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India struggles to retain its relevance
Harsh V. Pant

8 Nepal and Sri Lanka: India struggles to retain its relevance In an interesting contrast to its predecessors, the Modi government’s initial outreach to Nepal managed to hit the right notes, capturing the imagination of Nepalese people and politicians alike. The visits of the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and the External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, to Nepal in 2014 soon after assuming office were significant in recalibrating Indo-Nepalese ties and they have succeeded in doing precisely that. Modi’s visit to Nepal in August 2014 was the first

in Indian foreign policy
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Everyday life and conflict in eastern Sri Lanka
Author: Rebecca Walker

This book focuses on the experiences of Tamil-speaking people who have lived through and continue to face conflict and violence in Sri Lanka on a daily basis. It focuses on the years between 2005 and 2007 when the country was facing massive change in the lead up to the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamils Eelam (LTTE). At this time, while violence waxed and waned, intensifying at times and at others casting a dark shadow over daily encounters, people carried on with their lives, negotiating through and around the violence. The way in which the topics in the book flow reflects the author's journey of research and the various issues that became important along the way. Thus, in following the author's experiences through the conflict and the tsunami, the book builds up a larger and richer picture of life in Batticaloa that moves between accounts of everyday violence and suffering. Using ethnographic experiences and narratives collected over twenty-two months between 2004 and 2007, the book argues that to look to the moments of hope and imagination as well as the everyday endurance must constitute a core element of anthropological representations of violence and suffering. This includes highlighting the non-violent spaces or parts of daily life, which are less dramatically framed by violence, and are often lost in contexts of conflict, faded out as weak shadows to the more forceful violence.

David Rieff

curbs on the public declarations of NGOs imposed by the Sri Lankan government during and after its war against the Tamil Tigers. Medical NGOs will almost certainly have an easier time than, say, groups focusing on community development or psycho-social care, but taken in aggregate the humanitarian world will be less transformed by a post-North Atlantic world than the Northern human rights movement. 4 Humanitarian action has never been a zero-sum game, whereas that is precisely what human rights activism has to be to be morally coherent. So far

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Education in the British Empire, 1830–1910
Author: Felicity Jensz

Nineteenth-century evangelical Protestant missionary groups commonly assumed that they were the most apt providers of education to non-Europeans in British colonies. Christian schooling was deemed imperative for modernising societies to withstand secularising forces. This significant study examines this assumption by drawing on key moments in the development of missionary education from the 1830s to the beginning of the twentieth century. The book is the first to survey the changing ideologies behind establishing mission schools across the spectrum of the British Empire. It examines the Negro Education Grant in the West Indies, the Aborigines Select Committee (British Settlements), missionary conferences in 1860 and 1910 as well as drawing on local voices and contexts from Southern Africa, British India and Sri Lanka to demonstrate the changing expectations for, engagement with and ideologies circulating around mission schools resulting from government policies and local responses. By the turn of the twentieth century, many colonial governments had encroached upon missionary schooling to such an extent that the symbiosis that had allowed missionary groups autonomy at the beginning of the century had morphed into an entanglement that secularised mission schools. The spread of ‘Western modernity’ through mission schools in British colonies affected local cultures and societies. It also threatened Christian religious moral authority, leading missionary societies by the World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh in 1910 to question the ambivalent legacy of missionary schooling, and to fear for the morality and religious sensibilities of their pupils, and indeed for morality within Britain and the Empire.

Rebecca Walker

1 The beginning of the end Everyday violence On 19 May 2009, the government of Sri Lanka defeated the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamils Eelam) in a brutal and bloody final battle ending a civil war that has ravaged the island of Sri Lanka for almost three decades. The conflict has affected all communities living in Sri Lanka; however, the north and the east of the island – the areas historically inhabited by the Tamil-speaking communities – have borne the brunt of the violence. Thousands have been displaced, often many times over, and social and physical

in Enduring violence
Lee Spinks

Although Michael Ondaatje was born in Sri Lanka into a family of Dutch-Tamil-Sinhalese origin, he left the island at the age of nine in the wake of his parents’ divorce and his mother’s departure for England five years earlier. After eight years in England, Ondaatje travelled onward to Canada in 1962, where he took out Canadian citizenship, eventually settled in Toronto, and gradually began to be spoken of as a ‘Canadian’ writer of considerable power and promise. Yet despite Ondaatje’s seemingly untroubled transition between these three

in Michael Ondaatje
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Lee Spinks

Anil’s Ghost (2000), Ondaatje’s fourth novel, returns, like Running in the Family , to his native Sri Lanka. But although these texts share a common location, they describe two very different countries. The event that radically transfigured Ondaatje’s writing between his research trips to his former home in 1978 and 1980 and the publication of his fourth novel twenty years later was the outbreak of the Sri Lankan civil war in July 1983. The impact of the civil war upon Ondaatje’s writing is plain to see: where Running in the Family offers a measured and often

in Michael Ondaatje
The case of the management of the dead related to COVID-19
Ahmed Al-Dawoody

This article studies one of the humanitarian challenges caused by the COVID-19 crisis: the dignified handling of the mortal remains of individuals that have died from COVID-19 in Muslim contexts. It illustrates the discussion with examples from Sunni Muslim-majority states when relevant, such as Egypt, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco and Pakistan, and examples from English-speaking non-Muslim majority states such as the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada and Australia as well as Sri Lanka. The article finds that the case of the management of dead bodies of people who have died from COVID-19 has shown that the creativity and flexibility enshrined in the Islamic law-making logic and methodology, on the one hand, and the cooperation between Muslim jurists and specialised medical and forensic experts, on the other, have contributed to saving people’s lives and mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in Muslim contexts.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Felicity Jensz

In 1842, eighteen young Sri Lankan males wrote essays at the Cotta (Christian) Institution (now known as Sri Jayawardenepura Maha Vidyalaya), a training institute for male Christian youth to become future mission agents run by the CMS. The CMS had arrived in Sri Lanka in 1818 and established the institute in 1822 at Cotta (Kotte, or K tte, now Sri Jayewardenepura), outside of

in Missionaries and modernity
Open Access (free)
Negotiated Exceptions at Risk of Manipulation
Maelle L’Homme

-defined territories, each under the fairly permanent control of clearly identifiable authorities. Archetypal yet exceptional, such situations are those of enclaves such as in Biafra in 1968, in Bosnia in 1992–95 or in Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam-held Vanni in Sri Lanka until 2009. But insofar as they impact the overall dynamic of conflicts by distorting issues of territorial control, contradicting siege strategies and disrupting military operations, the consent of both parties to the opening of corridors is almost always extremely difficult to obtain and fragile, which

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs