Monthly Archives: April 2013

Urgent Need for Visible Rights Reform

Despite disturbing video footage released by Channel 4 supported by compelling eyewitness accounts that civilians compressed into a tiny area were repeatedly shelled and bombed, Rajapaksa asserted, “No, but we never fired like how they do in bombing Afghanistan. We never did that.” He also denied that hospitals were shelled – which Human Rights Watch reported on in detail — insisting “it was a complete propaganda,” and that he had seen pictures to the contrary. And despite the 2011 report of a United Nations Panel of Experts that found credible allegations of war crimes and said that up to 40,000 civilians were killed in the final months of the war primarily by indiscriminate shelling from government forces, the president declared: “LTTE shot some of them when they tried to escape. Other than that I don’t think any civilians were killed.” So how many? asked interviewer Shekhar Gupta. The president responded: “I would say less than 100.”

Seeding Resistance

What was long dismissed or vilified as ‘extremist ideology’, proved to be not only irrefutably ubiquitous but a rationale response to legitimate grievances. The nation had come together and its voice was clear: resistance in the face of genocide and the Eelam Tamil nation’s right to self determination – the same two threads that formed and remain the basis of the Tamil struggle today.


Vittachi concludes the book with a question. “Have the Sinhalese and the Tamils reached the parting of the ways?” The question was asked in 1958. It was definitively answered, 25 years later, in 1983. Another 26 years later, in 2009, we were reminded of the answer.

55 years after Vittachi first asked the question, who in the Sinhala community is willing to openly ask the question,

Thatcher and Eelam Tamils

Not only Tamil militants and IRA, Thatcher also labeled African National Congress (ANC) under the leadership of Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo as ‘terrorists’. Now, some of her acolytes and sympathizers are attempting to cover up her vitriolic criticism of ANC during the 1980s…

Several British MPs were opposed to Thatcher’s government offering high-speed gunboats to the dictatorial Sri Lankan regime in 1985. But she overruled this opposition, with her conviction of fighting ‘terrorism’.

Gunmen Attack Tamil Newspaper in Northern Sri Lanka

The newspaper owner, who is also an opposition Tamil National Alliance (TNA) legislator, said it was the second strike on the publication this month and added the assailants had to be from “either the government or para-militaries.

“Who else can carry firearms freely in Jaffna?” he asked.

Sri Lanka lifted emergency rule in 2011 after the military crushed Tamil separatists two years earlier following a decades-long ethnic civil war in the island nation of 20 million people.

But troops are still deployed in Jaffna, 400 kilometres (250 miles) north of Colombo, and other parts of the country to support the police…

Uthayan’s owner said five of his employees had died in attacks on the paper in the last eight years.

Shed Obsession with 13th Amendment

by Meera Srinivasan, ‘The Hindu,’ April 12, 2013 The obsession with the 13th amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution will hardly help the Tamils, politicians and activists in northern Srilanka told the Indian parliamentary delegation, which wound up its visit to Sri Lanka on Thursday. While members of the Indian delegation were rather reluctant to… Read more »

R2P and Sri Lanka

by Henrietta Briscoe, Tamils Against Genocide, April 2013 for Responsibility to Protect Conference, Faculty of Law, Ljubljana, Slovenia, April 11 – 12, 2013 R2P Poster Slovenia Conference TAG April 2013 ————————- Henrietta Briscoe interview in Delhi, March 2013 ————————- Tamil Genocide Framework Highlighted in Slovenia Conference [TamilNet, Thursday, 11 April 2013, 11:14 GMT] The framework… Read more »

The Empty Findings of Sri Lanka’s Military Court of Inquiry

by Yasmin Sooka, ‘,’ Colombo, April 11, 2013 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… Read more »

T.L.B. Bastianpillai (1941-1978)

April 7th marked the 35th anniversary of Bastianpillai’s killing at a jungle in the Mannar area… As one can check again, torture of young Tamil militants by Bastianpillai has been excluded in these descriptions. Those who don’t know the facts may perceive and conclude that Inspector Bastianpillai was an innocent law enforcement officer who was killed when he was doing his duty. Even the fact that he belonged to the CID division has been omitted! Getting information about the notorious CID personnel in Sri Lanka is more difficult than searching for a needle in a haystack.

