Archive | Peace and Conflict RSS feed for this section

Open Letter to His Excellency the President of Sri Lanka and the leadership of the LTTE

The undersigned are (a) citizen/s of Sri Lanka who are/is extremely concerned about the current plight of over one hundred thousand civilians trapped between the security forces of the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE. We appreciate the Government’s right and duty to protect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Sri Lanka and its […]


With an uncertain number of Tamil ‘civilians’ trapped within the beleaguered and shrinking LTTE territory, Sri Lankan Tamils in the island as well as across the globe are understandably concerned about the fate of their brethren. Even those who are hostile to the LTTE have responded emotionally to this situation. The issue I raise is […]

Reformist Perspective on Constitutional Change

This is the text of the speech delivered at the seminar organized by NIPU on December 21, 2008. Since the late 1980s, there has been a general consensus that the Second Republican Constitution enacted in 1978 and the state structure set up by it should be replaced by a new constitution based on a new […]

Tamil politics tomorrow: Options, challenges and pitfalls

The armies clash in the night but what of the morning after? The underlying ethno-national question, that of the relationships between the Sinhalese, the Tamils, the Muslims and the state, remains, but it does not remain unaltered.  The war grew out of the nationalities question but it has in turn affected and altered it. Those […]

Let us make the bombers accountable to us!

As I write more than 250,000 civilians are trapped in jungle near Mullaitivu. They have little food, water and medicine. They are being injured and killed. They need help. Please speak to your representatives, write letters to your editors, insist that their plight be reviewed by the UN Security Council. Harming innocents is not a […]

Attacks on the Media, Military Successes and Political Settlement: The Stuff on Our Plates

End of January 2009. The political situation in Sri Lanka has seen considerable developments through 2008 and especially during the month of January 2009. The main focus today is the war against terrorism, also described as a ‘humanitarian’ mission, intended at defeating the LTTE and it military might. On the management of the military forces […]

Remote Controllers a threat to National Security

New meters will monitor ‘patriotic TV watching’ by citizens By Banyan News Reporters Colombo, 15 January 2009: The television remote controller poses a serious threat to the country’s national security, the government has determined. A new law will soon be introduced to register and regulate this electronic item. The ubiquitous gadget helps unpatriotic persons to […]

To Win the War and Lose the Peace: Beyond Sri Lanka’s ‘War on Terror’

It looks like one of the more winnable conflicts in an age of the global ‘war on terror’. The Sri Lankan government appears to be on the brink of announcing victory in its drawn-out battle against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The armed separatist group, listed as one of the world’s most dangerous […]

From the ‘sole representative’ to the ‘sole alternative’: Justice for, and within the Tamil Community

With the position of spokesperson for, and sole representative of the Tamil community set to become vacant upon the projected defeat of the LTTE, one would hope that space would be created for the emergence of democratic, plural and dissenting Tamil voices within the community and the polity at large. However, the vacuum is most […]