Archive | February, 2008

The Attacks on Civil Society Organizations

Sumanasiri Liyanage Dr Pradeep Jeganathan’s dinner experience in Delhi with a French anthropologist reminded me a recent meeting I happened to have with a European high level diplomat in Sri Lanka. Referring to the recent events in Sri Lanka, he said: “I would be worried if similar things have happened in Balkans or even in […]

Sri Lankan refugees in India: “Are we the ones to bear this shame, are they the sacrifice”

I remembered John Denver’s passionate song dedicated to the refugees called “Fallen leaves”, as I sat in the Chennai airport, trying to make sense of what I had seen and heard and my own feelings, recalling my visit to Sri Lankans who had fled to India in fear of their lives and live in camps […]

Bala Tampoe on war and the erosion of democratic governance in Sri Lanka

Well known and senior trade union leader Bala Tampoe speaks on the war in Sri Lanka and the state of governance in the South. He notes that even militarily defeating the LTTE does not mean guerilla warfare or their terrorist attacks against civilians in the South will cease. He goes on to note that: “…on […]

GRIEVANCES OF AN IDP

Due to the civil war that erupted in the Trincomalee District between the LTTE and the Government forces, the families that had been living at Muthur and Sam poor areas had been displaced to different locations of Trincomalee District in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka. Due to this displacement the day to day life […]

A reponse to ETHNOS OR DEMOS? – QUESTIONING TAMIL NATIONALISM

Fashionable as any aspiring theoreticians, writer Publius with above article once again takes on a contemporary and important topic, yet with wider pseudo interpositions and an assumed role of political advisory. Following is a very short response. Those who know me will bear witness that I am neither an Eelamist nor a separatist. I envisage […]

Batticaloa: Despair of the displaced and disappeared and the euphoria of elections and “liberation”

“Return my husband you abducted before you ask for my vote” (Plea to the TMVP-UPFA, from a Batticaloa women) The government had claimed it had “liberated” the East, completed a 180 days development program and had decided to hold elections as if to prove all is well there. Reports from the ground seemed otherwise. The […]

A Day at the Cricket

By Mark Gereis True sub-continental cricket is a freak phenomenon that hits Australia’s shores once every two or three years. I deliberately use the word ‘freak’ because I can’t explain it – in truth, I don’t think anybody is able to explain it. A certain magic permeates the atmosphere as we crowd the family television […]

‘GSP PLUS’ PRIVILEGES: THE NEED FOR CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT

ROHAN EDRISINHA & ASANGA WELIKALA There has recently been speculation and media reports about the European Union’s system of tariff preferences known as the ‘GSP Plus’ programme, of which Sri Lanka is presently a beneficiary country. The tariff preferences create massive advantages in particular to our apparel industry, and have implications for the wellbeing and […]

THE GALLE LITERARY FESTIVAL: FROM THE LEFT FLANK

9 February 2008 2008 saw the second festival at Galle, “Let’s Play with Words.” Those present the previous year remarked that it was more varied and incorporated more Sri Lankan authors, both local and expatriate. Implicit in the title, of course, is the understanding that the focus is on creative literature in English, not French, […]

Endangered: Our right to ’shoot’ in public

13 February 2008, Colombo: Earlier this week, a leading Sri Lankan photojournalist was detained, questioned and released by police for taking photographs near a well-known Colombo school. According to news reports, Associated Press (AP) photographer Gemunu Amarasinghe was apprehended by a group of parents who formed the school’s civil defence committee. They had handed him […]

Mea Culpa

This year, I missed Ash Wednesday. I unconsciously avoided watching television or reading the newspapers. I didn’t call my family or friends. I felt it helped me stay slightly removed from the madness of military victories and resultant casualties or indiscriminate violence and the bitterness it left in its wake. I was only reminded that […]