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The Politics of Diaspora Dissidence: A response to Dayapala Thiranagama

“Rajani… would have found the recent war completely abhorrent.” – UTHR (J), 18th Sept, 2009 I did not expect the Rajani commemoration to be a posthumous Nuremburg Trial for Velupillai Prabhakaran, as Dayapala Thiranagama seems to suggest (Sunday Island Oct 4, 2009, p 15). I did expect a single mention– a moral indictment strong and […]

Rajani commemoration: An absence of actuality

The evening was good but perhaps Rajani deserved a bit better. She always told it like it was, named things by their name, confronted reality frontally. That quintessential spirit of Rajani, her courageous, critical, ‘concreteness’, was by and large absent in the 20th anniversary commemoration held at the BMICH on September 25th. It was only […]

Crossing over to the other side of a unitary state

Part 3 The refurbished metal “Queen of Jaffna” gracefully strode up to the platform in Medawachchiya by 10.30 am – the time I usually start to begin to consider the prospect of crawling out of bed on a regular holiday. But this day was different. I was running without knowing why, being urged by Sachindra […]

Unshed Tears

“These are Elephants, Those are Tamils”1 -words from a friend. Baby Elephants- dearly beloved elders were killed before their tender eyes Baby Elephants-arms, legs, teeth shriveled with the pain of the bullet Baby Elephants- loose wrinkled skin hangs off starving, haunted frames Baby Elephants-left over remnants of humanity scraped up from The scorching earth of […]

Sri Lanka: Vanquished Tiger, Roaring Lion

The stakes of life and death, hope and despair, peace and conflict are now higher than they were when the war was declared “over”. The Tiger was declared dead, and the Lion roars. We watched this nation dance to the drum beat of the victor, sing triumphant songs, parade the glory of the forces, rejoice […]

Unpacking the Truth in Sri Lanka

In recent weeks there has been some talk about a truth and reconciliation commission (TRC) as something that will allow Sri Lanka to come to terms with its troubled past and move forward into the promise of its ‘post-war’ future. I have been informally invited into a few of these conversations because I have worked […]

Some Reflections on North-East Development in Sri Lanka

(The author is formerly of the Ceylon Civil Service and Retired Senior Professional of the Asian Development Bank.) Recent developments, including the statements made by President Rajapakse and his brother Basil Rajapakse, on the need to return North to normalcy after the horrific civil conflict that brought suffering and dislocation to countless number of civilians, […]

What options now for the TNA and Douglas? – An unambiguous message from Jaffna

There is no getting away from it; the scale of abstention in theJaffna Municipal Council (JMC) elections has sent an unambiguous message. The people of Jaffna have rejected the UPFA controlled Sinhala State and its procedures and practices, have rebuffed the war victory, and distanced themselves from the jubilation in the South. The offer of […]

Demographic Assimilation vs Democratic Accommodations: An analysis of Sri Lanka’s first post war election results

The first post war election results generates some serious propositions regarding the future of democracy in Sri Lanka in general, in the North East –once accepted as the traditional Thamil Provinces, in particular. After thirty years of suffering and paying the high cost of an abysmally bloody armed struggle and currently under a virtual (Sinhala) […]

Analysis of how Jaffna voted and why the EPDP feels defeated in Sri Lanka’s first post-war elections

It appears to me that the TNA and TULF might have got more of the Tamil votes than EPDP in Jaffna. Out of 13 seats for the UPFA, 4 have gone to Muslims candidates. 9 are from EPDP. A Northern Displaced Muslim friend of mine says that 3000 votes were cast by the displaced Muslims […]

De-militarizing Democracy and Governance in Sri Lanka: From National Security to Human Security

Sri Lanka was once a ‘model democracy’ with a welfare state and social indicators that were the envy of the developing world. Hence, there was great optimism that life would return to normal, the barriers and check-points come down, tourists and foreign investments flow back, and the economy finally take off in an environment of […]

Responses and clarifications on Sri Lanka: Is the war really over?

[Editors note: This is a detailed response to over 30 comments left on Sri Lanka: Is the war really over? and read over 2,500 times to date.] Though several comments made on my article were not directly related to the topic, I wish to respond to some of the issues that have been raised. The lop-sided […]

The cataract of errors

It is a much analysed fact that the Tamils of Sri Lanka under the guidance of its leadership have missed many historically defined opportunities, in laying the foundation towards creating a decent future for their political aspirations and self determination. The 50 – 50 representation in Parliament instead of a federal constitution, a claim that […]