Tag Archives: Reconciliation

A Memorandum to Delhi Govt on Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconciliation in North East Delhi

Date: 20/03/2020


Mr. Arvind Kejriwal

Chief Minister,

Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi


Mr. Manish Sisodia,

Deputy Chief Minister,

Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi


Subject: Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconciliation in North East Delhi

Memorandum of Demands to the Delhi Government

The communal violence in north east Delhi that took place in the last week of February is the most disgraceful event in the recent history of the city. Scores of people have lost their lives and thousands are displaced. The observations and evidence from the last three weeks suggest that the violence was not sporadic, but was organized and targeted particularly at Muslim residents in various colonies of the area. There are serious question marks on the role of the Delhi Police during the whole affair. An unbiased and thorough investigation in the matter is necessary to bring the guilty to book.

Based on observations and initial attempts at data collection from the last three weeks, the scale of devastation (material and human costs) is understood to be huge and merits a detailed assessment. While community members have been generous in opening their homes to fleeing families and civil society efforts have tried to fill in for immediate relief, the state government needs to step in to address the concerns of the affected people. There are two reasons for this. One, the crisis is the result of a state failure and has resulted in grave deprivation among the citizenry. The state thus has a moral and administrative duty to compensate and rehabilitate those affected in a compassionate and humane way. Two, the scale of the crisis is such that only the state can address it. Civil society and community effort should not be seen as a substitute for what is the state’s responsibility. While the state government had been conspicuous by its absence in the first three days of the violence, it has been trying to coordinate relief efforts since. A comprehensive plan needs to be put in place with short, medium and long term targets for which the state must take responsibility and invite non-state actors from community organisations to individual citizens that are willing to lend support to such a state led process.

Continue reading A Memorandum to Delhi Govt on Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconciliation in North East Delhi

Two years after the war: justice, reconciliation and the UN Panel Report

I am posting the Editorial of the latest issue of dissenting dialogues, a social justice magazine on Sri Lanka. The lengthy Editorial discusses the situation two years after the war and the much debated UN Panel Report on accountability for crimes committed towards the end of the war in Sri Lanka.

The May 2011 Issue also has an interesting article by Kanishka Goonewardena on the political economy of World Cup cricket titled, Space, time and cricket: from M.C.C to M-C-M’. The article engages the work of C.L.R. James, David Harvey and Giovanni Arrighi while discussing the shift of cricket (and) capital to India.

The entire Issue No 3, May 2011 of dissenting dialogues can be downloaded as a pdf file from the Sri Lanka Democracy Forum website.

Continue reading Two years after the war: justice, reconciliation and the UN Panel Report

Undermining Political Reconciliation with Post-Election Repression

The following are my prepared remarks at the Global South Asia conference at New York University on 13 February 2010.  My prepared remarks on the Sri Lanka panel in titled, ‘Return of the Displaced and Political Reconciliation’ are below.  The remarks in the Sri Lanka panel which I chaired were to complement the presentations by Sharika Thiranagama, New School for Social Research titled, ‘Houses of the Future: Return and Reconciliation amongst Northern Muslims and Tamils’ and V. V. (Sugi) Ganeshananthan, University of Michigan, Lanka Solidarity, journalist and author of Love Marriage titled, ‘Dialogue in the Diaspora’.  The February 2010 issue of Himal Southasian magazine is a special issue on Jaffna, Sri Lanka and has a number of articles that address the post-war moment. The Sri Lanka Democracy Forum (SLDF) statement on 18 January 2010 titled, ‘SLDF Calls for National Attention on Demilitarization and a Political Solution’ details many of these issues in depth.

I want to begin with the end of the war, which inevitably leads to a shift in politics.  Post-war politics can not be same as war politics.

During the last couple years of the war, President Rajapaksa put together a war coalition comprised of a broad spectrum, from Sinhala nationalists to sections of the Old Left.  Despite the end of the war, the President and his government attempted to keep the war mentality alive, as we have seen through the continued suffering of the displaced as they were herded into internment camps with no freedom of movement.  It was indeed a lost opportunity for political reconciliation. Continue reading Undermining Political Reconciliation with Post-Election Repression