As the Sri Lankan civil war was ending in 2009, Ananthy's husband Elilan, a Tamil Tiger rebel, surrendered to government forces. He has not been seen again.
Sri Lanka's Rebel Wife is a powerful short film which follows Ananthy from the parliamentary elections in Jaffna to the halls of the United Nations in Geneva, in her quest to find the truth about her husband and the thousands of others who are still missing.
Join us for the film's European premiere screening, in advance of its broadcast on Al Jazeera English.
The screening will be followed by a discussion and Q&A with a group of expert panellists, including director Kannan Arunasalam, who will discuss how enforced disappearances continue to impact people in Sri Lanka today.
Moderator/Editor-at-large at The Economist
Simon Long is deputy digital editor for The Economist. Previous to this role he edited the International section, and before that was the Finance and Economics editor. For six years he also wrote “Banyan”, our weekly column on Asia and was based in Singapore. Before that, he had worked in London for four years, as the magazine’s Asia editor, and for four years prior to that as South Asia bureau chief based in Delhi.
Kannan is an award winning British–Sri Lankan documentary filmmaker. His work has appeared in The Guardian, The New Yorker, AOL Originals, and broadcast on BBC and Al Jazeera English. Kannan's films have screened at international film festivals and art museums, most recently his British solo exhibition at The Tetley, Leeds (2019). Kannan read psychology at the University of Cambridge and holds a masters in international human rights law from the University of Oxford focusing on new media and conflict. He has taught at Cornell University’s Department of Asian Studies, and continues to engage students with filmmaking on location with Cornell University’s Architecture Department.
Co-Director of Adayaalam Centre for Policy Research
Dharsha Jegatheeswaran is Co-Director of the Adayaalam Centre for Policy Research (ACPR). She co-founded ACPR while being based in Jaffna between 2016 and 2018. Her research interests include the impacts of militarisation, universal jurisdiction and victim-centred accountability processes. She has worked closely with protesting Tamil families of the disappeared to support capacity-building and advocacy. Dharsha holds an H.BSc. from McMaster University, a Juris Doctor from the University of Toronto, and a Masters in Law from the London School of Economics.
Nalini Sivathasan is an award-winning journalist at the BBC, working across radio, online and video platforms. The main focus of her work in the past five years has been on minority communities in the UK, predominantly in the Indian, Sri Lankan, Pakistani and Bangladeshi diaspora. Her work has appeared across the BBC, including World Service, Newsbeat, BBC Sport and Radio 4. During the coronavirus pandemic she devised a series of coronavirus information videos in different South Asian languages which were disseminated widely and praised by health bodies and the British government as vital public service information. She has always tried to put a spotlight on the issues affecting Sri Lanka – highlights include covering the aftermath of the deadly Easter bombings, interviewing cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan about his controversial biopic and the Sri Lankan government’s controversial policy of forced cremations during the pandemic. Prior to joining the BBC, she worked as a video producer at the Financial Times.
Senior Consultant at Sri Lanka at the International Crisis Group
Alan Keenan is a Senior Consultant on Sri Lanka at the International Crisis Group and a Visiting Fellow in the LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security, where his work is part of the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Hub on Gender, Justice and Security. His GCRF research investigates the political, ethical and methodological challenges involved in the production of politically actionable knowledge about conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence in Sri Lanka. He has been leading Crisis Group's research and advocacy on Sri Lanka since 2007. He has a PhD in political theory from Johns Hopkins University and is the author of Democracy in Question: Democratic Openness in a Time of Political Closure (Stanford Univ. Press, 2003), as well as articles on political theory and on Sri Lankan politics. Before joining Crisis Group in 2006, he taught at Bryn Mawr College, Harvard College, and the Universities of California at Berkeley and at Santa Cruz.