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He is writing history, where he lives, when he travels, to Denmark, Singapore, Tamil Nadu, Toronto. Edward Said wrote about Palestinians, Rudramoorthy Cheran, Tamils. News that my friend has suffered a mild heart attack does not surprise me. His muscle has been strained for more than thirty years. From the Saturday Review where he reported […]

Forbidden Fruits: Niromi de Soyza’s “Tamil Tigress”, Noumi Kouri and Helen Demidenko?

The literary world is now poised on the brink wondering if the Tamil Tigress (Allen & Unwin, 2011) is going to join Forbidden Love (Random House, 2003) and The Hand that signed the Paper (Allen and Unwin, 2000) in the house of literary infamy. Has the Tamil lady who uses the nom de plume Niromi […]

The Role of Writers and Artists during Turbulent Political Times

I was requested to speak about the important role writers and artists play in the struggle against oppression and in the protection of democratic and human rights of the oppressed. We all know that writers and artists hold strong views on political matters, though they may not be vocal at times. Some of them are […]

The ‘coolest’ publisher of English books in Sri Lanka: In conversation with Sam Perera

Sam Perera, along with Ameena Hussein (see interview here) began the Perera Hussein Publishing House, a niche publisher based in Sri Lanka known to publish some of the most compelling contemporary writing in English. Sam, who thinks of all things, he is a farmer at the beginning of the programme opens up the conversation with […]

In conversation with Neluka Silva, Professor in English, University of Colombo

Neluka Silva is the Head of the English Department and Professor in English, University of Colombo. Given the recent agitation amongst University staff and the general crisis over tertiary education, I first asked Neluka why she has taught at Colombo University for decades and what drives her to do this. Referring to an article by […]

Exclusive: Syllabi and timetables from compulsory University ‘leadership’ training course

Image from Virakesari Online. [Editors note, 26 January 2014: Since the time this article was first published, the service used to host the embedded PDFs requires registration and a fee to download the documents locally. All of the PDFs embedded below are now hosted on and can be downloaded for free using this link.] Great […]

When allegations become evidence

Media and advocacy groups make mistakes. It’s true. The reason for the errors can vary from simple human error, time constraints resulting in insufficient research to subtle manipulation of facts and wording to push an agenda. Once a mistake has been pointed out, most reputable organisations will publish an acknowledgement along with the correction. Less […]

Going beyond mainstream media: The best Twitter feeds on and from Sri Lanka

Just over a year ago, in April 2010, Groundviews launched two curated Twitter lists on Sri Lanka to help those in and outside the country access news, information and critical conversations that went far beyond mainstream media’s economic and partisan shackles. One list featured some of the most compelling bloggers in Sri Lanka. The other, […]

A-Z of Sri Lankan English: K is for kadé

I normally try to stay on the right side of the descriptive-prescriptive divide, but today I’ve got my prescriptive hat on. I deplore the habit of some writers, editors and publishers of employing French and German accents when rendering Sinhala and Tamil words in English. You might read about more important issues on Groundviews today, […]

Refuge for Colonel Gadaffi in Island Paradise?

16 April 2011, Colombo, Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka has in its history occasionally served as a refuge for persecuted personalities but it may have its most controversial refugee yet. Colonel Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi has reportedly secured an understanding with the Government to Sri Lanka to secure refuge in the country in the eventuality that he has to […]

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 […]