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ISN Weekly Theme: Sri Lanka Beyond the War

Flag lowering ceremony in Colombo, Sri Lanka, photo: Skandhakumar Nimalaprakasan/flickr

After decades of violence and political polarization, Sri Lanka is taking tentative steps toward peace and reconciliation. A broader discourse and policies that take the socio-economic needs of all ethnic groups into account is vital for conflict resolution.

This Special Report includes the following content:

  • An Analysis by Nobert Ropers, director of the Berghof Foundation for Peace Support in Berlin, on the dangers inherent in an uneven victory by the Sri Lankan government over the Tamil Tigers.
  • A Podcast with Asoka Bandarage of Georgetown University examining the need for a more inclusive approach to peacebuilding, less focused on the narrow ethnic dualism of the conflict.
  • Security Watch articles on the war and its aftermath, including the refugee crisis.
  • Publications housed in our Digital Library, including an International Crisis Group report on the Tamil Diaspora after the LTTE and an Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies paper on India’s role in post-conflict Sri Lanka.
  • Links to external resources, including The Virtual Library of Sri Lanka.
  • Our IR Directory with relevant organizations, including the Centre for Policy Alternatives based in Colombo.

Freestyle Iraq, fo shizzle

Freestyle Iraq from The US Defense Department

Screenshot: Freestyle Iraq from The US Defense Department

Yo yo yo wazzup y’all.

I’m late to the party with this ish…but I just wanna pull your coat about this sick video podcast I found while chillin like a villain. It’s da deelio on what’s going down when Uncle Sam’s throwin’ down.

YaknowwhatI’msayin? This tight joint is from the US DoD fo all y’all.

Oh, excuse me. I was just feeling Freestyle Iraq.

From the Pentagon Channel site: “Freestyle Iraq is a lifestyle news magazine set smack dab in the middle of a combat zone…yep, IRAQ! ”

Yep. It’s a hip and happening look at how US troops cut loose when they’re not dodging

Blazin (a cigar) on Freestyle Iraq

Blazin (a cigar) on Freestyle Iraq

bullets from insurgents. Freestyle Iraq full of MTV-style jump cuts, pans, and an on-cam crew trying their best to get their hip-hop swagger on.

And hark, I think I heard a little Public Enemy in the soundtrack of one of the episodes.

Does Chuck D know about this?

Some of the dialogue is cringe worthy (The host said “Bring your A-game” in reference to being on top of your game on the basketball court. The last time I said “Bring your A-game” to anyone I was…wait…I’ve never said that to anyone.)

All kidding aside, Freestyle Iraq does two things: It attempts to show the human side of US troops, which, right or wrong, is important for fashioning wartime imagery; and it presents the military in an attractive manner to prospective recruits (who shouldn’t be too hard to find).

And the fact that it’s available on the official Pentagon channel is something to note.

Perhaps the folks in uniform are ready to get buck?

The ISN Quiz: Debating Jihad

What do you know about the concept of jihad, the topic of our latest Special Report: Debating Jihad? Find out in this week’s quiz.

[QUIZZIN 18]

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