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Pride with a difference

Photo courtesy Maithripala Sirisena Facebook page There are times in one’s life when one becomes very proud of one’s country. For many it is when we win in cricket or in war. This is triumphant pride where we defeat someone else- an external sports team or an internal enemy. For this kind of pride we […]

Pope Francis and struggle for human rights in Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy CNS News Pope Francis is set to arrive in Sri Lanka, on 13th January, despite several appeals by Catholics including me, to postpone the visit. He will arrive few days days after we Sri Lankans used our ballot to put a stop to growing dictatorship, despite a dirty election campaign that saw deliberate […]

Remembering Lasantha six years on: Launch of photo-essays on Sri Lanka

Photo by Abdul-Halik Azeez Journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge‘s murder on 8th January 2009 was utterly horrible and yet, even more unforgettable was the Rajapaksa government’s reaction to it. Lasantha’s last editorial, published posthumously, didn’t mince words. It is well known that I was on two occasions brutally assaulted, while on another my house was sprayed with machine-gun fire. […]

Towards an Enlightened Nation: An Epiphany Reflection

Photo from Nuklearfishing Epiphany is the festival of enlightenment. It commemorates the visit of the wise-persons from the east to the Christ child and is observed on the 6th of January. The Orthodox Church broadly known as the Eastern Church celebrates Christmas on Epiphany to affirm that those who search for light are drawn to […]

Karma and Politics

Photo from Api Sri Lankan “Every country has the government it deserves” – French-Russian Philosopher Joseph de Maistre in 1811. Politics the world over is going through its test of time, as most “democratic” governments are now influenced either by corporations or China.   These outside interests encourage a concentration of political power leading to an […]

From dreams and visions to realities and hope: A Christmas Reflection

Photo courtesy Modern Magazine We keep Christmas this year amidst manifestoes, dreams and visions. Politicians want power; they resort to lofty manifestoes. People long for sincere governance and bread at affordable prices; they persist in dreaming dreams. Prophets resent deceit; they dare to see visions. Some scheme, most dream and others see visions; this is […]

An appeal from a Sri Lankan Catholic to Pope Francis: Please don’t come

Photograph courtesy Api Sri Lankan On 20th Nov. 2014, the President of Sri Lanka officially proclaimed his intention to hold presidential elections and seek a third term. This was when there was two more years to hold presidential elections. It was widely believed that the reasons for premature elections was the fading popularity of the […]

Online hate speech stokes fear of religious violence in Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy Thyagi Ruwanpathirana Hate speech is growing more effective and pervasive among media platforms in Sri Lanka, prompting concern from Muslim and Christian minorities amid mounting attacks. The Colombo-based Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) released a report this week on the challenges surrounding the significant uptick in online-based hate speech in post-war Sri Lanka. “The […]

Liking violence: A study of hate speech on Facebook in Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy Sri Lanka Brief The Centre for Policy Alternatives, the institutional anchor of Groundviews, released today a report co-authored by Shilpa Samaratunge and I on hate speech online, looking at Facebook in particular. The report is the first in Sri Lanka to focus on hate and dangerous speech in online fora, contextualising the growth […]

INFOGRAPHIC: Religious Violence in Post-War Sri Lanka

Religious tensions have been exacerbated in post-war Sri Lanka, contrary to claims by the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) that attacks against places of religious worship are isolated incidents. In Mach 2013, the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) published a report highlighting concerns about violence and intolerance against all religious communities in the country. The […]

Portraits of diversity from Myanmar vital for Sri Lanka

When the British administrator J.S. Furnivall coined the term “plural society” he was talking about colonial Burma to describe the extraordinary diversity of nationalities, ethnicities, races and religions that inhabited its cities. Sixty years ago he wrote, “Bengali Muslims jostled alongside Iraqi Jews and Armenian Christians”. Walking around Yangon’s streets today, you can still experience […]

Stand Up Against Extremism

Image courtesy NBC News “What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents.”- —Robert F. Kennedy Africa these days has been battling with EBOLA, a severe, infectious, often […]

Is Sri Lanka sinking in to an abyss of racism and apartheid?

Photo by Shilpa Samaratunge Two months since the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) inspired anti Muslim attack in Aluthgama took place causing scores of damage, destruction and death to the livelihood, properties and life of the Muslim community, evidence is emerging that the attack is not spontaneous but a well orchestrated plan to attack Muslims and to […]