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LLRC roadmap: An ‘action plan’ to suit the US, not us!

Photo credit: Daily FT The government announced (26 July, 2012) it has drawn up a comprehensive “National Action Plan to Implement the Recommendations of the LLRC” and has released same to the public domain. This comes after the Geneva Resolution and the discussions the Rajapaksa government had thereafter with the US administration. Immediately after the […]

Interview with Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga: Governance and politics today, future plans and prospects

On 25th July, Groundviews met with former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga in Colombo to get her views on Sri Lanka’s present state of governance, plus a range of other issues, including – as is often today hinted at – the chances of re-entering active politics. This is the first in-depth interview she has given any media […]

Negating that which negates us: In support of democratic dialogue

Photo courtesy Sri Lanka Guardian Hundreds are embarking on a perilous journey across the seas just so they can leave the country. Asylum seekers, refugees: words relegated to the times of combat and conflict, have resurfaced, even though these are peaceful times. It might actually be fair to say that these words never resurfaced; instead, they […]

SRI LANKA & TAMIL SELF-DETERMINATION

The announcement that elections to the Northern Provincial Council will be held in September 2013 has raised eyebrows in some quarters and generated criticism in certain others. As one who unfashionably – and riskily—advocated the holding of that election soon after the decisive military victory of 2009, I find myself paradoxically in agreement with the […]

Handling disasters: The man-made disaster of July 1983 (Part 2)

Photograph by Chandragupta Amarasinghe, courtesy Thuppahi’s Blog [Editors note: Continued from Part 1, which you can read here. The author was at the time of the 1983 anti-Tamil pogrom Secretary to the Prime Minister and Commissioner-General of Essential Services  from July 1983 to April 1984.] Prioritization of Needs Taking stock An early activity of the CGES management team was […]

Troubled Waters: Corruption and Human Trafficking in Post-war Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy Herald Sun Introduction Australia has recently been dealing with an upsurge of asylum seekers who have traveled by boat from elsewhere in Asia. The Jakarta Globe notes that, “While most boats originate in Indonesia, there has been a recent spike in attempted crossings from Sri Lanka.” In addition, over 250 Sri Lankans have […]

Growing concern over human smuggling and trafficking in Sri Lanka: Interview with ILO

On 2nd July, the Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI) organised a panel discussion on preventing human smuggling and trafficking. The event was as much a forum to discuss the incredible increase in, despite ridiculous government denials, boats with asylum seekers from Sri Lanka heading to Australia as it was a panel that sought to address […]

Stand Athwart Censorship in Sri Lanka

In Tom Stoppard’s superlative play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Ros shouts “Fire!” and when questioned by Guil, Ros reassuringly responds, “It’s all right – I’m demonstrating the misuse of free speech. To prove that it exists.” After surveying the audience with “contempt”, Ros says, “Not a move. They should all burn to death in […]

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, […]