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

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A Partial Reckoning

Tamil Female Civil Space: Its Evolution and Decline in Tamil Eelam by N Malathy, Delhi: Aakar Books, 2019; pp 144, ₹ 395.

Caste in a Tamil Family

Written using the voice of Zehra Hashmi, an ethnographic narrative examines caste in transition in Jaffna, centred around a Vel . l . āl . ar family that lived in the peninsula throughout the duration of the Sri Lankan Civil War, which came to an end in May 2009. Based on field research and interviews conducted between 2011 and 2013, the authors find that interlocutors struggle to make meaning of post-war changes.

The Missing Periyar and the Curious Tamil Nationalism of Kabali

Rajinikanth’s Kabali was expected to be a pro-Dalit movie, but the universalist focus on Tamil unity makes it a product of alternate Tamil nationalism instead. Kabali’s radicalism could have been strengthened by the inclusion of Periyar.

Sri Lanka sans the LTTE?

With the impending total defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, this secessionist group will cease to be a political force in Sri Lanka. But will there be a political solution to the ethnic conflict in the aftermath of the government's military success? Events in the coming weeks and months will show the extent to which President Rajapakse can open up a new political process to lay the foundation for a new polity in which the majority as well as the minority communities can live in dignity, equality and coexistence. However, in the short run it is difficult to envisage a situation where the government will give priority to any extension of the existing devolution framework towards greater regional autonomy. Usually, one-sided military victories are not followed by major political reforms.

Sri Lanka: An Interim Administration for the North-East

The peace process in Sri Lanka is at yet another crossroads. In mid-June the government forwarded through the Norwegians its latest proposal for an interim administration. This draft has not been rejected outright by the LTTE unlike earlier ones. But whereas the government sees the interim administration as a way of enabling the LTTE to participate primarily in the management of donor-financed reconstruction, the LTTE wants to get much more out of it - it is seeking legitimacy, without, critics say, having to face elections.

Repatriation of Sri Lankan Refugees

The success of the planned repatriation of Sri Lankan refugees from India depends on resolving several issues left over from the two earlier rounds of repatriation. The issue also brings to the fore the importance of having formal guidelines in India to deal with the problems of rehabilitation, repatriation and resettlement of refugees.

Economic Revival in North and East Sri Lanka

The government of Sri Lanka imposed an economic embargo on the N and E province in 1999 covering a range of consumer goods including fuel, food and medicine. The embargo created an informal market for these goods. More importantly it allowed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to play a dominant role in the management of the economy in the territory, leading to a dual economic system, a command economy in the north and east and a private sector-led liberal market economic model in the rest of the country. It is now a year since the economic embargo has been lifted. How has it affected the economy of N and E province? What are the factors inhibiting economic revival in this region?

Calcutta Diary

Had our policy-makers played their cards well and not allowed themselves to be led astray by notions of imperial grandeur, we, instead of insignificant Norway, could have played the decisive role to bring the Sinhalese and the Tamils together in Sri Lanka. There would have been a rich pay-off from that success. Dreams, idle dreams.

Peace in South Asia

The carving out of a communally defined state in 1949 from a formally secular India with a dominant Hindu leadership and the proposal to partition another such state in Sri Lanka whose secular democratic status has already been undermined by Sinhala Buddhist nationalism presents strikingly similar situations. Given these irreconcilable nationalisms what are the prospects for peace in the subcontinent?

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