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Continuing Detention of Tamil Women and a Girl Child under the Prevention of Terrorism Act

Image courtesy Sri Lanka Brief In 2009 the government announced that the LTTE has been wiped out from the country with the end of the armed conflict. However, in the past few weeks there have been a number of arrests, including of women under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) supposedly to investigate and counter […]

Mixed Messages and Bland Oversimplification in President Rajapaksa’s Independence Day Speech

In a significant act of outreach the Independence Day ceremonies were held in Trincomalee, a provincial city with a pronounced ethnic mix; while President Rajapaksa presented one part of his message in Tamil, repeating what he had said earlier (in English?) and then reiterating the same points in Sinhala. In keeping with the occasion and […]

Sri Lanka’s 65th Anniversary of Independence

Photo via NowPublic Greetings Lanka! Today marks the 65th Anniversary of Independence of our country. This year would also mark the fourth year anniversary of ‘defeating terrorism’. But, little has changed, and there is little to celebrate this year. The country is treading a catastrophic path and our future is a disaster waiting to happen. […]

Independence Day 2013

Image via Sri Lanka for 91 Days This Monday President Mahinda Rajapaksa will celebrate Independence Day in Trincomalee, under the theme Prosperous motherland and an affluent tomorrow. For weeks Trincomalee has been getting a facelift. Roads are being widened, buildings painted, and signs hung. A ‘red alert‘ (Editors note: this link to TamilNet article will not work if […]

Update on the struggle to go home in post war Sri Lanka: Manthuvil in the Mullativu district

In relation to the 6 families who were staying at Our Lady of Velankanni church, original article available here. Due to insistence of the families, the Army had agreed to vacate the lands they (Army) had occupied and allow all six families to go back to their own lands. However, around two acres of lands […]

Eastern Province election: The big lie about shared power in Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy AP/Eranga Jayawardena Justice Minister Hakeem was reported to have told during campaigning, he should not be made to look like a man taken hostage. Ministers Rambukwella and Premjayantha, invited TNA to form a “National” alliance for the Council in the East. Senior Minister and Communist Party leader DEW Gunasekera says he wrote to President […]

The struggle to go home in post war Sri Lanka: Manthuvil in the Mullativu district

Last Friday, 14th September, I visited friends from Manthuvil and Puthukudiruppu, both in the Mullativu district who are trying to resettle in their own houses. One friend has a lovely house in four acres of land in Manthuvil, along the Puthukudiruppu – Mullativu road. He and I had both heard from separate sources that the […]

Provincial Council Election: Real-time updates

@mhmhisham is turning out the best updates on Twitter. #PCelectionsLK and #ep2012 are key hashtags aggregating all the tweets on the September 2012 Provincial Council elections. See below for aggregation and real time updates. Tweets about “#PCelectionsLK “ Tweets by @mhmhisham Tweets about “#ep2012″

Muslims and the Eastern Provincial Council Elections in Sri Lanka: Kingmakers or Pawns?

Photo via Colombo Telegraph As the campaigning for the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) election concludes, there are only a few absolute certainties as to the outcome – most notably that there will be no outright winner.  Given the electoral system, the results of recent elections, the demography in the East and the general voting pattern […]

Public Perceptions of the LLRC in Trincomalee

Photo credit JDS President Mahinda Rajapaksha appointed the Lessons learnt and Reconciliation commission in May 2010 and after 18 months of sittings, the commission submitted its report to the President in November 2011. The report is not only about the effects of war but also about the need to depoliticize state institutions and foster good governance. […]

Tamil Civil Society Memo to the TNA regarding the Eastern Provincial Council Elections

Editors note: Also read A Public Memo to Members of Parliament representing the Tamil National Alliance from the Tamil Civil Society, published in December 2011. Tamils have consistently made it clear that a unitary constitution and a provincial council system within the confines of a unitary constitution are incapable of fulfilling their political aspirations. In this […]

Troubled Waters: Corruption and Human Trafficking in Post-war Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy Herald Sun Introduction Australia has recently been dealing with an upsurge of asylum seekers who have traveled by boat from elsewhere in Asia. The Jakarta Globe notes that, “While most boats originate in Indonesia, there has been a recent spike in attempted crossings from Sri Lanka.” In addition, over 250 Sri Lankans have […]

Growing concern over human smuggling and trafficking in Sri Lanka: Interview with ILO

On 2nd July, the Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI) organised a panel discussion on preventing human smuggling and trafficking. The event was as much a forum to discuss the incredible increase in, despite ridiculous government denials, boats with asylum seekers from Sri Lanka heading to Australia as it was a panel that sought to address […]

In Search of Something More than the 13th Amendment

Photo courtesy First Post During his recent visit to Sri Lanka, India’s External Affairs Minister, Mr. SM Krishna reminded that President Mahinda Rajapaksa was committed to a ‘13th Amendment Plus approach.’ This has been an old promise of the Government, one which was so prominently made in 2008-2009 as well. The timing of this promise […]

The Full Implementation of the Thirteenth Amendment: What Can Be Done?

Photo courtesy CNN. AP/Getty Images. There has been in recent weeks a revival of interest in the full implementation of the Thirteenth Amendment, as part of a broader on-going debate triggered by the publication of the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) about future constitutional reforms addressing the need for devolution and […]