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Don’t mix up war crimes investigations with political issues in Sri Lanka

Presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka, in an interview published on 13 December, asserted that he had information that persons coming forward to surrender with white flags raised were shot dead, in cold blood, by the army, pursuant to a premeditated decision by government leaders. This is the then army commander speaking, so it warrants the utmost […]

Is post-war Sri Lanka at grave risk of a “Fat Tail” failure?

Eurasia Group, a leading global political risk research and consulting firm earlier this year listed ten countries that may fall risk to “Fat Tail”.  To those of you not familiar with the word, Fat Tail is described as “ A highly volatile political development. Risks include the fall of regimes, military coups, political gridlock and […]

Sarath Fonseka – A potential De Gaulle or Chavez?

Sarath Fonseka’s dramatic exposure of Gotabhaya Rajapkse’s role at the final stages of the war marks a new turn in the presidential election. From now on the extremist layers among the Sinhala majority will decisively rally round the Mahinda-regime while those layers that do not approve the war’s barbaric conclusion while supporting the LTTE’s military […]

Tamil politics in Sri Lanka: Time to stop being suicidal

“For their part, Tamil leaders have not yet made anticipated conciliatory gestures that might ease government concerns and foster a genuine dialogue”- Sri Lanka: Re-charting US Strategy after the War, US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Dec 7, 2009 It was Prof Robert Pape who put it on the record: the Tamil Tigers fielded many […]

Youth activists on human rights in Sri Lanka

To commemorate Human Rights Day 2009 (falling on 10 December) Groundviews interviewed a number of leading activists in Sri Lanka to find out their perspectives on current challenges facing human rights in post-war Sri Lanka. In general, activists featured were asked to comment on the Sri Lankan State’s protection of human rights, the nexus between […]

The Travelling Circus on video: Looking at war and IDPs through theatre

Obligingly recorded by Young Asia Television at the request of Groundviews, we are pleased to present a full-length video recording of a technical rehearsal / run-through of The Travelling Circus, produced by Mind Adventures, directed by Tracy Holsinger and recently staged in Colombo. An in-depth review of the production is published on Groundviews here. Total playing time […]

The Battle of the ‘Commons’ and (De) militarizing the Sri Lankan Society – Part 2

Continued from The Battle of the ‘Commons’ and (De) militarizing the Sri Lankan Society – Part 1 Militarization is a product and integral part of the neoliberal economy.  The contribution of well meaning liberal constitutionalists and peace activists to demilitarization is limited because they ignore (even legitimate) how militarism is intertwined with the acquisition of […]

The rights of the disabled in Sri Lanka: Marginal or mainstream?

As part of our video series for human rights day 2009 (falling on 10 December), Groundviews interviewed Sunethra Bandaranaike, Chairperson of the Sunera Foundation. With the interrogation of human rights in Sri Lanka often solely focussing on violations of political rights, Groundviews sought to focus attention on disability and the rights of the disabled in […]

100 days in hard labour and counting: The plight of J.S. Tissainayagam

Today is Human Rights Day, which honours the UN’s adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on 10 December 1948, the first global enunciation of human rights. Today is also the one hundredth day Tamil journalist J.S. Tissanaiyagam will spend imprisoned doing hard labour. He has already spent over six hundred days […]

The Battle of the ‘Commons’ and (De) militarizing the Sri Lankan Society – Part 1

“Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin “Common candidate” Gen. Fonseka and “common man” Mahinda Rajapaksha must both face, in the upcoming Presidential elections, the problems caused by Sri Lanka’s long and ongoing process of militarization and the increasing politicization of “national […]

Presidential Election 2010: The choice before pluralist democrats

Q: Why did you fall out with Rajapaksa? A: Five days after we won the war, at a meeting of the (president’s) Security Council, he said he’d stop recruiting new people in the army because it’s too strong and too big, that Sri Lanka would become like Myanmar. Such statements demoralized me. I thought they […]

The Dynamics of the “War Heroes’ Battle”

Undoubtedly, Comrade Wickramabahu will attract a politically mature vote-base around him – particularly those who are disgusted with the Mahinda-regime’s fascistic rule the way it’s been treating the Tamil civilians. This minority consists of convinced opponents of the government, and they’ll be happy to vote for Wickramabahu whose politics appear to be closest to their […]