Category: Technology

Curator’s note | Corridors of power: Drawing and modelling Sri Lanka’s tryst with democracy

  What is a constitution? What place and relevance, if any, does it have in the popular imagination? Do citizens really care about an abstract document most would never have seen or read, when more pressing existential concerns continue to bedevil their lives and livelihoods, even post-war? My struggle through curation has always been to

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Technology in Parliament: Opening Pandora’s Box or enabling citizens?

Paper prepared at the invitation of Dr. Asanga Welikala for a preparatory advisory roundtable on a new constitution for Sri Lanka, hosted by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), the Constitution Building Programme of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), and the Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law (ECCL) inn collaboration with

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Technology in constitutional reform: Central or peripheral to substance and process?

Paper prepared at the invitation of Dr. Asanga Welikala for a preparatory advisory roundtable on a new constitution for Sri Lanka, hosted by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), the Constitution Building Programme of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), and the Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law (ECCL) inn collaboration with

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A cartoon’s footprint

The Network of Women in Media, India called it “a new low point for misogyny in the print media”. The Women and Media Collective said that it had allowed “for gross sexism and crudity to override any form of civility in journalistic communication” and that it was “derogatory to women and women politicians”. The focus

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Inclusivity and information

Inclusive Development and Growth was the rubric of a discussion held recently at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute in Colombo by the South Asia Policy and Research Institute (SAPRI). Invited to lead the discussion, ably moderated by Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, were Lord Meghnad Desai, Founder, Centre for Global Governance at the London School of Economics and

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ICT without agency?

There is in Sri Lanka an Information and Communications Technology Agency. There are also Ministries of Science and Technology, Mass Media and Information, Telecommunication and Information Technology and incredibly, Technology and Research. In addition, we have the Department of Government Information. Finally, there is a National Science and Technology Commission. The combined financial and human

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A thousand days

I don’t want to go back to war. I don’t want Sri Lanka to go back to war. My fear is that most of what we are doing today, and who we are, will drive us back to one. One thousand days after the last war ended, what gave rise to it is still largely

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Hacking mayoral campaign promises

In Open-source policy formulation for Sri Lanka’s capital, an article published on the Lanka Business Online website recently, the Head of the Policy Planning Group, Milinda for Mayor Campaign and renowned policy analyst Prof. Rohan Samarajiva looks at how mainstream politics can be made more participatory. The promise is of a direct democracy model with

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The growing censorship in Sri Lanka

An order by Jayantha Wickramaratne, the Inspector General of Police in Sri Lanka and the same chowderhead who once said women could record themselves getting raped through mobile phones, to the Director General of Telecommunication Regulatory Commission to suspend the licenses of twelve websites exhibiting nude photographs is the first step in Sri Lanka’s post-war

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Communicating for Peace

Information Communication Technologies (ICTs), now often touted as a panacea for socio-economic development and part of the Western donor orthodoxy, fail to make any sense for those enmeshed in violent conflict, those touched by its long tail and those who fall outside our circumscribed vision or oftentimes, our urbane westernised bias.This is why I have proposed a deep and meaningful exploration into the way ICT can help engender peace and conflict transformation. I am interested in how (and indeed, if) democracy and peace can be strengthened in countries such as Sri Lanka, Nepal, Colombia, Timor Leste using ICT – how they could be made more resilient to the mercurial actions and policies of political leaders and non-state actors that often sow the seeds for more conflict, how they could give voice to the voiceless and marginalised, how they could strengthen the participation of youth, children and empower women in reconciliation.