“Keeping India at bay” by Ahilan Kadirgamar

India’s support for devolution of power and substantive demilitarisation are all overshadowed by the Palk Bay fishing conflict between Tamil Nadu fishers and Northern Sri Lankan fishers

via: http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/keeping-india-at-bay/article5620928.ece

source: www.thehindu.com

“Social Stratification in Jaffna: A Survey of Recent Research on Caste” by Prashanth Kuganathan (Sociology Compass)

In its last release, Sociology Compass has published the article of Prashanth Kuganathan, PhD candidate at Columbia University, on : “Social Stratification in Jaffna: A Survey of Recent Research on Caste”.

The can be bought at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/soc4.v8.1/issuetoc


Since 1983, war has dominated the perception of Sri Lanka. This has affected scholarship on the coun- try, such that the subjects of an overwhelming number of research proposals and publications have been on the war and the prospects and prescriptions for peace. This survey paper is an attempt to lo- cate the system of caste in transition in the Jaffna Peninsula by reviewing recent literature written after the commencement of the war. While detailed ethnographies of caste in Jaffna may have temporarily come to a halt, caste practices have not and remain a salient part of everyday life among the Tamils in Sri Lanka. As the war ended in 2009, it is therefore important that social scientists on Sri Lanka revisit the topic of caste, that is an integral part of not just Tamil culture or society, but being Tamil itself. As the study of caste is dominated by research in India, a microanalysis of Jaffna and Sri Lanka, particularly the nuances of this system in transition due to war and militancy, could contribute to the macro-study of caste at a sub-continental perspective.

reference: Prashanth Kuganathan, “Social Stratification in Jaffna: A Survey of Recent Research on Caste”, in Sociology Compass, Volume 8/Issue 1 (2014): 78–88

“Complexities of Sinhalese Ethnicity and Community: Caste, Kinship and Religion” by Dr. Siri Gamage

The Sinhalese society is constructed on the basis of several key hierarchies. These include the party-political, religious (including Buddhist and deity worship), caste, bureaucratic-administrative, professional (e.g. educational, medical) and the military. Understanding how these hierarchies are formed and they way they operate is one way to approach this subject. In doing so, one has to understand the nature of those who hold positions within them. There are also layer upon layer of ‘interconnecting relationships’ based on the hierarchies mentioned here.

Via http://groundviews.org/2014/01/30/complexities-of-sinhalese-ethnicity-and-community-caste-kinship-and-religion/

source: Groundviews

“Pathways to Power: The Domestic Politics of South Asia”, edited by Arjun Guneratne and Anita M. Weiss Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014

Pathways to Power introduces the domestic politics of South Asia in their broadest possible context, studying ongoing transformative social processes grounded in cultural forms. In doing so, it reveals the interplay between politics, cultural values, human security, and historical luck. While these are important correlations everywhere, nowhere are they more compelling than in South Asia where such dynamic interchanges loom large on a daily basis. Identity politics—not just of religion but also of caste, ethnicity, regionalism, and social class—infuses all aspects of social and political life in the sub-continent. Recognizing this complex interplay, this volume moves beyond conventional views of South Asian politics as it explicitly weaves the connections between history, culture, and social values into its examination of political life.

South Asia is one of the world’s most important geopolitical areas and home to nearly one and a half billion people. Although many of the poorest people in the world live in this region, it is home also to a rapidly growing middle class wielding much economic power. India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, together the successor states to the British Indian Empire—the Raj—form the core of South Asia, along with two smaller states on its periphery: landlocked Nepal and the island state of Sri Lanka. Many factors bring together the disparate countries of the region into important engagements with one another, forming an uneasy regional entity.



