Step-By-Step Studio Images Mystery Painting Studios, like the Step-by-Step Studio in Colombo, are not primarily about “doing” something. They are about “being” something: being peace, being hope, being adaptable and dependable in situations that change rapidly and are far from reliable. The Monkey’s Tale Centre for Contemplative Art in Batticaloa was the first Mystery Painting studio. It was born out of the generosity of friends in Canada, America and Great Britain responding to the tsunami, which first swept ashore in Sri Lanka at Marathamunai a town some forty kilometers from Batticaloa, the day after Christmas 2004.
Just as with the response of the international community, people in Batticaloa reached into their hearts and helped out however they could. They weathered the crisis and, in doing so, learned a valuable lesson. Wherever there is turbulence there is transition, and transition – to be productive of the most positive results – must be anchored in an open and yielding heart. Continue reading
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
Michael Roberts …. See http://www.scribd.com/doc/132499266/The-Numbers-Game-Politics-of-Retributive-Justice OR http://www.margasrilanka.org/ [right panel at top—then click]
Pic from Tamilnet, 1 May 2009 from Tamilnet, 5 May 2009, in Third NFZ in the extreme south of the final pocket of LTTEresistance
Presented here is an “Introduction” and pointer to a significant visual and textual study entitled “Numbers Game: The Politics of Retributive Justice,” which scrutinizes both the data and other studies of what happened during the last five months of Eelam War IV. This was the period when a large body of people, almost exclusively Tamil in lineage, was corralled into an increasingly shrinking area by virtue of a strategic/tactical decision by the LTTE leadership. The Tamil Tigers who were now facing imminent defeat, were hoping to use the human mass to engineer a humanitarian catastrophe, thus forcing the international community to act by halting the conflict. This comprehensive survey has been assembled by a collective, the “Independent Diaspora Analysis Group.” The key hand is a person who wishes to remain anonymous and can be called “Citizen Silva.” Born to Sinhalese parents, raised and educated in the West, he has spent the entirety of his life outside the island. This foreign setting has enabled him to build close personal links with the island’s other ethnic diaspora groups, thus shielding him from the communalistic shadows that overwhelm many of his compatriots back home. As the analysis of the satellite imagery reveals, his engineering background allows him to bring to the examination a range of technical skills not usually associated with the average empirical scientist. Continue reading
Filed under accountability, governance, historical interpretation, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, nationalism, news fabrication, patriotism, photography, politIcal discourse, population, power politics, prabhakaran, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, trauma, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, violence of language, world events & processes, zealotry
… captured by Alan Marriage
Filed under accountability, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, immigration, law of armed conflict, life stories, news fabrication, people smugglers, photography, pulling the leg, racist thinking, trauma, truth as casualty of war, wikileaks
Amal de Chickera, courtesy of the National Youth Front and Groundviews
A contemporary masterpiece that interweaves fact, fiction and fantasy with seamless and vibrant prose, the Constitution is a must read for all literature lovers. The Constitution was first published in 1978 in not one, but three languages – the only piece of literature in the reviewers understanding to be thus translated at its very outset – an indication of the confidence that the authors had in its literary value and broad appeal. Due to popular demand, eighteen new editions have been published since, each with minor (and sometimes major) improvements. The book is so popular that moves in 2000 to cease publication and replace with another text were met with vehement protests and organised book burning ceremonies. In its 34-plus years of existence, the Constitution has truly proved to be a ‘living text’ – an accolade usually reserved for the masterpieces that have stood the test of time – Moby Dick, War and Peace, Mrs. Dalloway – and just like those other works it is sufficiently rich and nuanced to accommodate multiple and even contradictory interpretations based on the readers aptitude, wisdom, politics and indeed mood. Continue reading
Filed under accountability, cultural transmission, democratic measures, politIcal discourse, power politics, power sharing, Rajapaksa regime, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, trauma, unusual people
Nathan Harden, in http://the-american-interest.com/article.cfm?piece=1352 where the title is “The End of the University as We Know It”
In fifty years, if not much sooner, half of the roughly 4,500 colleges and universities now operating in the United States will have ceased to exist. The technology driving this change is already at work, and nothing can stop it. The future looks like this: Access to college-level education will be free for everyone; the residential college campus will become largely obsolete; tens of thousands of professors will lose their jobs; the bachelor’s degree will become increasingly irrelevant; and ten years from now Harvard will enroll ten million students. Continue reading
Arjuna Aluwihare, …… This memo was written by Professor Arjuna Aluwihare for his own edification — then in early October 2009. As befits a scholar he presents hi impressions within the proviso that it was short visit. I have taken the liberty of highlighting some sentences. Web Editor… see ** at END for bio-note
1. I was very well received by Dr Jayasinghe, Dr Safras, and all other medical and other personnel. Drs Jayasinghe and Safras had arranged for my driver and me to stay at the IOM accommodation in Zone 0- and we were fell fed and watered! It was a pleasure also to meet many young graduates from various faculties who have recently come as medical officers to the camps. I need to stress we were very well looked after. I am grateful to the Secretary Health for arranging this visit.
