Home » diplomacy » [Press] Problems of success? Post-war Sri Lanka’s international challenges

[Press] Problems of success? Post-war Sri Lanka’s international challenges

Since the end of Sri Lanka’s thirty year-long war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the island is often evoked internationally in relation to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva. The UNHRC remains the only supranational body where the case of Sri Lanka has been evoked on a regular basis since the 1980s. Right from the outset of Eelam War IV, Sri Lanka attracted much criticism from policy research lobbies and senior personalities such as the then UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and present ICG chief Dr Louise Arbour. The UNHRC’s scrutiny of Sri Lanka was intensified in the aftermath of the final military offensive of May 2009. This was a justifiable move, given the substantive civilian casualties and the humanitarian catastrophe resulting in the displacement of some 300,000 civilians. Colombo’s treatment of displaced Tamil civilians caused considerable international alarm, as civilians were held in temporary shelters (which the government emphatically termed ‘welfare centres’ and critics categorically described as ‘concentration camps’), with accusations and considerable evidence over acts of violence and human rights violations.

Read more here. This article was originally published in the Groundviews special issue on the 5th anniversary of the end of the war in Sri Lanka.


Our event ‘Decolonising SOGIESC advocacy in South and Southeast Asia: An Activist Conversation’ took place this morning in Te-Whanganui-a-Tara. Months of painstaking work went into the organising of this event, involving one of the senior-most community leaders of the region, Bubli Malik Sahiba, and it was a beautiful collaboration between #Venasa and #Wajood. Venasa is a grassroots trans rights advocacy group founded by the excellent Thenu Ranketh, a leader and role model to us all. Wajood is a leading trans rights body based in Islamabad, which has broken new ground in claiming space in governmental and judicial circles. The workings of neoliberal NGO-industrial LGBT+ rights work is such that Thenu could not join us, and yet another major resource person, Nada Chiayajit, also could not join us. To our greatest regret, our dearly beloved colleague and decolonial queer trailblazer Thiagaraja Waradas @waradas could not join us, as a result of an extremely questionable act of censure and erasure by ILGA World on the day before his planned trip to Aotearoa. However, and despite all those challenges, we managed to host this event. We had clearly outlined the necessity of a one-and-half-hour session, to do the minimum justice possible to the absolutely vital issues being discussed. However, we were only given a mere 45 minutes, which was barely sufficient for our excellent panellists to make their opening statements. This in itself is a reminder of the importance of looking beyond the NGO-industrial complex when working for SOGIESC advocacy, within our respective countries as well as internationally. It was our greatest pleasure to display the Tino rangatiratanga flag, and pay respects to the rightful owners of the land we are standing on. My heartfelt thanks go to my sister Kassie who opened the session with traditional Māori greetings and welcomed us to Aotearoa. #DecolonialAdvocacy #DecoloniseSOGIESC #SOGIESC #GINSOGI #ILGANZ2019 #TeWhanganuiaTara #GenderJustice #Lka #SriLanka #Pakistan #Venasa #VTN #Wajood #TransPolitics #SouthAsia #ClaimingSpace #DecolonialPolitics #DecoloniseILGA
This morning, I had the great pleasure of gifting a copy of my book ‘Decolonising Peacebuilding: Managing Conflict from Northern Ireland to Sri Lanka and Beyond’ [2018], to UN Secretary General’s Special Expert on SOGIESC issues, Victor Madrigal-Borloz. This book is all about challenging established assumptions, perspectives and understandings in relation to the study of politics of deeply divided places, and of developing new, if not innovative strategies of addressing shared challenges. It is also about recognising knowledge systems and analytical approaches that are from non-Western parts of the world, and of ‘de-centring’ the West in our ways of understanding the politics of peace and conflict. It is also about the agency and voice/s of people, especially women, very especially queer women, from the global South/s. The issues discussed in this book share a great deal in common with global challenges involved in working towards SOGIESC rights, especially in the global South/s. #InternationalAdvocacy #DecolonisingPeacebuilding #UnitedNations #VictorMadrigalBorloz #GINSOGIE #SOGIESC #LGBTQIA #Peacebuilding #ConflictResolution #DeeplyDividedPlaces #SriLanka #NorthernIReland #Tamil #Sinhala #Nationalisms #EthnicConflict #DecolonialPolitics #DecolonialEpistemologies #GlobalSouths #ChamindraWeerawardhana #Venasa #Chathra #CWDF #LKA #SriLankanPolitics #RepresentationMatters #PoliticalLeadership #MiExistirEsResistir
Intervention lors de la pré-conférence francophone, organisé par Montréal International, ce qui a facilité une représentation francophone qui n’a jamais été le cas auparavant au sein des plateformes internationaux de l’ILGA. Ma présentation fut intitulé “Vers les mers lointaines : regards croisés sur les francophonies, les héritages francophones et défis SOGIESC de l’’espace « Asie-Pacifique » #francophonie #DroitsdePeuplesIndigènes #Tahiti #Kanaky #Montréal #Montréalnternational #solidarités #globalSouth #AsiePacifique #Ilga2019NZ
A lot of solidarity towards #Muslims here in Te-Whanganui-a-Tara this morning, in the aftermath of white suprematist terror. What unites us is way stronger than what divides us #ChristchurchTerrorAttack #ChristchurchMosqueShooting #NewZealandMosqueAttack #Islamophobia #ILGA2019NZ #theyareus
Te-Whanganui-a-Tara #pride parade cancelled, in the aftermath of the Christchurch white suprematist terror attack. The whitestream media, as usual, is damn desperate to avoid using the word ‘terrorist’ when referring to the perpetrator of this attack. We need to talk about the damage caused by white supremacy to peoples of colour and to peoples of different faith and sociocultural traditions. We need to talk about the links between such issues and worldwide #sogiesc advocacy. #aotearoa #christchurch #lka #FightTerrorInAllItsForms #newzealand
This video is everything about being #SriLankan🇱🇰. We are a highly diverse people with so many different backgrounds, cultural backdrops, traditions and knowledges. Our richness as a people lies precisely in our amazing beautiful, hardworking and high-achieving people, and most importantly in the diversity of our shared heritages. There is definitely a need to showcase more of the rich traditions and knowledges of our minority communities. @theminoritytaste is doing a tremendous and much-needed job in showcasing these culinary traditions - in this specific case Lankan Malay culinary traditions which are, 100% authentically and fully Sri Lankan. In a land slowly recovering from the scars of a 30-year war, where ethno-national politics and politics of self-determination remain unaddressed and (dangerously) ignored, where we are often reminded that the ‘peace dividends’ we now enjoy are in fact a reality that stands on very thin ice, it is always crucial to appreciate our diversity, and remind ourselves of this truism - that what unites us in our diversities is always a lot stronger than what divides us. #lka #Malay #SriLankanFood🇱🇰 #food #traditions #heritage #blessthegrannies #culinaryarts

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