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Where have all the young men gone?

All photos by the author. See full set of photos here. Snippets from hearings of the Presidential Commission to investigate into complaints regarding missing persons Sathurukondan, 09/09/1990 Q: Who is the missing person? A: Father, mother, brother, grandmother, grandfather, younger sister, older sister and her three children.  An eerie silence followed these words that was […]

Child abuse at the Vavuniya children’s home: The government’s inaction

In October 2013 Kalyana Tissa Thero of the Seth Sevana Lama Nivasa of Attambagaskanda, Vavuniya was arrested for sexually abusing a 9 year old child. The Buddhist monk was kept in remand custody and medical evidence confirmed the sexual abuse of the child on 12.10.2013. Subsequently the custody of the remaining 22 children of the […]

Feminism bottom-up: Women’s Support Networks in the North and East

Before, during and after the three decade long conflict, women have played a major role in supporting their families, community support systems, and the economy. This video highlights the stories of women groups that set up successful support networks in the north before the war, through which they addressed various community and livelihood issues, as well […]

The end of war in Sri Lanka, captured for posterity by Google Earth

When in early 2009, UNOSAT released satellite imagery of what later turned out to be the final weeks of Sri Lanka’s 27-year old war with the LTTE, the images were met with vehement Government condemnation, and counter-analysis by the Ministry of Defence. During this heady, hellish time, the subject of The Cage: The Fight for […]

Provincial Council Election: Real-time updates

@mhmhisham is turning out the best updates on Twitter. #PCelectionsLK and #ep2012 are key hashtags aggregating all the tweets on the September 2012 Provincial Council elections. See below for aggregation and real time updates. Tweets about “#PCelectionsLK “ Tweets by @mhmhisham Tweets about “#ep2012″

The Kattankudy mosque massacre in Sri Lanka: 22 years after

During my recent visits to Batticaloa I met many elders for my I Am narratives project. Many of them, like Father Harry Miller S.J., talked about the difficult period for Batticaloans during the 1990s. This period was marked by thousands of disappearances, Tamil Tiger attacks on mosques and civilians, and retaliatory violence against ordinary Muslims […]

Interview with Dr. Farzana Haniffa: The eviction of Northern Muslims in Sri Lanka

First interviewed in 2010, Dr. Farzana Haniffa appears again on Groundviews to talk about the Citizens’ Commission on the Expulsion of Muslims from the Northern Province by the LTTE. As the Commission’s website notes, in October 1990, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) expelled the entire Muslim population of the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. Within a […]

Coping with little support: Batticaloa’s women ex-combatants and their reintegration

Photo by author The end of hostilities in May 2009 saw some 270,000 to 300,000 Tamils fleeing the conflict zone in the North and settling in camps for internally displaced people. Fleeing the fighting, together with the civilians, were thousands of Tamil Tiger combatants – many of them injured women fighters – both young women […]

Women Left Behind: Truth Commissioning in Sri Lanka

A mother displaying the photographs of his sons which are missing during the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) session in Trincomalee, December, 3-5, 2010. Photo courtesy Centre for Human Rights The power and promise of national exercises like the LLRC lie in the way that they can access the voices of those who have not […]

WE REMEMBER after 21 years…

No. 1, Jesuit Street, Batticaloa, September 24, 2011. The Editor, Groundviews. 21st Year Commemoration Dear Sir, At the last general meeting of the Batticaloa Peace Committee our talks led us to the conviction that we should speak out. We commemorated then the grouping of tragic events in our vicinity 21 years ago that proclaimed the […]

The ‘Grease Devil’ Phenomena in Sri Lanka: A Brief Collation of Reports

A ‘snapshot’ visualized version of the ‘Grease Devil’ phenomena that emerged in Sri Lanka from the 7th of July 2011 to the 29th of August 2011. Incidents concern; sightings of Grease Devils, community reactions, conflicts and security force reactions. This is an ‘evolving document’ to which all are welcome to add, suggest and discuss. Sunday […]

Ground report: Widespread public perception of military links to ‘grease devils’?

Image released by Police Headquaters which was saved allegedly in the phone of a 16 year-old who was arrested for a number of robberies in the Uva Province. As we post this article, there is a tense situation in Kinniya, spilling over from yesterday on the issue of ‘grease devils’. A Daily Mirror SMS update […]

Google map on flood-affected areas in Sri Lanka – February 2011

View Flood-affected regions in February 2011 – Sri Lanka in a larger map The map above identifies the main flood-affected regions, sites where relief and rescue operations have been conducted and specific DS divisions where IDP camps have been setup. Please click on the link below the map to view it on a larger screen. You […]

Rebirth

Photos courtesy Batticaloa Facebook Page I haven’t been reading the news much lately. I heard about the floods in the East and North Central Province and thought abstractly to myself, ‘how awful’. I watched the downpour in Colombo itself and complained about the shivering cold of that one day during which temperatures fell to 18 […]

Brief Notes on Mental Health & Psychosocial Support after 2011 Batticaloa Floods

Dr. T. Gadambanathan & Ananda Galappatti The following is a brief response to queries we have received about what considerations should be made during the recovery phase of the flood disaster with regards the possible mental health and psychosocial impacts on affected people.  As individuals and families return to their communities and homes from temporary […]