Table ronde sur Sri Lanka à Edimbourg

Une table ronde consacrée à la situation politique et sociale actuelle de Sri Lanka est organisée à Edimbourg le 26 et 27 mai 2016 par Jonathan Spencer, professeur d’anthropologie à l’Université.
Nous reproduisons ci-dessous le programme provisoire de ces journées d’étude:

Sri Lanka Roundtable (DRAFT PROGRAMME)
Edinburgh 26-27 May, 2016

Thursday 26 May, Techcube, Summerhall (t.b.c)
9.00-9.15 Introduction and welcome
9.15-11.00 Youth and war Isabelle Clark-Decès (Princeton), Youth in the cultural politics of contemporary Jaffna
Dhana Hughes (Durham), Sinhala Youth and Military Enlistment
Giacomo Mantovan (CEIAS/CRH, EHESS) “They were kings…” The farewell to arms of former Tamil Tiger fighters in exile in France
Giyani Venya De Silva (Oxford) Living with continuity, waiting for change: commentaries from students in Colombo
11.00-11.15 Coffee
11.15-12.45 Gender Asha Abeysekera (Colombo) Balancing Modernity and Morality in the Sinhala-Buddhist Family Exploring the Rhetoric of Sinhala-Buddhist Nationalism
Kristine Hoglund (Uppsalla) Gender and the Pursuit of Justice in Sri Lanka: Testimonies of Peace and Conflict
Jayanthi Lingam (SOAS) Gendered working lives in the post-war transition in Jaffna district, 2009-14
12.45-1.30 Lunch
1.30-3.00 Justice and Security Georg Frerks (Utrecht), Rajapakse’s Peace’: The President’s discourse on the post-war situation in Sri Lanka (2009-2015)
Ali Brown (Amsterdam), Human Security in the Era of Sirasena
Gerrit Kurtz (KCL), The evolution of post-war transitional justice in Sri Lanka
3.00-3.15 Tea
3.15-5.00 Transitional Justice and Constitutional Reform: State of Play and Future Prospects Harini Amarasuriya (Open University and Public Representations Committee on Constitutional reform), Alan Keenan (international Crisis Group), Asanga Welikala (CPA and University of Edinburgh), with Christine Bell (University of Edinburgh)
6.00-7.00
7.30 Dinner, Mother India, Infirmary Street

Friday 27 May, Seminar Rooms 1 and 2, Chrystal Macmillan Building
Please note, in the morning we will split the space to run parallel panels in the two rooms. In the afternoon, we will open up the two rooms for our final plenary sessions.

9.00-9.15 Introduction and welcome
9.15-10.45 Work and Livelihoods (Seminar Room 1) Urs Geiser (Zurich)The making of control over land in Wattamadu – local organisations, engaging the state, changing conjunctures
Charles Wilkinson and Maura van den Kommer
(Amsterdam) Living the Uncertainty: Exploring the Effects of the EU Ban on Sri Lankan Fisheries
Joeri Scholtens and Maarten Bavinck (Amsterdam) Facilitating change from the bottom-up? Reflections on civil society efforts to empower marginalized fishers in post-war Sri Lanka
Religion and transition (Seminar Room 2) Mahinda Deegalle (Bath Spa) The Vision and Leadership of the Architect of Yahapālanaya: Venerable Māduluwāwe Sobhita’s Exemplary Role in the Political Transition of Sri Lanka in 2015
Neena Mahadev (Max Planck) Notes on contemporary religio-economic linkages between Sri Lankan & Singapore
Dominic Esler (UCL) Northern Tamil society after the war: the revival of Catholic kūttu in Mannar
10.45-11.15 Coffee
11.15-12.45 Work and Politics (Seminar Room 1) Sandya Hewamanne (Essex) Neoliberalism’s New Recruits: Tamil Workers, Human Rights Thrashings and ‘Mundane’ Politics in Post-War Sri Lanka
Mythri Jegathesan (Santa Clara) Is a progressive politics possible? Examining the contemporary intersections of industrial sustainability and political shifts in Sri Lanka’s plantation sector
Darshi Thoradeniya (Heidelberg/Colombo) Women Citizens in Welfare State of Sri Lanka
Past and present (Seminar Room 2) Deborah Winslow (NSF) Contexts of Caste
Alessandra Radicati (LSE) Precarious Patriots: Reflections on Past, Present and Future in a Coastal Community
Carolina Holgersson Ivarsson (Gothenburg), Religious identity, nationalism and social media among Sinhala-Buddhist youth
12.45-1.30 Lunch
1.30-3.30 Borders and Margins Vagisha Gunasekara,
Prashanthi Rasadhari Jayasekara,
Gayathri Hiroshani, Hallinne Lokuge,
Aftab Lall (Centre for Poverty Analysis, Colombo), Production of Marginality: Findings from a six-year research programme on basic services, social protection and livelihoods in the North and East
Jonathan Goodhand (SOAS/Melbourne), Vagisha Gunasekera (CEPA), Alice Kern (Zurich) and Thiruni Kelegama (Zurich), with Rajesh Venugopal (LSE), discussant, Sri Lanka’s borderlands and frontiers
3.30-3.45 Tea
3.45-5.30 Writing War and After Sunila Galappatti will read from her new book, A Long Watch: War, Captivity and Return in Sri Lanka, and V.V. (Sugi) Ganeshananthanan will read from her work in progress, The Missing are Considered Dead.

