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THE SECOND PHASE OF A WAR WITHOUT END

One year after the end of the war there is optimism in the country, particularly amongst sections of the business community. The government has taken the position that rapid economic development can be a panacea to the problems that afflict the country, including the long festering ethnic one.  South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Hongkong, and […]

A Tribute to our Unsung Heroes

The teenage girls singing a Tamil song “Tomorrow is Ours” is interrupted by my wife Samantha and I walking in to the classroom.  They giggled coyly as we looked around at them.   They were being trained to be Girl Guides and did not seem any different to any of the many young people I have […]

The importance of not forgetting

One year ago, the war that had defined our lives for the last 30 years ended.  Brutally, callously and mercilessly fought like most wars are, it ended amidst allegations of immense suffering wrought on the people caught in the middle of the final desperate onslaughts.  Since then according to the official version, Sri Lankans have […]

Sri Lanka after war: Where to now and how?

Great Expectations The greatest challenge facing Sri Lanka is the quest for a just reconciliation to the ethnic issue through a democratic process coupled with a well planned economic strategy which will promote rapid development and equitably shared prosperity. The nation has stagnated in all respects as a consequence of the thirty year old ethnic […]

WILL THE ISLAND OF SRI LANKA WIN PEACE? SOME NOTES ON WAR AND PEACE IN SRI LANKA

INTRODUCTION On May 17, 2009 the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, (LTTE), the major Tamil resistant movement, admitted defeat in the war that was waged without any witness and vowed to silence guns against the Sinhala-Buddhist state. In May 18, Sri Lanka security forces announced that the LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, was killed by “Sri […]

Tamil Diaspora in Post-War Sri Lanka

One year ago today, the Sri Lankan army brutally and decisively ended its military campaign against the LTTE. The once hoped quiet dissolution of the national question through negotiation, devolution, and constitutional amendments were replaced by the unambiguous nature of the bullet, and the ferocity of the bomb. From firecrackers, and dancing on the street, […]

Dungeons are also peaceful: Enduring uncertainties in post-war Lanka

Is the world coming unhinged? In Spain a judge is on trial for a technicality relating to his attempts to go after war crimes committed by Franco’s fascist regime. The Sri Lankan government’s close buddy the Burmese guerilla dictatorship in preparation  for the election, Burmese style, has forced Suu Kyi’s NLD into dissolution. Panama’s ex-dictator […]

Going Beyond the Politics of Devolution: Back to the Future

As the dust settles on victory parades and politician speeches, a sense of déjà vu is difficult to shake.  The new May Heroes’ Day speeches bear uncanny resemblance to what used to be the November Heroes’ Day speeches – another part of the country and a man with a differently styled moustache but we all […]

Beyond the war psyche in Sri Lanka

Dust is finally settling on the euphoria generated by last year’s military defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).  Old concerns naturally give way to the new and a year later, people have different realities to grapple with including how to keep their home fires burning. For President Mahinda Rajapakse and the government […]

Post-War Sri Lanka: Way Forward or More of the Same?

Without peace, there is no development; without development there is no peace, President Rajapaksa has said. Yet, for the overwhelming majority of the population he presides over, life is quite harsh under the growing burden of the militarisation of the economy and society. Despite rhetoric on the devolution of power about 50,000 Tamils are still […]

Re-imagining Sri Lanka post-war

About a month or so after the end of the war in Sri Lanka, R Swaminathan, former Special Secretary of the Government of India commented that there should be no rigidity in implementing measures of reconciliation, reconstruction and rehabilitation in post war Sri Lanka. He further stated that a ‘credibly delivered’ political solution was an […]

Opportunities and challenges facing post-war Sri Lanka

The recent Parliamentary Election has resulted in the United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance, obtaining a resounding victory at the general election. However, the number of seats won has fallen just short of a two-thirds majority which President Rajapakse was hoping for.  This election confirmed the fact that he has continued to maintain the popularity he had […]

GETTING SRI LANKA’S ECONOMY BACK ON TRACK

On the first anniversary of the end of the war, with the presidential and parliamentary elections behind us, now is the time to start thinking seriously about addressing some of the problems dogging the economy of Sri Lanka, including a massive debt and unsustainable budget deficits. Failure to do this will mean falling living standards and […]

Tamil Question and the Global Crisis of Capitalism

One whole year has elapsed since Sri Lanka’s military victory over the Tamil Tiger forces that were fighting for a separate state.  Many had high hopes that the triumphant Mahinda-regime would now magnanimously bring out a political solution to settle the long-running ethnic conflict that has been bugging the Sinhala-dominated state in various forms since […]