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Excellence in exile

Battered and bleeding, journalist Poddala Jayantha lay on his hospital bed when we visited him on June 2, 2009. He was lucky to be alive after being brutally assaulted by a group of unidentified assailants just the previous day. This was a terrible time for the Sri Lankan media.  Personally, I was struggling to recover […]

The Media and the Future of Sri Lanka: Young Canadians’ Peace Dialogue on Sri Lanka

The co-editor of Groundviews Nigel Nugawela spoke recently at a progressive forum of young Canadian – Sri Lankans in Toronto on the role of media in post-war Sri Lanka, including the use of new media and ICTs. The discussion also featured, V.V. GANESHANANTHAN – Novelist (Love Marriage), Blogger and Journalist ARJUNA RANAWANA – News Manager, […]

From WikiLeaks to WikiLanka: War Is Definitely Savage Though “Accusations” Differ

The latest WikiLeaks “dump” of around 400,000 US classified war reports on Iraq from 2003 to 2009, the biggest “war leaks” ever in US history, reveals how inhuman and savage the war is, never mind who conducts it and where. A few months ago in July this year, WikiLeaks’ first dump of over 90,000 US […]

Securing Media Freedom in National Security States

“Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.” Benjamin Franklin. “Necessity is blind until it becomes conscious. Freedom is the consciousness of necessity.” Marx As Sri Lanka transforms from a welfare into a “national security state,” we are witnessing the worst suppression of media freedom since the time of our independence. Nearly thirty journalists […]

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 […]

Dementia in Sri Lanka: A conversation with Tami Tamitegama

Tami Tamitegama is the President of the Lanka Alzheimer’s Foundation. Dementia is a global and growing problem, and when juxtaposed with Sri Lanka’s ageing population, places demands on our healthcare system the country is ill-placed to meet, and hasn’t even planned for. This conversation was recorded a few days after World Alzheimer’s Day and touches […]

LLRC: Submission by Manik de Silva, President of the Editors Guild

Manik de Silva is the most senior and longest-serving Editor of an English newspaper in Sri Lanka. Presently the Editor of the Sunday Island, Manik was also a former Editor of the Daily News and is currently the President of the Editors Guild. Manik’s testimony to the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) on 13th […]

A-Z of Sri Lankan English: E is for Eelamist

The word Eelamist (as adjective or noun) refers to a person or organisation which supports the Tamil separatist cause in Sri Lanka. Like certain other -ist words (Zionist, Islamist, Loyalist), the word is loaded with political connotations – an article of faith for some, a term of abuse for others. But it is also used […]

‘Learning Lessons’ from those affected by war: Does the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission really listen?

The most recent sessions of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) were held in the conflict affected North from 18 to 20 September, at which a large number of persons, particularly women, made representations. Of course one wouldn’t know it by reading the newspapers, listening to the radio or watching television. In what appears […]

In conversation with Bijayini Satpathy, Director of the Odissi Gurukul at Nrityagram

Bijayini Satpathy is Director of the Odissi Gurukul at Nrityagram. This was an interview produced for and broadcast on TV in Sri Lanka, complementing the ½ hour interview I recorded and conducted for Groundviews in July 2009. Expanding on some of the issues we talked about a year ago, Bijayini shared her views on how […]

Protection from thought: The Economist and National Security in Sri Lanka

In what may be explained as an utterly fatuous action in a country that apparently has no official policy on censorship – but is plagued by the arbitrary regulation and control of online content as well as print media – Customs officials have detained two issues of the Economist this year. In addition, reports indicate […]

AT THE CUTTING EDGE OF PUBLIC DEBATES: Encounters with Mervyn de Silva, 1960s-1980s

Image courtesy Transcurrents The odd story about former undergraduate Mervyn de Silva would be retailed around the corridors of Peradeniya campus when I was residing there as an undergraduate from 1957, an indication that he had etched his mark in campus memories. But I never encountered him or his work till I was a lecturer […]