Monthly Archives: December 2014

TNA Decides to Support Maithri

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), which extended its support to common opposition candidate Maitripala Sirisena, said today the election of a new president would be a positive step towards the evolution of a political solution to the national question.At a news conference at which the TNA stance was announced, party leader R. Sampanthan said his… Read more »

Postwar Sri Lanka’s Awkward Peace

KILINOCHCHI, Sri Lanka — Two men were riding the train known as the Queen of Jaffna as it rattled through the haunted battlegrounds of Sri Lanka’s civil war. One of them, Nisal Kavinda, a 20-year-old man from the Sinhalese ethnic group, was jubilant. He had wanted to ride this train since 2009, when President Mahinda Rajapaksadeclared… Read more »

GTF Statement on Presidential Election

GTF Statement on Presidential Election – 2015 v Final Issued for immediate release  PRESS STATEMENT 24 December 2014  Tamils should freely exercise their franchise at the upcoming Sri Lanka Presidential Election Global Tamil Forum (GTF) strongly urges the Tamil people in Sri Lanka to use every vote carefully during the January 8 Presidential Election. Tamil… Read more »

Sri Lanka’s Electoral Dysfunction

by J. S. Tissainayagam, ‘Foreign Policy,’ Washington, DC, December 24, 2014   On Jan. 8, two years ahead of schedule, Sri Lanka will hold a presidential election that could help restore democracy by scrapping the country’s authoritarian presidency and replacing it with a strong parliament. Real change, however, seems unlikely. While the political opposition has… Read more »

Sri Lanka: Hiding The Elephant

Sri Lanka Hiding the Elephant: A Perspective On The Author Professor Ramu Manivannan It was such an honour to introduce Prof. Ramu Manivannan, the author of the hugely compelling book Sri Lanka: Hiding the Elephant – Documenting Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity, at its launch in Toronto Canada on 13, December 2014. The… Read more »

A Chance to Close Sri Lanka’s One-Family Show

by Razeen Sally, ‘The Wall Street Journal,’ New York, December 15, 2014 When President Mahinda Rajapaksa called a snap election last month in Sri Lanka, it appeared he would cruise to a third term. But a hitherto feeble and divided opposition has since rallied behind a common presidential candidate for the Jan. 8 vote. Only… Read more »

Be Tamil – A Poem

Be Tamil – a poem by NM [PDF] A Poem: Be Tamil… The brief notes below will be informative and is of relevance to the poem. The poem has the phrase “sprouting gopurams”. The  well known Yugoslavian Tamil researcher Kamil Zvelebil, writing about the period that followed the ubiquitous sprouting of gopurams said, “Tamil became “the… Read more »

Indira Gandhi: interviewed by Oriana Fallaci – Part 2

Part 1 Front Note I continue Oriana Fallaci’s questions 26 to 47, and Indira Gandhi’s answers to them. In this segment, Indira had talked about her personal relationships with her father Jawarhalal Nehru, mother Kamala, mentor Mahatma Gandhi, husband Feroze Gandhi and son Rajiv. The dots, wherever they appear, are as in the original.  … Read more »

Bilingual Nationhood, Canadian-Style

TORONTO — AS the United States gears up for a political brawl over immigration next year, one of the concerns shaping the debate will be the fear that English-speaking Americans will be culturally and linguistically overwhelmed by newcomers, many of them Spanish-speaking. An example of what is in store was the autumn cyberspat between the Telemundo… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 23

Part 22 by Sachi Sri-Kantha, December 10, 2014 Here is the comment, which I received from fellow MGR biographer and friend R. Kannan, for Part 22, on November 5th. “Hello Sachi: I just finished part 22. Nicely done. You might have wished to record SSR and MGR showing up at the Vellore General Council meeting… Read more »

ICG: Sri Lanka’s Presidential Election

by International Crisis Group, Brussels, December 9, 2014 ICG Presidential Election 2015 Sri Lanka’s upcoming presidential election promises more competition than was initially anticipated. But with that comes a great risk of violence. Long-term stability and post-war reconciliation can only be achieved through a peaceful election resulting in a government committed to serving the interests… Read more »

CM Wigneswaran Speech at World Hindu Congress

Wigneswaran_Address_Hindu_Congress_N_Amended In Post war Sri Lanka there has been a virulent rise of religious intolerance particularly towards minority religions by groups that enjoy the protection of the Government. Such has been their activities that His Holiness the Dalai Lama issued a public plea to stop religious persecution in the name of Buddhism. The power of… Read more »

Tamil Civil Society Forum

TCSF Press release AGM Tamil Civil Society Forum formally constituted A loosely organised network of Tamil Civil Society Activists from the North-East of Sri Lanka who had been functioning for the past five years under the leadership of the Mannar Bishop have now formally constituted themselves as an organization – the Tamil Civil Society Forum… Read more »

Invoking the Goddess

The goddess descends from the wind and cloud and sky
She looks at the sorrows of Sri Lanka with her divine eyes
— Excerpt from Pahan Pujava (offering of lights) quoted in Gananath Obeyesekere, The Cult of the Goddess Pattini (Chicago: 1984).

Honoring Father Emmanuel

Speech at event to honor Rev. Dr. Seemanpillai Joseph Emmanuel, Catholic priest and President, Global Tamil Forum, in New Jersey, USA during the Annual General Meetings of Ilankai Tamil Sangam & US Tamil Political Action Council Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen: Thank you all for coming today, to celebrate the life of service to humanity of… Read more »

The Tamil Elephant in the Green (Blue?) Room

Kalana Senaratne’s characteristically perceptive article on the implications of Maithripala Sirisena’s common candidacy for the upcoming Presidential election flags the Tamil question: what role do Tamils and issues of concern to them play in the politics of the election? Kalana deems the Tamils the ‘forgotten other’ of the upcoming campaign, noting that the contest is… Read more »

A Legacy for Generations

Twenty-five years ago today, the Tamil nation’s day of remembrance – Maaveerar Naal, was first commemorated at an event in the Vanni. Today, the commemoration of the nation’s fallen heroes has spread across the world, taken by those who were forced to flee their homeland in the North-East. This year also marks a significant anniversary… Read more »

Topography of Terror and Exile

Where do we carry our dead when our soil is stolen and our oceans were turned into impenetrable walls and borders? Where do we take our grief when our kovil bells are forced into silence and our mourners made illegal? Where do we sing our songs of sorrow and resilience when our lips have been… Read more »