Over the course of 2008, Groundviews published over 250 compelling contributions from ordinary Sri Lankans, award winning poets and authors, renowned academics, diplomats, civil servants, leading civil society activists and others.
Sri Lanka’s first citizen journalism website and operating without any donor funding, content from Groundviews is consistently republished in mainstream media, academic journals, books, other leading news websites and blogs and widely quoted in presentations at leading workshops and conferences locally and internationally. Content published this year ranged from essays to poetry, photos to videos, serialised narratives to academic papers and unique perspectives of life on the ground from embattled cities in the North and the “liberated” Eastern Province.
The site welcomed well over 230,000 readers in 2008 with over 3,400 substantive comments by readers. Technically, Groundviews features the most secure and sophisticated commenting system on any media website in Sri Lanka and offers content over email, mobiles and news feeds.
Groundviews was the only website from Sri Lanka shortlisted under the e-news category at the prestigious Manthan Awards in 2008. The site is ranked 146,067 on the world’s leading blog aggregation site Technorati, out of the over 17 million blogs it indexes globally. Groundviews is also the first and to date only citizen journalism website from Sri Lanka to be featured and fully indexed on Google News.
Content published on Groundviews since its launch in 2006 demonstrates how professional web based citizen journalism can strengthen progressive, civil dialogues on highly complex and inflammatory issues and topics. The site regularly publishes content that will not and cannot be published in mainstream / traditional media in Sri Lanka today. In doing so, it shows that web based citizen journalism and media can meaningfully foster vital debates on war, peace, human rights and democracy even within violent conflict.
Some of the most read content / collections in 2008
- Remember – a collection of content exclusive to the site commemorating the anti-Tamil pogrom of July 1893 and the race riots in 1958.
- ETHNOS OR DEMOS? – QUESTIONING TAMIL NATIONALISM by Publius (the nom de plume of Asanga Welikala)
- Lt. General Sarath Fonseka: military dictator, saviour or both? by The Under Dog
- Is Sri Lanka China’s Georgia? by Chithirai
- My name is Cedric. Do you remember me? by award winning Sri Lankan novelist and author David Blacker
- Jaffna: Retrospect and Prospect by retired civil servant Somapala Gunadheera
- How does one BECOME Sinhalese or Tamil in Sentiment? by Michael Roberts asks us to question why we feel we are Sinhalese or Tamils
- Who is afraid of NGOs? by Chulani Kodikara looks at the consistent hate speech and attacks against NGOs in Sri Lanka over 2008
Many of these authors submitted other articles as widely read as those featured above. Clicking on their names on the site brings up a list of all articles submitted.
Some articles that generated a lot of comments and reactions from readers
- Defense and Devolution by Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Dayan Jayatilleka
- What is the solution to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka? by Titular Republic
- Why integration with India is the only long-term way out for Lanka by Prof. Kumar David, an electrical engineering professor who has published extensively, profesionally, and on the national question and socio-economics.
Poetry by local and international award winning poets on war, peace and other topics
- Read poems by leading Sri Lankan poets, many published exclusively and for the first time on Groundviews
Videos exclusive to Groundviews
- Lionel Bopage: Evolution of the LTTE and Prabhakaran’s role in the Tamil nationalist struggle
- TNA MP Mr. R. Sampanthan remembers the events of July 1983
- Prabakaran’s Role in Tamil National Struggle: Interview with Shanthi Sachithanandan
- Interview with Mano Ganeshan on abductions of Tamils in Colombo
- Withdrawal of the IIGEP (International Independent Group of Eminent Persons): Interview with Nimalka Fernando
Groundviews is Sri Lanka’s first and award winning citizens journalism website features an unparalleled range of ideas, opinions and analyses on humanitarian issues, media freedom, human rights, peace, democratic governance and constitutional reform.