An Open Letter to Ranil Wickremesinghe

My dear Ranil, I hope this letter finds you well. I was thrilled to watch your interview on DW News.

An Open Letter to Mahinda Rajapaksa

My dear Percival Mahendra, I hope this letter finds you in good health. What can impede your health as long as your buddy Ranil is there for you? Was it not because of the grace of Ranil you were saved from the electric chair? I mean, he claimed a few years ago that it was he who saved you from the electric chair. Not many people understood what he meant but I don’t recall even a bit of whining from you then, so I am assuming it was he who came to your rescue when the Americans were threatening to bring war crimes charges against you and your beloved brother Nandasena Gota. There was a lot of ‘silly’ talk in 2010 that the Americans were not happy with your election victory over Fonseka. And then came the presidential election of 2015. When the results came out, you really didn’t want to step down. Remember you summoned the commanders of the security forces and were contemplating staying in power through unconstitutional means. And then the warning shots came, and you decided to back down, or to be precise, step down.

Sri Lanka’s hypocrisy on Gaza needs calling out

The violence in Israel and Palestine over the last month has been horrific. Thousands have already been killed and it shows no signs of abating in the days and weeks to come. For many around the world, Eelam Tamils included, it has been difficult to observe. But what has added to the dismay for Tamils in particular, is the hypocritical response by Sri Lankans across the political spectrum to the violence in Gaza.

Dangerous and deadly - Sri Lanka's proposed bills threaten to worsen authoritarianism

Though Sri Lanka’s sweeping aragalaya protest moment that forced its then-president out of office is now over, long-awaited reforms on the island have not taken place. Instead, Colombo’s latest president, the purportedly Western-friendly president Ranil Wickremesinghe, has proceeded to slide the island further down the path of authoritarianism.

Not just one rotten apple - TG View

Last week the US State Department decided to sanction yet another Sri Lanka war criminal, former Naval Commander, Wasantha Karannagoda. For decades Karannagoda has enjoyed complete impunity for the crimes he committed against Tamil civilians. Despite his alleged involvement in the abduction and disappearance of eleven individuals, as a close ally of the Rajapaksa clan, Karannagoda appeared almost untouchable. Under the Sinhala state, Karannagoda was not held to account for the atrocities perpetrated against Eelam Tamil people but instead appointed as governor of the Tamil majority North-...

EDITORIAL - Wickremesinghe’s ultimatum

Illustration by Keera Ratnam / waves of colour In his Independence Day address, Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe swore that he would oppose a “division of the nation” and put forward the prospect of “maximum devolution within a unitary state”. The statement comes as the latest attempt to dilute and dissuade Tamils from their calls for self-determination. During his address to the All-Party Parliamentary Conference, Wickremesinghe warned that the decades-old 13th amendment must either be adopted or abolished. Yet, whilst these proceedings unfolded, across the North- East Eelam Tamils...

Pongal protests show why Sri Lanka’s president can’t be trusted

On the day Sri Lanka’s president attempts to visit the Tamil city of Jaffna, a familiar scene unfolds. Peaceful Tamil demonstrators are swarmed by armed Sri Lankan officers; the military erects roads blocks to cordon off demonstrators; and, the police resort to firing water cannons in an attempt to disperse the Tamil public. None of this comes as a surprise to Eelam Tamils who for years have withstood the brunt of a brutal military occupation. Indeed, despite the tactics of intimidation and violence, Tamils did not shrink from their protests but fought back. In Nallur some chose to meet...

The shattered illusion

Last Tuesday, the Canadian government broke historic ground with the sanctioning of two former Sri Lankan presidents, Gotabaya and Mahinda Rajapaksa. In this act, they shattered any lingering illusion that the crimes of the Sri Lankan military were simply the acts of rank-and-file soldiers. Instead, they were calculated, meticulously planned and executed by the head of Sri Lanka’s wartime administration and his right hand, the acting defense secretary. These were not the actions of rogue soldiers but “gross and systematic violations of human rights”. Thus, strengthening the case that the Rajapaksa must be brought before the Hague. Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry has responded, predictably, by lashing out against the Canadian government for its “unilateral action” and of “polarising communities” on the island. The statement of the ministry is a pitiful attempt to prop up a mirage of communal harmony against a background of military occupation and continued human rights violations. For generations, Tamils have had to suffer under the thumb of the Sinhala Buddhist state. Their lives are punctuated by the threat of military violence; the prohibition on memorials; the memories of their loved ones abducted by the state; and the genocide they suffered.

'A powerful display of Tamil nationhood and collective defiance' – PEARL marks Maaveerar Naal

Marking the 33 rd Maaveerar Naal, People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL) has released a statement stressing that “Maaveerar Naal still serves as a powerful display of collective defiance against the Sri Lankan state’s narrative of a defeated Tamil nation”. In their statement, they highlight that the roots of the conflict and the current economic collapse, Sinhala Buddhist nationalism remains unaddressed. “The Sinhala-Buddhist nationalist state-building project sustains the marginalization and oppression of Tamils in their homeland, through the suffocating militarization of the North-...

'Investing in a failed state' - Gary Anandasangaree slams MPs encouraging investment in Sri Lanka

Responding to the recent visit of Canada’s business delegation to Sri Lanka, MP Gary Anandasangaree expressed his disappointment in Canadian MPs seeking investment “in a failed state with a horrendous human rights record and endemic corruption.” Deeply disappointed that @handongontario and @RachaelThomasMP encouraged #Canadians to invest in a failed state with a horrendous human rights record and endemic corruption. This was not a Gov of Canada sanctioned mission but rather 2 I’ll advised MPs going on a free trip. — Gary Anandasangaree (@gary_srp) November 18, 2022 The...