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Being small, thinking Big: Publishing for the International Market

Original photo courtesy Tarika Wickremeratne Being small, thinking Big: Publishing for the International Market from the perspective of an independent small publisher concentrating on fiction) Sri Lanka, like many countries of the Asia-pacific region, has long been an exotic destination for travelers in search of the unusual, and as can be expected, there are quite a […]

Restrictions and intimidation on journalists covering resettlement process in the Vanni

From Lines Magazine “The Government should ensure the freedom of movement of media personnel in the North and East, as it would help in the exchange of information contributing to reconciliation” (Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, recommendation 9.115-d) After more than 11 months of the LLRC report being handed over to the President, the above […]

Comprehensive archive of tweets: 8 May to 1 October 2012

Given that Groundviews is extremely active on Twitter, covering, inter alia, unique updates after eventful Presidential Elections, alerting and real time information curation during tsunami warnings and the international fallout over Twitter of media content published domestically, it’s been a real challenge to record our conversations and updates for posterity. This is especially important in a country […]

Innocence of the Muslims

March in Colombo on 24 September 2012 against the film. Photo courtesy Vikalpa Muslims have never shied away from discussing the private and public life of their Prophet Muhammed (PBUH). In fact they have welcomed an examination of his life and times. However when the Muslim world is geared for a debate and public engagement, […]

In Memoriam: Tilak Jayaratne

Tilak’s journey in search of people’s media, from the Sunday Times Tilak Jayaratne, veteran broadcaster and media advocate, passed away on September 6, after a long illness bravely borne.  All those who knew Tilak, and who encountered him in the many different orbits that he inhabited, will recall the intensity which he worked, and the […]

The Rebel Who Peddled Dreams: On Nimal Lakshapathiarachchi (1954–2012)

Nimal Lakshapathiarachchi, who suddenly died on July 19 aged 57, is being described in tributes as a ‘veteran broadcaster’ and a pioneering figure in private radio and TV broadcasting. He certainly was – but that covers only part of his legacy. He was also an indefatigable champion of popular culture, a rebel who undermined, in […]

Stand Athwart Censorship in Sri Lanka

In Tom Stoppard’s superlative play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Ros shouts “Fire!” and when questioned by Guil, Ros reassuringly responds, “It’s all right – I’m demonstrating the misuse of free speech. To prove that it exists.” After surveying the audience with “contempt”, Ros says, “Not a move. They should all burn to death in […]

Gotabhaya Rajapaksha: Too Drunk with Power to Exercise it?

Still image captured from BBC video interview. Excerpt from first conversation FJ: Mr. Rajapaksa are you threatening me? GR: Yes! I am threatening you! Write every single word I have told you if you want – you write a bloody f…..g word and we will see… FJ: Mr. Rajapaksa I called you as a journalist to […]

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 […]