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Mixed feelings one year on

Groundviews
Featured image courtesy Thuppahi One year ago, on August 18, a new Parliament was elected on an ambitious premise of good governance. The public voted for change, and for an ambitious overhaul of the status quo. A year later, the public has mixed feelings about whether this new unity Government has succeeded. A Twitter poll taken by over 90  people ...

National Unity Government after one year

Groundviews
Photograph courtesy Ada Derana August 19th was the first anniversary of the National Unity Government elected after the last general elections and several political issues have dominated the recent news, especially the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) Act and the recent removal by the President as SLFP leader of Joint Opposition SLFP members from their posts as party organizers. Losing ...

A Year of Political Rights and Economic Wrongs

Groundviews
Photo courtesy International Business Times One year after winning the parliamentary election of August 2015, the government is on track politically. One year after winning the parliamentary election of August 2015, the government is straying economically. In the year gone by, Sri Lanka has moved towards greater democratisation and reconciliation. The pace may not be to everyone’s satisfaction; much remains ...

Whatsapp during a live protest

ICT for Peacebuilding (ICT4Peace)
Not for the first time, I relied very heavily on WhatsApp in covering the Different Yet Equal vigil in Colombo, and the resulting drama. Updates sent to the Groundviews WhatsApp group (which at the time of writing this has over one hundred subscribers) included audio, video and photos. Also sent vital context around the use of the racist Sinhale flag. ...

Sinhale’s crisis of legitimacy

ICT for Peacebuilding (ICT4Peace)
Though this poster is very easily debunked, the intent is clear. It is not just aimed at discrediting those who organised the vigil. The purpose it serves is larger and holds currency for longer. The intent here is to mislead and spread hate against identity groups targeted by Sinhale as being somehow anti-patriotic, alien and invasive. The intended audience ...

Sending Brute force attack

Madhuka
A brute-force attack consists of an attacker trying many passwords or passphrases with the hope of eventually guessing correctly. The attacker systematically checks all possible passwords and passphrases until the correct one is found. Alternatively, the attacker can attempt to guess the key which is typically created from the password using a key derivation function. This is known as an ...

How The Stock Market Performed In July 2016

Roar
Another month has gone by, which means we’re now almost 60% through 2016. It is no secret that the CSE has been a relatively lacklustre performer this year. Around this time last year, the ASPI was trading at levels between 7,400-7,500 points. Fast forward to the present and it is trading firmly in the 6,500-point territory. Data courtesy The Wall ...

OMP – When labels take precedence over content

Groundviews
Featured image courtesy IRIN News On Thursday 11 August, 2016, Parliament pushed through one of the most sensitive and important pieces of legislation, the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) Act amidst the most uncivilised and ugly Parliamentary behaviour. That was not how such an important bill should have been passed in Parliament. The OMP allows for a permanent mechanism to ...

Island Of Spices ‒ Eight Of Sri Lanka’s Most Exotic Exports

Roar
From time immemorial, Sri Lanka has been synonymous with spices. Of course, the little island is most famous for the unique variety of cinnamon grown on its shores. But make no mistake, the country also counts quite a few other spices among its agricultural exports. In 2015 alone, Sri Lanka’s spice exports amounted to USD 377 million, up from USD ...

Government Information Centre as portal for Right to Information in Sri Lanka

ICT for Peacebuilding (ICT4Peace)
I was recently asked for my input to a submission to the Open Government Partnership (OGP) process around Sri Lanka’s Right to Information (RTI) framework. In the course of my research, I revisited the Government’s 1919 call centre and web based services, run by the Government Information Centre. When studying the 1919 framework, it was immediately evident that it could ...

The Process Behind OMP: Video interviews

Groundviews
Featured image courtesy Sri Lanka Brief The Office of Missing Persons (OMP) Bill was passed in Parliament without a vote, a short while ago. The setting up of the OMP was subject to much mainstream media coverage, most of it misleading. Groundviews conducted a series of video interviews to demystify the process behind setting up the OMP. Below are the interviews, ...

Interim Report: Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms

Groundviews
Photo courtesy CTF Access the complete report here or read it embedded below. Access the Executive Summary as a PDF here. Access the concluding observations of the CTF as a PDF here. Access a summary of actions recommended in the submissions to the CTF here. ### EXECUTIVE SUMMARY of INTERIM REPORT The Office on Missing Persons Bill  and Issues Concerning the ...

Leveraging technology for social change in Sri Lanka

ICT for Peacebuilding (ICT4Peace)
Friend and colleague Sam de Silva, also the Country Director of Internews Sri Lanka, has an interesting op-ed published in The Daily FT today. Communications and information are critical to the success of this new Government, particularly with the two massive undertakings of building a new constitution and taking the country through a reconciliation process. The Government must have a ...

Build Peace 2016: Don’t miss out on registration!

ICT for Peacebuilding (ICT4Peace)
We are getting closer to Build Peace 2016, which going by the agenda now online is shaping up to be the best yet. Spread over three days, we have a great line-up of speakers (online bots for activism, virtual reality for peacebuilding, combating extremism online) and a growing selection of workshops (videogames for peace, co-designing technology, trauma and wellbeing ...

The Case against Private Universities: A Response to a Growing Conversation

Groundviews
Photo courtesy News First Sri Lanka’s tertiary education sector and its resistance to the private sector has become a topic of gleeful conversation over the past week on social media. Some of these conversations have taken the form of a critical talk show (such as this piece on Yamu) and there was also a roar.lk editorial on the need to ...

The Magic of Pada Yatra

Icarus Wept
Pada Yatra: rough translation,  pilgrimage.  They’ve been around for awhile, but the most famous is Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent Salt Tax protest. That original Pada Yatra started with 80 people and went down in history as the famous Dandi Salt March: it even inspired Martin Luther King, Jr. Leave it to the Joint Opposition to organize their own Pada Yatra. Mahinda Rajapaksa ...

Uncomplicated Firewall

Madhuka
The Linux kernel in Ubuntu provides a packet filtering system called netfilter, and the traditional interface for manipulating netfilter are the iptables suite of commands. The Uncomplicated Firewall (ufw) is a frontend for iptables and is particularly well-suited for host-based firewalls. Allowing port from any$ sudo ufw allow 122/tcp Listing the app and app infor$ sudo ufw app list$ ufw ...