‘Sinhalese chauvinist wins presidential election, Tamils fear reprisals’

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, won the recent Sri Lankan Presidential election "on the basis of Sinhala chauvinism," writes Chris Slee for the Green Left. Gotabaya was defence secretary in 2009, when the Sri Lankan armed forces massacred tens of thousands of Tamils in the final stages of their war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The LTTE were fighting for an independent Tamil homeland in the north and east of the island of Sri Lanka. Slee points out that Sajith Premadasa, the New Democratic Front's presidential candidate was not much better than his opponent, Gotabaya. "The...

‘These families fear they’ll never find missing loved ones after Sri Lanka election result’

The election of Gotabaya Rajapaksa as Sri Lanka’s new president only adds to the suffering of Tamil families searching for their loved ones, writes Aaron Fernandes for SBS News.

‘How the Easter Bombings pushed Sri Lankans to vote for an alleged war criminal’

Angad Singh, journalist at Vice News, writes that Sri Lanka’s Easter Sunday bombings made Gotabaya Rajapaksa, an alleged war criminal, a front runner in the upcoming Presidential election.

‘UNP should not be allowed to hijack the Tamils’ struggle’

No matter what the result of Sri Lanka’s presidential election this weekend, neither of the leading candidates will meet Tamil demands for equal rights and accountability, writes journalist J S Tissainayagam in an article for the Asian Correspondent on Friday. Ahead of tomorrow’s polls, Tissainayagam says that “the choice for the Tamils is between an unsympathetic candidate and an apathetic candidate”.

'Danger ahead' - The Guardian editorial

The Guardian writes that a clear and present danger is posed by the return of a Rajapaksa presidency, in its editorial on Thursday. In their article, they note that Gotabaya has been subject to lawsuits relating to torture, fraud and corruption. They also note his time as Defence Secretary during the final stage of the armed conflict where an estimated 40,000 Tamil civilians were slaughtered in its final months. Gotabaya is accused of being complicit in crimes against humanity, war crimes and the routine use of sexual violence and torture. Read more here: 'It never goes away' says Tamil...

"Sri Lanka Election Sparks Fear of Return to Violent Past"

Alan Keenan, project director for Sri Lanka at the International Crisis Group (ICG) warns that the return of a Gotabaya presidency has already heightened fears amongst minorities and will lead to losses in terms of "reconciliation and accountability for atrocities and human rights violations". Gotabaya Rajapaksa was the Defense Secretary during the final stages of the war which witnessed a litany of human rights violations as well as hundreds of people surrendering to the army during the final stages of conflict to never be seen again. Rajapaksa has been accused of being implicated in the deaths of dozens of journalists as well as their exile.

The lesser evil?

In the lead up to the Sri Lankan Presidential election 16 November, both Sinhala and Tamil political commentators have quipped that this election is a clear cut choice between “the lesser of two evils” and have insisted on drawing parallels to the 2015 and 2005 elections...

Tamil politicians should join ‘extra-parliamentary agitation’

The Tamil political leadership should join the “extra-parliamentary” agitations across the North-East in order to achieve the political goals of power-sharing, accountability and demilitarisation, argued journalist J S Tissainayagam in an article for the Asian Correspondent last month.

‘Treatment of Tamil family shows the inhumanity of the Morrison Government’

Over 250,000 Australians have been campaigning to stop the deportation of a Tamil family from Australia to Sri Lanka. Despite their campaign for fairness, “the Morrison government still insists on denying assistance to the Biloela family,” Meggan Devery writes for Independent Australia. “In early September, Scott Morrison rejected calls from across the nation to resettle Priya, Nades and their two young daughters back in their hometown of Biloela. Dismissing the ‘public sentiment’ surrounding the issue, the Prime Minister maintained that ‘if you make the wrong calls on these issues, then you...

The kindred spirits of Kurdistan

The deafening din of explosions; chaotic coughs through the black smoke; mechanical murmurs of invading tanks, as the international community looks away. The indigenous civilians of the land - retreating in tears. Forced to leave their homes without the remains of loved ones, for family members and martyrs are not distinct. Through their pain, they strive to survive clutching to the dream, that the homeland they loved was not lost. As they navigate the forced disorder, they maintain the belief that the oasis they had built will not be drained. Does this tragedy sound familiar?