ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Rohini HensmanSubscribe to Rohini Hensman

The UN Report on Accountability in Sri Lanka: Substance and Reactions

The report by a UN panel of experts on accountability in Sri Lanka found credible allegations of war crimes as having been committed by both the Sri Lankan government's armed forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam at the end of the civil war between September 2008 and May 2009. Predictably, reactions from both the government as well as the LTTE's supporters have been of denial or a selective acceptance of the report. The strength of the UN panel report is that it provides an authoritative account of what happened at the end of the war, but does not focus on war crimes alone.

End of the Left in India?

In a minor replay of 1989 and the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Indian media have been gloating at the defeat of the Left Front in West Bengal especially and have repeatedly suggested that this signals the “end of the Left in India”.

Sri Lanka Becomes a Dictatorship

The rushed passing of the 18th amendment to the Sri Lankan constitution by parliament - allowing for greater powers and removal of term limits for the executive presidency - has precipitated the descent of Sri Lanka into a dictatorship. Both the ruling and the main opposition parties - not to mention the lax supreme court - are responsible for the current state of affairs. Seeds of hope, however, exist in the democratic consciousness of the Lankan people and in the fact that politicians from the left and the minority Tamil community have raised their voice against the amendment.

Talks Only With Broader Sections

In the light of the recent demands raised by sections of the intelligentsia urging the government to heed the CPI(Maoist) “offer of talks”, we insist that “civil society” should rather put pressure on the government to initiate talks with representatives of all struggling popular and adivasi orga

The Way Forward in Sri Lanka

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have been destroyed, but the future looks dismal for the Tamils and indeed for all of Sri Lanka. There are three critical and interlinked steps that need to be taken if the country is to have a political and economic future: demilitarisation, restoration of the rule of law (including curbing the powers of the executive presidency) and democratisation.

Who Is Responsible for the Tragedy in the Vanni?

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam's inhumane methods and the government of Sri Lanka's indiscriminate use of force are responsible for the continuing slaughter in the Vanni region. With the LTTE facing imminent defeat, the renunciation of a purely military solution by the government is an alternative strategy that should help end the ongoing tragedy of loss of lives and limbs. A political solution, on the lines outlined here, in the closing days of the war is of the highest priority. The government of Sri Lanka should know that a purely military victory will merely push the war underground, and ensure that it will re-emerge as guerrilla and terrorist strikes in the near future.

Democracy as Solution to Sri Lanka's Ethnic Crisis

The conflict in Sri Lanka arises from the irreconcilable goals of the Sinhalese political elite and the leadership of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Can a shift in emphasis from devolution to democracy help resolve this ethnic crisis?

Women Workers and Neoliberalism

Women Workers and Globalisation: Emergent Contradictions in India by Indrani Mazumdar;

US Dollar Hegemony The Soft Underbelly of Empire

The costs of sustaining the US's new 'Empire' will become apparent to its public only when these costs directly accrue to them. This will happen, as this article suggests, only when (i) other nations stop subsidising the US's imperial adventures by colluding in them and (ii) the dollar loses its role as the world's reserve currency.

Marriage, Family and Community

In the recent past, the debates around sexuality and gender unfolding in the country are beginning to resonate with the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual peoples and communities who are fighting for their rights. Emerging articulations exploring connections and tensions around gender and sexual expression, identity, state repression, nationalism and the market, in ways that destabilise notions of the self and society are opening up spaces for imagining a humane world where all genders and sexualities can be respected and treated equally.

Globalisation, Women and Work

From the standpoint of women workers, especially those in the third world, the 'anti-globalisation' agenda makes no sense. It would simply deprive them of considerable employment opportunities as also the possibility of improving employment conditions through global solidarity and coordination. A much more sensible objective would be concerted action to shape the global order in accordance with a women's agenda. This would in the first instance mean working for an extension of the reach of international law, and for democratic institutions of global governance. If capitalism is acting as midwife at the birth of a borderless world, shouldn't we be ready to nurture the new arrival and imbue it with our values of justice and love instead of trying to push it back into the womb of history?

A Strategy to Stop the War

The only way to put a definitive end to the war is to force a withdrawal of the coalition forces. The UN now has a chance to redeem itself as an institution standing for a just and democratic global order. A new super power has emerged - world public opinion - and for the first time has challenged US domination over the UN. The anti-war movement needs a two-pronged campaign: to call for a UN General Assembly session to order a withdrawal of US-UK troops from Iraq, and to put an end to US dollar hegemony.


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