« 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)

« 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/

« Friday et Friday » de Antonythasan Jesuthasan alias Shobasakthi, en librairie à partir du 5 avril 2018

 

« Friday et Friday » de Antonythasan Jesuthasan alias Shobasakthi.

Nouvelles traduites du tamoul (Sri Lanka) par Faustine Imbert-Vier,

Élisabeth Sethupathy, et Farhaan Wahab

Une enfance à Allaipiddy, au nord de Sri Lanka, la guérilla tamoule, l’errance, l’exil en France… Autant de motifs et de personnages qui habitent l’œuvre d’Antonythasan Jesuthasan : Diana la Ronde, pétrifiée par le bruit des bombes, qui remue ciel et terre pour obtenir son abri ; Pratheeban, le demandeur d’asile, floué pour une poignée de kilomètres ; les 37 Mouvements de rébellion, bien décidés à se tailler la part du lion ; Layla, la petite dame du numéro 7, que son nom de code – Oiseau jaune – finit par trahir, ou encore le chevalier de Kandi, condamné à devenir un coq en pâte aux frais du Comité central.
À travers tous ces portraits, c’est aussi celui du narrateur qui se dessine, tout en humour et en finesse – le roman d’une vie, le miroir d’une âme et d’un peuple qui sait que c’est parfois en perdant de vue le rivage que le cœur se remet à flot.

A propos de l’auteur

Si l’on connaît son visage grâce au superbe Dheepan de Jacques Audiard (Palme d’or à Cannes en 2015) dont il est l’acteur principal, Antonythasan Jesuthasan est surtout écrivain reconnu – auteur de quatre romans, plusieurs recueils de nouvelles et de nombreux essais, pièces de théâtre et scénarios.

Antonythasan Jesuthasan – alias Shobasakthi – est né en 1967 à Allaipiddy, un village à l’extrême nord de Sri Lanka. Ancien enfant soldat du Mouvement de libération des Tigres tamouls, il arrive en France en 1993 où il obtient l’asile politique. Il vit désormais à Paris.

Son œuvre est traduite pour la première fois en français. L’adaptation cinématographique de la magnifique nouvelle Friday, qui se déroule dans la communauté tamoule du quartier de la Chapelle, à Paris, est en cours de réalisation.

Le dossier de presse du livre est accessible à travers ce lien : dossier_presse-572162dp-mars-18pdf

Une première revue du livre a été rédigé par Véronique-Atasi et peut-être lu sur son blog atasi.over-blog.com

Pour plus d’information, vous pouvez consulter le site de la maison d’édition Zulma qui a publié Friday and Friday.

« Sri Lanka to host conference on Tamil culture » The Hindu

The International Movement of Tamil Culture (Sri Lanka chapter) in association with the University of Jaffna will be holding a two-day special conference on ‘Challenges and Initiatives of Tamil Language and Culture’ at the University premises on August 5 and 6.

to read more : http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/sri-lanka-to-host-conference-on-tamil-culture/article19392300.ece

« 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

« The (Missed) Foundations of Reconcilliation and Rajan Hoole’s “Palmyra Fallen” » by Vihanga Perera

« Rajan Hoole’s Palmyra Fallen – a twofold critical investigation into (a) the immediate political context in which the Rajani Thiranagama assassination took place in September 1989 and (b) the run up to the military crushing of the LTTE and the aftermath of the state “war victory” of May 2009 – is published at a crucial time. In the book, Hoole suggests that the text serves as a twenty fifth year death anniversary commemoration to the slain academic-rights activist Rajani Thiranagama, but, more crucially, Palmyra Fallen provides a very insightful (in-sightful) engagement with the “War Crimes” debate – a forum that has been a pivot of the Lankan fate in both national and global politics over the past six years or so. »

https://slwakes.wordpress.com/…/the-missed-foundations-of-…/

Review of « Nation, Constitutionalism and Buddhism in Sri Lanka » by Roshan de Silva Wijeyeratne

Review of Nation, Constitutionalism and Buddhism in Sri Lanka by Roshan de Silva Wijeyeratne , Rouledge, London, 2014, ISBN 978-0-415-46266-2,250pp

via: http://groundviews.org/2015/02/17/review-of-nation-constitutionalism-and-buddhism-in-sri-lanka/

« Home Is Elsewhere » by Shahnaz Habib for The New Yorker’s ‘Briefly Noted’)

Shahnaz Habib writes for The New Yorker’s ‘Briefly Noted’ a review of the last book of Shobasakti « The MGR Murder Trial « .

shoba

Again and again, the stories in this exciting new collection from Sri Lankan writer Shobasakthi grapple with the question of who a character really is. The writer, who now lives in France as a refugee and has worked as a dishwasher, construction worker and street sweeper over the last 20 years…

via: http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/books/home-is-elsewhere

Lien audio pour écouter la conférence sur « Cinéma sri lankais : Autonomie et engagement de la nouvelle génération » qui s’est tenue le 23 janvier 2014 à l’auditorium de la Bulac

Nous avons le plaisir de partager un lien pour écouter l’enregistrement audio de la conférence sur « Cinéma sri lankais : Autonomie et engagement de la nouvelle génération » qui s’est tenue le 23 janvier 2014 à l’auditorium de la Bulac. Cette conférence s’était tenue sous l’égide de la BULAC, de l’ONG INMALANKA et du Festival du Film Sud Asiatique Transgressif (FFAST).

