Reception of Buddhism in Lanka: An entanglement with worldly sovereignty?

Image courtesy The Star [Constitutional amendments at Anuradhapura were signified by the erection of a new stupa; or as in the case of King Kasyapa, by moving the capital to another place. The ideological changes they symbolized wrought modifications to the tri-partite consensus of king-sangha-village as this ancient kingdom rolled on for over 1300 years. […]

“Sri Lanka: Reconciling and Rebuilding”: Framing the lies

[Editors note: Apologies for the sluggish loading time of this page if on a relatively slow Internet connection, on account of the high-resolution images embedded in it.] The 30-minute “documentary” on Sri Lanka produced by the Thompson Advisory Group (TAG), freely available on YouTube, is a key ingredient in the Rajapaksa regime’s charm offensive in the […]

Making Provincial Administration Work in the North

Photo courtesy Sri Lanka Guardian These days media often speak of conflicts between the center and provincial administration, especially between the Northern Provincial Council’s (NPC’s) Chief Minister (CM) / Members and the Governor of the Province. The CM had been known to me for some time as a gentle neighbor, Judge and the Governor as […]

Groundviews featured at Colombo Art Biennale and Colomboscope 2014

Some photos from venues in the city that are part of the Colombo Art Biennale 2014, taken on 31st January 2014. Venues included the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute, JDA Perera Gallery, Lionel Wendt & Harold Pieris Galleries, Goethe-Institut and the Post Graduate Institute of Archeology (PGIAR). Sharni Jayawardene’s exhibition at Colombo Art Biennale 2014 (on display […]

What do you get for 25 words these days?

Photo courtesy Vikalpa’s coverage of launch In the age of instant communication across social networks and wireless devices, when 140 characters has become an acceptable length of political commentary and critical review, it is unsurprising that ‘Hint Fiction’, a story, poetry or (very short) prose limited to 25 words, has become ‘a thing’. It was […]

From Canada to Colombo, can’t stereotype my thing yo

I need a cigarette. In another impulsive moment, I had made the irresponsible decision a few months ago to become a social smoker. I do not particularly know what that means but I figure it would be a good way to force myself to have conversations with strangers on this trip. I also romanticize that […]

Goodbye, Mel

Photo by Deepal V. Perera taken off the late Mel Gunesekara’s Facebook page Our Sunday morning was shattered by the horrible news that journalist friend Mel Gunasekera was found murdered in her suburban home in Battaramulla. She had been alone at home after parents went to church. The motive for this senseless killing is not yet clear. […]

“The law, this violent thing”: Dissident memory and democratic futures

Image courtesy Lanka Standard Full text of the address by Dr. Vasuki Nesiah, Associate Professor of Practice, New York University, at the 14th Neelan Tiruchelvam memorial lecture on 28 July 2013 at the BMICH. Excerpts published in Ceylon Today. ### In 1999, the year Neelan was assassinated, I was a graduate student in the United […]

Sinhalese and their fear of freedom

Anagarika Dharmapala, A.E. Goonesinha and C.W.W. Kannangara, three of the radical champions of the early 20th century who were ‘managed’ by the conservative leaders who eventually negotiated ‘freedom’ from the British. With the displacement from Rajarata, the heart, soul and body of their ancient culture in the 13th century the Sinhalese settled for safety over […]

Complexities of Sinhalese Ethnicity and Community: Caste, Kinship and Religion

Image courtesy Karava of Sri Lanka Due to the war with Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam for over three decades in Sri Lanka, the attention of many including academics, journalists, foreign observers and leaders was focused on Ethnicity –majority and minority.  There was an upsurge of literature –both popular and academic- using ethnicity as the […]

The Lalith Weeratunga Presentation

Image courtesy ITU video Though I cannot say the same of his companions on the voyage, my friend Lalith Weeratunga embodies a rare combination of intelligence, ability, affability and civility. He made a valuable presentation of the government’s case, in Geneva and the USA. Mr Weeratunga has made some very valid points on the dangers […]

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