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Social Responsibility in Universities in Unstable Times

Photograph courtesy Vikalpa Guest lecture delivered at the international conference, ‘Revisiting Social Responsibility in Contexts of Crisis: Challenges and Possibilities in Sri Lanka’ at Faculty of Arts, University of Colombo, 17 November 2014 Vice Chancellor, the dean and colleagues, let me wish all of you a very good morning. When the Dean, Faculty of Arts […]

THE SIRISENA SURGE: WHY MAHINDA IS STILL WAY AHEAD

Photo by AFP, via AsiaOne Two cheers then for Maithripala Sirisena whose act of resistance and rebellion is truly heroic. Why cheer at all? And why two cheers instead of three? Hearty cheers are entirely warranted because Maithripala Sirisena has produced a Black Swan event; a real game changer. Having argued in the print and […]

Synthetic development, commodification of the body and the vote under neo-liberal economic policies: Where to now?

Photo credit Marvellous Sri Lanka In modern day governance, there are certain principles that peace-loving people expect the rulers to implement. One of them is accountability. Accountability for the actions, expenditure, decisions, and appointments that governments make. In advanced democratic societies, there are mechanisms to ensure accountability with vested powers to seek and collect information, […]

The new Yarl Devi to Jaffna: What do people in Jaffna think?

Photograph courtesy Colombo Gazette. A version of this article appears on the author’s blog. The Yarl Devi was a train. A hulking pile of metal on wheels, just like any other train. It began its run around 1956; neither the first train to make the trip to the North of Sri Lanka, nor the only […]

Do we enjoy universal adult Franchise?

Image courtesy SBS We did enjoy full adult voting rights in our island for 18 years after the far reaching Donoughmore reforms of 1931 (reaching further than many of our leaders, Sinhalese Tamil and Muslim asked for or even wanted). But two Acts of 1949, among the earliest post-independence legislation, took away citizenship and voting […]

The war in Sri Lanka and propaganda debates: An analysis for the OHCHR in Geneva

Photography courtesy Worldvision Dear Sandra Beidas and OISL Team  As a Sri Lankan Australian and academic I have been collecting and analysing the material on the last phase of the war in Sri Lanka for six years now. I come across new evidence regularly in the midst of misinformation and dis-information that is a facet […]

NOT SEEING THE WOOD FOR THE TREES: SARATH SILVA AND THE LEGALITY OF MAHINDA RAJAPAKSA’S THIRD TERM

Image courtesy Newsfirst In the flood of commentary that has followed the former Chief Justice Sarath Silva’s public intervention regarding the potential illegality of President Rajapaksa seeking a third term, many have joined debate to remind us of Silva’s unsavoury behaviour on and off the Bench. One of the implications of these reminders, some of […]

In conversation with Selyna Peiris

Selyna Peiris is an Attorney-at-law and Director at Selyn Handlooms. She is also President of the Sri Lankan Liberal Youth organisation and was elected Chair of the Asian Liberal Youth Caucus. We begin by talking about Selyna’s work around entrepreneurship and fair-trade certification, looking at what the future for traditional industry is in post-war Sri […]

In conversation with Dinesha de Silva Wikramanayake

Dinesha de Silva Wikramanayake is the Country Representative of The Asia Foundation. We begin by talking about what compelled Dinesha to join TAF, after, as noted on the Foundation’s site, two decades of experience in the field of international development – with special interest and experience in economic governance, rule of law, access to justice, and […]

Mahinda Rajapaksa cannot succeed President Rajapaksa

I have discussed in these columns some days ago the contention that President Rajapaksa is not qualified to fight an election for a third term by virtue of the operation of Article 31(2) of the Constitution. The repeal of that article by the Eighteenth Amendment does not remove the past operation of anything suffered under […]

The Role of Women in Countering Extremism

Speech delivered at Economic and Social Council Chamber, United Nations on October 27th, 2014 I want to thank the government of the United Arab Emirates for taking this important initiative to have debate and discussion on one of the most pressing issues of our times. I have been invited in my capacity as lead author […]

Securely communicate with Groundviews

The Editor of Groundviews can now be reached over Telegram, a secure messaging app for mobiles and desktop chat clients. Given the Snowden revelations in general and the pervasive surveillance architectures governing information flows in Sri Lanka, secure communications for whistleblowers, informants, human rights defenders and civil society activists is of paramount importance. As noted […]