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The Weliweriya violence: Documenting the inconvenient for posterity

Image courtesy NAFSO The archiving of tweets documenting the violence in Weliweriya began after a reader, @apelankawe, asked us to do so. @groundviews any plans of archiving #weliweriya tweets? — Vidura (@Apelankawe) August 2, 2013 Ended up archiving every single tweet containing the hashtags #Weliweriya, #Weliveriya, #weliweriyaclash and #weliweriyaclash. The final report from the investigation […]

Where does G.L. Peiris get his facts on militarisation in Sri Lanka?

Photo courtesy Wikipedia “One of the biggest gaffes by an External Affairs (Foreign) Minister in post-independent Sri Lanka” is how the Sunday Times in April last year chose to describe a remark by Sri Lanka’s current Foreign Minister, G.L. Peiris. Far be it from us to accuse Minister Peiris of terminological inexactitude, but given a […]

How we can have a just peace: The postwar discourse in Sri Lanka

The last part of the background note  prepared for the first session of the Marga Institute’s panel discussion on ‘Long War, Cold Peace’ contained  the conceptual framework which  Dr Jayatilleka uses for his assessment  of what he describes as  the post war crisis – “ the  cold peace” on which he focuses in Chapters 3,  […]

Opening remarks by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay at a press conference during her mission to Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy UN Given the importance of the mission and the nature of the statement, Groundviews is reproducing in full Navi Pillay’s opening remarks, delivered at a press briefing held earlier today in Colombo, Sri lanka. Download the statement as a PDF from here.

Out of the Scar: Memory, Diaspora and the Cultural Politics of Reconciliation

Photo courtesy INSI Notes of a talk at the Sydney Reconciliation Forum, August 17, 2013 there is an unexploded land mine heart in us under every breast chest waiting for breath tears a moan to crack the land open and let the stories come walking out of the scar Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha “Landmine Heart” 2006 […]

Remembering, to never again repeat: Launch of 30 Years Ago site

Photo by Seshanka Samarajiwa/The Picture Press The culmination of months of dedicated research, travel, challenging production work and curation, I am very pleased to launch 30 Years Ago. The project is an attempt to remember and probe Sri Lanka’s epochal anti-Tamil pogrom of ’83 through perspectives rarely, if ever, featured before. The producers have used a […]

Statement condemning the attack on the Masjid Deenul Islam at Grandpass, Colombo

Photography by Dinouk Colombage We the undersigned strongly condemn the violent and unprovoked attack on the Masjid Deenul Islam in Grandpass area on Saturday, August 10, 2013 by an extremist mob injuring 12 people, in the wake of the Eid Festival. We are outraged over the spate of violent attacks against Christian and Muslim places […]

Sri Lanka and a tale of two clashes

In the space of a week Sri Lanka’s freedoms of speech and religion were overridden by acts of violence and intolerance. A heavy handed response by the government towards protesters in Weliweriya was followed up by their inability to safeguard a mosque from the rampaging mobs of Sinhala Buddhist extremists. Weliweriya, a peaceful protest that […]

“Who watches the watchmen?” Reforming Sri Lanka’s Detention Centres

Photo by Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP/Getty Images, via Asia Society Rehabilitation and reintegration of ex-militants or “terrorists” as they are more often termed, following the blanket approach that is being taken post 9/11, is still a new concept in the field of counterinsurgency. The plethora of state military actions against nationalist seditions, rebel groups, paramilitaries and other […]

The APRC: A Forgotten Resolution

Photo courtesy The Nation Four years after the end of the Sri Lankan civil war, Hindu temples are being destroyed in the North, Muslim retail stores are being attacked in the South and Sinhala Buddhist extremism has become organized into its own brand. In other words, ethnic-religious tension within the nation is still very much […]

Chandraguptha Thenuwara’s ‘Beautification’

Photo courtesy Vikalpa’s photo set of the exhibition Leading Sri Lankan artist Chandraguptha Thenuwara’s most recent exhibition entitled Beautification makes parody of contemporary Sri Lanka by suggesting that peace is but a façade and that the conflict is in fact on-going. Beautification serves as a reflection of life during and post-war. My conversation with Thenuwara […]

WELIWERIYA, GAMPAHA: BLACK THURSDAY 2013

Photo courtesy Colombo Telegraph Who deployed troops, clad in flak jackets (body armour) and armed with T-56 assault rifles to confront and disperse a crowd of protestors blocking a highway? Who was the ultimate decision-maker? The protestors were not armed, certainly not with lethal weapons. Therefore, no real harm could have come to soldiers in […]

Forgetting Black July

Photo courtesy BBC I was born ten years after Black July. I am a Singhalese. A week or so ago, as the thirty-year anniversary approached, for curiosity’s sake, I did a small experiment. I asked some of my peers a question: “What do you know about Black July?” Of twenty-two Sinhalese, eighteen did not know what […]