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Looking Back at Six Decades of Lankan Journalism: What went wrong?

Edwin Ariyadasa, who completed 91 years on 3 December 2013, is one of two grand old men of Lankan journalism still practising their craft (the other being D F Kariyakarawana, also 91). The veteran journalist has been active in his profession for nearly all of Sri Lanka’s post-independence years. During that time, he has played […]

Twitter archive of @groundviews: November 2013

Every single one of well over 27,700 tweets by Groundviews as @groundviews can be downloaded as a ZIP file from here. The archive, generated by Twitter, is fully searchable and can be browsed offline. All the tweets can be downloaded as a CSV file from here (~9Mb). The archive is also accessible online here. This archive is a wealth of information spanning four years, […]

Message to Commonwealth leaders: Stand up for Sri Lanka’s media

Photo courtesy Vikalpa Editors note: Earlier this year, I was asked to give a presentation on the post-war media landscape in Sri Lanka at the 20th World Editors Forum in Bangkok, Thailand. When subsequently put online, the presentation was viewed by thousands. Sri Lanka’s media continues to be at risk. As The Economist on 9th […]

The Al Jazeera interview with Mahinda Rajapaksa: Calling the bluff

The President’s recent and wide-ranging interview on Al Jazeera is interesting on a number of counts (download the episode in HD here). For starters, our President is clearly grossly uninformed or deliberately seeks to misinform. Take for example his assertion, around 8:50 into the interview, that European Union election monitors said the recently held Provincial […]

Launch of De Zoysa-Sivanayagam 2014 Fellowship in Global Journalism

Image courtesy Simon Fraser University On September 21, 2013, Sri Lankans Without Borders in partnership with Groundviews launched the De Zoysa-Sivanayagam 2014 Fellowship in Digital Journalism. As noted on SLWB’s website, Lasantha Wickrematunge led the fight for press freedom in Sri Lanka, “unbowed and unafraid,” for a number of years before he was assassinated in […]

Lasantha Wickrematunge Memorial Lecture 2013: Presentations, photos and video

The Lasantha Wickrematunge Memorial Lecture held recently featured, as noted on the website of Sri Lankans Without Borders (SLWB) website, “…leading journalists from Canada and Sri Lanka [in] a panel discussion to examine press freedom in Sri Lanka in commemoration of the life and times of leading Sri Lankan journalist and human right activist Lasantha […]

Complete archive of #AskMR Twitter Q&A session

Screen capture from video of President’s address to the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 24, 2013, New York, posted by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington D.C. In what would have been an unprecedented engagement with Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa during his visit to the UN in […]

30 Years Ago: Audio recordings of panel discussions

Photograph by Tehani Ariyaratne, from 30 Years Ago To complement the launch of 30 Years Ago and focus on some of the issues the project is anchored to and inspired by, four panel discussions were on the 24th and 25th of August at Park Street Mews, Warehouse D in Colombo. The inaugural session featured Deshamanya Bradman Weerakoon and Dr. […]

Media monitoring of Navi Pillay’s visit to Sri Lanka

Photograph courtesy UN Sri Lanka At the invitation of the Sri Lankan Government, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay visited Sri Lanka at the end of August in what was, in her words, “the longest official visit I have ever made to a single country”. Groundviews requested Selvaraj Rajasegar, a colleague at the […]

Announcing the De Zoysa-Sivanayagam 2014 Fellowship in Digital Journalism

Image courtesy Simon Fraser University On September 21, 2013, Sri Lankans Without Borders in partnership with Groundviews will announce the launch of the De Zoysa-Sivanayagam 2014 Fellowship in Digital Journalism. As noted on SLWB’s website, Lasantha Wickrematunge led the fight for press freedom in Sri Lanka, “unbowed and unafraid,” for a number of years before […]

Sri Lankan exiles and emigrants: Some thoughts

Still from the movie Silenced Voices But when you arrive in Ithaca, don’t expect to find jewels… Without Ithaca, you would not have set out… And through this journey… Such things have you learned. (Cavafy. Translated from the Greek) By way of a preface, I mention the perception in some religions that we all are […]

Citizen Journalism and the Numbers Game

Image courtesy Hill Post Kath Noble recently published two articles in The Island, which were reproduced on Colombo Telegraph. [i] Bring on the Usual Suspects Some of the reactions to what Ms Noble wrote were depressing but, sadly, not surprising. The usual suspects came up with the usual polemic. Says Dev: “This is absolute rubbish – […]

Sri Lankan diplunacy: Stray dogs, pricks, tigresses and CHOGM 2013

Photo courtesy Transcurrents / by Tony Ashby, AFP Bandula Jayasekara (@bundeljayse) is currently one of Sri Lanka’s highest-ranking diplomats, as Consul General in New South Wales and Queensland, Australia and former Consul General to Toronto, in Canada. His Twitter account has consistently featured bitter invective and all-manner of unsubstantiated allegations against civil society and human […]

The media as it is and should be: In conversation with Kunda Dixit

Kunda Dixit (@kundadixit), Publisher and Chief Editor of Nepali Times was in Sri Lanka recently, where we caught up for a brief conversation on the issues related to journalism in South Asia and more broadly. We began by probing why Kunda, after a Masters in Micro-Biology, switched his focus to journalism. We then talk about […]

Blocking inconvenient truths: Time magazine and Sri Lanka

Image courtesy Al Jazeera (AFP/Christophe Archambault) The Face of Buddhist Terror, cover story of the most recent issue of Time magazine, is banned in Burma. Even though the lead article is primarily on U Wirathu, the leader of the 969 Buddhist Nationalist movement and only has passing reference to Islamophobia in Sri Lanka championed by fascist […]