Stories from Quick Reads and Sri Lanka
The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), a civil society think tank in Sri Lanka, has recently conducted a top line survey on “Democracy in post-war Sri Lanka 2014“. The results show that difference of opinion on the reconciliation still exists between the Tamil and the Sinhalese people after the Sri Lankan civil war.
The findings from the survey with regard to the Tamil community is very significant. Their key issues are poverty and unemployment and they feel deprived having very little say about the affairs of the country. Here is an infographic depicting their plights:
Facing persecution in Pakistan, many Ahmadiyya Muslims and Christians have taken refuge in Sri Lanka. These refugees are mostly held in Boossa and Mirihana detention centers and have to live on government-provided rations as they are not eligible for work.
According to the media, the Sri Lankan government is preparing to deport about 1,450 Pakistani and 50 Afghan refugees who have apparently fled to rural areas in Sri Lanka. More than 1,400 of the targeted refugees have been registered as asylum seekers at the UN refugee agency office in Colombo.
Human Rights Watch has requested the Sri Lankan government not to summarily deport these minorities. Meanwhile, Pakistan has disowned these refugees and an uncertain future awaits for them if they are deported.
W3Lanka English blog opines:
The practice of deporting them is very unethical. They can be economic migrants per se the claim of the Pakistan government. What if they are actually threatened people?
It has been two weeks since the violent riots against Muslims in the Sri Lankan coastal cities of Aluthgama and Beruwala. Although the situation has died down after widespread condemnation, sporadic violence against Muslims continues in different parts of Sri Lanka.
— abdulkhaleq (@HalikAzeez) June 29, 2014
Blogger D. B. S. Jeyaraj has details on the unsuccessful arson attack on the Thalayan Bawa Jumma Mosque on Borupane road in Ratmalana in the early hours of 29 June, 2014.
Journalist, photographer and blogger Meg at Life in Lanka blog reports that in remote Sri Lankan villages some women do not have a say in what type of contraception they use.
Their husbands were not keen on using condoms and preferred that their wives used contraception instead; so the inexpensive, easily available and quite effective condom for men was not an option, leaving contraception entirely up to the women.
Due to the fact that contraceptives for women usually have side effects their sufferings never end.
Shilpa Samaratunge, a development worker, discusses in Groundviews about the problems surrounding the sex workers in Sri Lanka. Instead of abolishing and criminalizing them, which is the path Sri Lanka currently is on, she suggests to legalize the profession and impose regulation and provide health-services for the sex workers.
The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) was a commission of inquiry mandated to investigate the facts and circumstances which led to the bloody civil war in Sri Lanka. After an 18-month inquiry, the commission submitted its report to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa almost three years ago, on 15 November 2011. The Sri Lankan citizen journalism website Groundviews recently posted an infographic released by Center For Policy Alternatives, a think tank, showing the slow progress of implementing the LLRC's recommendations.
It is noteworthy how Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe in March 2013 claimed that 99% of the LLRC Action Plan had been implemented, with President Rajapaksa claiming in May 2014 that only 30% had been implemented. These discrepancies highlight the lack of clarity across the GoSL [Government of Sri Lanka] on reconciliation efforts.
Thirty seven Sinhalese and four Tamil asylum seekers from Sri Lanka sailed in a boat towards Australia and were intercepted west of the Cocos Island late last month by Australian authorities. They were returned to Sri Lanka, their point of origin, and they appeared in a court in the country's southwest yesterday.
— DushiYanthini (@DushiYanthini) July 8, 2014
Citizen journalism site Groundviews also commented:
— Groundviews (@groundviews) July 9, 2014
Cerno opines that ordinary Sri Lankans need the right network of relationships with many ‘powerful uncles’ to survive properly.
Tech blogger Amitha Amarasinghe alleges that Facebook is being portrayed negatively in mainstream media in Sri Lanka accompanied with saucy headlines like “Student commits Suicide over a Facebook photo”, “Facebook love ends in Death” etc:
All of a sudden, there is a huge increase in number of mass media content highlighting the bad side of Facebook and Social Media. If you look at these stories, the local media is highlighting the “Facebook” part of the story as the ‘news’, but undermine the social, cultural, and political factors leading to those sad incidents.
Freelance writer, translator and blogger Nandasiri Wanninayaka writes about the multi-purpose bus terminal-cum shopping and entertainment complex in the resort town of Negombo:
You wouldn’t expect a bus stand in Sri Lanka to be like a mini airport. But if you happen to go to Negombo Bus Stand, renamed as “Negombo Bus Terminal,” it is a little airport. It has almost all the facilities needed in a modern day bus stand. It is considered Sri Lanka’s best bus stand in terms of facilities.