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T. Shanaathanan in conversation with Sharmini Pereira

Sharmini Pereira: What’s your earliest recollection of wanting to study art? Was it something that you were encouraged to do or something that you encouraged your family to allow you to do? T. Shanaathanan: I come from an orthodox middle class family and my parents have some interest in art. I learnt the basic principles […]

Twitter archive of @groundviews: December 2014

Every single one of the nearly 36,600+ tweets published to date by Groundviews as @groundviews can be downloaded as a ZIP file from here. The archive, generated by Twitter, is fully searchable. All the tweets can be downloaded as a CSV file from here (10.3Mb). The archive is also accessible online here. The archive is […]

An appeal from a Sri Lankan Catholic to Pope Francis: Please don’t come

Photograph courtesy Api Sri Lankan On 20th Nov. 2014, the President of Sri Lanka officially proclaimed his intention to hold presidential elections and seek a third term. This was when there was two more years to hold presidential elections. It was widely believed that the reasons for premature elections was the fading popularity of the […]

Uthayan in Jaffna: All the news that’s fit to print, and then some

JAFFNA. “Even though the war is over and the guns are silent…it doesn’t change a thing. We still face threats. We are still feeling the fear,” said 35 year old Thevanayagam Premananth, the editor of Uthayan newspapers. We talked in his office, part of the compound that had once been the torture chambers of the […]

Archive of #AskChampika: Twitter Q&A with Champika Ranawaka

Photo courtesy The Sunday Leader A Twitter Q&A with the JHU’s Champika Ranawaka was conducted at 7pm yesterday, generating hundreds of tweets with questions for the Minister ranging from his hate speech, endorsement of astrology, open calls to violence, politics and religious extremism to the up-coming presidential elections, corruption and governance in general. A cursory […]

Maithripala, a good governance challenge from within to Mahinda Rajapakse

Photo by AFP PHOTO/ Ishara S.KODIKARA via The Japan Times This analyst has always maintained that the formulae for the defeat of the Rajapakse regime, was a divided government and a unified opposition. Given the absolute fragmented disarray in which the main opposition United National Party was in, only a very short while ago, it was […]

The new Yarl Devi to Jaffna: What do people in Jaffna think?

Photograph courtesy Colombo Gazette. A version of this article appears on the author’s blog. The Yarl Devi was a train. A hulking pile of metal on wheels, just like any other train. It began its run around 1956; neither the first train to make the trip to the North of Sri Lanka, nor the only […]

The war in Sri Lanka and propaganda debates: An analysis for the OHCHR in Geneva

Photography courtesy Worldvision Dear Sandra Beidas and OISL Team  As a Sri Lankan Australian and academic I have been collecting and analysing the material on the last phase of the war in Sri Lanka for six years now. I come across new evidence regularly in the midst of misinformation and dis-information that is a facet […]

The Journey of Content: Instagram Unplugged IRL

We are discussing a photograph. It was taken by the camera of a smartphone. It has been viewed by thousands, engaged with by hundreds, and is now being exhibited at the Saskia Fernando Gallery. @colombedouin is Abdul-Halik Azeez. Colombedouin is the title of the exhibition that is ongoing at the time of conducting this interview. […]

In conversation with Selyna Peiris

Selyna Peiris is an Attorney-at-law and Director at Selyn Handlooms. She is also President of the Sri Lankan Liberal Youth organisation and was elected Chair of the Asian Liberal Youth Caucus. We begin by talking about Selyna’s work around entrepreneurship and fair-trade certification, looking at what the future for traditional industry is in post-war Sri […]

In conversation with Dinesha de Silva Wikramanayake

Dinesha de Silva Wikramanayake is the Country Representative of The Asia Foundation. We begin by talking about what compelled Dinesha to join TAF, after, as noted on the Foundation’s site, two decades of experience in the field of international development – with special interest and experience in economic governance, rule of law, access to justice, and […]

Mahinda Rajapaksa cannot succeed President Rajapaksa

I have discussed in these columns some days ago the contention that President Rajapaksa is not qualified to fight an election for a third term by virtue of the operation of Article 31(2) of the Constitution. The repeal of that article by the Eighteenth Amendment does not remove the past operation of anything suffered under […]

The Role of Women in Countering Extremism

Speech delivered at Economic and Social Council Chamber, United Nations on October 27th, 2014 I want to thank the government of the United Arab Emirates for taking this important initiative to have debate and discussion on one of the most pressing issues of our times. I have been invited in my capacity as lead author […]