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Writers Under Siege


What beauty in camps? I sit in my favourite chair listening to Beethoven’s last sonata, slient breezes in time. to the music. My world creates a sonata The other shatters all possibility of one. Guarded, malnourished; the beauty of rescue: possible? loudspeakers are silent. Waiting for a pass, a nod, family member to utter their […]


You claimed to liberate hostages, to conduct the largest rescue operation in history. In other countries people robbed of freedoms, rescued, are treated by doctors, then sent home to be greeted usually by feisty and jubilant crowds. They are welcomed as heroes. Here, 100 Tamils share one latrine, women don´t eat so they will not […]


The island belongs to centipede, rat, butterfly, lots of species each with their own habitats, and supervising all arable and fallow land the president king. Minorities may enjoy clean living in freshly cleared forest patches, welfare villages with amenities such as latrines and tents, gated communities. June 28, 2009 Part of the Writers Under Siege […]

Einstein was a Refugee

Refugees are sometimes active have agency they Leave, Flee, Sneak Flow over boundary lines unchecked like rivers they Escape, Hide Cross territories they Flood places like unnatural disasters are associated with Asylum and Sanctuary they are A Problem An Issue Sometimes they have a voice if only passive they become Internally displaced (slightly more dignified) […]

Three poems by Sivamohan Sumathy

[Editors note: These poems respond to Indran Amirthanayagam’s poems here, here and here. They are both part of the Writers Under Siege collection on Groundviews.] 1 i am not a writer i am not a writer nor am i under siege, i do not frequent the commons, nor the poetic corner. 2 i, savage why […]

Dancing In Sympathy (Mullaitivu)

Six boys from Hindu College will enter the scene from Stage Left, an equal number of girls from Muslim Ladies Stage Right. They will shake their bodies, slide and writhe, and be still to rid bones of chains and memories, and invite guests, us, to sway in harmony even if we’re away from jungles which […]

Equal Treatment

Citizens of Killinochchi and Mullaitivu fled before our liberators arrived. They live for the moment in nearby jungle under a canopy punctured by shells. Some moved to a safe zone demarcated by liberators where they have fallen since to errant fire. Others ran into liberators’ arms and live now protected in large barb-wired camps. January […]

Forgetting, Mullaitivu

The town is full of stray dogs, cows, ghosts, buildings pockmarked, unhinged, open to wind and rain. Soldiers patrol on foot. Trucks and tanks rumble through the center. Rebels took all the fittings to jungle cellars, and we wait eagerly to discover how the Supreme Leader makes his bed. Look at Europe today, Germany lost 500 […]