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Where brevity cripples and distorts reportage

Image courtesy eHow Once upon a time, after I presented a public talk in Oslo courtesy of Kumar Rupesinghe, a Norwegian journalist provided me with a refreshing insight into the difference between academic essays and journalese. There is, to be sure, a considerable overlap between the two fields; but the lesson he taught me was […]

New censorship of SMS news in Sri Lanka

A fax issued by the Media Centre for National Security today commands that “any news related to National Security and Security Force, the Police should get prior approval from the Media Centre for National Security before dissemination. Therefore, please be kind enough to follow the above instructions with immediate effect.” See large image of the […]

In Memory of Marie Colvin

Photo via CBS News and courtesy AP Photo/Ivor Prickett Sunday Times “Journalists covering combat shoulder great responsibilities and face difficult choices. Sometimes they pay the ultimate price.” – Marie Colvin A few days ago, I was in a conversation with a fellow journalist and a human rights activist with regard to establishing an initiative in […]

Are Chinese Telecoms acting as the ears for the Sri Lankan government?

The title is inspired by the article Are Chinese Telecoms Acting as the Ears for Central Asian Authoritarians? published in Eurasianet.org, examining the probable role of Chinese telecoms firms, notably Huawei and ZTE, in espionage and surveillance. The article notes that both ZTE and Huawei have signed contracts worth tens of millions of US dollars with governments […]

Mr. Minister, my name is Sunanda Deshapriya. I am not a terrorist.

Photo courtesy JDS An Open Letter to Minister Keheliya Rambukwella Mr. Minister, I don’t know whether you have seen the film called ‘my name is Khan. In it, the main character played by popular actor Shah Rukh Khan Repeats the lines ‘My name is Khan. I am not a terrorist’ at different points in the […]

In conversation with Shashi Tharoor at Galle Literary Festival

As part of the Galle Literary Festival, I had the opportunity to speak with Shashi Tharoor, whose writing I’ve immensely enjoyed read since my University days in India. As the festival’s website notes, Shashi Tharoor is the prize-winning author of twelve books, both fiction and non-fiction, including the classic The Great Indian Novel (1989), India: […]

Bell Pottinger and Sri Lanka: A trail of spin doctoring and whitewashing

Aside from articles appearing last Sunday in the Sunday Times and the Sunday Leader, mainstream media in Sri Lanka has been curiously silent over recent revelations in the British media on the government’s connections with the infamous British PR firm Bell Pottinger. On 6th December, The Independent ran a story on how Bell Pottinger had […]

Women Left Behind: Truth Commissioning in Sri Lanka

A mother displaying the photographs of his sons which are missing during the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) session in Trincomalee, December, 3-5, 2010. Photo courtesy Centre for Human Rights The power and promise of national exercises like the LLRC lie in the way that they can access the voices of those who have not […]

Prescient

When Lasantha wrote the editorial that predicted his imminent assassination he suggested the civil war would turn steadily uglier, then move inwards, as a lizard searching for its tail, insidious in the way each institution begins to lose its independence, the machinery of the ruling family greasing every Tom, Dick and Banda—forgive my allusion to […]

Titus Thotawatte: The Final Cut

Titus Thotawatte, 1929 – 2011 Emmanuel Titus de Silva, better known as Titus Thotawatte, was the finest editor in the six decades long history of the Lankan cinema. He was also a great assimilator and remixer – a veritable ‘builder of bridges’ across cultures, media genres and generations. Titus straddled the distinctive spheres of cinema […]

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 […]

Women and Media Collective Press Conference on Violence Against Women

The Women and Media Collective held a press conference last week to address the incidence of violence against women with regard to the ‘grease devil’ phenomenon. The Collective also stressed that it wanted a ‘clear dialogue’ on the matter in order to militate against sensational reportage as well as further trivialisation of the issue. The […]

“I want to continue to highlight the activities against the humanity” | Gnanasundaram Kuganathan

“It’s a miracle that I survived. I was beaten almost to death. Many attempts have been made to kill me, so that my writing will come to an end!. I did not think that, I will survive. The God has saved me to serve the people through journalism. I am slowly recovering. Today, I am […]

Abuse, violence and bullying: Post-war Sri Lanka is indeed a peaceful place

Photo courtesy JDS The idea of writing this note came to mind after watching the recent interview between an Indian media personality and Sri Lanka’s Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, Public Security, Law and Order. A lot has been said about the information exchanged during this relatively short interview. A surface look at comments […]