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Howling

What shall I do, living in Peru, with this report of systemic failure in U.N. monitoring in Sri Lanka, how bureaucrats drove away from the disaster to come, buried hard- earned stats about civilian deaths and allowed themselves to be brow-beaten, harassed, shouted into silence while 40,000 humans died , mostly from battering shells rained […]

Post-war Sri Lanka’s media landscape: In conversation with Frederica Jansz

Before she was forced to flee Sri Lanka, before the Sunday Leader started to edit submissions by long-standing and senior columnists critical of government and in particular, the ruling family and before the paper strangely started to apologise for articles published six years ago, Groundviews caught up with its erstwhile Editor and senior journalist Frederica […]

Many Shades of Accountability: The UN and Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy United Nations In the last stages of the war in Sri Lanka tens of thousands of civilians were killed and no one has been held to account to date. This article though is not about the accountability of the Government of Sri Lanka(GoSL) for the killings. Hundreds, if not thousands, have already discussed, […]

Impeachment of Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice: An Unconstitutional Witch-hunt

Image courtesy AFP and via The Express Tribune The Rajapaksha Regime, through its parliamentarians, handed over an impeachment motion to the Speaker, the elder brother of the President Rajapaksha against the first woman Chief Justice of the country. It appears that the Government of Sri Lanka is in a mighty hurry to “get rid of […]

Which way forward in post-conflict Sri Lanka? Lessons from the so-called ‘powerless’ women of the North

Image courtesy Sri Lanka Brief Introduction Before the war, we were all together. Now, we are widows with no security, and no one sees what we have to live through. But we go on, try to find some money to get us through the day…we have to eat, no? The cooking and cleaning needs to […]

The Mahatma Gandhi Oration: Is Gandhi relevant today?

In November last year the New York Metropolitan Opera showcased its production of Gandhi- an opera by Philip Glass on Mahatma Gandhi’s struggle in South Africa. Though there were mixed reviews about Glass’s western classical rendition of the Bhaghavad Gita, the Met’s opera production was quite extraordinary. Every time the opera was performed, there was […]

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 […]

A-Z of Sri Lankan English: V is for vel festival

A Hindu vel festival is better described in pictures than words. The photos here were taken a few years ago at the annual festival on Havelock Road, on a rainy August morning… ### A-Z of Sri Lankan English is“an all-new, occasional alphabetical dip“into the variety of English spoken in Sri Lanka, published exclusively on“Groundviews. The […]

“Nothing to call our own…” – The plight of the recently returned, resettled and landless IDPs in Sri Lanka’s North

Photo by author Recently returned to Puthumathalan “As you drive past pile upon pile of corroding vehicles stacked one above the other, past pots, pans, sarees, slippers and plates (that once belonged to the people here), strewn all over the ground, and past the bullet and shrapnel splattered walls of homes ravaged by the war, […]

Menik Farm: The tragic end of a bitter saga, from detention to forced relocation

“Why can’t the Army go to the jungles instead of taking our lands and sending us to jungles?” “When will we be allowed to re-start cultivation of our lands?” “When can we have access to the sea we were fishing before and will we get back the boats and fishing equipment we left behind in […]

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 […]

Putting paid to the Government’s false claims: The new IDPs in Sri Lanka

Editors note: On the day Menik Farm was officially closed, an urgent memo was circulated widely on the fate of the IDPs from Keppapilavu. The memo adds vital context to the following story, which also needs to be read in light of Government and Ministry of Defence claims that, there are no longer any IDPs […]

Elections in the East, reconciliation and politics: In conversation with Javid Yusuf

Javid Yusuf is an Attorney-at-Law and former diplomat. Groundviews last featured him over two years ago, just after the Presidential Election in early 2010. In this programme, we talked about the recently concluded elections in the North Central, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern Provinces in Sri Lanka and more generally, on politics and reconciliation in post-war Sri […]

Sri Lanka’s forgotten mass graves: Google Earth and remembering the dead in Nandikadal

The end of war in Sri Lanka, captured for posterity by Google Earth published last week by Groundviews was the first look at the end of the war in Sri Lanka through historical satellite imagery freely accessible via Google Earth. The article was an open invitation for those using Google Earth to scan for and […]

Eastern Province election: The big lie about shared power in Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy AP/Eranga Jayawardena Justice Minister Hakeem was reported to have told during campaigning, he should not be made to look like a man taken hostage. Ministers Rambukwella and Premjayantha, invited TNA to form a “National” alliance for the Council in the East. Senior Minister and Communist Party leader DEW Gunasekera says he wrote to President […]