Monthly Archives: May 2016

A Comment on the Proposed Office of Missing Persons

by Basil Fernando, ‘Colombo Telegraph,’ May 30, 2016 Basil Fernando It seems no progress can be made in Sri Lanka on the attitude to murder. Murder is now regarded as normal and therefore not something to worry much about. And, this is exactly what should worry everyone. But hardly anyone seems to worry about it…. Read more »

HRW: Consultations Lacking on Missing Persons’ Office

by Human Rights Watch, New York, May 27, 2016 (New York) – The Sri Lankan government ratified the Convention against Enforced Disappearance but in the same week created an Office of Missing Persons without promised consultations with families of the “disappeared,” Human Rights Watch said today. The government should honor its pledge to hold meaningful… Read more »

Tamil Culture and Trade in the Past

by Sachi Sri Kantha, May 25, 2016 Book Review: Tamil Trade and Cultural Exchange, by N. Parameswaran, self published, printed at The Print Shoppe, Duraisamy Naicken Street, Chennai, 2005, 170 pp. ISBN 0-646-44934-6.  Though this book was published in 2005, I review it after 11 years for Sangam site readers for two reasons. First, the… Read more »

Some Congratulations to TN CM Jayalalithaa

Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister’s Speech- 26.05.2016 ———————————– May 21, 2016 Honorable Chief Minister Chelvi Jayalalitha Chief Minister’s Office Secretariat, Chennai 600 009, Tamil Nadu Dear Chief Minister,                                                      … Read more »

Diaspora Participation in the Transitional Justice Process

by Public Interest Advocacy Centre, ‘,’ Colombo, May 17, 2016 ‘I gave my statement not only for what I hoped to achieve, but on behalf of the hundreds of people at home who could not raise these issues … I wanted the truth to be known to the UN and the powerful international community so… Read more »

Involuntary Disappearances

by Kusal Perera, ‘,’ Colombo, May 16, 2016 Sure, I heard Someone tap on the wooden door At the rear of our house. Sure, I heard Some one call your name. Ruben he called you, One night, last year.   I kept calling you since, “Ruben!”, I wept all this time. Officers said, they never… Read more »

The Shadow Lines

by N. Kalyan Raman, ‘The Hindu,’ Chennai, May 21, 2016 (Oru Kuurvaalin Nizhalil was published by Kalachuvadu Publications in February 2016.) The first true-life story to emerge from Sri Lanka, the memoir of former LTTE functionary Tamizhini lays bare not just the horrors of war but the tragic moral decline that accompanies it The anti-colonial… Read more »


by Sanjana Hattotuwa, ‘The Sunday Island,’ May 22, 2016 “I didn’t want to die so I had to live. I wanted to live. I wanted to leave” — Commodore Ajith Boyagoda as told to Sunila Galappatti A Long Watch: War, Captivity and Return in Sri Lanka is an unusual book for an avid reader on Sri… Read more »

About Sri Lankan Refugees, Looks Like a Prophecy

by A.O.Scott, ‘The New York Times,’ May 5, 2016  Jacques Audiard’s “Dheepan,” which won the Palme d’Or in Cannes a year ago, arrives in North American theaters having lost none of the timeliness that was widely noted last May. Screening in the South of France a few months after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, as the… Read more »

The English Voice of Tamil Writers

by Mini Krishnan, ‘The Hindu,’ Chennai, May 12, 2016  Lakshmi Holmstrom entered not only the literary texts she selected for translation, but the cultural establishments that produced them A powerful translatorial voice has fallen silent. Once in a long while, we encounter a writer who really changed the literary landscape he or she inhabited. While… Read more »

Federalism – A Misused Political Trump Card

Federalism is not division nor disintegration but a device to distribute the powers to the regions, allowing the different ethnic groups the freedom to preserve their language, ethnic identity, culture and way of life, while preserving the essential unity of the country.

Preliminary Observations of the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges

Preliminary observations and recommendations of the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers — Ms. Mónica Pinto, Colombo, 7 May 2016 United Nations Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers and Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment Official joint visit to Sri Lanka — 29 April to 7 May… Read more »

Preliminary Observations of the Special Rapporteur on Torture

Preliminary observations and recommendations of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment — Juan E. Mendez,  Colombo, 7 May 2016 United Nations Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers and Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment Official joint visit to Sri… Read more »

Ex-LTTE ‘Doctor’ Reveals Horrifying Last Two Days in Mulliwaikkal

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan, ‘Ceylon Today,’ May 8, 2016 The 30-year war and the gory events of it ended on 18 May 2009 but they are unforgettable and unforgivable. The Tamils who fled the island, the like-minded civil societies and the human rights activists started documenting each event in phases and tabled them at the… Read more »

Coverage of Prabhakaran in the ‘New York Times’

by Sachi Sri Kantha, May 6, 2016 May 5, 1976 marked the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). As an unusual tribute to the genius of Prabhakaran, I made an attempt to scan, how many times Velupillai Prabhakaran (1954-2009) made it to the New York Times. This has not… Read more »

2nd Tamil Studies Symposium May 6-7

Full program The 2nd Tamil Studies Symposium Bearing Witness: Unspeakable Crimes, Invisible Atrocities 6-7 May 2016 at York University The most challenging paradox of the 21st Century may well be the saturation of our media with news of atrocities, even as many conflicts around the world are described as ‘wars without witnesses’. While news reports… Read more »

Sri Lankan Lawmakers Brawl in Parliament over Bombing Claim

by ‘Daily Mail,’ UK, May 3, 2016 Sri Lanka’s parliament erupted in brawls between rival lawmakers Tuesday, after a former army chief said a bomb blast apparently targeting ex-president Mahinda Rajapakse’s brother 10 years ago was an “inside job”. Legislators from Sri Lanka’s ruling party traded blows with those loyal to Rajapakse who became enraged… Read more »

HRW: Transparency Key as Rights Commission Deadline Looms

by Brad Adams,, Colombo, April 23, 2016 January 2015 saw a momentous change in Sri Lanka. After nearly 10 years of increasingly authoritarian rule, a new government promising change was voted into office. The new government immediately set about righting many of the wrongs of the previous Rajapaksa government, including an openness toward independent… Read more »

New Tamil Writing

by Words without Borders, New York, April 2015 This month we present Tamil writing. The Tamil literary tradition of associating images with landscapes informs the fiction and poetry here, as writers locate their considerations of alienation, exile, and diaspora, and address how identities and customs change with both figurative and literal terrain. In tales from… Read more »