; 250. INR 695.00 Approaching terror When I started reading Rustom Bharucha’s latest book, Terror and Performance, it immediately became an intensely personal and gripping engagement.  It was difficult to read in a single attempt as the mind kept wandering from […]

Review of Neville Jayaweera’s Jaffna: Exorcising the Past and Holding the Vision

Photo courtesy Thomas Berg Part I When I was asked by Marshell Fernando whether I would review the above, I readily agreed. Neville was several years senior to me in the Ceylon Civil Service and also served as Government Agent (GA) Jaffna but 18 years before my turn. I know him well and have some […]

“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 […]