The unsaid ‘Thanks’ to the ‘Unknown’

July brings out many dreadful memories in the context of Sri Lankan politics. It is the month during which the subtle suspicions between Tamils and Sinhalese turned into a fully blown animosity, thanks to some unfortunate incidents.

Many lives were lost. Many Tamils who faced the brunt of the 1983 riots continue to remember them and some still live in ‘those’ days and therefore th ey tend to be doubtful of any efforts to solve the issue. Yes, there was violence, and it is probably the darkest period in Sri Lanka’s post-independence era. Continue reading →

A ‘Kulappam’ in progress

Tamil Nadu was once again in a state of confusion due to several developments pertaining to the position of the Chief Minister.

The internal battle within the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam came out in the open on February 7 when O. Panneerselvam, successor of the late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jayaram announced that he was forced to hand over his resignation. He alleged that Jayalalithaa’s former aide Sasikala Natarajan had created a rift within the party.

Panneerselvam’s move has gained a considerable amount of backing from party stalwarts, and political analysts in the State predict that the AIADMK would be further weakened due to the unexpected developments last week.

Ever since Jayalalithaa passed away, Tamil Nadu’s political environment has been fragile. Though Panneerselvam was appointed Chief Minister, Sasikala’s rise to prominence within the party created a gradual split which has now come to light. Continue reading →

Who is Jayalalithaa for Sri Lanka?

Who is Jayalalithaa Jayaram? For millions in Tamil Nadu, she’s an inspiration. For women, she is one who broke all the stereotypes and fought her way through to become a Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, not once, but thrice.

She was revered, loved and respected by many, and feared and hated equally.
But who was Jayalalithaa for Sri Lanka? How was she perceived by the people here? Jayalalithaa the actress, had thousands of fans in Sri Lanka. Jayalalithaa the politician, unfortunately, did not.

Her relationship with Sri Lanka was not a smooth one. It was tumultuous.
There were three issues which divided Tamil Nadu from Sri Lanka. One is the Kachchatheevu issue where Jayalalithaa spearheaded calls for India to regain the islet. Continue reading →

North acknowledges Workers’ plight

At a time when reconciliation and its importance is being widely discussed, the people of the North and the South came to the streets last week, not for themselves, but for the estate workers in the hill country whose wage issues are unresolved for years.
For years, the Tamils of the North have been focusing on their own issues and have been demanding durable solutions for the ethnic question, and the issues that stemmed out of the conflict that ensued.

Even after the war ended, many of the issues of the people of the Northern and Eastern provinces remained unaddressed. Issues such as enforced disappearances, land grabbing, delay in releasing those arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), are some of the issues that continue to be raised in local and international platforms. Continue reading →

Resisting resistance against reconciliation

Resisting-resistance-640x400The recovery of suicide jackets and ammunition in the North last week once again created ripples and concerns over re-emergence of armed groups after almost a seven year hiatus.

The opposition has urged the government to probe the matter seriously and to ensure that this does not pave way to the re-emergence of the LTTE, which would eventually lead the way to the past.

It is important for the defence establishment to probe the matter and find the truth behind the discoveries of the jackets and ammunition. It is also important for them to ensure that security is alert so that no groups could emerge once again to drag the country back towards conflict and uncertainty. Continue reading →