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Sydney launch of CJPD’s book on Sri Lanka

[TamilNet, Sunday, 28 March 2010 10:55 No Comment]

“Sri Lanka 60 Years of ‘Independence’ and Beyond" a publication by Switzerland based NGO, Center for Just Peade and Democracy (CJPD), and edited by Program Director at CJPD, Ana Pararajasingham, was launched at the popular Gleebooks bookshop in the heart of Sydney Friday. John Murphy, Member of the Australian Parliament, David Feith, an academic attached to Monash University, and Professor Bruce Kapferer who were contributors to the publication, and Gordon Weiss, the former UN diplomat, attended the event.

John Murphy MP (in suit) Professor Alan Atkinson from the University of New England and another participant The launch was targeted at the wider Australian community. The book contains 26 papers covering 11 topics examined from different perspectives. Contributors include Tamils, Sinhalese and academics from the international community, according to CJPD.

"This approach was based on the premise that conflicts, particularly those that are underpinned by nationalism and the vestiges of colonialism are best comprehended when diverse views are presented," CJPD Program Director Pararajasingham noted.

The hardcover version of the book is 622 pages long.

Justice John Dowd AO QC, Vice President of the International Commission of Jurists, in his forward, describes the book as a “very careful and painstaking analysis of the legal, constitutional, religious, sociological and ethnic problems that comprise modern Sri Lanka” and adds, “it is essential reading for those who want to understand the conflict."

Bruce Haigh, Former Australian Deputy High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, in a review of the book, says that "the book is required reading for politicians, diplomats, journalists and academic and concluded that The contributors to this study by and large provide a perspective on Sri Lanka which can no longer be ignored."

The book launch began with Associate Professor Jake Lynch introducing the book and pointing out Australia’s failure to honour its commitments in ensuring that civilians are not targeted.

Discussions involved the specter of Sinhala nationalism and its inclination to consider the entire island as its own; the actions taken by successive Sri Lankan regimes to consolidate majoritarian rule and the need to forge a solution based on the reality that Sri Lanka is an island of two nations, an attendee to the event said. The act of standardization, the failure of non violent struggle and pogromic violence that had given rise to the armed movement, were also discussed.

China’s role in preventing the United Nations condemning Sri Lanka for its atrocities also came under discussions along with the role played by India in supporting Sri Lanka to counter the Chinese influence.

Mr. Pararajasingham referred to the dangerous climate for writers prevailing in Sri Lanka that had resulted in several potential authors withdrawing their offer to contribute to this publication fearing for their safety.

[Full Coverage]

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