« Farming recovery in Sri Lanka’s ex-war zone exposes water woes » by Amantha Perera

Since Sri Lanka’s three-decade civil war ended in 2009, Nagarathnam Ganeshan has faced a major new uncertainty: how much water he will have to grow his crops.

see: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/12/us-sri-lanka-agriculture-water-idUSKCN0QH0BV20150812

« Statement on 25th Anniversary of Mass Killings, Disappearances and Displacement Carried Out in Batticaloa in 1990 » by Batticaloa Peace Committee

On the 29th of July 2015, the Batticaloa Peace Committee and friends gathered together to remember all those who died in the senseless violence of 1990 and also those who still live with its consequences. We did this with a deep sense of sadness for the past, but also hope for the future.

see: http://groundviews.org/2015/08/04/statement-on-25th-anniversary-of-mass-killings-disappearances-and-displacement-carried-out-in-batticaloa-in-1990/

 » Parliamentary Elections Stall Giving Back Lands To Tamils » by P.K.Balachandran

The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government is unlikely to hand back large chunks of land back to the Tamils until after the parliamentary elections in September this year, a highly placed official source said.

Land is a sensitive subject in Sri Lanka, which is why power over it is held by the Central government in Colombo, even though it is a Provincial subject under the 13 th. Amendment of the Constitution. Sensitivity is particularly high in the case of lands seized from the Tamil-speaking Northern and Eastern Provinces for strategic reasons during the war.

via: http://www.newindianexpress.com/world/Parliamentary-Elections-Stall-Giving-Back-Lands-To-Tamils/2015/05/31/article2842533.ece

« Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province Governor refutes criticism of resettlement of displaced people » by T. Ramakrishnan

Austin Fernando, Governor of Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province, has strongly refuted criticism made in certain quarters about the Colombo’s decision to resettle internally-displaced people (IDP), mostly Tamils, in Sampur town.

via: http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/sri-lanka-easternprovince-governor-refutes-criticism-of-resettlement-of-displaced-people/article7183295.ece

« Life Beyond Survival Social Forms of Coping After the Tsunami in War-affected Eastern Sri Lanka » by Katharina Thurnheer

At the heart of this in-depth ethnographic study lie the daily life situations of tsunami survivors in war-torn, eastern Sri Lanka. Each chapter is built around the empirical themes derived from the stories and recollections of Tamil women and their families during their stay in relief camps, anticipating relocation. The specifics of the socio-cultural context are firmly embedded in the discussions. Ten years after the tsunami, this publication offers a timely contribution to a better understanding of what it means to cope with the combined effects of disaster, war, and international aid in this matri-focal region of the island.

via: http://www.transcript-verlag.de/978-3-8376-2601-8/life-beyond-survival

 

« Life Beyond Survival: Social Forms of Coping after the Tsunami in War-Affected Eastern Sri Lanka » by Katharina Thurnheer

We would like to draw your attention to a new book by Katharina Thurnheer, Life Beyond Survival: Social Forms of Coping after the Tsunami in War-Affected Eastern Sri Lanka.  It is published in Germany by Transcript Verlag, and distributed in the United States by Columbia University Press.  Ordering information is at http://www.cup.columbia.edu/book/978-3-8376-2601-8/life-beyond-survival.

below the publisher’s description of the book.

At the heart of this in-depth ethnographic study lie the daily life situations of tsunami survivors in war-torn, eastern Sri Lanka. Each chapter is built around the empirical themes derived from the stories and recollections of Tamil women and their families during their stay in relief camps, anticipating relocation. The specifics of the socio-cultural context are firmly embedded in the discussions. Ten years after the tsunami, this publication offers a timely contribution to a better understanding of what it means to cope with the combined effects of disaster, war, and international aid in this matri-focal region of the island.

About the Author

Katharina Thurnheer (PhD) is an associate researcher at the Institute for Social Anthropology, University of Bern. Her research interests focus on war, disaster, international aid, and gender.

« The Spectre of Evictions and Land Grabs in Colombo » by Bhavani Fonseka

The speed with which evictions are underway in a post war setting with scant regard for rights and obligations should come as no surprise. Nor should we be surprised by the lack of regard shown towards affected communities, by the State, its agents, developers and the larger public. National security and development continue to be good reasons that justify the grabbing of lands in the North and East. Now with Colombo under siege, why would it change?

via: http://groundviews.org/2014/08/26/the-spectre-of-evictions-and-land-grabs-in-colombo/

« On Illegal Possession Of Land By The Military And Demographic Change In North & East » by Colombo Telegraph

« I would invite the members of the international community to come to Kanniya in Trincomalee and see for themselves what is happening; see for themselves the situation. We do not want these types of things to happen. But, you are compellingus to make such an appeal to the international community. I wrote to the President; I wrote to the Hon. Basil Rajapaksa. I have raised this matter in Parliament. You do not reply. You do not respond. But, you quietly carry on with your programme of work and your programme of work is being completed. Why is all this being done?. All this is being done because you want to change the demographic composition of the North and the East and you want to change the cultural and linguistic identity of the districts in the North and the East. »

via: https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/on-illegal-possession-of-land-by-the-military-and-demographic-change-in-north-east/

« Policy Brief: Politics, Policies and Practices with Land Acquisitions and Related Issues in the North and East of Sri Lanka » by CPA

The Centre for Policy Brief (CPA) in its most recent policy brief titled ‘Politics, Policies and Practices with Land Acquisitions and Related Issues in the North and East of Sri Lanka’ issued today draws attention to several disturbing trends of land acquisition and related issues in the North and East. The brief makes the case that since the end of the war, instead of using land policies to further reconciliation, the Government of Sri Lanka has abused provisions within the Land Acquisition Act among other pieces of legislation to take over thousands of acres of land in a manner that predominantly affects minority communities and facilitates entrenched militarisation in the North and East.

Read the full synopsis/PR and download the complete policy brief here – http://www.cpalanka.org/policy-brief-politics-policies-and-practices-with-land-acquisitions-and-related-issues-in-the-north-and-east-of-sri-lanka/

source: www.cpalanka.org

« Commentary on Accelerated Programme on Solving Post Conflict State Lands Issues in the Northern and Eastern Provinces » Report by CPA

12th March 2013, Colombo, Sri Lanka: In January 2013 the Government issued a new circular titled Accelerated Programme on Solving Post Conflict State Lands Issues in the Northern and Eastern Provinces- Land Circular 2013/01 (herein referred to as the Circular), which is the most recent effort by the Government to address land problems in the North and East. The Circular sets out a process to be implemented over two years to identify and address problems relating to State land in these two provinces. The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) has prepared this short note to highlight key issues and concerns relating to this Circular and its implications if implemented.
CPA has engaged in research and advocacy on land rights and related issues for over a decade, documenting developments and providing recommendations on land and related issues both in terms of the war and the tsunami. In the post-war context, CPA has critiqued and advocated for reform in the existing legal, policy and administrative structures, including with regards to the previous Land Circular (2011/4), so that problems on the ground and grievances of affected communities are addressed.
Download the full report from here.