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Lady in Green

I am travelling from Colombo to the United States. Who doesn’t like a change of pace? There will also be additional passport stamps. While I consider myself a pretty well-stamped man, one cannot be satisfied with past achievements… I absolutely love flying. I am looking forward to the reading and catching up on movies. I’ve […]

Feminism bottom-up: Women’s Support Networks in the North and East

Before, during and after the three decade long conflict, women have played a major role in supporting their families, community support systems, and the economy. This video highlights the stories of women groups that set up successful support networks in the north before the war, through which they addressed various community and livelihood issues, as well […]

Which way forward in post-conflict Sri Lanka? Lessons from the so-called ‘powerless’ women of the North

Image courtesy Sri Lanka Brief Introduction Before the war, we were all together. Now, we are widows with no security, and no one sees what we have to live through. But we go on, try to find some money to get us through the day…we have to eat, no? The cooking and cleaning needs to […]

Do women play a role in Sri Lanka’s ‘reconciliation’?: Gender dynamics in the transition from war to peace

A mother displaying the photographs of her sons who are missing during the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) session in Trincomalee, December, 3-5, 2010. Photo courtesy Centre for Human Rights Introduction In order to understand the ‘role’ of women in such a vital process of social transition, we have to understand the place of women […]

The Domestic Violence Act: Seven Years On

Photo courtesy Beyond Borders blog On 9th August in 2005, the Sri Lankan parliament unanimously passed the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (PDVA). The Act does not create a new offence of ‘domestic violence’ but instead defines domestic violence, firstly, as acts of physical violence, which constitute only those offences already recognized under Chapter XVI […]

International Widows’ Day Celebrations of 2012 in Nedunkerny

A group of war widows in the Nedunkerny region of the Wanni District celebrated the International Widows’ Day on 22nd  June, 2012 at the  conference hall of the Nedunkerny Pradesa Sabai.  This meeting was organized by an NGO in collaboration with the relevant officers of the Divisional Secretary of Nedunkerny who  had arranged for the […]

A cold, hard look at homophobia

I’m a scientist by training and as such, generally avoid public debate, which tends to be dominated by charisma rather than fact. Nevertheless, given the strongly homophobic atmosphere in Sri Lanka two weeks away from what Bill Clinton declared is gay-pride month (my embassy informs me that “Homosexual acts are illegal in Sri Lanka”), I […]

Protecting the Enigmatic Blue Whales of Sri Lanka: In Conversation with Asha de Vos

The largest animal on the planet, the blue whale, is found in Sri Lankan waters. Unusually, the blue whales off our coast do not to migrate to polar waters for feeding – a characteristic of other populations. We do not yet know why. In this interview, we talk about additional qualities that make them unique […]

The rape of a 13 year old and paramilitary presence in Jaffna

March 3, 2012 marked a very dark ebb in our society as it saw the horrific rape and murder of little Jesudasan Lakshini (13), allegedly at the hands of former EPDP cadre, Kanthasami Jegatheswaran (alias Kiruba) (31), from the Delft Island, Jaffna. Currently being held in remand at the Jaffna Remand Prison, the accused was […]

V-Day: Writings to end violence against women and girls

The Sri Lankan government’s denial of things extends well beyond allegations of war crimes. Earlier this year, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the US, Jaliya Wickramasuriya “Rapes, this and that not taking any place in Sri Lanka”. Writing about this daft and peculiar statement, Roel Raymond noted, I don’t understand this. I don’t understand why our […]