Also in attendance (participating but not presenting): Ashwini Vasanthakumar
(York), Dennis McGilvray (Colorado), Anne Blackburn (Cornell), Rose Fernando (Utrecht), Niels Terpstra (Utrecht), Eric Meyer (INALGO, Paris), Oivind Fuglerud (Oslo), R.L. (Jock) Stirrat (Sussex), Kanchana Ruwanpura (Edinburgh), Anthony Good (Edinburgh), Jonathan Spencer (Edinburgh), Sidharthan Maunaguru (NUS), Tanya Ekanayaka (Edinburgh), Deborah Menezes (Edinburgh)

« refugee mothers » by Sinthujan Varatharajah

This is for the refugee mothers whose second name became I-yearn-to-die post-flight.

This is for the refugee mother who could never become a mother because she died too early in transit. This is for the refugee mother who saw her children swallowed by borders. This is for the refugee mother who had a miscarriage because of the stress of fleeing.

see: http://diasporaland.tumblr.com/post/126098219067/refugee-mothers

« Gang-rape prompts protests in Sri Lanka’s north » by Al Jazeera

More than 100 people have been arrested during protests against the gang-rape and murder of a 17-year-old schoolgirl, in the biggest public demonstration recorded in Sri Lanka’s north.

Police fired tear gas and shops, banks and schools were closed on Wednesday as the protests brought Jaffna, the capital of Northern Province, to a standstill.

The protesters demanded that authorities hand over nine men who were arrested and about to face court over the incident.

The victim left for school on Wednesday last week but never arrived.

via: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/05/gang-rape-prompts-protests-sri-lanka-north-150520182532004.html

« Film: Determining Futures, women in Trade Unions in Sri Lanka » by Women and Media Collective

Sri Lanka’s Trade Union women leaders are a driving force in the lives of working women due to the constant trials and struggles encountered in the workplace. Marred by gender discrimination and sometimes violence women in the past have had to step forward and speak up for their rights. This led to the emergence of trade unions for women particularly in the Free Trade Zone, Fisheries, Plantation and Healthcare sectors.

The film ‘Determining Futures’ looks at the situation of trade union women from across the country. It takes you through the lives of four Trade Union women leaders and how they work towards making a difference in their lives as well others.

via: http://womenandmedia.org/film-determining-futures-women-in-trade-unions-in-sri-lanka/

Report « Broadening gender: Why masculinities matter » by by CARE International Sri Lanka

The study, « Broadening gender: Why masculinities matter – a study on attitudes, practices and gender-based violence in four districts in Sri Lanka » was conducted by CARE International Sri Lanka, under its Empowering Men to Engage and Redefine Gender Equality project and launched in April 2013.

via: http://www.partners4prevention.org/resource/broadening-gender-why-masculinities-matter

« Rape and domestic violence in Sri Lanka: Triggered by a mind-set? » by Ingeborg Vinding

The CARE report also shows that the main reason the men conducted sexual violence was because of their “sexual entitlement”, which underpins that the problem lies within the mind-set and perception of Sri Lankan men. According to Rosanna Flamer-Caldera this thinking is also present in the current generation of young men: “They are brought up in houses where their fathers are doing these things to their mothers, abuse have to stop, and until one person in that generation decides to stop it, it will go on from generation to generation.”

via: http://groundviews.org/2015/04/07/rape-and-domestic-violence-in-sri-lanka-triggered-by-a-mind-set/