2. Health related matters
I had seen the statistics and data collected and collated by the IDP centre and Dr Herath and his staff, and was amazed at their detail and the trouble taken to understand the problems and deal with them. Having seen the camps it is easier to appreciate how much very hard work is reflected in the tables he had. I had also read the poems written by Dr Terence de Silva. Continue reading
Filed under accountability, historical interpretation, LTTE, NGOs, politIcal discourse, reconciliation, rehabilitation, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, tamil refugees, tolerance, trauma, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes
Amanda Hodge and Stuart Rintoul, in The Australian, 26 July 2012 … with “Allegation” being a web editor addition
A TAMIL asylum-seeker accused of links with the vanquished Tamil Tigers has been deported, despite being the subject of an appeal to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and a pending High Court judgment that could have had an impact on his appeal rights.
Pic from Australian online with note: “The Refugee Action Coalition’s Ian Rintoul said lawyers had too little time to get an injunction preventing the deportation. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen Source: The Daily Telegraph.” Continue reading
Filed under accountability, asylum-seekers, australian media, historical interpretation, life stories, LTTE, people smugglers, politIcal discourse, power politics, propaganda, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, tamil refugees, Tamil Tiger fighters, trauma, truth as casualty of war, world events & processes
Michael Roberts, courtesy of the online journal, Lines, in August 2006 where several horrendous photographs can be found
This article was written when I was a Senior Visiting Fellow at the International Centre for Asian Studies, University of Leiden, Netherlands from September to December 1995; and was published in one of their Newsletters under the heading “Understanding Zealotry & Questions for Post-Orientalism.” The emphasis then was informed by my interest in the embodied emotions that have spurred assaults during pogroms and riots. This section, now designated Part I under an altered title, has been modified in minor ways for this publication, while citations and footnotes have been added. Its arguments have then been elaborated in a second part that also reflects upon the author’s journeys in the interim. In thus underlining the temporal ‘progression’ of his thinking, this article serves to emphasise the continuities in my position within the shifting context of academic production, while yet marking new developments in my experiential understandings. A bibliography has also been added. Obviously, this list has been cast in 2006 and not when Part I was written.
Hindu mob, Bhagalpur
From 1991-95: In late 1991 while engaged in a critical view of the instrumentalist readings of nationalist violence in South Asia, I penned an essay on the anti-Tamil pogrom of July 1983 in Sri Lanka. This article has since appeared under a rather melodramatic title, “The Agony and Ecstasy of a Pogrom: Southern Lanka, July 1983,” in a collection of my essays: viz, Exploring Confrontation. Sri Lanka: Politics, Culture and History (Reading: Harwood Academic Publishers 1994) as well as a journal produced by the International Centre for Ethnic Studies in Colombo to mark the 20th anniversary of this terrible event.[i]
Filed under atrocities, communal relations, discrimination, disparagement, historical interpretation, life stories, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, racist thinking, religious nationalism, sri lankan society, trauma, world events & processes
Alex Van Cuylenburg in Letter to Terrence Jayatilleke
“So I wanted to share [with you] what happened to me Friday night and Sri Lankan Police Brutality at the Kohuwala Police Station. I got home around 2 AM and standing outside my gate I was smoking a cigarette texting on my phone when a three wheeler showed up. Both the driver and passenger on my side were dressed in street clothes (tshirts, jeans, trousers and Bata slippers). At first I presumed that the three wheeler stopped thinking I was waiting for one. I was asked by the driver what I was doing which I ignored the question. Then the guy behind asked me the same thing. I thought I was about to get jumped. Then I noticed the third passenger was a policeman in uniform. They exited the vehicle and demanded me to give an explanation as to what I was doing claiming they were the police and one of them being the “OIC Crime”. I informed them that I was standing outside my gate and that it was my house. They said they suspected me as a burglar.