« MIA’s Borders: For refugees by refugees Opinion » by Sinthujan Varatharajah

MIA released her latest video « Borders » recently and caused, as she so often does, an Internet uproar. Her self-directed video is a visual commentary on border regimes and the so-called « refugee crisis. » Similar to her previous works, « Borders » immediately gave birth to a number of critical conversations across social media on the politics behind MIA’s imagery.

In her video, the 40-year-old multimedia artist performs in front of a large number of male actors who climb border fences, are cramped together on fishing boats, build a human vessel and sit in thermal blankets on wave breakers. The slick video is impressive and beautiful, to say the least. But it also carries a scathing political message by critiquing the nation-states that construct borders to separate the « haves » from the « have-nots » of this world. In addition, the lyrics also mock hashtag activism by asking « Slaying it / Whats up with that?… Love wins/Whats up with that? »

So far, the video has received widespread critical acclaim and has been called both « daring » and « timely. » Since its launch, it has been described and labeled across media as « MIA travelling with refugees » or « MIA embarking on a refugee journey ». Some journalists wondered why it was MIA, rather than Kanye West, Rihanna or Bono, who first approached the topic of refugees. Others were in awe of the British Tamil artists’ ability to metaphorically visualise an issue that has been marked by dehumanising labels and imageries with, for instance, refugees climbing in a pattern across wire fences to spell « LIFE » with their bodies. »

see: http://www.warscapes.com/opinion/mia-s-borders-refugees-refugees

« Vanishing Hope in Sri Lanka: Amrita Chandradas on Remembering »

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.

to read more: http://foxhedgehog.com/2015/10/vanishing-hope-in-sri-lanka-amrita-chandradas-on-remembering/

« Sri Lanka : les séquelles de la guerre », in Revue Hérodote n°158, dossier Postconflit : entre guerre et paix, par Eric Meyer et Delon Madavan

Le numéro 158 de la célèbre revue Hérodote, parue en octobre, fait suite à la journée d’étude « Territoires du post-conflit », codirigée par Elisabeth Dorier (LPED – Aix-Marseille Université) et Amaël Cattaruzza (CREC – Ecoles de Saint-Cyr Coëtquidan).

Définie par les Nations unies, la notion de postconflit désigne un modèle idéal de transition après une guerre, impliquant institutions internationales, États et acteurs civils, privés et associatifs, afin de surmonter ensemble les tensions et (re)construire une paix durable. La terminologie internationale du postconflit définit une norme d’intervention impliquant une série d’actions standardisées : urgence humanitaire, post-urgence, transition, state-building, processus de réconciliation, reconstruction et développement, etc.

Cependant, les discours institutionnels présentant l’intervention postconflit comme une technique neutre sont contestables puisqu’ils évacuent les enjeux politiques, les rivalités de pouvoir et les impacts indésirables du processus lui-même.

L’objectif de ce numéro est de rassembler différents éclairages territoriaux montrant les décalages entre idéal et réalité, ainsi que les points communs à des programmes internationaux engagés de manière similaire dans des contextes différents. Il contribue aussi à un positionnement de la géographie comme outil de lecture spécifique, les contributions proposant des analyses à différentes échelles des jeux d’acteurs et dynamiques territoriales entre guerre et paix.

Table des matières       

Éditorial , par Béatrice Giblin

Postconflit : entre guerre et paix ?  par Amaël Cattaruzza et Elisabeth Dorier

Conflits et représentation du conflit au Pays basque : la fin de l’ETA , par Barbara Loyer

Stratégies violentes et non-violentes pour le contrôle de l’espace républicain de Belfast , par Guilhem Marotte

Créer une frontière dans le postconflit : Le cas du Nord-Kosovo et de Mitrovica , par Amaël Cattaruzza et Jean-Arnault Dérens ;

Conflits sans fin à la frontière gréco-albanaise ?,  par Pierre Sintès ;

Projets, arrangements et controverses sur la ligne de démarcation à Beyrouth , par Jihad Farah ;

Du succès du cessez-le-feu à l’échec de la paix, l’expérience des monts Nouba au Soudan (2002-2005) , par Marc Lavergne ;

Dynamiques territoriales du postconflit et de la reconstruction au Congo-Brazzaville , par Elisabeth Dorier et Hubert Mazureck ;

Déplacés de guerre et dynamiques territoriales postconflit au Mozambique , par Jeanne Vivet ;

Femmes du Sud-Kivu, victimes et actrices en situation de conflit et postconflit , par Justin Sheria Nfundiko ;

Les tribulations du dispositif Désarmement, Démobilisation et Réinsertion des miliciens en Côte d’Ivoire (2003-2015) , par Magali Chelpi-den Hamer ;

Sri Lanka : les séquelles de la guerre , Eric Meyer et Delon Madavan ;

 

référence bibliographique: Meyer E. et D. Madavan, « Sri Lanka : les séquelles de la guerre », in Revue Hérodote n°158, dossier Post conflit : entre guerre et paix

Le rapport de la Commission des Droits de l’Homme des Nations Unies

Le Conseil des Droits de l’Homme des Nations Unies réuni en session à Genève en septembre 2015 a adopté une résolution concernant la situation passée et présente de Sri Lanka sur la base du rapport détaillé fourni par le Haut Commissaire des Droits de l’Homme. Nos lecteurs peuvent prendre connaissance de ces deux textes dans leur version anglaise; une analyse détaillée en sera faite ultérieurement

OHCHR Report 2015
United Nations Resolution

« Torture of Tamil detainees in Sri Lanka has continued, says charity » by Julian Borger

Sri Lankan security forces have continued to torture Tamil detainees even after the election of reformist president Maithripala Sirisena in January, according to a report.

