Archive | May, 2010

Sinhala nationalism, civil society organisations and the future

Nationalism in our post-modern era is an extremely suspect concept. It smacks of homogeneity, patriarchy and insularity; all ideas and concepts that our generation has learned with good reason to suspect. Most difficult of all, it has often been anti-minority. My intention in this article is not to defend nationalism but rather to inquire into […]

The latest Commission of Inquiry in Sri Lanka: Another Exercise in Deception

Louise Arbour of the International Crisis Group is reported to have  said during an interview in the BBC that the government violated the laws of war by blurring the line between combatants and civilians, and that its killings of civilians were not accidents.   Perhaps in response to this, speaking to the BBC Tamil Service […]

Eelam experiments: The transnational versus local realities

‘Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to empower, and to humanize.’[1] Chimamanda Adichie I was inspired by the above words of Chimamanda Adichie talking about the ¨Danger of a single story’ and I reflected on how true this has been and will be in the case […]

Fighting Windmills? Diaspora and Militarism in Post-Conflict Lanka

“Just then they came in sight of thirty or forty windmills that rise from that plain. And no sooner did Don Quixote see them that he said to his squire, “Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished. Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I […]

FROM NECESSARY WAR TO SUSTAINABLE PEACE IN SRI LANKA

Interestingly of the four best pieces I have read on the first anniversary of the war, three are by Indian analyst/commentators, of whom two are military professionals: Gen Ashok K. Mehta’s Manekshaw paper No 22 for the Centre for Land Warfare Studies (New Delhi) on ‘How Eelam war 4 was Won’ (which cannot be read […]

Capturing HOPE in Sri Lanka through photography

The HOPE in Sri Lanka after war was in 2009 Deborah Philip’s first photo-essay to Groundviews anchored to a novel and compelling idea – to photograph people holding up a sign board titled HOPE. As Deborah notes in her first submission, “Where is the hope?” is a question that the writer encountered quite a few […]

Sithuvili: On war’s end and a year later…

Prelude: The following is a ‘fragmented reflection’, on present-day Sri Lanka, war’s end and related issues. The objective was to capture the thought process of a citizen ‘thinking’ about these issues as realistically as possible, hence the fragmented nature of the rendering, and the frequent passage from one point to an(unrelated)other. A war was thus […]

The Priority Vesak Thought for Action: “Care and Compassion for the Most Needy”

In a pre-Vesak address the Prime Minister and Minister of Buddhasasana and Religious Affairs made known his priority to lead Buddhists on a path, through awareness, to enhance their commitment to develop a high state of morality and consciousness in society. Mr. Prime Minister, this initiative should be led by the Buddhist leaders in governance, […]

WINNING THE INVISIBLE CONFLICT: Is Sri Lanka headed for sustainable peace?

Background On Tuesday 19th May 2009 – the day after the death of Velupillai Prabhakaran, leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) – Mahinda Rajapaksa, the President of Sri Lanka, declared victory over the Tamil Tigers, bringing to a close 26 years of conflict. With the routing of the LTTE, and the reclamation […]

Vanni in the year after war: Tears of despair and fear

About six months after the end of the war, in November 2009, the government of Sri Lanka relaxed restrictions on travel to the Vanni[1] and started to allow some of the displaced people to go back to their villages. Although the government still maintains some restrictions on travel, I managed to visit these areas many […]

Post-war Sri Lanka: Challenges and opportunities

This Government, as it commences to address the many challenges facing post – war Sri Lanka, stands today at a watershed of major, unprecedented and possibly never to be replicated, opportunity. Wherever one is located in the Sri Lankan political firmament that obvious and pre eminent condition would have to be admitted. The sense of […]

Will ‘Peace’ Arrive Before Death?

It was, unfortunately, a necessary war, for terrorism had to be defeated, eliminated. After some thirty long years, on or around the 19th of May 2009, Sri Lanka gained liberation; liberation from the clutches of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), from the clutches of terrorism (May, 2010: The Prime Minister states in Parliament […]

The Drivers and Scenarios in Post-War Sri Lanka

My focus in this essay is not what happened in the past but what can be envisioned in the near future particularly with regard to the national question in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan security forces comprehensively defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) one year ago. However, the transformation of peace writ small […]

THE SECOND PHASE OF A WAR WITHOUT END

One year after the end of the war there is optimism in the country, particularly amongst sections of the business community. The government has taken the position that rapid economic development can be a panacea to the problems that afflict the country, including the long festering ethnic one.  South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Hongkong, and […]