War and the Future of Peace in Sri Lanka

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Date/Time: 27/02/2009 12:00 am

Alwan for the Arts Presents
Discussion: War and the Future of Peace in Sri Lanka: A Public: Discussion with Nirmala Rajsingam
Friday, February 27, 2009. 7 P.M.
Co-sponsored by South Asian Solidarity Initiative and Sri Lanka
Democracy Forum
Free and Open to the Public
In the face of an unfolding human catastrophe in Sri Lanka where a repressive state fights a fierce non-state force, how can accountability be determined and demanded, peace imagined, and a just political process sought?
Learn about the specifics of the current situation, while at the same time posing questions about how Sri Lanka can shed light on other contexts of secessionism, nationalism, militancy and state power in South Asia and beyond, particularly in the context of a global “war on terror”? Furthermore what is the role of diaspora/exile communities in shaping, funding, and brokering national aspirations in contrast to those who have remained?
Discussing these questions will be lead speaker: Nirmala Rajsingam [Sri Lanka Democracy Forum, London]
Opening Remarks: Ahilan Kadirgamar [Sri Lanka Democracy Forum, New York]
Moderator: Bhavani Raman [South Asia Solidarity Initiative, New York]
Performance by NYC-based artists YaliniDream and Varuni Tiruchelvam
About the Featured Speaker
Nirmala Rajsingam is a Sri Lankan Tamil activist who lives in exile in London. She was the first woman to be detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act in the early eighties. A survivor of the government engineered Welikade prison massacre, Nirmalawas subsequently freed from prison by LTTE guerrillas. She left the LTTE as a result of the total lack of internal democracy within the movement and its serious human rights abuses. Nirmala is the sister of Dr. Rajani Thiranagama, founding member of the University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna), who was assassinated by the LTTE for her outspoken views. They are the subjects of the documentary film “No More Tears Sister” by the National Film Board of Canada.
For more info on SLDF visit: (www.lankademocracy.org)
Recent Articles on the subject: (www.himalmag.com/)
Human Rights Watch Report 2009:


Alwan for the Arts
16 Beaver Street (between Broad and Broadway), 4th floor,
New York, NY 10004, (646) 732-3261
TRAINS: 4/5 to Bowling Green; J/M/Z to Broad St.; R/W to Whitehall
St.; 1 to Rector St. or South Ferry; 2/3 to Wall St.; A/C to Broadway-
BUSES: M1, M6, M9, M16, M20.
2. Alwan for the Arts and 3rd i NY Collaborative Monthly Film Series
are media outreach partners for the Network of Young Bangladeshi
Professionals’ presentation of the feature film
Healing Life/ Khondo Jibon
Saturday, February 28, 2009 @ 7:00 PM
Tribeca Cinemas
54 Varick St. at Canal
A/C/E/1 Trains to Canal Street
New York, NY 10013
Tickets are $15 if purchased in advance and $20 at the door.
Advance Tix Link: http://healinglifemovie.eventbrite.com
About the Film:
(Fathema Ruma, Shahriar Rahman, and Zahed Sharif / USA / 2008 / 90 mins, Bengali and English with English ST)
OFFICIAL SELECTION – New Jersey South Asian Independent Film Festival & Queens International Film Festival
During a trip to New York, ambitious Rana, originally from Bangladesh, becomes inspired by his “Uncle Jamal,” a war friend of his father. Rana decides to stay in the US and marries Jamal’s daughter, an Americanized desi girl. However, after a marriage and bitter divorce with the daughter, he becomes a disillusioned, undocumented immigrant. Diana, a widowed American citizen and single mother, sympathetically proposes a “contract marriage.” Rana finds himself obtaining his Green Card and the freedom he had hoped for. However, the situation becomes complicated. Should he stay with the only woman who has loved him, or leave to seek the American dream he had set out for?
Followed by Discussion with Cast & Crew
About the Presenting Organization:
The Network of Young Bangladeshi American Professionals (NYBAP) is a national organization targeted at young professionals in the beginning and middle stages of their careers. NYBAP’s founders saw the need for a network uniting young professionals from all walks of life to exchange professional experience and foster career development. Currently, NYBAP members represent a wide variety of industries including Finance, Law, Marketing, Consulting and Medicine. Visit http://www.nybap.orgfor more information.

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