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The Role of Writers and Artists during Turbulent Political Times

I was requested to speak about the important role writers and artists play in the struggle against oppression and in the protection of democratic and human rights of the oppressed. We all know that writers and artists hold strong views on political matters, though they may not be vocal at times. Some of them are […]

In conversation with Chandana Sirimalwatte

Chandana Sirimalwatte is the Editor of the Lanka newspaper, and recipient of this year’s Sepala Gunasena Award for Defending Press Freedom in Sri Lanka, awarded by the Editors Guild. The interview was conducted a day before Gnanasundaram Kuhanathan, News Editor of Tamil Daily Uthayan was attacked with iron rods in Jaffna. Chandana’s been arrested, interrogated […]

Resource book for historians, researchers and media: A year of tweeting from Groundviews

Visualisation of our Twitter followers. See larger version here. We used the web service Tweet Book to capture all our tweets over the past year in a single PDF. We’ve tweeted thousands of times over the past twelve months and have covered, The media fallout of the farcical fast of senior government Minister Wimal Weerawansa in […]

Exclusive interview with Callum McCrae, Director of ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’ produced by Channel 4

Groundviews caught up with Callum McCrae, Director of the highly controversial and very disturbing film by Channel 4, Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields, in New York, a day before the film was due to be screened for senior diplomats, UN staff and others at the Church Centre, in front of the UN Headquarters. Callum was joined […]

Groundviews blocked in Sri Lanka (Updated)

Update, 7.40pm: As we note in our tweet, we wish the Sri Lankan government made up its mind! This site, Vikalpa and even Transparency International’s site are now unblocked on SLT ADSL. The technical information below still stands, and can in the event of any future block, be used to access site content easily. ### […]

Sri Lanka’s Post-War Crisis: War Crimes and Channel 4

Following the broadcast of ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’ on the 14th of June and its public release – for seven days – on Channel 4’s website, there has been an overwhelming international reaction to what has been described as ‘brutal,’ ‘horrific’ and ‘shocking’ footage of war crimes. In an effort to collate the reportage following […]

Watch Moving Images at Kandy International Film Festival (KIFF)

We are very pleased to announce that films from Moving Images will be part of the first Kandy International Film Festival (KIFF). Though the official schedule is still being finalised, we have been informed by the organisers that Moving Images will be screened from 4 – 6pm on Saturday, 25th at the Kandy City Centre. […]

Floating Spaces: Theatre and censorship in Sri Lanka

Some of the best conversations featured on this site have been with those involved in the arts in Sri Lanka. Noted theatre personalities featured on Groundviews to date include Tracy Holsinger, Mohamed Adamaly and the iconic Iranganie Serasinghe. Jake Oorloff joins this august list, and as Co-Creative Director of Floating Space Theatre Company, his work […]

Finding the Middle Ground

Just over a week ago, a couple of my colleagues and I appeared on a prominent Canadian talk show discussing our attempts, as both individuals and organizing members of the Young Canadians’ Peace Dialogue on Sri Lanka hosted by the Mosaic Institute, to find a middle ground with respect to the relationship of the Canadian Diaspora […]

The continuing disinformation campaigns in Sri Lanka: Is mainstream media complicit?

For the second time in a fortnight, subscribers to the Daily Mirror newspaper have been entreated to an interesting disinformation campaign that appears to be conducted with those embedded within, and possibly with the full support of the Sri Lankan Army and its network of patriots. The full page ad above was published on the […]

Going beyond mainstream media: The best Twitter feeds on and from Sri Lanka

Just over a year ago, in April 2010, Groundviews launched two curated Twitter lists on Sri Lanka to help those in and outside the country access news, information and critical conversations that went far beyond mainstream media’s economic and partisan shackles. One list featured some of the most compelling bloggers in Sri Lanka. The other, […]

A review of ‘The Cage: The Fight for Sri Lankan & The Last Days of the Tamil Tigers’

I was elated to take delivery of my copy of The Cage by Gordon Weiss yesterday. Having pre-ordered it off Amazon UK, I fully expected it to be held up by Customs officials in Sri Lanka, given the incendiary issues the book is anchored to and its author, an erstwhile employee of the United Nations […]

Elephant Walk revisited: Mixing Tea, Jumbos and Monsoons

[Editors note: For an in-depth interview on Sri Lanka's human-elephant conflict, see Humans vs. elephants: Sri Lanka’s tragic on-going conflict] If those hardy Englishmen and Scotsmen who ran large tea plantations in Ceylon were far removed from the local people and realities, western movie makers were much more so. They could just as well have come […]

The Reckoning: Press Freedom in Sri Lanka

Cartoon by Carlos Latuff “The freedom to speak and the freedom to write are essential preconditions for the transition towards democracy and good governance” – Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO. We are living in the world, in which committed journalists writes the news not only with ink, but also with their blood. This is the very reason that […]