Category Archives: Politics

SAJA TalkRadio

I chatted with Sree Sreenivasan, one of the founders of SAJA, for SAJA Radio this morning. We talked about my plans as SAJA VP, my forthcoming novel, my journalism career and its connection to my literary life, and how the media covers Sri Lanka. Listen here. You can also listen to chats with the new secretary, Anusha Srivastava, or the new president, Sandeep Junnarkar.

Ending, Unnoticed

I thought that I should not let the formal end of the ceasefire agreement in Sri Lanka pass unmentioned. The CFA, which has been only a formality for the past couple of years anyway, concluded about a week ago. Thus, the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government return to open war. Not to mention all the other unnamed factions running around out there.

Every day, I get a Google alert for Sri Lanka, and another for Jaffna. For the past several days, the alerts have contained news of some 30 dead. It’s a low enough number to miss international headlines, but a high enough number that if it continues at this rate… it will add significantly to the thousands already listed as war casualties.

That BBC link also says, “Japan is a major donor to Sri Lanka and has hinted it might reconsider its aid package, warning of the dire humanitarian consequences of an intensified war.” I hope that other countries will follow Japan’s example of reconsidering aid, in light of the situation.

‘It Was Full of Darkness’

Today is the third anniversary of the Asian tsunami that took hundreds of thousands of lives, including many in Sri Lanka. In remembrance of its victims, here is a link to a story by Seth Mydans of the International Herald Tribune). Part of the story is about young tsunami survivors using disposable cameras to photograph their lives now. The piece ends with a particularly poignant quote by one young Sri Lankan recalling the disaster’s aftermath. If only those responsible for managing tsunami aid were as clear and straightforward as this child!

“Our village was not as beautiful as it was before, and it was full of darkness,” he said.

*Correction: An earlier version of this post indicated that while the story ran in the IHT, Mydans worked for The New York Times. The two newspapers are affiliated and run each other’s content, but Mydans is on the staff of the IHT.