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CHOGM 2013: A lie well told

Photo by Lakruwan Wanniarachchi, AFP/Getty Images via FT Photo Diary I imagine that beneath the cordial smiles and exchange of pleasantries there is much weeping and gnashing of teeth taking place at Temple Trees these days. The façade that was CHOGM 2013 seems to have crumbled, at least in the eyes of the world, although certainly […]

An economy that unites, reconciliation that divides in Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy Vikalpa There are some issues that divide Sri Lankans and there are some issues that unite Sri Lankans. While the cost of living, unemployment and education bring the opinions of the four main communities together, topics such as reconciliation and identity continue to divide. On the economy, the cost of living is what […]

Message to Commonwealth leaders: Stand up for Sri Lanka’s media

Photo courtesy Vikalpa Editors note: Earlier this year, I was asked to give a presentation on the post-war media landscape in Sri Lanka at the 20th World Editors Forum in Bangkok, Thailand. When subsequently put online, the presentation was viewed by thousands. Sri Lanka’s media continues to be at risk. As The Economist on 9th […]

Mohammed Irshad’s story and the banality of violence in the Rajapaksa regime

[Editors note: Also read I’m not mad to tie myself to a tree by the author, which appeared in the Ceylon Today newspaper.] Giving up a pensionable government job as a Samurdhi animator, Mohammed Irshad fled Sri Lanka began work as a bakery employee in Saudi Arabia. This is his story. Mohammed Irshad’s name may […]

Commonwealth must honour its own commitments

Photo courtesy Contribute Magazine The choice of Sri Lanka as a venue for CHOGM 2013 has always remained controversial. But now that most member countries have agreed to go ahead and participate in the high-profile summit happening in Colombo, the moment has arrived for the Commonwealth to reassess its commitment towards its own values. ### […]

Diaspora Diaries: Reflections of the filmmaker

[Editors note: Also read the related post ‘Diaspora Diaries’: Exploring Connections and Interactions with Sri Lanka] Kannan Arunasalam is a documentary filmmaker and narrative journalist. He was born in Jaffna, grew up in London, and returned to Sri Lanka in 2005. This year, International Alert commissioned Kannan to make filmed portraits of Sri Lankan diaspora […]

‘Diaspora Diaries’: Exploring Connections and Interactions with Sri Lanka

[Editors note: Also read related post Diaspora Diaries: Reflections of the filmmaker] In recent years, the prevailing image of the Sri Lankan diaspora in the media has been dominated by Tamil community activists’ human rights campaign, calling for investigations into the Sri Lankan Government’s actions in 2009 during the last phases of the 26 year […]

Rajapakse Administration’s choices with the TNA

Photograph courtesy The Independent The Rajapakse Administration’s desire to host the a global event,  the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGAM) suddenly forced the Administration to do something which was anathema to its decision making hard line Sinhala nationalist brain trust, which was to have to heed and take note of international opinion and global […]

Will Logarani Be The Last Victim Of Violence Against Women?

All photographs by the author, or sent it by the author. Around 5pm on 17 October 2013, within the Jaffna municipality, one of our friends (a male youth resident of Jaffna) came to our home (a few friends were gathered there) looking very disturbed. We were surprised to see him again, as he was with […]

A Northern Path to Reconciliation in Sri Lanka

Image courtesy USA Herald Northern People Humble the “People’s Dynasty” I salute the people of the Northern Province for showing the door to the self-proclaimed “People’s Dynasty”; the only province in the country to do so, which is a glimmer of hope for re-establishment of democracy in the country. Although I am not a fan […]

Interview with J.C. Weliamuna: What ails Sri Lanka today, and how to address it

Image courtesy Colombo Telegraph J.C. Weliamuna is a well-known Attorney-at-Law, human rights activist and is this year’s recipient of the Citizens Peace Award. His acceptance speech flagged the degree to which democratic governance had eroded in Sri Lanka, in full view of citizenry, and the importance of protecting civil liberties by speaking out, despite the […]

Not By Ourselves Alone: A Critique of (Tamil) Self-Determination

Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES via The Star Twenty eight years, four months and some days ago, the LTTE killed more than one hundred and thirty Sinhala civilians in what has become known as the Anuradhapura massacre. I phrase it thus because I wonder whether, a year and a half or so from now, anybody from […]

The Al Jazeera interview with Mahinda Rajapaksa: Calling the bluff

The President’s recent and wide-ranging interview on Al Jazeera is interesting on a number of counts (download the episode in HD here). For starters, our President is clearly grossly uninformed or deliberately seeks to misinform. Take for example his assertion, around 8:50 into the interview, that European Union election monitors said the recently held Provincial […]