« How to Celebrate Buddha in Sri Lanka? Stop Partying, Some Say » by Maria Abi-Habib

It was time to reclaim the holiday. To put the Buddha back into Vesak, so to speak.

But as Sri Lankans prepared to celebrate Vesak, the holiday this week commemorating the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death, the government shook a stern finger. The celebrations had become too indulgent, a directive warned.

via: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/02/world/asia/sri-lanka-vesak-buddhas-birthday.html

keynote lectures for crafts conference « Tradition or Trans/formation? Craft, Practice and Discourse », Jaffna, 10 May

You are cordially invited to the inauguration of a International interdisciplinary trilingual conference on craft

Tradition or Trans/formation? Craft, Practice and Discourse

Organized by
The Department of Fine Arts, University of Jaffna in collaboration with

American Institute for Lankan Studies, Colombo
Lanka Decorative Arts, Colombo
Sri Lankan Archive for Contemporary Art, Architecture and Design, Jaffna

10thMay 2018 at 3.00 pm

Jaffna Public library Auditorium

Keynotes

“Transformation at the heart of tradition: A history of the institutionalization

of craft in South Asia”

Anais Da Fonseca (Tate Research Center: Asia, London)

and

Vishwakarma craftsmen, guilds and caste issues in Pre- Colonial South India

Vijaya Ramaswamy (Centre for Historical studies, JNU, New Delhi)

« ‘I thought I was a bad son’: the emotional distance between migrants and their children » by Guy Gunaratne

In 1951, Guy Gunaratne’s Sri Lankan father learned English by reading in a London bookshop. Almost 70 years later, the same shop sells his son’s novel.Guy Gunaratne considers their very different journeys.

To read more: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/may/02/story-father-immigrant-experience-guy-gunaratne?CMP=share_btn_fb

Source: The Guardian

🎥 Lester James Peries (1919-2018) ‒ ලෙස්ටර් ජෙම්ස් පීරිස් ‒ லெஸ்டர் ஜேம்ஸ் பீரிஸ்

ලෙස්ටර් ජෙම්ස් පීරිස්

Lester James Peries
(1919-2018)

லெஸ்டர் ஜேம்ஸ் பீரிஸ்

Figure majeure du cinéma srilankais, Lester James Peries vient de s’éteindre à l’âge de 99 ans. Il est né en 1919 sur l’île de Ceylan, alors colonie britannique. Il a commencé sa carrière cinématographique au Royaume-Uni, tout en exerçant le métier de journaliste. En 1952, il a regagné son pays devenu indépendant pour travailler au développement de la création cinématographique locale. Il a connu son premier grand succès en 1963 avec Changement au village et a réalisé une vingtaine de longs métrages au cours de sa carrière. [En savoir plus sur suravi.fr]

Considered the father of Sri Lankan cinema, Lester James Peries just died at 99 years of age. He was born in 1919 in the then British colony of Ceylon, and began his film career in Britain while working as a journalist. He returned in his newly independent country in 1952 to help with the growth of the local film industry. His first big success came in 1963 with the film Changing Village and since then he has made about 20 feature films. [more on suravi.fr]

source: Suravi

« Pathways to Leadership: Perspectives from Accomplished Women Leaders from from the Legal Field » Panel discussion organized by USAID, at The Royal Mall (Kandy), on 10th May 2018

Notable women lawyers speak about the challenges they faced in their professional and personal journeys to success and how they overcame these hurdles. Panel discussion followed by a networking event

Thursday, 10th May 2018, 2.30 p.m. – 5.30 p.m. at The Royal Mall (No. 18/903, William Goppallawa Mawatha, Kandy)

Email events@corejustice.org or call on 11 257 5603/4 to confirm participation (limited seating available)

Download the flyer: Flyer – Pathways to Leadership – KANDY

« Weaponising 280 characters: What 200,000 tweets and 4,000 bots tell us about state of Twitter in Sri Lanka » by Sanjana Hattotuwa, Yudhanjaya Wijeratne and Raymond Serrato

