Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan horror leads to repression

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The horrific suicide attacks in Sri Lanka which targeted hotels and Christian churches and caused more than 250 deaths have led directly to increased repression from the state.

Responding to Islamophobic anger in the wake of the atrocities it was decreed that “all face coverings” would be banned. The rationalisation for this measure was national security, but it was clearly aimed at Muslim women wearing niqabs and burqas, despite the fact that the perpetrators of the attacks were male and dressed in trousers and shirts.

Savage repression won't bring peace to Sri Lanka

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The Sri Lankan Army (SLA) has reconquered all of the areas previously held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa claims that his military victory will usher in a new period of peace and prosperity on the island. It will not. The brutal methods deployed by the SLA in its efforts to win this war, and the horrific conditions the defeated Tamil population are now being subjected to, will fan the flames of Tamil resistance, guaranteeing the prospect of even more bitter struggles in the future.

Sri Lanka - the dead end of nationalism

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The final stage of the Sri Lankan army's offensive to capture territory held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is approaching, with thousands of civilians being driven into an enclave on the north east coast.

This is the end of President Mahinda Rajapaksa's "solution by violence" to the civil war that has dragged on since 1983. He abandoned attempts at a negotiated solution and increased military spending hugely in preparation for the offensive.

The conflict has its roots in British colonial policy. The majority in the country was then the Buddhist Sinhalas; the minority Tamils, mainly Hindus and Muslims, were in the north. As usual the British recruited a minority into the lower levels of their administration, in this case the Tamils.

Sri Lanka: On the March Back to Civil War?

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Since the beginning of April this year at least 300 civilians have died as the ceasefire between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has begun to unravel.

The ceasefire had been negotiated with the help of the Norwegian government in 2002 and brought to an end a war that had been going on since 1983. However, it did not resolve the issues that had caused the conflict in the first place.

Sri Lanka: Tsunami Reconstruction Built on Weak Foundations

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Despite much talk of reconstruction since the Boxing Day tsunami ravaged the coastline of Sri Lanka, ordinary people still find themselves in a precarious position and fear for the future.

The biggest problem is housing. Even before the tsunami, there was a shortage of over half a million houses throughout the country, and to this must be added the needs of the 800,000 people who became homeless on Boxing Day. There seems to be very little sign of the large-scale housing projects that were announced in mid-January. Foundation stones have been laid for several housing schemes, but no further work has been done except in a very few areas.

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