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The Republic at 40: Four decades of constitution (un)making in Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan Republic at 40: Reflections on Constitutional History, Theory and Practice is a collection of scholarly essays marking the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Sri Lankan Republic in 1972, edited by Asanga Welikala. Spanning two volumes and at over 1,100 pages, this is not a tome that can be compressed into […]

A legal primer: The impeachment of the Chief Justice in Sri Lanka

Photo from MSN News Groundviews interviewed Luwie Ganeshathasan, a Researcher in the Legal and Constitutional Unit of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (the institutional home of this website), on several key issues arising from the impeachment proceedings against the current Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, Shirani Bandaranayake. ### Is there provision in the constitution to […]

LLRC & the Lessons on Devolution: Sri Lanka’s LLRC Revisited

Learning lessons is a humbling experience. It takes place with the admission that one has made mistakes. Having made them, one feels the adverse consequences; having felt them, one realizes the importance of learning from those mistakes, learning not to repeat them, learning the required lessons. In the realm of politics, then, this process, this […]

The Rajapaksa ‘Sangamaya': Creating employees and customers of citizens

Image from Lanka Standard The following video features the last couple of a minutes of a longer speech delivered by Dr. Nihal Jayawickrama at the launch of The Sri Lankan Republic at 40: Reflections on Constitutional History, Theory and Practice, a collection of scholarly essays edited by Asanga Welikala, a Senior Researcher at the Centre […]

Sri Lanka’s LLRC Timeline: Update 1

In August 2012, Groundviews published a sui generis visual timeline tracing key events and developments around the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), from its inception to the implementation of its action plan, over the next three years. Since its first release around four months ago, we have continued to curate the timeline with relevant […]

Racing Tanks with Bicycles: A Parable of ‘Reconciliation’ in Sri Lanka

Photo via Facebook photo set by Akiy Photography, direct link here. Note that original photo does not blur the face of the child. Some photographs of ‘aid’ being provided to Sri Lankan Tamils in Keppapilavu were recently posted online. The Keppapilavu community were the last to be released from the Menik Farm Camp, but were […]

Post-Mullivaaikkaal governance in Sri Lanka: Towards a totalitarian state

Image courtesy Lanka Standard The present crisis engulfing the Jaffna University may be a turning point for the Tamil politics and Sri Lankan politics at large. There are three important issues, I would like to deduce from this stalemate, which are necessary to gauge the trajectory of post-war Tamil politics in Sri Lanka. Two of […]

Giving reconciliation in Sri Lanka a better chance: A Shadow Action Plan for the LLRC

Image courtesy Centre for Human Rights The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) Final Report contains many positive recommendations which merit immediate attention. Unfortunately, the present administration has given virtually no indication that it has any intention of seriously engaging with these recommendations. With the impeachment of the Chief Justice, the unwarranted arrest of University […]

Eating properly and smiling: The evasive Valerie Amos on Twitter

On 18th December 2012, at around 10pm in Sri Lanka, Valerie Amos, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator took to Twitter, ostensibly to answer questions related to the UN’s role, relevance and responsibilities regarding humanitarian aid and relief work. The event with Baroness Amos was announced via the Twitter account of, […]

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, […]