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Remembering Mullivaikkal: Sri Lanka 10 Years On

Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at 4:45pm to 7:15pm

A. D. White House, Guerlac Room
29 East Ave, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA

On May 18, 2009, the decades-long civil war in Sri Lanka came to a violent conclusion. In the 10 years since, May 18 has become a day of remembrance, reflection, and continued resistance in honor of those lost or disappeared during the final phase of the war at Mullivaikkal, and throughout the protracted history of the war and the post-war environment. This panel proffers a space of reflection and pause in recognition of May 18, otherwise known as Mullivaikkal Remembrance Day. Featured speakers will share their reflections on the commemoration through varying perspectives that draw from both lived experiences and professional and political commitments. The presentations will include a discussion of the evolving ideas surrounding identity, community and nation within the Tamil diaspora; political violence against minorities in Sri Lanka, and responses in art and theater; and how the ongoing global War on Terror is entangled in Muslim and Tamil politics both in and outside Sri Lanka. The panel will be followed by a Q & A with the audience and a reception.


Fathima Cader (Lawyer, Toronto, Ontario)

Thanges Paramsothy (Tamil Studies Visiting Scholar, South Asia Program, Cornell)

Peter Manuelpillai (Teacher, Elmira, NY)

Moderated by: Kaitlin Emmanuel (History of Art and Visual Studies, Cornell)

Speakers’ Bios:

Fathima Cader is a Toronto-based writer and litigator. Her essays, creative non-fiction, and poetry have been published in The New Inquiry, Hazlitt, Apogee, Fader, and elsewhere. She holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Toronto and received Marlee G. Kline Essay Award from the University of British Columbia's Faculty of Law, among other awards. She teaches at the University of Windsor's Faculty of Law and is an incoming faculty member at the City College of New York's Beyond Identity program.

Thanges Paramsothy obtained his PhD in Anthropology and Masters in Refugee Studies at the University of East London, UK, after completing his undergraduate degree in Sociology at the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.  He co-edited the book, Casteless or Caste-blind, and published a number of articles on subjects related to caste, religion and the Tamil refugee diaspora.  His recent article “Caste within Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora” is published in the journal Anthropology Matters. In Spring 2019, he is teaching ASIAN 4437 Formations of Tamilness in Sri Lankan and Transnational Contexts.

Peter Manuelpillai is a Chemistry teacher at Elmira High School, NY. He earned his BS in Chemistry and Biology, Post-graduate Diploma in Education from the University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka, and MSEd from Mansfield University, PA. Before migrating to the USA, he was involved in theatre activities at the University of Jaffna, and Jaffna College, Sri Lanka. He produced plays for school students, and was involved in the production of traditional Tamil koothu.

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Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Asian Studies, South Asia Program, Government, Asian American Studies Program, Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, Law School, Society for the Humanities, History of Art and Visual Studies


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