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Writing to Reconcile in Sri Lanka

Image courtesy Green College I interviewed over email the award-winning author Shyam Selvadurai on a new initiative called Write to Reconcile, of which he is Project Director. Groundviews featured an in-depth interview with Shyam in mid-2011, when he was the curator of the Galle Literary Festival. Write to Reconcile is his brainchild, and I was curious […]

Jaffna Sri Lanka

Will the Tamils Lose the Plot Again?

  Photo courtesy Christian Science Monitor Chaos and Fear Much has happened in the space of three months. Soon after the Eastern Provincial Council election came the Divi Neguma bill and the subsequent calls for the abolition of the 13th Amendment. The impeachment motion against the Chief Justice and the recruitment of Tamil women to […]

Updates on ground situation in Jaffna

After the violent unrest that started late November in Jaffna, (for photos and background, read The death of Freedom of Assembly, Expression and Religion in the North of Sri Lanka), Groundviews has continuously received updates on the ground situation. In addition to forwarding these updates via email, we have decided to post them on the site […]

Still Counting the Dead: A welcome first step

Still Counting the Dead: Survivors of Sri Lanka’s Hidden War, by Frances Harrison, Portobello Books, 246 pp, £ 14.99 “We used to be a very proud people”1 – Uma, The Teacher I Few years ago, during a very wintery January weekend, at a Copenhagen hotel, I was scrambling to prepare a last minute Power Point presentation […]

The death of Freedom of Assembly, Expression and Religion in the North of Sri Lanka

Every 26th[1] and 27th of November since the end of the war (2009), we hear of people in the North not being able to moan their dead, not being able to carry out peaceful assemblies, not being able to partake in religious festivals or observances in public or at home, and every year it falls […]

Mihin Lanka: Not yours to fly

In response to a news report over the truly staggering losses incurred by Mihin Lanka, we tweeted, https://twitter.com/groundviews/status/273595581967003648 Economist Anushka Wijesinha through three tweets, helped put the staggering losses by Mihin Lanka in perspective. https://twitter.com/anushwij/status/273797691534880768 https://twitter.com/anushwij/status/273799240306786304 https://twitter.com/anushwij/status/273800288773734400 Even more outrageous is what the Daily FT report flags as the fiscal management policy of Mihin Lanka, […]

Whose beaches in Sri Lanka?

Photo by AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe, via Sulekha Tourism will bring millions to Sri Lanka but will we see any of it? During the last week of October this year, the BBC Sinhala Sandeshaya service featured a story about Sri Lankan tourism, which was in turn aired by the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation. The piece drew […]

The Struggles of Identity in Sri Lanka

Images courtesy Multicultural Arts Victoria My presentation will be an attempt to critically analyse my experience as a Franco-Sri Lankan in Sri Lanka and how I feel, as part of Sri Lanka’s Diaspora, that we can and should contribute to its ongoing reconciliation process. I’m no expert, and therefore would like you all to  allow […]

Can art still take up a social function?: Two examples from Sri Lanka in the context of post-conflict reconciliation

Decorated Kitchen Knifes, Sculpture and Canvas Installation, Jagath Weerasinghe, courtesy Mediated by Saskia Fernando Gallery Speaking about the capacity that art may have to contribute to a social achievement like building sustainable peace or national reconciliation goes somewhat against the tide of the Western contemporary art. This approach could easily be perceived as naïve in […]

Borella turned into Pudumathalan and the re-appearance of Niemöller

Photo courtesy CNN The photos of prisoners, like thugs, holding a few machine guns on the roof of Welikada Prison, challenging a government which is capable of terrorizing an entire country, what do they tell us? The news of the mass murder which was a response to that challenge, what does that tell us? The […]

The Vanni: Depicting the end of Sri Lanka’s war through a graphic novel

Groundviews interviewed via email Benjamin Dix, who along with Lindsay Pollock are producing The Vanni, a multimedia graphic novel based on the hellish denouement of Sri Lanka’s 27 year old war in the first half of 2009. A preview can be viewed here. Since the live web version requires a modern browser with very good broadband, we’ve […]

Appeal to the Executive and the Legislature to Guarantee Respect for the Judiciary and the Chief Justice and to Guarantee the Independence of the Judiciary

Image courtesy Colombo Telegraph The statement below has been put together by some academics in Sri Lanka. It has been written to communicate a widely held concerns about threats to the independence of the judiciary in the country. The statement has been signed by over 60 academics from different universities in Sri Lanka. Statements such as […]

Give Full Force and Effect to the Separation of Powers & Unity in Diversity

Photo courtesy Sri Lanka Guardian On the 19th day of May 2009, with the end of the military conflict that had divided the country for over thirty years, Sri Lanka entered a new era. The next step that Sri Lanka has to face is also extremely sensitive due to nationalistic feelings of the various ethnic groups. […]

On Critiquing of UN Failures: Missing the Wood for the Trees

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon receives Independent Review Panel on Sri Lanka report from ASG Charles Petrie. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe. Courtesy UN News Centre. The BBC’s revelation on the leaked “penultimate” draft report of an internal UN review on UN’s handling of humanitarian crisis during the last stages of Vanni war in 2009, has justifiably invoked immense […]