Lien pour écouter la conférence: http://www.bulac.fr/conferences-rencontres/archives/rencontres/rencontres-2013-2014/cinema-sri-lankais/

« Complexity of “Loyalty”, “Betrayal” and Metaphors of Eelam in Shobhasakthi’s “Traitor” » by

« Shobhasakthi’s Traitor ends with a surrealistic description where an old man wandering about the mountains with a corpse which he carries – a corpse which he uses to entertain, disgust and even to drive away people; which he sometimes uses for his own sustenance – encounters a carter going uphill caught in a predicament with its horse which wouldn’t budge. The carter whispers in the horse’s ear, tries a mild stroking from its whip and – all failing – thrashes the beast with all his might. The old man, who with his corpse is seated nearby, is visibly moved and intervenes. This abstraction with which the novel ends is a surrealistic summing up of the fate of the Eelamist struggle and the fate of its various stakeholders. »

via: http://slwakes.wordpress.com/2014/12/27/complexity-of-loyalty-betrayal-and-metaphors-of-eelam-in-shobhasakthis-traitor/

A Review by Sharika Thiranagama of « After Disasters: The Persistence of Insecurity in Sri Lanka », by Vivian Choi

We would like to draw your attention to review of a recent doctoral dissertation on Sri Lanka which have been published at the online publication Dissertation Reviews.

A Review by Sharika Thiranagama of After Disasters: The Persistence of Insecurity in Sri Lanka, by Vivian Choi

http://dissertationreviews.org/archives/8616

Source: AISLS

A review by Justin K.H. Tse of « Evangelical Christianity in Sri Lanka: The Politics of Growth », by Orlando Woods

We would like to draw your attention to review of a recent doctoral dissertation on Sri Lanka which have been published at the online publication Dissertation Reviews.

A review by Justin K.H. Tse of Evangelical Christianity in Sri Lanka: The Politics of Growth, by Orlando Woods

http://dissertationreviews.org/archives/8899

Source: AISLS

A review by Dominic Esler of « War and Grief, Faith and Healing in a Tamil Catholic Fishing Village in Northern Sri Lanka », by Kaori Hatsumi

We would like to draw your attention to review of a recent doctoral dissertation on Sri Lanka which have been published at the online publication Dissertation Reviews.

A review by Dominic Esler of War and Grief, Faith and Healing in a Tamil Catholic Fishing Village in Northern Sri Lankaby Kaori Hatsumi.

via : http://dissertationreviews.org/archives/9793

Source: AISLS

« The Representation of anti-JVP Military Violence in Gunadasa Liyanage’s “Operation Elpitiya” » by Vihanga Perera (In Love With a Whale)

Gunadasa Liyanage’s work Operation Elpitiya is centered around a young doctors encounters in the month of April, 1971, where the JVP manages a temporary “alter-regime” in isolated pockets across Ceylon, following their unsuccessful revolution for power waged against the Sirima Bandaranaike government. The novel opens with the meeting of the said doctor — Karunarathne — and his university-attendant girl friend, Indrani. They meet when the latter is admitted to a Colombo hospital with injuries sustained at a students’ rally against the government, which is baton charged by the Police.

via: http://slwakes.wordpress.com/2013/10/25/the-representation-of-anti-jvp-military-violence-in-gunadasa-liyanages-operation-elpitiya/

source: www.slwakes.wordpress.com

« A Star for Esther: On Sumathy’s “Ingirnithu”, Some Other Interventions and the Relevance of Education » by Vihanga Perera (In Love With a Whale)

« In a recent submission to “Raavaya”, Kumudu Kusum Kumara had attempted a reading of Sumathy’s Ingirinthu as a text of subaltern identity. As implied in that essay — and as it can be conjured from the text itself — the story of Esther Valli is the “silence” of a community that has been the subject of multiple oppression ever since the set up of the Colonial plantation economy. In fact, the very heart of the Hill Country Estate Tamil question was tied up with the case of “legitimacy” as a part of the citizen body: where, in the collective consciousness of Lanka, these marginalized communities were, at best, seen as the vassals of an export economy; while, at the worst, they were condemned to a sub-human status. »

via: http://slwakes.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/the-way-ahead-for-esther-valli-on-sumathys-ingirnithu-and-the-relevance-of-education/

source: www.slwakes.wordpress.com