Roar Insider

5 minutes to read

The Best Of Roar 2016

Published

5 minutes to read

Search Icon Search Icon Search Icon
Himal Kotelawala

Himal Kotelawala

Staff Writer

Another year just flew past, and, as a rapidly growing online media organisation, we at Roar have been taking it upon ourselves to report, analyse, and present information relating to various spheres ‒ the good, the bad, and the hideous ‒ in a way that is factual, ethical, and, more importantly, conducive to constructive discourse. We’ve been doing this for about two years now, and 2016 saw our content taking a more decidedly journalistic angle, tackling important topics ranging from mental health and disaster management to economics and geopolitics ‒ all the while not forgetting to stay true to our roots and let our hair down a little, so to speak, exploring the lighter side of life in the paradise isle.

In 2016, we also introduced a monthly editorial, with staff writers taking turns to voice their opinion on a matter of national significance of their choosing. We also launched separate sites for Roar Tech and Roar Life, both producing what we can only hope is great content for an increasingly discerning audience. Our video production was also boosted, with a dedicated team producing high-quality, well-researched video content in English, Sinhala, and Tamil. In fact, 2016 was the year we went multilingual; our now well-established Sinhala platform has been widely appreciated by readers across the country, while Tamil, too, has been gaining popularity.

The biggest change last year, however, came in the form of a brand new site launched in Bangladesh ‒ the first step in a rather ambitious plan ‒ if we may say so ourselves ‒ to go regional. But more on that on a later date.

For now, please allow us some self-indulgence and let us revisit some of our finer pieces from 2016 under some newly expanded on topics and categories.

In The News

A police officer takes a quick photograph of elephant tusks laid out on display at the Galle Face Green, on Januray 26, 2016. The Ministry of Sustainable Development and Wildlife destroyed 359 elephant tusks that had been confiscated by the Sri Lanka Customs. The destrcution of the ivory was carried out as a gesture towards discouraging global ivory trade. Image credit: Roar.lk/Thiva Arunagirinathan

A police officer takes a quick photograph of elephant tusks laid out on display at the Galle Face Green, on January 26, 2016. The Ministry of Sustainable Development and Wildlife destroyed 359 elephant tusks that had been confiscated by the Sri Lanka Customs. The destruction of the ivory was carried out as a gesture towards discouraging global ivory trade. Image credit: Roar.lk/Thiva Arunagirinathan

We’re not a daily newspaper or a breaking news website, so instead of churning out news as and when it happens, the Roar team strives to give readers something a little more:

PTA Vs. CTA: Is New Necessarily Better?

MMDA Reforms: The Fight For Rights

Traffic Violation Fines And Protesting Vehicle Owners

Coping With COPE

#KosgamaFire: Damage Control And Relief Efforts

Opinion and Editorial

Our monthly editorial and the occasional op-ed from staff writers have attempted to explore a topical issue or incident in detail

How Sri Lankan Politicians Beat Trump In The Sexism Game

Private Universities: Yea Or Nay?

Sri Lanka’s ‘Viral’ Culture And Internet Sexism

Sri Lanka: Trump Nation. ඔබට සතුටුයිද දැන්?

Women In Sri Lanka Are Allegedly Consuming More Beer – So What?

Mental Health

Two patients at the National Institute of Mental Health in Angoda read the newspapers. Image credit: Roar.lk/Christian Hutter

Two patients at the National Institute of Mental Health in Angoda read the newspapers. Image credit: Roar.lk/Christian Hutter

The stigma surrounding mental health in Sri Lanka can be debilitating. While there is plenty of research on the various issues pertaining to mental health, not a lot of it makes its way to the masses. The Roar team ran several pieces over the course of last year under this topic, hoping to raise awareness as well as to debunk certain myths associated with mental health.

Tackling Mental Health in Sri Lanka: Fact vs. Stigma

Understanding Depression: The Nuts And Bolts

Inside Sri Lanka’s National Mental Health Institute: A Photostory

Natural Disasters

Rescue workers help residents evacuate flooded areas in Wellampitiya, Colombo, May 19, 2016. Image credit: Roar.lk/Thiva Arunagirinathan

Rescue workers help residents evacuate flooded areas in Wellampitiya, Colombo, May 19, 2016. Image credit: Roar.lk/Thiva Arunagirinathan

The horrific floods that wreaked havoc in April last year and the devastation left in the wake of the crippling drought in the country’s Northeast in October gave us pause to think ‒ to ponder our failings as a society to deal with natural disasters as well as our incredible capacity to reach out to our fellow human beings in their time of need. In May, Roar ran a Live Blog to report on the landslides, floods, and their immediate aftermath, for three days straight. In addition, the following articles examined the disasters in detail.

