Loaded Gun

Writing in the Caravan, Viruben Nandakumar details the worrying militarisation of Sri Lankan society and the influence Sri Lanka’s war crimes accused security forces continue to wield. “While the country’s political establishment and civil government face a crisis of legitimacy, the military seems poised to weather the turmoil with its considerable might intact or even enhanced relative to other centres of power,” he writes. Drawing on the scholarship of Rajesh Venugopal, Nandakumar details how an embrace of market reforms by the Jayawardene administration led to deepening inequality and...

A struggle divided

Sri Lanka’s worst economic crisis has given way to a mass anti-government movement. The movement often referred to as Aragalaya - the Sinhala word for “struggle” - started off vehemently demanding the resignation of Gotabaya Rajapaksa for his role in destroying the island’s economy. After protesters stormed his residence, Rajapaksa fled to Singapore where he formally announced his resignation. Upon receiving the news, protesters gathered outside the presidential secretariat to celebrate the ousting of a president they once held as a saviour. The Aragalaya has overwhelmingly been characterized...

Sri Lanka’s Real Reckoning is Yet to Come

Writing in Just Security , Tasha Manoranjan, founder and a director of People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL) stresses that “accountability for atrocities against Tamils and curbing Sinhala Buddhist nationalism are key for the island’s future stability and prosperity”. In her article, she takes aim at Sinhalese Buddhist nationalism, which she describes as “the poisonous thread that links the anti-Tamil chauvinism underpinning every Sri Lankan institution” and “is the root cause of Sri Lanka’s present political and economic crises”. It is this nationalism that has “explains why, just...

Sri Lanka’s leadership contest is a farce

Whilst many in the Sinhala South seem satisfied with the opportunity to have a new leader after the ousting of one that they had overwhelmingly voted for just two years prior; for Tamils in the North-East, the dismal choice of candidates is yet further proof that Colombo is incapable of reform.

Sri Lanka’s economic crisis cannot be addressed without demilitarizing the North-East

Sri Lanka is in an economic crisis, and the blame is being laid squarely at the door of its president Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Last weekend, tens of thousands of protesters tore that door down and stormed his official residence. Since the beginning of this economic crisis, Sri Lankans have been quick to denounce his corruption and amassing of personal wealth. They picked apart his policies ranging from his tax cuts to his pledge to ban chemical fertilizers. Sri Lanka’s protestors, however, have been conspicuously silent about one of the state’s most significant policies that have brought the country to this predicament in the first place - the Sri Lankan military occupation of the Tamil North-East.

Take him to The Hague

Whilst firecrackers were let off in Colombo to celebrate Rajapaksa’s resignation, he must not, however, be allowed to leave office without facing any consequences. The former defence secretary should be taken and tried at The Hague over his command responsibility for war crimes and genocide.

Sri Lanka’s Road to Ruin Was Political, Not Economic

Writing in Foreign Policy, Neil Devotta, professor of international affairs at Wake Forest University, explains that “the roots of the current crisis lie with ethnocracy” which has led a country from meritocracy to kakistocracy – governance by a country’s worst citizens. Quoting a Sri Lankan newspaper, Devotta writes, “drug dealers, fraudsters, murderers, rapists, bootleggers and cattle rustlers’ control politics, and they have bankrupted a country with so much potential”. In explaining the rise of Sri Lanka as an ethnocratic state, he begins with the premiership of Prime Minister S.W.R.D...

Time for Tamil Eelam

Sri Lanka’s economic and political crisis has reiterated what the island’s Tamils have been saying for decades. Only an independent Tamil state can bring stability to the island. This weekend, enraged protestors ran through the Sri Lankan president’s official residence and burnt down the prime minister’s home, in scenes which reflected the anger and outrage over the island’s economic collapse. All across the Sinhala south there have been rallies and protests, decrying how the island has fallen into financial ruin. In the Tamil homeland however, there are different sentiments to be found. Though the North-East has been hit just as hard by the financial crisis, if not harder given the decades of destruction it has faced, the protests of the south do not resonate the same way with Tamils. There is bemusement at how the same people who overwhelmingly elected a man who platformed on bringing a militaristic rule, have turned on him within a few short years. There is scepticism as to whether these demonstrations will ever lead to any deep-rooted change for an island that has been plagued by cycles of violence. And there is a sense of vindication over what Tamils have known and said for decades. Sri Lanka is not just in crisis - it is a failed state, that in its current form is not fit for purpose. It is time for the Tamil people to be free from it.

Ontario's lawyers defend the Tamil Genocide Education Week Act

The province of Ontario’s lawyers effectively argued to dismantle the legal case filed against Bill 104 – the “Tamil Genocide Education Week Act”, at the Superior Court of Ontario by Tamil Genocide deniers. It is a well-known fact that the Sri Lankan government is working extremely hard against any efforts undertaken in the struggle for justice for Tamil people in Sri Lanka and around the world. Even today despite facing an economic crisis, triggering political and financial instability, the Sri Lankan government continue to engage in Tamil Genocide denial and distortion.

'We must continue the fight to end fortress Australia'

Writing in Redflag this week, Tamil Refugee Council member Ben Hillier condemned the newly elected Australian Labor Party (ALP)'s immigration policy and it's handling of the Murugappan family’s immigration case. Hillier stated that the new Labor government could have granted permanent protection to the Murugappan family, "the Biloela family snatched from their home four years ago by Border Force and placed in the prison-like conditions of immigration detention by the Liberal government."