ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Report to the UN Human Rights Council on Sri Lanka

One of the most striking features of the report by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Investigation on Sri Lanka, 2015 is its consistent effort to be even-handed in its view of Government of Sri Lanka and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam responsibility for atrocities. Significantly, it does not find evidence that the government or its armed forces engaged in genocide, instead, the crimes are described by the report as consistent with war crimes and crimes against humanity. This analysis finds the report of OISL as contributing to a process of securing the rights of victims and their families, reforming institutions so that similar bloodbaths do not recur in the future, and bringing about reconciliation.

Sri Lanka: A Democratic Revolution in the Making?

Change in Sri Lanka cannot end with the defeat of Mahinda Rajapaksa. An overhaul of the executive presidency and accountability for all war crimes going back to the 1970s need to be established and a new economic and social programme needs to be undertaken. A manifesto for the new Sri Lanka.

A Tribute to Rajani Thiranagama

A tribute to the Tamil doctor, feminist and human rights defender of Jaffna, Rajani Thiranagama, on her 25th death anniversary. She was killed by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. This is an occasion to revisit the issues of self-determination, the strategy to prioritise certain forms of struggle over others, and the question of rebuilding the left - matters which are relevant not only in Sri Lanka but everywhere in the world.

Womanifesto

A freedom movement for women has been sparked off. Citizens across the country are demanding an end to the generations of violence and suppression faced by hundreds of millions of Indian women and girls – from rape and domestic abuse, to lower pay and no right to property. Voters are calling on...

The Gujarat Model of Development

Narendra Modi’s famed model of economic growth will only exacerbate the disasters wrought by the neoliberal economics of UPA. Far from championing him, industries and the middle class should take note of how his policies will eventually harm their own economic interests in the long run.

2014 Elections, a Secular United Front and the Aam Aadmi Party

This is a statement on the current political situation in India issued by 26 signatories from all walks of life who are concerned about the resurgence of communal forces in the wake of the 2014 elections.

Towards a New Culture of the Left

The conference on historical materialism in New Delhi recently was a major step towards the creation of a new culture of the left. Left-wing teachers, students, writers and activists from around the world and from diverse political backgrounds sharply disagreed in some of the sessions but the debates were respectful rather than polemical.

Independent Judiciary and Rule of Law

Among the continuing acts that erode democratic institutions in Sri Lanka is the recent impeachment of the Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brothers who head various arms of the Sri Lankan government run a repressive and autocratic regime that does not brook opposition. Despite this, the opposition parties Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna and the Tamil National Alliance along with civil society bodies like the Federation of University Teachers' Associations and students have come together to fi ght back.

Writing Labour History

Histories of Labour: National and International Perspectives edited by Joan Allen, Alan Campbell and John McIlroy (The Merlin Press, 2010; Delhi: Aakar Books), 2011; pp vi+399, hardback, Rs 995.

The Spectre of Fascism

Godse's Children: Hindutva Terror in India by Subhash Gatade (New Delhi: Pharos Media and Publishing), 2011; pp 400, Rs 360. The Saffron Condition: Politics of Repression and Exclusion in Neoliberal India by Subhash Gatade (Gurgaon: Three Essays Collective), 2011; pp 475, Rs 500.

Response to Sri Lanka Consul General

It is amusing to see the Sri Lanka Consul General (“Biased Article on Sri Lanka” EPW, 25 June 2011) impeaching the credibility of the United Nations report on Sri Lanka, which is actually perfectly consistent with reports based on first-hand information, notably one by University Teachers for Human...

The UN Report on Accountability in Sri Lanka: Substance and Reactions

The report by a UN panel of experts on accountability in Sri Lanka found credible allegations of war crimes as having been committed by both the Sri Lankan government's armed forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam at the end of the civil war between September 2008 and May 2009. Predictably, reactions from both the government as well as the LTTE's supporters have been of denial or a selective acceptance of the report. The strength of the UN panel report is that it provides an authoritative account of what happened at the end of the war, but does not focus on war crimes alone.

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