Monthly Archives: August 2014

‘Where Serfdom Thrives’

Dear Sir,We are gradually republishing out-of print books about Tamils in Sri Lanka using print-on-demand.The latest one is titled “Where Serfdom Thrives – The Plantation Tamils of Sri Lanka” by Mayan Vije and published in 1987 by the Tamil Information Centre (TIC). [Madras, India : Published by Tamil Information & Research Unit on behalf of… Read more »

Monitoring Change in Sri Lanka’s Valikamam High Security Zone:

by Geospatial Technologies & Human Rights Project, American Academy for the Advancement of Science, Washington, August 2014 Full report or AAAS_Sri_Lanka_2014 Between 2011 and 2014, large numbers of structures were added to the study area in a manner indicating that they were residential in nature. Left Image: DigitalGlobe | Right image: Airbus Defense and Space |… Read more »

Sri Lanka: Picturing Genocide and War Crimes

Sri Lanka may have given evidence against itself in the larger context of the “genocide” of Tamils in 2009, a widely accepted phrase in the legal community for what happened when the Sri Lankan Armed Forces bombed a “No Fire Zone” killing up to 75,000 Tamil civilians including children, women, and the elderly in just… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 20

Part 19 by Sachi Sri Kantha, August 24, 2014 A synopsis of MGR’s political career Was it Amma (aka Jayalalitha) magic or MGR magic? In the recently held India’s general election (May 2014), All India Anna DMK, founded by MGR in 1972 (and currently led by his protégé Jayalalitha) made a convincing sweep in Tamil… Read more »

‘This Divided Island’

from Atlantic Books: Pages: 336 ISBN: 9780857895950 In the summer of 2009, the leader of the dreaded Tamil Tiger guerrillas was killed, bringing to a bloody end the stubborn and complicated civil war in Sri Lanka. For nearly thirty years, the war’s fingers had reached everywhere: into the bustle of Colombo, the Buddhist monasteries scattered… Read more »

Sri Lanka’s Intransigence

Sri Lanka’s president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, said Tuesday that his government would not cooperate with the United Nations investigation begun last month into suspected human rights abuses, including possible war crimes, committed during Sri Lanka’s civil war. Mr. Rajapaksa’s intransigence puts Sri Lanka in the company of North Korea and Syria, two countries that also barred… Read more »

Sri Lanka – Hiding the Elephant

Ramu Manivannan, Ed., Sri Lanka – Hiding the Elephant: Documenting Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity (Department of Politics and Public Administration, University of Madras, Chepauk, Chennai – 600 005), pp. 976, Price Rs. 2000/- Book review by Prof. V. Suryanarayan, ‘South Asia Analysis Group,’ August 13, 2014 Paper No. 5765            … Read more »

Dr. Grace Rajamalar Barr Kumarakulasinghe (1908-2013)

by Sachi Sri Kantha, August 19, 2014 ‘It’s better late than never’ – is a favorite working dictum of mine. Thus, I offer this brief late tribute to Dr. Grace Rajamalar Barr Kumarakulasinghe, who died on April 26, 2013, at the ripe age of 104 years! I presume, her longevity is a record for any… Read more »

RAW’s Cockamamie Story – 25th Anniversary

For the uninitiated, the acronym RAW in the title stands for Research and Analysis Wing, India’s equivalent of CIA. In my previous commentary on rebutting the baloney of Subramanian Swamy, I made reference to his evading answer on RAW’s activities in Sri Lanka.   Thus, I wish to reminisce on the 25 year old most… Read more »

Joint NPC/EPC Letter to UNHCHR

NpcEpc_JointLetterTo_OHCHR_17August2014 Joint Letter from the Members of the Northern Provincial Council and the Eastern Provincial Council, Sri Lanka August 17, 2014 The Hon. Navanethem Pillay United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Palais Wilson, 52 rue des Pâquis CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland Dear Honorable Madam High Commissioner… Read more »

Livelihoods Lost while Military has Land says NPC Member

Northern Provincial Council member Thurairasa Ravikaran said Tamils in Mullaitivu have lost their livelihoods without access to their land, which remains under Sri Lankan military control. The people of Mullaitivu have faced continuous difficulties in temporary settlements, despite Sri Lankan government claims that they were resettled 4 years ago, the Uthayan reported him as saying. Without the… Read more »

On Illegal Possession Of Land By The Military And Demographic Change In North & East

Sir, land is the most complex problem in the North and the East and this relates to both private land and state land. The provisions of this Bill will of course relate to private land. But our problems in regard to state land are very many… I would like to use this Debate to identify some of those problems…

