“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 here. The Police arrested ...

CMEV & Groundviews updates over your mobile Groundviews, together with the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV), both institutionally located at the Centre for Policy Alternatives, are now publishing key updates via WhatsApp as well as through a new Instagram account, launched today. If you have WhatsApp installed, save +94 72 777 2810 as a new contact in your address book and send us a message ...

Discussing climate change with the Ambassador of France in Sri Lanka As the COP20 comes to a close in Peru, France is starting to prepare the COP21 which it will host in 2015, H.E. Mr Jean-Paul Monchau, the Ambassador of France explains the importance of these conferences which are significant milestones in the field of international climate change mitigation. Interview conducted by staff at the French Embassy in Colombo.  What was the ...

PRIORITIES FOR THE NEXT PRESIDENT A talk given at ICES, 17th December 2014. Photo courtesy Al Jazeera. I want to thank Mario and the family of ICES for asking me to make this presentation on what should be the priorities for the next president. There are of course many issues but I will present what I think are the most important aspects. To begin ...

Development, Moral Order and Power-Money Politics: Critical Thoughts Photo courtesy Marvellous Sri Lanka Interesting arguments and counter arguments emerge from the political stage in Sri Lanka these days as the campaigning for the Presidential election heats up. Political leaders on various pretexts claim guardianship of the nation. Both main candidates have made promises to create a better society focusing on discipline and moral order as well as ...

Insights into Mahinda Rajapaksa’s re-election campaign on social media On the same day the Centre for Policy Alternatives, though an online survey, flagged the importance of social media in the up-coming Presidential Election to reach young voters, a series of retweets offered a glimpse into the strategic social media eco-system supporting the re-election of the incumbent President, Mahinda Rajapaksa. At 2.17pm today, @mahinda4slanka published the tweet above, including ...

RESULTS: Online survey on Sri Lanka’s Presidential Election 2015 An online survey conducted by the Centre for Policy Alternatives asked five questions regarding the upcoming Presidential election. The objective of the survey was not to predict election results but to gather public opinion on the elections and contribute to ongoing discussions. As the survey was conducted online and not with a random sample, the findings presented below cannot ...

T. Shanaathanan in conversation with Sharmini Pereira Sharmini Pereira: What’s your earliest recollection of wanting to study art? Was it something that you were encouraged to do or something that you encouraged your family to allow you to do? T. Shanaathanan: I come from an orthodox middle class family and my parents have some interest in art. I learnt the basic principles of art form my ...

The TNA follows JVP strategy Image via Al Jazeera No less a person than the JHU’s General Secretary, Patali Champika Ranawaka, went on record over the past weekend, stating that every attempt at campaigning by the joint opposition is being violently and illegally suppressed by the Rajapakse regime. He stated that if democratic dissent and a genuine electoral process did not occur, the country ...

Photo via wx135 The announcement that Maithripala Sirisena, General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and Minister of Health in the Rajapaksa regime is to be The Common Candidate of the Opposition to Mahinda Rajapaksa has turned the Presidential Election of 15th January 2015 into a contest. Moreover the electoral arithmetic, most popularly quoted, appears to favour ...

Twitter archive of @groundviews: December 2014 Every single one of the nearly 36,600+ tweets published to date by Groundviews as @groundviews can be downloaded as a ZIP file from here. The archive, generated by Twitter, is fully searchable. All the tweets can be downloaded as a CSV file from here (10.3Mb). The archive is also accessible online here. The archive is a wealth of information ...

2014: Year in Review Groundviews published over 300 articles in 2014. Since it’s launch in 2006, the most amount of traffic to the website was generated over May this year, around the compelling content featured in the End of War: 5 Years On Special Edition. Selecting the most engaging content from this vast selection is impossible – all of the articles deal with issues often not ...

Archive of #AskChampika: Twitter Q&A with Champika Ranawaka Photo courtesy The Sunday Leader A Twitter Q&A with the JHU’s Champika Ranawaka was conducted at 7pm yesterday, generating hundreds of tweets with questions for the Minister ranging from his hate speech, endorsement of astrology, open calls to violence, politics and religious extremism to the up-coming presidential elections, corruption and governance in general. A cursory study of the session ...

OPEN AND SHUT: ANOTHER LETTER TO OUR MAJESTY Photo courtesy The Daily Beast Your Highness, I am writing to be Informing you that my wife is leaving home today, threatening to be joining the Opposition. Please do not be thinking she is traitor. She is still very much devoted to you and is thinking the Opposition is way too common for the liking of even very common ...

Collective awakenings and watershed changes in society: Are they in the offing? Photo courtesy Asian Tribune When the Berlin Wall fell as a result of continuous and determined efforts of the people of then East Germany, and the Perestroika initiated by Gorbechev, it was not only a watershed moment in Europe but an inspiring, momentous event characterised by the sufferings and future aspirations of millions of East Germans and their sympathisers ...

Archive of tweets on 2015 Presidential Election Groundviews is archiving every single tweet with the hashtag #PresPollSL, used by mainstream media, leading civic media and citizen journalism initiatives in Sri Lanka to post updates around the up-coming Presidential Election. The archive is currently updated every hour, 24/7. Given the unprecedented use of the #PresPollSL hashtag in just a week since the creation of the archive, we’ve had ...

Supreme Court’s opinion on the President’s Reference Image courtesy Asian Tribune At last, the Supreme Court’s opinion on the President’s reference has seen the light of day, albeit unofficially, and it makes for miserable reading. The feature that stands out in the opinion is not only the unctuous tone which the Court has adopted in responding to the President’s request for an opinion, but also the sanctimonious ...

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