Archive | Jaffna RSS feed for this section

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 […]

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 […]

Jaffna and the East today: Harsh ground realities, opportunities and challenges after war

Shanthi Sachithananthan, the Chairperson of Viluthu, has been featured several times on Groundviews in the past, including an interview two months ago looking at significant developments in Sri Lanka after the demise of the LTTE and her views on the July 1983 pogrom against Tamils. In this recent interview, Shanthi, who recently campaigned for political […]

After the Elections: Demilitarize Development for Sustainable Peace

“Counter-terrorism is terrorism’s best ally.” –Joseba Zulaika in “Terrorism: The Self-Fulfilling Prophesy” (2009) On April 12, 2010 the majority of citizens of the island’s two main linguistic communities celebrated the “Sinhala and Tamil New Year” and the categorical end of war and terrorism with considerable optimism, despite lack of a clear political solution to the […]

Jaffna after the war: Observations by a visitor

Large crowds rush to Jaffna every day. Some of them have never been there before. The 30 years war is over and thanks to president Rajapakse, (General Fonseka is already forgotten), they are now at last free to visit those territories the Tigers once claimed as theirs. They are eager to visit the many places […]

War-footing after the aborted peace talks 15 years ago

Yesterday marked the ending of the fourth round of peace talks endorsed by the late Lakshman Kadirgamar, FM, in the Kumaratunga administration on January 08,1995. On the night of April 19, 1995, leader of the LTTE Velupillai Piraparkaran informed President Chandrika Kumaratunga that since the points put forward by the LTTE and agreed upon by […]

“Oya Sinhalade? Demalade?” – Questioning a question in post-war Sri Lanka

“Oya Sinhalade? Demalade?” I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve had that question asked from me over the years. Ironically enough, in these days of ‘peace’ I’ve had it asked of me more and more frequently. Firstly in Colombo and now in Jaffna too. Jaffna – a town where 99% of the […]