« Sri Lanka at the Crossroads of History » Edited by Zoltan Biedermann and Alan Strathern

UCL Press has announced the publication of Sri Lanka at the Crossroads of History, edited by Zoltán Biedermann and Alan Strathern. Note that in addition to the hardback and paperback editions, the book is available at no cost as a pdf file.

For more information, go to http://www.ucl.ac.uk/…/sri-lanka-at-the-crossroads-of-histo…

a new online catalogue to access to the American Institute for Lankan Studies (Colombo) library

The American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies (Colombo) announces the launch of a new online catalogue for their library, which holds a valuable collection of books useful for researchers and students working on Sri Lanka related subjects in the humanities and social sciences.

To search the library’s holdings, go to https://www.librarycat.org/lib/AISLS-Colombo

For information on the library’s location and hours, go to http://www.aisls.org/colombo/

« Where is the Conscience of Human Rights? », Monthly Academic Circle of the Department of Social Studies (OUSL), 19th June 2017 at 2.30 p.m. at Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, The Open University of Sri Lanka, Nawala

Monthly Academic Circle

Department of Social Studies (OUSL)

Invites You for a Talk and Panel Discussion


Where is the Conscience of Human Rights?


Prof. Tobias Kelly, The University of Edinburgh

[Tobias Kelly teaches social anthropology at the School of Social and Political Science,

University of Edinburgh, and is coeditor of Traitors: Suspicion, Intimacy, and the Ethics

of State-Building].


Dr. Deepika Udagama (Chairperson, Human Rights Commission)

Professor Jonathan Spencer (The University of Edinburgh)

Dr. Farzana Haniffa (University of Colombo)

Moderator: Dr Sepalika Welikala (Open University of Sri Lanka)

Date and Time:

19th June 2017 at 2.30 p.m.


Faculty Board Room

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, The Open University of Sri Lanka,


Contact for more info: Athula (0712279246/smasa@ou.ac.lk)

« To battle the demons within » by Meera Srinivasan

Meera Srinivasan’s op-ed on Jude Ratnam’s Demons in Paradise, a Sri Lankan documentary that examines the Tamil community’s internal struggles during the civil war that recently screened at the Cannes Film Festival.

« Though sceptical about whether many would be willing to screen or distribute the film, he is steeling himself to be labelled a “traitor” by many Tamils, as the LTTE and its supporters branded its critics within the Tamil society. ‘Not just in Sri Lanka, I want to ask film viewers in India, and particularly in Tamil Nadu, who shed tears for Eelam Tamils, if they have the courage to watch this film made by a Sri Lankan Tamil who lived here all through the years of war.' »

via: http://www.thehindu.com/…/to-battle-the…/article19049965.ece

few poems from In a Time of Burning by Cheran available online

A selection of poems by Cheran, one of the most important poets writing in Tamil today, charts the civil war in Sri Lanka of more than three decades, and its aftermath are available for free.
Via: https://issuu.com/arcpublications/docs/cheran_for_issuu_eadefe61ec0982

source : issuu.com

« Caste in a Tamil Family On Purity and Pollution in Post-war Jaffna » by Zehra Hashmi and Prashanth Kuganathan

Written using the voice of Zehra Hashmi, an ethnographic narrative examines caste in transition in Jaffna, centred around a Vel.l.āl.ar family that lived in the peninsula throughout the duration of the Sri Lankan Civil War, which came to an end in May 2009. Based on field research and interviews conducted between 2011 and 2013, the authors find that interlocutors struggle to make meaning of post-war changes.

to read more : http://www.epw.in/journal/2017/21/commentary/caste-tamil-family.html

Cycle de conférences « Mondes tamouls » Première journée d’études à l’INALCO, le vendredi 16 juin 2017

