Monthly Archives: May 2014

The War That Wasn’t Live

There was no BBC or CNN inside the war zone, which is perhaps why Sri Lanka is one of the great untold war stories of this century. It is certainly one of the bloodiest…

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s legal advisers are, however, clear that “most civilian casualties in the final phases of the war were caused by government shelling,” which they described as “large scale.” They also accused the Sri Lankan Army of systematically, knowingly, and repeatedly shelling all hospitals in the war zone, depriving civilians of food and life-saving medicine, and attacking all safe zones it had declared for civilians…

Another reason that the world failed to take closer notice of the Sri Lankan civil war was Colombo’s successful rebranding of its decades-long ethnic-territorial conflict as part of the global “war on terror.” That meant the world signed off on the destruction of the rebels, wrongly assuming that without the troublesome Tigers there would be an equitable peace in Sri Lanka. The terror label made it easy to discredit all Tamils as Tamil Tigers, blurring the boundary between combatants and civilians. Scottish, Bangladeshi, Italian, and Australian eyewitnesses were denounced as “White Tigers” far too sympathetic to the “terrorists.” U.N. employees were intimidated, threatened, expelled, and spied on, with the result that the organization failed to speak up about war crimes its own staff had witnessed firsthand and failed to publicize the significant casualty numbers they had collected.

The Future Of The Tamils

Thank you for the opportunity to address the Tamil Writers Guild on the 10th Anniversary of its founding by Mr CJT Thamotheram. I have been asked to talk on the ‘Future of the Tamils’. I am conscious of the weight of the topic. And of the impossibility of doing it justice in the time available…. Read more »

The Search for a Political Solution Five Years after the War

  “The sovereignty of Sri Lanka is very much intact. And we want it to remain intact. We are Sri Lankans… And we don’t want Sri Lanka’s sovereignty to be impacted upon.” R. Sampanthan (Leader of the TNA), Al-Jazeera, 26 March 2014 Sri Lanka’s post-war politics has come to be defined by her inability to… Read more »

US Commission on International Religious Freedom 2014 Report

Sri Lanka report at USCIRF is increasingly concerned about the religious freedom situation in Sri Lanka.  In the last year there have been numerous attacks against religious minority communities, including Muslims, Hindus and Christians, by extremist Buddhist monks and laity affiliated with Sinhalese Buddhist nationalist groups such as Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) and Sinhala Ravaya…. Read more »

The Plight of Presidential Pet Macaws

by Sachi Sri Kantha, May 4, 2014 Last month, South American Macaws kept by President Mahinda Rajapaksa made news, due to their surprising escape from high security territory. I have received exclusive details about the current plight of these macaws, from my source ‘Colombo Crow’. For four days (from April 16th to 20th), this news… Read more »

Freedom of the Press 2014 Sri Lanka’s press labeled ‘not free.’ “Sri Lanka’s score also slipped by another 2 points, from 74 to 76, marking a dramatic decline of 20 points over the last decade. Increased harassment of both local and foreign journalists trying to cover protests and sensitive news stories, as well as attacks on printing and distribution… Read more »

Asian Buddhism’s Growing Fundamentalist Streak

* In Sri Lanka, where about 70 percent of the population is Theravada Buddhist, a group of monks formed the Bodu Bala Sena or the Buddhist Power Force in 2012 to “protect” the country’s Buddhist culture. The force, nicknamed BBS, carried out at least 241 attacks against Muslims and 61 attacks against Christians in 2013, according to the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress.

Sri Lanka to be Investigated for War Crimes

If seeing is believing, then what brought Sri Lanka to international attention was the Britain’s Channel 4 expose of war crimes. From that time onwards Sri Lanka has been back-peddling on the war crimes charges. Then the international community took an interest and it ended up in the UNHRC, which decided the case against Sri… Read more »

100 Most Influential – Muruganantham

Arunachalam Muruganantham TIME’s 100 Most Influential People : The entrepreneur who is an unlikely health crusader TED talks: How I Started a Sanitary Napkin Revolution BBC News Magazine: The Indian sanitary pad revolutionary

MGR Remembered – Part 17

by Sachi Sri Kantha, April 29, 2014 Part 16 As I had mentioned at the ending of the previous part, to celebrate the memory of MGR, Kannadasan Pathippagam (publishers) had released MGR’s autobiography on January 17th of this year – to coincide with MGR’s 97th birthday. Thus, it is opportune to offer a review of… Read more »

Sea Change

By IAN MORRIS APRIL 17, 2014 This is the latest in a series of insightful books, like “The Revenge of Geography” and “The Coming Anarchy,” in which Robert D. Kaplan, the chief geopolitical analyst at the global intelligence company Stratfor, tries to explain how geography determines destiny — and what we should be doing about it. “Asia’s… Read more »