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Black January: Ceaseless media suppression in Sri Lanka, with total impunity

Image via RNW The month of January is coming to an end and yet again it has been filled with a number of major attacks on media freedom in Sri Lanka. For this reason the month is often referred to as the ‘Black January’ of media suppression. This year too, journalists’ and organisations in the […]

From 1972 to the Rajapaksa mode of governance: Constitution making in Sri Lanka

Nihal Jayawickrama, LLB (Ceylon), PhD (London), was the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Justice from 1970-1977, having been admitted to the Bar as an Advocate of the Supreme Court in 1962. As Dr. Jayawickrama notes in this chapter to The Sri Lankan Republic at 40: Reflections on Constitutional History, Theory and Practice, edited by […]

Prageeth Ekneligoda: A 3 year struggle to find husband, father, cartoonist and journalist

Image courtesy Vikalpa I had never met Prageeth Ekneligoda. But after he disappeared, on 24th Jan. 2010, I read some of his articles. I found them to be thought provoking and cover many issues related to freedom of expression, human rights in general, democracy etc. But what struck me most was some of his cartoons. […]

The story of the weeping widows

Image courtesy Transcurrents It was a practical examination session for a training of gender trainers in the Jaffna district. The trainees had to conduct a day’s training on gender issues in a village called Thoppukkadu located in Karainagar. The participants were widows who were beneficiaries of a livelihood assistance project implemented by the UNDP.  Watched […]

Ashraf Nagar: The Courageous Struggle of Peasants against the Forcible Land Acquisition in Ampara District

Ashraf Nagar’s inhabitants can trace back their history to 1952 when it consisted of the following small villages – Aalim Nagar, Vilankadu, Kasangkeni, Muthiriyadiwattai, Pallak Kadu, Sinna Pallakkadu, Kattu Vattai, Ali Mudakadu and Aalim Chennai. Ashraf Nagar’s name was changed in the year 2006 to Oluvil first division and even though it consisted of Muslims, […]

Father Tissa Balsuriya’s struggle for social justice will continue in Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy the late Fr. Tissa’s blog We heard the sad news that the internationally acclaimed Sri Lankan catholic priest and theologian Father Tissa Balasuriya (Fr Tissa) has passed away. His exertions on the Catholic Church about the nature of Jesus Christ and his teachings, and how to adjust to the realities of life in the […]

Fr. Tissa Balasuriya: A loving and gentle rebel

Photo courtesy the late Fr. Tissa’s blog Fr. Tissa has been called a radical and rebel within the Catholic Church and society. This is perhaps because like Jesus, he never flinched from challenging the rulers and powerful – be they be those in government, multinational corporations or church. Unjust socio-economic-political structures were subjected to harsh […]

Sri Lanka’s Descent Towards Oppression

All photos by the author. Click on each for higher resolution version. Sri Lanka’s descent towards an oppressive State is far from complete; however, recent actions carried out by the government have shown that this is progressing rapidly towards such a regime. Media censorship, impeachment of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and intimidation […]

Waning Economic Euphoria and the Impending Crisis of Governance

  Photo courtesy Media Centre for National Development of Sri Lanka The immediate post-civil war years of 2010 and 2011 in Sri Lanka were trumpeted as record-breaking eight percent or greater annual real growth rate of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for two consecutive years including the highest ever economic growth rate of 8.3% recorded […]

The devastating impeachment of the Chief Justice in Sri Lanka: Interview with Asanga Welikala

Image courtesy The Hindu Groundviews interviewed Asanga Welikala, a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Policy Alternatives (the institutional anchor of this website) on the unprecedented constitutional crisis that has gripped Sri Lanka. Over the years, Asanga’s appeared many times on Groundviews, including most recently, speaking about the dynamics of constitution making in Sri Lanka […]

Militarized charity and land grabbing: Experience of Keppapulavu in the Vanni

Photo by author from Menik Farm: The tragic end of a bitter saga, from detention to forced relocation I read with interest the article by Amal de Chickera titled “Racing Tanks with Bicycles: A Parable of ‘Reconciliation’ in Sri Lanka” and response to this by Sri Lanka Unites (SLU). I had often struggled with issues […]

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 […]