DifferentYetEqual Press Statement on 15 August 2016 Vigil (English)

Subhas Blog
Diverse people gathered to celebrate differences and demand equality (from the official DifferentYetEqual FB page) The following statement can be found in all three languages on the Different Yet Equal Facebook group page.  DifferentYetEqual: A campaign for equality and democracy Press Statement: 16 August 2016 On the evening of 15 August 2016, we, a group of citizens from diverse backgrounds, ...

Feminist Perspectives on the Orlando Shooting (from the Third-World)

Subhas Blog
Brenda Chirino, one of hundreds that gathered at the Metro Wellness Center in Ybor City, attends a candlelight vigil to honor the victims of the nightclub shooting in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, June 12, 2016. Tampa Police momentarily shut down a portion of 7th avenue to accommodate the large crowd. (Luis Santana/Tampa Bay Times via AP) What do cases like the ...

May 18: We Have a Lot to Mourn

Subhas Blog
Vaaharai community marks May 18, 2016 (source: Tamil Guardian) I am astounded; the government has called off this year’s ‘Victory Parade’ and no one is really talking about it. Why are we not talking about it? Why isn’t everyone talking about it? Why aren’t we all so very glad? In an interview with the Sunday Observer, our present Defense Minister ...

How Does Our Media Cover Tragedy? An Open Letter to Sri Lankan Media Establishments

Subhas Blog
Published on Groundviews. On April 2016, two 19 year-old women were fatally hit by a train while attempting to cross a railway track in Dehiwala. The tragic incident quickly attracted the attention of the media, and journalists from every major domestic media outlet reported the incident, bringing to the nation and the world images and stories about the “tragic ...

Leaving / Arriving

Subhas Blog
South Asian Feminists, 1986 Today, on the day I leave India, I thought it would be nice to share this picture, which was shared via my mother’s friends on Facebook a few days ago. This is the great South Asian feminist sisterhood, as we know it, circa 1986. My amazing mother Sunila Abeysekera, wears possibly biggest smile in the ...

A Jungle Healing

Subhas Blog
(A Jungle Healing was originally written for and published in the UK magazine So It Goes, in April 2015. It was a collaboration with Cassie Machado, a British-Sri Lankan artist, whose images the original article was printed with, when they appeared in the magazine. The title, A Jungle Healing, was taken from R Cheran’s poem, of which excerpts appear here, ...

In My Mother’s Skin (A Personal History)

Subhas Blog
(This was written as a Creative Writing exercise, in writing personal histories. This piece is about my relationship with my mother, Sunila Abeysekera, who was a renowned women’s and human rights activist. She died in September 2013; importantly, this is also about my relationship with her death.) Invoking I’ve found it’s easiest to invoke my mother’s spirit when my ...

BDS — an ethical agenda?

Subhas Blog
I posted this essay from Al-Jazeera English to my Facebook profile today. I understand what it’s like to belong to a nation at the receiving end of boycotts and I know I felt very frustrated and angry about it — to feel that to boycott was to reduce an entire nation of people in a single act, with a ...

Sometimes, a girl has to buy herself flowers

Subhas Blog
Posted originally on Instagram (@subha.w). Sometimes, a girl has to buy herself flowers, the smell of them will fill the house, she will like looking at them, she will take pride in arranging them, she will like how they light up the lonely kitchen, how the morning sun falls on each mysterious petal, And while, like her mother before her, ...

It’s Personal; It Should Be To Us All

Subhas Blog
Mahinda Rajapakse; via Groundviews, via The Daily Beast. Originally published on Groundviews on January 12th, 2015. So you see, democracy is not just a system, a structure; it is also a feeling. It is a feeling within each one of us; a desire to be led, a desire to be led by the things we believe in and the people ...

What’s Really the Problem with HeForShe?

Subhas Blog
Tom Hiddleston supports HeForShe. The din over Emma Watson’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly earlier this week has died; it moved some people very much indeed, while others saw it as hugely problematic. The speech was made to launch a new UN Women campaign, called HeForShe, which asks men to get involved in the struggle for gender equality, ...

What’s Really the Problem with HeForShe?

Subhas Blog
Tom Hiddleston supports HeForShe. The din over Emma Watson’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly earlier this week has died; it moved some people very much indeed, while others saw it as hugely problematic. The speech was made to launch a new UN Women campaign, called HeForShe, which asks men to get involved in the struggle for gender equality, ...

Emma Watson’s Unexceptional, Somewhat Ignorant Speech

Subhas Blog
Emma Watson, at the UN A young, educated, privileged, white woman-celebrity gets appointed a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador six months ago (UN Women is the United Nations organisation that works with women’s rights and issues). At the UN General Assembly, to launch a UN Women campaign on gender equality, this celebrity spokesperson, the Goodwill Ambassador, is asked to make a ...

Emma Watson’s Unexceptional, Somewhat Ignorant Speech

Subhas Blog
Emma Watson, at the UN A young, educated, privileged, white woman-celebrity gets appointed a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador six months ago (UN Women is the United Nations organisation that works with women’s rights and issues). At the UN General Assembly, to launch a UN Women campaign on gender equality, this celebrity spokesperson, the Goodwill Ambassador, is asked to make a ...

‘Nirbhaya: The Play’ and the Simple Power of Stories Being Told

Subhas Blog
From their website. I am very skeptical about testimonial-based works of art, particularly performances. I haven’t seen or read many testimonial-based plays or  ’verbatim’ shows that haven’t left me squirming and cringing in their wake — usually because they are melodramatic, over-acted, full of unmitigated angst and hardly ever provide any real interpretation or analysis. Lately, I have been personally ...

‘Nirbhaya: The Play’ and the Simple Power of Stories Being Told

Subhas Blog
From their website. I am very skeptical about testimonial-based works of art, particularly performances. I haven’t seen or read many testimonial-based plays or  ‘verbatim’ shows that haven’t left me squirming and cringing in their wake — usually because they are melodramatic, over-acted, full of unmitigated angst and hardly ever provide any real interpretation or analysis. Lately, I have been personally ...

Detention of Ruki Fernando and Fr Praveen

Subhas Blog
On Sunday night (March 16) Ruki Fernando and Fr Praveen, prominent Sri Lankan human rights defenders, were taken into detention in Kilinochchi under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. This followed the arrest of Jeyakumari Balendran and her young daughter on March 14; Balendran, the mother of a disappeared former LTTE cadre, has been outspoken about political disappearances in Sri Lanka, ...

Detention of Ruki Fernando and Fr Praveen

Subhas Blog
On Sunday night (March 16) Ruki Fernando and Fr Praveen, prominent Sri Lankan human rights defenders, were taken into detention in Kilinochchi under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. This followed the arrest of Jeyakumari Balendran and her young daughter on March 14; Balendran, the mother of a disappeared former LTTE cadre, has been outspoken about political disappearances in Sri Lanka, ...