“Showdown in Sri Lanka: PM’s sacking sparks constitutional crisis” France 24 Debate

Regional players China and India are keeping close tabs on the Sri Lankan president’s decision to sack Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and replace him with the country’s longtime strongman, Mahinda Rajapaksa. But Sri Lanka continues to have duelling prime ministers. We look into the cause and the legality of the recall, a test for the nation’s democracy. It was on Rajapaksa’s watch that a civil war ended with the crushing of Tamil Tiger rebels. Could the turmoil in Colombo reopen wounds?



Former Governor of the Eastern Province


Director of the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center


Research Associate, Centre for Studies on India and South Asia


Sri Lanka Project Director, Crisis Group


LST New Publication Series – “පුරවැසි සංවාද”

We are pleased to inform you that LST has initiated a new publication series that covers the ongoing issues in Sri Lanka. The publication will be published from Sinhala and Tamil languages.  
Please click HERE to download the full publication or download the attached PDF file.

“The May 18 Disconnect” by Ruki Fernando

“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.”

via: http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2018/05/20/opinion/may-18-disconnect

Online Museum of Memory and Coexistence

The International Centre for Ethnic Studies is pleased to launch its online Museum of Memory and Coexistence.  The museum will seek to celebrate diversity, coexistence, resilience and solidarity, while archiving social exclusion, loss, and personal trauma. 

​​It​ is part of a larger ICES initiative to explore the use of arts, and physical and digital spaces, to facilitate social healing, archive narratives of the past, and build creative spaces for talking about a shared future and non-recurrence.

“Untold Stories from Kandy” by Groundviews


Featured image courtesy Vikalpa/Ishara Danasekara 

Featured image courtesy Vikalpa/Ishara Danasekara 

“This is the money that my daughter and I collected every day in a till. It used to be on the cabinet. The notes can no longer be found. The coins were caught in the flames and were burned.”

He took the coins one by one and held them in his hands. His breath caught in his chest.

To him, the value in these coins was clearly more than the rupee or two that they were worth.

“We’re not angry with the Sinhalese”, were his last words to me.

Vikalpa traveled to Digana and surrounding areas in the aftermath of riots targeting the Muslim community in March. The following story is a translation of Vikalpa’s coverage.

Read the full article here.

source: Groundviews

“Mired by Multiple Loan Sharks” by Amra Ismail

After a nearly three-decade civil war those devastated by it had to rebuild their lives and finding employment was a challenge. The strategy adopted by the Government was to expand credit and promote self-employment. But then things took a turn for the worse when their livelihoods did not flourish. People could not repay the mounting debts. The once war-torn areas of the country are now mired by multiple loans which include ‘predatory’ microfinance loans and loans provided by informal lenders at exorbitant interest rates.Failed attempts at self-employment coupled with accumulating high interest loans have now driven families to the brink of poverty.

via: www.dailymirror.lk/article/Mired-by-Multiple-Loan-Sharks-149365.html

source: dailymirror.lk

“M.I.A. says she was unable to board plane to Canada for Hot Docs Festival” by By Katie Scott

Musician M.I.A. says she was unable to board a plane to Canada on Tuesday after officials in the United Kingdom found a stamp on her passport.

The British-Sri Lankan rapper, whose real name is Mathangi Maya Arulpragasam, is scheduled to attend the Canadian premiere of her new documentary Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. at the Hot Docs Festival in Toronto on Wednesday, May 2.

via: https://globalnews.ca/news/4179821/m-i-a-unable-to-board-plane-to-canada-hot-docs/

“CBK demands suspension of multimillion dollar Chinese water project” by Namini Wijedasa

A multimillion dollar Chinese-funded water supply project has run into controversy with former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga openly demanding its suspension and an inquiry on the grounds that it is overpriced. In August 2016, the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) awarded a contract to China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) for the Gampaha, Attanagalla and Minuwangoda Integrated Water Supply Scheme. The project cost is US$ 229.5mn (Rs 35.8bn). It is 85 percent funded by a China Development Bank (CDB) loan while the Bank of Ceylon will lend the Government 15 percent of the contract price or US$ 34mn (Rs 5.3bn) as local funding.

via: http://www.sundaytimes.lk/180325/news/cbk-demands-suspension-of-multimillion-dollar-chinese-water-project-287633.html

“Reviving education in North will take years: PM” by DailyMirror.lk

It would take at least another ten years to revive the fallen education system in the North, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said today.

via: http://www.dailymirror.lk/article/Reviving-education-in-North-will-take-years-PM-147952.html

“Police, politicians accused of joining Sri Lanka’s anti-Muslim riots” by Reuters

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.

via: https://www.reuters.com/article/sri-lanka-clashes/rpt-insight-police-politicians-accused-of-joining-sri-lankas-anti-muslim-riots-idUSL3N1R70A8

“Sri Lankan corporals arrested on Sri Lankan corporals arrested on anti-Muslim riot charges Reuters charges” 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.

via: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-sri-lanka-clashes-arrests/sri-lankan-corporals-arrested-on-anti-muslim-riot-charges-idUSKBN1HH1SB

“US rights report notes Sri Lanka’s slowness in transitional justice” by The Hindu

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.

via: http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/us-rights-report-notes-sri-lankas-slowness-in-transitional-justice/article23635493.ece

keynote lectures for crafts conference “Tradition or Trans/formation? Craft, Practice and Discourse”, Jaffna, 10 May

You are cordially invited to the inauguration of a International interdisciplinary trilingual conference on craft

Tradition or Trans/formation? Craft, Practice and Discourse

Organized by
The Department of Fine Arts, University of Jaffna in collaboration with

American Institute for Lankan Studies, Colombo
Lanka Decorative Arts, Colombo
Sri Lankan Archive for Contemporary Art, Architecture and Design, Jaffna

10thMay 2018 at 3.00 pm

Jaffna Public library Auditorium


“Transformation at the heart of tradition: A history of the institutionalization

of craft in South Asia”

Anais Da Fonseca (Tate Research Center: Asia, London)


Vishwakarma craftsmen, guilds and caste issues in Pre- Colonial South India

Vijaya Ramaswamy (Centre for Historical studies, JNU, New Delhi)

“‘I thought I was a bad son’: the emotional distance between migrants and their children” by Guy Gunaratne

In 1951, Guy Gunaratne’s Sri Lankan father learned English by reading in a London bookshop. Almost 70 years later, the same shop sells his son’s novel.Guy Gunaratne considers their very different journeys.

To read more: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/may/02/story-father-immigrant-experience-guy-gunaratne?CMP=share_btn_fb

Source: The Guardian