Monthly Archives: February 2022

UN High Commissioner for HR Report on Sri Lanka

by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, A/HRC/49/9, Geneva, February 25, 2022 20220225 UNHCHR Report on Sri Lanka Human Rights Council Forty-ninth session 28 February–1 April 2022 Agenda item 2 Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General Promoting reconciliation,… Read more »

Amnesty: End the Use of and Repeal the Draconian PTA

by Amnesty International, London, February 18, 2022 Index Number: ASA 37/5241/2022 Amnesty Repeal PTA Feb 18 2022 43 years since it was first passed as a temporary measure, the draconian PTA continues to be used by the Government of Sri Lanka to target, and harass minorities, activists, journalists and critical voices. Despite assurances to amend… Read more »

What is India’s Response?

by Nillanthan Maha on his blog, Jaffna, February 19, 2022 [translated from the Tamil by Google Translate with some edits] Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is reportedly coming to Sri Lanka to attend the BIMSTEC conference** to be held in Colombo next month. To date, the Government of India has not officially confirmed. If Narendra… Read more »

Decoding Don Stephen Senanayake (1884 -1952)

On his 70th death anniversary by Prof. Alfred Jayaratnam Wilson, Lanka Guardian, a 4 part series starting January 1, 1992   Front Note by Sachi Sri Kantha Don Stephen Senanayake (popularly abbreviated by his initials D.S.), the first prime minister of independent Ceylon, died on March 22, 1952. While he has been touted as the… Read more »

How Britain Stole $45 Trillion from India

And lied about it by Jason Hickel, Al Jazeera, Dubai, December 19, 2018 There is a story that is commonly told in Britain that the colonisation of India – as horrible as it may have been – was not of any major economic benefit to Britain itself. If anything, the administration of India was a cost to… Read more »

The Year of Darkness

by Sumi Moonesinghe, The Island, Colombo, February 6, 2022 narrated to Savitri Rodrigo July 1983 was one of the darkest months this country has ever experienced. It was then that I saw my countrymen turn on each other and where barbarism outweighed every Buddhist precept upon which the country had built its foundations. Black July… Read more »

A Multispecies History of the Ceylon Pearl Fishery 1800–1925

Seeing like the sea by Tamara Fernando,  Past & Present, Volume 254, Issue 1, February 2022, Pages 127–160, https://doi.org/10.1093/pastj/gtab002 Published: 21 September 2021 PDF Abstract The pearl fishery of Ceylon was a lucrative source of pearls as well as a theatre of colonial power. But instead of narrating a story of abstracted governmentality, this paper dives below… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 64

Completing Four Decades as a Movie Star by Sachi Sri Kantha, February 1, 2022 To the previous part 63, friend R. Kannan’s comments received on December 24th was as follows: “A very comprehensive account pulling together the various strands neatly. I haven’t seen Dungan’s interview and have also yet to lay my hands on his memoirs. Kudos…. Read more »

HRW: Sri Lanka’s Failure to Reform the Prevention of Terrorism Act

“In a legal black hole” by Human Rights Watch, New York, February 7, 2022 February 7, 2022  News Release Sri Lanka: Grave Abuses Under Discredited Law Summary Sri Lanka’s Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) has been used for over 40 years to enable prolonged arbitrary detention, to extract false confessions through torture, and to target minority… Read more »

Trilingual Blunders

Signboards, Social Media, and Transnational Sri Lankan Tamil Publics by Prof. Christina P. Davis, Signs & Society, Volume 8, Number 1, Winter 2020 ABSTRACT In Sri Lanka all public signs are required by law to be in Sinhala, Tamil, and English. This article investigates the multiple, clashing ways that Sri Lankan Tamil speakers (Tamils and… Read more »

Review: ‘The Red Tern’

by Zulma Publishers, France, Spring 2022 Originally in Tamil, translated into French as ‘La Sterne Rouge’ A major Sri Lankan voice Ala is born and raised in Sri Lanka, in a Tamil village prone to attacks from Sinhalese paramilitary groups. Exposed to inter-ethnic violence, she is still a child when she joins the Tamil Tigers…. Read more »

What Makes Amnesty’s Apartheid Report Different?

by Maureen Clare Murphy, The Electronic Intifada, February 3, 2022 What makes Amnesty International’s new report determining that Israel practices the crime of apartheid against Palestinians any different from those that came before it? Certainly, Israel’s “hysterical” reaction – (in the words of one Haaretz headline) – to the Amnesty study is notably different from its relatively understated response to similar… Read more »

Jailing Activists & Pardoning Murderers

Monitoring ten issues of concern in Sri Lanka in 2021 by Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace & Justice, February 2022 Read the full report as a PDF Monitoring issues of concern In March 2021, the UN Human Rights Council passed Resolution 46/1: Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka. The resolution identified ten… Read more »

Abolishing PTA is the Only Way Out

by Basil Fernando, Groundviews, February 2, 2022 The Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) (Amendment) Bill, a bill to amend the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act, No. 48 of 1979 (PTA), has been gazetted by the order of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The proposed amendment still leaves much that has been criticized as dangerous… Read more »

Book on Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Peace Efforts

in Sri Lanka to release on Feb 28 by Press Trust of India, February 2, 2022 New Delhi, Feb 2 (PTI) Revealing the untold story of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s peace efforts in Sri Lanka, a new book, “The Tiger’s Pause”, gives readers a sweeping view of the spiritual leader’s endeavours towards a ceasefire agreement in… Read more »

February 4 Black Day for Tamils in Sri Lanka

Independence Day for Sinhalese By: Kumarathasan Rasingam, Secretary, Tamil Canadian Elders for Human Rights, February 2, 2022 Postcolonial Sri Lanka has become worse than it was during the colonial period. The sad history of February 4th – the day of independence to the Sinhalese has turned out to be a BLACK DAY to the Tamils…. Read more »

From Temple to Battlefield

Bharata Natyam in Sri Lanka’s Civil War by Janet O’Shea, in ‘Choreographies of 21st Century Wars,’ edited by Gay Morris, Jens Richard Giersdorf, Oxford University Press, 2016 Three Images of Dance and Cultural Production in Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora Early parts of the chapter are readable at https://books.google.com/books?id=54ZVCwAAQBAJ&lpg=PT118&ots=Z8jFNbl3LZ&lr&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false Book Synopsis Wars… Read more »