“Aluthgama riots and deaths: Vital updates” by Groundviews

First thing, get on Twitter if you’re not already on it. You’re not going to get critical, real time updates of the violence in Aluthgama, the spill-over to surrounding areas and its aftermath from traditional mainstream news media. Search for and follow updates from #Aluthgama.

Follow us on @groundviews on Twitter for latest updates, including retweets from confirmed, trusted sources, and the debunking of false or unverified content, curtailing its spread over social media. We’ve tweeted over a hundred updates overnight (till around 2.30am today) and have been re-tweeted hundreds of times, including conversations with sources on the ground and other journalists, interestingly tweeting from their personal accounts even though their news institutions blacked out the violence.

For more details on the violence and who to follow for timely, trusted updates over social media, click here.

source: Groundviews

” Crime among Sri Lanka soldiers on rise” by Dinouk Colombage

Crime and desertion in Sri Lanka’s armed forces are on the rise five years since the end of the country’s civil war because of a lack of adequate counselling, psychologists have said.

Police statistics suggest that in the first four months of 2014, nearly 18 percent of reported crimes were committed by members of the armed forces – a large increase on the 5 percent reported for the whole of 2013.

via: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2014/06/crime-among-sri-lanka-soldiers-rise-2014636328915708.html

source: www.aljazeera.com

“Politicising the personal: Who am I, Who are ‘we’ as people?” by Sinthujan Varatharajah

We would like to share a deeply personal and beautifully written piece on caste identity by Sinthujan Varatharajah.

“What does it then mean to utter these words in public? That you are a Dalit or an inter-caste Dalit? How will it affect my parents if we choose to identify with what we were taught to deny? How will it affect the people around us? How will it affect us?”

“Piece by piece am I learning to process and share, to no more live in fear and silence. To no more deny the validity of our own voices. This is part of an ongoing journey which I share in the knowledge of the vulnerability I produce not just for myself, but also those I love the most. But our pain isn’t just ours, our experiences aren’t exclusively ours, and our stories are neither isolated events. They mirror this society and culture we cherish but hardly critique.

The struggle goes on and so does our our emancipation and liberation. This is part of my own contribution, the coming out I chose for myself.”

via: http://roundtableindia.co.in/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7530%3Apoliticising-the-personal-who-am-i-who-are-we-as-people-3&catid=119%3Afeature&Itemid=132

Sinthujan Varatharajah is a PhD candidate in Political Geography at the University College London and the Founder of Roots of Diaspora (www.facebook.com/rootsofdiaspora), a narrative project on refugees and migration of Tamils from Sri Lanka. He previously researched questions on caste in migration and diaspora for his master’s thesis at the London School of Economics and Political Science.You can follow him on Twitter @varathas

source: http://roundtableindia.co.in

“Post-Election 2015 Scenario: Gotabaya’s Entry to Electoral Politics” by Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

The news, based on an exclusive interview, that Mr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa may formally enter mainstream politics by contesting Colombo at the parliamentary election (Deshaya and Daily FT) casts a significant light — some may say shadow— on the character of the regime as it will emerge recomposed after that election which will almost certainly be in the first quarter of 2015.

via: http://groundviews.org/2014/06/04/post-election-2015-scenario-gotabayas-entry-to-electoral-politics/

source: http://groundviews.org

“Jaffna varsity teachers assert right to mourn” by Meera Srinivasan

“The Jaffna University Science Teachers’ Association has condemned the closure of the university between May 16 and 20, pointing to intimidation and repression of free discussion on campus.”

via: http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/south-asia/jaffna-varsity-teachers-assert-right-to-mourn/article6006123.ece

source: www.thehindu.com

“SRI LANKA: A young man tortured to death in Kandaketiya police custody” by Asian Human Rights Commission

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding a young man of the age of 17 who was illegally arrested by officers from the Kandaketiya police and severely tortured along with his brother and another family member. Despite appeals by his parents and lawyers the Magistrate who heard the case presented by the police ignored face that he had been tortured. Denied of medical treatment, P.H. Sadun Mallinga died in the remand prison while his brother held him in his arms.

via: http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-077-2014

source: www.humanrights.asia

“Taking forward the lessons of the Tsunami” by UNOCHA

This December marks 10 years since the Indian Ocean Tsunami devastated Sri Lanka’s northern and eastern coasts. That disaster killed more than 30,000 Sri Lankans and displaced more than 860,000 people.

Some of the information management tools and maps developed by OCHA in the weeks and months following the tsunami helped the government and humanitarian organizations navigate the chaotic aftermath, and provide better assistance to people in need. These tools, and the experiences that shaped them, have become a central part of the country’s disaster management approach

via: http://www.unocha.org/top-stories/all-stories/sri-lanka-taking-forward-lessons-tsunami

source: www.unocha.org

“Grief is not Sinhala, Tamilor Muslim” by Namini Wijedasa

“The military has encroached into everything else. Why won’t it leave grief alone?

If that woman in Anuradhapura wanted to honour her dead son, she could mobilise her entire village to do so and nobody would bat an eyelid. They could gather at the playground, at the cemetery, at the temple, at the school, anywhere they wished. They could light lamps, scatter flowers, hold religious ceremonies or invoke blessing upon any number of Sinhalese men or women who had died in the war.

