Wikipedia:WikiProject Sri Lanka Reconciliation

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This is the home page of WikiProject Sri Lanka Reconciliation, a bipartisan effort to improve collaboration on and coverage of the Sri Lankan Civil War.
Dove with tea leaf.png

Everybody is invited to participate in discussions on the talk page.

This project page can be edited by all members.
To become a member, please write a short message in the Members and applications section.

This project has been inspired by the Nonviolent Peaceforce.
What's new in WikiProject Sri Lanka Reconciliation? edit

Purpose

Goals

  • To provide guidelines and recommendations for articles that describe all aspects relating to the neutral coverage of the Sri Lankan crisis
  • To improve Wikipedia's coverage of the ongoing ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka by creating, expanding, and maintaining such articles.
  • To prevent large scale vandalism of LTTE and Sri Lankan government related articles and maintain the articles to convey a neutral perspective of the issue.
  • To actively seek the cooperation of goodwilling people with different POVs as specified under membership.
  • To resolve conflicts between editors, e.g. by mediation and by providing specific guidelines for conflict resolution.

Dreams, hopes, and visions

This section contains statements by individual members that summarize what each of us wants to achieve with this project. To help reconcile and fuse these into concrete goals, everybody is invited to discuss these in the talk page section Dreams, hopes, and visions.

Sebastian's dream

Originally posted 24 January 2007

With this project, I want to create a firm middle ground. The middle ground is always despised by extremists of both sides, and it's so fragile! It's not that there are not enough people in the middle; it's just that they are so afraid - and rightly so: One wrong movement and you got all the extremists of one side against you. I've had baseless accusations thrown at me, and I don't want to think about what would have happened if I lived in Sri Lanka. Moreover, nobody can be exactly in the middle, because how would you define that anyway? On top of that, everybody wants to claim that they are in the middle, so people are very distrustful when they hear that. So, even honest, thoughtful people align themselves with one side, rather than the middle.

But there is hope. To see it, we all need a different mindset. Instead of staring fearfully at two estranged gangs, we need to raise our view to see and value courageous people. People who dare to break the box in which the extremists want to put them. People who do not just take pride in being Sinhalese or Tamil, but also in being openminded. If this ideal becomes our paradigm, then we, the middle, will find our own identity.

And it can work. We will gain strength through a virtuous cycle: We will help and encourage people who move towards the middle, and each person we help will strengthen us. We will accept real people, not our ideals of them. Not even the extremists are ideal extremists! Even a sockpuppeteer or a POV fighter can have moments when he feels some sympathy for the other side. What happens now, when someone shows these feelings? His own "friends" will call him a traitor! He needs real friends! People who see the good in him, and help him. We will be a group of knights who help those in need, and who take pride in doing so. I want the membership in this group to become a badge of honor. That is my mission. — Sebastian

Kanatonians's hope

Originally posted 1 February 2007

This project [...] is a hope that people can reconcile even in the midst of a bloody carnage. I am a living witness to all dead bodies around me when I was a child, my wife even today cannot watch war movies because it brings back memories of indiscriminate bombing of Jaffna peninsula. This is simply one sided of the story. It took me a long time to come to conclusion about the futility of it all but if some one is somewhere on that same long path but has not reached the conclusion yet but still wants to chat to see whether his/her beliefs and doubts can be reconciled that person should be given 1000% chance. [...]

The more I think about it in reality this forum or club’s primary (but unstated) goal is to function as a place to acclimatize emotionally charged new Sri Lanka centric Wikipedians about following Wikipedia rules. Most who have been around 6 months or are no longer overtly partisan or overtly disruptive even if they harbor malicious feelings about each other. That is a good equilibrium to achieve. All what this forum can do is to point such emotionally charged editors that hey look what we have achieved why don’t you try it ? If we are perssitant, they will and may be become members too. Kanatonian 14:06, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Context

Sister projects

Subpages

Historical or not generally used anymore:

Members

The group welcomes editors with different POVs, but members have to prove their willingness for non-aggressive conversation.

To apply for membership, please apply in our applications section. Members may have questions or concerns regarding your application. Please indicate if you prefer them to be discussed by e-mail.

Members are encouraged, but not required to follow conflict-reducing principles or practices, such as WP:1RR. If a member decides to pledge such a principle or practice, he or she can list it under "Pledges".

Current members
Member Pledges Notes
SebastianHelm (talk · contribs) 1RR, NVC, SLDR, AOR no longer very active
Lahiru_k (talk · contribs) SLDR
Kanatonian (talk · contribs) SLDR
Kerr avon (talk · contribs)
Neuralolive (talk · contribs) inactive since March 2007
Krankman (talk · contribs)
Lexicon (talk · contribs)
Watchdogb (talk · contribs) SLDR
Trengarasu (talk · contribs)
Harlowraman (talk · contribs) inactive since Sept 2007
Thusiyan (talk · contribs) inactive since July 2007
Jasy jatere (talk · contribs)
Rlevse (talk · contribs) honorary member
Black Falcon (talk · contribs) honorary member
Supermod (talk · contribs) SLDR
quintusboss (talk · contribs) inactive since July 2008
Chamal_N (talk · contribs)
Riotrocket8676 (talk · contribs)
Snowolfd4 (talk · contribs)
Blackknight12 (talk · contribs)
Pectore (talk · contribs)
PhilKnight (talk · contribs) 1RR, HEC
Carptrash (talk · contribs) Op × OR }:-)


Guidelines and rules

This chapter contains guidelines and rules we have agreed on in the project.