Lessons Learnt the Hard Way: #FloodSL

Sri Lanka Is Experiencing A Drought ‒ What We Know So Far

In Drought-stricken Welikanda, Water Is A Luxury

Economy

A street cleaner in Colombo. Informal sector workers have little to fall back on in terms of social security.

A street cleaner in Colombo. Informal sector workers have little to fall back on in terms of social security. Image credit Roar.lk/Malaka Pathmalal

When it was revealed mid last year that Sri Lanka was on the brink of a Rs. 9.5 trillion debt trap, confusion reigned. Then there was the increasingly uneasy Sino-SL relations and what it meant to the country’s economy. And then, the biggest puzzle of them all, the annual budget. The writers at Roar tried their hand at making sense of these complex issues.

Sri Lanka’s Rs. 9.5 Trillion Debt Trap ‒ And How To Get Out Of It (Kind Of)

How National Budgets Are Prepared

The Bad Taste In Your Cup Of Tea

ETCA ‒ To Sign Or Not?

Struggling For Security: Sri Lanka’s Informal Sector

Climate Change

Climate change is no longer a buzzword. It’s no longer an issue that may or may not affect a few Western countries years from now. It’s very real. And it’s happening right now. Sri Lanka could be one of the worst hit if we’re not careful. Roar considers this a priority issue and we have been attempting to examine the seriousness and urgency with which we should deal with this disaster-in-waiting.

Sri Lanka And Climate Change

Is Sri Lanka Ready For Climate Change?

A Warming Indian Ocean and the Brewing Storm in Sri Lanka

Everyday Sri Lanka

A toddy tapper at work. Image credit: Roar.lk/Nazly Ahmed

A toddy tapper at work. Image credit: Roar.lk/Nazly Ahmed

We have been fortunate to feature some top notch feature writing on Roar Life ‒ articles with a longer shelf life than your average news story ‒ and the following are just some of many interesting pieces well worth the read:

The Darker Side Of Colombo: Places With Grim Histories

Sri Lanka’s Lesser Known Minorities: The Chetties

The White Man’s Words

Lanka’s Eight Incredible World Heritage Sites

How Sri Lanka Post Is Evolving To Keep Up With The Times

Travel

Mirissa, southern Sri Lanka. Image credit: Himal Kotelawala

Mirissa, southern Sri Lanka. Image credit: Himal Kotelawala

When it comes to travel content, we have always been partial to the whole ‘off the beaten track’ type of travel and last year was no exception. The following are some of the more outstanding of those content pieces:

Everything You Need To Know About Hiking In Sri Lanka

Anywhere But South: Offbeat Beach Destinations

Five Backpacking Destinations In Northern Sri Lanka

Diving In Sri Lanka: Five Sites You Should Not Miss

Arankale ‒ The Forest Monastery

Arts & Culture

Cosplayers at Lanka ComicCon 2016, August 20, 2016. Image credit: Roar.lk/Minaali Haputantri

Cosplayers at Lanka ComicCon, August 20, 2016. Image credit: Roar.lk/Minaali Haputantri

Art criticism in Sri Lanka (at least in English speaking Colombo circles) has always been heavy on the praise and light on any actual criticism. We at Roar have been trying to bring balance to this dichotomy, while also providing a general coverage of aspects of Sri Lanka’s arts scene that have a tendency to sometimes go unnoticed.

From Rock ‘N’ Roll To Thrash And Black

Everyday Dances: The Unspoken Politics Of The Body

Where Self-Publishing Meets The Literary: Theena Kumaragurunathan’s Debut Novel First Utterance

Silence In The Courts: Director Vithanage Apprises The Untold

Sri Lankan Hip Hop ‒ A Breakdown

While that’s a wrap for 2016, we’ll be back with fresh content starting tomorrow ‒ along with new ideas for all our platforms. As always, reader feedback is welcome, so feel free to have your say in the comments below, or say [email protected]

Here’s wishing you a happy new year ‒ one we hope to stay ahead of with strong reporting, and well-researched, informative articles, while also not forgetting to take into account the lighter side of life in Sri Lanka.

Featured image credit: Roar.lk/Kyle Sampath Valentine

How do you feel about this story?

Fascinated
Informed
Happy
Sad
Angry
Amused

Comments