dissenting dialogues – New Social Justice Magazine on Sri Lanka
dissenting dialogues, a new social justice magazine on Sri Lanka was just launched. The introduction and the list of articles in the first issue are listed below. The entire magazine can also be downloaded
Introducing dissenting dialogues
Debates on the causes and consequences of the 30-year war in Sri Lanka, and its end in May 2009, continue to evoke heated exchanges in some quarters and a disempowered silence in others. A year and a half later, it is time to engage in an open discussion that is truly reflective. While there are both continuities and discontinuities from before, during and after the war, there is clearly a renewed need for dissent and dialogue to broaden and transform the debate.
Sri Lanka’s postcolonial history has been marred by decades of economic and development policies that have marginalised and exploited sections of the urban and rural population, the inability of successive governments to address the grievances of the Tamil, Muslim and Up-Country Tamil minorities in relation to the state, the continuing oppression of women in society, and the exclusion of oppressed castes. Furthermore, the last years of the war in particular have been worryingly marked by the consolidation of centralised executive power, the rise of authoritarianism, the militarisation of state and society, the renewed force of nationalist mobilisation and the polarisation of communities along ethnic, religious and regional lines. The current moment calls for broad intellectual and political engagement aimed at democratisation and social and economic transformation.
dissenting dialogues makes its appearance against this backdrop, initiated by the Sri Lanka Democracy Forum and others, with the aim of expanding the space for dissent and critical dialogue on relevant issues relating to the past, present and future of Sri Lanka. The magazine hopes to highlight views and analyses that all too often become marginalised from mainstream discourse. At a time when both hegemonic international and state-sponsored agendas seek to dominate research, analysis and reportage, the emphasis in these pages is of necessity on critical writing and a commitment to social justice, pluralism and democratisation. Although currently facilitated by SLDF, it is hoped that at a future date, dissenting dialogues will evolve into an independent entity.
dissenting dialogues welcomes original submissions, including essays, opinion pieces, reportage, and criticism and debate on previously published articles. Articles can be in English, Sinhala or Tamil and should be 1,000 to 3,000 words and not published elsewhere. Articles will be edited by the editorial collective and writers are expected to respond to editorial queries prior to publication. Please e-mail questions and submissions to email@example.com
Articles in Issue No. 1, November 2010:
Lessons Learnt: Conducting Our Own Exercise, Rohini Hensman
The Anatomy of Rajapaksa Rule, Tisaranee Gunasekara
The Legacy of Emergency Rule, Wasana Punyasena
Our Shared Responsibility to the Peoples of Sri Lanka and the First Nations, Kevin Shimmin
Tamil-Muslim Relations: Remembering the Eviction of Northern Muslims, SLDF London Chapter
Dalit Politics and the Urgent Need for a Social Movement, Ragavan
Regime Consolidation and the Promise of Sovereignty and Development, Ahilan Kadirgamar