Don't re-revert!

On articles related to the Sri Lanka conflict, the rule WP:SLR/Don't re-revert! applies.

Cool editing

In a heated situation like the Sri Lanka conflict, it is not always possible to avoid strong destructive emotions. But there are several ways to get your point across while making it easy for people to stay cool.

How to avoid a revert war

Here's a list of what you can do when you see some edit that you feel you need to revert:

  1. Relax. Take a deep breath. It won't harm anyone if you wait an hour. Maybe someone else reverts it in the mean time. Or maybe the other editor clarifies his edit, making it less offensive. Please allow everyone room to breathe.
  2. If an unsourced statement has been inserted, add {{fact}} or a related template. *
  3. If the statement is sourced from a source that has not been established as RS, you can add {{Verify credibility}}, or tag it with one of the proposed qualifications (see below). **
  4. Conversely, if someone adds {{Verify credibility}} to a reference you provided, please don't remove it, but discuss it on the talk page.
  5. If something has been deleted, please try to understand why it has been deleted.
    1. If the summary says something like "unsourced", you can add it back with a {{fact}} tag. Please make the other side aware that you're adding the tag as a compromise. People tend to overlook such details and then get unjustly upset.
    2. If the summary says something like "your source is not a reliable source", you can add it back with a {{Verify credibility}} tag, or by tagging it with one of the proposed qualifications (see below). **
    3. If there is no edit summary, you can revert it with the summary "rv unexplained deletion"
  6. If the edit includes unsourced defamation of living people, you can revert it (Please write "rv per WP:BLP" in the summary.)
  7. Tell us about it. If something happened that's not in this list, or if you feel something was really outrageous, you can just leave a message on the talk page. We will do our best to mediate. But please be patient - don't expect help the same day.
  • * In case you're looking at the template description: Please just disregard it. That description does not fit to our situation, because both sides habitually feel that anything the other side writes is very harmful, which makes that feeling a bad guide.
  • ** This is only a temporary solution; it might be better to avoid these cases until we have a permanent solution. It may help calm down the other side if you refer to this conversation.

How to convince people in the middle

In discussions on the talk page, you can type till your fingers bleed, but you can't force the opposing extremists to accept your POV. However, if you write smartly, you can sway the people in the middle.

Many people who feel strongly about an issue just let their anger be their guide. While this may sometimes work by intimidating others so that they stay clear of an issue, it more often backfires: It usually only scares away the moderate people, while extremists of the other camp, who love this sort of personal fights, join the debate. Thus, the issue you wanted to bring across gets drowned out by mutual accusations. Few Wikipedians want to read this; most switch to another page when they sense more anger than reason.

A better way is to write with the moderate person in mind. Think about how you can make your discussion contribution interesting to the average Wikipedian. As soon as you convince a few reasonable Wikipedians, your cause is winning.

Other editing tips

What to do when a section becomes overrun by events
Recently, due to recent events, there have been situations in which editors felt that whole passages have become obsolete. In this case, please resist the temptation to delete these passages altogether. Instead, put the following template on top of the section:

  •  {{Current-anytext|This section describes the situation of 2008 or earlier and may not be up to date due to [[Portal:Current events|current events]].}}
    

Building up trust
The more other people trust you, the easier it will be for you to convince others; and the more your edits will be respected. One easy way to build up trust is by writing honest edit summaries. Many of us use the helpful setting "Prompt me when entering a blank edit summary".

Classification of sources

This section recommends which sources should be used in Sri Lanka conflict related articles.

Motivation

Most sources that have been used for Sri Lanka conflict related articles are biased (per WP:NPOV#Bias). This is because there are few independent reporters in the country. If we only relied on reliable and unbiased sources, we would not be able to write much about the conflict.

In discussions, people often confuse "reliable" with "unbiased". Although the two are related, a source does not need to be unbiased in order to meet WP:RS. To the contrary, WP:NPOV#Bias states that "All editors and all sources have biases - what matters, is how we combine them to create a neutral article."

The purpose of this list is to list the consensus we reached about bias of sources used in the SL conflict, so that they can be used fairly. To distinguish sources with a clear bias from (practically) unbiased RS, we call them "qualified sources", or QS. Such sources may be used with appropriate qualification per section WP:NPOV#A simple formulation, which recommends: "assert facts, including facts about opinions — but do not assert the opinions themselves."

Classes of sources

RS = Reliable sources
These can always be used without explicit attribution.
QS = Qualified sources
These fulfill WP:RS, but only tell one side of the story (see also WP:NPOV#bias). They can therefore always be used with explicit attribution. Wording should be: The pro-Faction Source reports that ... (where Faction and Source are placeholders that will be replaced with the appropriate names).
UnRS = Unreliable sources
Can usually not be used. Individual exceptions possible if all project members agree.
UnclasS = Unclassified sources
Treated like UnRS.

