Archive | August, 2011

Forbidden Fruits: Niromi de Soyza’s “Tamil Tigress”, Noumi Kouri and Helen Demidenko?

The literary world is now poised on the brink wondering if the Tamil Tigress (Allen & Unwin, 2011) is going to join Forbidden Love (Random House, 2003) and The Hand that signed the Paper (Allen and Unwin, 2000) in the house of literary infamy. Has the Tamil lady who uses the nom de plume Niromi […]

War Crimes Investigations in Sri Lanka: An Unpopular View

“In trying to do good, we have been living beyond our moral resources and have fallen into hypocrisy and self-righteousness” — William V. Cannon, commenting on the Vietnam War, New York Times, February 6, 1966 “Conquer the angry man by love, Conquer the ill-natured man by goodness. Conquer the miser with generosity. Conquer the liar […]

Modern Dictatorships through the Mirror: Time for us to be Conscious

In legal and political literature, the term ‘dictatorship’ includes authoritarianism and is synonymous with traditional terms such as absolutism, absolute governments, despotism and tyranny. In political and constitutional legal theory, a dictatorship is a political regime under which the power of government is not limited by any law.  Perhaps the main feature in all types […]


Around 100 young men from Navanthurai, a village in the Jaffna District, were detained in an operation conducted by the Sri Lanka Army around 1.15am on 23rd August 2011. The villagers were severely beaten by the army and dragged to the main road near the Navanthurai Army Detachment located around 300 meters from the village. […]

You Can’t Catch A Bogeyman

Image courtesy Amber Much of the recent discussion of the ‘Grease Yaka’ in the Sinhala and English language media or ‘Mystery Man’ as it is referred to in Tamil discourse has been concerned with the origins or ‘truth’ behind the incidents, reports and rumours that have gripped the island.  I wonder if the heated debates […]

Women and Media Collective Press Conference on Violence Against Women

The Women and Media Collective held a press conference last week to address the incidence of violence against women with regard to the ‘grease devil’ phenomenon. The Collective also stressed that it wanted a ‘clear dialogue’ on the matter in order to militate against sensational reportage as well as further trivialisation of the issue. The […]

How can society protect vulnerable women from post war atrocities?

I just viewed a documentary produced recently by Al Jazeera titled ‘Civil war leaves Sri Lankan women vulnerable’. The film has left me deeply disturbed, shocked and ashamed particularly because as a woman, I am not doing my duty in protesting vociferously against such atrocities. Some sections of the documentary appear to have been deliberately […]

De-greasing social speculation over “grease devils” in Sri Lanka: Part II

Read Part I here. ### Basically the whole plethora and all variations in media, from print to electronic to the web, from Sinhala to Tamil and English including the “updates” via SMS in some instance, broke the news of PC 61006, Navaratne Bandara of the Puttlam police station being assaulted to death by mobs in […]

De-greasing social speculation over “grease devils” in Sri Lanka

Image courtesy Amber Whispering campaigns in Sri Lanka are the most speedy and penetrating campaigns that product promoting advertisers have not been able to make use of. Often in Sri Lanka these whispering campaigns have been political. They have also been on “negative impact” mode, socially. The latest is on the very sensational “Grease Devil” […]

Ancestry and Ethnic Identity in the Australian Census… and thus to Sri Lanka

The 9th of August was census night in Australia. The census form has three boxes relating to “Country of Birth,” one’s “language other than English at home” and “Ancestry”— all interesting formulations that bear on one’s ethnic subjectivity and one’s explicit identity. Ethnicity is a complex phenomenon that is nourished over the years by the […]

Do we need a street address?

Editors note: Philip Revatha (Ray) Wijewardene (1924 – 2010) was an extraordinary Sri Lankan. Educated at two of the most prestigious universities in the world (Cambridgeand Harvard), he excelled in many different areas of human endeavour: agriculture, aviation, engineering design, inventions, renewable energy technologies and water sports. For more information, please visit Just as the Global Positioning […]

What Sri Lankans really think

“Seek truth from facts” (Deng Xiaoping) It is ironic, is it not, that those Western voices and Lankan liberals who believe that there is a democracy wave sweeping the world, that democracy is dying if not dead in Sri Lanka and is in dire need of regime change, do not, for the most part, pause […]

Fr. Jim Brown and Mr. Vimalathas: Five years after disappearance, where are they and what has happened to the investigation?

  Fr. Jim Brown, a Catholic Priest from diocese of Jaffna in Northern Sri Lanka and his associate, Mr. Vimalathas, a father of five people, seem to be just two names and statistics in the long list of disappeared in Sri Lanka, particularly after the escalation of violence and war in the North since 2006. […]

“I want to continue to highlight the activities against the humanity” | Gnanasundaram Kuganathan

“It’s a miracle that I survived. I was beaten almost to death. Many attempts have been made to kill me, so that my writing will come to an end!. I did not think that, I will survive. The God has saved me to serve the people through journalism. I am slowly recovering. Today, I am […]