Introduction: Situating Domestic Politics in South Asia
Arjun Guneratne & Anita Weiss

Chapter 1: The Colonial Legacy
Shabnum Tejani

Chapter 2: India
Christophe Jaffrelot

Chapter 3: Pakistan
Anita M. Weiss

Chapter 4: Sri Lanka
Arjun Guneratne

Chapter 5: Nepal
Pratyoush Onta and Seira Tamang

Chapter 6: Bangladesh
Haroun er Rashid

source: AISLS

“Laments from a Lacerated Terrain” by Malathi de Alwis, in Journal of Postcolonial Cultures and Societies 4, 2 (2103)

we would like to share a link to read and download Malathi de Alwis’s last article, “Laments from a Lacerated Terrain”, published in Journal of Postcolonial Cultures and Societies 4, 2 (2103)



This is a collection of Sri Lankan women’s poetic responses to the varied forms and kinds of violence they have experienced during the protracted civil war in the north and east of Sri Lanka, that spanned almost three decades (early 1980s to May 2009) and during the youth uprising that took place in the south of the island, from 1987 to 1993. The Tamil, Sinhala, Muslim, and Burgher/Eurasian women represented here not only live(ed) and work(ed) in disparate regions of the island resulting in divergent experiences of the war but they also differ(ed) from each other in terms of class, caste, religion, language and sexual orientation. While all the poems may not be equivalent with regard to literary merit, what they do have in common is their ability to move, inspire, provoke, and challenge.

source: http://writingbeyondthemargins.org/journal-of-postcolonial-culture-and-societies/2013-3/special-issue-2-2/

Conférences de Sujit Sivasundaram, les 6 et 7 février 2014, au Centre d’études de l’Inde et de l’Asie du Sud (CNRS/EHESS)

Le Centre d’études de l’Inde et de l’Asie du Sud (CNRS/EHESS) a le plaisir de vous convier aux deux premières conférences de notre invité les 6 et 7 février:



Sujit Sivasundaram

 Lecturer in World and Imperial History since 1500 at the University of Cambridge
Fellow, Tutor and Director of Studies at Gonville and Caius College.


‘Sri Lanka and India in the age of the advent of British rule’


6 février 2014, 16-18h, salle 640

190  Avenue de France, Paris 75013

dans le cadre de l’atelier de recherche  codirigé par Corinne Lefèvre et Ines G. Županov
Histoires de soi, histoires des autres: questions de traduction et d’historiographie (2014-2018).


‘Scholars and monks in the making of Sinhala Buddhism’

 7 février 2014, 13-15h, salle 662

190  Avenue de France, Paris 75013

Dans le cadre du séminaire de Catherine Clémentin-Ojha
Historiographie de l’hindouisme : anciennes et nouvelles perspectives (2).

 Poster de l’évènement : Sujit Sivasundaram Conf�rences Fev. 2014

 Au plaisir de vous accueillir nombreux

“Sri Lanka’s Northern Council seeks international war crimes probe” by Meera Srinivasan

Sri Lanka’s Northern Provincial Council (NPC) passed a resolution on Monday calling for an international probe into the war crimes allegedly committed during the country’s ethnic conflict.

via: http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article5623473.ece

source: www.thehindu.com

“Uraiyaadal | உரையாடல் : On Tamil and language learning in general” by Dominic Ester

Uraiyaadal – உரையாடல் –  is a Tamil word meaning conversation.

I’m a student from the UK and have been learning Tamil for just over a year, first in London and now in Sri Lanka. The experience of studying a language outside the classroom has made me rethink the problems I faced while completing an undergraduate language degree a few years ago. Now at an intermediate level, I want to share my thoughts and start a conversation about Tamil and language learning in general.

Recently I have also been inspired by autodidact polyglot Benny Lewis, whose blog I would recommend to everyone. I share with him the belief that we are held back not just by the way in which we learn languages, but by the way we think about learning languages. These questions are especially important for those who are trying to learn languages for which few materials and formal training are available.

The blog won’t be a dry, A-Z list of cases, tenses and conjunctions. Instead it will draw on personal experience to bring together a range of different topics – practical, motivational, etymological, grammatical – which I hope will spark people’s interest and get them thinking about the differences and similarities between Tamil and English.

The idea of conversation is doubly important because I want to foreground spoken forms of Tamil. These are often neglected in Tamil teaching, but are crucial for learners who actually want to participate in everyday life!

I’m most familiar with the Tamil spoken in Jaffna, and it’s inevitable that my posts will reflect this. But Uraiyaadal is intended as an interactive space where we can build a fuller picture of all the varieties of Tamil in use. In that spirit I encourage those who speak or are learning other kinds of Tamil – Sri Lankan, Indian or otherwise – to comment wherever they can. Please also feel free to email me feedback or suggestions for topics worth covering.

