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Living with the Other in post-war Sri Lanka

I often have to remind myself that I live with a Tamil. My housemate, Vanessa is a Tamil, married to a Sinhalese and I have been living with her and her husband for almost a year and working with her for over two. She is also one of my closest friends. She is Tamil; I […]

Women are not willing to go back to pre-war status quo

By Kumi Samuel and Chulani Kodikara ‘Women are not just victims of war, as some aspects of their experiences are empowering and can be used as a resource for healing and transformation’. War is a gendered process. Post war is no different.   It may be a cliché to say that in Sri Lanka as elsewhere […]

CHALLENGES TODAY: WEEVILS IN THE MIND

Daya Somasundaram was in Jaffna town in late 1995 when the Sri Lankan army advanced south and eastwards from Palaly. As the LTTE decided upon a strategic withdrawal, they insisted that all the Tamil people should move with them. This enforcement was termed an “Exodus” by some Tamils versed in biblical themes. As Somasundaram relates […]

What is there to celebrate? Rumblings of a Jaffna Tamil

The question that I have been repeatedly asked by people outside Jaffna is whether we Tamils are not happy that the war is over. An immediate follow up question is whether we are not happy that the LTTE is defeated and the prescription that the defeat of the LTTE should not be considered a defeat […]

Post War Sri Lanka: Thoughts of University Students

Last May Sri Lanka ended its long drawn war, fought for over three decades with the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE). This month Sri Lanka is commemorating the first year after war. This piece reflects the ideas of a cross section of students from the University of Sri Jayawardanapura on how they perceive post […]

Articulating the Concerns of Ethnic Minorities in Relation to Constitutional Proposals

It may be useful to begin by going back over 80 years to the time when , in the mid – nineteen twenties, S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, newly returned from Oxford University, vigorously promoted Federalism in Public lectures as well as in a  series of newspaper articles. Curiously, the reported responses to his lecture in July 1926 […]

The end of war and Sri Lanka’s future: Videos from Vikalpa in Sinhala and English

Vikalpa, the sister site of Groundviews with citizen journalism in Sinhala, produced this mini-documentary on Jaffna a year after the war ended. Vikalpa also produced a series of interviews in Tamil, Sinhala and English on the end of war, that will be progressively made available on its YouTube channel, embedded below. Please leave your comments on […]

The untold story of a child

This war has taken the lives of tens of thousands of men, women and children. Hundreds of thousands more are displaced, and the abnormality of the war and post war situation is fast and painfully becoming normalcy to most people, some don’t and didn’t even live to see that. Hundreds of children are being born […]

FROM VICTORY TO NORMALISATION IN SRI LANKA

No war is fought sans atrocity. It destroys everything. Even when a war is fought with the best adherence to internationally accepted laws of warfare; it still breeds hatred, enmity and many a horrific sentiment that violates human decency. This may be why Union General of the American Civil War, William T. Sherman, said “I […]

Was I wrong to oppose the war?

I used to think non-violence would win in the end. Even with a murderous megalomaniac for an opponent (I mean Prabhakaran, not Mahinda), I believed the offer of an open hand would prevail over the closed fist. Three bloody Eelam wars, each fought with more combatants and fiercer weaponry than the last, was proof to […]

We Regret To Inform You That Your Condolences Cannot Be Accepted At This Time

We regret to inform you that your condolences cannot be accepted at this time. At present, both our pain and our hope defy that word, which has been offered and denied us, which we need and do not need, and which in any case we cannot accept, because they (your condolences) will not reach from […]

Madness

Colombo, Nov 2: A mentally challenged man, who jumped into the Indian ocean to escape arrest, drowned after being badly beaten up by Sri Lankan police in the water in front of a large crowd, police said. (news item) wonder was horror-edged and pity was guilt-edged flotsam on our conscience as we watched the boy […]