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.
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.
A story on Burmese Tamil refugees who were displaced to Manipur, India, following a coup in the 1960s that led to race riots against ‘Indians’. Hundreds of Jaffna Tamils, who were brought to Burma as part of the British colonial apparatus, were also affected and returned to Ceylon in the wake of the violence. They are remembered as Rangun Tamils.
« When they reached the border crossing, Burmese soldiers prevented them from entering the country. The Tamils settled in Moreh hoping one day to return to their homeland – but those dreams have never been fulfilled. »
« The Ocean seafood restaurant at Colombo’s five-star The Kingsbury was once famous for its magnificent view of the Indian Ocean. Its open-air wooden terrace that runs along the hotel’s western façade used to be so close to the beautiful coastline that waves lapped the rocks, sending sprays of sea foam into the air. Not anymore »
« It is hard to achieve a significant sustainable economic development without focusing on the development of the export sector, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.
It is an achievable target to increase the export income to US $ 50 billion or more following a systematic approach to export development, he added.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe was addressing the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2015, organised by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce under the theme ‘Towards exports of US $ 50 billion’ in Colombo yesterday. »
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.
« 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. »
« 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. »
« What has happened to the land of the people? Why is there a navy camp in Mullikulam? Why are the people of Mullikulam displaced? What is the environment? Are the displaced people of roughly a 100 families in the contested area actually destroying the forest? Or are they helping in nurturing it? Whose environment are we talking of?: that of people in Colombo and other urban areas or that of the displaced? Why aren’t we asking these questions? »
« There is a) an urgent need for a national policy on resettlement of the displaced, a solution acceptable to the people b) a need to check the retrenchment of military bases that has taken land away from the people, c) and the need to focus on the concerns of co-existence of the people of the area. The rights of the Tamils of Mullikulam who have been displaced by the establishment of a large navy camp, the inalienable right to return of Muslims of Musali South and the landing rights of seasonal fisher people, mostly Sinhala, from places such as Chilaw and Negombo, have to be reinstated and reassured. »
Suren Karththikesu remembers the cheers when migrants on board the MV Sun Sea first spotted the Canadian flag. The 492 Sri Lankan Tamils had been at sea for three months, on a dangerous voyage across the Pacific Ocean. The flag, hung from a navy vessel that would help escort the Sun Sea to the British Columbia shore five years ago this week, offered the passengers new lives away from the civil war that had ravaged their home country.
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.
‘During the war, many Tamils fled the north and settled abroad or in other regions of the island. Since the end of the war, many of them have wanted to return and reclaim their land. However, the army has other plans: the appropriated estates have become
Military Camps, High Security Zones (HSZ) or Special Economic Zones (SEZ).’
« 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. »