Monday, April 12, 2004

Interesting Sri Lanka magazines, analysis, updates

I've been getting emails from people who do postcolonial blogs, in response to a query I sent out over the Postcolonial Spoons list. Two in particular that have come in, one from Amrita Ghosh, another from Cynthia Caron, have a significant focus on Sri Lanka.

First, what has been happening in Sri Lanka? There has been a cease-fire in place for more than two years, and people seem to be optimistic. With the recent elections, President Kumaratunga seems to have just barely survived. She has put together a ruling coalition that includes, for the first time ever, the JVP -- the party that was involved in the civil war in the 1980s. Also, just in the past couple of days the infighting between the main LTTE and the rebel faction in Karuna has abated (the rebels have lost). The government has now indicated that it is planning to restart negotiations with the LTTE for a permanent solution. BBC has a helpful summary of the current situation.

One nice site -- not a blog, but a magazine -- is Cerebration, whose editors live in Delhi (Smita Maitra) and New Jersey (Amrita Ghosh)! I liked this article on the biases of the English, Tamil, and Sinhala newspapers in Sri Lanka. Tamil-controlled areas to the north and east may be merely autonomous from the rest of SL, but they are on different planets when it comes to reporting events from the conflict. I wonder if things have changed in either the Tamil papers or the Sinhala papers since the cease-fire? (This is a difficult question to answer; since most people either read one or the other language, few people would be in a position to know). I also liked this essay on the need for freedom of information in Sri Lanka. Hopefully after a more permanent arrangement is reached between the LTTE and the government, there will be some kind of Truth and Reconciliation process along the South African model.

Another excellent magazine, this one dedicated entirely to Sri Lankan issues is Lines (published by Sri Lankan expats out of New York). The site is less snazzy visually, but the articles are quite current -- there is an excellent analysis of the politics preceding the recent elections here. Another interesting article speculates on the future structure of a constitutionally federalist future Sri Lankan society. I haven't been able to read all of the articles yet; the site is worth checking out thoroughly.

Just for fun, a photo of the beautiful Mt. Sigiriya in Sri Lanka: here.

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