Monthly Archives: April 2014

National Existence and National Oppression

In Sri Lanka, there is a long political tradition of denying the national existence of Tamils and to delegitimize or criminalize their national mobilization…

The framing of Tamils as being a minority contains their political rights and national consciousness within the unitary state of Sri Lanka…

The Sri Lankan state and its ideologues are relentless in their denial of and efforts to deconstruct the Tamil nation.

The Autumn of a Patriarch

Reading from a prepared script, Mr. Karunanidhi spoke for an hour, discussing at length the state of Sri Lankan Tamils and his dedication to the Tamil language.

These issues, emotive in the past, are now largely symbolic, of little electoral currency in this parliamentary election, and his speech was remarkable mostly for its omissions. Mr. Karunanidhi refrained from addressing the defining themes of this election: widespread disenchantment with corruption and dynastic politics. The audience heard him in respectful silence, but his remarks drew few cheers.

It was unusual to see a veteran politician like Mr. Karunanidhi straying so far from the popular pulse. But it was understandable, too, for the issues of corruption and dynastic politics are ones on which Mr. Karunanidhi and his party have long ceded the moral ground.

Spare the Advice

“The technocratic approach ignores what this book will establish as the real cause of poverty — the unchecked power of the state against poor people without rights,” he writes.

Why Sri Lanka is Severing Ties Between Tamils at Home and Abroad

Colombo’s move to list organizations and individuals in the Tamil diaspora as financiers of terrorism has one motive: to silence Tamil voices both within the government’s jurisdiction and overseas. By doing so, the government hopes to prevent them from contributing to the international inquiry and thereby avoid accountability.

How Strategic is Sri Lanka?

Editor’s note: Parag Khanna is a Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation and author of The Second World (2008), How to Run the World (2011), and Hybrid Reality (2012). The views expressed in this commentary are solely his. (CNN) — Five hundred years ago as the Spanish and Portuguese empires were carving up the Western hemisphere into… Read more »

‘Making It to Semany’

There are very few books written in English so far about what happened in the Tamil areas of Sri Lanka during and after the war years.  We are still waiting for ‘The Thin Red Line,’ ‘Slaughterhouse Five’ or ‘Bridge Over the River Kwai’ to be written about this time. In the meantime, the novels are… Read more »

Where Genocide Is Most Likely To Happen Next

Twenty years after the horrors of the Rwandan genocide, researchers at The University of Sydney have created a model predicting which countries will experience targeted mass violence across the globe. Known as the Atrocity Forecasting Project, the model plugs in more than a dozen “instability variables,” which include statistics on civil wars, regime changes, assassinations, neighboring state conflicts,… Read more »

CPJ: Impunity Index 2014

4 Sri Lanka
Impunity Index Rating: 0.443 unsolved journalist murders per million inhabitants
Last year: Ranked 4th with a rating of 0.431

Deciphering the Enemy List of Gota

I love lists of all kinds. Thus, it is not unusual that I had a treat that The Honorable Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary for the Ministry of Defence in Sri Lanka, under his capacity as the Competent Authority, released his ‘Enemy List’ on March 20th. The description about this particular list appears only in one sentence…. Read more »

Vaiko is a Voice of the Eelam Tamils

by M.K. Eelaventhan, April 6, 2014 Eelam Tamils are in a crisis unprecedented in the history. We need a leader in crisis. In the present critical context, Vaiko alone is equal to the task of raising his voice on behalf of the Eelam Tamils. His voice is the voice of voiceless Tamils at home. Vaiko… Read more »

Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in South Asia

Part IV. Sri Lanka

From Postindependence Ethnic Tensions to Insurgency: Sri Lanka’s Many Missed Opportunities – Chalinda D. Weerasinghe
Sri Lanka: Tackling the LTTE – Kumar Rupesinghe

India Abandons the Tamils

India which voted for the earlier resolutions of the USA against Sri Lanka in the UN Human Rights Council this time kept mum until March 27th, while enacting dramas of hopes for Tamils. To the shock and dismay of all Tamils internationally, the TNA, Human Rights groups including the USA, India somersaulted and abstained from… Read more »

The Pact

what in US campaigns
we know as the Swift Boat

Inducing Fear

That this escalation in militarisation occurred at a time when the international community was scrutinising Sri Lanka is unsurprising. Intended to prevent a repeat of the protests even during the British Prime Minister’s visit to Jaffna, the arrests of prominent campaigners took place as the UN Human Rights Council began, effectively silenced any popular expressions… Read more »

Women Under Siege

CONFLICT PROFILES SRI LANKADespite Sri Lanka’s 26-year civil war being declared over in May 2009, scholars continue to describe the post-conflict state of the country as “fragmented.” With an estimated80,000 to 100,000 citizens killed, according to the United Nations, and an unknown number raped and sexually tortured during the ethnic clashes, whole sectors of Sri Lankan society were left in… Read more »

UN Inquiry Just the Start of a Long Road to Justice

Sri Lankan human rights activists campaigned hard for an independent international commission of inquiry into war crimes during the end of the conflict in 2009. Last month members of the UN Human Rights Council did finally vote to set up an inquiry. To many governments it looks as if the issue of accountability is now… Read more »

SL Campaign: Release of the Detained

Death of “Gobi” should mean release of the detained We are today calling for the release of Jeyakumari Balendran and at least 60 others detained under the prevention of terrorism act in the last month, following the Sri Lankan Army’s announcement that they had killed suspected LTTE revivalist Selvanayagam Kajeepan AKA Gobi. We are suggesting a travel ban… Read more »

Sri Lanka’s Displaced

by Sarah Stodder, ‘The Diplomat,’ April 9, 2014 Sanjeev sits nervously in a scuffed plastic chair, half-listening to the sounds of the road outside the displacement camp where he lives. Seven years have passed since his involvement in the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the militant separatist organization that claimed a homeland for Sri… Read more »

Why India Abstained in the Recent Vital Vote in Geneva?

by Sachi Sri Kantha, April 1, 2014 While on her early morning routine jaunt of street cleaning, my vital source (a Colombo crow) picked up a smudged, print-out copy of a diplomatic cable, casually dumped into a garbage can near the office of the Presidential palace in Colombo.  It appears that the cable had been… Read more »