Introductory Note from Michael Roberts
The public event organised by Chatham House to discuss recent events in Sri Lanka on 17th January was chaired by a University Lecturer at University College London whose specialty is “human rights,” rather than any one of the Sri Lankan specialists teaching at British Universities (for e.g. Rajesh Venugopal, Asanga Welikala, Sujit Suvisundaram, Zoltan Beidermann and Alan Strathern). The combination of ignorance, distortion and prejudice that guided the organisation and direction of the debate was exposed in the opening lines of this Chairperson, one Kate Cronin-Furman. “[We are meeting today some ten years after the “final push” of the Sri Lankan Army in a war that ended in May 2009 – “a final phase where the UN estimates said that more than 40,000 civilians were killed by that military [action].”
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Sharika Thiranagama, Chapter in Suspicion, Intimacyy and The Ethics of State-building, ed. by S. Thirangama and Tobias Kelly, , University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011.
ABSTRACT: In a 2006 Canadian Sri Lankan Tamil pamphlet called Thurohi (Traitor), the author tells his diasporic audience, “many of us fled and came to this country. Why? Our life’s duty is to survive. But what is our historical duty? To be traitors” (Jeeva 2006, 3; emphasis added).1 The war between the Sri Lankan state and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) drew in Sri Lanka’s three largest ethnic groups: The majority Sinhalese, the minority Sri Lankan Tamils, and Sri Lankan Muslims; the latter, while war-affected, were not active in the conflict. The primary battlefields and areas of LTTE control were northern and eastern Sri Lanka. In May 2009 the war came to a bloody close in a stand-off with the Sri Lankan Army and the death of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and most senior leadership. This end came long after the writing of this chapter and is not its subject……. Continue reading
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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
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ONE: Wikipedia Notice on Michelle de Kretser
Michelle de Kretser = born 11 November 1957 = an Australian novelist who was born in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon), and moved to Australia in 1972 when she was 14. De Kretser was educated at Methodist College, Colombo and in Methodist College, Colombo, and in Melbourne and Paris.
She worked as an editor for travel guides company Lonely Planet, and while on a sabbatical in 1999, wrote and published her first novel, The Rose Grower. Her second novel, published in 2003, The Hamilton Case was winner of the Tasmania Pacific Prize, the Encore Award (UK) and the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Southeast Asia and Pacific). Her third novel, The Lost Dog, was published in 2007. It was one of 13 books on the long list for the 2008 Man Booker Prize for fiction. From 1989 to 1992 she was a founding editor of the Australian Women’s Book Review. Her fourth novel, Questions of Travel, won several awards, including the 2013 Miles Franklin Award, the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal (ALS Gold Medal), and the 2013 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards for fiction. It was also shortlisted for the 2014 Dublin Impac Literary Award. Her 2017 novel, The Life to Come, was shortlisted for the 2018 Stella Prize.
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