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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 […]

Confusing reportage over comments by the President: Propaganda or fact?

Angry President tells jeering crowd to leave published in the Sunday Times today is a story based on reportage that first appeared on two sites on the web, Lanka Truth and Lanka News Web. The version on Lanka Truth, published on 3 April, attributed contentious comments, outrageously derogatory towards the Tamil community, to the President […]

Parliamentary Elections, April 2010: An opportunity for voters in the North and East

I remember visiting Jaffna in 1997. Local government elections were due. Several leading political figures had been assassinated in the preceding years, some by the LTTE, others by anti-LTTE groups.  In the prevailing climate of fear, the Federal Party had reluctantly submitted nominations for elections for the Jaffna Municipal Council and one or two other […]

Did the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) hand over the North to LTTE?

To one Mr. N. Ethirveerasingam, on a comment he made on an article I wrote (The Commissioner of Elections: A close friend’s critique) and appeared in Groundviews, I responded: “Quite recently I read a paper at an international conference held in Colombo which I wish to summarize having read your comment to understand the political […]

A Reply to Tissa Devendra on Rebuilding Sri Lanka

[Editor’s note: Devanesan Nesiah provides a rejoinder to Tissa Devendra’s vehement response to his article ‘Rebuilding Sri Lanka‘ that was published first on Groundviews and then later in the Island.] The venomous response of Devendra in the Island of 16th March does not merit a reply but I need to set the record straight. As I said […]

The Muslim question and resettlement of Muslim IDPs in post-war Sri Lanka: Two comprehensive interviews

The question of Muslim identity, displacement and forcible evictions during war and their enduring socio-political impact in post-war Sri Lanka is often underplayed in the media and mainstream politics. Muslim IDPs in the East are amongst those who have been in IDP camps the longest, often in conditions no better than Tamils interned in Manik […]

The TNA manifesto and Tamil self-determination in Sri Lanka

Here we go again, or should I say here they come again, or is it here they go again? In an opening scene in the movie 300, based on Frank Miller’s freely rendered comic book version of the battle of Thermopylae in Herodotus’ Histories, Spartan king Leonidas boots an arrogant  emissary of Persian king Xerxes […]

Post-war Sri Lanka: A conversation with Shanthi Sachithananthan

Shanthi Sachithananthan, the Chairperson of Viluthu has been featured on Groundviews during the war. This interview, conducted late 2009 after war’s end, considers significant developments over the course of the year including the demise of the LTTE. Shanthi talks about the need to change the timbre of political interactions between the South and the tamil […]

Rebuilding Sri Lanka

A perceptive and sensitive Sri Lankan has noted; “It is reported that the people of the North, especially in the Jaffna district, have developed a feeling of dissatisfaction, disaffection and contempt towards the people of the South, who post the end of the war are now engaging in pilgrimage and sightseeing related visits to the […]

Interview with Prof. Kumar David

Prof. Kumar David, an electrical engineer by training, regular columnist in traditional print media and a frequent commentator on Groundviews, talks about what’s left of leftist politics in Sri Lanka, the end of war and its impact on Tamil diaspora juxtaposed against th autocratic and essentially one-party rule in Sri Lanka. I also asked him […]

Citizen’s Commission: Expulsion of the Northern Muslims by the LTTE in October 1990

Sri Lanka has been increasingly the scene of much ethnic violence. The Northern Muslims are the victims of the earliest large scale act of ethnic cleansing in our history. Close to 80,000 persons, constituting the entire Muslim population of the five Northern Districts of Jaffna, Mannar, Vavuniya, Mullaithivu and Kilinochchi were summarily expelled from the […]