« Returning after an emotional day in Mullivaikkal, nine years after the end of the war, I struggle to keep faith that the few exceptional voices and initiatives will prevail and Sri Lanka will overcome the May 18 disconnect. Reconciliation will remain elusive till then. »
We warmly thank Vincent Faugère for allowing us to upload unpublished photographs he took during the anti-Tamil pogrom of 1983. Vincent Faugère came with his father to visit Sri Lanka in July 1983. He was then 15 years old. It happened that Vincent and his father were in Colombo when Tamil people were killed and chased from the town.
Police and politicians backed by the country’s former strongman President Mahinda Rajapaksa joined anti-Muslim riots that rocked Sri Lanka’s Kandy district this month, according to witnesses, officials and CCTV footage reviewed by Reuters.
Sri Lankan police have arrested two army corporals for their suspected involvement in anti-Muslim riots in the central highlands district of Kandy last month, police said on Tuesday.
Torture remained endemic throughout Sri Lanka in 2017, the US has said, highlighting limited progress made by the government in establishing additional transitional justice mechanisms.
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.
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
‘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.
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.
The Cabinet of Ministers approved on 20 February 2018 a proposal to introduce amendments to the Voluntary Social Service Act (VSSO) No. 31 of 1980. The proposed amendments contain far-reaching consequences on the activities and finances of civil society and if enacted in its present form will have a chilling effect on a range of private entities across Sri Lanka. The present move is also in a context when there are several existing laws in place to monitor and regulate non-governmental organisations and other entities that are likely to fall within the proposed amendments.
The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) has prepared a short note containing key concerns on the proposals and process, with the hope of a constructive engagement on this issue and raising with it the necessity and proportionality of what has been proposed.
Download the note in English.
From March 5 onwards, there has been unrest in the Kandy district, originating in Digana. What began as a personal altercation eventually spiraled into violence, with Buddhist mobs attacking Muslim-owned properties, homes and places of worship. In the span of less than a week, a national State of Emergency was declared. Social media platforms Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram were blocked by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC). Meanwhile, the situation on the ground was extremely volatile for at least two days, particularly with mobs carrying out attacks even after curfew was declared.
Throughout this time, Groundviews compiled a series of regular situation updates, with background from trusted and reliable sources. We also compiled an archive of official statements, reportage and commentary and videos propagating hate speech, availablehere.
Sri Lanka’s last state of emergency lasted for 28 years, and was terminated in August 2011, having continuously been extended by governments since it was first declared in 1983. On March 6th 2018, President Maithripala Sirisena declared a state of emergency in order to address and contain the violence unfolding in the Kandy district, where violent attacks on the Muslim community saw widespread property damage and two deaths. When it was gazetted, it was intended to last for ten days. However statements by the Presidential Secretary and the Prime Minister on its extension have raised concern.
A new brief provides comprehensive answers to the following questions.
What is meant by a ‘State of Emergency’?
What is the procedure for the declaration of emergency?
Was this procedure followed in March 2018?
What are the legal effects of a state of emergency?
To what extent are citizens’ rights curtailed in this period?
How does the Sri Lankan legal framework for states of emergency align with international standards?
What concerns are raised by the past experience of states of emergency?
This was prepared by CPA Research Fellow Dr. Asanga Welikala. He has previously authored A State of Permanent Crisis: Constitutional Government, Fundamental Rights and States of Emergency in Sri Lanka, States of Emergency: Issues for Constitutional Design and The state of Emergency in Peacetime.
Click here to access the full brief.
This research paper explores three incidents of Anti-Muslim violence in Sri Lanka: Puttalam in 1976, Galle in 1982 and Mawanella in 2001. This paper intends to cast light on anti-Muslim violence over the past three to four decades outside of the north and east, episodes that have been masked, lost or suppressed in the commonly narrated recent histories of political and religious violence in Sri Lanka.
The history of violence against Muslims during this period is overshadowed by the armed conflict and extreme polarization precipitated by Sinhala and Tamil nationalisms. The incidents recorded are often limited to those in the north and east. It is necessary that the post-war resurgence in anti-Muslim hostility is historicized and placed within the wider sweep of anti-Muslim hostility within Sri Lanka over the past few decades. The distinct experience of political and ethnic violence experienced by the Muslims in the context of Sinhala-Muslim tensions requires greater empirical attention and theorizing than it is has received.
This paper is posited as a step towards addressing this lacuna. This research is also motivated by the possibility that a deeper understanding of the temporal, spatial, political economic and social dynamics of anti-Muslim violence can illuminate the broader conditions that generate and reproduce communal violence more generally.
Sri Lanka, 1983: Jude Ratnam was five years old. He fled the massacre of the Tamils instigated by the majority-Sinhalese government on a red train.
Now a filmmaker, he takes the same train from the south to the north of the island.
As he advances, the traces of violence left by the 26-year-old war, which turned the Tamil’s fight for freedom into self-destructive terrorism, pass before his eyes.
Reminiscing about the fighters and Tamil Tigers, he unveils the repressed memories of his compatriots, opening the door to a new era and making peace possible again.
Demons in Paradise is the result of 10 years of work. For the first time, a Tamil documentary filmmaker living in Sri Lanka is showing the civil war from the inside.