Category Archives: human rights

Dharmasiri Bandaranayake’s Message for Reconciliation and Oneness

Kamanthi Wickramsingha in Q and A, in Daily Mirror, 14 March 2018, where the title runs Peace and unity should be in everyone’s heart”

Dharmasiri Bandaranayake, the maverick of Sinhala cinema and theatre, has attempted to portray the reality of the state in every production. From Hansa Vilak tBawa Duka, Bawa Karma and stage plays such as Eka Adipathi, Dhawala Beeshana and Makarakshaya [he has] addressed issues from the 1980s riots to the dogma of Buddhism in Sri Lanka to other issues of national and political importance. “If the perpetrators of previous riots and crimes were identified and punished, what happened in Digana would have never happened,” said Bandaranayake in a candid interview with the Daily Mirror. He recently directed ‘Paradise in Tears’ a documentary film which portrays the historical evolution of the ethnic crisis in the country through its various phases. During the interview, Bandaranayake expressed his concerns over the manner in which the country’s rulers have treated people and how they have suffered as a result of ethnic violence, the role of artistes and how people should respond during incidents such as what happened in Kandy.   

  • There is no punishment for perpetrators
  • People should refrain from promoting separatist agendas
  • Violence should never be in the vocabulary of artistes
  • Reconciliation shouldn’t be on billboards   

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, centre-periphery relations, citizen journalism, cultural transmission, education, electoral structures, ethnicity, fundamentalism, historical interpretation, human rights, Islamic fundamentalism, landscape wondrous, life stories, performance, Rajapaksa regime, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, social justice, tolerance, unusual people, world events & processes

Identity. Belonging, Dignity. Lessons from Francis Fukuyama for Sri Lanka Today

Sanjana Hattotuwa, in The Island, 29 September 2018, where the title is Ïdentity and Belonging”

Sixteen years ago, I met a child soldier. He had a T-56 and was cocky. The A9 had opened up a few months ago, and taking it to Jaffna with a group of journalists, we encountered a checkpoint manned by the LTTE, past Omanthai. The children at the checkpoint, with guns strung around their torso loosely, were in the LTTE’s signature fatigue. Hostile and demanding, they curtly instructed our driver to provide the documentation to enter the area, which at the time the LTTE provided. One clambered into the driver’s seat as I sat in the passenger seat, knowing that if they wanted to be difficult, we would be stuck here for a while. I smiled. He didn’t. He looked around slowly, T-56 placed on the dashboard.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, communal relations, cultural transmission, democratic measures, economic processes, ethnicity, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil Tiger fighters, truth as casualty of war, world events & processes

Beware the Global Human Rights Mafia and Their Sri Lankan Parrots

C. A. Chandraprema, in Island, September 2018, with this title “Cardinal’s words and Mangala’s response”.… the highlighting is the work of the Editor, Thuppahi

The comments made by Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith last Sunday at the Ekala St Matthew’s Church have made waves with Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Saliya Peiris criticising the Cardinal’s words and the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and several Catholic MPs in the Joint Opposition condemning Samaraweera and Peiris for taking on the Cardinal. What the Cardinal said last Sunday during a sermon delivered in Sinhala was roughly as follows.

“The latest religion in the West is the religion called human rights. Human rights were discovered only recently. It is being regarded as a wonderful new discovery which is being held aloft and we are being relentlessly lectured about it. However our people began adhering to religions centuries ago. Some people in our country talk of a secular society. Human life is not just food and drink and the pursuit of comfort. Many people in the West now regard religion as an outer garment. They use religion when it suits them but if they are required to make sacrifices, they put religion aside. Our lives are short and if we limit it to the pursuit of pleasure we will come to an unfortunate end. If we adhere to a religion we don’t need human rights. Those who are dependent on human rights are those who have no religion. We must not be misled by these chimeras. We must look at this intelligently.”

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, american imperialism, atrocities, authoritarian regimes, cultural transmission, democratic measures, education policy, fundamentalism, governance, human rights, legal issues, life stories, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, teaching profession, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, war crimes, world events & processes

President Sirisena addresses United Nations in New York

News Item, AT http://www.president.gov.lk/president-urges-the-international-community-to-look-at-sri-lanka-with-a-fresh-perspective/ … with this title President urges the international community to look at Sri Lanka with a fresh perspective”

President Maithripala Sirisena called upon the international community to look at Sri Lanka with a fresh perspective and consider the tremendous progress made by the government towards reconciliation, restoration of democratic freedoms, human rights and the rule of law and [therefore to] extend the fullest support to build a progressive, democratic, free and equal society.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, Buddhism, constitutional amendments, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, Indian Ocean politics, legal issues, life stories, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, reconciliation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, tolerance, world events & processes

DEMONS IN PARADISE renders filmmaker Ratnam as a Tamil Traitor

Item in MSN.COM, 17 September 2018, with this title  I wanted ‘my side’ to lose the war”

By his own admission filmmaker Jude Ratnam is a “traitor”. A Tamil himself, he blames the Tamil Tigers for many of the atrocities carried out in Sri Lanka’s civil war. The director told the BBC’s Nalini Sivathasan why feels the way he does.”When the war was coming to an end, I wanted the [Tamil] Tigers to lose the fight. I wanted it to end, even if my own people had to be killed,” Ratnam says.

Warning: This story contains graphic details that some readers may find upsetting.

© Getty Images Formed in 1976, the Tamil Tigers said they were fighting for a separate state for Tamils in Sri Lanka

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, art & allure bewitching, atrocities, education, ethnicity, historical interpretation, human rights, life stories, LTTE, photography, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, rehabilitation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, Tamil migration, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, war reportage, world events & processes

Revelations: Oppression of the Dalits in India via A Family History

Tariq  Ali’s essay entitled THE UNSEEABLES  in the London Review of Books Vol. 40 No. 16 · 30 August 2018   …. reviewing  Ants among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India by Sujatha Gidla Daunt, 341 pp, £14.99, May, ISBN 978 1 911547 20 4

  

This is a family biography that encompasses a history rarely told: despite its longevity, caste, and caste oppression, is not a popular theme in India. Sujatha Gidla writes of poisoned lives, of disillusionment, betrayed hopes, unrequited loves, attempted escapes through alcohol and sex. What distinguishes her book is its rich mix of sociology, anthropology, history, literature and politics.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, British imperialism, caste issues, centre-periphery relations, citizen journalism, communal relations, cultural transmission, disparagement, economic processes, education, gender norms, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, Indian religions, Indian traditions, Left politics, legal issues, life stories, literary achievements, modernity & modernization, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, social justice, world events & processes

Missing Persons: Q and A with Mirak Raheem

Chathusika Wijesinghe, Daily Mirror, August 2018: “Interview with one of the commissioners of OMP Mirak Raheem who touches on challenges this institute faces and the way forward with regard to serving families whose members have gone missing”

The Office on the Missing Persons (OMP) was established by the Government of Sri Lanka in order to end the suffering of victims and their families. Mirak Raheem, one of the commissioners of OMP, in an interview with the Dailymirror said that OMP possesses significant power and that it is open to the advice of others. However, he said that the number one challenge the council faces is the lack of trust people have in this organisation. Raheem also noted that the OMP will be releasing an interim report. Following are excerpts of the interview.    Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, charitable outreach, democratic measures, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, politIcal discourse, refugees, rehabilitation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, tamil refugees, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, trauma, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, war crimes, war reportage, world events & processes