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Notes on Possibilities after the UN Report: Including Nationalism and ‘The Geopolitics of Emotion’

Photo courtesy Deborah Philip It was my sense after May 18, 2009 when the LTTE was defeated that Sri Lanka was missing an opportunity to redefine itself as part of a kinder, gentler, global community. Instead it heightened nationalist discourse, extended emergency rule, surveillance and militarization, and devised new forms of censorship. Sri Lanka missed […]

Violence and accountability

Cartoon by Albert Ashok As conflict raged, the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights had stern words for those on both sides. “All violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law must be investigated and those responsible for breaches – including deliberate targeting of civilians, indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks, the killing of injured persons […]

War Crimes Accountability In Sri Lanka: Is There A Liberal Democratic Alternative To International Action?

Sri Lanka’s President pictured here with the Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal (L) and his brother Basil Rajapaksa, the Economic Development Minister (R) has repeatedly called the war a “humanitarian rescue operation with a zero civilian casualty policy”. Photo credit: REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte The report of the three-member panel of independent experts, appointed […]

Reconciliation and accountability after the UN Panel’s report: Challenges and opportunities for Sri Lanka and the UN system

Image courtesy Huffington Post Asia Pacific Forum is a pan-Asian radio show broadcast every Monday night from 9-10pm on WBAI 99.5 FM in New York City and live on the web. WBAI is part of the Pacifica Foundation, a national radio network founded in 1946 with additional affiliates in Houston, Los Angeles, Berkeley, and Washington, […]

An elephantine gestation: UN Panel’s report on accountability in Sri Lanka released

Leaked versions of the UN Panel’s report found their way into The Island newspaper, where over the past week, Groundviews has contextualised the content that was published in print. Today, the Hindustan Times published an article based on the full version of the report, based on a leaked version of the full report the paper […]

The cynical manipulation of international law: Murdering civilians in No Fire Zones and other war crimes allegations

The Island newspaper continues to publish leaks from the report produced by the Panel appointed by the UN Secretary General to look into post-war accountability in Sri Lanka. Groundviews has contextualised in detail the Executive Summary and Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the leaks. The Island published today Part 7 which deals with credible allegations of war crimes by […]

The Darusman Report: Reflections on the real challenges ahead for Sri Lanka

In less than two weeks since the Darusman Report (hereinafter referred to as the Report) was handed over to the United Nations Secretary General (hereinafter referred to as UNSG), a large number of articles have been written about the report, its motivations and on its impact on Sri Lanka. Except in several exceptions, the majority […]

UNSG Panel Report on Sri Lanka: Revisiting ‘Accountability’

Original photo from JDS Ensuring ‘accountability’ is important, but doing so is a complex task. Who is to ensure accountability, when, where, how? – are questions which have always aroused serious debate, and will do, in the future. While there may be no ‘independent/internal’ investigations, one need not be starry-eyed about ‘independent/international’ investigations. For example, […]

Petition against UN Panel’s report on accountability: Opposing what exactly?

The report on accountability produced by the panel appointed by the UN Secretary General hasn’t yet officially released it to the public domain. What little is known of its contents comes from leaks published in the mainstream media. Sinhala mainstream media have not translated and published in full the leaked version of the executive summary. […]

Tamil National Alliance statement on the leaked UN report: An irrefutable confirmation of events

We reproduce in full a statement by the Tamil National Alliance that responds to a large excerpt from the report of the UN Panel of Experts looking into allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sri Lanka leaked to and published in The Island newspaper on Saturday. ### We have read the disclosure […]

Sinhala and Tamil New Year in Jaffna, Sri Lanka: Ground realities

Sinhala & Tamil New Year when I was growing up was always a much-awaited annual event in our neighbourhood. We’d have card tournaments and badminton tournaments leading up to the “Big Day,” and when the day actually came, it was always a flurry of activity. People rushing all over the place, kids laughing, games being […]

The stupid modern “Man” and his hushed “conscience”

Over 4 years ago, on a short visit to the US, I was introduced to an Elementary – Teacher in a public school in Brooklyn, at a private party. The adjective for this American was “White” and that distanced him from the Brooklyn majority. What is important here is not that, though. But wait. That […]

The leaked UN war crimes report: Key points and context

The Island newspaper published today sections of what appears to be a large excerpt from the report of the UN Panel of Experts looking into allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sri Lanka. Inner City Press followed up with a report suggesting that the text was authentic, and that the UN deeply […]


Photo credit: Eranga Jayawardena / AP, taken from Christian Science Monitor At a recent seminar at the Acadamie DiplomatiqueInternationale in Paris, a team from the National University of Singapore’s Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS), on a Paris-London visit, presented on ‘Developments in the Arab World and the Impact on Asia: an Asian Perspective’. I attended eagerly, […]

Is it worth the wait for international support after the UN Secretary General’s report?

Photo courtesy Inner City Press Finally, yes finally, one big phase of the game came to a close with just a whimper. Now, its the next phase of the game. On 12 April, just before the South (wouldn’t know how the Hindu Tamils in the North would celebrate new year) gathers into their culturally colourful Sinhala […]