This is a guest post by DHARSHA JEGATHEESWARAN AND GAJEN MAHENDRA
On Saturday September 24, 2016, Ezhuka Tamil, organized by the Tamil People’s Council, became the largest rally to happen since the end of the war in the North-East of Sri Lanka. Over 10,000 people took to the streets to demand an end to ongoing human rights violations, particularly militarization and Sinhala-Buddhisization of the North-East,reiterate their demand for genuine accountability and justice and voice their expectations regarding the ongoing political processes. The political elite in Colombo and their supporters elsewhere have however chosen to read Ezhuka Tamil as an expression of ‘Tamil extremism’. This response requires us to critically interrogate the nature of democratic spaces in post-war Sri Lanka available to the numerically smaller communities and more largely what our understanding of democracy is. This is very necessary if we believe in the need for public participation in the constitutional and transitional justice process currently underway. Continue reading Ezhuka Tamil – A Conversation about Democracy :Dharsha Jegatheeswaran and Gajen Mahendra
Guest post by Satya Sagar
We have in our possession a letter from Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse explaining why he is not going to attend the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
Dear President Mahindar Singh Rajapakse,
I hope you don’t mind me calling you Mahindar in an endearing manner like a good Punjabi instead of calling you Mahinda! I know you are pissed off with me for not coming to your CHOGM coronation bash next week. But yaar, what to do, these Dravidian fellows got together and spiked my trip.
I mean all the Dravidians, from my own Congress Party too and not just that poet with dark glasses or that Iron Lady in Steel Saree. Even my IMF colleague Chidambaram, a fellow who really admires the way you guys killed so many civilians to get so few terrorists, turned against my visit. Continue reading Manmohan to go to CHOGM in disguise! Satya Sagar
An Anonymous Guest Post
So, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will not be attending CHOGM 2013 in Colombo after all. Many sections of Indian political and civil society, in Tamil Nadu in particular, will no doubt welcome this. But in reality, far from packing a punch this decision comes more as a whimper. If media reports are to be believed the PM’s letter to Rajapakse “does not talk about the reasons for Dr. Singh skipping the meet”. Muddled and last minute as it has been, far from demonstrating intent the decision actually betrays a singular lack of it, leaving India with little by way of leverage while doing its credibility no good. The PM’s absence will not be comfortable for Rajapakse but in the manner it has come it will in fact cost him little or at least much less than it would have if Delhi had made this decision count politically. But then the United Progressive Alliance is too busy dealing with its own rising electoral insecurities to care for India’s strategic interests let alone the human rights of Tamils in Sri Lanka. Continue reading Manmohan Singh says ‘No’ to CHOGM 2013, with a whimper: Anonymous
Guest post by KUSAL PERERA
Its now post-Geneva in Sri Lanka. Prime Minister of neighbouring Bharat Ganarajya, the Republic of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh thus wrote to His Excellency the President of Sri Lanka on 24 March, to say, “Your Excellency would be aware that we spared no effort and were successful in introducing an element of balance in the language of the resolution” and the Indian delegation to the UNHRC had been advised to keep close contact with its Sri Lanka counterparts “in an attempt to find a positive way forward”. The implied message is that New Delhi played its role to hook Sri Lanka to a US sponsored resolution in Geneva, over post war reconciliation and rehabilitation and on accountability during war.
The resolution in short, requires the SL government to, Continue reading Will Sri Lanka now get on with the job?: Kusal Perera