The positive achievements of the regime change are quite significant, but paradoxically they remain mostly invisible and intangible. Key among them include making the state less and less repressive, removing the use of fear, terror, intimidation and corruption as instruments of governance, turning the regime behaviour moderate and less leader-centric, dismantling the political culture of the personality cult, demilitarisation of politics and public space, the re-opening of the space for critique and dissent, and the removal of the fear among ethnic and religious minorities of organised violence. These indeed are no mean achievements gained within a space of days and weeks of the regime change. All these are negative achievements in the sense that they are outcome of the government refraining from doing certain things. But they constituted a fundamental alteration of the pattern of regime behaviour evolved during the past so many years.
The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka has today called upon the President Maithripala Sirisena and the Government of Sri Lanka to conduct a thorough investigation, punish all who may have violated the laws of the land, and ensure that no more Sri Lankans are misled in to joining any terrorist movement.
“Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero, the General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena, the Bodu Janatha Peramuna (BJP) and candidate for the Kalutara District, has launched his political campaign by once again attacking and branding every Muslim as a terrorist. His clarion call for the Sinhalese to “wake up”, his ominous augury “Abasaranai” to the Muslims in Aluthgama and the hate speech on 15th of June 2014 that led to the riots against the Aluthgama Muslims destroyed the peace that existed between the two communities. Now, his verbal diatribe and racism meant to help him to step in to Parliament, seem to get more vicious and venomous as the symbol for his new party, the cobra. He has now condemned every Muslim Civil, Religious and Political organisation as sponsors of terrorism in Sri Lanka. The media reports of the death of a Sri Lankan following a twisted ideology while fighting with IS (ISIS) has given him the ammunition to call every Muslim a terrorist or sponsor of terrorism.”
Thirty-two years ago on Friday, anti-Tamil riots burned a hole into the South Asian island nation of Sri Lanka that it still struggles to close. For many of us in the Canadian Tamil diaspora, it is an emotional reminder of not only what we had lost in Sri Lanka but also what we have gained in Canada in return
We would like to share an interview given by Shobasathi who recently won the palm d’or at Cannes Festival. “I have always written on a variety of topics such as caste, sex and gender and equality but people seem to think I write only about war.”
The Ramadan Project on Instagram, started by a dozen Colombo youngsters and open to people of all faiths, captures hidden dimensions of the holy month.
The tragic history of post – independence Sri Lanka records that the Tamils of Sri Lanka have been subjected to mass –scale mob violence in the years 1956, 1958, 1977, 1981 and 1983. The anti-Tamil violence of July 1983 was the most terrible and horrible of them all. It remains etched in memory even after 27 years.
The emergence and sharpening of Tamil nationalism from the 1940s to the 1980s is a complex tale which cannot be easily summarized in a few strokes. It is a tale of Sinhala extremism at one pole and Tamil extremism at the other pole feeding off each other. At the same time, the divisions within each extreme (that is, the existence of several competing parties with chauvinist positions) disabled steps towards moderation. Moreover, this major strand of political contestation – the Sinhala/Tamil divide — was complicated by strands of Leftist and Naxalite thinking that encouraged both Sinhalese and Tamil youth to move towards revolutionary struggle.
In 2013, to remember Black July 1983, Groundviews brought together leading documentary filmmakers, photographers, activists, theorists and designers, in Sri Lanka and abroad, to focus on just how deeply the anti-Tamil pogrom in 1983 shaped our imagination, lives, society and polity.
“Former President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, spent more than Rs. 785 million within three years to charter SriLankan Airlines aircraft for his visits abroad, documents obtained by the Sunday Times show. The airbuses would often remain idle in various airports until Mr Rajapaksa finished his tours. SriLankan has billed his office a total of Rs 785,079,185 for 90 aircraft movements in 2012, 2013 and 2014. This figure does not reflect other multiple costs such as crew accommodation. These expenses were often met by Sri Lanka’s diplomatic missions abroad.”
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday criticized a comeback bid by Mahinda Rajapaksa, the rival he beat in elections last January, and his own allies for backing him to become prime minister.
The Jaffna electoral district in the Northern Province has witnessed a sharp drop of over 25 per cent in the number of voters
Sri Lanka’s August elections have been timed to stop a comeback by war-time president Mahinda Rajapaksa, who remarkably may see his popularity rise in coming months if criticized for war crimes in a U.N report, said government sources.
Sri Lanka, a palm-fringed island in the Indian Ocean, is in the sixth year of peace. But as the country prepares for elections in August, the legacy of its long civil war still casts a shadow.
The intervening years have been especially painful for the families of the thousands who disappeared in three decades of conflict and remain unaccounted for.
The trauma endures in the fishing village of Mannar in the Northern Province, where most of the fighting unfolded between the Tamil rebels and the government forces. Residents say men were snatched off the streets “in broad daylight,” bundled into vans, and never seen again.
Shunned, destitute and pushed into prostitution in some cases, Sri Lanka’s Tamil widows have returned to northern Jaffna since the end of the separatist war only to discover they are not welcome even in their homeland.