Archive | September, 2009

Yellow Banana

[Authors note: This was written around 4 weeks ago; the result of 48 hours of shock and anger following an Honest Penman being “put into the ‘Pen’”. ] “Yellow Banana” (with apologies to the Beatles…) In this island where we’re STILL being torn Lived one man wrote a tale of Truth, you see. But THEY […]

Two testimonies from families released from Menik Camp

[Editors note: Two short testimonies on the plight of IDPs released from Menik Camp sent to Groundviews highlight significant challenges facing reconciliation and resettlement in post-war Sri Lanka and the urgent need for psycho-social counseling.] Testimony #1 Around 50-52 IDP families from Zone 5, Menik Farm were brought outside the camp with their belongings and […]

Sri Lanka is in fact a Gulag Island: A response to Dayan Jayatilaka and the mentality of the phantom limb

Dayan Jayatilaka begins his article with the words, “I am proud of my country, Sri Lanka.” To demonstrate the differences in our points of view I would like to begin by stating that, while I am proud of some aspects of Sri Lanka I am also very ashamed of many other aspects of my country, […]

Doing the Right Thing: Freedom for Vanni IDPs

[Editors note: An edited copy of this article appears in the Sunday Times of 27th September 2009. This is the full version.] It was a relief to hear that the government was at last responding to mounting domestic and international criticism, and had begun releasing the Vanni IDPs. Perhaps the shocking report in the Sunday […]

A response to Basil Fernando: Sri Lanka is not a Gulag Island

I am proud of my country, Sri Lanka, which has just been able to vanquish a formidable, ferocious and fascistic foe, despite its vast global network and in the face of considerable external pressure. I am proud that my country Sri Lanka has been able to restore its territorial unity and integrity and reasssert its […]

Rajani commemoration: An absence of actuality

The evening was good but perhaps Rajani deserved a bit better. She always told it like it was, named things by their name, confronted reality frontally. That quintessential spirit of Rajani, her courageous, critical, ‘concreteness’, was by and large absent in the 20th anniversary commemoration held at the BMICH on September 25th. It was only […]

Sacrificing essential liberty for temporary safety in Sri Lanka

Despite the successful military victory over terrorism, we continue to be warned by the state that a critical threat to national security continues to stalk the country. Consequently, we have passively assented to a persistent and invasive military presence in our daily life. Furthermore, over quarter of a million Tamils are continuing to be held […]

Delusions of (power) devolution: Searching post–Prapa possibilities

The elite based political debate in Sri Lanka once again appears to gravitate around the primordial issue of deciding the best mode of power-sharing between the centre and the periphery, primarily between the dominant majoritarian Sinhalas and the battle shamed minority Thamils. In a rather apolitical interventionist manner CPA has released an 800 page volume, […]

Let Them Drink Rice Wine: Withholding Water as Punishment on the East Coast?

If you look at Batticaloa District on a map, you’ll see that in a sense there are two Districts. The first is the coastal strip, where you find Batti, Kattankudy, Valachchenai, and other towns and villages.  I’m only guessing, but it seems to me that some 90% of the Districts’ population lives in this narrow […]

The Internment – A Collective Punishment?

The widespread indifference to the continuing misery of 280,000 interned IDPs, most of them already unlawfully detained for about four months without any charges, is a sad reflection on the moral values of our society. The reported release of a few thousand is most welcome, but what of the remaining 270,000? Attempts made to justify […]