Monthly Archives: October 2015

Enforced Disappearance – A Tamil Perspective

Members of the families of those forcibly disappeared, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. I would like to thank the organising committee for the invitation to deliver this speech on Enforced Disappearance from a Tamil perspective. I will start with the story of a Tamil mother – Chandra. Her life changed forever just before midnight on… Read more »

“The Identity of Sri Lanka Must be Redefined”

We need a reconciliation process in the relationship between Tamils and Sinhalese Interview with Professor SJ. Emmanuel, President of the Global Tamil Forum Interviewed by Thomas Kaiser of Zeit-Fragen/Current Concerns ( newspaper from Switzerland ( October 26, 2015, Zurich, Sri Lanka Guardian) When in 1948, in the context of decolonisation, the British left the… Read more »

For Sri Lanka to Break Cycle of Impunity Promises Need to Be Kept

Sri Lanka may be undertaking a change of course towards accountability for atrocities committed during its 26-year civil war. The new government promised to establish a truth commission and co-sponsored a UN resolution calling for international involvement in a domestic tribunal. At the same time, a commission of inquiry initiated by the previous government issued… Read more »

The Insanity of Adding Any More Coal Power Plants

By Eng. Parakrama Jayasinghe, ‘The Island,’ Colombo, October 28, 2015 parajayasinghe /A_T/ gmail /D_O_T/ com (Part I of this article appeared yesterday) The Alternatives available While there are many renewable energy plants by the private developers have been approved and should come on line shortly, the CEB itself is planning to install 100 MW of… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 31

by Sachi Sri Kantha, October 29, 2015 MGR Remembered Part 30 Comments and Questions from a Correspondent I was alerted by the sangam web editor about a few questions posted in French text by a correspondent from France. Here were the comment and questions of Ferdinand O. Lacour. The editor had translated the text into… Read more »

AI: Day of the Disappeared

AI_disappearences_invitation Oct 27 2015 October 27 is observed in Sri Lanka as the Day of the Disappeared, when relatives and friends of the disappeared remember their loved ones and call for truth and justice.  There have been at least 80,000 cases of enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka over the past 30 years. Amnesty International groups… Read more »

HRW: Sri Lanka’s Army Plays by the Old Rules

  “Our ancestors lived here,” said the elderly woman. She and a dozen other Muslim inhabitants of the village of Kasankurni spoke to a Sri Lankan activist and me last week from outside makeshift homes where they have struggled to survive for four years. “The army started by taking our maize and other crops.  Then… Read more »

Truth, Justice and Non-recurrence Crucial for True Reconciliation

by Daily News**, Colombo, October 24, 2015 The truth, justice, reparation and non-recurrence are the crucial words in the process in achieving true reconciliation, Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan said in Parliament yesterday. Participating in the adjournment debate, he welcomed the initiative of the All Party Meeting chaired by the President. “All political party leaders and… Read more »

What Do Constitutions Do?

by Sumit Bisarya, Lawyers for Justice in Libya, December 24, 2015 Sumit Bisarya International IDEA   Constitutions cannot build roads or bridges.  They cannot cure disease, educate children or put food on the table (at least directly).  A few countries, such as the United Kingdom, seem to get by perfectly well without a written Constitution… Read more »

Repealing the PTA

by Raisa Wickrematunge, October 22, 2015 Last Monday (12) a desperate situation raged across Colombo, Anuradhapura, Jaffna and Kandy as hundreds of prisoners who had been detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) began a death fast, demanding that their cases be expedited. Their actions revived a long-running debate on the PTA and its… Read more »

ICES: Impact of Displacement on Dowries

ICES Impact-of-Displacement-on-Dowries-in-Sri-Lanka-Feb-2015-1-FINAL-POSTED Four Case Studies The below four small case studies conducted for this desk research corroborate the literature and illustrate some of the issues women recurrently face due to conflict-induced displacement. Their stories provide evidence that marriage, dowries, loss of guardians and assets have major implications on leading a normal life.   Trincomalee Case… Read more »

ICES: Political Economy of Post-War Sri Lanka

ICES Political Economy of Post-War Sri Lanka There are three main conceptual flaws in this discourse. First, it wants to forget the war as a historical event. It wants to forget the war, how it ended and the implications of these events especially on the nature of the state in Sri Lanka. It ignores the… Read more »

From Sachi’s Files – Chapter 4

Front Note by Sachi In this chapter, I provide the complete word text of a cover-story essay (~ 5,700 words) authored by Deanna Hodgin, which appeared 25 years ago, in the Insight on the News magazine (Oct.22, 1990). According to a Wikipedia entry about this magazine, this print magazine, founded in 1989 (as a sister… Read more »

Tamil Political Prisoners Must be Released Immediately

Photo credit: Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP/Getty Images Tamil political prisoners must be released immediately (WASHINGTON, DC; October 23, 2015): Tomorrow marks the 15th anniversary of the Bindanuwewa massacre, in which over 27 Tamil political detainees were killed by a Sinhala mob in a premeditated attack. Sinhalese villagers stormed the Bindanuwewa detention center in the south of Sri… Read more »

Rep. Engel Statement on Latest UNHRC Sri Lanka Resolution

Oct 2, 2015 Press Release WASHINGTON, DC—Representative Eliot L. Engel, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement welcoming the adoption of the UN Human Rights Council resolution on reconciliation, accountability, and human rights in Sri Lanka: “The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Investigation… Read more »

BBC: Sri Lanka Judge Says War Crimes Claims are ‘Credible’

  Sri Lanka judge says war crimes claims are ‘credible’ 21 October 2015 A government-appointed Sri Lankan judge says allegations the army committed war crimes during the long conflict with Tamil Tiger rebels are “credible”. He was leading the first government inquiry into the atrocities, one month after the UN released its own findings. President… Read more »

Veteran Eezham Tamil Academic, Diaspora Leader Theva Rajan Passes Away

Mr. Arumugam Thevarajan, who was contributing to the language, history, culture, rights, media and social welfare of Eezham Tamils in the island and in the diaspora for nearly six decades, passed away in New Zealand on Wednesday at the age of 81. Joining the Ceylon government clerical service in the 1950s, and posted in the… Read more »

The Geneva Resolution & Politics

by Niran Anketell, ‘Groundviews,’ Colombo, October 10, 2015 The recent Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka is a remarkable document. Crafted in the immediate aftermath of the devastating OISL Report on Sri Lanka whose central recommendation was that a ‘special hybrid court’ be established in Sri Lanka, and despite some hiccups during negotiations, a… Read more »

Inescapable Truth

The adoption of a UNHRC consensus resolution on the UN report into Sri Lanka’s atrocities (OISL) has been welcomed by many as the first step in a long process to move Sri Lanka towards an era of justice and reconciliation through genuine accountability, together with the Sri Lankan foreign minister, Mangala Samaraweera’sopening address to the… Read more »

A More Robust Democracy will Safeguard Peace in Sri Lanka

by Richard Armitage & Karen Bue, ‘South China Morning Post,’ Hong Kong, October 9, 2015 The horrors of the conflict in Sri Lanka were laid bare in a report issued last month by the UN Human Rights Council. Unlawful killings, enforced disappearances, sexual violence and the use of child soldiers were among the parade of… Read more »