March 14th, 2010 by Malathi de Alwis
by Jeyanthy Thalayasingham.
Adapted by Malathi de Alwis; translated by Lakshmi Jeganathan.
March 8th, International Women’s Day
Among the few things she could gather
as she fled to this new place called Life
was a mammoty
Although the war chases and chases
and cheats her
Her belief in Life still remains
In this new place she will create
a beautiful garden
I thought

What I heard next
broke my resolve

She escapes multi barrel shells in Muttur
and saves her life by coming to
this place called Life
But not all can escape
many will also die along the way
and who will be there to bury them?

This is why she flees with a mammoty

Category: Article

Sri Lanka’s Continuing Woes
January 28th, 2010 by Balakrishnan Rajagopal
voting_opujp_3868Sri Lanka’s problems may have just multiplied. An ugly electoral competition, shorn of elementary standards that would have made it free or fair, marred by violence, intimidation and repression of the media by the State, has just concluded. Indeed, Sri Lanka again joins the ranks of countries that conduct elections, but have dubious status …(cont.)

Category: Article
Tags: Election, Human Rights, Sri Lanka

An Open Letter to the President from A True Patriot
January 28th, 2010 by lines magazine
By Rohan Roamer (Published in Groundviews 2010/01/28)
voting_opujp_3868 We eagerly look forward to another six or maybe eight? years of glorious Mahinda Chinthanaya. …We wish you many more years of benevolent kingship which will help our country blossom into a great and powerful nation which can defeat the evil forces, both local and foreign, threatening to bring down our nation…(cont.)

Category: Article

35 Muslim Organizations Appeal to Make 2010 The Year of Return of Expelled Northern Muslims
January 25th, 2010 by lines magazine
2010 will mark the twentieth anniversary of the expulsion of the entire population of Muslims from the Northern Province by the LTTE. It will hopefully also be the year of return for the Northern Muslims to rebuild their lives, livelihoods and a shared future with all communities of the North….(cont.)

Category: Article

An Appeal to the Two Key Candidates Contesting the Presidential Elections
January 20th, 2010 by lines magazine
From Jayantha Dhanapala
On Behalf of Friday Forum Group of Concerned Citizensvoting_opujp_3868
This letter is addressed to you both — the two major candidates contesting the first national election as the country emerges from a devastating war. Having carefully examined your manifestos, we write to appeal to you to demonstrate vision and leadership to address the most pressing issue in the sixty-odd years of our country’s independent history. While you both contributed to winning the recent war, you should be aware of the dangers of losing the peace….(cont.)

Category: Article

“The Vote is a Valuable Right …”: An Appeal by Collective of Tamil Professionals
January 18th, 2010 by Devanesan Nesiah
voting_opujp_3868The vote is a valuable right and we call upon Tamils, Muslims and all minorities to exercise it without doubt or hesitation on the 26th of Jan. There are a few candidates whose programmes uphold human, democratic and minority rights, and we believe it would be appropriate to support one of these candidates. However, we believe that minority communities must at the same time choose between the two major candidates, thereby influencing the final outcome. In exercising judgement they need to ask: “Do we want six more years of what we have had these last four years, or do we want regime change?”…(cont.)

Category: Article

An Island Tragedy
January 17th, 2010 by lines magazine
voting_opujp_3868 This is Part II of New Left Review’s Interview with Ambalavener Sivanandan, Director of the Institute for Race Relations in Britain. This interview appears in the current issue of New Left Review (Volume 60, Nov-Dec. 2009).
Part I (published on the 12th of Jan, see began with Sivanandan’s own political biography to then focus on the period that immediately preceded and followed independence, right upto the Sinhala Only Act. Part II takes-off from that point to tell the story of majoritarian politics, the degeneration of the left and the rise of the LTTE. Part III, the third and final segment of this interview will move us from the 1977 election of J.R. Jayawardene to the present. …(cont.)

Category: Article

The value of the preference vote
January 14th, 2010 by lines magazine
By Suriya Wickremasinghe
voting_opujp_3868The following informational note was circulated by Suriya Wickremasinghe, constitutional law expert and head of the Civil Rights Movement (CRM). It responds to questions received by CRM about how votes are counted in the preferential voting system at the Presidential election. CRM prepared this note in the belief that a decision about how to vote, or whether to vote at all, should be an informed decision. …(cont.)

Category: Article

Standing the world on its head!
January 14th, 2010 by Kumar David
voting_opujp_3868It is being reported in the local press and local electronic media that the Rajapakses have gained popularity among Sinhala voters in recent days because the UN Special Reporter Philip Alston, the UN Secretary General, and the Western press, have reinforced their accusations of human rights violations and war crimes against the Rajapakse regime.
I just don’t get it! The world seems to be standing on its head! How do you become more popular when criminal accusations against you are reinforced? Shouldn’t it be the other way round? Shouldn’t decent people become cautious, if not sickened, and demand investigation?..(cont).

Category: Article

An Island Tragedy
January 12th, 2010 by lines magazine
voting_opujp_3868 This is Part I of New Left Review’s Interview with Ambalavener Sivanandan, Director of the Institute for Race Relations in Britain. Sivandan is the author of the novel When Memory Dies (a multi-generational epic situated in Sri Lanka) and numerous books and articles on race and class. Based in the UK for many decades, Sivanandan is a public intellectual, writer and long term activist in civil rights and social justice movements in the United Kingdom. This interview appears in the current issue of New Left Review (Volume 60, Nov-Dec. 2009) and begins with Sivanandan’s own political biography to then focus on the country’s political trajecotry in the period that immediately preceded and followed independence, right up to the Sinhala Only Act. . …(cont.)