Whatsapp during a live protest

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

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Sinhale’s crisis of legitimacy

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

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

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

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Leveraging technology for social change in Sri Lanka

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.

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

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

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Digital memories

Two books I’ve read recently (Ctrl+Z: The Right to be Forgotten and When we are no more: How digital memory is shaping our future) deal with the significant challenges around memorialisation online. Take the humble photo album. I have inherited many from my family. I have however only ever created a handful. 1,771 albums anchored…

Session on social media in Sri Lanka

Made the following introductory presentation on social media in Sri Lanka today, focussing on civic media, to around 25 – 30 new recruits of the National Information Centre. The training was held at Visumpaya in Colombo, and conducted in Sinhala and English.

Archiving the future

Not without the greatest irony, sometime last week, the website of the Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons disappeared. Some years ago, the official website of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) also disappeared without trace. The then government said the content of the site had folded into the Presidential Secretariat…

Roanu’s wrath

Disasters make pundits of many. And yet, when the next hazard hits, we often tend to deal with the significant challenges around the same, if not greater magnitude of a disaster. The process is cyclical, with no meaningful learning, or reform. Piecemeal approaches hold sway. Promises by politicians, emergency government funding and the largesse of…

Countering Violent Extremism & Mobile Advocacy in Myanmar

Cross-posted from the ICT4Peace Foundation’s website. ### I was invited to take part in Tech Camp 2016, held at Phandeeyar, where I talked about and trained on mobile advocacy and activism strategies. Calling on the work engineered in Sri Lanka around election monitoring, civil society mobilisation, voter education and civic media, I talked about how

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