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‘BE YOUNG AND SHUT UP!’: A COURSE IN CIVIC DISENGAGEMENT

‘Sois Jeune et Tais Toi’ – Be Young and Shut Up, May 1968. Image from  Qwiki.   It is always intriguing to revisit the ideas of Paul Goodman; not exclusively for his writing on sexuality, film and politics, but also for his pertinacious desire to problematise key aspects of American society during the 1950s and 1960s. […]

Killing and State Intervention into a Funeral: A New Form of Suppressing Liberty in Sri Lanka

Crime of “Dissent” & of Murder Killing of Roshen Shanaka Ratnasekara,  a factory worker in the Free Trade Zone (FTZ), Katunayaka gives a signal to the country on how peaceful protesters would be dealt with. Those who are familiar with police accountability will accept that police cannot carry guns and ammunition, without accountability. The records […]

Perspectives and Commentary on the Leadership Training Programme for University Undergraduates

[Author's note: As you are probably aware the leadership training for undergraduates is now well under way in 28 military installations around the country. Although the government has stated that this will be a leadership training program rather than a military training program, it has conceded that the military will be involved in a number of […]

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 […]

The Global Context of Counterterrorism: Strategy, Ethics, and Sustainability in Sri Lanka’s COIN Experience

[Editors note: We were forwarded Dr. Kilcullen's speech by someone present at the on-going "Defeating Terrorism: The Sri Lankan Experience" seminar in Colombo. The person who sent us the email noted that "Australian counter-terrorism expert David Kilcullen speech today at def seminar. It was the best for the day where he insinuated that by giving […]

Finding the Middle Ground

Just over a week ago, a couple of my colleagues and I appeared on a prominent Canadian talk show discussing our attempts, as both individuals and organizing members of the Young Canadians’ Peace Dialogue on Sri Lanka hosted by the Mosaic Institute, to find a middle ground with respect to the relationship of the Canadian Diaspora […]

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 […]

A review of ‘The Cage: The Fight for Sri Lankan & The Last Days of the Tamil Tigers’

I was elated to take delivery of my copy of The Cage by Gordon Weiss yesterday. Having pre-ordered it off Amazon UK, I fully expected it to be held up by Customs officials in Sri Lanka, given the incendiary issues the book is anchored to and its author, an erstwhile employee of the United Nations […]

Reflecting on the End of the Sri Lankan Civil War: The Need for a New Conversation in the Global Sri Lankan Community

Although military hostilities in Sri Lanka ended two years ago, the dynamics of the conversation in the global Sri Lankan community continues to be influenced by the nations’ past conflicts. Decades of communal grievances and misunderstandings have seemingly scarred our grandparents’ and parents’ generations to voice visions of a brighter future. Much of the current […]

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 […]

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, […]

New leaks of UN war crimes report: Shelling civilians, horrifying medical conditions and failure of the UN system in Sri Lanka?

The Island newspaper continues to publish leaks from the report produced by the Panel appointed by the UN Secretary General to look into allegations of war crimes in Sri Lanka. Groundviews flagged key points and placed in context what is widely acknowledged to be the executive summary of the report, published in The Island newspaper […]

Sinhala and Tamil New Year in Jaffna, Sri Lanka: Ground realities

Sinhala & Tamil New Year when I was growing up was always a much-awaited annual event in our neighbourhood. We’d have card tournaments and badminton tournaments leading up to the “Big Day,” and when the day actually came, it was always a flurry of activity. People rushing all over the place, kids laughing, games being […]

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 […]