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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 […]

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 […]