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Sambanthan and Vigneswaren reach out to President Rajapakse

Photo courtesy @PresRajapaksa On Monday 7th October, the Tamil National Alliance, the only political party in the country to have comprehensively defeated the UPFA and captured power in the Northern Province, creating the first ever opposition controlled provincial council since the Peoples’ Alliance victory in the Southern Provincial Council in 1993, which also heralded the end […]

Not By Ourselves Alone: A Critique of (Tamil) Self-Determination

Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES via The Star Twenty eight years, four months and some days ago, the LTTE killed more than one hundred and thirty Sinhala civilians in what has become known as the Anuradhapura massacre. I phrase it thus because I wonder whether, a year and a half or so from now, anybody from […]

Is this the beginning of women’s political representation in the Northern Provincial Council?

Photo by Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images The Northern Provincial Council Elections has concluded amidst various challenges. While WAN welcomes the conclusion of these elections the need for the full devolution of powers so as to ensure the rights of historically subordinated communities remains.  The women who contested the elections faced several additional challenges to their male counterparts […]

The political landscape post the provincial polls

Photo by Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images The elections to the North Western, Central and Northern provincial councils are over and the results have been largely as many political analysts predicted. The UPFA won in both the North Western and the Central provinces, while the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) romped home in the North. The political landscape […]

Welcoming the Verdict of the Tamil People

Image courtesy AFP The TNA has swept the polls in the North. More importantly, the Tamil people have voted courageously, convincingly, and clearly. It was an expected outcome, but as President Rajapaksa took off to New York, he would have known that numbers and statistics on paper, more than just mind-made presumptions, can have a […]

THE TNA TSUNAMI: RE-BALANCING THE EQUATION

Image courtesy The Sri Lanka Guardian The TNA victory has shown that Sri Lanka remains a functioning democracy; that it functions when there is competition; and that with or without the 17th amendment and even under the tightest military supervision, the government can be electorally defeated. Having won the war, the Government has lost the […]

30 Years Ago: Audio recordings of panel discussions

Photograph by Tehani Ariyaratne, from 30 Years Ago To complement the launch of 30 Years Ago and focus on some of the issues the project is anchored to and inspired by, four panel discussions were on the 24th and 25th of August at Park Street Mews, Warehouse D in Colombo. The inaugural session featured Deshamanya Bradman Weerakoon and Dr. […]

Assessing Local Governance in the Northern Province

Introduction In April 2013 Home for Human Rights (HHR) undertook a survey in the Northern Province. HHR hoped to accurately capture the opinions that the people have about the performance of their local government bodies and locally elected officials. The survey looked at a range of topics including public services, projects, development and public participation. […]

Northern Provincial Council Elections: A Pre-Election Survey

Image courtesy Sri Lanka Brief Provincial Elections in the Northern Province will be held on the 21st of September 2013 – the first time in 25 years. According to the Department of Elections, 714,488 people are registered to vote. Social Indicator, the survey research unit of the Centre for Policy Alternatives conducted an opinion poll […]

Causes of “Boat Migration” to Australia from Sri Lanka A Rejoinder to Emily Howie

Photo courtesy ABC The “Special Article” on illicit migration to Australia by boats from Sri Lanka by Emily Howie (2013) in the Economic and Political Weekly (August 31) appears to be based largely on lot of conjectures. An article written by an Australian refugee advocate based on 20-30 personal interviews throughout Sri Lanka and citations […]

Why is land a fundamental issue to the Tamils?

Image courtesy DBS Jeyaraj Introduction President Jayewardene did not like the word ‘colonisation’. Instead, he preferred the terms ‘land settlement’. But the Land Settlement Ordinance uses ‘settlement’ to mean a settlement on claims over ‘land’.  Item 18 of the Provincial Councils List of the 13th Amendment, reads as follows: 18. Land, – Land, that is […]