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Counter-productive propaganda and human rights in Sri Lanka

As the three Sri Lankan human rights defenders who have come most under attack by the state media in Sri Lanka in the past week, because of our active involvement with the on-going session of the UN Human rights Council in Geneva, we feel compelled to issue this statement of clarification. We do not deny […]

Choosing What to Believe

Photo courtesy of Reuters/Dinuka Liyanawatte [Editors’ note: The article below was sent to us by a regular contributor to the site whose name we have redacted due to security considerations.] With the airing of Channel 4’s new film, Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished, a follow-up to their first one Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields […]

A question Sri Lanka’s leaders keep dodging: Where are the disappeared?

Photo courtesy Avaaz I’d been in Sri Lanka just three weeks when I first heard of someone disappearing. It was May 2009 and I got an anonymous email telling me that Stephen Sunthararaj, a human rights worker from northern Sri Lanka, had been abducted at gunpoint and taken away in a white van in the […]

India’s Volte-Face: Winners and Losers

  India’s hasty decision to support the United States of America led Resolution on Sri Lanka came as a big surprise. While a few rumours flagged the possibility of an India “for” vote a couple of days before the actual announcement by the Prime Minister, they were largely ignored. The prevailing orthodoxy was that India […]

Sri Lanka and the UNHRC: Implications for India and for Human Rights

Image courtesy India Ink blog by New York Times/Rajanish Kakade, Associated Press As the 19th session of the Human Rights Council progresses, the discourse on Sri Lanka with reference to Human Rights is reaching its annual climax. It is annual in the sense that it has been reaching the said level of climax each year […]

What is the bigger lie? US resolution in Geneva or number of people in Vanni in 2009?

Image from Wikimedia Commons “One of the rankest untruths in the public domain today is that the US resolution is innocuous and unobjectionable…” said Amb. Dayan Jayatilleka in his article THE BIG LIE ABOUT THE US RESOLUTION on 16th March 2012. It would be pertinent to question whether a bigger untruth in the public domain since 2009 […]

A Realistic Look at the Draft Resolution by the US on Sri Lanka at the UN HRC

Placard in Sinhala reads ‘Barack, you’re a burden for us’. Photo courtesy Priyantha Wickremarachchi/Ceylon Today The US recently tabled a draft resolution against Sri Lanka is so incredibly weak that President Mahinda Rajapaksa must be breathing a sigh of relief. It is no wonder that the US feels confident that it has the votes in […]


Image from The Nation It is almost a crime to lie to the people and mislead them on a matter of vital national interest. When it is committed by politicians it is an act of unconscionable opportunism. When it is perpetrated by so-called intellectuals belonging to civil society, it is a counterfeiting of the currency […]

Some thoughts on Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished

Like so many diasporic Sri Lankans I watched it, even staying up late (by my currently low standards that is). Did I think that the first programme was a good thing? Yes. There’s a line, a quandary, a grey area after any conflictual situation. And it’s about what we should just put behind us and […]

Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished: Unofficial video now online

Channel 4’s new documentary on Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished aired for the first time in the UK last night. Before it is even available on Channel 4’s official web based on-demand service, it’s now up on YouTube. It is likely that the video is soon taken down by Youtube over […]

The Geopolitical Matrix of Sri Lanka’s Conflict

Image courtesy South Asia Monitor I am appreciative of the fact that this is a seminar on geopolitics. I think geopolitics has been underestimated; perhaps overestimated earlier and then there was a reaction, the pendulum swung too far in the other direction. I am not a geopolitical determinist. I do not believe that geography is […]

New censorship of SMS news in Sri Lanka

A fax issued by the Media Centre for National Security today commands that “any news related to National Security and Security Force, the Police should get prior approval from the Media Centre for National Security before dissemination. Therefore, please be kind enough to follow the above instructions with immediate effect.” See large image of the […]

Sri Lankan Post-War Cinema and Reconciliation

In any conflict environment, the audio-visual medium, in particular cinema, is utilized as a dominant tool of propaganda. In the Sri Lankan context, both the State and the LTTE have used the audio visual medium to differing degrees to propagate their ideologies, and to project themselves in a positive light. Cinema that is directly sponsored […]

Rights, Return & Resettlement: A Critique of the TNA Report on Resettlement

TNA delegation in Washington DC, 2011 The ‘Resettlement Report October- December 2011’, available on the Tamil National Alliance’s (TNA) temporary website, DBS Jeyraj’s blog and, is the second report of the Tamil National Alliance Research Series, and claims to provide an ‘overview of the return or resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who were […]

Women’s Day 2012: Concerns, challenges and opportunities from Sri Lanka

For years, Groundviews has featured content that probes gender from a Sri Lankan perspective. For Women’s Day 2012 we have created a Bundlr bundle of over 35 of the most compelling submissions. The content covers a range of issues, from the outrageous denial of the existence of rape by Sri Lanka’s witless Ambassador to the […]