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
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
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!
Two years ago when Channel 4 in the UK first aired the documentary, it sent shockwaves through the international community. The Sri Lankan civil war, which ended in mid-2009 with the decimation of the LTTE by the Sri Lankan army was supposed to have been a ‘glorious’ chapter in the vanquishing of a ‘terrorist’ force. Continue reading Waiting for the Director:Indian Premiere of ‘No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka’
This is a guest post by ANONYMOUS: When elephants fight it is the grass that suffers, so goes an old Kenyan proverb. In the maelstrom of political hysteria unleashed by Jayalalitha and Karunanidhi ostensibly in aid of Sri Lankan Tamils, democracy, truth and solidarity have been the biggest casualties. Over the past few months, Tamil Nadu has witnessed attacks on Sri Lankan Buddhist monks and Christian pilgrims, and the government sanctioned blockade of Sri Lankan schoolchildren and sportspersons.
The latest salvo from Chennai regarding Sri Lanka is the Tamil Nadu assembly resolution calling upon India to press for a United Nations Security Council mandated referendum amongst Tamils living in Sri Lanka as well as Tamils of Sri Lankan origin in other countries on the question of carving out an independent Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka. This is in addition to demands to declare Sri Lanka a ‘hostile state’, impose some form of sanctions etc. Continue reading Of imagined solidarities and real fears – The politics of the Sri Lankan Tamil cause in Tamil Nadu: Anonymous