En France, l’enseignement de la langue tamoule est dispensé depuis 1868 à l’Inalco, alors appelé l’Ecole impériale des langues orientales. Aujourd’hui, l’Inalco est un des rares grands établissements publics européens où l’on peut apprendre cette langue dravidienne. Notre ambition est de nous inscrire dans la continuité de cette tradition d’enseignement et de valoriser l’apprentissage de cette langue en association avec les recherches en sciences humaines et sociales. L’enseignement à l’Inalco, actuellement orienté vers toutes les formes de la langue tamoule (classique, contemporaine, écrite et orale), permet un accès direct aux sources autant écrites qu’orales.
Pour favoriser le développement des études tamoules et pour replacer l’Inalco au cœur de l’enseignement du tamoul en association avec la recherche, nous mettons en place un cycle de conférences scientifiques annuel intitulé « Mondes tamouls », qui prendra la forme de journées d’études.
Ce projet, sur le long terme, a trois objectifs principaux : donner une visibilité aux recherches liées au domaine tamoul, initier et intéresser les étudiants en Licence et Master aux divers objets de recherche et mettre en place des collaborations institutionnelles et internationales.
Le thème retenu pour la première journée d’études, qui aura lieu le vendredi 16 juin 2017, est « Tamoul : regards pluridisciplinaires ». Cette première édition, introductive et générale, a vocation à réunir à l’Inalco des chercheurs et enseignants de différentes disciplines, travaillant sur le domaine tamoul et membres de diverses équipes de recherche nationales pour présenter l’état actuel de la recherche française.

Dates :

Vendredi 16 Juin 2017 – de 10:00 à 18:00
Lieu :

Inalco – Amphithéâtre 2 – 65 rue des Grands Moulins – 75013 PARIS
Pour télécharger le programme : a3programme

Organisation et contact :
Uthaya Veluppillai (uthaya.veluppillai@inalco.fr)
Source: http://www.inalco.fr/evenement/cycle-conferences-mondes-tamouls-premiere-journee-etudes


« Sri Lanka’s elusive housing logic » by Meera Srinivasan

Recently, Sri Lanka’s cabinet cleared a proposal to build 6,000 prefabricated houses for war-affected families in the island’s Tamil-majority north and east. What ought to have been a basic, brick-and-mortar effort to rebuild homes has turned out to be a major controversy, as the government appears persistent to push a deal that it alone finds logical.

to read more : http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/sri-lankas-elusive-housing-logic/article18956520.ece

« NASA Earth Observatory images of flooding in Sri Lanka in late May 2017″by Joshua Stevens

Torrential rains caused severe flooding in Sri Lanka in late May 2017. After more than 48 hours of nonstop rain, water levels rose rapidly in the country’s south, spurring emergency evacuations in multiple districts.

On May 28, 2017, the MultiSpectral Instrument (MSI) on the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-2 satellite captured a false-color image of the flood. An earlier image taken on January 29, 2017, by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 shows the same area before the waters rose. Both images were made with visible and infrared light (OLI bands 6-5-3 and MSI bands 11-8-3) to distinguish the presence of water on the ground.

Matara was among the hardest hit towns. Low-lying areas around the Nilwala Ganga River (in blue) also have been submerged.

In many areas, flooding has contaminated wells and tainted water supplies. Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake said his country has received medicine and relief supplies from at least a dozen countries, according to reporting by Al Jazeera. Sri Lanka’s Disaster Management Center reported more than half a million people have been affected by the flooding. Search and rescue operations are underway.

to read more: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=90322&src=iotdrss

« Diplomats in Sri Lanka urge government action against anti-Muslim attacks » by Shihar Aneez

Diplomats on Thursday condemned violence against Muslims in Sri Lanka and urged the government to uphold minority rights and freedom of religion.

To read more : http://www.reuters.com/article/us-sri-lanka-violence-muslims-idUSKBN18S66P

« Over 121, 000 affected by drought in Jaffna » by Romesh Madushanka

Over 121, 000 persons from 33, 000 families in the Jaffna district have been severely affected by the prevailing drought situation, Jaffna District Secretary N. Vedanayagam said.

According to the District Secretary, Kayts, Maradankaini, Karainagar, Sangilipaai, and Chelanai are among the places which have been severely affected by the drought.

