Sri Lanka Drills for Oil

Sri Lanka, battered by four decades of Tamil separatist violence that ended a year ago, appears finally able to begin to exploit its sizable domestic oil and gas sources and reduce its crippling dependence on imports.   In one of the latest moves, Cairn Lanka, a subsidiary of the Edinburg-based Cairn Energy PLC, will begin…

Waiting for the Jaffna train

Ceylon/Lanka is our respected motherland A good land endowed with environmental benefits A Land where precious gemstones and beautiful sceneries cover our minds When we pronounce the word Jaffna the taste of honey oozes Jaffna, where the palmyra fruit and the tobacco leaves grow together – Translation (by writer) of the opening lines of Tamil…

Sri Lanka’s Diaspora Won’t Give Up

With the grim civil war that wracked Sri Lanka finally over after 26 years, and with the Tamil minority seeking to pick up their lives after their rebellion was crushed mercilessly, only one group appears determined to continue the fight, and that is a large portion of the hundreds of thousands of Tamils overseas. As…

Sri Lanka’s Tragic Missing

More journalists have gone missing in a country that is becoming notorious for missing journalists. Missing along with them is Sarath Fonseka, the popular former military commander who dared to challenged Mahinda Rajapakse to another term as president. During the last week, three women have tried to speak to Sri Lanka about the tragedy that…

Violence Isn’t Slowing in Sri Lanka

Despite promises by the Sri Lankan government to ease curbs on civil rights and a new era of reconciliation following its defeat of the Tamil Tigers, human rights and press freedom organizations say little has changed. Repression and state-sponsored violence are continuing in the wake of a convincing victory by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a…

A Boatload of Money

The saga of the 255 Sri Lankans stuck on a boat in the Indonesian port of Merak last week involves at least five countries: Sri Lanka, where they came from; Australia, where they said they were going; and Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia where the people-smugglers coordinated logistics so passengers could join the boat by air…

The Sad Detritus of the Sri Lankan Civil War

As the international community observed the United Nations International Day of the Disappeared on August 30, four police officials in Sri Lanka were jailed for their part in disappearances. Former Senior Superintendent of Police Douglas Peiris and three other police officers were found guilty at the Gampaha High Court of abduction of two young boys…

Can Sri Lanka’s Civil Society Be Rebuilt?

With the rebel Tamil Tiger leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran finally dead and the military declaring total victory after 26 years of war, Sri Lanka's traumatized citizens are hoping that their society can finally be regenerated. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, in a Tuesday speech in Parliament, promised the formerly Tiger-controlled areas would be reconstructed and that the rights…

Death of a Journalist

On January 8, Lasantha Wicrematunge, the editor in chief of the Sunday Leader newspaper in Sri Lanka, was shot in the head and murdered by an assailant on his way to his office. Sri Lankan President Mahindra Rajapakse has sworn to find the murderer. Given the Sunday Leader’s opposition to Rajapakse’s regime, many in Sri…

Tigers No More

The Tamil Tigers are on the run. Their ‘capital’ Kilinochchi has fallen to the Sri Lankan military and Tamil Eelam, their self-declared homeland in the island’s northeast, is doing a reasonable impression of an American bank; it has shrunk to around a tenth the size it was a year ago. In Colombo, Sri Lanka’s all-conquering…
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