Broken Paradise

Presenter Lakshmi Holmström MBE is a widely acclaimed translator of Tamil fiction and poetry. A collection of her translations of Cheran’s poetry is to be published this summer, titled ‘In a Time of Burning.’

US Policy Towards and Continuing Engagement with Sri Lanka

The 2012 resolution, passed by a majority of countries on the Human Rights Council, sent a clear message that the international community shared the United States’ concerns regarding the lack of progress on reconciliation and accountability. The 2012 resolution simply asked the government of Sri Lanka to fulfill its own commitments to its people from its Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission report, and to meet its own international obligations.

TNA Leader Urges GoSL to Protect Muslims

Our people are too closely intertwined for one to think that it can survive the fate of the other. …We wish to emphasize that the enforcement of law and order, and ensuring the safety and security of all the people, including the Muslim people, is primarily the responsibility of the State. Recent events have shown that the State has not discharged this responsibility in a manner beyond reproach.

‘Every Time I Write, I Think of My Land’

After the first battle we lost all our possessions, including the photographs. After the battle, I located the photo studio and the owner allowed me to rummage through the rolls and I found the photos of me and my brother. These were also lost in the subsequent battles.

When I began covering the war-torn areas as a journalist, I came across several families like this. That prompted me to write about them.

Novel of Raw Human Longing

Selvadurai’s work reminds me that the contemporary novel doesn’t necessarily have to resort to thrills or high jinks in order to find its usefulness. Here, it unforgettably explores the interplay between individual intention and the tragedy of a nation’s history.

Review of ‘Sri Lanka and the Defeat of the LTTE’

Sri Lanka and the defeat of the LTTE Author : KM de Silva Publisher : Penguin, Rs299 The book looks at the rise and fall of LTTE in the context of South Asia and the India-Sri Lanka relationship, says R Hariharan The story of Velupillai Prabhakaran’s rise from the backwoods of Jaffna to build the Liberation Tigers… Read more »

The China Card

Many among the Eelam Tamils continue to fall for the “China card” claims of Sri Lanka.  These claims serve, however, as a smokescreen for the realpolitik of the region vis-a-vis Sri Lanka.  A critical analysis of this is helpful for Eelam Tamils to develop a more nuanced approach. China is of no help to Sri… Read more »

Find and Prosecute Those Responsible for the Massacre of 17 ACF Aid Workers

“It’s great that the international community got together to pass this resolution, but it’s really not enough because the terms of the resolution are not strong enough and it doesn’t force Sri Lanka to do something concrete,” said Chetcuti.

“What we are calling for is an international, credible investigation into war crimes. Asking Sri Lanka to do its own inquiry is ironic as its own army is accused of being behind some of these human rights violations.”

Review of ‘Total Destruction of the Tigers’

The simmering idea that permeates this book, that ultra-violence is a way, albeit a bloody one, effectively to conquer insurgency, is therefore predicated on a false idea that the Tamil issue is now resolved.

TNA Statement on Attack on ‘Uthayan’

These attacks on the democratic expression of Tamils in the North and East are clearly carried out with the active support, sanction and collusion of the Sri Lankan government. They are a vain and counterproductive attempt to suppress and persecute Tamils for their political aspirations..

We reiterate that to prevent a non-recurrence of the past, Sri Lanka must embark on a meaningful process of reconciliation based on ensuring truth, justice and reparations for victims of violent crimes committed by all parties..

MGR Remembered – Part 7

by Sachi Sri Kantha, April 1, 2013 Part 6 MGR biographies in English An evaluation As of now, the completed six parts in this series amounts to over 18,000 words. It is my view that MGR’s pre-hero phase during the first 30 years of his life has not been covered in such detail, for lack… Read more »