Posts Categorized: Government


Vittachi concludes the book with a question. “Have the Sinhalese and the Tamils reached the parting of the ways?” The question was asked in 1958. It was definitively answered, 25 years later, in 1983. Another 26 years later, in 2009, we were reminded of the answer.

55 years after Vittachi first asked the question, who in the Sinhala community is willing to openly ask the question,

Economic & Social Statistics 2006 & 2012

Economic & Social Statistics of Sri Lanka 2012 by Central Bank of Sri Lanka Economic and Social Statistics of Sri Lanka 2012 ***** Brief Analysis of Population and Housing Characteristics 2006 by Dept. of Census & Statistics Population and Housing Analysis 11-12-06 ***** Poverty Indicators by Dept. of Census & Statistics Poverty Indicators 2009 2010… Read more »

Sri Lanka Census 2012

Population by ethnic group according to districts, 2012 SL Census 2012 Ethnic Group by District [PDF]   District Population Distribution – 2012 Ethnicity Sinhalese Sri Lanka Tamil Indian Tamil Sri Lanka Moor Burgher Sri Lanka 20263723 15173820 2270924 842323 1869820 37061 Colombo 2309809 1771319 231318 27336 242728 13304 Gampaha 2294641 2079115 80071 10879 95501 9898 Kalutara… Read more »

Interaction Transition Case Study

Sri Lanka: Transitioning from a Humanitarian Crisis to a Human Rights Crisis InterAction Transition Case Study – Sri Lanka – January 2013 Sri Lanka is recovering from a devastating 26-year civil war, which ended in May 2009 with the military defeat of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) by the government of Sri… Read more »

The Middle Managers of Ethnic Cleansing

But after observing the role played by the native bureaucrats within the colonial administrations of the 19th and 20th centuries, it was realized that it was also possible for a bureaucracy to go against the very interests of its own class or nationality… They were actually described at that time as the ‘steel frame of the British Empire’…
The rise of the Nation-State, which at all times “seeks to homogenize its population in order to consolidate its power”, posed new problems for minority Nations, and governance in general. Here also, the discriminatory policies in sharing of resources and opportunities, changing demography through State sponsored colonization schemes and land alienation policies, all were implemented by the bureaucracy. In most cases, by a bureaucracy belonging to the group that was being systematically marginalized and annihilated. This universal characteristic is all the more apparent in the Tamil speaking areas of the North and East in Sri Lanka. There, no writ can be carried out without the collaboration of the Tamil and Muslim bureaucrats.

Ini Avan: Hauntingly Beautiful But…

Ini Avan, Asoka Handagama’s latest film, in Tamil, has won international cinematic acclaim. And it is easy to see why. The film has interesting characters who within their confined destinies take some unpredictable turns and moves at a compelling and deliberate pace through carefully designed frames with strong aesthetic appeal that are also revisited, like recurring… Read more »

Govt Withdraws Funding in Northern Province

The government has withdrawn over Rs 560 million worth of funds ear marked for development in the TNA controlled Northern Province, reports the Sunday Times. According to Jaffna’s Local Government Assistant Commissioner S Jeyaharan, the directive to withdraw the funds came from the Ministry of Local Government. M K Sivajilingam said: “They do not want us… Read more »

The Story of the Weeping Widows

As the group delved in to the deeper meaning of this particular interaction, the dilemmas faced by the welfare oriented NGOs working in the war affected regions became more and more apparent. On the one hand they are forced to work with the rhetoric of “peoples participation” and “empowerment”. They have to accede to the demands made by the donors in this respect. But on the other they have to work within a system that is unmerciful and relentless in its grip on centralized political power. Even the civil administration in those areas has changed a great deal. The transformation is to the extent that the language hitherto spoken only by the military hierarchy, such as “ granting permission” and “ban on activities”, is used now by the civil administration in their day-to-day interactions with NGOs. A single wrong move on their part may mean end of the road for the NGOs. It is in working with the most marginalized of the war-affected community that these vulnerabilities of the NGOs get to be exposed thoroughly.

Impeachment of the Sri Lankan Chief Justice

Indeed, the two issues – this assault on the independence of the judiciary and the accusations of war crimes – are interlinked and must be seen as such. The Sri Lankan government’s insistence that Sri Lanka should be left to investigate and remedy its own shortcomings with regard to the latter looks increasingly (if more evidence were required) implausible as one of the last remaining independent institutions – the court – is so openly dismantled.

