In Conversation with Dr. S. Sivasegaram

Dr. S. Sivasegaram currently serves as Visiting Lecturer at the Engineering Faculty of the University of Peradeniya and the University of Jaffna. He had earlier served at the University of Peradeniya from 1964 until retirement as Senior Professor (in 2008) but for a thirteen year spell at Imperial College London (1984-1997).
 Dr. Sivasegaram graduated in Engineering from the University of Ceylon with First Class honours in 1964, obtained an MSc with Distinction from the University of London in 1967, and his PhD from Imperial College in 1970. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka and of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (UK). Dr. Sivasegaram has been an Associate Editor of the Journal of Applied Fluid Mechanics (published from Iran) since 2006, and his scientific research has mostly been in energy related fields. He has also written widely on political affairs (under a pseudonym), especially relating to Sri Lanka.

In this conversation, Dr. Sivasegaram talks about a series of critical issues relating to the Sri Lankan ethnic conflict. As an academic inspired by Marxist thought, Dr. Sivasegaram reflects on the importance of a class-based analysis of the conflict, the impact of Leftist-thinking on Tamil politics and on his belief that the Sri Lankan Left still has a progressive role to play in bringing about a just settlement to the conflict. Dr. Sivasegaram also analyses the territorial claims made by nationalist groups, the dilemmas of nationalism, and the demand for self-determination. The conversation ends with a brief discussion on political proposals and the possibilities of adopting a political solution to the conflict in Sri Lanka.

Selected bibliography:

Imayavaramban, On National Relations in Sri Lanka (Madras: Chennai Books, 1988)

- ‘The Post-War National Question and the Sri Lankan Left’ (Part I) New Democracy (April: 2014), p. 15-30

- ‘The Post-War National Question and the Sri Lankan Left’ (Part II) New Democracy (July: 2014), p. 13-21

- ‘The Post-War National Question and the Sri Lankan Left’ (Part III) New Democracy (October: 2014), p. 16-30