« Life Beyond Survival Social Forms of Coping After the Tsunami in War-affected Eastern Sri Lanka » by Katharina Thurnheer

At the heart of this in-depth ethnographic study lie the daily life situations of tsunami survivors in war-torn, eastern Sri Lanka. Each chapter is built around the empirical themes derived from the stories and recollections of Tamil women and their families during their stay in relief camps, anticipating relocation. The specifics of the socio-cultural context are firmly embedded in the discussions. Ten years after the tsunami, this publication offers a timely contribution to a better understanding of what it means to cope with the combined effects of disaster, war, and international aid in this matri-focal region of the island.

via: http://www.transcript-verlag.de/978-3-8376-2601-8/life-beyond-survival

 

« An Appeal to the Next President of Sri Lanka! » by Women Affected by War

The forthcoming election is the second Presidential election after the war. Since then, the North and East of Sri Lanka has undergone heightened militarisation. Around 89,000 women headed households in the former war areas struggle to address livelihood needs, look after their remaining family and in many cases also look for their missing loved ones. Despite numerous promises, no independent investigation into serious human rights violations has resulted in a successful prosecution and conviction of alleged perpetrators, a sign of the culture of impunity pervasive in post war Sri Lanka.

We, the undersigned women both from Sri Lanka and outside take this moment to call on the candidates to publicly acknowledge the situation faced by a significant number of women across Sri Lanka.

« Whatever happened to the respect towards women in Sri Lanka? » by Sharmila Gamlath

The present regime removed the blindfold of the Goddess of Justice. Today, law, order and justice are just empty words, which like nudity, can be “interpreted” by politicians at will. These actions have serious trickle-down effects, because when these powerful criminals are protected by the law, the rest of society also loses all sense of fear to engage in deplorable acts against helpless women and children. We are seeing these consequences all the time in our society. As women, we cannot ignore this state of affairs any longer. We cannot consider a change as just desirable, it is essential if we are to re-establish morality in society.

Via http://groundviews.org/…/whatever-happened-to-the-respect-…/

« Omission of gender: Sri Lanka’s “Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission” » by Harshadeva Amarathungar

Harshadeva Amarathungar discusses the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission and its inadequacies in considering gender issues in the post-conflict Sri Lanka.

via: http://www.insightonconflict.org/2014/06/omission-gender-sri-lanka-reconciliation-llrc/

« Sri Lanka army admits torture and abuse of women recruits » by Amal Jayasinghe

Sri Lanka’s military admitted on Saturday soldiers had abused and tortured female recruits, a rare admission of guilt after years of allegations over its personnel’s treatment of Tamil rebels during an uprising.

via: http://www.chinapost.com.tw/asia/other/2014/03/23/403481/Sri-Lanka.htm

source: www.chinapost.com.tw

« Continuing Detention of Tamil Women and a Girl Child under the Prevention of Terrorism Act » by Womens Action Network

In 2009 the government announced that the LTTE has been wiped out from the country with the end of the armed conflict. However, in the past few weeks there have been a number of arrests, including of women under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) supposedly to investigate and counter a renaissance of the LTTE. Most of these arrests were in connection to the search for a man called Gopi who according to media reports quoting military and police spokespersons was killed along with his two associates on 11 April 2014 and that they been buried at state expenses on 12 April in Anuradhapura. Those arrested in connection to these men are still being kept at Boosa camp, in Colombo’s the 2nd and 4th floor of the Terrorism Investigation branch, and in the Vavuniya Terrorism Investigation Division (TID). In these TID and military joint operations men, women, the elderly and children have been arrested.

Via http://groundviews.org/2014/04/13/continuing-detention-of-tamil-women-and-a-girl-child-under-the-prevention-of-terrorism-act/

“’Strong Women’: A book review” by Womens Action Network

The Ministry of Women’s and Children’s affairs is mandated to work towards women’s empowerment and equality. However once again it has failed to do so, instead exposing its ethnic, religious and class bias. The Ministry’s opinion that only women working in the field of politics and that too mostly in the ruling party, and government sector are to be considered ‘strong women’ is in line with the overall regressive attitude of the Sri Lankan government towards women and women’s rights.

