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Asylum seekers & refugees in Sri Lanka: rubbish to throw out or persons to take care of?

Photo courtesy The Economist When asylum seekers come to Sri Lanka, I feel proud to be a Sri Lankan. Because they have thought we, Sri Lankans, would show our love, care and concern for them and protect them at the time they needed it most – such as when face death threats and can’t practice […]

Rescuing Patriotism from the Extremists

Photo: Paula Bronstein for The Global Mail It is almost five years since the military victory of May 2009 brought an end to three decades of armed conflict. Yet, the prospects for securing a stable and inclusive peace in Sri Lanka appear bleak. The first victim of “peace” was the APRC. This long and important […]

Medical Administration and Relief within the Vanni Pocket, January to mid-May 2009

Image from author’s blog Beyond Imagination in Service to Humankind: Medical Administration and Relief within the Vanni Pocket, January to mid-May 2009 Amidst the obfuscations and cumulus clouds of propaganda that have subsumed reviews of the last stages of Eelam War IV, it has taken time for some remarkable feats to emerge. The affidavit provided […]

What is an economic migrant?

Photo courtesy ABC The governments of Sri Lanka and Australia have recently reached an agreement over how to define the flow of undocumented migrants between these two countries. Both governments seem to agree on the benefits of using the category of “economic migrant” to refer to the thousands of young people who board small vessels to […]

Causes of “Boat Migration” to Australia from Sri Lanka A Rejoinder to Emily Howie

Photo courtesy ABC The “Special Article” on illicit migration to Australia by boats from Sri Lanka by Emily Howie (2013) in the Economic and Political Weekly (August 31) appears to be based largely on lot of conjectures. An article written by an Australian refugee advocate based on 20-30 personal interviews throughout Sri Lanka and citations […]

Asylum Seekers: the next wave of ‘invaders’?

Image courtesy Zimbio Me: Selvam, its house, not kaus Selvam: kaus Me: No, no Selvam House, say huh, huh Selvam: Huh, Huh Me: Good, now say H-ouse Selvam: Kaus Teaching Selvam (not his real name) even the rudiments of English pronunciation is not easy. He only completed his primary school and is now in his […]

Sons and daughters missing, missed, forgotten: LLRC’s failure in Sri Lanka

Tamil mothers, sisters, wives and daughters have not yet given up their hopes to find their disappeared sons, brothers, husbands and fathers. The tragedy of endless search continues for them. Some Tamil women have more than one tragedy to digest. Vasanthathevi Kathirkamanathan is still searching for her missing daughter. And, her husband has been missing […]

Mullikulam: Restrictions on fishing, cultivation, access to the church and school continue

The continuous appeals and campaigns carried out by the people of Mullikulam, the Bishop of Mannar, Rt. Rev. Dr. Rayappu Joseph and members of the clergy and civil society seems to have finally borne some results, in terms of the resettlement process of the people of Mullikulam. Even though the situation is still far from […]

Travails of the Women in the Vanni

Photo courtesy Amantha Perera / Perambara (Following is a copy of  a presentation made by the author at a side event at the UNHRC in Geneva on 11th March, 2013 organised by the Co-operative Society of Netherlands in collaboration with the International Movement Against Discrimination and Racism)     All of us remember the day the war […]

Grievances of Muslims in the North

“It is not only inhumane to be expected to live under such terrible conditions, but these conditions are also a breeding ground for mosquitoes and the spread of other communicable diseases. If the water is not pumped out manually, it will be at least April by the time all the water left over by the […]

The Significance of Revolving Funds in the Rehabilitation of those Re-settled

Image courtesy World Bank Most  those who have been  resettled or re-located  in the Wanni District of Sri Lanka  after the war  have found that they have to start life from scratch.  The re-settlement allowance of Rs.25,000 paid to each of these families was found to be hardly enough to do anything meaningful to make […]

Ashraf Nagar: The Courageous Struggle of Peasants against the Forcible Land Acquisition in Ampara District

Ashraf Nagar’s inhabitants can trace back their history to 1952 when it consisted of the following small villages – Aalim Nagar, Vilankadu, Kasangkeni, Muthiriyadiwattai, Pallak Kadu, Sinna Pallakkadu, Kattu Vattai, Ali Mudakadu and Aalim Chennai. Ashraf Nagar’s name was changed in the year 2006 to Oluvil first division and even though it consisted of Muslims, […]

“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, […]

Menik Farm: The tragic end of a bitter saga, from detention to forced relocation

“Why can’t the Army go to the jungles instead of taking our lands and sending us to jungles?” “When will we be allowed to re-start cultivation of our lands?” “When can we have access to the sea we were fishing before and will we get back the boats and fishing equipment we left behind in […]