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Showing posts from April 19, 2014

Bridging the narratives in Sri Lanka

Instead of victory memorials, Sri Lanka needs a monument to commemorate all casualties of the war In the hot plains of the Vanni, a larger-than-life stone soldier emerges out of a block of concrete, an AK-47 in one hand and the Sri Lankan flag in the other. Hardly visible from the ground, a dove sits on the machine gun. This is a “victory memorial” created by the Army after the end of the hostilities between the Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan Army in May 2009. Beneath it, two plaques commemorate its creation. They are in Sinhala and in English, but not in Tamil, the majority language there.

Tasks before the Navy chief

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures: supersession is rare in the Indian military hierarchy, and experience in heading an operational command is normally a prerequisite for becoming the Chief of the Naval Staff. The Indian Navy’s new chief, Admiral R.K. Dhowan, who was slated to retire on May 31 on turning 60, has neither headed an operational command — as was the case with a couple of others before him — nor is he the seniormost officer. But the Defence Ministry recommended the name,