The report, by the UK-based charity Freedom From Torture (FFT) and published on Thursday, comes just four days before critical parliamentary elections on 17 August. Sirisena, elected on a promise to lift government repression, is seeking to prevent a comeback by his predecessor, Mahinda Rajapaksa, whose government has been accused of systematic brutality against the country’s Tamils after the military rout of the Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009.

see: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/13/torture-tamil-detainees-sri-lanka-report-alleges

« The Vision Thing: What Kind of Country aer we Votinf for? » by Asanga Welikala

The phrase ‘regime-change’ is often used to describe the dramatic result of the presidential election on 8th January 2015, both in the sense of a democratic change of government, as well as at a deeper level, to denote the electorate’s expression of a choice between two competing conceptions of the Sri Lankan state. The country rejected the Rajapaksa model and endorsed the common opposition’s promise of a radically different vision of Sri Lanka. With the main part of the common opposition’s promised reforms enacted in the form of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution in April, the electorate will be asked to endorse those changes and the promise of more, or to reject both, in the parliamentary elections in two weeks’ time.

see: http://groundviews.org/2015/08/05/the-vision-thing-what-kind-of-country-are-we-voting-for/

« Dark clouds over the Sunshine Paradise: Tourism and Human Rights in Sri Lanka » by Society for Threatened Peoples by

‘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).’

http://assets.gfbv.ch/downloads/report_sri_lanka_english.pdf

CPA’s extensive work on land issues that has been referenced in this report can be accessed here http://bit.ly/1EgJoEp

« Transitional Justice in Sri Lanka and Ways Forward » by Centre for Policy Alternatives

With the end of the war in 2009, the need to address the widespread death, destruction, and displacement was overwhelming. Allegations against all sides of potential war crimes and crimes against humanity demands an independent investigation and the prosecution within a credible court of law of those responsible for international crimes committed during the final stages of the war and during its aftermath. The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) has consistently called for such independent investigations and other accountability measures to address truth, justice, reparations and non-recurrence of violence in Sri Lanka. This appeal continues six years after the end of the war. In this report, CPA sets out a range of processes and mechanisms available to the Sri Lankan government to ensure accountability for serious human rights violations and alleged crimes committed during the war. While many stakeholders are identified in the report, the ultimate responsibility for truth and justice in Sri Lanka lies with its citizens; accordingly they must play the central role in the design and implementation of future processes and mechanisms. CPA hopes that the options provided in this report enrich the discussions and debates about the design and implementation of a credible domestic process with the long term goal of achieving truth and justice in Sri Lanka.

« Sri Lankan Tamils push for autonomy and justice » by Amal Jayasinghe

« The road blocks and military checkpoints are gone, and the restrictions on foreign tourists and journalists visiting the area have been lifted.

But the mostly Tamil residents of Sri Lanka’s northern Jaffna peninsula say much more still needs to be done to heal the wounds of a long civil war — and they are pinning their hopes on an upcoming general election.

Jaffna voted overwhelmingly in January’s presidential election to oust the strongman incumbent Mahinda Rajapakse, who maintained de facto martial law in the region. »

see: http://news.yahoo.com/sri-lankan-tamils-push-autonomy-justice-110918536.html

« The ‘Unfinished War’ Against Sri Lanka’s Tamils » by Taylor Dibbert

This is a well-written, timely document which underscores the grave and comprehensive challenges that ethnic Tamils continue to face in post-war Sri Lanka. The detailed accounts of torture and rape are difficult to read, but – aside from the horrific violations recounted – what really stands out is the comprehensive, wide-ranging and pernicious nature of Sri Lanka’s state security apparatus, which continues to operate with impunity.

see: http://thediplomat.com/2015/07/the-unfinished-war-against-sri-lankas-tamils/

« Sri Lanka: New report names torture camps and perpetrators » by Athula Vithanage

« A security force insider has told ITJP researchers that military intelligence officials operating from JOSEF camp ‘were actively looking for any Tamils returning home from abroad in order to interrogate them’, since President Maithripala Sirisena was elected to office in 2015. ITJP has recorded eight accounts of torture and abuse that happened after January 8, 2015, the most recent in July 2015. »

see: http://www.jdslanka.org/index.php/news-features/human-rights/543-sri-lanka-new-report-names-torture-camps-and-perpetrators

« The ‘Unfinished War’ Against Sri Lanka’s Tamils » by Taylor Dibbert

This is a well-written, timely document which underscores the grave and comprehensive challenges that ethnic Tamils continue to face in post-war Sri Lanka. The detailed accounts of torture and rape are difficult to read, but – aside from the horrific violations recounted – what really stands out is the comprehensive, wide-ranging and pernicious nature of Sri Lanka’s state security apparatus, which continues to operate with impunity.

see: http://thediplomat.com/2015/07/the-unfinished-war-against-sri-lankas-tamils/

« Peace and justice: a timely reminder » by Meera Srinivasan

In April this year, when Rajani’s colleague Rajan Hoole was about to launch his book ‘Palmyra Fallen: From Rajani to war’s end’ and tried holding a discussion around it, a similar response came from the University of Jaffna, where Rajani was heading the Anatomy department until she was gunned down, yet again bringing to focus the concern many share about the lack of space in the University.

via: http://www.thehindu.com/books/books-reviews/palmyra-fallen-book-review/article7361710.ece

« Families of IDPs to receive resettlement allowance » by T. Ramakrishnan

As many as 2,175 internally displaced Tamil families in Jaffna and Trincomalee districts are set to receive a financial assistance of Rs. 38,000 per family for resettlement with the Cabinet of the Sri Lankan government sanctioning Rs. 16 crore Lankan.

via: http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/families-of-idps-to-receive-resettlement-allowance/article7272145.ece