Monthly Archives: September 2014

‘Island of a Thousand Mirrors’

Review by Nadifa Mohamed, ‘The New York Times,’ September 26, 2014 In one of the many startling scenes in “Island of a Thousand Mirrors,” Nayomi Munaweera’s first novel, a Sri Lankan girl riding the train to school is suddenly surrounded by a machete-wielding mob, who demand proof she isn’t Tamil. In her panic, she recites… Read more »

Sri Lanka’s Secrets

by Trevor Grant, Monash University Publishing, Australia Date:  2014.  ISBN: 9781922235534 (paperback). Pages: 220, of which about 90 consist of photographs. Epigraph: The battle against power is the battle of remembering against forgetting (Milan Kundera). With a foreword by Geoffrey Robertson QC As the civil war in Sri Lanka drew to its bloody end in… Read more »

Forty New Cases of Post-War Torture Documented in Past 8 Months In light of its latest evidence, published today, Freedom from Torture is calling on Sri Lanka to allow free and unfettered access to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights as a matter of urgency and for the new Commissioner Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein to include ongoing torture in his investigations. Freedom from… Read more »

OHCHR Oral Update to UNHRC

A.HRC.27.CRP.2 OISL #1 oral update Human Rights Council Twenty-seventh session Agenda item 2 Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General Oral update of the High Commissioner for Human  Rights on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka 1. On behalf… Read more »

200 Days Detained Without Charge

Vikalpa @vikalpavoices · 3h 200Days | Detained without Charges #FreeJeyakumary #srilanka #Protest #Tamil @PSaravanamuttu @bfonseka @iromip

Kannagi-Pattini – a Symbol of Resilience to the Women Left Behind

‘Invoking the Goddess’ Exhibit One heat-stunned afternoon, I climbed onto a bicycle and started pedalling through the streets of Jaffna. That weekend the city blushed with a great sun and I swerved my bicycle over to the shadowy parts of the streets as I pedalled. Women walked alongside the roads, wearing bright coloured saris and… Read more »

Draupadi’s Shades of Dark

by Lora Tomas, ‘Himal,’ Kathmandu, September 12, 2014 We were welcomed by nine supposedly different representations of Durga’s various aspects, all exact lookalikes. Standing upright, one next to the other, they resembled a crew of Bollywoodised flight attendants: blindingly white and tawdry mannequins with flagrantly rouged lips stretched into Mona Lisa smiles. It seemed as… Read more »

USTPAC Launches #getthepicture Campaign USTPAC_PressRelease_092314 WASHINGTON, Sept. 23, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The US Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC) today launched a #getthepicture campaign to highlight the frequency and severity of massacres and other serious violence against the Tamil civilian population in Sri Lanka. The campaign follows on the heels of a joint letter to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in August by Sri Lanka’s Northern and Eastern Provincial… Read more »

Military Presence in the North of Sri Lanka

Five years since the end of the war, a significant military presence still remains in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. This despite repeated assurances by the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) that the military presence is, and will be phased out in order to pave way for post-war reconciliation efforts. In a context of… Read more »

From Glasgow to Kashmir

by Jonah Blank, ‘Foreign Policy,’ New York, September 20, 2014 In Thursday’s vote, the people of Scotland did not opt for independence. But they may well have lowered the bar for separatists all around the world — not least among the countless ethnic groups of Asia. The Caledonian contest came down to the very end,… Read more »

Anagarika Dharmapala (1864-1933)

by Sachi Sri Kantha, September 20, 2014 The Lake House mouthpiece of the Sri Lankan government, informed its readers on September 18th that, “President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday declared the year from September 17, 2014 – September 17, 2015 as the Anagarika Dharmapala commemorative year in honour of the late Dharmapala, the brave and vibrant social… Read more »

BBC: Bishop Swamipillai Interview re 1990 Massacre Sri Lanka Massacre Duration:  10 minutes On September 9, 1990, 184 Tamil refugees were killed by the Sri Lankan army at Batticaloa in the east of the island during the civil war between the Sinhala majority and the Tamil minority. Farhana Haider has been speaking to the Bishop of Batticaloa, Kingsley Swampillai, who was… Read more »

Philippine Bill Would Give Muslims Autonomy

The Bangsamoro region would have local self-government, including locally recruited law enforcement officials — a critical demand by the rebels, given the allegations of human rights abuses in the region by the Philippine police and military, many of whom are Christians from the north. About four million people would live in the Bangsamoro region. Of the Philippines’ population of 107 million, about 5 percent are Muslim, most of them living in the south; about 80 percent are Roman Catholic.

The region would also retain most of the tax revenue generated from its natural resources. The central government would retain control over currency, foreign policy issues and national defense….Opponents of the agreement have said that it infringes on Philippine sovereignty, essentially creating a separate Muslim state in the south. A number of organizations have said they will contest the law’s constitutionality in the Supreme Court, and the rebels have said they will reject the measure if the court strikes down the main provisions dealing with autonomy or revenue-sharing.

CPA: Attacks on Places of Religious Worship

CPA Attacks on Places of Religious Worship   INFOGRAPHIC: Religious Violence in Post-War Sri Lanka 16 September 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka: Religious tensions have been exacerbated in post-war Sri Lanka, contrary to claims by the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) that attacks against places of religious worship are isolated incidents. In Mach 2013, the Centre for… Read more »

From Kurdistan to Texas, Scots Spur Separatists

STEENOKKERZEEL, Belgium — For Kurt Ryon, the mayor of Steenokkerzeel, a Flemish village 10 miles northeast of Brussels, watching the Scottish independence campaign in the final days before the referendum is like watching a good soccer match. “They were losing for the first half and most of the second half,” he said, “but now we’re… Read more »

ITAK Convention Resolutions

here is the pointer to the 15 resolutions.

Some of the major points of the resolutions:

– Thanks the US for the UNHRC Resolution, and asks Tamils to give their reports to OISL
– Refers to “genocidal actions”
– Refers to “autonomous rule”
– Notes Sri Lanka in breach of international agreement, and calls for implementation of Indo-Lanka Accord
– They will commence a non-violent struggle from Jan 1, to fight back land-grab, suppression, etc

Kanagasabai (K) Gunaratnam (1917-1989)

by Sachi Sri Kantha, September 10, 2014  Kanagasabai Gunaratnam, popularly known as ‘K. Gunaratnam’, was a pioneer Tamil industrialist and movie mogul of Sri Lanka.  He also ranked as one of the prosperous Tamils in post-independent Ceylon.  In 1960s, when I was a school boy, the pen produced by ‘KG Industries’ was a big hit… Read more »

NPC Resolution on OISL

                                                  The following resolution was tabled by the                                              Council Member Hon. M.K. Shivajilingam and                     adopted by the Northern Provincial Council, Sri Lanka on September 10, 2014  … Read more »