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A Tolerant Sri Lanka: Report on online poll

The past few weeks have seen a rise in incidents and publicly expressed sentiments against the Muslim community by groups who claim to represent the rights of Sinhala Buddhists in Sri Lanka. Expressing concerns of undue place given to Muslims in Sri Lanka – from entrance to the Law College to issuing Halal certification to […]

Police in Sri Lanka show their true saffron colours

Lest we forget, the Sri Lankan police, who act under the orders and protection of the Ministry of Defence, are far from doyens of impartiality. A few weeks ago, we noted that “it is quite clear that four policemen, no more than 3 feet away from and staring directly into the face of the Buddhist “monk” […]

The empty findings of Sri Lanka’s Military Court of Inquiry

Image courtesy RNW Colombo’s contempt for the international community seems to be increasing. The recent media release on the findings of the Military Court of Inquiry stretch credibility. While I have not had access to the full report and to the evidence presented to the Military Court of Inquiry, I am shocked by the Court […]

Northern Provincial Council Election and the Future of Lankan Tamil Politics

This year promises to be a decisive one for Lankan Tamils. Events that take place this year will considerably determine the future trajectory of Tamil politics. It is only a beginning where the end of the LTTE’s totalitarianism gives the Tamils opportunity to evaluate their nationalist politics that has brought only tragedy so far. Failure […]

Drawing the Battle Lines

Monks of Sri Lanka’s hardline Buddhist group Bodhu Bala Sena pray during a protest rally urging boycott of consumer goods with Halal certification in Maharagama on the out skirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka in February. Picture and caption courtesy AP, via Asian Correspondent. The growing anti-Muslim sentiment in Sri Lanka is pushing us to respond in […]

The Fashion Bug case: A turning point for Muslim rights in Sri Lanka

Buddhist monks on the rampage at Fashion Bug as Police just look The judicial case related to the violent attack on Muslim owned Fashion Bug head office and warehouse in Pepiliyana, 10 km away from Colombo, is destined to be a turning point in Muslim Rights in Sri Lanka. Following is a brief recap of the […]

Strengthening innovation in Sri Lanka: In conversation with Anushka Wijesinha

Anushka Wijesinha is a Research Economist at the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka and is one of the most prominent voices in Sri Lanka today championing innovation. We begin by Anushka explaining what innovation means to him in a Sri Lankan context, and why it is so important to support it in post-war […]

Questions the public must ask in Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy BBC In the few days following the UNHRC meetings in Geneva, we have witnessed several act of blatant criminality by mobs on people and property- in greater Colombo, Killinochchi and elsewhere. A common factor has been the passivity of the Police. They have looked the other way (reminiscent of July ’83) and suppressed […]

‘Where every prospect pleases, man alone is vile’

Image courtesy Aaron Joel Santos The title of this article is a line from a beautifully haunting hymn written by Bishop Heber of Calcutta who, clearly, had an imperialistic mindset.  He visited our island in 1825, and the hymn must have been written around that time.  The next line reads, ‘The Heathen in his blindness bows […]

A Tolerant Sri Lanka: How far will we go?

The past few weeks have seen a rise in incidents and publicly expressed sentiments against the Muslim community by groups who claim to represent the rights of Sinhala Buddhists in Sri Lanka. Expressing concerns of undue place given to Muslims in Sri Lanka – from entrance to the Law College to issuing Halal certification to […]

Impeachment of Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice and its impact: Poll results

Photo courtesy Euronews From 6 – 21 March 2013, Groundviews ran an online poll to ascertain opinions on the lasting impact of the unprecedented impeachment of Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice. The online poll was hosted on Typeform.com. 177 responses were generated. The questionnaire can be downloaded as a PDF here. The full poll results, for […]

Colonizing Childhood and Zionist Pedagogy: Interview With Prof. Nurit Peled-Elhanan

Nurit Peled-Elhanan is a professor of language and education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, peace educator and activist and co-laureate along with late Prof. Izzat Gazzawi of the 2001 Sakharov Prize for Human Rights and the Freedom of Speech awarded by the European parliament. Peled-Elhanan has translated Albert Memmi‘s Le Racisme (1982) and Marguerite […]

Taking old friends too seriously: Sri Lanka, Burma and Buddhist extremism

People collect pieces of metal from the rubble of a neighbourhood in Pauktaw township that was burned in recent violence October 27, 2012. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun (Caption and content from Reuters) Sri Lanka’s long relationship with Burma is something that anyone who has even a nodding acquaintance with Sri Lankan history is aware of. In both […]

Helping the Police arrest brutish “monks” in Sri Lanka

Apparently the infamous Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) has condemned the attack on Fashion Bug warehouse a few days ago and asked the Police to arrest those involved in it, even if they are monks. A Daily Mirror news report suggests BBS thinks the individuals captured on film destroyed private property were actually impostors. Prima facie, […]

Responding to Geneva by Exemplary Restitution

Robert O. Blake has once said, “International mechanisms can become appropriate in cases where states are either unable or unwilling to meet their obligations.” After Geneva March 2013, US officials have reiterated this in stricter terms. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran has said the final Geneva Resolution will not relieve the affected Tamils and reminded the […]