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Detailed response to Jeevan Thiagarajah’s ‘Settling conflicts after the war and doing what is right’

When I read Jeevan Thiagarajah’s piece published on Groundviews a few days ago several questions sprung to mind. Why is the article trying so desperately to be apolitical? How can we solve conflicts if we cannot even acknowledge that certain groups, i.e. the government, the LTTE, the paramilitaries, are responsible, in different ways, for the humanitarian […]

Wanted for the Tamils: An Ashroff or a Thondaman

Now that the armed conflict of the LTTE is supposed to be approaching its end, it behoves those concerned with the future of the Tamils in Sri Lanka, to reflect seriously on the options available to redeem their future. In that context, the speech delivered at the seminar organized by NIPU on December 21, 2008, by […]


My essay DILEMMAS (note the plural) was also sent to a circle of friends and has appeared in other outlets, viz., and the Island, 11 February 2009. I thank all those who have provided cyber comments as well as email responses: both sets, as it happens, are quite polarised, with some highly critical and […]

Settling conflicts after the war and doing what is right

Amidst night cricket, world records, 20-20 cricket, and Deyata Kirula in another part of the country a grim battle rages. Caregivers have lost faith in justice and seek to die with those trapped than watch the horror. Some feel we are profiting on their misery. Many are tortured, scarred and traumatized by their experiences. Thousands […]

A response to Michael Robert’s Dilemma at Wars End: Thoughts on Hard Realities

This is a response to Michael Robert’s article published on Groundviews recently titled Dilemma at Wars End: Thoughts on Hard Realities. I am disappointed that a historian of Dr Michael Roberts’ stature and humanitarian sensibility is seduced by the triumphalist rhetoric of the current Sri Lankan government. There are countless examples currently and in the historical […]

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 […]