Being based in Sri Lanka, I hope that Sinhala speakers learning Tamil will gain something from the blog. Unfortunately my knowledge of Sinhala is too limited to offer anything other than basic comparisons, so if you speak Sinhala please feel free to contribute. In the future I plan to set up a guest post system to properly engage with this and other issues.

Otherwise, study well and good luck!

link to the blog: http://uraiyaadal.wordpress.com/

“Metallic Modern: Everyday Machines in Colonial Sri Lanka” by Nira Wickramasinghe


Everyday life in the Crown colony of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) was characterized by a direct encounter of people with modernity through the consumption and use of foreign machines – in particular, the Singer sewing machine, but also the gramophone, tramway, bicycle and varieties of industrial equipment. The ‘metallic modern’ of the 19th and early 20th century Ceylon encompassed multiple worlds of belonging and imagination; and enabled diverse conceptions of time to coexist through encounters with Siam, the United States and Japan as well as a new conception of urban space in Colombo. Metallic Modern describes the modern as it was lived and experienced by non-elite groups – tailors, seamstresses, shopkeepers, workers – and suggests that their idea of the modern was nurtured by a changing material world.

“Once every few years, a book comes along to transform the study of modern South Asia: this is such a book…[It] is deeply scholarly and yet playful; it is both empirically thorough and rich with metaphor. The book is a model of a way of writing history—non-linear, allusive, braided together—that reflects its arguments and materials. Form and content work together perfectly, and this makes Metallic Modern a wonderful read: the book is as enjoyable as it is stimulating.”  ·  Sunil Amrith, University of London

“This is a most engaging book from a well-known author… a timely contribution concerning an important subject that is attracting renewed and sustained interest from historians of late….”  ·  Crispin Bates, University of Edinburgh


List of Illustrations and Maps
Preface and Acknowledgements
Introduction: Exploring Sri Lanka’s modern: Multiple Loops of Belonging
Chapter 1. Following the Singer Sewing Machine: Fashioning a market in a British Crown Colony
Chapter 2. Creating a Market Imaginary
Chapter 3. Paths to a Buddhist modern: From Siam to America
Chapter 4. Gramophone. Soulful Sounds and Sacred Speeches
Chapter 5. An Asian Modern. Japan
Chapter 6. Trams, Cars, Bicycles: Modern Machines in the City
Chapter 7. A Tailor’s Tale and Machines in the Home
Chapter 8. Working like Machines
Conclusion: Metallic Modern

FFAST Festival du film d’Asie du sud transgressif- Paris 4 -11 février 2014

La deuxième édition du Festival du Film d’Asie du Sud Transgressif (FFAST) aura lieu à Paris du 4 au 11 février 2014

Lieu : aux cinémas L’Arlequin et Reflet Médicis à Paris.

Pour plus d’informations : http://ffast.fr
Après le succès de la 1ere édition, le festival s’installe avec ses films, ses conférences, son jury…
Le festival réunit exclusivement des films d’auteurs et inédits en France d’Inde Pakistan Bangladesh & Népal.

Notre sélection de films en compétition se compose de quatre films: HighwayJoshMiss LovelyNeram et Pune 52.

Le mercredi 5 février sera consacré au cinéma népalais avec les diffusions de Red monsoon, de Soongava et des deux courts-métrages Fils etFunérailles.

Tout au long du festival vous pourrez retrouver notre thématique Love Sex aur Shaadi en écho avec les journées d’étude du 28 et 29 janvier. Au programme, AagMain Zinda HoonFlying with one wing et Sangam.

Le programme des journées d’étude est disponible ici :

Dibakar Banerjee, fer de lance du parrallel cinema que nous aimons vous faire découvrir, sera mis à l’honneur.  Nous diffuserons Love, Sex Aur DhokaShanghai et Star.

Cette année, carte blanche à notre partenaire Aanna Films puisque nous diffuserons MicMac Masters.

Enfin, nous vous proposons de venir frisonner avec nous la nuit du vendredi 7 février en participant à notre nuit FFAST & Frissons.

C’est Love, Sex Aur Dhoka qui ouvrira le festival le 4 février et Shuddh Desi Romance qui le clôturera le mardi 11 février. Le reste du festival se déroulera au cinéma Reflet-Médicis du 5 au 11 février.

