Photo courtesy Tamil Guardian “What we must pursue…is not a competitive bruising arena for the claims of ideology or religion, but an open marketplace for both ideas and faiths.” Wole Soyinka (Convocation Address, Wake Forest University – 1999) July 2016 could have become a very small-scale reproduction of July 1983, attacks and counterattacks, panicky actions and fear-filled reactions, hysteria, mayhem ...

July 23. The date has an awful significance for some, and has been blotted out by time for others. On that date, in 1983, a group of LTTE militants killed 13 Army soldiers. The attack brought simmering tensions between the Sinhalese and Tamils bubbling to the surface. The result: mobs of Sinhalese set upon and brutally attacked hundreds of Tamil ...

Is the Air Pollution Analysis for the Sampur Coal Plant Credible? Featured image courtesy Tamil Guardian From Lareef Zubair, with contributors Shashini Rathnayake, Janan Vishwanathan and Zeenas Yahiya of the Foundation for Environment, Climate and Technology Where does the Wind take pollutants from Sampur? As per modern myth, school texts, national atlases, and indigenous forecasters, the wind blows from the North-East over Sri Lanka at the turn of the calendar year. ...

Featured image courtesy The Wire/Ishara K The topic of international involvement in Sri Lanka’s accountability process, specifically the participation of foreign judges, is controversial and hotly contested. The UNHRC resolution, co-sponsored by Sri Lanka in October 2015, called for “a credible accountability process” which “should include independent judicial and prosecutorial institutions… and further affirms in this regard the importance of participation ...

Photo courtesy James Morgan Text of the presentation at the seminar on “Peace and Reconciliation & Nation-Building”, organized by the Association for Social Development and held at Organization of professional Associations Auditorium, Colombo, on July 10, 2016. I share the basic premise on which the theme of this seminar seems to have been constructed, that is, “peace and reconciliation are ...

Photo courtesy The Star On June 14th, 2016 the ‘Balumgala’ news programme on Neth FM sought to discuss the construction of a mosque at Sri Maha Vihara Road, Kalubowila, Dehiwela. We reproduce below a letter written by a civil society body with regard to what they call ‘unethical media practices’ by Neth FM. Of particular concern is the failure on ...

Photo captures the first Cabinet of independent Ceylon. Suntharalingam is on the far left. Via Wikipedia. Text of the Speech on the release of the book, Grandfather’s Letters by C. Anjalendran, at Barefoot Gallery, July 12, 2016. This delightful little book is a selection of letters written by Mr. C. Suntharalingam to his grandchildren. C. Anjalendran, a grandson, has put them ...

Image courtesy TJ Sri Lanka There is no getting away from the issue of international participation in the accountability mechanism, specifically that of foreign judges.  The 2015 Geneva resolution co-sponsored by the Sri Lankan government explicitly allows for this in terms of the active participation of internationals but does not spell out their precise role.  The issue keeps surfacing with ...

INFOGRAPHIC: Opportunity Costs – What Rs. 1 Billion Can Buy Featured image courtesy Asian Mirror On June 7, a supplementary estimate was submitted to Parliament for the import of luxury vehicles for Ministers and their deputies. Rs. 1.17 billion was sought, with several, including Joint Cabinet Spokesmen Ministers Dr. Rajitha Senaratne and Deputy Minister Karunaratne Paranawithana defending the estimate. This is very saddening. How can Govt justify this Rajapaksa-esque spending? ...

Sinhalese tourists visit the underground bunker of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran in Mullaitivu district. The completion of the northbound A9 road and the opening up of the north of Sri Lanka has bought with it a booming domestic ‘war tourism’ industry. Sinhalese people from Colombo are coming in their hundreds to see memorials to their fallen soldiers and to visit ...

Featured image courtesy UN / Jean-Marc Ferré The recent activity in Geneva around High Commissioner Zeid’s oral update on Sri Lanka illuminated an interesting dynamic with respect to accountability in Sri Lanka. The noticeable pull back from the terms of HRC Resolution 30/1 by a section of the Sri Lankan establishment was met with an equally noticeable push back from ...

Submissions to Consultation Task Force on missing, disappeared and MIA Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI, AFP via ICMP Several submissions made on 5 July 2016 to the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms (CTF) were sent to Groundviews. The submissions were part of a sectoral consultation with organisations working on the issues of the missing, the disappeared and the missing in action. The submissions, first published on our Facebook page, are ...

Featured image courtesy Sydesian Transitional justice is a popular term in present day Sri Lanka. It is the means by which the various parties to the conflict have decided to bring about justice and reconciliation. The reason behind this move to employ transitional justice is two-fold. First, the international community, especially the United Nations, failed to intervene during the final ...

Featured image courtesy Sri Lanka Mirror The issue of the appointment of Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy as the Governor of the Central Bank is a defining one. It is an issue on which one has to stand up and be counted. It is a moral issue; one which concerns the kind of Sri Lanka one wishes to have. It is also ...

Photo via Fragments A university professor named Carmen Wickramagamage has written a long article to The Island  claiming that Asoka Handagama’s latest film Age Esa Aga (Let Her Cry) is a “Profoundly and disappointingly male fantasy on women’s sexual desires, their sexed lives and their very raison d’être’’.  She further says that this  extremely patriarchal movie is just ‘’to please ...

The fruit of an ambitious social experiment – South Asian University Holds its First Convocation Featured image courtesy South Asian University Archives, 2016 As an idea, project and dream of considerable proportions, South Asian University has been discussed for more than a decade among leading intellectuals of the region, including people like Asish Nandy of India, Imtiaz Ahmed from Bangladesh, Kanak Dixit from Nepal and many others. The initial idea was to set up a university for critical knowledge with different campuses in different cities of the region. What transpired on the ground in 2010 saw .

Featured image courtesy IBTimes On the day Britain found out that it chose to leave the EU, I became British. It was supposed to be a special day for me. After 5 years and thousands of pounds I was receiving validation of the person that I believed I was inside. I’ve been British for a long time now. I just ...

Photo courtesy Amantha Perera/IPS news In this neo liberal or free market global economy, Sri Lanka was counted as a country moving into the middle income group with an annual per capita income of 3,230 US dollars by the of the year 2014. It was expected to reach 4,400 US dollars by the end of this year (2016). In 2014 ...

Photo Amantha Perera/IRIN @groundviews making a submission before CTF at today's consultation with media orgs #srilanka #lka #pubconsl pic.twitter.com/MKhkfMzhre — CTF (@ctfsl) June 28, 2016 Groundviews, along with Maatram and Vikalpa, were invited to present submissions to a Sectoral Meeting of the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms, held at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institution (SLFI) on 28 June 2016. ...

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