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Sri Lanka and the death of Muammar Gaddafi

Muammar Gaddafi was captured alive and killed thereafter. This is a fact that no one contests today. Even the killer himself accepted the responsibility in front of a mobile camera.  Once any individual is captured, in spite of the crimes allegedly committed by the person, whether victim or perpetrator,  due process and the rule of […]

Trail Sri Lanka: Pressure by the International Community may have made a difference?

Photo courtesy Iromi Perera Some argue that International pressure will not change Sri Lanka for the better; however, recent evidence reveals the contrary. D.B.S Jeyaraj in a recent blog post argued that international pressure could not encourage progressive change in Sri Lanka. As he stated, “I don’t want to speculate about the possible turns and […]

The absence of Patriotism, Pluralism and Cosmopolitanism: ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’ in retrospection

ASSOCIATED PRESS PHOTOGRAPHS Former Sri Lankan child soldier Warnakulasuriya Anthony Sunil Rexy (right) laughs with other inmates as they play earlier this month at a government rehabilitation center in Ambepussa. Original in The Washington Times. The TV programme entitled Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields, produced by Channel 4 of the UK, sparked substantial debate and discussion […]

History is Irreversible – A ‘Postmortem’ on the Seminar, “Defeating Terrorism: Sri Lankan Experience”

The three day long seminar titled “Defeating Terrorism: Sri Lankan Experience” conducted by the SL Army and Ministry of Defence was concluded recently. During the event, top level military and civil officers addressed the international delegates and shared their experiences with regard to ‘defeating terrorism”. However, there are many views, opinions, doubts and speculations about […]

India “Punishing Sri Lanka”: Myth or Reality?

Prof. Rohan Gunaratne- international terrorism expert- addressing the business community last week convincingly and openly cautioned that “India might ‘punish’ Sri Lanka”, if Sri Lanka leans elsewhere to India’s detriment. This is a very serious statement, especially if Indians do not intend doing so. To prove his point, he quoted a meeting with the first […]

The Indo- Sri Lanka Joint Communique: Delineating the Parametres of Action in Response to the Panel Report

[Editors' note: An edited version of this article appeared in the Daily Mirror on the 26th of May 2011.] 4. Both sides agreed that the end of armed conflict in Sri Lanka created a historic opportunity to address all outstanding issues in a spirit of understanding and mutual accommodation imbued with political vision to work […]

How will Delhi listen to Jayalalithaa calling Rajapaksa a ‘war criminal’?

“Declare Rajapakse a war criminal: Jayalalithaa tells Centre” was a banner headline on 13 Friday in the “Indian Express”, following AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa’s march to victory, at the Tamil Nadu assembly elections concluded last week. No analyst expected the DMK-Congress alliance in TN to be so unmercifully smothered, at this elections. Never has the DMK […]

War Crimes Accountability In Sri Lanka: Is There A Liberal Democratic Alternative To International Action?

Sri Lanka’s President pictured here with the Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal (L) and his brother Basil Rajapaksa, the Economic Development Minister (R) has repeatedly called the war a “humanitarian rescue operation with a zero civilian casualty policy”. Photo credit: REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte The report of the three-member panel of independent experts, appointed […]

Much ado about nothing: Is Sri Lanka in danger of being held accountable by the International Criminal Court?

Image from Joe Klamar/AFP/GETTY Early last year I set about examining, as a recent graduate, the feasibility of any citizen of Sri Lanka being tried in the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity that were committed in the last phases of the war between the government of Sri Lanka […]

An elephantine gestation: UN Panel’s report on accountability in Sri Lanka released

Leaked versions of the UN Panel’s report found their way into The Island newspaper, where over the past week, Groundviews has contextualised the content that was published in print. Today, the Hindustan Times published an article based on the full version of the report, based on a leaked version of the full report the paper […]

UNSG Panel Report on Sri Lanka: Revisiting ‘Accountability’

Original photo from JDS Ensuring ‘accountability’ is important, but doing so is a complex task. Who is to ensure accountability, when, where, how? – are questions which have always aroused serious debate, and will do, in the future. While there may be no ‘independent/internal’ investigations, one need not be starry-eyed about ‘independent/international’ investigations. For example, […]

The stupid modern “Man” and his hushed “conscience”

Over 4 years ago, on a short visit to the US, I was introduced to an Elementary – Teacher in a public school in Brooklyn, at a private party. The adjective for this American was “White” and that distanced him from the Brooklyn majority. What is important here is not that, though. But wait. That […]

The leaked UN war crimes report: Key points and context

The Island newspaper published today sections of what appears to be a large excerpt from the report of the UN Panel of Experts looking into allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sri Lanka. Inner City Press followed up with a report suggesting that the text was authentic, and that the UN deeply […]


Photo credit: Eranga Jayawardena / AP, taken from Christian Science Monitor At a recent seminar at the Acadamie DiplomatiqueInternationale in Paris, a team from the National University of Singapore’s Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS), on a Paris-London visit, presented on ‘Developments in the Arab World and the Impact on Asia: an Asian Perspective’. I attended eagerly, […]

Sri Lanka’s Libyan Spring

Watching Rupavahini news these days gives way for all sorts of unintended jests. Like when  we see Right Rev. Malcolm Ranjith Pieris exhorting Sri Lankan Catholics to show their solidarity with Buddhist brethren by refraining from consuming meat and liquor during the upcoming Vesak season. Of course the good Cardinal may be putting Jesus’ eternal […]