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Swimming against the tide: Australia’s new asylum-seeker package

Photo courtesy Sydney Morning Herald Though launched with much fanfare and media acclaim, Australia’s new raft of proposals embodied in the Houston package to handle the surge in asylum-seekers is simply treading water and will get the country nowhere. The flow of migrants to Western countries by both legal and illegal paths has increased steadily […]

The Kattankudy mosque massacre in Sri Lanka: 22 years after

During my recent visits to Batticaloa I met many elders for my I Am narratives project. Many of them, like Father Harry Miller S.J., talked about the difficult period for Batticaloans during the 1990s. This period was marked by thousands of disappearances, Tamil Tiger attacks on mosques and civilians, and retaliatory violence against ordinary Muslims […]

Small arms and ammunitions imports into Sri Lanka from 1992-2010: A latent hypocrisy?

Google has just released an interesting visualisation of the global small arms and ammunitions trade (works best in Google Chrome). For those with older browsers, a screencast of the visualisation can be viewed as an HD video below. When disaggregated by country, Sri Lanka’s small arms and ammunitions imports since ’92 to 2010 are very […]

Obliteration of Road Painting Commemorating Neelan Tiruchelvam on Kynsey Road (with photos)

Following the assassination of Neelan Tiruchelvam by the LTTE on 29 July 1999, in a spontaneous outpouring of grief and loss, friends and people with whom he worked, including from the institutions he founded, remembered and honoured him by painting peace and floral motifs and the quote ‘Secure the Sanctity of Life’ in Tamil, Sinhala […]

A Critique of Political Fundamentalism in Sri Lanka

The mirror-like symmetries of dogmatic Sinhala and Tamil nationalism are occasionally remarked upon but not often pinned down. It is these interactive symmetries that constitute the amalgam which has hardened into the deadlock in the process of ethno-political reconciliation in post war Sri Lanka. The core issue is that of political autonomy and power-sharing, on […]

Sri Lanka’s LLRC: A timeline from inception to implementation

Groundviews is pleased to present a new web based timeline that traces key events and developments around the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), from its inception to the implementation of its recently released action plan, spanning the next three years. The timeline at launch features over 125 entries, and will be updated regularly. For […]

Undocumented Sri Lankan Migration to Italy: Its Rise and Fall

Photo courtesy Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images More than ten years ago the smuggling of people out of Sri Lanka by boat was thriving. While Australia is currently the preferred destination of these smuggled migrants, Italy was one of the major destinations in the past. While the points of departure of these boats also seem to be different […]

The struggle to go home in post war Sri Lanka: The story of Mullikulam

Photo courtesy National Fisheries Solidarity Movement In 2011, a young Advanced Level student from Mullikulam in the district of Mannar, living as an Internally Displaced Person (IDP) in a camp in Thalvupadu, Mannar, shared with me an assignment she had done about her village and effects of displacement. She proudly described the richness of her […]

Ganesan Nimalaruban: A damning murder, funeral and silence

Photo credit: Vikalpa It is very likely readers of Sinhala mainstream print media have no clue who Ganesan Nimalaruban was, or exactly how he died. A simple Google news or general web search suffices to highlight how poor even English mainstream media coverage has been over the controversy surrounding his death. Vikalpa was present at […]

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 […]

A quotidian response: Letter to President regarding religious extremism

On 4th July 2012, 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), a letter was penned and delivered to the Presidential Secretariat, with copies to relevant Government Departments and the Mahanayaka of the Rangiri Dambulu Chapter, […]

Tamil Civil Society Memo to the TNA regarding the Eastern Provincial Council Elections

Editors note: Also read A Public Memo to Members of Parliament representing the Tamil National Alliance from the Tamil Civil Society, published in December 2011. Tamils have consistently made it clear that a unitary constitution and a provincial council system within the confines of a unitary constitution are incapable of fulfilling their political aspirations. In this […]

Chandrika’s discourse

Former president of Sri Lanka Chandrika Kumaratunga at business centre of Grand Palace Hotel in Srinagar. Kashmir. India. 2008. © Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga calls it “the first serious political interview I have given in six and a half years” referring to the interview she has given Sanjana Hattotuwa, editor of […]