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Post War Sri Lanka: Thoughts of University Students

Last May Sri Lanka ended its long drawn war, fought for over three decades with the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE). This month Sri Lanka is commemorating the first year after war. This piece reflects the ideas of a cross section of students from the University of Sri Jayawardanapura on how they perceive post […]

Articulating the Concerns of Ethnic Minorities in Relation to Constitutional Proposals

It may be useful to begin by going back over 80 years to the time when , in the mid – nineteen twenties, S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, newly returned from Oxford University, vigorously promoted Federalism in Public lectures as well as in a  series of newspaper articles. Curiously, the reported responses to his lecture in July 1926 […]

FROM VICTORY TO NORMALISATION IN SRI LANKA

No war is fought sans atrocity. It destroys everything. Even when a war is fought with the best adherence to internationally accepted laws of warfare; it still breeds hatred, enmity and many a horrific sentiment that violates human decency. This may be why Union General of the American Civil War, William T. Sherman, said “I […]

Was I wrong to oppose the war?

I used to think non-violence would win in the end. Even with a murderous megalomaniac for an opponent (I mean Prabhakaran, not Mahinda), I believed the offer of an open hand would prevail over the closed fist. Three bloody Eelam wars, each fought with more combatants and fiercer weaponry than the last, was proof to […]

We Regret To Inform You That Your Condolences Cannot Be Accepted At This Time

We regret to inform you that your condolences cannot be accepted at this time. At present, both our pain and our hope defy that word, which has been offered and denied us, which we need and do not need, and which in any case we cannot accept, because they (your condolences) will not reach from […]

Madness

Colombo, Nov 2: A mentally challenged man, who jumped into the Indian ocean to escape arrest, drowned after being badly beaten up by Sri Lankan police in the water in front of a large crowd, police said. (news item) wonder was horror-edged and pity was guilt-edged flotsam on our conscience as we watched the boy […]

The end of war: Framed reflections by Deshan Tennekoon

[Editors note: Deshan Tennekoon is one of Sri Lanka’s best, young photographers. We are ardent fans, and requested Deshan to send photos that amongst the hundreds taken by him, resonated most with the end of war and the enduring challenges for peace in Sri Lanka.] December 01, 2006. A response to the failed attempt by […]

I REMEMBER: 19 May 2010

As we come together to commemorate the anniversary of the end of Sri Lanka’s long and bloody civil war, these are some of the things I remember: I remember hearing reports in late January 2009 of UN workers and their families being shelled by government forces in the Vanni while hiding in bunkers and under […]

Film premiere: The Truth That Wasn’t There

I am always wary of write-ups by filmmakers of their films. Labours of love often elicit painful diatribes. The messy, malleable margins of Sri Lanka has long been an issue that many would-be filmmakers have wrestled with yet fail to come to grips. Any attempt to filter its society and polity into a coherent hour […]

19th may, 2010

killinochchi town getting ready… may 2010 19th may. you have nothing to say? i can only falteringly mouth, nothing of …. nothing begets nothing, a king says, and launches a war against garrulous daughters and sulking ones; and i think of an other daughter, too too loud or too soft, of other wars and other […]

One Year On After the Guns Fell Silent at Vellamullivaikkal: Is There Foresight to Settle the Political Score?

In advising political leaders the Italian historian and political advisor Machiavelli (1469-1527) offered the   following words which have a relevance to the current predicament of the Sinhala political leadership after the war victory. “But  when states are acquired  in a province differing in language, in customs, and in institutions, then difficulties  arise; and to hold […]

THE WAR AND MY TIMES

Fidel quotes a Cuban saying that a man is marked more by his times than his family. My times were shaped by armed conflict: wars, insurrections and counter-insurgency; successive wars in the North and East of the island, two insurrections in the South, against a backdrop of Vietnam, the Middle East, Angola, and Central America. […]

Editorial: One year after the end of war

One year after the war ended, when Groundviews invited contributors to contest and complement our understanding that peace is not just the absence of war, or the defeat of the LTTE, we did not expect the response we received. Over the next week, we will publish close to 80,000 words and content from over forty […]