There are not just a few people. There are tens of thousands of Tamil families in this position…Lands have been taken over on various pretexts: security, development, occupation, cultivation, tourism and recreation. This is all for the benefit of the majority community. At the expense of tens of thousands of Tamil families, persons of the majority community are being settled on these lands. Who are the members of the armed forces? The armed forces are almost exclusively Sinhalese. When they come into possession of these lands and when the Tamil civilians are permanently kept out, what will happen? These Armed forces will continue to occupy these lands, they will cultivate these lands, they will derive their livelihood from these lands and they will continue to live in the North and the East. Is this not yet another way of settling the majority community people on lands which have belonged to Tamil civilians for generations and centuries on which they have lived, on which they have farmed, which they have cultivated, and making these lands available to the majority community?…

All this is being done because you want to change the demographic composition of the North and the East and you want to change the cultural and linguistic identity of the districts in the North and the East. These things are being done with a definite purpose, the purpose being to change the demographic composition of the Northern and Eastern Provinces and the cultural and linguistic identity of the Northern and Eastern Provinces so as to make a political resolution, a political solution irrelevant and unnecessary. That is the objective with which you are pursuing this agenda. This is not good for the country…

All these actions of the Government and persons who are working with the Government are concentrated largely in Mullaitivu and Trincomalee because you want to break the linguistic contiguity of the Northern and the Eastern Provinces. That clearly shows that you are pursuing a definite sinister objective which cannot be permitted and this is why I say that these actions of yours have geopolitical and geo-strategic dimensions and there can be consequences which will not be to the benefit of this country. As a Sri Lankan, I have a right to ask that this country be not placed in jeopardy by reason of such actions…

The Tamil Members of Parliament, except for those few who are with the Government, were given Rs. 5 million each under the Decentralized Budget. All the other Members of Parliament have been given Rs. 30 million – Rs. 5 million plus another Rs. 25 million… You are mere trustees of Government money; you are mere trustees of Government property having been elected by the voters. We also have been elected by the voters. Are our people not sovereign? Are our people not equal? Are our people second-class citizens?

Apart from that, Sir, persons of the majority community are being settled in various areas in the North and the East. This is particularly intensive in the Trincomalee District, the northernmost district in the Eastern Province and in the Mullaitivu District, the southernmost district of the Northern Province. Around 4,000 to 5,000 new voters of the majority community have been registered in the Mullaitivu District since 2009.

Demographic Projection And Implications For Sri Lanka

by Mural Vallipuranathan, ‘Colombo Telegraph,’ August 15, 2014 I write with reference to an article written by Mr.Rajan Philips in two parts under the titles of “Politics getting nuttier: Muslim Fertility Myths And Misplaced Polygamy Advocacy” (1) and “Politics Getting Nuttier – II: The Impact Of War On Demography And The Implications For Women” (2) …… Read more »

Repression of Dissent in Sri Lanka

Repression-of-Dissent-in-Sri-Lanka-June-2014-English-07Aug2014 Summary: June 2014 will be remembered in Sri Lanka for the communal violence in the towns of Aluthgama and Beruwala in Southern Sri Lanka, that resulted in 4 persons (three Muslims and one Tamil) being killed, more than 80 injured and widespread damage to property, mainly of Muslims. The widely held belief, including… Read more »

Losing Battles but Winning Wars

by Fred Carver, Independent Policy Digest, Washington, August 9, 2014 Jean-Marc Ferré/UN Photo To many external observers the Government of Sri Lanka appeared to lose the plot somewhat during the recent UN Human Rights Council (HRC) session. A series of overt and heavy handed attempts to silence dissent, even as the session was discussing a… Read more »

Destruction of Christian Churches in Sri Lanka

If the reader has more accurate information, please submit… 1.) Tamil Centre for Human Rights, Paris, France, “World Heritage in Sri Lanka – Buddhist Sites Only,” June 1, 2012, but original list dated 2/12/2004 a.) For full list of damaged and destroyed churches –  (Entire list copied below) or from 2004 TCHR_Christian_Hindu  b.) Christian Churches attacked/destroyed/damaged and assaults  by… Read more »

Where Have All the Young Men Gone?

2 Comments All photos by the author. See full set of photos here.Snippets from hearings of the Presidential Commission to investigate into complaints regarding missing persons  Sathurukondan, 09/09/1990 Q: Who is the missing person? A: Father, mother, brother, grandmother, grandfather, younger sister, older sister and her three children.  An eerie silence followed these words that was only broken… Read more »

Destruction of Hindu Temples in Sri Lanka

If the reader has more accurate information, please submit… 1.)  M. Neiminathan, “Destruction of Hindu Temples in Sri Lanka,” March 28, 2014, published by the Federation of Saiva (Hindu) Temples U.K. 288, Haydons Road, Wimbledon, London SW 19 8JZ,  Source World Hindu News “Since 1977 the number of Hindu temples damaged, desecrated or destroyed by the bombing, shelling,… Read more »