Monthly Archives: September 2015

Bargaining with a Rising India

Book review by Merlin Linehan, London School of Economics, September 16, 2014 The need to negotiate effectively with India is only growing as its power rises, and in the literature on international negotiation experimental studies point to specific behavioural characteristics of Indian negotiators. This book focuses on India’s negotiating traditions through the lens of the classical… Read more »

Why Small States Matter in International Politics

by Kadira Pethiyagoda, Brookings Institution, Washington, DC, September 3, 2015 Editors’ note: This blog post is adapted from a longer article published in The Diplomat. Kadira Pethiyagoda argues that strategic small states—such as Sri Lanka—now have more options in their alliances with regional or global powers. Those powers, in turn, shouldn’t take small states for granted…. Read more »

Missing, Missing, Missing for 25 Years ….

(Officer in charge of the Vantharumoolai refugee camp, 1990) Many may not know that when September 5, 2015 dawns it will be 25 years of waiting for 158 families who ‘lost’ a member or two on that day in 1990 from the VANTHARUMOOLAI REFUGFEE CAMP at the Eastern University. They did not go missing as… Read more »

Sri Lanka and its Democratic Revolution

After all, a constitutional settlement addressing the challenge of ethnic and religious pluralism, especially, has eluded Sri Lanka throughout its post-colonial history and political opportunities as historic and as momentous as the present one have been squandered repeatedly in the past. At a similar moment in American history, Lincoln invoked not only the value and values of magnanimity and charity, but also the need for what he called ‘firmness in the right’ in striving to ‘finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds.’ If this challenge is to be met consistently with the democratic promise generated by the two elections of 2015, not only would Sri Lanka’s political leaders need to demonstrate an excellence of leadership they have never exercised in the past, but its civil society would have to continue to play the critical role it did in creating the conditions for the successful electoral revolution.

Promise of Justice

The visit by senior US officials, Nisha Biswal and Tom Malinowski this week, and the US’ endorsement of a domestic process of accountability into mass atrocities committed against the Tamil people during the end of the armed conflict in 2009 has been met with a sense of relief by the Sri Lankan government and was… Read more »

Legacy of 1962 Coup Plot

Forty years ago on 28th January 1962, Sri Lanka awoke to the startling news that a coup d’etat by key police and military officers had been foiled. In retrospect the Sixty Two Coup was a crucial turning point in Sri Lanka’s contemporary history. Sri Lanka experienced one of the longest unbroken periods of colonial rule…. Read more »

Sri Lankan Parliament Urged to Repeal Anti-terror Act

 The Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) has called upon newly-elected Members of Parliament to repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), dubbed by human rights activists as draconian, in two months. ‘Dangerous laws’ In a statement, Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon, Executive Director (CaFFE), termed the PTA as more dangerous than emergency laws and said… Read more »

Tamil Women in Post-War Sri Lanka

A white paper by Nimmi Gowrinathan and Kate Cronin-Furman, City University of New York Colin Powell School, August 28, 2015 Tamil Women in Post-War Sri Lanka Nimmi Gowrinathan Kate Cronin-Furman ABSTRACT In this report we document the negative impacts of 6 years of militarization on Tamil women’s lives in Sri Lanka. Based on over fifty… Read more »

Sri Lanka’s Tangled Democracy

by Taylor Dibbert, ‘Foreign Affairs,’ New York, August 25, 2015 Sri Lanka’s parliamentary election is over, and the results are in. By capturing 45.7 percent of the votes and 106 seats in a vote held on August 17, the United National Party (UNP) has narrowly won. This is something of a defeat for Mahinda Rajapaksa,… Read more »

A Public Library in Sri Lanka Welcomes New Readers

by Julie McCarthy, National Public Radio, Washington, DC, August 19, 2015 Listen to the Story A Public Library in Sri Lnka Welcomes New Readers Jaffna Library 4:24 Rising two stories and capped by three domes, the Jaffna Public Library looks a bit like a stately wedding cake. Gleaming white under the Sri Lanka sun, the… Read more »

4 Post-election Challenges for Sri Lanka

by Mark Salter & Eric Solheim, ‘Open Democracy,’ August 31, 2015 Muscular Sinhalese nationalism was defeated at the polls in Sri Lanka. The dismantling of the security state, started in January, can now continue. And there is hope for progress on the very necessary process of post-war accountability and reconcilliation These are critical times for… Read more »

The Future of Sinhala Nationalism

The defeat of statist nationalism as project and ideology, which began at the ethnic periphery on January 8th, was extended into the heartland by August 17th. The defenses that remain standing in geopolitical terms are the two contiguous areas, the ‘Greater Ruhuna’ or the ‘Greater South’ (Kegalle, Ratnapura, Galle, Matara, Hambantota, Moneragala) and in the heartland, Kurunegala-Anuradhapura. In a return to an ancient historical pattern, these are the ‘free territories’ of Sri Lanka; the liberated zones of the national resistance or national liberation movement.

Rare Opportunity for Meaningful Reconciliation in Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan people deserve great admiration on the successful conclusion of the most free and fair parliamentary elections since May, 1970. The conclusion of the election has presented a rare opportunity to deliver meaningful reconciliation and a lasting peace. The U.S.-led international community should seize this historic opportunity, facilitating the required political climate to… Read more »

NPC: Resolution on the Need for an International Mechanism

NPC Resolution on Need for International Mechanism   RESOLUTION ON THE NEED FOR AN INTERNATIONAL MECHANISM Acknowledging the long standing efforts of United States, India along with the international community in securing justice, rights, peace and security to this troubled Island Recognizing the efforts of the international community through the UNHRC process towards investigating and… Read more »

Nisha Biswal and Uncle Sam’s Verbal Strip Tease Act

Nisha Biswal, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, during her recent visit to the blessed island told reporters, “We have recognized that there is a different opportunity that exists today and a different landscape for trying to advance reconciliation. We look forward to a process in Geneva that allows an… Read more »