Invités de l’édition 2014 : Iram Parveen BilalAshim AhluwaliaDeepak RauniyarKanu BehlSubarna ThapaLaurent Aleonard,Guillaume Perrin.

source: http://ffast.fr/

Colloque international “Industrie des coeurs, industrie des corps Amour, sexualité et mariage dans l’Inde du XXIe siècle : imaginaires, fantasmes et ruptures”, à l’Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO), les 28 & 29 janvier 2014

Journées d’études, organisées en partenariat avec l’Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO) et le Centre d’Étude de l’Inde et de l’Asie du Sud (EHESS-CNRS)


Journée d’études sur les dynamiques cinématographiques en Asie du Sud. Ces journées ouvrent le Festival du film d’Asie du Sud Transgressif, FFAST, avec une programmation reflétant la multiplicité de la production cinématographique en Asie du Sud.

Sous-représentés en France, ces cinémas écrasés par la production cinématographique indienne peinent à se faire connaître. La première édition a permis de poser les bases et faire un état des lieux de la question. Pour cette seconde édition, “Industrie des corps, industrie des coeurs”, c’est au mariage, à l’amour et à la sexualité, que nous nous intéresserons.

Ce thème a été inspiré par le film de Dibakar Banerjee, réalisateur de la scène « indie » du cinéma de Mumbai, intitulé Love, Sex aur Dhokha (Amour, Sexe et Trahison, 2010). Le film se construit autour de trois histoires enchevêtrées qui reprennent les trois notions éponymes. Premier film indien réalisé dans le style du « found footage », il adresse, aussi bien dans la construction visuelle et esthétique les questions des relations amoureuses inter-castes, du voyeurisme et de l’intimité sexuelle.

Comment le cinéma, et plus largement la culture visuelle, représentent-ils les normes sociales en matière d’amour, de mariage ou encore de sexualité ? Quels sont les codes amoureux, sociaux, littéraires et iconographiques qui sont repris en image ? Comment, et par qui, sont-ils transgressés ?

Descriptif des deux journées


9H30 / Accueil des participants
10H00- 10H30 / introduction aux journées

Hélène Kessous & Némésis Srour
(organisatrices des journées, doctorantes au CEIAS)

10H30 – 12H / De l’amour en Asie du Sud

Marie fourcade (CEIAS)
Epouses et courtisanes sur scène et à l’écran
Tiziana leucci (CNRS / CEIAS)

12H00-14H30 / Cinéchaï FFAST

Projection du film When Hari got married de Ritu Sarin & Tenzing Sonam.
Marie-Caroline Saglio-Yatzimirsky (Inalco/CEIAS)
Raphaël Voix (CNRS / CEIAS)
Discutante : Valérie Bénéï (CNRS)

14H30-16H00 / Mariage et sexualité : de la métaphore au hors-champ

Amandine d’Azevedo (Paris III)
Teresa Faucon (Paris III)

16H00-16H20 / Pause
16H20-18H00 / Projection

Documentaire Love in India, Qaushiq Mukherjee (2009)

9H30 / Accueil des participants
10H00- 11H30 / Amours médiévals

Regards croisés littéraires et cinématographiques sur la transgression
Catherine Servan-Schreiber (INALCO/ CEIAS)
Hélène Kessous & Némésis Srour (Doctorantes au CEIAS)
Discutant : Delphine Ortis (Université Catholique de l’Ouest)

11H30-13H00 / Matrimania : filmer un documentaire sur le mariage en Inde(film en cours de réalisation)

Vincent Biteaud (Réalisateur)
Maximilien Van Aertryck (Réalisateur)

14H00-15H30 / La sphère intime dans l’oeil des caméras de surveillance de Bombay

Baisés sous CCTV
Pierre Friquet (Réalisateur)

15H30-17H00 / Et la pornographie ?

Présentation du phénomène Savita Bhabhi
Hélène Kessous et Némésis Srour (EHESS)

17H00-17H30 / Conclusion

Conclusion et discussion sur l’ensemble du programme
Denis Vidal (CEIAS)



L’INALCO (Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales)
Adresse: 65, rue des Grands Moulins – 75013
Paris Tél: 01 81 70 10 00
Métro Bibliothèques François Mitterand, Olympiades ligne 14
Bus: 27/62/89

Lectures by Donald Horowtz in Sri Lanka

The James B. Duke Professor of Law and Political Science at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, USA, Donald L. Horowitz, is visiting Sri Lanka on a short visit.

