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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 […]

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 […]