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Land and the National Question in Sri Lanka

Image courtesy Sainthan Sivanesan on 500px I am thankful to the Norwegian Tamil Study Forum for inviting me to address this Workshop and am looking forward to listening to the main speakers. In this brief intervention I wish to make some general comments and raise a few issues, which I believe are pertinent to the purpose […]

Gotabhaya Rajapaksha: Too Drunk with Power to Exercise it?

Still image captured from BBC video interview. Excerpt from first conversation FJ: Mr. Rajapaksa are you threatening me? GR: Yes! I am threatening you! Write every single word I have told you if you want – you write a bloody f…..g word and we will see… FJ: Mr. Rajapaksa I called you as a journalist to […]

How Credible are the Latest Official Claims Concerning Troop Reductions in Jaffna?

Image courtesy Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone The extent of military presence in the North of Sri Lanka has understandably been the focus of much attention. This week’s edition of the Economic and Political Weekly carries an interesting commentary on the topic, which suggests that there is 1 military personnel for approximately every 5 civilians […]

Letter to President regarding religious extremism in Sri Lanka

Along with printed and bound copies of the over 1,400 comments in Tamil, Sinhala and English generated by Not In Our Name (coming to over 300 pages), the following letter was penned and delivered to the Presidential Secretariat  late last week, with copies to relevant Government Departments and the Mahanayaka of the Rangiri Dambulu Chapter, […]

EQUALITY, UNITY, AUTONOMY, DEMOCRACY

[Editors note: This article was originally published without the final two paragraphs due to an oversight by me in copying and pasting the text from the original Word document to WordPress post haste. The error is deeply regretted. Sanjana Hattotuwa] “Ideas are great to the degree that they are feasible…Windbags with grand schemes are incapable […]

Handling disasters: The man-made disaster of July 1983 (Part 1)

Photograph by Chandragupta Amarasinghe, courtesy Thuppahi’s Blog [Editors note: Part 2 of this essay can be read here.] Looking back at the July 1983 disaster, almost 30 years later, it would be natural to query how key policy issues now critical in the discourse on disaster management, like good governance and Human Rights, affected the […]

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 […]

A new spate of web censorship in Sri Lanka?

Reports online suggest that Dialog Axiata and Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), inter alia, are blocking access to a number of Tamil language websites reporting on Sri Lanka. In the morning we were asked whether we could access tamilwin.com. Is @groundviews able to access tamilwin.com? Generally 1st to publish news,pics&video from North. — Niran Anketell (@nirananketell) […]

INCREMENTAL SECESSIONISM: WHY DEVOLUTION MUSTN’T BE OPEN-ENDED

Picture from Colombo Telegraph While everything is debatable, not everything is negotiable. Some things, a few things, simply must not be negotiable. The territorial unity and integrity of the Sri Lankan state, Sri Lanka as a single indivisible country, must never be up for negotiation. Whoever we negotiate with and whatever we negotiate on, must know […]

Messing in the maze: A response to Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

Photo courtesy Reuters As my friend Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka is probably aware, I rarely miss his articles. Sometimes I have been mildly shaken by his radical writing, but never quaked as I did having read – “Moving out of the maze” It made me to believe that I had probably misunderstood him as an academic […]

International Widows’ Day Celebrations of 2012 in Nedunkerny

A group of war widows in the Nedunkerny region of the Wanni District celebrated the International Widows’ Day on 22nd  June, 2012 at the  conference hall of the Nedunkerny Pradesa Sabai.  This meeting was organized by an NGO in collaboration with the relevant officers of the Divisional Secretary of Nedunkerny who  had arranged for the […]

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 […]

The political meaning of the retreat in London

Image courtesy ITV News “It was under these circumstances that Rajapaksa agreed to forego his own limousine and travel to Marlborough House at Pall Mall in an unmarked vehicle belonging to the Metropolitan Police . The President and First Lady entered Marlborough House premises in a Range Rover bearing the number plate VX 12 CYY. […]

Sons of One Religion

Thirty years of civil war may have resulted in an awkward reconciliation process on racial fronts, but one thing it hasn’t diminished is our overlapping plethora of religious practices. We are born into, and primarily practice one particular religion or philosophy but one cannot discount the number of Buddhists at the Kali kovil in Modara […]