“Every citizen – including activists and academics — can play a part in shaping the future of our democracy. In this, technology is not the only key driver; what matters even more is the strategic use of our imagination and determination.
“We may not yet have all the detailed answers of our digital future, but one thing is clear. In 2015, we the people of Sri Lanka embarked on a progressive digitalization of our politics and governance.
“It is going to be a bumpy road – be forewarned — but there is no turning back.”
These are the closing paras of a long format essay I have just written on the role of social media in the recently concluded Sri Lanka Parliamentary (General) Election on 17 August 2015. It has been published by Groundviews.org citizen journalism website.
Shortly after the Presidential Election of 8 January 2015 ended, I called it Sri Lanka’s first cyber election. That was based on my insights from over 20 years of watching and chronicling the gradual spread of information and communications technologies (ICTs) in Sri Lanka and the resulting rise of an information society.
Since then, things have evolved further. In this essay, I look at how the Elections Commission, political parties, election candidates, civil society advocacy groups and individual cyber activists have used various social media tools and platforms in the run-up to, during and immediately after the Parliamentary Election.
Read full text at:
Groundviews.org 3 September 2015: Sri Lanka Parliamentary Election 2015: How did Social Media make a difference
A compact version appeared in Daily Mirror, 3 September 2015: Social Media and LK General Election 2015: Has E-democracy arrived in Sri Lanka?