During his stay, Prof. Horowitz will deliver lectures at the University of Peradeniya and the International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES), Colombo.

The lecture at the University of Peradeniya is titled “Ethnic power sharing in theory and practice” and will be held at the Arts Faculty Seminar Room on Monday, 27 January at 3.00 p.m. and the Colombo lecture is titled “The many of functions of federalism and devolution,” at the ICES Auditorium, 2, Kynsey Terrace, Colombo 8 on Friday, 31 January at 4.00 p.m. In 2001, Professor Horowitz was Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics, and in 2001-02, he was a Carnegie Scholar. In 2009, he was presented with the Distinguished Scholar Award of Ethnicity, Nationalism and Migration Section of the International Studies Association.

Prof. Horowitz is the author of seven books: The Court of Social Policy (1977), Coup Theories and Officers’ Motives: Sri Lanka in Comparative Perspective (1980); Ethnic Groups in Conflict (1985, 2000); A Democratic South Africa? Constitutional Engineering in a Divided Society (1991); The Deadly Ethnic Riot (2001); and Constitutional Change and Democracy in Indonesia (2013). Prof. Horowitz is currently writing a book about constitutional design particularly for divided societies, a subject on which he has advised in a number of countries.

source: AISLS

Opportunities for PhD Studies in Religion focusing on Sri Lanka at the University of Otago (New Zealand)

The Department of Religion at the University of Otago in New Zealand solicits applications from qualified students seeking Ph.D. study in the historical and social scientific study of religion.  Dr. Ben Schonthal, Lecturer in the department, is particularly interested in prospective candidates who wish to write about the historical, political, sociological, anthropological and legal dimensions of religion in Sri Lanka, particularly in the contemporary period. Dr. Schonthal specialises in the study of religion, law and politics in late-colonial and independent Sri Lanka. Otago’s PhD program is three years long and the university offers competitive scholarships to highly qualified applicants with a record of academic excellence.   Prerequisites include an honours degree and/or Masters degree in a related field (law, political science, sociology, history, etc.) and very high competence in English.  For more information, please look at the department’s  website:http://www.otago.ac.nz/religion/.   Further queries may be directed to Dr. Schonthal at ben.schonthal@otago.ac.nz  or benjamin.schonthal@gmail.com

source:  AISLS

Call for Papers: The Sri Lanka Journal of the Humanities (Volume 40, Nos. 1 & 2, 2014)

We are currently accepting submissions for The Sri Lanka Journal of the Humanities, Volume 40, Nos. 1 & 2 (in the form of research articles, essays/review articles, book reviews, notes, communications, and opinion pieces) in disciplines that traditionally fall within the domain of Humanities as well as innovative submissions on other interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary subjects/topics.  Whether an article “belongs” in SLJH or not will be determined by the Editorial Board of SLJH on a case-by-case basis.

Detailed instructions regarding the submission of papers and type of submissions acceptable are available with the Editors and the Managing Editor.  Please feel free to contact them at sljh.peradeniya@gmail.com for an e-version of instructions.  Authors are welcome to submit papers on-line by writing to the SLJH email address.  Please provide all author-related information on a separate coversheet to help facilitate the double-blind review process of the Journal.  Papers will be reviewed by two people with recognized expertise in the relevant field/s.  Authors will be informed of the decision and, where applicable, forwarded the review reports, within two months from the date of submission.


Prof. C Wickramagamage                                     Dr Ramila Usoof-Thowfeek

Editor, SLJH                                                                Associate Editor, SLJH

Department of English                                            Department of Philosophy & Psychology

University of Peradeniya                                        University of Peradeniya

“Sovereignty – Is it a Defence to cover up?” by J. C. Weliamuna

The term sovereignty is frequently confronted with hostile claims. Human Right and Anti Corruption Movements are often challenged by various groups with different notions and ideologies on sovereignty. The purpose of this brief article is to examine some of the legal issues with reference to the concept of sovereignty in a global political context, especially in the light of the UN Charter.

Via http://groundviews.org/2014/01/24/sovereignty-is-it-a-defence-to-cover-up/

source: Groundviews