Sri Lanka

Telling the truth about wars


Simon Nelson

The career of the journalist Marie Colvin was fairly unique. She covered most of the major conflicts of the 1990s and 2000s up until her death in Homs, Syria, in 2012.

Her articles in the Sunday Times brought across some of the horrors of war, not just the conflicts between political factions and leaders but the stories of mass graves in Fallujah, and the near starvation of internally displaced Tamils. Until her death she may be remembered as one of the last journalists to interview Colonel Gadaffi before he was killed in the Libyan conflict of 2011.

Tensions rise amid anti-Muslim violence in Sri Lanka


Rohan Fernando

A state of emergency declared on 6 March to try to rein in the spread of communal violence in Kandy, Sri Lanka was finally lifted on the 18 March.

The violence was sparked by the death of a Sinhalese man, allegedly after being beaten by a group of Muslim men.
Muslim-owned homes and businesses were attacked in a series of revenge attacks, with violence escalating further when two hardline Buddhist monks arrived to negotiate the release from police custody of accused rioters.

The rage of the refugee


Phil Grimm

In the opening scene of Dheepan, beaten soldiers of the Tamil Tigers are burning their war dead. They have been brutally defeated by state forces in the Sri Lankan civil war. As the funeral pyre burns in the jungle clearing, one man quietly changes out of his uniform and into tattered civilian clothes. He has had enough of the killing; it’s time to get out.

Clarence Chrysostom, 1921-2013

Clarence Chrysostom, who died on 5 July aged 92, was one of the last survivors of the early revolutionary period of the Sri Lankan Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP), one of the few Trotskyist parties in history so far to win a mass following.

Sri Lanka: witness to atrocity

Film maker Callum Macrae has made two influential films about Sri Lanka.

He has been nominated for the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize. He spoke to Solidarity.

Under the guise of rehabilitation and reconstruction the Sri Lankan government is attempting a Sinhalisation of the north of the country — an attempt to destroy the Tamil community.

Thousands of Tamils remain displaced while Tamil property is taken over and given to the military.

Sri Lanka: why war crimes went unchecked

This film is the follow-up to Channel 4’s 2011 documentary cataloguing the final year of the civil war in Sri Lanka.

This latest documentary recaps the investigations and describes the world’s response — or lack of it. Macrae interviewed David Miliband, then UK Foreign Secretary, and John Holmes, a British diplomat who was UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs.

Exposing the "Sri Lankan option"


Rosalind Robson

A recent report by the International Crisis Group (ICG) documents the appalling brutality of the Sinahala-nationalist Sri Lankan government when, in 2009, it carried out a “military solution” to a 26-year conflict with the Tamil population.

As it attemped to wipe out the Tamil nationalist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) it killed tens of thousands of Tamil people caught up in the conflict. Internationally, governments either supported this regional “war on terror”, or stood by while the Sri Lankan army shelled the general population.

Sri Lanka: Left must stand firm for consistent democracy: self-determination for the Tamils!



The civil war that has raged, on and off, for over 25 years in Sri Lanka seems to be approaching a horrible endgame, with the remaining fighters of the Tamil minority cornered into a small area by the Sri Lankan army.

Our immediate priority is solidarity with the Tamils against the army slaughter. The history of the conflict also raises broader issues:

• The need for socialists, in situations of communal conflict, to fight for consistent democracy as the only basis for working-class unity.

Stop the war on the Tamil people!


Bob Sutton

The war in Sri Lanka has reached a grim new intensity. The Sinhala (Sri Lanka’s ethnic majority) chauvinist Government has set about the final stages of what they call the elimination of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (Tamil Tigers), the group who have waged an armed struggle for Tamil independence for three decades.

What this amounts to is a near total war against the entire Tamil population.

Solidarity! This week. With the Tamils, with Visteon.


Robin Sivapalan

Tuesday, 7 April, morning: Hi campers: It's all going on from where i'm standing, my head can barely take it, people on such a scale, from all different struggles, are taking action these days.

I hope the news is spreading today, 7 April, that hundreds of Tamils have been occupying Westminster Bridge since last night, blocking traffic and holding back the police, putting out the call that people must continue to gather outside parliament until the genocide in Sri Lanka stops.

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