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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 […]

WHOSE MOVE IS IT ANYWAY?

  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 […]

India’s Volte-Face: Winners and Losers

  India’s hasty decision to support the United States of America led Resolution on Sri Lanka came as a big surprise. While a few rumours flagged the possibility of an India “for” vote a couple of days before the actual announcement by the Prime Minister, they were largely ignored. The prevailing orthodoxy was that India […]

Sri Lanka and the UNHRC: Implications for India and for Human Rights

Image courtesy India Ink blog by New York Times/Rajanish Kakade, Associated Press As the 19th session of the Human Rights Council progresses, the discourse on Sri Lanka with reference to Human Rights is reaching its annual climax. It is annual in the sense that it has been reaching the said level of climax each year […]

What is the bigger lie? US resolution in Geneva or number of people in Vanni in 2009?

Image from Wikimedia Commons “One of the rankest untruths in the public domain today is that the US resolution is innocuous and unobjectionable…” said Amb. Dayan Jayatilleka in his article THE BIG LIE ABOUT THE US RESOLUTION on 16th March 2012. It would be pertinent to question whether a bigger untruth in the public domain since 2009 […]

A Realistic Look at the Draft Resolution by the US on Sri Lanka at the UN HRC

Placard in Sinhala reads ‘Barack, you’re a burden for us’. Photo courtesy Priyantha Wickremarachchi/Ceylon Today The US recently tabled a draft resolution against Sri Lanka is so incredibly weak that President Mahinda Rajapaksa must be breathing a sigh of relief. It is no wonder that the US feels confident that it has the votes in […]

THE BIG LIE ABOUT THE US RESOLUTION

Image from The Nation It is almost a crime to lie to the people and mislead them on a matter of vital national interest. When it is committed by politicians it is an act of unconscionable opportunism. When it is perpetrated by so-called intellectuals belonging to civil society, it is a counterfeiting of the currency […]