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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 […]

“Den munta sadda nethuwa inna wenawa Sir. Rata ape!”: News of KP’s arrest on a bus coming home

I settle into my seat for the ride from Kalmunai to Colombo. There is a fifty rupee premium for reserving it. I always want window seats, be it flying or riding along. In my head, I can hear Daniel Powter’s Bad Day, or She Will Be Loved by Maroon 5 being played when the scenery […]

Forcible resettlements in East

“We can’t send them back to a place where there are just jungles.” (President Mahinda Rajapakse, in an interview to the Hindu, 6th July 2009, referring to resettlement of people displaced from the North) Perhaps the President is unaware that even as he cites the above as reason for delays in resettling people displaced from […]

A thought for the IDPs in the camps

It is hard for those who have no access to the camps in the North to form a realistic opinion on the plight of the over 65,000 refugees who are supposed to bestuck in an ‘event horizon’ inside them. While the authorities paint quite a rosy picture of it, their detractors seek to discredit the […]

An exclusive interview with Eastern Province Chief Minister Pillayan after the TMVP’s arms decommissioning

English transcript of an exclusive interview with the Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan (alias Pillayan) conducted by Vikalpa. Have all the powers in the 13th amendment been given to the Provincial Councils? It is not possible to say that. It should have been implemented fully as soon as it was enacted. Unfortunately, the North […]

From the ‘sole representative’ to the ‘sole alternative’: Justice for, and within the Tamil Community

With the position of spokesperson for, and sole representative of the Tamil community set to become vacant upon the projected defeat of the LTTE, one would hope that space would be created for the emergence of democratic, plural and dissenting Tamil voices within the community and the polity at large. However, the vacuum is most […]

Impact of the Batticaloa Conflict and the situation of Muslims

The Kattankudi Jamiyyathul Ulama had requested all the newly elected Muslim members of the Eastern Provincial Council to boycott its inaugural session to highlight the demand of strengthening security of the Muslim community in the east. Ethnic violence has flared in the east between the Tamil and Muslim communities since the EPC polls were conducted […]

Much Ado about Eastern Democracy?

After one cease-fire, two formal peace talks, three wars, we wade deeper into Eelam war IV, and we’re back at square one. Or is it we never left? Over 2000 deaths post-2006. Post-tsunami, over 700,000 refugees upon a decimated Northeast bloated with bone and shades of displacement. Unidentified gunmen, parcel bombs, white vans, lurk in […]

THE EASTERN PROVINCIAL COUNCIL ELECTIONS: A BRIEF POST-MORTEM

As the much hard-sold elections to the Eastern Provincial Council came to an unseemly and acrimonious conclusion last week, it was already becoming abundantly clear that its political and constitutional ramifications may well turn out to be anything other than what the government’s triumphalist claims would have us believe. Perhaps the most disturbing political upshot […]

From Akkaraipattu

This video clip contains a brief interview with A.L Thavam – Chairperson of Akkaraipattu Pradeshiya Saba (local government). It is presented here as is, without analysis or comment. Summary of the interview. Feels that Batticoloa election was successful because of the lack of incidents, and says therefore Government has been successful in liberating the Eastern […]