Shahnaz Habib writes for The New Yorker’s ‘Briefly Noted’ a review of the last book of Shobasakti « The MGR Murder Trial « .
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…
As the COP20 comes to a close in Peru, France is starting to prepare the COP21 which it will host in 2015, H.E. Mr Jean-Paul Monchau, the Ambassador of France explains the importance of these conferences which are significant milestones in the field of international climate change mitigation. Interview conducted by staff at the French Embassy in Colombo.
Rue89 put online an article entitled “Miss France in Sri Lanka sunbathing and war crimes ”that reveals and denounces the decision of the Miss France committee to organize the preparation of the beauty contest Miss France 2014 with 33 candidates in Sri Lanka. The decision to develop the South Asian island is not trivial. It will reinforce the efforts of the Sri Lankan government to present itself as a new tourist destination in fashion in order to forget the war years. The Miss France committee should reconsider its choice of Sri Lanka as the host country for this initiative may tarnish the image of France, given the political situation of the island.
The atrocities committed by the warring parties to end the war , which claimed the lives of over 40,000 people, have led the UN to adopt a resolution calling for the conduct of credible and independent inquiry to investigate crimes war which was guilty of Staff of the Sri Lankan army. The Channel 4 documentary “ Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields ”highlighted, evidence supporting the abuses committed by the Sri Lankan troops against Tamil civilians and fighters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam ( LTTE) (summary executions of prisoners of war whose son of the leader of the separatist LTTE 12 years old).
Organizations defending human rights, such as Amnesty International , multiply actions denouncing these crimes and violations of basic rights of Sri Lanka since the end of the war. Several media denouncing the government of President Rajapaksa have been victims of attacks and intimidation . Since February 2013, a group of Buddhist fundamentalists, the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), close to the government embarked on a campaign of hatred against minorities. Under pressure from the BBS, Sri Lanka banned the halal labeling for meat sold in the island. Of Muslim shops were attacked by militants BBS. Instead of defending the victims of these extremists, the government imprisoned for more than three months, citing the Terrorism Prevention Act, a Muslim political leaders, Azad Sally . A former ally of the government was imprisoned for criticizing the fundamentalist excesses of BBS. The riots against minorities have also affected the plantation Tamils while in the north of the island, Tamils denounce the appropriation of land for the benefit of civilian military and militarization populated areas mostly by the Tamil minority. Peaceful demonstrations conducted in Colombo to protest the development of hatred on the island have also highlighted unacceptable intimidation by the security forces and militants BBS.Several protesters were photographed against their will by the BBS and the police also arrested protesters without cause. Faced with all these attacks on human rights and freedom of expression, there are voices on the island and abroad to Sri Lanka not to take the chairmanship of the Commonwealth and the summit between Heads of States of the organization, held in November 2013, boycotted . Canada has already announced his refusal to travel to Colombo. Queen Elizabeth II has declined the invitation for health reasons and send the Prince of Wales. But this decision seems as outlined Channel 4 , more political than medical.
In this context, it is difficult to imagine that the Miss France committee can develop a country, especially a government, which is so controversial. Interviewed by Rue89 on the ethical problem of organizing this week of preparation in Sri Lanka, Sylvie Tellier, CEO of the Miss France, had a shocking answer:
“In all locations, there are problems that arise. In Thailand, there is sex tourism, is that so far we boycott Thailand? No! ”
The Miss France committee can it ethically agree to participate in the propaganda of a government that does not respect human rights? A beauty contest can it ignores human rights which constitute one of the values that our Republic is proud to promote throughout the world? There are no other countries that they would respect French values that could accommodate our miss?
Mr. Daye, “Miss France in Sri Lanka sunbathing and war crimes” in Rue89 (09/05/2013) http://www.rue89.com/2013/05/09/miss-france-sri-lanka -tan-war-crimes-242171
Madavan D., 2011, “Geography of ‘Refuge Spaces’ of Jaffnese Since the Beginning of the Conflict in Sri Lanka”, in Geography from the villa at war. http://geographie-ville-en-guerre.blogspot.fr/ 2011/07/geographie-des-espaces-refuges-des.html
Madavan D., 2011, “Geography spaces shelters’ Tamils jaffnais since the beginning of the conflict in Sri Lanka, in D. Madavan, G. Dequirez and E. Meyer (eds.), The Tamil and Sri Lankan conflict, L’Harmattan, collection Geography and Cultures, Paris, pp. communities. 15-44
E. Meyer, “Vote of the Board of the United Nations Human Rights”, in Sri Lanka & Diasporas (22/03/2013) http://slkdiaspo.hypotheses.org/1731
Channel 4, 2011, “Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished” http://www.channel4.com/programmes/sri-lankas-killing-fields/4od
Sri Lanka & Diasporas, “An Amnesty International report highlights the violent repression of dissent by the government,” in Sri Lanka & Diasporas (30/04/2013) http://slkdiaspo.hypotheses.org/1978
A. Buncombe, “Office of outspoken Tamil newspaper Uthayan attacked This in Sri Lanka”, in The Independent
Al Kanz, “Sri Lanka: the halal labeling is left” in Al Kanz (11/03/2013) http://www.al-kanz.org/2013/03/11/sri-lanka- -halal labeling /
Colombo Telegraph, “Video Evidence: Buddhist Monk Attacks Muslim Owned Fashion Bug,” in Colombo Telegraph
Amnesty International, “Sri Lanka. Arrest of a prominent Muslim politician from the opposition, “in Amnesty International
DBS Jeyaraj, “Sinhala Tamil Mob Attacks at ‘Thondamanpura’ Housing Scheme in Ratnapura District,” in dbsjeyaraj (20/04/2013). http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/20339
Sunday Times, “Jaffna Landowners to file more than 1000 cases against military ‘land grab”, in The Sunday Times
CeylonToday.lk, “Is our first military Jaffna town?, In The Independent
S. Jones, Canada Attacks’ evil of Sri Lanka hosting Commonwealth Summit, The Guardian (26/04/2013). http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/apr/26/canada-government-sri -lanka-commonwealth
Channel 4, “A Right Royal Sickie”
Colombo Gazette, “Police, BBS block peaceful vigil” in Colombo Gazette (12/04/2013). http://colombogazette.com/2013/04/12/police-bbs-block-peaceful-vigil/
We would like to thanks english.athirady.com website administrators for having translate the original article from french to english