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The end of war: Framed reflections by Deshan Tennekoon

[Editors note: Deshan Tennekoon is one of Sri Lanka's best, young photographers. We are ardent fans, and requested Deshan to send photos that amongst the hundreds taken by him, resonated most with the end of war and the enduring challenges for peace in Sri Lanka.] December 01, 2006. A response to the failed attempt by […]

I REMEMBER: 19 May 2010

As we come together to commemorate the anniversary of the end of Sri Lanka’s long and bloody civil war, these are some of the things I remember: I remember hearing reports in late January 2009 of UN workers and their families being shelled by government forces in the Vanni while hiding in bunkers and under […]

Film premiere: The Truth That Wasn’t There

I am always wary of write-ups by filmmakers of their films. Labours of love often elicit painful diatribes. The messy, malleable margins of Sri Lanka has long been an issue that many would-be filmmakers have wrestled with yet fail to come to grips. Any attempt to filter its society and polity into a coherent hour […]

19th may, 2010

killinochchi town getting ready… may 2010 19th may. you have nothing to say? i can only falteringly mouth, nothing of …. nothing begets nothing, a king says, and launches a war against garrulous daughters and sulking ones; and i think of an other daughter, too too loud or too soft, of other wars and other […]

One Year On After the Guns Fell Silent at Vellamullivaikkal: Is There Foresight to Settle the Political Score?

In advising political leaders the Italian historian and political advisor Machiavelli (1469-1527) offered the   following words which have a relevance to the current predicament of the Sinhala political leadership after the war victory. “But  when states are acquired  in a province differing in language, in customs, and in institutions, then difficulties  arise; and to hold […]

THE WAR AND MY TIMES

Fidel quotes a Cuban saying that a man is marked more by his times than his family. My times were shaped by armed conflict: wars, insurrections and counter-insurgency; successive wars in the North and East of the island, two insurrections in the South, against a backdrop of Vietnam, the Middle East, Angola, and Central America. […]

Editorial: One year after the end of war

One year after the war ended, when Groundviews invited contributors to contest and complement our understanding that peace is not just the absence of war, or the defeat of the LTTE, we did not expect the response we received. Over the next week, we will publish close to 80,000 words and content from over forty […]

Jaffna and the East today: Harsh ground realities, opportunities and challenges after war

Shanthi Sachithananthan, the Chairperson of Viluthu, has been featured several times on Groundviews in the past, including an interview two months ago looking at significant developments in Sri Lanka after the demise of the LTTE and her views on the July 1983 pogrom against Tamils. In this recent interview, Shanthi, who recently campaigned for political […]

A clueless regime’s parade for glory with a bumpkin polity

While a victory parade with military highlights is on to commemorate the war victory, that provides occasion for this regime to revel on its own pride in defeating the LTTE, what is the most important need of the 19 million people, right now ? In a more direct way, does the Sri Lankan polity know […]

On Commission and Omission

Editor’s note: An edited version of this article appeared in the Daily Mirror today. A section of the last sentence of the article had been omitted. The original article appears below. The first anniversary of the end of the war approaches and we are into a celebratory heroes’ week.  Whilst the regime will not fail […]

Who Guards the Guards? – The Need to Move Swiftly on Removing the ER/PTA from the Sri Lankan Constitution

A year after the defeat of the LTTE the Sri Lankan government announced that it will be relaxing some of the Emergency Regulations (ER) that have been in place during the conflict. This is a welcome move by the government. However, there are signals from the government that the ER and the Prevention of Terrorism […]

After the Elections: Demilitarize Development for Sustainable Peace

“Counter-terrorism is terrorism’s best ally.” –Joseba Zulaika in “Terrorism: The Self-Fulfilling Prophesy” (2009) On April 12, 2010 the majority of citizens of the island’s two main linguistic communities celebrated the “Sinhala and Tamil New Year” and the categorical end of war and terrorism with considerable optimism, despite lack of a clear political solution to the […]

Jaffna after the war: Observations by a visitor

Large crowds rush to Jaffna every day. Some of them have never been there before. The 30 years war is over and thanks to president Rajapakse, (General Fonseka is already forgotten), they are now at last free to visit those territories the Tigers once claimed as theirs. They are eager to visit the many places […]