Given a choice between living in a camp for displaced persons and in a home of his own, Dinesh Kumar would have chosen the latter any day. But nothing prepared him for the daily battle at his new house.
“I go to the sea to fish, but the catch has fallen drastically in the years we were displaced. I do some home gardening with my wife, we barely manage,” said the 30-year-old, standing in front of his small, Army-built house in Tellippalai, in Jaffna peninsula. Authorities have named the colony ‘Nallinakkapuram’ (colony of reconciliation). But for residents here, concerns over finding livelihood and drinking water have trumped the relief of being back on their land.
La victoire de l’armée sri-lankaise en mai 2009 a mis fin à plusieurs décennies de guerre opposant l’Etat central sri-lankais aux séparatistes du Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Si officiellement, la population civile tamoule a été libérée et l’unité nationale restaurée, il n’en reste pas moins que le traitement réservé aux civils tamouls a soulevé des questions.
source: Eglises d’Asie
Maatram, the Tamil civic media initiative based at the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) is pleased to present ‘Mudivuraatha Yuththam’ (The Unfinished War), Sri Lanka’s first example of long-form journalism for produced specifically for the web.
Inspired by award-winning examples of modern day story-telling on the web by the New York Times, Al Jazeera, The Global Mail and other leading media institutions, ‘Mudivuraatha Yuththam’ is designed to be accessible over broadband on any modern browser as well as via recent smartphones and tablets. Cutting-edge presentation is married to compelling original content, anchored to five key sections.
- Displacement: Focussing on families from Sampur in Trincomalee, who have been IDPs since 2007.
- Abductions: With information derived from the Red Cross and other institutions, both domestic and international, this section looks at abductions both during and after the war. Ways through which the government has tried to address this issue are flagged, with a focus on the civilians participating in these official mechanisms. A video interview with a woman who had handed in her son to the Army at the end of the way is also featured in this section.
- Land grabbing: Incidents of land grabs by the Sri Lankan military in Walikamam North are highlighted in this section. The story of a family affected by these land grabs is included as a video documentary. An important feature under this section is information obtained through a member of the Northern Provincial Council about the Sinhalisation of Mullaitivu.
- Militarisation: The presence of military in the Northern Sri Lanka is looked into and depicted through images and text. This section also looks at how the military is heavily involved in the development processes of the North.
- Development: This section looks into the illegal destruction of personal property by the military and the Ministry of Defence, and the resulting displacement of these affected.
Each section features video, photography and text respectively shot and written specifically for the site. Access ‘Mudivuraatha Yuththam’ here.
Maatram, established in early 2014, is aimed at Tamil readers across Sri Lanka and in the diaspora. In addition to original reporting and content generation in Tamil, Maatram also features translations of material sourced from Groundviews and Vikalpa to ensure a wider readership and deeper appreciation of issues mainstream media in Sri Lanka will not or cannot publish, produce or promote.
Maatram is also on Twitter and Facebook.
Lawyers, academics and activists hit out at the growing militarisation of every aspect of society at a forum organised by the BASL to analyse the implications of a gazette vesting police powers in the armed forces.
The heavy militarisation of Sri Lanka’s northern province after the civil war’s bloody end in 2009 has been the subject of growing domestic and international concern. The large numbers of military personnel in the north, and the deep involvement of the military in the province’s governance, endanger the re-establishment of democratic institutions that is necessary to lasting peace (see our Nov 2013 report Sri Lanka’s Potemkin Peace: Democracy Under Fire).
Before getting into the main thrust of my argument, I want to be clear about the lost opportunity in post-war Sri Lanka. I am echoing here the words of the insightful Tamil intellectual Kethesh Loganathan, who critiqued the attempts to resolve the ethnic conflict during the first five decades after Independence, in his book Sri Lanka: Lost Opportunities. Tragically, the great opening that came with the end of the war has been squandered by the ruling Rajapaksa regime in the interest of consolidating power.
In the current situation, authoritarianism with centralised state power and militarisation characterises the state of affairs in the country. Militarisation is doubly oppressive in the war-torn North and East. There has been no serious movement towards a political solution. The reconstruction process has failed, particularly in relation to livelihoods, and a food security crisis is looming over the North.
Elaborating on the challenges, he pointed to militarisation as a major impediment to governance. Many families that were internally displaced during the war were yet to be resettled. The Sri Lankan army, he said, had taken over private land and in some cases even agriculture. “Locals have to purchase produce from their own land cultivated by the army,” he said, adding that women and children suffered periodic intimidation by the army.
The meeting of Commonwealth heads of government has started in Sri Lanka. But the summit’s attendance list has already narrowed. Leaders of Canada, India and Mauritius have boycotted the gathering. The reason stems from concern over the Human Rights record of the Sri Lanka government, particularly with the regard to the last few months of the end of the civil war in 2009. Coverage on Impact included an in-depth report on the issues underlying the controversy by George Alagiah, followed by a studio discussion by Impact presenter Lucy Hockings with Sri Lankan Democracy Activist Nirmala Rajasingam, and Dushy Ranatunge, a London based journalist for the Sri Lankan newspaper, The Island.
source: BBC World News (via Youtube)
The Economic and Political Weekly carries a section on Militarisation in Sri Lanka in issue no 48, February 2013, and th elink is given below.
MILITARISATION IN SRI LANKA
Modalities of an Emergent Dictatorship
Militarisation, Lankan Style
The Military Expansion into Education
The Question of Militarisation in Post-war Sri Lanka