Posts Categorized: First Person

One-eyed ex-Tiger Rebel Sees a Future through Social Work

  by ‘Daily Mirror,’ Colombo, August 9, 2017 Memories of the gruesome ethnic conflict would never fade away. While two ethnicities fought for their own freedom, there were those who viewed the conflict with much vengeance and some who supported it. But the stories of those who supported it are seldom heard of. This is… Read more »

How to Achieve a Ceasefire

by Daniel Spector, ‘Simon-Evertt.com,’ July 22, 2016 For nearly two years, Simon Everett has been designing and coordinating area studies courses at the Department of State for diplomats who are heading to their next assignments overseas. We’re fortunate to have an exceptional cadre of regional experts leading those courses. They have lived and traveled all… Read more »

Why Facebook Won’t Help Heal War Torn Sri Lanka’s Wounds

by Senel Wanniarachchi, ‘The Sunday Leader,’ Colombo, November 6, 2016  Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict, one of the world’s most protracted and destructive conflicts of our time was brought to a bloody, military end in May of 2009. Seven years have passed since, but the communities in the country remain divided along narrow ethno-religious lines. In… Read more »

Oral History: ‘Through the Generations’

by Race on the Agenda, London, 2012 In January 2012, Race on the Agenda (ROTA) was awarded a grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund to collect oral histories of Sri Lankan Tamils in London. Book available for download at http://tamilgenerations.rota.org.uk/book/

Nothing Can Be Done

V. V. Ganeshananthan interviews Anuk Arudpragasam, ‘LA Review of Books,’ October 6, 2016 IN HIS DEBUT NOVEL, The Story of a Brief Marriage, Anuk Arudpragasam achieves something remarkable: he shows us a consciousness reshaped by the possibility of imminent death. How do we inhabit the body when we think we may be leaving it behind?… Read more »

What Have You Done with My Husband?

By Ananthi Sasitharan as told to and with additional reporting by Melissa Petro | Comic by Danielle Chenette, ‘Narratively,’ August 12, 2016 As Sri Lanka’s bitter civil war ground to a bloody end, many rebel leaders disappeared, never to be seen again. Seven years later, one wife wants answers. In October 2015, the United Nations… Read more »

Ex-LTTE ‘Doctor’ Reveals Horrifying Last Two Days in Mulliwaikkal

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan, ‘Ceylon Today,’ May 8, 2016 The 30-year war and the gory events of it ended on 18 May 2009 but they are unforgettable and unforgivable. The Tamils who fled the island, the like-minded civil societies and the human rights activists started documenting each event in phases and tabled them at the… Read more »

My First Night in the USA

by Nagalingam Ethirveerasingam, 1969.  First published in November 2000 in www.tamilnation.org, now at http://tamilnation.co/forum/ethir/index.htm It was past midnight. The plane circled over Los Angeles on a clear summer night. The lighted city sprawled endlessly. It was the first time I had seen Los Angeles. From the air Los Angeles looked like a fairyland. All I knew… Read more »

An Ode to My Village

by N. Ethirveerasingam, August 15, 2000…originally posted in TamilNation at http://tamilnation.co/forum/ethir/ode.htm  Originally written in 1969 for a class at Cornell University. From the mango tree I can see the people going to the St Anthony’s church. In an hour or two I have to be ready with enough mangos to sell for that day. We have… Read more »

The Tiger Lawyer

by Sarah Stodder, ‘Souciant,’ April 12, 2016 When I step out of the rain and into the restaurant, Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran is already waiting for me. Though I’m seven minutes early, I arrive to find the exiled Sri Lankan lawyer, known to his compatriots as Rudra, sitting at a corner table and peacefully watching the deluge outside…. Read more »

Sri Lanka: Why There’s Always a Next Time

Before I know it we’re wheels up at Dulles International Airport and I’m looking forward to visiting the Middle East (airport style) yet again. One day, I will actually travel to Doha or Abu Dhabi or Dubai or Amman and see something besides an airport. Maybe I’ll do that on my 100th visit to a… Read more »

Handmade: Stories of Strength Shared thru Recipes

http://handmade.palmera.org/ Food is their life and a language they are at ease with. So what better way to tell their story than through food? So much more than just a cookbook, HANDMADE tells the stories of 34 women of Sri Lanka, in the time of war, before and after, through food. With beautifully transcribed stories… Read more »

“The Identity of Sri Lanka Must be Redefined”

We need a reconciliation process in the relationship between Tamils and Sinhalese Interview with Professor SJ. Emmanuel, President of the Global Tamil Forum Interviewed by Thomas Kaiser of Zeit-Fragen/Current Concerns ( www.zeit-fragen.ch) newspaper from Switzerland ( October 26, 2015, Zurich, Sri Lanka Guardian) When in 1948, in the context of decolonisation, the British left the… Read more »

Addressing “Blocked Grief” in Jaffna

Six years after the end of the war the population in the North of Sri Lanka remains passive, ensnared in wartime mentality because they haven’t been able to express and deal with their sorrow and trauma. Professors from Jaffna University talk of a young generation incapable of envisioning a better future. While they demonstrated courage… Read more »

Identity & The Island’s Political Order

What Tamils would call ‘The National Question.’ — Ed/

The only debate is which nation that is: Sri Lankan or Sinhalese. I’d say both.

The claim of Tamil nationhood is the flip side, the other way, of the expressing the refusal to accept that on this island the Tamils are a national minority… The Tamil delusion is that on this island they are entitled to the same political status, weight, space and share of power as the Sinhalese who are a vast majority. The Tamils cannot have the same weight and space in the island’s political order…

It is too small and vulnerable to experiment with loose centrifugal forms of state. Sri Lanka needs a strong single state which covers the natural borders of this island.

Postwar Sri Lanka’s Awkward Peace

KILINOCHCHI, Sri Lanka — Two men were riding the train known as the Queen of Jaffna as it rattled through the haunted battlegrounds of Sri Lanka’s civil war. One of them, Nisal Kavinda, a 20-year-old man from the Sinhalese ethnic group, was jubilant. He had wanted to ride this train since 2009, when President Mahinda Rajapaksadeclared… Read more »

Tamil Nadu Government Decides to Release 7 in Rajiv Assassination Case

The Tamil Nadu Government, in a suo motu statement to the State Assembly on Wednesday said it has decided to release the 7 prisoners, now imprisoned to lifetime in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. The decision comes as the Indian Supreme Court on Tuesday decided to commute the death sentence on Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan to… Read more »

Ethirveerasingam on his Hopes for Reconciliation

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/video/2013/sep/21/sri-lanka-reconciliation-video  Sri Lankan Olympian Nagalingam Ethirveerasingam on his hopes for reconciliation — video Diaspora communities can inspire peace in their country of origin, according to US resident Dr Nagalingam Ethirveerasingam, a former Olympian of Tamil heritage who coaches young athletes in Sri Lanka. Though he is sceptical of the government’s reconciliation programme, he says sport… Read more »