Rationalizing the political choices available to us

Photo courtesy News First Generally, I do not use social media to present my opinions about social, political or economic matters relating to Sri Lanka. However, having seen the avid debates on both camps of the Presidential campaign during the past weeks, I think the time has come to detach myself from this attitude of […]

2015 Presidential Election in Sri Lanka: An Initial Forecast

Photograph Colombo Gazette As we approach the final week of campaigning for the Presidential election, the political messages of both coalitions are becoming clearer. So are the strategies of both coalitions and trends in voter sentiment as revealed through some surveys and public attendance in political rallies. Defections from the ruling coalition have dominated the […]

Open letter to Salman Khan and Jacqueline Fernandez

Photo courtesy Indian Express Dear Salman Khan and Jacqueline Fernandez, It was probably not your intention to be in the middle of this embarrassing political controversy. Clearly, all you wanted to do was visit your old friend Namal and distribute some spectacles in order to boost your charity. But, I must say, you two… the […]

Thuggery (Chandikama) as a Method of Intimidation, Bullying and Harassment in the South

Image courtesy Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) Use of thugs ‘chandiyas’ or ‘marayas’ by those in authority has its roots in the colonial period. Later, Sinhalese politicians adopted this method in village level politics spreading into urban locales. It is a method used to control public opinion and behaviour, more importantly to submerge alternative […]

The Incident at Kumbukgate: Reflections on the Attack on Young Artists and Activists

Photo courtesy Nidahasa The chilling news came in the afternoon – our friends, colleagues and comrades who had been holding a small scale meeting in Kumbukgate, Kurunegala, were under attack, surrounded by a group of goons clad in blue t-shirts of Nil Balakaya. ‘What on earth can we do’ was the question that we both […]

Gratitude and the Sri Lankan Presidential Election

Photo courtesy Maatram, via Flickr The CEO of a leading company is found out to have embezzled a significant quantity of money. This individual, however, has been responsible for bringing the firm through an economic crisis, and thus, in a last ditch effort, appeals to the board to spare punishment out of gratitude for all […]

Putting the provinces, women, and youth at the forefront of policy by the next President in Sri Lanka

Image courtesy The Curionomist The Presidential Election in Sri Lanka is due on 08 January 2015. This article argues the case for three critical policy priorities to steer Sri Lanka into an inclusive new era. Economic Empowerment of the Youths There is a critical mismatch between supply of the education sector (primary, secondary, and tertiary) […]

Mahinda Rajapaksa & Maithripala Sirisena 2015 manifesto wordclouds

In 2010, during the last Presidential Election campaign in Sri Lanka, Groundviews visualised the manifestos of Sarath Fonseka and Mahinda Rajapaksa. Using the visualisations, we were able to draw interesting differences between the manifestos of the two leading candidates at the time. We did this for Maithripala Sirisena after he released his manifesto last week (download the manifesto in […]

Crossover Politics, Political Class and the Craving for Positions (tanaturu)

Photo courtesy Thailand News At present there is much drama regarding the cross overs from the ruling coalition to the opposition and vice versa on the political stage. On one hand these cross overs have generated much interest in the political campaign in general and anticipation about who would cross next kind of mentality on […]

The tsunami: 10 years on

Groundviews commissioned The Picture Press to capture through photography the tsunami that hit Sri Lanka on Boxing Day, 2004. As journalist Amantha Perera notes, The tsunami took a dramatic toll on unsuspecting Sri Lankans – 35,322 were killed, half a million were displaced, and more than 100,000 houses were destroyed. Half of the damage struck […]

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 […]

Does the North of Sri Lanka need a ‘Movement Joint’?

Photo courtesy Getty Images, by Buddhika Weerasinghe One of the features about the run up to the January 2015 Presidential election is the uncertainty about how the Northern voter will vote. This short article cannot cover all the nuances of the ‘national’ problem as it is called. However at this time of elections, it may […]

“An attack on unarmed citizens”: Interview with Sampath Samarakoon

Image courtesy Nidahasa The Editor of Vikalpa, Sampath Samarakoon, was mercilessly attacked by Hambantota Urban Council Chairman Eraj Frenando (of the toy pistol infamy) yesterday as he was taking part in a street drama with leading rights activists and artistes. A detailed report by the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) around this incident can be read […]

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