TIC on ‘Hate Campaign’

The intimidating poster campaign is linked to Dr Saravanamuttu’s legal challenge of the Divineguma Bill in the Supreme Court. The proposed law intends to create a new Divineguma Department that will consume the Samurdhi poverty alleviation programme and the Southern and Hill Country Development authorities. The Bill encroaches into the functions of the Provincial Councils.

Sinhalicised Division Formalised in Mullaiththeevu

The Colombo government has issued a new map of Mullaiththeevu district on September 25, when SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa attended a ‘special’ District Development Council (DDC) meeting of Ki’linochchi and Mullaiththeevu districts in Ki’linochchi…
Almost all of the 11,789 people belonging to 3,536 families in the ‘Weli Oya’ division are Sinhala settlers.

The Constitution is Illegal

by Wakeley Paul; published April 20, 2004 To Ponna Wignaraja & Shiva Pasupati [former Attorney General], I am glad to note that Nihal Jayawickrema, part architect of the 1972 Constituent Assembly, of all people, recognizes what I have been trumpeting for some time, to wit, the illegality of the concept of the Constituent Assembly. His effort… Read more »

‘No Legal Basis for a Constituent Assembly’

by Romesh Abeywickrema; The Sunday Leader, Colombo, April 18, 2004 For the constitution to be amended or replaced a consensus or in other words a two third majority in parliament is an essential requirement says Dr. Nihal Jayawickrama, an expert on constitutional law. By taking part in a constituent assembly, opposition parties are being party to… Read more »

UN Commission on Human Rights

INTERFAITH INTERNATIONAL A non-government organisation with ‘consultative status’ at the United Nations * * * * * * United Nations Commission on Human Rights – 60th session Item 5 – Right to Self-determination Intervention by Visuvalingam KIRUPAHARAN March, 2004 In 1918, President W Wilson used the term ‘self-determination’ in his speeches to Congress. He stated… Read more »

Tamils Health Organization-USA AGM May 1

originally published February 23, 2004 It’s peacetime in the North-East of Sri Lanka THO-USA is a non–political, non-profit organization Our goal is to help rebuild the Healthcare infrastructure of the North-East of Sri Lanka We need your help and support Now, is the time for you to help and support! Event : Annual General Meeting of… Read more »

Blood Bank of Jaffna Hospital

originally published February 22, 2004 Dear fellow friends, family, and community members, I hope you are all well and enjoying the new year. As you well know, the situation in Sri Lanka is tenuous at best and the recent political upheaval lends very little hope for such a dire situation. And yet the Tamil population… Read more »

Letter to Jehan Perera

by Rajan Sriskandarajah; originally published February 11, 2004 Jehan Perera Media Director National Peace Council Sri Lanka. Dear Jehan, I read your latest Press Release in the Tamil Circle. This is a good analysis. However, I beg to disagree with your statement that, “… the LTTE’s own proposals for an interim self governing authority exceed those… Read more »

Barriers to Equality of Educational Opportunity in Sri Lanka

by Meera Pathmarajah; originally published February 5, 2004 Meera Pathmarajah is a graduate student at Harvard University Graduate School of Education, pursuing a Master of Education Degree in International Education Policy. This paper was written for her final project in a class titled ‘Education Policy Analysis and Research in Developing Countries’, taught by Professor Fernando Reimers…. Read more »

Fiscal Federalism

by Taraki; Daily Mirror, Colombo, January 7, 2004 Lankan leaders providing political building blocks for the LTTE? Money and resources are at the bottom of almost all problems and conflicts of humanity. The conflict in Sri Lanka too can be explained from this perspective. The LTTE negotiators did not understand the nature of this fundamental problem… Read more »

Re-evaluating Concepts of Sovereignty

by Ana Pararajasingam; South Asia Analysis Group paper No. 879, January 1, 2004 India’s former Prime Minister, Nehru and Sri Lanka’s former Prime Minister Bandaranaike shared a common Westernised background and an education at Oxford and Cambridge respectively- England’s oldest and prestigious universities. But, the similarities ended right there. By heeding the sentiments that led to… Read more »