12th December 2018

Sri Lanka’s crisis clouds fate of 20,000 missing people

12th December 2018 // 0 Comments

After seven months of digging around the old Sathosa Building in Mannar, a city some 250 kilometers north of Colombo in Sri Lanka, the remains of some 266 people have been pulled from the clinging earth. While these bodies remain unidentified – and, in some cases, likely unidentifiable – few doubt that they are witnessing the exhumation of the first of 16,000 to 20,000 people who disappeared here during more than four decades of civil war. The mass grave is one of several sites uncovered around Sri Lanka in recent years, including another one in Mannar. Further sites have been discovered around the east coast town of Batticaloa, and another in the central town of Matale. How many disappeared? However, Saliya Pieris, chairman of the independent Office […]

Forum in Jaffna calls for people-centred democracy

12th December 2018 // 0 Comments

A forum on democracy held in memory of late Somesasunthary Krishnakumar, University of Jaffna Senior Lecturer in History, was held at the Trimmer Hall in Jaffna on 9 December. Activists, students, academics, journalists, artists and others from different parts of the country, including Akkaraipattu, Kilinochchi, Kandy, and Colombo, discussed the ongoing political crisis, its historical origins, and what democracy should look like in the future. Participants agreed the current crisis was not merely a confrontation between political leaders, parties and the three arms of the State, namely the Parliament, Executive and Judiciary. The discussion focused on what democracy in the country has been throughout its history (particularly for groups on the margins such as minority communities, women, oppressed caste communities and workers) and an exploration […]