This is a guest post byDHARSHA 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→
श्रीलंका अभी खबरों में है. लेकिन ज़्यादातर हिंदी अखबारों को पढ़ने से आपको अंदाज़ नहीं मिलेगा कि सुदूर दक्षिण में स्थित इस नन्हें-से मुल्क में क्या कुछ हो रहा है जिससे हमारा भी रिश्ता है.वहाँ अभी‘कॉमनवेल्थ’ देशों का सम्मलेन हो रहा है और हमारे प्रधानमंत्री उसमें शामिल नहीं हो पा रहे हैं.श्रीलंका ने कहा है कि वह उनकी मजबूरी समझता है. तमिल राजनेताओं के हंगामे की वजह से प्रधानमंत्री ने अपनी जगह विदेश मंत्री को इस सम्मलेन में भारत का प्रतिनिधित्व करने को कहा है. इस सम्मलेन में श्रीलंका को अगले दो साल के लिए ‘कॉमनवेल्थ’ का नेतृत्व करने को कहा जाएगा. इस पर भारत को ऐतराज नहीं है और अब तक किसी और मुल्क ने भी अपनी आपत्ति दर्ज नहीं कराई है. Continue reading श्रीलंका और हम→
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→
On 7th November the full length version of the documentary “No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka’ will be premiered at the India International Center for the first time in India and discussed by eminent thinkers, journalists and activists. Callum Macrae, the Director of ‘No Fire Zone’, a film on the last days of the civil war in Sri Lanka has not received his visa to come to India and participate in the discussions despite applying over eight months ago!
Thousands of Tamils from across Europe protested in front of UN headquarters in Geneva Monday demanding the creation of an international tribunal to try “war crimes” committed in Sri Lanka…. [AFP report, 6 March 2012]
The battle is raging. It will go on till about the 23rd of March, 2012. In Geneva. The battle is against the Rajapaksa regime in Sri Lanka and not against Sri Lanka itself. It’s a battle over “war crimes and accountability” during the Sri Lankan war, in particular its final stages. Delhi’s vacillating position of “not right to interfere on a country basis” as regards the US Resolution to the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Session 19, is being challenged firmly in Chennai by the two major political parties in Tamil Nadu, the DMK and the AIDMK firm. Beijing and Moscow are clear about the issue. They will vote against the US Resolution, and also muster up support amongst other countries to vote with them. If they could collect 24 votes in total, they will have had their say and the Sri Lankan regime will not have to worry about Geneva anymore. Continue reading Why Geneva and not Matara, Jaffna or Batti?: Kusal Perera→