The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) has released a report on social media, « Weaponising 280 characters: What 200,000 tweets and 4,000 bots tell us about state of Twitter in Sri Lanka ». The report is available for immediate download here.
The report is a collaboration between Sanjana Hattotuwa, a Senior Researcher at CPA and the head of the Civic Media Team and two leading data scientists – Yudhanjaya Wijeratne, based in Sri Lanka and Raymond Serrato, based in Germany. It is a response to an unprecedented social media phenomenon in Sri Lanka, with disturbing as well as potentially deeply disruptive implications for the health of the country’s democratic dialogue and electoral processes.
The recent violence in Kandy brought social media under renewed scrutiny for its role, reach and relevance in contributing to the production and spread of violent, hateful content. Starting late March, weeks after the cessation of the violent attacks, Twitter users began noticing a tsunami of accounts with no bios, no tweets and the default profile picture following them. Several fake Twitter accounts were identified to be promoting false or misleading content during the violence in Kandy. This, coupled with the heightened production of suspicious Twitter accounts raised red flags amongst Twitter users.
Given the scale and scope of the infestation, CPA’s English language civic media platform Groundviews, for the first time in the Sri Lankan Twittersphere, took the step of making public its block list, which other users could import. Even this measure though was not enough to address the high frequency with which new, fake accounts were being created, attaching themselves to prominent Twitter users in Sri Lanka. A preliminary analysis of 1,262 accounts, a subset of the larger dataset used for this report, indicated that the majority of suspicious accounts following Twitter users were bots.
A visualisation of the number of accounts targeted by the bots revealed that leading diplomats, Ambassadors based in Sri Lanka, the official accounts of diplomatic missions, leading local politicians, the former President of the Maldives, media institutions, civil society organisations and initiatives, leading journalists, cricketers and other individuals were amongst those who had large numbers of bot followers.
Considering bots are now a permanent feature of Sri Lanka’s Twitter landscape and will likely grow in scope and scale leading up to elections or a referendum, it is important to ask how to address the issue at scale, given the number of citizens – directly connected as well as influenced by those connected – involved.
Even with its limited scope and data, this report is a clear snapshot of the political landscape we now inhabit, and projects in the future real dangers that result from just the visible investments made around key social media platforms, which are today the key information and news vectors for a demographic between 18-34.
This report by CPA follows the path-breaking data driven study into the bots and trolls associated with a prominent politician in Sri Lanka, published in January 2018, which was also a collaborative research exercise with Yudhanjaya Wijeratne. Download Namal Rajapaksa, bots and trolls: New contours of digital propaganda and online discourse in Sri Lanka here.
For further information and media inquiries, please contact Sanjana Hattotuwa on sanjanah@cpalanka.org.
Source:The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA)

« Sri Lanka’s Special Task Force » report by International Truth and Justice Project

International Truth and Justice Project released in April 2018 a report on Sri Lanka’s Special Task Force.

The report can be download here

Please find below the presentation of the report by International Truth and Justice Project team

« This report on the Special Task Force (STF) is based primarily on the testimony of Sinhalese insiders who worked for the unit in the past and former Tamil paramilitaries.  

“This work in the white vanning unit had been like being a horror film. This lifestyle had become part of my normal life. We were surrounded by violence, corruption, fear, anger and hatred. Life was very cheap.”

In the East of Sri Lanka, witnesses describe some STF officers ordering summary executions of prisoners, conducting false flag operations and condoning sexual violations.

The report makes the case that the STF should not be deployed as UN peacekeepers without stringent vetting and screening. The ITJP has prepared a confidential list of more than fifty STF officers whom it believes should be barred from serving in UN peacekeeping missions.

This report on the Special Task Force (STF) is based primarily on the testimony of Sinhalese insiders who worked for the unit in the past and former Tamil paramilitaries.  

“This work in the white vanning unit had been like being a horror film. This lifestyle had become part of my normal life. We were surrounded by violence, corruption, fear, anger and hatred. Life was very cheap.”

In the East of Sri Lanka, witnesses describe some STF officers ordering summary executions of prisoners, conducting false flag operations and condoning sexual violations.

The report makes the case that the STF should not be deployed as UN peacekeepers without stringent vetting and screening. The ITJP has prepared a confidential list of more than fifty STF officers whom it believes should be barred from serving in UN peacekeeping missions.

This report on the Special Task Force (STF) is based primarily on the testimony of Sinhalese insiders who worked for the unit in the past and former Tamil paramilitaries.  

“This work in the white vanning unit had been like being a horror film. This lifestyle had become part of my normal life. We were surrounded by violence, corruption, fear, anger and hatred. Life was very cheap.”

In the East of Sri Lanka, witnesses describe some STF officers ordering summary executions of prisoners, conducting false flag operations and condoning sexual violations.

