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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 […]

Official transcript of LLRC oral submission by Mr. Jayantha Dhanapala (Updated)

Groundviews exclusively carried Jayantha Dhanapala’s response to erroneous and selective media reports of his submission to LLRC a few days ago, in which he promised an authoritative transcript of his presentation and of the question and answer session from the LLRC. A covering note to the media from Mr. Dhanapala and the transcripts were sent […]

Open letter to Editors of Daily Mirror and Daily Mirror Online on violation of media ethics and the reinvention of Sri Lanka’s geography

[Editors note: We reproduce below two open letters sent to the Editors of the Daily Mirror and Daily Mirror online respectively. The letters flag significant concerns over a marked lack of professionalism and violation of established media ethics by both the online and print versions of the newspaper. The letters are published for any responses […]

A homophobic Editorial: Professional negligence or genuine belief?

Photo courtesy the Daily Mirror’s febrile imagination On the 29th of July 2010 I read a strange and badly written editorial that appeared in the Daily Mirror newspaper. To put it mildly, the editorial was a diatribe against the so-called recent trend of ‘persuading’ citizens to become gay. It demonstrated an appalling lack of good […]

Media Development Authority: Another name for media control in Sri Lanka?

The  recent announcement of Government of Sri Lanka’s (GOSL) intention to establish a Media Development Authority (MDA) in Sri Lanka could be taken as an indication of its approach towards media in the context of post-war economic development. An official  statement posted  on 25th July 2010 on a government news portal shows that the proposed […]

Letter to the Editor of Sunday Observer: Racism and editorial incompetence

This letter was published in the Sunday Observer of 4 July 2010. In it Michael Meyler responds to Malinda Seneviratne’s recent articles in the Sunday Observer and the Lakbima. Dear Sir, I am writing in response to Malinda Seneviratne’s article “Language standards: whose version of our reality should we inhabit?” (Sunday Observer, 20 June 2010). […]

Freedom to create, censorship and the future of Sri Lankan cinema: an anecdote

NB: The following is a brief (and therefore rather incomplete) note on the censorship and state-control imposed on present-day Sri Lankan cinema, where filmmakers are forced to be conscious of the prevalent political discourse on artistic expression. Hiding behind a so-called (‘Victorian-inherited’) culture and blocking creative energy being an act of sheer hara-kiri on artistic […]

Compilation of special edition on the end of war in Sri Lanka

Download the 162 page compilation of content as a PDF in high quality (25.4Mb), or low quality (3.7Mb). The low quality version is good enough to read, but the photos will look and print much better in the high quality version. From 19 – 27 May 2010, Groundviews ran a special edition on the end of […]

Hard Talk

Many readers may have seen if not read about Defence Secretary Gothabhaya Rajapaksa’s interview with Stephen Sackur of the BBC HardTalk programme in which he calls Sarath Fonseka a liar and threatens to hang him for his position on a war crimes investigation. Local opinion, not surprisingly, given the current political context, has been divided […]