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Rally for Unity: Standing up for an inclusive Sri Lanka

Groundviews strongly endorsed a rally held in Colombo on Sunday to reaffirm the fact that Sri Lanka is not only a Sinhala-Buddhist country. As the movement’s Facebook event page noted, this non-partisan, non-violent awareness raising rally aims to empower the silent majority of moderate Sri Lankans to stand up for an inclusive Sri Lanka. At […]

Archiving ‘Her Stories’: In conversation with Radhika Hettiarachchi

Her Stories, a unique archive of oral history, was conceived of and curated by Radhika Hettiarachchi. We begin by Radhika going in to what the archive is, and how it came about. Featuring 240 stories of mothers, the archive’s website avers, These histories or ‘Herstories’ showcase a shared history and highlight how we Sri Lankans […]

Of Foreign Policy Failures, Geneva Resolutions, Double Standards and other excuses for Non-Reconciliation in Sri Lanka

Photograph of, by some accounts, the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka.  Reminiscences of Sri Lanka’s foreign policy triumphs spearheaded by the late lamented Lakshman Kadirgamar are fresh in my  mind given that it was only the other day (12 April) that we marked what might have been  his 81st birth anniversary with a tribute to […]

Strategy of Tension versus National Unity

Photo via The Globe and Mail, by Eranga Jayawardena/Associated Press The power system in modern societies is polycentric and therefore there are innumerable movers and shakers that influence society either in conflict or conciliation. Compared with olden societies, relying on a few powerful stakeholders does not lead to quick fix of problems due to its multi-polar […]

‘Long War, Cold Peace’ & the Return of Dayan Jayatilleka

After what seemed to be a brief but palpable and conspicuous absence from serious public engagement (in late 2012), Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka has returned from Paris; a return marked by his characteristic interventions in the press and the release of a book, titled ‘Long War, Cold Peace: Conflict and Crisis in Sri Lanka’ (Vijitha Yapa, […]

Review of ‘Fire and Storm’ by Michael Roberts

When Michael Roberts left Peradeniya in the late seventies, he was part of an exodus of intellectuals from the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya, arguably one of the best universities at that time. The exodus of academics at that time was compelled by the economic difficulties faced by university dons. It was the second wave of […]

Gotabaya Rajapaksa: Are you listening?

Image from Lanka Standard After nearly 7 years of postgraduate education and independent research experience abroad, I returned to Sri Lanka in mid 2003, to work in my mother country Sri Lanka that gave me free education all the way upto university level. When I left Johns Hopkins University in USA, some of my friends […]

Sri Lanka’s racism juggernaut and the war against it

Sri Lankan society is being divided and systematically targeted as the racism juggernaut continues to gain momentum around the country. Minorities face growing persecution with nationalist groups sprouting up and feeding on the insecurities and economic decline of the nation. The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) was the first organised group to rise up and openly […]

Protecting violent protesters and dispersing peaceful protesters: New role for Police and some Buddhists in Sri Lanka?

Image courtesy Colombo Telegraph On 12th April, around 7pm, I was amongst a group of people gathered on the pavement, outside the Sri Sambuddha Jayanthi building, situated at 32, Havelock Road, Colombo 5. This is the address of the Bodu Bala Sena, which has been accused of inciting and unleashing violence against minority religious communities, […]

ANTI-BBS VIGIL: A CRITIQUE OF MALINDA SENEVIRATNE’S CRITIQUE

An image of a true, 100% verified, authentic, original, perfect Buddhist. Not.  I wasn’t at the vigil because I don’t do vigils and if I were to make an exception it would be for an anti-BBS/SR demonstration spearheaded by the Left (in our case that would be the JVP and FSP), as are most anti-racist […]

Sheep No More…

Image from video on the vigil, broadcast by News 1st. (A Personal Response to the quashing of the first anti BBS protest on Havelock Road) This evening (Friday, April 12th 2013) around 7.15pm on Havelock Road in front of the Sambuddhatva Jayanthi Building adjoining Laurie’s Road, I was reminded anew that there is no freedom […]

A Tolerant Sri Lanka: Report on online poll

The past few weeks have seen a rise in incidents and publicly expressed sentiments against the Muslim community by groups who claim to represent the rights of Sinhala Buddhists in Sri Lanka. Expressing concerns of undue place given to Muslims in Sri Lanka – from entrance to the Law College to issuing Halal certification to […]

Police in Sri Lanka show their true saffron colours

Lest we forget, the Sri Lankan police, who act under the orders and protection of the Ministry of Defence, are far from doyens of impartiality. A few weeks ago, we noted that “it is quite clear that four policemen, no more than 3 feet away from and staring directly into the face of the Buddhist “monk” […]

The empty findings of Sri Lanka’s Military Court of Inquiry

Image courtesy RNW Colombo’s contempt for the international community seems to be increasing. The recent media release on the findings of the Military Court of Inquiry stretch credibility. While I have not had access to the full report and to the evidence presented to the Military Court of Inquiry, I am shocked by the Court […]

Northern Provincial Council Election and the Future of Lankan Tamil Politics

This year promises to be a decisive one for Lankan Tamils. Events that take place this year will considerably determine the future trajectory of Tamil politics. It is only a beginning where the end of the LTTE’s totalitarianism gives the Tamils opportunity to evaluate their nationalist politics that has brought only tragedy so far. Failure […]