The Tamil liberation struggle & the new Cold War

The strategic significance of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean region.

Iconic of the times

The international rules of war decree that warring parties have an obligation to protect religious sites. However, in the context of the Sri Lanka’s majoritarian drive, non-Buddhist sites have in fact been the targets and objectives of military campaigns.

The only lesson we ever learn is that we never learn

Five years on, and still we have not learnt. With each anniversary, the steps crumble beneath our feet, the stones ever more cracked, the sand ever finer. Five years of catastrophe in Iraq and I think of Churchill, who in the end called Palestine a "hell-disaster". But we have used these parallels before and they have drifted away in the Tigris breeze. Iraq is swamped in blood. Yet what is the state of our remorse? Why, we will have a public inquiry – but not yet! If only inadequacy was our only sin. Today, we are engaged in a fruitless debate. What went wrong? How did the people – the...

And the Tamil response …

Despite the biblical injunction not to answer fools, an exception can be made for you, Mr. Ambassador. You may deny it for all you are worth, the Tamils of Sri Lanka comprise a nation. There is ample evidence to show that the Tamils have lived in the island for centuries. The Tamils have preserved a language, religion and culture with which they are identified. It is a fact of history that there are two nations in the island – the Tamils and the Sinhalese. Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike, has to bear the brunt for the deterioration of relations between the two peoples. His attempt to ram the...

What Liberation?

Based on field trip between 10 and 14 December 2007, the author continues to query the much heralded liberation of the East in this the third of a three part series.

A message gets through

Dear Friends, I want to share my experience at the Hillary Clinton campaign speech in Houston, Texas on March 3rd. It was a very well attended event. President Clinton gave a half hour speech mainly on the economy and the future of the country. My husband and I displayed placards that we prepared and took to the event. We were at a vantage point from where the President could easily spot us and as he was being introduced by a fellow politician, Bill Clinton looked toward us, read the messege on the placard and gave a "thumbs-up". The letter that was carried by me with some devastating...

Remember the TULF’s 1977 manifesto? It was titled: ‘One Question: Freedom or Servitude?’

Why has this conflict proven impossible to ‘resolve’?

Genocide is not a war against terrorism

They lay lifeless. Row by row, lines upon lines, bodies of young Tamil women draped in cloths, as horrified family members search frantically for their daughters, nieces and sisters, fearing the next covering they lift up will expose the face of their loved one. I was disgusted. Disgusted with myself, disgusted with what the world had become. I was at disgust with myself, for I was behind a computer screen, in the safety of my own home. A home in a first world nation that does not have to face such conflicts. I turned my speakers off thinking without sound these images of absolute sadness...

U.S. Declaration of Independence validates Tamil Statehood

Applying the "self-evident" truths celebrated in the Declaration of Independence, the United States should recognize the right of Sri Lanka's long oppressed Tamil people to independent statehood from the racial supremacist Sinhalese. To deny the statehood right — sought by the Tamil people since 1976 — would mark one of the United States' most ill-conceived hours. Double standards beget enmity or contempt, a steep price even for a superpower. To borrow from the Declaration, let facts be submitted to a candid world. In 1948, Sri Lanka achieved nationhood from British colonial rule with a...

Kudos to wider Tamil identity

The decision of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to select Razeen Mohamed Imam as a national list member of the Sri Lanka parliament on February 8 has been received with wide appreciation from different sections of the Tamil-speaking people, including the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress. Mr. Razeen Mohamed, 60, is a lawyer from Jaffna and has been a member of the Ilankai Thamizh Arasuk Kadchi (the Federal Party started by the late S.J.V Chelvanayakam) for more than 30 years. He was also earlier a member of the Jaffna Municipal Council, elected on a Federal Party ticket. There was a time when...

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