Aatish Taseer, courtesy of SUNDAY, where the title is “a People without a Story”
celebrations in the south–May 2009
FOUR years ago this week, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam announced that their struggle for an independent homeland in northern Sri Lanka had “reached its bitter end.” The group had been fighting on behalf of the Tamil people for more than a quarter-century, and its defeat was absolute. Today, great sections of Tamil country are still a scene of devastation. The houses are either destroyed or brand-new; the land is uncultivated and overgrown; there are forests of decapitated Palmyra palms, damaged by heavy shelling. And then there are the relics of war — graveyards of L.T.T.E. vehicles rotting in the open air; the remains of a ship, its superstructure blown to pieces and in whose rusting starboard a gaping hole gives on to blue sea. Continue reading
Filed under LTTE, politIcal discourse, population, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, rehabilitation, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, trauma, truth as casualty of war, women in ethnic conflcits, world affairs
Dinoo Kelleghan in The Weekend-Australian, 13 April 2013 where the title is Tamils flee for cash, not from harm … Dinoo Kelleghan is a former foreign editor of The Australian and was a member of the Refugee Review Tribunal from 1997-2004.
IN contrast to the weary boatloads of Sri Lankans making the dangerous asylum-shopping trip to Australia, millions of different shoppers are out in force here as the island prepares for Sinhala and Tamil New Year celebrations this weekend. This year, economists noted a change in the spending patterns – lower-income people are spending more freely than the better-paid shoppers in the capital, Colombo. The reason? The gushing torrents of remittances home from Sri Lankans who have gone abroad for employment, often making empty claims of persecution to leapfrog others who stand patiently in long queues outside Western embassies in Colombo to get a work visa. Continue reading
Filed under australian media, Eelam, ethnicity, island economy, life stories, LTTE, people smugglers, politIcal discourse, population, rehabilitation, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, world events & processes
Ajai Sahni in article entitled “Ambivalence, Opportunism, Deceit”
On March 21, 2013, at the 22nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) a United States-sponsored resolution on Human Rights (HR) violation in Sri Lanka was adopted with 25 countries, including India, voting in favour of the resolution in the 47-nation body. While 13 countries voted against, eight member-states abstained from voting on the resolution. The resolution urged the Government of Sri Lanka to implement the Government’s National Action Plan (NAP), including the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) addressing outstanding issues related to reconciliation, and to meet its obligations for accountability. Earlier, on March 22, 2012, UNHRC had adopted a resolution urging Sri Lanka to investigate alleged abuses during the final phase of war with the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), with 24 votes in favour, 15 against and eight abstentions. Continue reading
Filed under accountability, economic processes, historical interpretation, IDP camps, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, LTTE, military strategy, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, reconciliation, rehabilitation, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, terrorism, tolerance, truth as casualty of war, world events & processes
Michael Roberts hijacking Dhaneshi Yatawara
I: Preamble by Michael Roberts
Dhaneshi Yatawara is a Sri Lankan reporter whom I do not know and have no contact with. I happened to be in Sri Lanka in April-June 2009 and collected news clippings, which now guide me to items on web. Among the latter are a series of striking photographs provided by Dhaneshi Yatawara on the 10th and 17th May 2009 respectively. The first lot were obviously (though not so stated) snapped on the foreshores in the Pulmoddai or Trinco area as Tamil IDPs injured and “carers” were disembarked from ICRC ships guided by the SL Navy. Parenthetically I note here between the 10th February and 15th May 2009 the ICRC ships “Green Ocean” and “Seruvila” escorted by the SL Navy made several trips and evacuated “over 13,500 sick and wounded people and their caretakers” (http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/ documents/ update/sri-lanka-update-090609.htm).
This Pic is not from Yatawara Continue reading
Filed under accountability, citizen journalism, economic processes, historical interpretation, IDP camps, life stories, LTTE, military expenditure, military strategy, politIcal discourse, power politics, propaganda, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, rehabilitation, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, tamil refugees, tolerance, truth as casualty of war, welfare & philanthophy, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes
Cricket is many things. Above all, it is a great teacher. It replicates the experiences of life, with joy and suffering in good mix though not always in equal mix. In this teaching school the most profound experiences arise in moments of ignominious defeat. One such moment eventuated over three days at the famous MCG during the equally renowned Boxing Day Test Match when Australia rolled over the Sri Lankan XI by an innings and 201 runs. Mustering only 156 and 102 runs in each innings Sri Lanka was simply crushed.
The toll of injuries which reduced the Sri Lankan XI to eight batsmen in the second innings was only one factor in the eventual outcome. The process began when the leading batsmen batted in needless and careless fashion in the first innings after winning the toss. It was compounded by a series of missed catches – mostly difficult ones to be sure, but nevertheless adding up to sway the outcome decisively in Australia’s favour despite some sharp catches by Mahela and Rangana during the Aussie innings. Continue reading
Filed under accountability, disaster relief team, Indian Ocean politics, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, patriotism, rehabilitation, terrorism, tolerance, unusual people, world affairs
Beset by an upsurge of asylum-seekers arriving by boat from Sri Lanka, Australian government and media personnel continue to rely on the tired shibboleths of the past. Three shortcomings hinder their evaluations. Let me stress three points briefly.
- The increase in migration is largely due to the snowballing effect of chain migration with Sri Lankan kinsfolk and friends who have migrated to the Western countries over the last forty years assisting aspirant relatives and friends to find the monies for the journeys (legal or illegal); while intra-familial dynamics encourage poorer relatives in Lanka to try and emulate their cousins in the West by getting across to the new Eldorado.
- Contrary to Australian perceptions the journeys by boats are not inevitable death traps. If one excludes the instances of boats from Indonesia that have come a cropper, I know of only two or three from Sri Lanka that have run into real difficulties (as distinct from manufactured sinking within sight of big ships). I challenge people to provide contrary evidence in circumstances where the “boat people” have satellite phone connections.
- With reference to Tamil Sri Lankans the Australian evaluations are directed by the concept of “persecution” – with the alternative being “economic migration.” This is simpleton. As such, it is misleading. “Persecution” is a gross tool and does not allow for feelings that are short of terror. There is, for one, such a thing as “harassment.” There is also the possibility of “alienation” among the Tamils arising from a sense of marginalization (genuine, exaggerated or imagined). Continue reading
Filed under asylum-seekers, Australian culture, economic processes, historical interpretation, life stories, LTTE, politIcal discourse, Rajapaksa regime, rehabilitation, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, tamil refugees, truth as casualty of war, world events & processes
Press Release from the SL Embassy of Paris
On November 28th, 2012, a special screening of Ini Avan (Him, Here After), Asoka Handagama’s latest movie, was organized at Club Lincoln, in Paris, by Heliotrope Films. Premiered at Cannes 2012 as one of the films under the Association of Independent Cinema ACID (l’Association du Cinéma Indépendant pour sa Diffusion), Ini Avan has been listed in some of the most prestigious film festivals in the world during the past months including Toronto, Edinburg, Tokyo, Hanoi. Continue reading