Harim Peiris

Political and Reconciliation perspectives from Sri Lanka

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Archive for January, 2011

Increasing Violence with Impunity in Jaffna

Posted by harimpeiris on January 27, 2011

The above heading was not one we expected to witness post the war victory in May 2009. Prior to that as the LTTE operated in the Wanni, spill over violence in Jaffna was a fact of life and while contained could not really be eliminated. However one and a half years after the end of the war, Jaffna suddenly sees a spurt in the level of violence and tension in that society. Late last week the issue was debated in the Parliament of Sri Lanka. There was not much interest evinced by the government side, though the opposition was well represented and led by the Leader of the Opposition. Leading the defense on the government side was the Honourable Prime Minister.

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Gabriella Giffords, Salman Taseer and the limits of free speech

Posted by harimpeiris on January 20, 2011

Gabriella Giffords was a US Congresswoman from the Tucson area for the 8th District of Arizona and Salman Taseer was the democratically elected Governor of Pakistan’s most populous State of Punjab. Both were shot some time earlier last week, the Congresswoman as she held a political rally in Tucson and the Governor as he emerged from a private engagement in a shopping mall in Islamabad. The US Congresswoman was in a critical state fighting for her life in a shootout that left six people dead including a federal superior court judge and Governor Taseer shot more than twenty times tragically succumbed to his injuries. A US Congresswoman and a Pakistani Governor, living worlds apart but experiencing the same personal tragedy that is also more importantly a public one, facing extreme violence while engaged in the democratic process.

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