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Longing and Belonging series: The science of planning in Jaffna

The throng of devotees and tourists visiting the Nallur festival had receded and life slowly returned to normal in Jaffna. I stayed behind to see if I could persuade others visiting from abroad to be a part of my Longing and Belonging series. I was especially interested in those that were engaging in a sustained […]

Longing and Belonging series: From London to Jaffna for the first time

The Nallur festival was in full flow. Kavadi drummers played for the crowds of devotees that swelled around Jaffna’s famous temple. Dotted around me were visitors from abroad. It was wonderful to see they were back, tracing lost roots and reconnecting with family and friends. I wanted to meet them and to understand what it […]

Ending the Exile and Back to Roots: Fears, Challenges and Hopes

[Editors note: The author was married to Dr. Rajini Thiranagama (née Rajasingham), a Tamil human rights activist and feminist murdered in 1989 by the LTTE. She was one of the founding members of the University Teachers for Human Rights, Jaffna, which during the war, published some of the most hard hitting critiques and exposes of Government as […]

Addressing Greg Sheridan’s Review of the Tamil Lobby and Australia

Greg Sheridan’s articles on the Tamil lobby in Australia and the workings of the Australian state are something of a breakthrough because the media coverage of the Sri Lankan conflict has been chequered and influenced by the naïve perspectives driven by the liberal ideologies which dominate some sectors of the fourth estate. Sheridan, in contrast, […]

Why The Diaspora Must Return To Sri Lanka

Image from Himal Southasian, Sri Lanka’s alternatives abroad, December 2010 | By Sworup Nhasiju [Editors note: Also read The Disillusionment of the Diaspora and Two years after war’s end in Sri Lanka: What can the Tamil and Sinhala diaspora do? that offer context and counter-points to this article.] In a recent post entitled “How The Diaspora Can Overthrow The […]

The Disillusionment of the Diaspora

[Editors note: Also read Two years after war’s end in Sri Lanka: What can the Tamil and Sinhala diaspora do?] Indi’s post entitled “How Diaspora Can Overthrow The Government” set me off on a train of thought. Thought about the Sri Lankan diaspora, its role in Sri Lanka, both now and in the future. The first […]

Finding the Middle Ground

Just over a week ago, a couple of my colleagues and I appeared on a prominent Canadian talk show discussing our attempts, as both individuals and organizing members of the Young Canadians’ Peace Dialogue on Sri Lanka hosted by the Mosaic Institute, to find a middle ground with respect to the relationship of the Canadian Diaspora […]

Two years after war’s end in Sri Lanka: What can the Tamil and Sinhala diaspora do?

Our review of The Cage by Gordon Weiss elicited an interesting question. Under the monicker Burning_Issue, the comment asked for advice on how best to engage with the Rajapaksa regime, and what the (Tamil) diaspora should do two years after the war ended. The comment is worth reading in full, and the most pertinent section […]

Going beyond mainstream media: The best Twitter feeds on and from Sri Lanka

Just over a year ago, in April 2010, Groundviews launched two curated Twitter lists on Sri Lanka to help those in and outside the country access news, information and critical conversations that went far beyond mainstream media’s economic and partisan shackles. One list featured some of the most compelling bloggers in Sri Lanka. The other, […]

Reflecting on the End of the Sri Lankan Civil War: The Need for a New Conversation in the Global Sri Lankan Community

Although military hostilities in Sri Lanka ended two years ago, the dynamics of the conversation in the global Sri Lankan community continues to be influenced by the nations’ past conflicts. Decades of communal grievances and misunderstandings have seemingly scarred our grandparents’ and parents’ generations to voice visions of a brighter future. Much of the current […]

Around the World in 32 Years: A Mini-Memoir

[Editors note: Emil van der Poorten is a regular columnist in the Sri Lanka media. His short article in the Edmonton Journal (Violence still plagues my Sri Lankan homeland) prompted an invitation to contribute a more fuller account of his life to Groundviews. Emil’s story and his many adventures with politics recounted here with an […]

Moving Tamil Dissent Politics Beyond Anti-LTTEism

To be able to engage in dissent politics one needs enormous courage. Not only in terms of the threats and dangers that come your way as a result of your decision to dissent (I remember Kethesh Loganathan once mentioning that when you dissent you risk bullets from multiple sides unlike when you take sides, when […]

The Tamil Diaspora and the Future of the Tamil Struggle

Today, the 18th of February, finds us three months away from the second anniversary of the “Mullivaikal Massacre”. At this juncture it is important to ask the question: What constructive action can be taken by the Tamil Diaspora to build a better future for the Tamil nation? In Tamil culture, at a funeral, all the […]

Shyam Selvadurai: Literature, identity, politics and the Galle Literary Festival

Shyam Selvadurai was born in 1965. His book Funny Boy introduced gay fiction to mainstream English literature in Sri Lanka, and indeed as Shyam notes, in South Asia. Born to a Sinhalese mother and Tamil father, Shyam was 19 when he left Sri Lanka in 1983 for Canada. Funny Boy was as much about class and […]