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Vanni displaced: when will they be free from clutches of tigers and lions?

Several months ago, the government of Sri Lanka made announcements “inviting” displaced people in Vanni to come to government controlled areas, saying that they would be well taken care of. In the last few weeks, media reports indicated that several hundreds of people had come to government controlled areas. Pictures and statements were made to […]

Misconceptions that prolong our ethnic conflict

There is no doubt that our ethnic conflict is the worst scourge that has bedeviled this nation since Independence. An incisive and objective look at the calamity would reveal that it is being prolonged by misconceptions born of prejudice, parochialism and rivalry. Perhaps the initial mis-concept is the impulsive assumption that the conflict has to […]

Is India reaping a harvest of hatred sown by Indians? We have seen it all before-a Sri Lankan perspective

As I write this, Indian security forces are still fighting terrorists in Mumbai, the financial capital of India and centre of its glamorous film industry. Over a hundred people are dead, gunned down by young men in a crazed Columbine style shooting of unarmed civilians. A previously unknown group called the Deccan Mujahedeen have claimed […]

We do not know what no one can deny: Stephen Champion’s Lanka War Stories

On 4th February 2008, as the government celebrated the 60th anniversary of our independence from Britain, it struck me strongly that we Sri Lankans are going round in circles. For some time it has been obvious that ordinary political science terminology and analysis are insufficient and reason inadequate to the strange and twisted trajectory of […]

The man who refused to be His Master’s Voice

Book review of: Palitha Perera Samaga Sajeeva Lesin (Live with Palitha Perera) Surasa Books, Colombo; 2008 ‘What does Palitha Perera know about culture? He’s just a cricket commentator!’ That’s how a senior banker reacted when veteran broadcaster and journalist Palitha Perera’s name was proposed as script writer and narrator for a TV documentary series on […]

So close and yet so far: From Pooneryn to peace in Sri Lanka

The military have now taken the strategic western town of Pooneryn, thus opening up the A-32 highway that links Mantota and the former along the western flank of the Northern Province. This would enable the linking up (via the causeway that traverses the Jaffna lagoon) of the peninsula with the mainland for the first time […]

Interview with Kumaravadivel Guruparan, a Sri Lankan Youth Activist

Interview with K. Guruparan, a well known Sri Lankan Youth Activist. Guru is a student at the Faculty of Law University of Colombo and the Founder of the Sri Lankan Youth Parliament based at the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies. He is also associated with Beyond Borders and was an Action Partner for the Oxfam […]

Barack Obama: Hope for America, but not for the world?

Photo credit: CurrentTV Barack Obama has run perhaps the best organized and most inspiring of presidential campaigns in US political history. He has risen above sleazy political tactics, challenged stereotypes, eschewed divisiveness, focused on issues that are important to Americans, and maintained his poise and principles in the face of tremendous pressure from his opponents. […]

Interview with Austin Fernando, a Peacetime Secretary of Defence in Sri Lanka

Interview with Austin Fernando, former Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and author of ‘My Belly is White: Reminiscences of a Peacetime Secretary of Defence‘ (reviewed on Groundviews in Sinhala here).  Austin, disarmingly charming and humble, was Defence Secretary when the Prime Minister at the time, Ranil Wickremesinghe, signed the Norwegian-brokered ceasefire agreement (CFA) with […]

Hands off my TV, please!

The Minister of Mass Media and Information, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, in Gazette Extraordinary dated 10th October, reveals the overarching magic that is the Private Television Broadcasting Station Regulations of 2007. Section 13(e), lists outs the conditions under which the license given to a TV broadcasting company can be cancelled. Namely, they are the broadcasting of […]

Ridicule and reality: SCOPP, War and Peace in Sri Lanka

Sunit Bagree, October 2008 Whenever the government and security forces have faced criticism in relation to Sri Lanka’€™s armed conflict, the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP) has always been swift to launch into a forceful defence of the state. When countering specific allegations, SCOPP’™s responses can occasionally be of some merit. More frequently, […]