Groundviews published over the course of the past two weeks exclusive articles on a diverse range of topics and issues, ranging from constitutional reform and women’s attire to the plight of IDPs and peacebuilding.
Pros and cons of the 13th Amendment and the APRC
Writing exclusively for Groundviews, M.C.M Iqbal, one of the secretaries of the first Provincial Council of the Western Province, submits a detailed analysis of the 13th and ends by noting that,
The defeat of the LTTE has provided President Rajapakse a golden opportunity to settle the problems of the Tamils once and for all. His current popularity among the Sinhalese could make them accept whatever solution he puts forward to the problem saying that it is the need of the hour to bring about lasting peace and prosperity to the country… If he misses this opportunity, the problems of the Tamil will remain a festering wound in the body politic of this country and would necessitate the maintenance of an oversized military force which the country can hardly afford, due to fears of the defeated forces rising from their graves, persisting.
Read Devolution of powers under the 13th Amendment in Sri Lanka: Fact or Fiction? in full here.
Regular Groundviews columnist RMB Senanayake in The 13th Amendment as a political solution notes that,
The cry for decentralization instead of devolution means that power will continue to be with the bureaucracy and the politicians of the Center… this cannot be called the expression of the opinions of the local Tamil people. On the other hand those who talk of 13th Amendment plus at this juncture are also wrong. This requires amending the Constitution. Any attempts to do so will again divide the Sinhala people and allow the populist politicians like the JVP to create confusion and chaos among the people.
Read his article and leave your thoughts here.
The APRC Proposals and ‘Winning the Peace’ is an article by Colin Irwin, Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool, based on a public poll in Sri Lanka conducted earlier this year. Read it in full here.
In what may be one of the last articles he writes in favour of the full implementation of the 13th Amendment from his current post, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Dayan Jayatilleka notes in Post-war reconciliation and nation-building in a global context that,
Those who encourage us to implement the 13th amendment are not those who lectured us on federalism and the need to accommodate the LTTE. Those folks talk of war crimes tribunals, unfettered access, an UN role in political reconciliation, economic sanctions etc. These are the folks who were defeated in Geneva on May 27th. We are being encouraged to swiftly implement at least the 13th amendment, precisely by those who did not belong to that camp, and stood by us, helping us in various ways during the war. It is these friends who will be undermined and who will pull back if we fail to, leaving us vulnerable to the Tamil Diaspora driven West and a possible Indo-US policy pincer.
Read his article in full here.
The murder of Lasantha Wickremetunge
An article on the admission on a senior government MP of murdering Lasantha Wickremetunge originally posted on Lankanenewsweb.com, currently blocked by the Sri Lankan government, was reposted on Groundviews and generated over 5,000 page views in just over 24 hours. Read Mervyn Silva publicly admits to killing Lasantha Wickrematunge and grievously attacking another journalist in full here.
Also on Lasantha Wickremetunge’s murder, a contributor to Groundviews criticises the recently held Journalism Awards for Excellence organized by the Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka Press Institute for not remembering his murder. Read Sri Lankan media awards and Lasantha who? here.
The continuing internment of IDPs in Sri Lanka
In Setting the record straight: Challenges of internment for IDPs, noted political analyst Rohini Hensman responds to the critique of her earlier writing on the internment of IDPs in Sri Lanka by Malinda Seneviratne and Lucien Rajakarunanayake. Her original article, published on Groundviews, is also an example of how content published first and exclusively on this site spark of wide ranging debate in traditional print media. For her response in full with links to the articles by Malinda and Lucien, click here.
In The internment of IDPs in Sri Lanka: Comparisons with another example from US history, Vidura makes a particularly compelling comparison between the internment of IDPs in Sri Lanka today and the internment of about 120,000 Japanese-Americans in USA in the wake of World War II.
Read Vidura’s article in full here.
In Concerned Tamils, but what about the rest?, Selvy Thiruchandran writes in favour of a common platform of concerned citizens to address the situation of IDPs and give suggestions for the speedy recovery of a human tragedy. Read her article in full here.
Succinctly capturing the sentiments of these articles is the poem Decree by Thiru Sambandar. Read it here.
An essay that sparked over 40 comments over 2,200 pageviews to date looked at the “proper” attire for women in Sri Lanka. Read On a woman’s attire: Are we really tempting young boys and priests? in full here.
A follow up article, On women’s attire and gender equality: pondering on the long way ahead by Chaminda Weerawardhana, explores further the salient points in the previous article. Read it in full here.
Groundviews is Sri Lanka’s first and award winning citizens journalism website features an unparalleled range of ideas, opinions and analyses on humanitarian issues, media freedom, human rights, peace, democratic governance and constitutional reform.