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Sri Lanka – Killing for Peace

Channel 4’s recent programme on Sri Lanka broadcast recently in England. As noted here, … the team making a documentary for Channel 4 was ordered to leave Sri Lanka’s embattled Jaffna peninsula on the orders of the country’s military [even though] reporter Sandra Jordan, camerawoman Siobhan Sinnerton and producer Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai had received permission from […]

Reflections One Year On: The Commission of Inquiry and the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons

Introduction It is more than one year since the appointment of the Commission of Inquiry (CoI). The warrant for the CoI dates to 3 November 2006. The updated TOR for the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP) dates to 12th January 2007. On 13 November the CoI and IIGEP were informed of their mandate […]

Was the Death of Thamil Chelvam a Feast or a Funeral to the South?

Last week Thamil Chelvam’s death was celebrated in the South by lighting firecrackers. About one and a half decade ago, the SLFP supporters in the South did the same on the tragic death of President Premadasa. Then, the assassins of President Premadasa were from the same stock of the person assassinated now. Yet, the common […]

The Killing of the ‘Always-Smiling Face’ LTTE Political Head and the Anuradhapura Airbase Attack Bring an Already-Futile Peace Process to the Edge of Chaos

By Satheesan Kumaaran The LTTE’s two-pronged attack on the Sri Lankan airbase, located at Saliyapura, in Anuradhapura, which is a north-central province of Sri Lanka, on Monday, October 22, 2007, and the air raid of the Sri Lankan air force on November 02, 2007, which killed six LTTEers, including the their political wing chief, have […]

Views of the Periphery – A presidential candidate with a transitional programme

By Sumanasiri Liyanage Somewhere in 2003 when the issue of interim administration for Northern and Eastern Provinces was raised, some, including myself, argued that the country should adopt an interim or transitional constitution including power-sharing arrangement for the war-ravaged provinces. The idea behind this suggestion was that other important constitutional issues such as all powerful […]

The fear of Jaffna

By Shanthi Sachithanandam “Last night was full moon Oh you Sinhala Buddhist For whom breaking even an egg on a full moon day is Adharma How come lives of Tamil people became More trivial than mere eggs? Oh Venerable Monks Walking with shaven heads within yellow robes discoloured, splashed with blood and sprinkled with ash […]

Post Arbour

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour has concluded her visit to Sri Lanka. At the conclusion of her visit she released a press statement, the highlights of which are worth reiterating since they profile the continuing problem of human rights protection in Sri Lanka today. The relevant sections of the statement are: Quoting […]

Louise Arbour and Mahinda Rajapakse

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is finally in the island, due, in no small measure, to the campaign of local civil society and international human rights organisations to get the government to invite her to Sri Lanka. This has happened despite the threat and invective directed against local civil society ranging from the […]


Much has been said and written about the UNP’s supposed abandonment of federalism during the past week. Much of it completely misses the point. Whatever are the politics and motivations behind the UNP’s statement, in terms of the substantive contours of a possible constitutional settlement it delineates, there is nothing to suggest that the party […]