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Present situation in Jaffna: A video interview in English and Sinhala

A video interview on the present situation in the embattled city of Jaffna in the North of Sri Lanka with Ruki Fernando from the Law and Society Trust. Ruki recently wrote to Groundviews on his experiences from a trip to Jaffna (read Jaffna: Tears, blood and terror). For a Sinhala version of this video, please […]

Is it a crime to be a Tamil in Sri Lanka?

“In the end anti black, anti female, and all forms of discrimination equivalent to the same thing- anti humanism” Shirley Chisholm- American Politician, the first African-American to win a seat in the United States Congress I like to share the daily experience of being a Tamil in Sri Lanka. The Tamils who are living in […]

Identity in Jaffna and Jewish Badge in Germany

Tamil residents in Jaffna are reportedly being forced to carry a special document of identification issued by security forces, in addition to the national identity card provided by the Emigration and Immigration Department. In other words, these Tamils have been ignominiously reduced, in the eyes of government authorities, to the status of non-nationals of their […]

A Romance with Rights

Mario Gomez reflects on the work of Sri Lankan human rights activist Sunila Abeysekera. Ms Abeysekera was recently honoured by Human Rights Watch with the Human Rights Defender Award for 2007. He was speaking at a ‘Celebration off Human Rights Defenders’ to honour both Ms Abeysekera and Rajan Hoole and Kopalasingham Sritharan of the University […]

Jaffna: Tears, blood and terror

Few weeks before I went to Jaffna, Jehan Perera of the National Peace Council had visited Jaffna and captured the powerful testimony of one airline passenger saying “the only thing we can do is cry”. After my own visit to Jaffna, I wonder whether all I, other people in the rest of the country and […]

TMVP Protest In Batticaloa Today

The TMVP is organizing a big protest at the Weber stadium in Batticaloa today. According to the Pillayan-led TMVP, it is against LTTE atrocities in the East and the TNA. The TMVP also wants solutions to problems faced by people being resettled in the East, for example in terms of lack of jobs, all of […]

Sri Lanka – Killing for Peace

Channel 4’s recent programme on Sri Lanka broadcast recently in England. As noted here, … the team making a documentary for Channel 4 was ordered to leave Sri Lanka’s embattled Jaffna peninsula on the orders of the country’s military [even though] reporter Sandra Jordan, camerawoman Siobhan Sinnerton and producer Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai had received permission from […]

Reflections One Year On: The Commission of Inquiry and the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons

Introduction It is more than one year since the appointment of the Commission of Inquiry (CoI). The warrant for the CoI dates to 3 November 2006. The updated TOR for the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP) dates to 12th January 2007. On 13 November the CoI and IIGEP were informed of their mandate […]

The fear of Jaffna

By Shanthi Sachithanandam “Last night was full moon Oh you Sinhala Buddhist For whom breaking even an egg on a full moon day is Adharma How come lives of Tamil people became More trivial than mere eggs? Oh Venerable Monks Walking with shaven heads within yellow robes discoloured, splashed with blood and sprinkled with ash […]

Post Arbour

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour has concluded her visit to Sri Lanka. At the conclusion of her visit she released a press statement, the highlights of which are worth reiterating since they profile the continuing problem of human rights protection in Sri Lanka today. The relevant sections of the statement are: Quoting […]

Louise Arbour and Mahinda Rajapakse

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is finally in the island, due, in no small measure, to the campaign of local civil society and international human rights organisations to get the government to invite her to Sri Lanka. This has happened despite the threat and invective directed against local civil society ranging from the […]

The Government’s farcical international relations

The traditional Sinhala press has failed to report on the unmitigated farce that constituted the President’s recent visit to New York and the United Nations and the dire state of Sri Lanka’s international relations and diplomacy in general. My article brings out some of the salient points. For example, that friends and relatives of the […]