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Human Rights in Sri Lanka: Impunity against Accountability and Justice

Image credit AP, via BBC News “There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth…not going all the way, and not starting.” – Lord Buddha Authors note: When I was a teenager, I heard from a Sinhala brother that he constantly felt guilty for being unable to protect nearly 70 000-80 000 Sinhala youth […]

13th Amendment: Plus? Or Minus?

Introduction Leader of National Freedom Front (NFF) and the Minister of Construction, Engineering Services, Housing & Common Amenities, Hon Wimal Weerawansa delivered a public lecture on the 7th of September 2011 on the ‘13th amendment plus? Or Minus? at the Youth Services Council, Maharagama. The following commentary is a summary of the key points he […]

Libya, Sri Lanka and Responsibility to Protect (R2P)

Muammar Qaddafi, Libya’s leader, speaks at an equestrian show at the Tor di Quinto cavalry school in Rome, Italy, on Monday, Aug. 30, 2010. Italy’s 2008 apology to Libya for three decades of colonial rule is paying dividends for Italian companies including Eni SpA and Finmeccanica SpA. Photographer: Victor Sokolowicz/Bloomberg via Getty Images Libya is […]

War Crimes Investigations in Sri Lanka: An Unpopular View

“In trying to do good, we have been living beyond our moral resources and have fallen into hypocrisy and self-righteousness” — William V. Cannon, commenting on the Vietnam War, New York Times, February 6, 1966 “Conquer the angry man by love, Conquer the ill-natured man by goodness. Conquer the miser with generosity. Conquer the liar […]

Thus Spake Gothabaya

[Editors' note: An edited version of this article appeared in the Daily Mirror today.]     “The existing constitution is more than enough for us to live together. I don’t think there is any issue on this more than that. “I mean this was given as a solution for the whole thing with the discussion […]

Darusman Deconstructed: Godfrey Gunatilleke’s Critique

With the solitary, honourable exception of Sunday Times columnist Lasanda Kurukulasuriya, (‘Give a dog a bad name and hang him’, From the Sidelines, Sunday Times, Colombo, August 14, 2011), the Lankan media and Colombo’s commentariat completely missed the most important intellectual event in civil society in this post-war phase of our contemporary history. A media […]

No One, in the US or Sri Lanka, Should Be Above the Law

Photo by Sudath Silva In a report released last month Human Rights Watch called on the US government to launch criminal investigations into allegations of detainee abuse authorized by senior Bush administration officials. The 107-page report, “Getting Away with Torture: The Bush Administration and Mistreatment of Detainees,” presents substantial information warranting criminal investigations of former President […]

Sri Lanka’s Tamil question: Justice, Lies and Videotape

Sri Lanka’s thirty year war is now more of words than of guns, but it is no less bitter. RNW’s team in the country met with fierce resistance from the Sri Lankan government to the current calls for justice from the international community. But the problem is that the international community’s presence in the country […]

Heroes and Heroism: Osama Bin Laden and Prabhakaran

Photo: AP Osama Bin Laden. Dark avenging hero, Arabian knight, Arabic Lawrence of Arabia. Osama versus the USA: David versus Goliath, a hijacked airliner the stone from his slingshot. Not quite. David didn’t murder Goliath’s family in their tents, leaving Goliath only hobbling. Not every leader or dramatic figure is a hero, and not every […]

Why Government Rhetoric and Propaganda Might Divide Sri Lanka

In an interview Professor Rajiva Wijesinha gave The Sunday Leader concerning government responses to international pressure, he remarks that “people believe what they want to believe”. Wijesinha’s ironically astute observation sheds light on why government responses to war crimes allegations during the final stage of the Eelam War are not being rallied against locally. Leaving […]

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with TNA MP Suresh Premachandran on the LG elections, Parliamentary Select Committee and Political Solution

Photo from Wikipedia Groundviews caught up with TNA Member of Parliament Suresh Premachandran, who spoke to us about the nature of election violations that occurred in the Northern Province prior to the 23rd of July and on Election Day, which included intimidation, assault, bribery, voter transportation, continuous campaigning and reports of the systematic and forced appropriation […]

Holes in the UN Secretary General’s Panel of Experts Report: Examining the Probable Alternate Events

Last week, I attended a seminar conducted by the Colombo-based Marga Institute, a think tank devoted to studying and influencing human development in Sri Lanka. Marga is in the process of putting together a review of the UN Secretary General’s advisory panel report on Sri Lanka (the well-known Darusman Report), which will analyze several aspects […]

The absence of Patriotism, Pluralism and Cosmopolitanism: ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’ in retrospection

ASSOCIATED PRESS PHOTOGRAPHS Former Sri Lankan child soldier Warnakulasuriya Anthony Sunil Rexy (right) laughs with other inmates as they play earlier this month at a government rehabilitation center in Ambepussa. Original in The Washington Times. The TV programme entitled Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields, produced by Channel 4 of the UK, sparked substantial debate and discussion […]

Sports and Governance: A Look at what the Doping Scandals means for International Politics in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka opening batsman Upul Tharanga, who was found guilty of committing an anti-doping rule violation. Photo courtesy International Cricket Council (ICC) In the world of international governance and law, where definitions of human rights, sovereignty, and even war are hotly contested, one rulebook is quite definite in denotation and rather absolute in punishment. An […]

Resource book for historians, researchers and media: A year of tweeting from Groundviews

Visualisation of our Twitter followers. See larger version here. We used the web service Tweet Book to capture all our tweets over the past year in a single PDF. We’ve tweeted thousands of times over the past twelve months and have covered, The media fallout of the farcical fast of senior government Minister Wimal Weerawansa in […]