The report makes the case that the STF should not be deployed as UN peacekeepers without stringent vetting and screening. The ITJP has prepared a confidential list of more than fifty STF officers whom it believes should be barred from serving in UN peacekeeping missions. »

சாட்சியங்களை சேகரித்தல்

விசேட அதிரடிப்படை

விசேட அதிரடிப்படை பற்றிய இந்த அறிக்கையானது கடந்த காலத்தில் இந்த அணியில் பணியாற்றிய உள்ளக சிங்களவர்களின் சாட்சியங்களையும் முன்னாள் தமிழ் ஒட்டுக்குழுவினர்களின் சாட்சியங்களையும் அடிப்படையாக கொண்டது.

‘வெள்ளைவான் கடத்தல் அணியின் வேலையானது ஒரு பயங்கரமான படம் போல இருந்தது. இது சாதாரண வாழ்க்கைமுறைபோல் மாறியிருந்தது. வன்முறை, ஊழல், பயம், கோபம் மற்றும் வெறுப்பு என்பன எங்களைச் சூழவும் இருந்தது. உயிர் என்பது மிகவும் மலிவானதாக இருந்தது.’

இலங்கையின் கிழக்கில் தடுத்து வைக்கப்பட்டுள்ளவர்களை கண்மூடித்தனமாக கொல்லுதல், மறைமுகக் கொலைகள் மற்றும் பாலியல் வன்முறைகளை அனுமதித்தல் போன்ற நடவடிக்கைகள் இடம்பெறுவதற்கான கட்டளைகளை சில விசேட அதிரடிப்படை அதிகாரிகளே  மேற்கொள்வதாக சாட்சியாளர்கள் தெரிவிக்கின்றனர்.

விசேட அதிரடிப்படையினர் ஐநாவின் இறுக்கமாக மீளாய்வு மற்றும் சோதனை இல்லாமல் அமைதிகாக்கும் படையினராக ஈடுபடுத்தக்கூடாது என்பதை இந்த அறிக்கை சுட்டிக்காட்டுகின்றது. ITJP ஆனது ஐநா அமைதிகாக்கும் நடவடிக்கைகளில் பணியாற்றுவதில் இருந்து தடைசெய்யப்படவேண்டும் என நம்பப்பபடும் 50 மேற்பட்ட விசேட அதிரடிப்படையினரினரின் பெயர்களைக் கொண்ட இலகசிய பட்டியல் ஒன்றைத் தயாரித்துள்ளது.

 

සාක්ෂි ගොනු කිරීම

පොලිස් විශේෂ කාර්ය සාධක බලකාය

පොලිස් විශේෂ කාර්ය සාධක බලකාය (STF) ගැන මේ වාර්තාව ප්‍රධාන වශයෙන් පදනම් වී ඇත්තේ එම ඒකකයේ අතීතයේ සේවය කළ සිංහලයන් සහ හිටපු දෙමළ අතුරු සන්නද්ධ කල්ලි සාමාජිකයන් ගේ සාක්ෂි වාචක පදනම් කරගෙනය.

සුදු වෑන් කණ්ඩායමේ වැඩ හරියට ත්‍රාසජනක චිත්‍රපටියක වගේ. ඒ ජීවන රටාව මගේ සාමාන්‍ය ජීවිතය බවට පත්වෙලා තිබුනා. අපි වටේම තිබුනේ ප්‍රචණ්ඩ ක්‍රියා, දූෂණ වංචා,බය, තරහ සහ වෛරය. ජීවිතය හරිම සිල්ලර දෙයක් වෙලා තිබුනා.”

නැගෙනහිර ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ දී  ඇතැම් STF නිලධාරීන් නඩු නොඅසා සිරකරුවන් ඝාතනය කිරීමට අණදීමත්, වෙනත් කණ්ඩායමකට වරද පැටවෙන සේ ප්‍රහාර දියත් කිරීමත්, ලිංගික ප්‍රචණ්ඩතා සඳහා අනුබල දීමත් සිදුකළ ආකාරය සාක්ෂිකරුවන් විසින් විස්තර කර තිබේ.

