Monthly Archives: September 2013

Protracted Displacement, Urgent Solutions

by Centre for Policy Alternatives, Colombo, September 10, 2013 Significant changes have taken place in post-war Sri Lanka that have assisted the improvement in the lives of those affected by displacement and over 480,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have been able to return to their homes and communities. However, four years after the war displacement… Read more »

Assessing Local Governance in the Northern Province

While there are a few bright spots, HHR’s survey results have proven that local governance problems in the Northern Province run deep and wide; it appears that most local government bodies are failing to perform their duties.[3]

Amidst scores of charts, graphs and numbers, what comes out most clearly from this survey is the profound lack of public participation.

M Karunanidhi Bats for Referendum in Sri Lanka

M Karunanidhi bats for referendum in Sri Lanka to end woes of Tamils CHENNAI: A referendum under the aegis of the United Nations alone would give a fresh lease of life to “beleaguered” Tamils in Sri Lanka, DMK chief M Karunanidhi said here today. “Tamils all over the world earnestly expect that the UN would come forward for such… Read more »

The Northern Election And Historical Stumbling Blocks

“Why,” the monitor asked the crowd, “wouldn’t you rather vote for the party that gave you new roads and buildings, the party that could continue to develop this region?” The answer from a Tamil resident of the North was succinct. “What is the point of new roads without dignity?”

Establish a Syrian War Crimes Tribunal

Smith: Switch gears, Mr. President. Fight to establish Syrian war crimes court &hold both Assad and the rebels who commit egregious crimes accountable There is a non-lethal way to help ensure that Bashar al-Assad and other perpetrators of atrocities in Syria are held to account not someday far in the future but beginning now. The… Read more »

Why is Land a Fundamental Issue to the Tamils?

Image courtesy DBS Jeyaraj Introduction President Jayewardene did not like the word ‘colonisation’. Instead, he preferred the terms ‘land settlement’. But the Land Settlement Ordinance uses ‘settlement’ to mean a settlement on claims over ‘land’.  Item 18 of the Provincial Councils List of the 13th Amendment, reads as follows: 18. Land, – Land, that is to say,… Read more »

TGTE: UN Rights Chief’s Visit to Sri Lanka

“The visit enabled Ms.Pillay to see militarization of Tamil civilian lives, disappearances &  sexual violence against Tamil women by the army” ‘EIN PressWire’s World News,’ New York, September 7, 2013 **** Highlights of the Statement: 1) Failure of rule of law, reinforce the need for international investigation. 2) Need of the hour is international protection… Read more »

A Visual History of Guerrilla Warfare From 1775 to 2012

The Invisible Armies Insurgency Tracker presents a database of insurgencies from 1775 to 2012. It supplements the comprehensive historical narrative in Invisible Armies: An Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare from Ancient Times to the Present, by CFR Senior Fellow Max Boot. ‘Invisible Armies’ Insurgencies Tracker map & graphic         —————————————  … Read more »

‘Ceylon: A Divided Nation’ by Bertram Hughes Farmer

by Sachi Sri Kantha, Septermber 5, 2013 Farmer front pages Anniversaries are regularly celebrated and remembered for their impact on the society. Last month Americans remembered the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a Dream’ speech. In November this year, another 50th anniversary (the assassination of President John F. Kennedy) will be commemorated…. Read more »

Stop Harassing Victims, Activists

by Human Rights Watch, New York, September 3, 2013 The Sri Lankan government should promptly investigate allegations that security forces harassed people who met with the visiting United Nations human rights chief, Navi Pillay, during her recent trip to the country, Human Rights Watch said today. Pillay, the UN high commissioner for human rights, expressed concerns at… Read more »

Bad History Mars Indian Movie On Rajiv Gandhi’s Assassination

Divyakant Solanki/European Pressphoto AgencyDemonstrators in Mumbai, Maharashtra, demanding a ban on the film “Madras Cafe” on Aug. 22. The movie “Madras Cafe,” which opened in India and elsewhere in the world recently, seeks to chronicle the Sri Lankan civil war through the events leading up to the assassination in 1991 of former Prime Minister Rajiv… Read more »

Elephants Stroll Past Temples on Once-Forbidden Sri Lankan Coast

  With the civil war now ended, the island nation’s east and north have opened up for the first time in a quarter century. St. Martin’s Seminary in Jaffna is shown here. Although Sinhalese Buddhists make up 74 percent of Sri Lanka’s population, Catholics are a significant minority. Photograph: Simon Norfolk/Bloomberg Pursuits “You’re going to… Read more »

TNA 2013 Northern Provincial Council Election Manifesto

The Mandate Given To The Tamil National Alliance  The Tamil People overwhelmingly gave the TNA a mandate at the General Election held in April 2010. The TNA has continued to act in accordance with that political mandate and is now facing the Northern Provincial Council Election as a necessary step in the fulfilment of that… Read more »

Waves of War

by Andreas Wimmer, Cambridge University Press, 2013 Introduction of book at Book review by G. John Ikenberry, ‘Foreign Affairs,’ New York, Sept./Oct. issue Beginning in the nineteenth century, cycles of violent upheaval and world war collapsed empires and dynastic kingdoms, while the nation-state spread to every corner of the globe. This ambitious book provides one… Read more »

Still No Human Rights Accountability in Sri Lanka Amnesty No Accountability Aug 28 2013 Amnesty’s Live Wire blog film on “Sri Lanka’s Authorities Must Tell the Trut” 29th August 2013 Index Number: ASA 37/021/2013 UN Human Rights Council Twenty-Fourth Session 9th-27th September Item 4 Still no human rights accountability in Sri Lanka: still no end to serious human rights violations Sri Lanka… Read more »

UN Official Criticizes Sri Lanka over Human Rights

Video of UNHCHR’s speech, plus Q & A at Text of UNHCHR’s speech at COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — The United Nations human rights chief chastised Sri Lanka’s government on Saturday, saying it is showing signs of becoming more authoritarian despite the end of the country’s long civil war more than four years ago. In a… Read more »

UN May Intercede as Sri Lanka Regime Strong-arms Elections Opponents

As de-militarization was a prerequisite for elections, two resolutions — in 2012 and 2013 — moved by the United States at the UN Human Rights Council included such measures… The need for the military to occupy private land is partly explained by a more fundamental problem: There are “150,000 soldiers encamped in the Northern Province,” claims Premachandran. “That makes it one soldier for every four or five civilians.”

Anna, Annachi, Annathe

by Sachi Sri Kantha, August 21, 2013 Recently I completed reading a wonderful biography on C.N. Annadurai (1909-1969), the founding leader of DMK, by R. Kannan. It’s title was simply ‘Anna’ – appearing palindromic in English. This led me to study the semantics of this endearing Tamil word. This essay is also a sort of… Read more »

Unnecessary Variable

There is a lesson for Tamils in the Syrian “great game”. Until recently Syrian regime was tolerated by the west and the Israel. Assad was seen as a known devil and in the name of stability, confrontation was avoided. If there was no public protests, they may have been content to maintain the status quo.

How did that policy change?