Sri Lanka: Widows of War

Sri-lankan_tamil_war-widowsSri Lanka: Widows of War[Al Jazeera]
101 East examines the plight of thousands of widows struggling to survive in post-war Sri Lanka.When a barrage of artillery slammed into Sivalingam Maheswary’s town in Sri Lanka’s northeast, her husband and son were among those killed. Sivalingam was one of the few survivors, but she lost her right arm in the shelling on the frontline of the country’s civil war. The guns have since fallen silent but 90,000 widows like Sivalingam are now struggling to earn enough to feed themselves and their children. The number of widows is almost as high as the death toll caused by the decades-long war. 101 East examines the plight of Sri Lanka’s forgotten war widows and asks how the island nation’s new regime will help thousands of widows struggling to survive.[ full story |

Small steps forward? International pressure and accountability for atrocities in Sri Lanka [ OpenDemocracy ][ Apr 24 12:45 GMT ]

The International Criminal Court (ICC) was created to put an end to the presumption of impunity for the powerful. But in practice, the court’s ability to deliver justice free of politics has been limited, and its reach is not universal. Atrocities that occur on the territory of states that haven’t joined the ICC remain an extremely tough case for the pursuit of accountability, especially when committed by state actors. It is a truism that perpetrators of mass atrocities don’t prosecute themselves. For states that have joined the ICC’s treaty regime, the chance of justice for international crimes, even when perpetrated by state actors, is potentially improved. [ full story |

Refugees don’t need our tears. They need us to stop making them refugees[ The Guardian ][ Apr 23 13:03 GMT ]

In the desert, the smugglers lace their water with petrol so the smuggled won’t gulp it down and cost more. Sometimes the trucks they’re packed into stall crossing the Sahara; they have to jump out to push, and some are left behind when the trucks drive off again. In transit camps in Libya before the perilous venture across the Blue Desert, they play football, fight, and pool their scanty resources so an even poorer friend can pay his way. One man says his tiny wooden boat was flanked by dolphins as they made the journey, three on each side, like guardian angels, and this was what gave him hope. [ full story |

Judge: Rights of alleged Tamil people-smuggler at risk without legal funding[ The Province ][ Apr 24 12:44 GMT ]

A judge has ruled that the fair trial rights of one of six men accused of smuggling 492 Sri Lankan Tamils into Canada aboard a ship in 2010 will be jeopardized if he doesn’t get legal funding. But B.C. Supreme Court Justice Arne Silverman stopped short of ordering the remedy of a stay of proceedings for Nadarajah Mahendran unless he gets that funding. The judge gave the federal Crown a chance to respond to his decision, released Thursday in Vancouver. [ full story

The Evolution of… M.I.A.[ Noisey ][ Apr 24 12:35 GMT ]

Remember when “Paper Planes” propped up stoner comedy film trailers and sport montages and everyone was treating M.I.A. like she was just this new thing that appeared rather than a totemic cultural figure who’d spent over a decade grafting through war zones, bourgeois music circles, tabloid frontlines, and political exile? Her story shouldn’t be skirted over. So here we retrace the evolution of M.I.A., from small-town beginnings to an unlikely global icon: a pop star responsible for radio bangers; an anti-style icon with a conscience; a terrorism relativist; a dominating trans-global force of creativity. M.I.A. has thrown the finger to middle America, supported Wikileaks, worn pants capable of inducing epileptic fits, and collaborated with some of the most innovative in the international underground.But before all that,there was Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam. [ full story |