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New Festival to Promote Unity in Sri Lanka

16 March 2011, Colombo, Sri Lanka: A press conference was held in Colombo earlier today to launch the latest fixture on Sri Lanka’s ever busier festival calendar. Organisers of The Boycott Festival issued a brief statement and then invited the press to enjoy the refreshments in the ballroom. The Boycott Festival will take place over […]


Sirimavo: Honouring the world’s first woman Prime Minister, edited by Tissa Jayatilaka, is the commemorative volume published by the Bandaranaike Museum Committee to mark fifty years since Mrs. Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike’s first accession to power on 21st July 1960. If her place in the history books as the world’s first woman to lead a […]

Long Form journalism: An invitation to contribute

As many regular readers and commentators on this site know, in January Groundviews launched the Long Reads section. The print media industry in Sri Lanka, for economic and political reasons, does not afford a space for compelling essays on society, politics, the arts, culture, religiosity, literature and other topics. Long Reads on Groundviews aims to […]

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 […]

Shyam Selvadurai: Literature, identity, politics and the Galle Literary Festival

Shyam Selvadurai was born in 1965. His book Funny Boy introduced gay fiction to mainstream English literature in Sri Lanka, and indeed as Shyam notes, in South Asia. Born to a Sinhalese mother and Tamil father, Shyam was 19 when he left Sri Lanka in 1983 for Canada. Funny Boy was as much about class and […]

Top 20 posts on Sri Lanka over 2010

Featuring satire, poetry, photography and video to critical commentary and analysis, Groundviews covered major political events and processes in Sri Lanka over 2010. The site’s comprehensive coverage of the first commemoration of the end of war in Sri Lanka resulted in the publication of a seminal book that has been critically acclaimed by academia. Coverage of the […]

Governance, Rights and Reconciliation: The National Anthem and Other Disturbing News from Sri Lanka

Original photo from Business Today The headline story of the Sunday Times of 12 December 2010 was deeply disturbing.  According to it the Cabinet has made a decision that henceforth the national anthem will only be sung in Sinhala.  Subsequent reports confirmed that the issue was discussed in cabinet but that no final decision had […]

O country, Thy National Anthem…

It was reported lately that an interesting issue came up at a recent cabinet meeting, namely, the National Anthem of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. It was also reported that the cabinet has established that the National Anthem will hereafter be sung exclusively in Sinhala. According to news reports published in the local […]

Is the Tamil version of our national anthem a joke?

Recent media coverage in Sri Lanka has focussed on the confusion over the ban of the Tamil version of Sri Lanka’s national anthem. In media reports that need to be read in the context of the ignominy suffered by the President in England recently, it was suggested that the President had, “reportedly argued that no […]

A-Z of Sri Lankan English: G is for gode

Mahinda Rajapaksa makes no bones about his goday origins“ (Daily News 12/02/2010) The basic meaning of the Sinhala word gode (or goday) is rural, of the land, of the village, conjuring up traditional pastoral values such as those the President would like to be associated with. But more often in colloquial English-speaking contexts it is […]

Political Satire in Sri Lanka: When Making Fun is No Laughing Matter

Review of Wimalege Colama (Wimale’s Column), a collection of satirical columns by Wimalanath Weeraratne Sinhala; 232 pp; Author publication; September 2010 Political satire is nothing new: it has been around for as long as organised government trying to keep the wielders of power in check. Over the centuries, it has manifested in many oral, literary […]