දැඩි පූර්ව පරීක්ෂාවකට හා නිශ්කාෂණයට යටත් නොකොට පොලිස් විශේෂ කාර්ය සාධක බලකාය එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ සාමසාධක කටයුතු සඳහා නොයැවීම සඳහා මෙම වාර්තාව කරුණු දක්වයි. එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ සාමසාධක රාජකාරි වල යෙදීම තහනම් කළ යුතුයැයි තමන් විශ්වාස කරන පනස් දෙනකුට වැඩි  STF නිලධාරීන් පිරිසකගේ රහස්‍ය නාම ලේඛනයක් ITJP විසින් සම්පාදනය කොට තිබේ.

source: http://www.itjpsl.com/reports/special-task-force#english

« Culture persane et médecine ayurvédique an Asie du Sud » Fabrizio Speziale

Résumé. Cet ouvrage traite des interactions entre l’Ayurveda et la culture médicale persane en Asie du Sud. Il présente, pour la première fois, une étude du mouvement de traduction en persan des sources ayurvédiques qui a eu lieu à partir du XIVe siècle. L’image de la culture ayurvédique reflétée par les traités persans offre un nouvel éclairage sur l’histoire de l’Ayurveda à l’époque de l’hégémonie politique musulmane en Asie du Sud. Les traités persans appliquent de nouvelles catégories à l’analyse des matériaux traduits et ils transforment les modalités de présentation du savoir ayurvédique. En parallèle, l’ouvrage de Fabrizio Speziale aborde le phénomène symétrique de persanisation de l’univers intellectuel des médecins hindous qui, à travers l’apprentissage du persan, s’approprient des connaissances médicales de la culture musulmane.

English abstract. This book looks at the interactions between Āyurveda and Persian medical culture in South Asia. It presents, for the first time, a study of the translation movement of Ayurvedic sources into Persian, which took place from the 14th century onwards. The image of Ayurvedic culture emerging from Persian texts provides a new insight into the history of Āyurveda under Muslim political hegemony in South Asia. Persian treatises apply new categories to the analysis of translated materials and transform the way Ayurvedic knowledge is presented. At the same time, Fabrizio Speziale’s book deals with the symmetric phenomenon of Persanization of the Hindu physicians who, through the learning of Persian language, appropriated medical knowledge of Muslim culture.

 
À propos de l’auteur :

Fabrizio Speziale est Directeur d’études à l’École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Centre d’études de l’Inde et de l’Asie du Sud, Paris. Il a largement publié sur l’histoire de la médecine ayurvédique dans le monde indien et est le directeur de Perso-Indica. An Analytical Survey of Persian Works on Indian Learned Traditions (www.perso-indica.net).

Fabrizio Speziale is Professor at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, Center for South Asian Studies, Paris. He has published extensively on the history of medicine in the Indo-Persianate world and is the chief editor of Perso-Indica. An Analytical Survey of Persian Works on Indian Learned Traditions (www.perso-indica.net).
 

Google books preview:

https://books.google.fr/books?id=HntTDwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false  

https://brill.com/abstract/title/35649

« Why South Asia’s majorities act like persecuted minorities » by The Economist

When it is pointed out that Sri Lanka has, in fact, never experienced an act of violence attributable to Islamists, and that at this rate of conversion it will take the island’s Muslims about 10,000 years to convert the rest of its 21m inhabitants, Mr Gnanasara simply shrugs. His hoard of evidence does not really need to add up. In Sri Lanka, as across most of South Asia, surprisingly large numbers of people among groups that enjoy overwhelming numerical superiority seem eager to convince themselves that their identity is somehow in mortal danger.

via:https://www.economist.com/news/asia/21740416-no-conspiracy-theory-about-minorities-too-implausible-cause-outrage-why-south-asias-majorities

« En Birmanie et au Sri Lanka, polémiques sur le rôle de Facebook » par Harold Thibault et Bruno Philip

Alors que des violences intercommunautaires se propageaient en mars dans le centre du Sri Lanka, des militants de ce pays ravagé par près de trois décennies de guerre civile alertaient Facebook au sujet de plusieurs messages haineux contre la minorité musulmane. L’un de ces posts appelait à « tuer tous les musulmans, sans épargner un seul enfant, parce que ce sont des putains de chiens ». Il fallut six jours pour que le réseau social leur réponde, dans ce pays où il n’a pas de bureau mais qui compte 6 millions d’usagers actifs… et conclut que ce texte n’enfreignait pas les « standards de la communauté ».

Conséquence, le gouvernement sri-lankais allait bloquer l’accès à Facebook durant plusieurs jours dans l’espoir d’endiguer la flambée de violence. Les responsables pour l’Asie du géant numérique se décidèrent aussitôt à se rendre à Colombo pour y rencontrer le gouvernement ainsi que des représentants de la société civile. Ces derniers tentaient depuis des années de les contacter.

