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Voting for Lasantha Again, 26 Years Later

Photo courtesy CNN A quarter century ago, as an eager first time voter, I cast my maiden vote for a young journalist friend who had recently taken to electoral politics. Lasantha Wickrematunge was contesting in the Colombo District from the main opposition party, SLFP, at the General Election of 15 Feb 1989. It was the […]

Why people seek a change

Photo courtesy IPS Today, January 8, approximately 15 million Sri Lankans will seek to elect the island’s next president at a tightly-contested presidential election. The chosen day is a special one. It is the birth anniversary of the founder of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), S.WR.D Bandaranaike and the sixth death anniversary of Lasantha […]

MISSED OPPORTUNITIES – My reflections

Photo by REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte, via Channel 4 I belong to a generation of Sri Lankans who witnessed many missed opportunities. Opportunities to stand proud as a nation, to grow politically and socially as a people, to prosper economically. Many of these opportunities defined by a political event, missed because of political will or lack of it. […]

Remembering Lasantha six years on: Launch of photo-essays on Sri Lanka

Photo by Abdul-Halik Azeez Journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge‘s murder on 8th January 2009 was utterly horrible and yet, even more unforgettable was the Rajapaksa government’s reaction to it. Lasantha’s last editorial, published posthumously, didn’t mince words. It is well known that I was on two occasions brutally assaulted, while on another my house was sprayed with machine-gun fire. […]

January 8th: Another opportunity for change

Photo by REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte via Voiz For the first time since Mahinda Rajapaksa ascended the Presidency in 2006 he faces a strong threat to his office. This was not the case when he called the election two years before it was due, confident of re-election owing to a deeply fractured opposition. But that has changed dramatically. […]

Presidential Election 2015: Projection of Probable Results

Photograph via Colombo Gazette Further to the initial forecast I made in my previous article (Groundviews, 1st January 2015), in this article I make several projections about the possible result in the forthcoming presidential election based on previous election results. I primarily use percentages from the 2010 Presidential election result, 2005 Presidential election result and the […]

The 2015 Presidential Election: A view from the village

Photo by Eranga Jayawardena/Associated Press, via The Washington Post The Pre-election scenario For the last eight months I have been living in a village in the Kalutara district. The village is situated about 10 kilometres south of Kalutara the district capital and a kilometer or so east from the sea.. The village economy is based […]

A Portrait of the Electorate, on the Cusp of an Election

Photo courtesy Maatram Lankans are awaiting the island-nation’s seventh presidential election with a renewed belief in the power of their vote. According to the latest opinion survey by the Centre of Policy Analysis (CPA), 86.9% of Lankans think that their vote can make a difference in the outcome of the presidential election. In August 2014 […]

#IVotedSL | Exercise your vote on the 8th!

Voting is an important civic responsibility and one way all of us exercise and enjoy our Sovereignty. This responsibility becomes particularly important during a Presidential Election, because of the immense power vested in this office. With less than one week to go for the 2015 Presidential Election, the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) officially […]

Open letter to Salman Khan and Jacqueline Fernandez

Photo courtesy Indian Express Dear Salman Khan and Jacqueline Fernandez, It was probably not your intention to be in the middle of this embarrassing political controversy. Clearly, all you wanted to do was visit your old friend Namal and distribute some spectacles in order to boost your charity. But, I must say, you two… the […]

Mahinda Rajapaksa & Maithripala Sirisena 2015 manifesto wordclouds

In 2010, during the last Presidential Election campaign in Sri Lanka, Groundviews visualised the manifestos of Sarath Fonseka and Mahinda Rajapaksa. Using the visualisations, we were able to draw interesting differences between the manifestos of the two leading candidates at the time. We did this for Maithripala Sirisena after he released his manifesto last week (download the manifesto in […]

Crossover Politics, Political Class and the Craving for Positions (tanaturu)

Photo courtesy Thailand News At present there is much drama regarding the cross overs from the ruling coalition to the opposition and vice versa on the political stage. On one hand these cross overs have generated much interest in the political campaign in general and anticipation about who would cross next kind of mentality on […]

The tsunami: 10 years on

Groundviews commissioned The Picture Press to capture through photography the tsunami that hit Sri Lanka on Boxing Day, 2004. As journalist Amantha Perera notes, The tsunami took a dramatic toll on unsuspecting Sri Lankans – 35,322 were killed, half a million were displaced, and more than 100,000 houses were destroyed. Half of the damage struck […]