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The empty findings of Sri Lanka’s Military Court of Inquiry

Image courtesy RNW Colombo’s contempt for the international community seems to be increasing. The recent media release on the findings of the Military Court of Inquiry stretch credibility. While I have not had access to the full report and to the evidence presented to the Military Court of Inquiry, I am shocked by the Court […]

Impeachment of Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice and its impact: Poll results

Photo courtesy Euronews From 6 – 21 March 2013, Groundviews ran an online poll to ascertain opinions on the lasting impact of the unprecedented impeachment of Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice. The online poll was hosted on Typeform.com. 177 responses were generated. The questionnaire can be downloaded as a PDF here. The full poll results, for […]

Another US Resolution on Sri Lanka: The Road to Nowhere?

Photo courtesy JDS So it looks like the US will bring another resolution on Sri Lanka at the next session of the UN’s Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva this March. Quite frankly – I am shocked. US foreign policy as it relates to Sri Lanka has been confusing and is replete with complications and […]

Still Counting the Dead: A welcome first step

Still Counting the Dead: Survivors of Sri Lanka’s Hidden War, by Frances Harrison, Portobello Books, 246 pp, £ 14.99 “We used to be a very proud people”1 – Uma, The Teacher I Few years ago, during a very wintery January weekend, at a Copenhagen hotel, I was scrambling to prepare a last minute Power Point presentation […]

The ICG Report on Tamil Politics and the Quest for a Political Solution: The Blind Spot

Image courtesy ICG Facebook page The recently released report “Sri Lanka: Tamil Politics and the Quest for a Political Solution” by the International Crisis Group [ICG] is a timely contribution to the international community’s understanding of current Tamil politics, and reiterates a number of useful recommendations for all parties concerned. Its prescient analysis of the […]

Howling

What shall I do, living in Peru, with this report of systemic failure in U.N. monitoring in Sri Lanka, how bureaucrats drove away from the disaster to come, buried hard- earned stats about civilian deaths and allowed themselves to be brow-beaten, harassed, shouted into silence while 40,000 humans died , mostly from battering shells rained […]

The end of war in Sri Lanka, captured for posterity by Google Earth

When in early 2009, UNOSAT released satellite imagery of what later turned out to be the final weeks of Sri Lanka’s 27-year old war with the LTTE, the images were met with vehement Government condemnation, and counter-analysis by the Ministry of Defence. During this heady, hellish time, the subject of The Cage: The Fight for […]

LLRC roadmap: An ‘action plan’ to suit the US, not us!

Photo credit: Daily FT The government announced (26 July, 2012) it has drawn up a comprehensive “National Action Plan to Implement the Recommendations of the LLRC” and has released same to the public domain. This comes after the Geneva Resolution and the discussions the Rajapaksa government had thereafter with the US administration. Immediately after the […]

Interview with Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga: Governance and politics today, future plans and prospects

On 25th July, Groundviews met with former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga in Colombo to get her views on Sri Lanka’s present state of governance, plus a range of other issues, including – as is often today hinted at – the chances of re-entering active politics. This is the first in-depth interview she has given any media […]

Cluster bombs in Sri Lanka: From denial to discovery

Ravi Nessman from Associated Press has broken what’s perhaps the most important story on the war, since it ended three years ago. In a story published by AP a few hours ago, he notes, The Associated Press obtained a copy Thursday of an email written by a U.N. land mine expert that said unexploded cluster […]

Ask Ass. Sec. Robert Blake a question on Sri Lanka over Twitter

Image courtesy Colombo Page Robert Blake is the Assistant Secretary, South And Central Asian Affairs at the US State Department and former Ambassador to Sri Lanka. The man likes cricket and our own Murali, and given his current portfolio, is a key figure in US-Sri Lanka relations post-war. He is currently taking questions on Twitter […]

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 […]

The Geneva II debacle

Photo courtesy Vikalpa, from protest against US resolution in Colombo, 27 February 2012 The US-sponsored resolution at the UNHRC had to be defeated. It was not. 24 in favour, 15 against, 8 abstained. Hearts are broken, glasses are shattered, the ‘gods’ have ignored our prayers, there is madness surrounding us; 2012, we are now sure, […]

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 […]