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 […]
â€œWe 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 […]
We are reading about war crimes and ethnic cleansing on an unimaginable scale. I wonder when these artillery shells will stop raining upon our people and whether there will be justice for the victims.
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 […]
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 […]
Exclusive video footage taken by Vikalpa YouTube Channel team on the handing over of weapons by the TMVP in Batticaloa on 7th March 2009, including footage from the press conference. A related story on Vikalpa in Sinhala can be read here.
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 […]
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 […]
The IDPs from Trincomalee District are scattered, in the Ampara District. There are few from the Mannar District too. Some are willing to return to their original places, some do not. These families prefer to live here. Some have bought small pieces of lands. These families need to be assisted to construct permanent houses here. […]
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 […]
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 […]
Â Image courtesy MannarÂ DioceseÂ website Â The sacred shrine of Madhu is being violated. What right has the LTTE to encroach on the Pilgrim Reservation Area gazetted under the Pilgrimage Ordinance in 1982? The LTTE has violated International Conventions relating to War in entering the Church or its environs and converting it to Â a battle zone. […]
This video clip contains a brief interview with A.L Thavam â€“ 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 […]
By K. Ratnam It is as if the city of Batticaloa has become a red hot furnace due to the scorching sun. Yet at high noon there is a pall of gloom that hangs over the city. People who have come to attend to their requirements are wandering about hither and thither in a mighty […]
There is much hype by the government spokesmen about how they held an election in the East for local authorities and restored democracy. Now the government is holding a Provincial Council election. They argue that however imperfect the democracy it is a step in the right direction. But how valid is this viewpoint. The basic […]