Archive | August, 2009

Capitalism, security and foreign aid – The behaviour of aid agencies in the context of Sri Lanka’s conflict

The purpose of this article is to try and explain the behaviour of aid agencies in the context of Sri Lanka’s conflict. With the escalation of the armed conflict between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan state in recent times, there have been a number of developments within aid agencies that seem to be contradictory. […]

A video of shame and outrage: Responses, positions and clarifications

The video broadcast Channel 4 last week generated a number of responses from the readership of Groundviews. Much has been written about the video, including this well thought out commentary in The Lede, the New York Times news blog. Of the many comments in response to it, this one and the Lede’s response to it […]

Unshed Tears

“These are Elephants, Those are Tamils”1 -words from a friend. Baby Elephants- dearly beloved elders were killed before their tender eyes Baby Elephants-arms, legs, teeth shriveled with the pain of the bullet Baby Elephants- loose wrinkled skin hangs off starving, haunted frames Baby Elephants-left over remnants of humanity scraped up from The scorching earth of […]

Bearing Witness: Submit content on IDPs and Police brutality to win a Flip Ultra video camera

Through Bearing Witness, Groundviews seeks to engender critical citizen journalism on two vital issues confronting polity and society in post-war Sri Lanka. The ground conditions in Menik Farm, worsened by recent flooding, are a non-issue for most mainstream print and broadcast media in Sri Lanka. Yet, as this recent report from the UN’s IRIN news service notes, Close […]

Status of IDP’s and the ‘Right to Protect’

“Man generally resorts to dialogue, compromise and consensus in resolving human conflicts due to his superior intellect. However, it is not uncommon for man, when under pressure, to submit to his baser instincts of survival by resorting to physical confrontation and warfare despite the attainment of a high level of civilization.” The ‘divide and rule […]

Sri Lanka: Vanquished Tiger, Roaring Lion

The stakes of life and death, hope and despair, peace and conflict are now higher than they were when the war was declared “over”. The Tiger was declared dead, and the Lion roars. We watched this nation dance to the drum beat of the victor, sing triumphant songs, parade the glory of the forces, rejoice […]

The shame of Menik Farm

The floods that affected significant swathes of the expansive Menik Farm a week ago generated interesting responses from government. One of the most revealing was the deafening silence of the usually loquacious Rajiva Wijesinghe, and the lack of any statement over the flooding by the Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister, Mahinda Samarasinghe. On 22 […]

Critiquing the President’s victory speech: Evidence of a majoritarian mindset?

Authors note: The following is the text of a talk before a forum on minority rights organized by the CPA in July. It should, ideally, have been edited for publication. But, given the recent death threat against CPA Director, Pakiasothy Saravanamuttu, is offered here as a gesture of solidarity. Saravanamuttu is one of Sri Lanka’s […]

The Beauty of Barbed Wire: Sri Lanka’s cutting edge exhibition

Colombo, Sri Lanka – Banyan News Reporters learns that Sri Lanka will hold the world’s first barbed wire exhibition for 180 days beginning 1st September  at the Bandaranaike Memorial Hall under the auspices of the Ministry of Human Rights Disaster Management. Titled ‘The Beauty of Barbed Wire’ the exhibition will showcase cultural uses and relevance […]

A first hand perspective of Sri Lanka’s largest IDP camp: Are they really ‘our people’?

This is an interview in English secured by Vikalpa with a Sri Lankan Tamil who had visited his family at the “Ramanathan Transitional Relief Village” in May. His family is amongst 260,000+ other IDPs interned in Menik Camp. In an interview conducted before the recent flooding, the speaker records the inhuman conditions and indignity IDPs […]

Unpacking the Truth in Sri Lanka

In recent weeks there has been some talk about a truth and reconciliation commission (TRC) as something that will allow Sri Lanka to come to terms with its troubled past and move forward into the promise of its ‘post-war’ future. I have been informally invited into a few of these conversations because I have worked […]