Can information and communication technologies (ICTs) help transform violent conflict and strengthen democracy? Can they strengthen human security when the language of hate, pervasive violence, cultures of impunity and illiberal regimes have a vice grip on polity and society?
The potential of new media to transform the policies and practices of illiberal democracy is explored in this article, with special reference to Sri Lanka. Even in the terrains of violent conflict, state censorship and repression, there are spaces for democratic dialogue and citizen action mediated through the internet, the web and increasingly, mobile phones.
The article flags Groundviews, Sri Lanka’s first citizen journalism site, as an example of how web media can foster information?sharing and democratic dialogue in contexts of insecurity, state repression and conflict.