To read more: http://www.sundaytimes.lk/article/1023287/over-121-000-affected-by-drought-in-jaffna

« Sri Lanka disaster authorities failed to issue early warnings for storm that killed 202 people » by Amantha Perera

« As floodwaters recede in Sri Lanka after monsoon rains killed at least 202 people and forced more than 80,00 from their homes, questions are being asked over the government’s failure to put in place preparedness measures that could have saved lives. »

To read more: http://www.irinnews.org/news/2017/05/31/sri-lanka-disaster-authorities-failed-issue-early-warnings-storm-killed-202-people

Soutenance de thèse « Le rituel funéraire hindou en contexte diasporique : rite de passage et rite d’ancrage. La communauté tamoule d’origine sri-lankaise de Montréal et Toronto. » par Mark Bradley, Le vendredi 22 avril 2016 à 9h30, à l’UQAM, salle A-5020

Mark Bradley, doctorant et enseignant au département des sciences des religions de l’Université de Québec à Montréal et chercheur du Centre d’Etudes sur l’Inde, l’Asie du Sud et sa diaspora (CEIAS) soutiendra sa thèse portant sur « le rituel funéraire hindou en contexte diasporique : rite de passage et rite d’ancrage. La communauté tamoule d’origine sri-lankaise de Montréal et Toronto » le vendredi 22 avril 2016. La soutenance se se déroulera à partir de 9h30 à l’UQAM en salle A-5020.

L’entrée est gratuite

« MIA’s Borders: For refugees by refugees Opinion » by Sinthujan Varatharajah

MIA released her latest video « Borders » recently and caused, as she so often does, an Internet uproar. Her self-directed video is a visual commentary on border regimes and the so-called « refugee crisis. » Similar to her previous works, « Borders » immediately gave birth to a number of critical conversations across social media on the politics behind MIA’s imagery.

In her video, the 40-year-old multimedia artist performs in front of a large number of male actors who climb border fences, are cramped together on fishing boats, build a human vessel and sit in thermal blankets on wave breakers. The slick video is impressive and beautiful, to say the least. But it also carries a scathing political message by critiquing the nation-states that construct borders to separate the « haves » from the « have-nots » of this world. In addition, the lyrics also mock hashtag activism by asking « Slaying it / Whats up with that?… Love wins/Whats up with that? »

So far, the video has received widespread critical acclaim and has been called both « daring » and « timely. » Since its launch, it has been described and labeled across media as « MIA travelling with refugees » or « MIA embarking on a refugee journey ». Some journalists wondered why it was MIA, rather than Kanye West, Rihanna or Bono, who first approached the topic of refugees. Others were in awe of the British Tamil artists’ ability to metaphorically visualise an issue that has been marked by dehumanising labels and imageries with, for instance, refugees climbing in a pattern across wire fences to spell « LIFE » with their bodies. »

see: http://www.warscapes.com/opinion/mia-s-borders-refugees-refugees

« Vanishing Hope in Sri Lanka: Amrita Chandradas on Remembering »

Editor’s Note: Amrita Chandradas is a documentary photographer currently based in Singapore and working across Southeast Asia. In 2014 she won the prestigious “Top 30 Under 30” award by Magnum Photographs. In this exclusive article for Fox & Hedgehog she recounts the story of a trip to Sri Lanka to document the aftereffects of the civil war. You can view more of Amrita’s work on her website.

Sri Lanka—known for her pristine beaches, lush wild jungles, and exotic food—has successfully concealed a dark past of civil unrest and political instability for the last three decades. She is an island divided by twenty-six years of civil war between the Sri Lankan Military and the Tamil Tigers, one of the largest rebel guerrilla forces in the world. The Tigers, otherwise known as LTTE, are infamous for inventing suicide belts; they used women in suicide attacks and successfully assassinated two international political leaders. Sri Lankan society plunged into segregation during the year 1948 when she achieved her independence from the British.

to read more: http://foxhedgehog.com/2015/10/vanishing-hope-in-sri-lanka-amrita-chandradas-on-remembering/