Via http://groundviews.org/2014/03/07/strong-women-a-book-review/

source: Groundviews

New ICES research paper series

A new series of research papers being published by the International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Colombo.  We like to share links to the first three publications in this series are given below.  More papers will be published in the coming months.
John Rogers

« A voice for Sri Lanka’s women » by REBECCA LAWN (Divergences.be)

Their mouths were tied with cloth, silenced. There was no need to speak, however – every other woman in Sri Lanka knew their story. Along with those in the crowd they too had lost sons and husbands to a raging conflict; they too were bearing the brunt of the crippling rise of food prices, slipping into malnutrition because as women they always fed their family first. In this eerily silent protest, one thousand people, the vast majority women, stood in front of the consulate building in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo as the civil war raged on around them. They had come from across the country. The day before, there had been a bomb blast in the city. But they still came, and although they stood in silence they knew that they had a voice.

They had been given this voice by Padma Pushpakanthi, a graceful young woman who, as national coordinator of the Savisthri women’s network, has ceaselessly encouraged SriLanka’s women to stand up and be counted. In so doing she has empowered them to take control of their lives. ‘We work for the poorest of the poor, telling them they have rights. They have no idea,’ says Pushpakanthi. ‘We want to see political and social progress, from a woman’s perspective,’ ‘she says.

Savisthri works by assisting charity groups in six districts of the country, helping them to think creatively on how women can find alternative ways to support themselves. As well as training and conferences, this also includes human rights networks and advocacy strategies to campaign against policies that impact upon women’s livelihoods in fishing, plantation and farming. It began in 1994 as part of a network of groups, becoming an independent women’s association in 2001. Today it has 2000 members in 79 villages in the country. Pushpakanthi encourages poor women to use their vote, to gain additional income through joining the micro-societies set up by the organisation, having home gardens and selling produce, but most of all to be aware of their rights at home, at work and in society.

Savisthri encourages others to speak up in a country which has an appalling track record for suppressing free speech. Newspaper columnist Prageeth Eknaligoda has been missing since 24 January this year, and there are fears that his fate is that of Lasantha Wickrematunge’s, a journalist assassinated by gunmen as he was driving to work in January last year. The appointment of Dr. Mervyan Silva, a man accused of intimidation and attacks on journalists, as new deputy minister for media has led many journalists to flee the country. ‘There is a suppression of the media, disappearances, killings, attacks on the media,’ says an activist who declines to be named. ‘They say the government is doing it. The government is concerned about power, not about settling matters.’

Meanwhile, despite the end of the 25-year civil war that took the lives of 80,000 people, the situation for Sri Lanka’s poor continues to be horrifying. Leela Marambe, also from Savisthri, describes it as an ‘abyss’. Almost 40% of the population survive on under £1.30 a day. In the north and east, there are still 25,000 families in the government-run camps, thousands more are displaced and much of the area is riddled with landmines. ‘Prices are going up and people are suffering. Not enough is being done to remove landmines or relocate people,’ continues the activist. Organisations such as Savisthri are forbidden from visiting the areas, although members did donate money through religious organisations, the only groups permitted to go to the camps.

For Pushpakanthi, sitting back and staying silent in the face of such poverty was never an option. She has always worked in the NGO sector; before Savisthri, she helped poor Tamil boys with their education. ‘It is our responsibility as citizens, as women, to get involved in this,’ she says. Graceful, poised, her long black hair tied loosely to one side and falling on a light pink and grey sari, there is something almost stately about her presence. ‘What we want is peace,’ she says. ‘Real peace.’

She works out of her office at Savisthri, a building nestled among white-painted houses. Inside, a couple of steps lead down to an open and light-filled space; to the left, a small pond curves round an island of luscious green plants. Light from the windows catches the orange fish. There are tables, chairs, shelves piled high with colourful leaflets. A tall glass cabinet houses delicately hand-loomed saris. It is only 10am, but the hot Sri Lankan sun is shoving its way in through the open door of the small office in the corner where Pushpakanthi and Marambe have laid out sweet tea and bourbon biscuits. On the wall, a mural shows two women, one a fisherwoman, the other a farmer.

The issues Savisthri deals with are many and varied. They helped a group of women write to the government Central Environmental Authority because a rice mill was polluting a river, making people ill. Another time they got involved with the campaign for the return of the 7.15am bus that was the only way children could get to school. More recently, in the district of Anuradhupura, famous amongst tourists for its well-preserved ancient ruins, Savisthri bought farm land from the government. It is infertile land, the soil dying from over-cropping and over-use of chemicals. But Savisthri knew this when they bought it: in fact, that’s why they took it on – to teach women and children how to prepare the soil and make it fertile again. In this way, taking small steps, one village at a time, it hopes to bring about change for the country.