The Inevitability of the Banana Republic Image courtesy Bloomberg Sri Lanka has been a ‘banana republic,’ for quite some time, and clearly so throughout the oligarchy of the Rajapaksas. Formally, a banana republic is “a small country that is economically dependent on a single export commodity, such as bananas, and is typically governed by a dictator or the armed forces.”[1] But in our case, the fate ...

Shanthi Sachithanandan: In Memoriam It was with deep sadness that I learnt Shanthi Sachithanandan had passed away yesterday. In emails and face to face conversations spanning many years, I remember an individual who was, at her core, deeply committed to the work around empowering those at the margins to become their own agents of change, even in conditions of great austerity. Groundviews has featured Shanthi’s ...

The Use of Strategic Considerations in Elections Photograph by REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte, via Daily Nation On what criteria should we vote in elections? Should it based on the issues closest to our own, irrespective of likely consequences? Or should it be strategic, designed to achieve the best possible results (long term and immediate)? I have been mostly Colombo based and voting since the parliamentary elections of 1956. Initially, ...

The Deconstruction of a Supremacist Photo via Al Jazeera Notwithstanding his rise to ultimate  power as a politician in this country,  Mahinda Rajapaksa retains the mindset of  an uneducated peasant , in this instance  from Giruwapattuwa. Despite being one of the most shrewd, and one of the most successful  political manipulators in the short independent history of this country, he opts to place his ...

Prostitutes: 3 million College going Women in US Inequality of income, with predominantly low wage jobs for those who are lucky to have a job and Vegas_Blondie 32 • Las Vegas, Nevada, United States high rents and exorbitant college fees are forcing women to augment their income by finding a sugar daddy to pay the bill.Enter SeekingArrangement.com a website catering to men and women who exchange sex for ...

On Creating Our Future Photo via #happysrilankans We have emerged, as a nation that is maturing politically and can determine its future in a participatory, democratic manner. Now that the process of lying out of our future has begun, the vision should never again be left to a few individuals, but discussed widely and embarked upon with the widest consensus. We all have ...

From Real Election to Realpolitik Photograph courtesy Wall Street Journal “His (Mahinda Rajapaksa’s) chief interest will be to strike a deal on the corruption investigations against himself and his family.” Manik de Silva (CNN – 19.8.2015) The UPFA fought two consecutive elections in an imaginary country and lost them both. In that imaginary country the minority vote was of less value and weight; and ...

The last refuge of the politically displaced Humble tents, the charitable gifts of those with gifting power....far more dignified than a Parliamentary seat courtesy a slot in someone's 'National List,' don't you think?This was written a few weeks before the 2010 General Election and not long after the major parties announced their respective 'National Lists'. It was published in the Sunday Island of February 28, 20110.October or ...

Next Stop for Accelerate.LGBT: Dublin, Ireland Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, is committed to diversity: providing a platform for everyone to publish on the web and building a diverse, distributed workforce around the world. A collaborative effort between Accelerate with Google and Automattic, the Accelerate.LGBT conference series is designed to help diverse businesses and nonprofits optimize their web presence, empowering professionals through focused workshops and hands-on, one-on-one support from ...

A word from an academic to the new Government Let me first congratulate President Mr. Maithripala Sirisena and the elections commissioner Mr. Mahinda Deshapriya for bringing such an honor to Sri Lanka from across the Globe for the high standard of the General Election 2015. I returned to Sri Lanka and joined the staff of the University of Moratuwa in 2003 mainly to start a research laboratory for ...

Archives of General Election 2015: #SLGE15 & #GenElecSL Over eight weeks, Groundviews archived every single tweet tagged with either #SLGE15 or #GenElecSL. Once a week throughout the campaign period, these archives were released over Twitter for anyone to browse through or download. Sentiments, positions, promises and statements expressed over Twitter, an ephemeral medium, become extremely difficult to index and search for as time goes by. Content on Twitter, including linked images, ...

Mapping Election Influence On Social Media: Part Two – Facebook A couple of days ago, I was analyzing who the biggest political influencers on Twitter were. The numbers were small, because despite the number of selfies generated by the average TweetUpSL, Twitter in Sri Lanka is still a small circle. It’s Facebook that reigns supreme for now, so let’s get on the Zuckertrain. Warning: you’re in for a spreadsheet. Friendly graphics appear after the ...

So, the dust has settled and the results are in, including the preferential votes. The chairs are set and, for the most part, we know who’s sitting in them. So this election, who were the winners and losers? WINNERS Democracy Sri Lankan voters have been called dumb (by Sri Lankans) and many international media/people want to file us under basket-case/dictatorship, ...

It’s 6.24. I’m sitting in a chair, flicking between news sites, trying not to fall asleep.The news anchors, devoid of violent deaths to report, are trying valiantly to spin out the election results for as long as possible. Outside, the sun is sinking, throwing the last of its lights on a surprisingly empty Duplication Road. It’s over.  The UNP:UPFA scoreboard – ...

The UNP Wins. Slowly It’s the morning after the election and things still aren’t entirely clear. I heard some crackers at 7:30 in the morning, but I think my neighbors were just tired of waiting. The streets are quite empty the morning after. Shops are closed, business is slow. It’s like Avurudu, the nonagathaya, when no one does any work or goes out. In ...

Watching The Election #GenElecSL Watching the election results, it’s tempting to see the thing as a contest, where someone ‘takes the lead’. But it doesn’t work like that. Results come in basically at random. Right now, for example, the UPFA is leading by about 40k, but the margin last election in Colombo was 160k. This thing will be swayed dramatically when Western and Central ...

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