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Should we prosecute crimes against humanity?

It must be acknowledged that international law, both customary and humanitarian, is undergoing significant changes with regard to crimes committed during armed conflicts.  Thus it is difficult to assert that international legal measures for dealing with crimes against humanity should be assessed primarily in terms of successful prosecutions given that there is a paucity of […]

People in glass houses…

“Where you from” asked the precocious teenager from Jane, a World Bank official I was escorting to a remote hillside community in the middle of Sri Lanka to show a community based micro hydro system. She proudly said, “America”. She and I were both shocked at the response that followed; “Boo Bush Boo Bush!” accompanied […]

Interview with Prof. Kumar David

Prof. Kumar David, an electrical engineer by training, regular columnist in traditional print media and a frequent commentator on Groundviews, talks about what’s left of leftist politics in Sri Lanka, the end of war and its impact on Tamil diaspora juxtaposed against th autocratic and essentially one-party rule in Sri Lanka. I also asked him […]

National referendums and the aspirations of a diaspora: a Saturday morning reflection

A week ago (Saturday 12 December 2009), I came across a news report about a referendum organised by Tamil nationalist activists in France, in order to say yes or no for independent and sovereign Tamil Eelam in the island of Sri Lanka [unquote]. The article, published in Tamilnet, further said that polling was to take […]


[Editors note: This article complements The Rajapakse Regime and the Fourth Estate, also by the same author.] This is a disjointed exercise that does not claim comprehensiveness. That is impossible in a short essay, the more so because I write without ethnographic exposure to the experiential subjectivities of either the Tamil people in Sri Lanka […]

Taking note of the Lisbon Treaty

Czechoslovakian President Vaclav Klaus signed the 2007 EU Lisbon Treaty on the 3rd of November thereby making the Treaty effective as of the 1st of December 2009. The Czech Republic was the last European Union nation (EU is comprised of 27 nations) to ratify the Lisbon treaty. President Klaus, a Eurosceptic, had earlier opposed the […]

Chellaney on Indo-Sri Lanka relations: How not to win friends and influence your neighbours

Intellectuals in India have unfortunately not played positive roles in building good relations with its small neighbors.  For the most part they ignore all neighbors other than Pakistan.  In the few cases they do not, they tend to do active harm.  The recent article in on 9 October 2009 ( by Professor Brahma Chellaney […]


It is worth clarifying here the situation regarding the EU GSP+ facility, given the confusion prevailing in the mainstream media. The EU has NOT threatened trade sanctions against Sri Lanka. The GSP+ facility is an extra privilege granted to developing countries which abide by certain human rights norms. If it is withdrawn, the EU will continue […]

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Policy: Speaking in many tongues and still not making any sense

Is it just me or are you also wondering how many times can the government of Sri Lanka shoot itself in the foot or put the proverbial foot in the mouth when it comes to manageing it’s diplomatic affairs? Since executing the war against the LTTE to it’s logical conclusion a mere 5 months ago, […]

General Fonseka and the interview

Over the last couple of days there has been a significant amount of discussion back and forth about General Fonseka and the Department of Homeland Security interview. However, nobody seems to have asked nor answered the following simple questions; 1. General Sarath Fonseka is said to have been invited to the interview, implying that he […]

Interrogating a public intellectual: Noted bloggers and youth activists engage Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

[Editors note: Beyond Borders, as part of a discussion series aimed at connecting youth activists with key opinion  and decision makers, organised a discussion with Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka on 8 October 2009. Around 25 young people interested in politics participated in the discussion. Well-known bloggers Aachcharya, Negligible Minoritist and SP who were present share some reflections on […]

The post-Prabhakaran government strategy in Sri Lanka and overseas

In the post-Prabhakaran scenario in Sri Lanka there is an immediate need for the GoSL to engage both the Sri Lankan public and the international community in a meaningful manner, or at least to appear to do so. To date this has not happened. The government’s decision-making from all accounts and actions is too centralized. […]

The Rise of an American Empire? An analysis of political, military, economic and ideological variables

‘In the Battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed…Mission Accomplished’ (President Bush, May 1st 2003)’. The above quote refers to former President Bush’s rather premature assertion that the conflict in Iraq had been concluded as of May 1st 2003 after only two months of combat. The reality has turned out to […]