Monthly Archives: June 2014

Sivakumaran’s Cyanide Suicide

The militant group, Tamil New Tigers, made their first attempt to rob the Kopay branch of the state-owned People’s Bank on 4 June 1974. The policemen on guard gave chase and Sivakumaran, the leader, swallowed the cyanide capsule he was wearing. The Tigers wore and wear cyanide capsules so that when in danger of capture they can commit suicide, thus denying the police or security forces of information about their organization. Sivakumaran was the first to die that way.

Sri Lanka’s Agony

Hate-mongering Buddhist extremists in Sri Lanka have set off the country’s worst wave of anti-Muslim violence in years. A bloody rampage on June 15 in and near the southern city of Aluthgama left four Muslims dead, at least 78 people injured, and Muslim homes and businesses destroyed. The attacks followed an anti-Muslim rally organized by… Read more »

UN Human Rights Chief Announces Details of Sri Lanka Conflict Investigation

GENEVA (25 June 2014) – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay announced Wednesday that three distinguished experts have agreed to advise and support the team set up to conduct a comprehensive investigation of alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka, as mandated by the Human Rights Council in March. The investigation will look… Read more »

Military Presence in Sri Lanka’s North is Worrisome

by Meena Srinivasan, ‘The Hindu,’ Chennai, June 12, 2014 File photo of Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Northern Provincial Council C.V. Wigneswaran. The Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Northern Provincial Council tells The Hindu that he has not been able to do much even after six months after the historic elections More than six months… Read more »

US Dismayed by P’ment Vote on Non-Cooperation with UN Probe

Asked why US-led resolutions at the UNHRC were increasingly harsher, the US Deputy Assistant Secretary noted that five years after the war ended there had been little progress on issues related to accountability and a political solution to share power with the island’s Tamil community.

“Five years since the war ended I have not seen any meaningful negotiations of the very tricky political issues related to federalism,” Keshap asserted.

A Dangerous Road in Sri Lanka

Having recently emerged from a long war and still mired in a host of issues relating to that conflict, including the unsettled question of Tamil political aspirations that first gave rise to it, Sri Lanka could have done far better with the opportunity it had to remake itself. Instead, the narrow political ambitions of its leaders to consolidate majority sentiment seem to be driving the Sinhala nationalist desire for new enemies.

Hate the Game, Not the Player

As the illustration above shows the Sinhala leaders have no incentive to cater to Tamils or Muslims. And TNA or Tamils don’t gain anything by moving their position to the right of the scale. Are the Muslims also in their own distribution that is not aligned to the two above? If so, do they overlap more with the Sinhalese or with the Tamils?

There is nothing Tamils or Muslims do or say that will convince the Sinhala median voter to move to the left to meet them halfway as the median voter theorem dictates.

Aluthgama Matter Cannot Rest There

We are very concerned because this surely should not happen to any citizen in this country, irrespective of whether he is a Sinhalese, a Muslim, a Tamil, a Burgher, a Malay or whatever.

In the Land of Mass Graves

Third, power has been decentralized. If Iraq survives, it will probably be as a loose federation, with the national government controlling the foreign policy and the army, but the ethnic regions dominating the parts of government that touch people day to day. Rwanda hasn’t gone that far, but it has made some moves in a federalist direction. Local leaders often follow a tradition of imihigo — in which they publicly vow to meet certain concrete performance goals within, say, three years: building a certain number of schools or staffing a certain number of health centers. If they don’t meet the goals, they are humiliated and presumably replaced. The process emphasizes local accountability.

AI: Act Now to Prevent Further Bloodshed in Anti-Muslim Violence

“There has been a disturbing rise in attacks and harassment of religious minorities in Sri Lanka over the two past years, mostly led by groups with a hard-line Buddhist or nationalist agenda, and these groups are reported to have strong links to high-ranking government officials. Rising violence against religious minorities cannot be treated as an isolated issue – stopping it must be a crucial part of the national reconciliation that is so badly needed since the conflict’s end in 2009,” said David Griffiths.

Loss of Past President JM Rajaratnam (1928-2014)

from the Booklet of Sangam’s 26th Annual General Meeting in 2003, when Mr. Rajaratnam was given a Lifetime Achievement Award: Mr. J.M. Rajaratnam, a graduate of University of Ceylon, was the winner of a five year open government Scholarship for studies in Accounting in the UK.   He was the CEO and Chairman, Board of Directors… Read more »

Lessons from Nehru’s ‘The Discovery of India’(1946) Book

Last month, the political stock of the descendants of Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964) received severe thrashing at the recently held General Elections in India. As such, the commemoration of his 50th death anniversary that fell on May 27th was muted. After his death, politician Nehru’s visions for a socialist India or a non-aligned India also had… Read more »

Red Pottus, Black Burqas

by Nimmi Gowrinathan, “The Washington Post’ Monkey Cage, June 16, 2014 Kim Yi Dionne: This guest post by political scientist Nimmi Gowrinathandraws from her earlier research and ongoing analysis of gender and violence in Sri Lanka. **** Muslim or not, women are hiding indoors in many parts of Sri Lanka today. Rumors that a bus full of members… Read more »

Buddhist-Muslim Unrest Boils Over in Sri Lanka

“They finished the Muslims in this area,” said M. Farina, who added that the police watched impassively Sunday evening as Buddhist mobs attacked Muslim shops and homes…
The Rajapaksas are hoping to consolidate the Sinhalese majority vote, which is about 75 percent of the country, by demonizing minority Muslims and Tamils, said Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu,

USTPAC Condemns Violence Against Muslims

USTPAC Press Release Attack on Muslims June172014 USTPAC condemns the violence against the Muslims in Sri Lanka Stronger international oversight urged to ensure accountability and protection of ethnic and religious groups Washington, DC, June 18, 2014: The United States Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC) strongly condemns the attack on the Muslims in the town of… Read more »

Celebrities Join the Fight to Stop Rape as a Weapon of War

Angelina Jolie and British foreign secretary William Hague are hosted the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict Luke MacGregor/Reuters Raj, a 25-year-old Tamil student, is watching a play, “Unlocked,” about three young male victims of rape. One of the actors is playing a character based on him. Even though he is in London, thousands… Read more »

TULF, 13th Amendment & Devolution

TULF’s letter to Indian PM Rajeev Gandhi on 13th Amendment – TULFs_disappointment_with_13th_Amendment_Bill “We feel it our duty to also express our disappointment with the proposals to solve the Tamil problem contained in the two Bills – the 13th Amendment to the constitution and the Provincial Councils Bill – presented to Parliament by the Sri Lanka Government…. Read more »

Nigeria Mulling Sri Lankan Example to Fight Terror

Abuja (AFP) – Nigeria’s military indicated on Thursday that it could follow the example of Sri Lanka in fighting terror, to bring an end to an increasingly deadly insurgency by Boko Haram militants. Related Stories Nigeria military studies Sri Lankan tactics for use against Boko Haram Reuters A high-ranking military delegation from the South Asian island… Read more »

#TimeToAct on Sri Lanka

Why has the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict forgotten the Sri Lankan survivors? Murdered victims of the conflict, including the journalist Isaipriya, who was raped and executedThe Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict begins today, June 10-13, 2014, on the banks of the Thames here in London. The Summit is… Read more »

Looming Troubles For Rajapakse

by M.K. Eelaventhan,  June 11, 2014 Modi’s thumping victory stunned the world including Rajapakses. They Consoled themselves when Modi obtained the majority government not depending on Jaya who would have spared no stones unturned increasing enough pressure to listen to her demands including Eelam Tamils’ issues. However, this is also a blessing in disguise as she… Read more »