• Post-war violence and repression still high
• Violence against independent media and critical dissent
• Legacy of 30 years of war: Communal distrust, no reconciliation, no political
settlement, continued militarisation, national security mindset, repressive
government, on-going censorship, poor rule of law, un-constitutional
groundviews: end of war special edition
From 19 – 27 May 2010, Groundviews ran a
special edition on the end of war in Sri Lanka.
Over this week alone, the site received over
forty thousand readers and exclusively
featured over eighty thousand words of
original content, one video premiere, over a
dozen photos, generating over one hundred
and ﬁfty thousand words of commentary.
Tens of thousands more have read and
commented on this content since, making the
special edition a sui generis archive of intelligent
debate, incisive critique and vital perspectives
that mainstream media in Sri Lanka, even post-
war, is too fearful to feature.
so what’s the big deal?
• ICTs help bear witness, in a country with a regime that seeks to erase
inconvenient truths and kill those who document them.
• Less about hype (e.g. regime change) more about documentation, narration,
archival, strategic dissemination, capacity building, knowledge creation, oral
• ICTs help advocacy. Web visualisations help render complex challenges in a
manner that nourishes understanding, review and action.
• ICTs help human rights. Ordinary citizens can bear witness.
• ICTs help communities and individuals, marginalised in mainstream media
and politics, create their own media and tell their stories, as they wish.
the future is anchored to and underpinned by
• Geo-location and geo-referencing via Google Maps, Bing etc
• New media and Web 2.0 technologies, including social networking
• Mobiles, and especially smartphones
• Broadband, especially wireless
• Interoperable ODR systems / data portability initiatives
the enduring challenges will be
• Privacy, in the age of Facebook
• Culture and context, actors and process, physical vs. virtual
• Transforming investments on PC based platforms, to mobile based platforms
• Engendering the political will to transform complex conﬂict
• The emphasis on the process, as opposed to the technology - people as
opposed to the platform