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IDPs: Detainees and Escapees

“Nearly 20,000 escape from IDP centres was the headline of an English language broadsheet yesterday.  The strap line read –“Most believed to be LTTE cadres”.  The article quotes the SSP for Kandy Ranjit Kasturiratna as saying this at a meeting of the Kandy District Coordinating Committee chaired by the Chief Minister of the Central Province […]

Doing the Right Thing: Freedom for Vanni IDPs

[Editors note: An edited copy of this article appears in the Sunday Times of 27th September 2009. This is the full version.] It was a relief to hear that the government was at last responding to mounting domestic and international criticism, and had begun releasing the Vanni IDPs. Perhaps the shocking report in the Sunday […]

First images: The flooding in Menik Camp and the increasingly dire situation for IDPs

These are the first images of the flooding in Menik Camp, where over 260,000 IDPs are interned. Groundviews was first to break the news on Friday that flooding on account of torrential rain was severely affecting thousands of IDPs, particularly in Zones 3 and 4 of Menik Camp. While heavy rain has stopped, intermittent showers are […]

Breaking News: IDPs in Zone 3 and 4 in Menik Camp affected by flooding

Reports received by Groundviews this evening indicate that torrential rains in Vavuniya throughout the day have severely affected IDPs interned in Menik Camp, particularly in Zone 3 and Zone 4. Other unconfirmed reports put the number of those affected by the rains at 15,000 at the time of writing. As early as May this year, […]

Sri Lanka: The best humanitarian crisis business destination

It will not be long before areas in the north and east will be declared Industrial Zones or BOI areas, opening up opportunities for development. But wait; business is already going on there at full swing! The world’s best Humanitarian niche markets are now available in Sri Lanka and people are rushing in to supply […]

Calling a spade a spade: Michael Roberts’ ‘moral relativism’

Dear Sanjana, I am responding to Michael Roberts’ two articles Dilemmas at wars end: Hard realities (article-A)  and  Dilemmas at wars end: Clarifications and counter offensive (article-B) published on Groundviews, and since about half of article-B was devoted to the counter offensive aimed at Lionel Bopage and me, I do hope you will give this […]

Use Of SMS By Govt For Vital Information Dissemination

The growing use of SMS for information dissemination was discussed earlier on Groundviews, and I would like to mention a recent development. At least one government department has been pro active and is now making use of SMS for communication with media. The Media Centre for National Security obtained an application to send out SMS […]

I/NGOs: Mea Culpa… Your Culpa… or Our Culpa?

Shanaka Amarasinghe Nearly three years have passed since the devastation of Boxing Day 2004. Those three years should have sufficed for grief to transform into resolve, for shock to become measured response and for altruism to become tangible benefit. It is impossible to quantify, despite the diverse and often varied reports available, how much has […]

SMS news alerts during emergencies – The experience of JNW and the tsunami warning of 13th September 2007

Chamath Ariyadasa The coverage by the media of yesterday’s earthquake near Indonesia might be of interest to some readers, and as the editor of JNW, Sri Lanka’s first SMS news agency, I thought of penning my personal opinion and raising some issues that could be discussed further. My biggest concern at the moment, as a […]