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Co-operatives: A better option to channel relief to war victims in Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy  Sampath Wijenayake It is no secret that many members of the Tamil diaspora are actively involved in helping the victims of the war in Sri Lanka in some way or the other.  There are those who send assistance direct to known or identified victims. There are others who respond to calls from various organisations […]

Whose Arms Will Embrace You? The United States and the Beijing Consensus

China’s President Hu Jintao shakes hands with Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Sanya, Hainan province, April 10, 2008. Image by Reuters, courtesy Transcurrents. The United States is increasingly playing a game of subtle communication in the international arena. I suspect we had a passing glimpse of this at the 19th Session of the Human Rights […]

Restoring Government in Sri Lanka

Image courtesy Transcurrents If Sri Lanka is fast becoming a pariah state in the eyes of the world, it has nothing to do with the recent UNHRC Resolution. The writing has long been on the wall. As a nation, we are ruled by a group of men who seem to have nothing but contempt for […]

Latest victims of a heinous trend: Abduction of political activists Premakumar Gunaratnam and Dimuthu Attygalle

Political activists and leaders of the People’s Struggle Movement in Sri Lanka, Mr. Premakumar Gunaratnam[1] and Ms. Dimithu Attygalle[2] disappeared on 6th April 2012.  Prior to their disappearance both activists had been preparing for the first convention of the Frontline Socialist Party, a party formed by a dissident group from the opposition party, Janatha Vimukthi […]

Menik Farm after the cyclone: The continuing misery of IDPs

After a punishingly hot day, the skies seemed to provide some relief to the residents of Chettikulam as they opened to release heavy showers during the early evening of Saturday, March 31st. However, what was welcomed as a break from the unending heat by those ensconced in sturdy houses simultaneously proved to be a torment […]

The rape of a 13 year old and paramilitary presence in Jaffna

March 3, 2012 marked a very dark ebb in our society as it saw the horrific rape and murder of little Jesudasan Lakshini (13), allegedly at the hands of former EPDP cadre, Kanthasami Jegatheswaran (alias Kiruba) (31), from the Delft Island, Jaffna. Currently being held in remand at the Jaffna Remand Prison, the accused was […]

Fishing in Turbulent Waters

Introduction Newly initiated development projects in the Northern and Eastern Provinces in post-war Sri Lanka are expected to open new avenues towards ethnic reconciliation, as proclaimed not only by government media but also by the mainstream development scholarship. However, this popular perception about opening up new avenues for reconciliation through development seems to foreclose certain […]

In conversation with Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu: The resolution in Geneva and its discontents

Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu is the Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, the institutional anchor of Groundviews. He is today one of three human rights defenders senior government ministers consider traitors and would like to, as in ancient times, kill, and, inter alia, break the limbs of. Though Sri Lanka’s foreign minister distanced himself […]

Defending the Country

They cry foul in that cauldron of a news room, saying these human rights defenders are traitors, publishing their names and photographs, inciting fears of death squads preparing to drive white vans to their residences. The warning by the UN Human Rights Commissioner to protect witnesses is welcome, quixotic. How will her office stop disappearances […]

Geneva 2012: The signs missed, lessons unlearnt

Photo courtesy JDS Let’s learn the right lessons from the Geneva outcome, not the wrong ones. It is not the case that a small country such as Sri Lanka cannot fight a diplomatic battle with the mighty USA and win.  Minutes after the Sri Lanka vote at the HRC this time, the Cubans moved a […]


  The passage of the United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution on Sri Lanka raises a fundamental question: what next? When the dust settles and tempers calm, all parties concerned will be faced with the actuality that things have changed quite dramatically. This piece attempts to identify the challenges and opportunities presented by the passage […]

After the UNHRC Resolution Vote: Don’t Hold Your Breath for Truth, Justice or Reconciliation

Photo courtesy JDS/Guy Calaf, Agence France-Presse​ By the time this article is published, the votes on the hotly-contested UN Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka will have been cast and counted.  I am writing this as the debate over the resolutions is taking place in Geneva, and I find myself wondering if the outcome […]

Counter-productive propaganda and human rights in Sri Lanka

As the three Sri Lankan human rights defenders who have come most under attack by the state media in Sri Lanka in the past week, because of our active involvement with the on-going session of the UN Human rights Council in Geneva, we feel compelled to issue this statement of clarification. We do not deny […]

Choosing What to Believe

Photo courtesy of Reuters/Dinuka Liyanawatte [Editors’ note: The article below was sent to us by a regular contributor to the site whose name we have redacted due to security considerations.] With the airing of Channel 4’s new film, Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished, a follow-up to their first one Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields […]

A question Sri Lanka’s leaders keep dodging: Where are the disappeared?

Photo courtesy Avaaz I’d been in Sri Lanka just three weeks when I first heard of someone disappearing. It was May 2009 and I got an anonymous email telling me that Stephen Sunthararaj, a human rights worker from northern Sri Lanka, had been abducted at gunpoint and taken away in a white van in the […]