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#UPRLKA: Complete tweet archive and related visualisation around Sri Lanka’s UPR review

Image courtesy Sydney Morning Herald On 1st November 2012, Sri Lanka was taken up for discussion as part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC). The last UPR was in 2008, and under scrutiny was Sri Lanka’s human rights record over the past four years, that significantly, saw the […]

Impeachment of the Chief Justice: The Sword of Damocles over Democratic Governance?

In happier days. Photo courtesy Times of AP Accounts, claiming varying degrees of authenticity abound of the impending impeachment of the Chief Justice.  This is not the first time this has been attempted. Denizens of Hulftsdorf within its ranks stopped the UNF government in its tracks from attempting to do this.  A third of the […]

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 […]


Photo courtesy Over the past months there has been a debate in some newspapers regarding socialism and/or socialism vs. capitalism. It is a great thing to see happening, especially as the globalised economic downturn intensifies and is sure to be a long-lasting one. In this debate, however, it is sometimes hard to see what […]

In conversation with Shashi Tharoor: India, literature, politics and South Asia

Having moderated a session with Shashi Tharoor earlier this year at the Galle Literary Festival, we met up again in Colombo last week to talk about the writer-politician’s new book, and his views on literature, politics, the freedom of expression and our region. Shashi Tharoor is a well known writer, speaker and politician. From Riot […]

A Review of Quotas in University Admissions

Photo courtesy Vikalpa My good friend Somapala Gunadheera has made some thoughtful observations (The Island, 10 Sept 2012) on the problems of University admissions, and noted that in my “ Tamil Language Rights in Sri Lanka”( CPA, April 2012) I had not suggested ways and means of solving them. My analysis and suggestions were expressed […]

“Nothing to call our own…” – The plight of the recently returned, resettled and landless IDPs in Sri Lanka’s North

Photo by author Recently returned to Puthumathalan “As you drive past pile upon pile of corroding vehicles stacked one above the other, past pots, pans, sarees, slippers and plates (that once belonged to the people here), strewn all over the ground, and past the bullet and shrapnel splattered walls of homes ravaged by the war, […]

FUTA and Free Education in Sri Lanka: Question of Social Justice and Democracy in an Oligarchy

Photo courtesy Vikalpa The results of the so-called ‘mother’s examination’, or the year five scholarship examination of this year, have once again sturdily testified for the importance and significance of preservation and continuation of the free education system of this country. The two students who have achieved the first places hail from two divergently opposing […]

LONG READ | Beyond History, Against the Present: Preliminary Thoughts on Re-imagining ‘South Asia

Original graphic from The Sunday Observer Keynote address delivered at the conference, ‘Connecting South Asia’ organized by the Theertha International Artists’ Collective and the Colombo Institute at the Post Graduate Institute of Archeology, Colombo, 28th September 2012. The speaker is Chair and Professor at Department of Sociology and Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, South Asian […]

Menik Farm: The tragic end of a bitter saga, from detention to forced relocation

“Why can’t the Army go to the jungles instead of taking our lands and sending us to jungles?” “When will we be allowed to re-start cultivation of our lands?” “When can we have access to the sea we were fishing before and will we get back the boats and fishing equipment we left behind in […]

Comprehensive archive of tweets: 8 May to 1 October 2012

Given that Groundviews is extremely active on Twitter, covering, inter alia, unique updates after eventful Presidential Elections, alerting and real time information curation during tsunami warnings and the international fallout over Twitter of media content published domestically, it’s been a real challenge to record our conversations and updates for posterity. This is especially important in a country […]

Putting paid to the Government’s false claims: The new IDPs in Sri Lanka

Editors note: On the day Menik Farm was officially closed, an urgent memo was circulated widely on the fate of the IDPs from Keppapilavu. The memo adds vital context to the following story, which also needs to be read in light of Government and Ministry of Defence claims that, there are no longer any IDPs […]

FUTA’s “6 percent for Education” in Sri Lanka: Sensible or Sensational?

Original photo courtesy Vikalpa “It was mainly symbolic”, is how FUTA President Dr. Ranjith Dewaisiri characterized the group’s demand of “6 percent of GDP for education”, which has now gained national attention. This was in response to a question posed by an audience member during ‘THE FORUM with Eran’ held this week (26th) featuring Dr. […]

Higher Education and its Disjunctures: An Interview with Professor Sasanka Perera

The following is an interview with Professor Sasanka Perera of the South Asian University conducted by Mr. Ranjit Perera of the Social Scientists Association of Sri Lanka via Skype on 18th August 2012. Ranjit Perera: Cyberspace and virtual reality are intertwined in the context of today’s communication technology; this came to my mind while conducting […]

Elections in the East, reconciliation and politics: In conversation with Javid Yusuf

Javid Yusuf is an Attorney-at-Law and former diplomat. Groundviews last featured him over two years ago, just after the Presidential Election in early 2010. In this programme, we talked about the recently concluded elections in the North Central, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern Provinces in Sri Lanka and more generally, on politics and reconciliation in post-war Sri […]