Divinité numérique

Sur cette île, comme en Birmanie, où l’armée, appuyée par des extrémistes bouddhistes, a contraint plus de 650 000 membres de la minorité musulmane des Rohingya à fuir au Bangladesh voisin depuis août 2017, le réseau social est accusé d’avoir largement négligé le travail de modération. Il y a cependant urgence : depuis le début du processus de démocratisation du « Myanmar », il y a sept ans, Facebook est devenu une sorte de divinité numérique. Les utilisateurs birmans du réseau étaient environ 14 millions en 2017, dont une forte majorité dans la tranche d’âge 25-35 ans. « En Birmanie, on se réveille avec Facebook et on s’endort avec Facebook », relève Thurein Win, 42 ans, qui traduit (fort à propos) George Orwell en birman.

le reste de l’article est disponible sur le site en ligne du journal Le Monde

« Cooperative System to Rejuvanate Northern Economy » by Azhar Razak

According to plans mooted by the Finance Ministry, the government intends to support community-based co-operative sector by investing in fifty small industries run by over 1,900 regional co-operative movements, in a major bid to spur sustainable and inclusive reconstruction, while generating employment for over 2,500 people.

via: http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2018/04/08/cooperative-system-rejuvenate-northern-economy

« India on Film: 1899-1947 » by British Film Institute.

Voici une extraordinaire collection de courts métrages ayant l’Inde pour thème, produits entre 1899 et 1947 par le British Film Institute.
Leurs durées vont de quelques secondes à quelques minutes. La plupart sont en noir et blanc et muets ; quelques-uns ont été colorisés.

Lien pour accéder aux vidéo: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLXvkgGofjDzi-fROZSBN3p-CKeaZIc-Ue

« Stories of Resilience: that aims to document and share stories of strength, courage and resilience of Tamil communities before, during and after the armed conflict » by  Adayaalam Centre for Policy Research (ACPR)

‘Stories of Resilience’ is a project by the Adayaalam Centre for Policy Research (ACPR) that aims to document and share stories of strength, courage and resilience of Tamil communities before, during and after the armed conflict. ACPR intends to preserve these stories for current and future generations of Tamils in Sri Lanka and the Diaspora as part of a broader conversation about Mullivaikkaal
This project aims to contribute to efforts around the world to document and share stories of Tamil survival, by documenting stories of those who still live in Sri Lanka and continue to persevere.

This project currently features two series’ of stories:
  • « Stories of Mullivaikkaal »: This series presents alternative narratives from survivors of Mullivaikkaal which does not narrow their lived experiences to helpless victimhood but rather promotes and accepts their agency. We hope that this series will raise awareness about the struggle and resilience of the survivors of the last phase of the war and broaden the conversation about assisting those who suffered mass atrocities during the end of the war.
  • « Stories of Vaharai« : This series presents a variety of narratives from Tamil individuals who have survived the war in and around the Vaharai region in the East. We hope that this series draws attention to the often overlooked ongoing plight faced by Tamil communities in the East, and the significant trauma they have experienced.
If you would like to be notified when new content is added to the website,
you can directly on ‘Stories of Resilience »s website.

Nine stories are alrealdy available there.

Source: http://storiesofresilience.com/

« CCTV shows Sri Lankan police aid anti-Muslim riots » by Al Jazeera

Police and politicians joined anti-Muslim riots that rocked Sri Lanka’s Kandy district this month, according to witnesses, officials and CCTV footage reviewed by Reuters.

…The role of police and some local Buddhist politicians in the Islamophobia rampage points to the depth of the problem that Muslims face in Sri Lanka. It also shows that the government has no control over some of its police and security personnel, and that the violence was more than a spontaneous outbreak fueled by fringe Buddhist fighters and hate-speech spread on social media.

…Sri Lanka’s Law and Order Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara has said the violence in Kandy was « well organised » and pointed the finger at members of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), a political party backed by Rajapaksa that scored a huge victory in local elections last month.

via: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/03/cctv-shows-sri-lankan-police-aid-anti-muslim-riots-180325160133845.html

« Caste in the United States: A Survey of Caste among South Asian Americans » by Equality Lab

« This report came out of a community driven survey conducted in 2016 and has now emerged as a crucial document that both presents the first evidence of Caste discrimination in the US and helps to map the internal hegemonies within our communities. It also provides insight into how the South Asian community balances the experiences of living under white supremacy while replicating Caste, anti-Dalitness, and anti-Blackness.

As the South Asian American community, we are uniquely situated to redeem the errors of history as well as set the tone for a progressive conversation around Caste, both here and in countries of origin. »

via: https://www.equalitylabs.org/caste-survey-2018

To download directly the report: https://nofile.io/f/OXRXwaHU0dG/Caste+Survey+2018+Full.pdf