Monthly Archives: January 2015

UNSG Statement on Election

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Sri Lanka’s presidential elections The Secretary-General congratulates the people of Sri Lanka on the successful conclusion of the presidential election, and welcomes the constitutional transfer of power. The Secretary-General applauds the Sri Lankan Elections Commission for its professionalism in ensuring a peaceful and credible election. He… Read more »

Amnesty USA’s HR Concerns Sri Lanka Human Rights Human Rights Concerns Sri Lanka’s brutal 26-year civil war between the government forces and separatists from the Tamil minority ended with a government victory in May 2009. During the war, both sides committed gross human rights abuses, including war crimes, for which no one has been held accountable. Enforced disappearances… Read more »

No Justice for Kumar Ponnambalam

No justice for assassinated human rights lawyer Kumar Ponnambalam, 15 years on Fifteen years after Kumar Ponnambalam, a prominent human rights lawyer and leader of the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) was assassinated in a busy Colombo suburb during Chandrika Kumaratunge’s government, his killers have not been brought to justice. Mr Ponnambalam, who was renowned… Read more »

A Century of Silence

by Raffi Khatchadourian, ‘The New Yorker,’ January 5, 2015 …The news of the city’s changed atmosphere came quietly, five or six years ago, with the unlikely talk that Sourp Giragos was going to be rehabilitated as a functioning church—even though there was no congregation for it anymore. Then, in 2011, an item in the Armenian… Read more »

Review: Noontide Toll

Sri Lanka is a land of arguments. Arguments that cause punch-ups on live TV, shoot-outs during elections, riots over religion, and wars that go on for decades. Our civil war may have ended five years ago, but the arguments never stopped – over why we harass minorities, why we silence journalists and why even countries with dodgy human rights records find us offensive. Then there are the arguments over whom the island belongs to, who deserves justice and how the war was won and lost… Vasantha’s thoughts are the soul of the book, rambling and poetic, wrapped in folksy wit and shrewd observation. Through him, Romesh Gunesekera examines the central argument that continues to rage across the island and its many roads. How should Sri Lanka address its past? Do we dig it up or do we bury it?

Statement by CM Wigneswaran on Presidential Election

My dear brothers and sisters, We live in confusing times. Oppressed, threatened, intimidated and discriminated against. We are at crossroads where there is no clear sign of resolution of our travails. Which path do we charter? To vote for MR or MS or any other contestant or to boycott the Election. I have grappled with… Read more »

The Logic of Helping the Lesser Evil

One thing is clear. For the Tamils, the upcoming elections are not about a boycott.  It is about if Tamil leadership should actively endorse either of the two Sinhala nationalist candidates and campaign.  The lack of strategic thinking and inability to think outside the mainstream have been the TNA leadership failures. It was evident in… Read more »

On the ‘Known Devil’ and Sri Lanka’s Choices

President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s call to Tamil voters during a rally in the North this week to vote for the ‘known devil’ is typical of the unabashedly unapologetic tone of his election campaign. After four years of relentlessly rolling back Sri Lanka’s constitutional freedoms and the Rule of Law, much needed humility would have been well… Read more »

Autobiography of Actor-politician S.S. Rajendran

by Sachi Sri Kantha, January 3, 2015 Book: Nan Vantha Pathai [The Path I Trod], by S.S. Rajendran, Akani Veliyeedu, Vandavasi, Sept 2014, 392 pp, Indian rupees 500. Sedapatti Suryanarayana Thevar Rajendran (affectionately known as SSR by Tamilians) was a founder member of DMK party and contributed to its growth for the first 20 years,… Read more »

Sri Lanka’s Violent Buddhists

BANGALORE, India — When I met Watareka Vijitha Thero in early 2014 in a suburb of Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital, he had been in hiding for nearly five months. The gentle-voiced monk had spoken out against anti-Muslim fearmongering by a hard-line group called the Buddhist Power Force, known by its Sinhalese initials B.B.S. Mr…. Read more »