It’s Here (Apparently) . . .

Michael Dwyer @MikeDwyer 2h2 hours ago Camden Town, London SOON: @marsal61 @francesharris0n @robpinney @SolheimDAC @vidar @AmarAmarasingam Review copies en route. ‪#‎Sri‬Lanka I THINK this tweet is telling me the book is finally back from the printers . . .

To End A Civil War: London Book Launch

The launch of my new book To End A Civl War: Norway’s Peace Engagement in Sri Lanka, published by Hurst, was held in London on Weds 28 October 2015.  A series of European launch events was held over the following month in London, Oslo and Stockholm, followed by events in North America (Toronto, Ottawa, Washington DC) in January 2016. South Asian launches were held in Colombo (3 March), Chennai 7 March) and Delhi (8 March). Details   Latest launch related information at: Further book related information at: Watch this space for the latest details!

India’s World – UN report on Sri Lanka War Crimes

Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP/Getty Images During a demonstration in Sri Lanka, relatives of Tamil activists held placards demanding the release of their loved ones who have been held in detention without trial for long periods of time. —————————————————————– Here’s a useful c. 25 minute discussion of the UN’s recently released report on war crimes in Sri Lanka further to the investigation conducted by its human rights arm, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). What makes this discussion distinctive – and in this instance particularly useful – is the fact that it’s taken from a Indian current affairs… More

History’s True Warning

Here’s a brilliant piece from the eminent Yale Professor Timothy Snyder summarising the argument of his new book, Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning. The Holocaust, and other mass killings, occured – and continue to occur – in conditions of destroyed states. That, Snyder argues, underlies the connection between the Nazi Holocaust and such contemporary meltdowns as the US invasion of Iraq, with its devastating (and continuing) consequences; and most recently, the bloody Russian annexation of Crimea and invasion of Eastern Ukraine. I don’t doubt for a moment that Snyder’s basic thesis will be challenged from all sides…. More

Central Europe’s refugee conundrum

Everybody has seen footage of Budapest’s Keleti (East) station this past week by now. The crowds of exhausted refugees camped out around the station, the lines of dour-looking police stopping them get in – or out, depending on the moment. An atmosphere morphing rapidly between fear, chaos, anger and desperation. Plenty, too, will have heard Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban describing the influx of ‘Muslim’ Middle Easterners as a threat to the very foundations of ‘Christian’ European civilization. And in a frantic bid to stem the heathen hordes, they will have noted Orban’s decision to roll out an extensive new… More

Europe’s refugee crisis: 10 powerful photos

This was published today in the BBC’s Magazine. I don’t think it requires further comment from me: the pictures and accompanying text tell their own story. The photographs of a three-year-old Syrian boy found dead on a beach in Turkey are among the most powerful to have emerged from Europe’s migrant crisis. But many other moving pictures have been taken over the years, illustrating the dangers of the migrants’ journey or the treatment they have received on arrival in Europe. Juan Medina / Reuters 1. Juan Medina was working as a photographer for a local paper in the Canary Islands… More

‘No one leaves home unless . . . ‘

Photo: Daniet Etter/New York Times/Redux /eyevine. Syrian refugee Laith Majid cries tears of joy and relief that he and his children have made it to Europe. Here is a searing evocation of refugee life by a young Kenyan Somali poetess living in the UK. One of the poem’s couplets is widely quoted at the moment. Read the whole thing though – brillant, urgent, angry, unforgettable. Home by Warsan Shire no one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark you only run for the border when you see the whole city running as well your neighbors running faster… More

Death in the Aegean

I thought long and hard – and in fact wavered over – sharing the appalling, shocking images that have also featured on the front pages of international media. The tiny body we see being carried away from the beach in Bodrum by a Turkish policeman is of three year old Aylan Kurdi from Kobane, a Syrian-Turkish border town that earlier this year was the scene of fierce fighting between IS forces and Kurdish peshmerga. (And no less destructively a sustained US Afir Force bombing campaign, it should be added. Thus reportedly a third of all the bombs used over Iraq… More

Sri Lanka after elections – and before the UN Human Rights Council

The excellent openDemocracy are running the op ed piece Erik Solheim and I published jointly last week in the Hindustan Times. The article outlines a suggested priority action agenda for the new Sri Lankan government in the aftermath of the 17 August parliamentary elections that resulted in a resounding second defeat this year for former incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa (the first being in the 8 January presidential elections). President Sirisena and Secretary of State Nisha Biswal, Colombo, 26 August 2015 There have been a few important developments since the piece was originally published 10 days ago – notably with regard to… More