It has been over a decade since the end of Sri Lanka’s protracted conflict, but what we have today is ‘negative peace’ – which is the absence of overt violence. Limited understanding of Sri Lanka’s history, politics, democracy, ambition, intent, and the refusal to acknowledge acts of intolerance and discrimination that destroyed lives and led to bloodshed makes it increasingly difficult to avoid the recurrence of violence and we risk repeating the same mistakes. Today, we are confronted with choices that could lead to positive peace or a resumption of cycles of violence. Even now, the difficulties of dealing with COVID-19 and the resulting economic fallout could lead to social unrest that may morph into inter-communal violence if manipulated. Continue reading →
It’s Bachelet’s hour. That’s Michelle. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The second of her bi-annual Christmas-come-early party in Geneva. Time to get her kicks, probably. The grave countenance, deep tone and malice disguised as concern. Yes, folks, it’s that time of year of regurgitating tired arguments based on tendentious claims made by unreliable sources with agendas that have little or nothing to do with human rights.
Premachandra Athukorala, an article taken from Daily FT, where t has appeared on the 30th September 2021 in three parts, under this title “Sri Lanka and the IMF: Myth and reality”
The decision to go to the IMF for assistance rests entirely with the IMF members. However, the relationship between the IMF and its developing-country members under stabilisation programmes has not always been smooth.
Sri Lanka’s first attempt to borrow from the IMF under an SBA was by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) Coalition Government in 1964. By that time import restriction and capital controls had been carried out to the maximum and it was becoming increasingly difficult to introduce further restrictions without damaging the economy. Because of the nationalisation of the foreign-owned gas and petroleum outlets in 1961, Sri Lanka became the first country against which the US Government invoked the Hickenlooper Amendment requiring the suspension of US aid to countries expropriating US property without compensation. Following this, the international aid community virtually isolated Sri Lanka
“We cannot brush aside and completely ignore these international institutions; we can repudiate their terms only if we are prepared to face the far-reaching distortions”
“The Government’s effort to put its own house in order is not the result of IMF advice but is the obvious thing to do in the national interest”
– Dr. N.M. Perera, Finance Minister of the United Front Government, 1970-’75 –
The conflict with the terrorist LTTE dragged on for over two decades causing widespread death and destruction with no obvious end in sight. The Government, after the election of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, recognised, perhaps for the first time, that carefully managing the media, both domestic and international, was an important factor if this endless struggle were to be ended successfully. President Rajapaksa, a consummate politician, accepted the profound value of a non-antagonistic media and carefully orchestrated initiatives to secure this objective. As the world knows, the bloody conflict was eventually ended on the banks of the Nanthikadal Lagoon on May 18, 2009, through the colossal efforts and sacrifices of the security forces.
Tony Birtley of Al Jazeera at the warfront in late 2008 and Ranil Wijayapala in ??
Rajiva Wijesinha, presenting his new book unders the imprint of Godage & Bros, Colombo
In 2006 the United Kingdom, as now 15 years later, was in the forefront of bringing Sri Lanka before the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. The resolution was not taken up but kept on the table, and in September 2007the UK proposed discussing the text with the recently appointed Sri Lankan Representative Dayan Jayatilleka.
Council resolution 46/1 called upon the Sri Lankan Government to address the harmful legacies of war and to protect human rights, including for those from religious minorities. We regret the lack of progress on these issues, with a number of further concerning developments.
House of Lords: The Rt Hon Lord Michael Naseby spoke in the Queen’s Speech Debate on Wednesday May 19, 2021 …. [with highlighting emphais here being the work of The Editor, Thuppahi]
My Lords, I welcome the gracious Speech. My comments will be on global Britain, specifically the Indo-Pacific tilt. My own background is that I have lived and worked in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and I know the rest of ASEAN quite well. I will specifically address Sri Lanka, and I declare an interest as joint chair of the All-Party Group (on Sri Lanka).
This is a very incisive interview with Tamara Kunanayakam,a former ambassador to the UNHRC in Geneva. In a no-nonsense manner she unravels why the pursuit of Sri Lanka by the Western nations is taking place.
The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting — Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (1979)
Memory does not explicitly feature among the four pillars of transitional justice: truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence. Hence the precise role memory plays within a transitional justice process is often left to those negotiating the contours of the process. Memory is a vital ingredient in ascertaining the truth and in securing evidence to ensure justice for victims and survivors. Moreover, memorialisation of loss has a place in the symbolic initiatives owed to victims and survivors under the reparations pillar. Meanwhile, public memorials commemorating man-made tragedies contribute towards a society’s collective commitment to non-recurrence. Thus memory often becomes the lifeblood that preserves and binds the traditional pillars of transitional justice.
Chandre Dharmawardana, 30 March 2021, in Email Memo entitled “Alleged Human Rights Abuses of the Sri Lankan Army” ……….. a memo commenting on responses to his previous Essay[i] … with highlighting imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi
Ramesh Somasundaram, (commenting on the Thuppahi website) is absolutely right in saying “that the Sri Lankan governments and the Sri Lankan military personal have been correctly accused of human rights abuses. “Sri Lankan Soldiers have been accused of grave crimes, and they should be investigated and brought to trial. Many of the soldiers were simply carrying out orders, and so the high command must bear the final responsibility except in cases where the soldiers exceeded their acts as soldiers and acted even more inhumanely than needed.
Situation Map 2 February 2009 — an excellent work by, I think?, the Daily Mirror
Thuppahi's Blog · This web site presents the interventions of MICHAEL ROBERTS in the public realm with reference to Sri Lankan political affairs. It will embrace the politics of cricket as well. ROBERTS was educated at St. Aloysius College in Galle and the universities of Peradeniya and Oxford. He taught History at Peradeniya University and Anthropology at Adelaide university. He is now retired and lives in Adelaide.