A Monaragala problem for the Rajapakse Regime Speculation mounts not just in political circles but also in civil society of an impending presidential election, early in the New Year. The Uva Provincial Council elections, which besides being constitutionally required, were also a testing of the political waters by the Rajapakse Administration and the results could not have been more disturbing to those in the corridors of ...

On Restoring Forests It is rumored that the Government will set about the task of having 35% of Sri Lanka covered with forest.  If so, that is a laudable goal. But one hopes that this activity will be framed by the knowledge that allowed Sri Lanka to make the following statement at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP III, in Buenos ...

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 growth of content creation ...

William Blake, Buddhism and Human Rights – value of praxis over ideology [William Blake 1757-1827 demonstrated through his art and poetry how opposite views were actually relative and dependent on each other and that they were reconcilable once we overcame the mental trap of ‘abstraction’ and solidification, the act of removing something out of its context and turning it into an absolute] [The Asokan pillar is a symbol of fearlessness that ...

New evidence of torture by Sri Lanka’s security forces An ethnic Tamil survivor of alleged torture at the hands of Sri Lankan security forces poses for a photograph in London, October 2012. Photo by Will Baxter. New evidence has emerged that Sri Lanka’s security forces have perpetrated acts of torture and sexual violence against ethnic Tamils as recently as last year, according to a UK-based rights group. In a ...

The Silva Elections Photo courtesy The Daily Beast The news from the Uva side is not good. The vote base of Our Majesty’s government is doing a Jack and Jill – tumbling down the hillside. This is causing much worry to very common people like myself. What is going to be happening if the votes are continuing to be tumbling down? Already ...

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 of this disturbing digital ...

The Uva results and implications for the Presidential Poll Photo courtesy The Republic Square The UPFA barely hung on in Uva. Grimly winning a narrow victory, that saw a significant dent in voter support for the ruling Rajapakse Administration. The UPFA Uva campaign was led by a presidential nephew, incumbent chief minister Shasendra Rajapakse being the son of Speaker Chamal Rajapakse. The decline in voter support was quite ...

In conversation with Ruhanie Perera: Politics, Space and Theatre in Sri Lanka Ruhanie Perera is a founding member of the Floating Space theatre company, based in Sri Lanka. Groundviews has both featured and reviewed compelling productions by Floating Space and directed by Ruhanie. We begin by talking about why Ruhanie founded a new theatre company seven years ago, and how the name of the company came about. Ruhanie speaks around how the company ...

Terror, Performance and Anxieties of Our Times: Reading Rustom Bharucha and Reliving Terror (Terror and Performance by Rustom Bharucha (2014). Tulika Books, New Delhi; ISBN 978-93-82381-37-2; pp. xvi; 250. INR 695.00 Approaching terror When I started reading Rustom Bharucha’s latest book, Terror and Performance, it immediately became an intensely personal and gripping engagement.  It was difficult to read in a single attempt as the mind kept wandering from one unpleasant moment in ...

Urban Warfare and the Sounds of Silence Photo courtesy Maatram I was sitting at my desk in Colombo 08 yesterday and all of a sudden, a somewhat loud but also muffled ‘boom’ broke the usual afternoon sounds of traffic on the road to Parliament. My first thought was a memory from December 2006, a much louder BOOM from two blocks away that marked the assassination attempt in ...

INFOGRAPHIC: Views From Uva With the Uva Provincial Council elections taking place tomorrow, Social Indicator, the survey research unit of the Centre for Policy Alternatives has analysed data from field work conducted in May and June 2014 to get a sense of the issues and priorities of the people of Uva as they go to vote. The current state of the economy has ...

And they all fall down This afternoon, the remaining residents of 34 watta in Wanathamulla had surprise visitors. Brigadier Samarasinghe who is the Project Director of the UDA’s Urban Regeneration Programme, accompanied by several other UDA officials, police and demolition equipment turned up at 34 watta and informed the residents of imminent evictions and the destruction of their homes. Most of the residents of ...

INFOGRAPHIC: Military Presence in the North of Sri Lanka Five years since the end of the war, a significant military presence still remains in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. This despite repeated assurances by the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) that the military presence is, and will be phased out in order to pave way for post-war reconciliation efforts. In a context of increased militarization, the Centre ...

Child Soldiers, a Stolen Innocence “When I’m gone, release me. Let me go. I have so many things to see and do.” – Excerpt from ‘Butterfly’ Even today too little is been said about them. Yet, they lived as fighters and died as children in a war they knew nothing about, in a war they had nothing to do with in the first place. ...

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 trends highlighted by CPA ...

Engaging with Civil Society Photo courtesy Business Today Recently, the media reported that the Defence Secretary held a meeting in the Defence Ministry with a number of NGOs who had worked with the GOSL and the Commonwealth Foundation on the Peoples” Forum which was part of the activities of the 2013 Colombo CHOGM.  These NGOs included representatives from the National Peace Council, the ...

Previous Page