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“Nothing to call our own…” – The plight of the recently returned, resettled and landless IDPs in Sri Lanka’s North

Photo by author Recently returned to Puthumathalan “As you drive past pile upon pile of corroding vehicles stacked one above the other, past pots, pans, sarees, slippers and plates (that once belonged to the people here), strewn all over the ground, and past the bullet and shrapnel splattered walls of homes ravaged by the war, […]

In conversation with M.A. Sumanthiran, TNA National List MP

M.A.Sumanthiran, is a National List Member of Parliament from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). Groundviews has carried in the past the Minister’s submissions to Parliament against the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, for which he faced the most outrageous heckling and insults within the legislature itself, and from fellow MPs from Government. With this and […]

American Foreign Policy and the HRC Resolution on Sri Lanka

Image courtesy Onlanka News Obama and Human Rights The Obama administration did fight to get a seat on the Human Rights Council (HRC) in 2009; something that George W. Bush probably did not even contemplate. And, as David Bosco has noted, the US has been relatively active at the HRC since that time. Bosco goes […]

Post-war Sri Lanka’s Thought Police: The Rehabilitation of Ex-Combatants and the Denigration of Tamil Identity: Part Two

[Editors note: Read Part 1 of this series Post-war Sri Lanka’s Thought Police: The Rehabilitation of Ex-Combatants and the Denigration of Tamil Identity here] Introduction As mentioned by TSA,[1]the government has prepared a lengthy, heading-less, and inappropriate questionnaire[2] (in poorly written and, at times, incoherent Tamil) which has been used to obtain information about ex-combatants before […]

Post-war Sri Lanka’s Thought Police: The Rehabilitation of Ex-Combatants and the Denigration of Tamil Identity

Image courtesy The Hindu [Editors note: Read Part 2 of this series here, with PDFs of parts A-C of the questionnaire] The defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May of 2009 brought a new dimension to the ethnic conflict that has engulfed Sri Lanka since its independence in 1948.  During the […]

A man, a magistrate and 220 intimates: A reflection of the HIV response in Sri Lanka

Photo by Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters, courtesy Council on Foreign Relations blog 2012: A man dies of AIDS in prison. A magistrate orders all 220 inmates that shared his ward to get tested. 2011: The National HIV/AIDS Policy was passed by parliament. Article 3.6 of the policy states that – “The Government of Sri Lanka promotes voluntary confidential […]

Extended time in police custody: Is it Necessary or permissible?

Image courtesy JDS The decision of the Justice Ministry to amend the law relating to the period of detention of people arrested and to extend it to forty-eight hours instead of the existing twenty-four is alarming and unjustified to say the least. The statement of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka issued through its President […]

Gotabaya Rajapaksa on disappearances in Sri Lanka

Screen grab from BBC video In March after making a feature on enforced disappearances for the BBC, I made a further radio broadcast for our From Our Own Correspondent programme, later expanded for Groundviews, saying that I hoped Sri Lanka’s top leaders would be able to give answers about the fate of recent victims of […]

Surrendering and Disappearing: Where are they now?

“Disappearance is far worse than death, because when a person dies, when I know that, so and so is dead, the story ends and somehow or other we close the chapter. But when a person has disappeared, it is an eternal suffering.”                                                                          (A.Santhipali, before the LLRC at Jaffna on 12th November 2010) In the […]

Discovering the White Van in a Troubled Democracy: An analysis of ongoing “abduction blueprint” in Sri Lanka

The author demonstrating in Colombo against white van abductions. Photo courtesy Vikalpa.  In a country that has achieved so much in literacy, education and social development, is it not indeed unfortunate that “White Van” has frightened the entire nation? Appearance of a white van assures a disappearance of some one.  If you Google or do […]

Latest victims of a heinous trend: Abduction of political activists Premakumar Gunaratnam and Dimuthu Attygalle

Political activists and leaders of the People’s Struggle Movement in Sri Lanka, Mr. Premakumar Gunaratnam[1] and Ms. Dimithu Attygalle[2] disappeared on 6th April 2012.  Prior to their disappearance both activists had been preparing for the first convention of the Frontline Socialist Party, a party formed by a dissident group from the opposition party, Janatha Vimukthi […]

Horrible rise of disappearances in post-war Sri Lanka continues unabated

Image from Transcurrents [Editors note: Also read New wave of abductions and dead bodies in Sri Lanka] Twenty nine disappearances (including an attempted abduction) have been reported in Sri Lankan media between February and March 2012. There have been fifteen in March and fourteen in February. This brings the total number of disappearances reported in […]

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 […]