Why can’t Tamils do the same?”

via: http://naminiwijedasa.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/grief-is-not-sinhala-tamil-or-muslim/

source: http://naminiwijedasa.wordpress.com

“Erasing Identities: Tracing Sri Lanka’s Post-war Journey through the Changing Realities of Trincomalee” by Elijah Hoole

“The experience of minorities in the beautiful eastern district of Trincomalee perfectly encapsulates the dark and depressing reality facing minority communities across Sri Lanka. Trincomalee’s remaking is part of a larger national-level project. The new Trincomalee is a microcosm of the post-war Sri Lanka. At the expense of minorities, the Rajapaksa government is building a Sinhalese-Buddhist nation that is intolerant, illiberal, and regressive.

Five years on, any possibility of national reconciliation seems entirely distant and improbable. In retrospect, it is evident that the war never ended. Only armed fighting did. The government has only exacerbated the root causes that led to the original conflict. The future looks bleak indeed.”

via: http://groundviews.org/2014/05/13/erasing-identities-tracing-sri-lankas-post-war-journey-through-the-changing-realities-of-trincomalee/

source: http://groundviews.org

“Sri Lanka offers lessons on how not to manage water” by IRIN

Angry paddy farmers blocked major roads in the Minneriya and Girithale areas in Sri Lanka’s North Eastern Polonnaruwa region last month, complaining the government had not released enough water for their rice to grow; they claimed they had lost 50,000 hectares of crops, or 1.75 million kg.

Ananda Edirisuriya, who took part in the protests, accused the Irrigation Department of failing to notify farmers of impending water shortages.

via: http://www.irinnews.org/report/100170/sri-lanka-offers-lessons-on-how-not-to-manage-water

source: www.irinnews.org

“Sri Lanka tries to dispel shadow of war clouding its economy Jamie Robertson” by Jamie Robertson

Ajith Nivard Cabraal, the governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, has good reason to be pleased.

The Bank has achieved much in recent years. Inflation is coming down and is below 5%. Interest rates are lower too. Foreign exchange reserves have never been higher, and GDP growth has averaged between 7% and 8% over the last three years.

And yet foreign direct investment (FDI) lags. Last year the government had hoped for some $2bn (£1.2bn) in FDI. It got $1.3bn.

That is why Mr Cabraal is on a mission to market the country to international investors.

via: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-27638515

source: www.bbc.com

“Sri Lanka monks occupy ministry building” by Dinouk Colombage

Protesters led by Buddhist monks from the right-wing Ravana Balaya group have occupied the Ministry of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo.

The Sinhalese Buddhist nationalist group protested on Wednesday against the creation of a new religious police unit, which was created in April this year in the wake of rising number of religious conflicts in recent years.

via: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia/2014/05/sri-lanka-monks-occupy-ministry-building-2014528103425654560.html

source: www.aljazeera.com

“Sri Lanka again rejects devolving police powers to ease tension with Tamils” by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez (Reuters)

Sri Lanka on Wednesday again rejected devolving police powers to the provinces as requested by new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and required by the constitution as a means to ease tension with minority Tamils.

via: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-sri-lanka-india-20140604,0,6791597.story

source: www.chicagotribune.com

“Australia asylum seekers find refuge in cricket” by Phil Mercer

“Ocean 12 are sporting warriors like no other. Padded up and steeled for action in a suburban league in Sydney, the team is made up of Tamil asylum seekers competing for a place in the finals of a global cricket competition.”

via: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-27498287

source: www.bbc.com

“Childhood in a Sri Lankan Village : Shaping Hierarchy and Desire” by Bambi L. Chapin


Like toddlers all over the world, Sri Lankan children go through a period that in the U.S. is referred to as the “terrible twos.” Yet once they reach elementary school age, they appear uncannily passive, compliant, and undemanding compared to their Western counterparts. Clearly, these children have undergone some process of socialization, but what?

Over ten years ago, anthropologist Bambi Chapin traveled to a rural Sri Lankan village to begin answering this question, getting to know the toddlers in the village, then returning to track their development over the course of the following decade. Childhood in a Sri Lankan Village offers an intimate look at how these children, raised on the tenets of Buddhism, are trained to set aside selfish desires for the good of their families and the community. Chapin reveals how this cultural conditioning is carried out through small everyday practices, including eating and sleeping arrangements, yet she also explores how the village’s attitudes and customs continue to evolve with each new generation.

Combining penetrating psychological insights with a rigorous observation of larger social structures, Chapin enables us to see the world through the eyes of Sri Lankan children searching for a place within their families and communities. Childhood in a Sri Lankan Villageoffers a fresh, global perspective on child development and the transmission of culture.


“What makes this book so special is that it does not stop at description, as do most ethnographies. It goes on to explain Sinhalese childhood and child rearing, doing so within a well-considered, smartly-deployed psychoanalytic framework.”

—Naomi Quinn, professor emerita, Department of Cultural Anthropology, Duke University

“Chapin’s work is a significant contribution to the anthropology of childhood. It tackles important questions about the meaning of child care practices and patterns.”

—Jill E. Korbin, Department of Anthropology and Schubert Center for Child Studies, Case Western R

Author / Editor Bio

BAMBI L. CHAPIN is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Table Of Contents

Note on Translation and Transliteration

1. Introduction
2. Sri Lanka: Setting the Ethnographic Context
3. Socializing Desire: Demanding Toddlers and Self-Restrained Children
4. Shaping Attachments: Learning Hierarchy at Home
5. Making Sense of Envy: Desire and Relationships in Conflict
6. Engaging with Hierarchy outside the Home: Education and Efforts at Change
7. Culturing People