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/

« 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

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

« ART, BEAUTY, PAIN AND HEALING » by Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy

Keynote address delivered at the opening night of ‘Watch this space‘ exhibition at the Park Street Mews. The exhibition runs till the 16th of August. Details of the event and the associated public talks, keynotes and theatre here.

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« The time will come in the near future where we in Sri Lanka will have to think of memorialization in greater depth. The armed forces would have to find a way of commemorating those who died and communities have to find a way to remember those who were killed, whether at the national or local level. To do this we must go back to Daniel, Nietzsche and Peirce; we must remember the important role of art in this whole process. If we are to have any reconciliation, the artistic community must be fully involved and if I may say so, perhaps take the lead. It is up to all of you to remind us of our humanity, in a way that only you can, and to help take this country forward. I hope this talk will inspire you in that direction. »

see: http://groundviews.org/2015/08/12/art-beauty-pain-and-healing/

 » Sovereignty as Tension: Sri Lanka and Its North-​East » by Mahendran Thiruvarangan

« Even as neo-​liberalism attempts to trans-​nationalize the globe, the nation continues to be popular among many communities in both Europe and the postcolony. For Marxist postcolonial thinkers like Neil Lazarus (1999:48) and Timothy Brennan (1999:25 – 26), the nation and the nation-​state function mainly as communities of resistance to globalization and American-​centered global cosmopolitanism. But in places like the UK, Spain and Belgium and in many parts of the postcolony such as Somalia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, the nation exists as a vibrant political entity primarily because it refuses to tolerate the character of the state under which it lives and due to its desire to have a state exclusively for itself. Nations in these places predicate their demand for self-​rule on historical claims over territory, the differences that they draw between themselves and other nations in terms of culture and language and the ripening of their collective self-​consciousness into nationhood. The dominance of one nation over others in these places intensifies the marginalized nation’s thirst for national liberation. Claiming to resist the hegemonic Sinhala-​Buddhist nationalist project of the Sri Lankan state, Tamil nationalism invokes many of these arguments to legitimize the Tamils’ right to self-​determination in the north-​east of Sri Lanka which the nationalist narrative inscribes as the historical habitat of the Tamils. »

see: http://criticallegalthinking.com/2015/08/03/sovereignty-as-tension-sri-lanka-and-its-north-east/

«  »I hated MGR’s politics but loved his cinema: Shobasakthi on his yearning to return to Sri Lanka, his political allegiances and why violence solves nothing » by Debesh Banerjee

« When Dheepan was announced as the winner of the coveted Palm D’Or at this year’s Cannes Film festival, it was its unlikely lead actor Jesuthasan Antonythasan, 47, who stole the limelight. Known in literary circles by his pen name Shobasakthi, he has written several short stories, political essays, and two novels in Tamil, the most recent being a collection of translated short stories, The MGR Murder Trial. A former LTTE child soldier, Shobasakthi’s own career graph bears close resemblance to the film’s lead character’s journey. Over a telephonic interview from Paris, Shobasakthi talks of his yearning to return to Sri Lanka, his political allegiances and why violence solves nothing. »

– See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/bollywood/i-hated-mgrs-politics-but-loved-his-cinema/#sthash.Ltny0gxx.dpuf

 

« Ruminations after Colombo Pride: Why Queer Interest Litigation is Public Interest Litigation » by Michael Mendis

Exactly a month ago from today, the US Supreme Court’s holding, in Obergefell v. Hodges, seemed to give cause for celebration to many individuals, most of whom expressed solidarity through their profile picture on Facebook. Newsfeeds were abuzz with reports of how “gay marriage” had been legalised in America. However, the actual holding, in fact, amounted to an affirmation of two, far less controversial propositions of law regarding liberty and equality. Despite their simplicity, both those propositions are of incredible significance to ideals of democracy.

see: http://groundviews.org/2015/07/29/ruminations-after-colombo-pride-why-queer-interest-litigation-is-public-interest-litigation/

« Tamil Tiger Women: Through Selected Writings By Them » by Charles Sarvan

Under the Tamil Tigers, women enjoyed a rare degree of emancipation. They carried out the same duties, did the same work, suffered and died as their male comrades. They saw it as a challenge to prove they were as good, if not better, than the men and so deserved their new status as equals. In Malaimahal’s Puthiya Kathaikal (‘New Stories’), the Indian army for the very first time in its history battles an all-women unit. (Female Tiger units are known to have routed all-male government forces.) It is indeed a new story because it is about a new breed of women freed from the notions and constrains of conservative society. Words from the poem ‘Easter, 1916’ by Yeats come to mind: “All changed, changed utterly: / A terrible beauty is born”. (The Easter uprising was an attempt by the Irish to free themselves from British imperial rule but it couldn’t prevail against superior numbers and fire-power.) A mother is shocked that her daughter who as a child was even afraid to go out in the dark (presumably to the toilet) is now a Sea Tiger, wearing shorts and diving deep into the dark depths of the ocean. Another woman comments that the sea, outraged at this unbecoming behaviour by a woman, will surely storm and rage. In Pillai’s perceptive and tragic Malayalam novel of the 1950s, Chemmeen, the belief is recounted that the life of a fisherman far out at sea is in the hands of his wife ashore. Should she behave improperly, Kadalamma (literally, sea-mother, meaning the goddess of the sea) would visit vengeance on her husband. Such pseudo-religious beliefs were (are?) used by older folk to control the younger, particularly women. Patriarchy, supported by complicit, conservative and collaborative women, often disguises its drive to domination as religious piety and social propriety. As Louis Althusser showed, state and society maintain themselves through Ideology which includes religious belief. The exploited – in this case, females – are persuaded to believe in and support their own exploitation and subordination.

see: https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/tamil-tiger-women-through-selected-writings-by-them/

see also: tamiltigerwomen.com

« From Colombo to Cannes » by Ranjitha Gunasekaran

We would like to share an interview given by Shobasathi who recently won the palm d’or at Cannes Festival. « I have always written on a variety of topics such as caste, sex and gender and equality but people seem to think I write only about war. »

see: http://fountainink.in/?p=7250

« How young Sri Lankan Muslims are exploring the meaning of Ramadan » by Smriti Daniel

The Ramadan Project on Instagram, started by a dozen Colombo youngsters and open to people of all faiths, captures hidden dimensions of the holy month.

via: http://scroll.in/article/739942/how-young-sri-lankan-muslims-are-exploring-the-meaning-of-ramadan