A more refined system of classification is described at User:Hcberkowitz/Sandbox-FactsFromPOV. It describes how professional Intelligence Collection Managers classify sources, which may provide us objective criteria for discussions about reliability.

A reference table of the sources like bbc, tamilnet, and Daily Mirror, and their respective classification, is maintained at Wikipedia:WikiProject Sri Lanka Reconciliation/Sources. Please check whether the source you want to use is listed there.

See also:

Mediation

In content disputes and edit wars, the mediator will, as a first approximation, revert to the version, or create a version that is based on the above #Classification of sources.

Citing and reporting of incidents

When citing or reporting alleged incidents or violations of policy, please keep the following in mind:

  • Provide clear links that show what you mean.
  • Avoid speculating about the intent of editors and try to assume good faith. The latter part of a sentence that starts with "His/her additions violate WP:NOR and WP:NPOV because ..." should explain how the additions violate WP:NOR and WP:NPOV, not why you believe the editor made a policy-violating addition.
  • Do not make allegations of harassment (including stalking) unless you have fairly strong proof of such.
  • Before making accusations that an editor has violated a certain policy or guideline, be sure that you are familiar with the policy or guideline, and are aware of how particular terms are defined and applied. If you have doubts, please contact another editor or an admin for clarification.
  • When you describe an edit as "vandalism", you are implying that it was made with the intent to harm Wikipedia (see the definition at WP:VAND). If the purpose of or intent behind an edit is unclear, be wary of applying the label "vandalism".
  • When criticising particular edits, comment on the content and not identity of the contributor. Aside from the fact that attempting to challenge a particular argument by challenging the person who offered the argument constitutes a logical fallacy, it is likely to be a violation of WP:NPA.
  • Editors are free to criticise the quality of the contributions of others as long as those criticisms are intended to be constructive and made in good faith. Avoid using adjectives such as "ridiculous". Something that seems ridiculous to you may simply be the result of poor communication or a genuine mistake.
  • Blocks are intended to discourage or stop disruption; they are not intended to be punitive. If you make a comment which you later recognise to be inappropriate, the best thing you can do is to retract it and offer your apologies. While the incident may not be forgotten, it will generally be forgiven.

Editors who repeatedly violate these principles, especially if they've been previously cautioned for doing so, will be blocked.

Why we can do without trickery

In a conflict such as this, people often agree that there is some trickery and framing the enemy going on. For some there may be no refuge against trickery but to resort to the same tactics. This is sad.

But WikiProject Sri Lanka Reconciliation has been created as a place for those who want to try a better way. This Reconciliation Project has some built-in mechanisms that make trickery a less successful strategy here:

  • We don't count votes, but opinions. This makes it irrelevant if someone uses a sockpuppet for voting.
  • We don't count number of reverts per account, but per "reason" or version. This makes sock- and meatpuppets useless for revert warring.
  • We have clear standards for how to bring up complaints. This means, hints and allegations are not needed, and they often backfire.
  • We have a house rule that allows any project member to remove any off topic talk. This makes our talk page a good place for people who want to focus on good, constructive work.
  • We are very transparent in our processes. All decisions and admin actions are open to scrutiny. For instance, by keeping a well sourced list about warnings, we ensure that nobody gets blocked without being properly warned in advance.
  • There are always some people here who honestly try to work towards reconciliation. This means, there's always a voice of humanity, and we're not turning into a paper tiger who only pays lip service to well sounding ideals.

All our members are called to adhere to these ideals, and to make good use of the mechanisms we have in place to uphold them. If you see any behavior that does not fit to our ideal, remind the person politely that this is not the way things are getting done here, and help the person by pointing out how to do it better. (Preferably, use e-mail because nobody likes being criticized in public.)

This project is not perfect, but we're all able to learn. If you feel we're missing out on a good chance to improve ourselves, please bring it up on our talk page. If you're unhappy about anything related to this project, or about any one of our members, and you don't bring it up in a fair way, you have no one but yourself to blame.

Categories

Criteria for assigning potentially controversial categories to an article:

  • A Reliable source must be provided in order to categorize an article.
  • Any POV source, including the two parties to the conflict, cannot be used to categorize an article.

Sri Lanka Dispute Resolution Agreement

The Sri Lanka Dispute Resolution Agreement (short SLDRA) was in place from 30 October 2007 till December 5 2009. It placed edit restrictions, such as WP:1RR on 150 articles and helped calm down edit warring on those pages during the Sri Lankan Civil War.

Other activities

Peer reviews

The Sri Lanka Reconciliation Wikiproject conducts peer reviews at the peer review page for articles within its scope, on request. This helps to obtain ideas for further improvement by having contributors who may not have previously worked on particular articles examine them.

Sri Lanka Reconciliation Award

The group awards a special award to editors who have shown a serious effort to decrease the conflict on Sri Lanka related articles. Such awards have to be by consensus among members.

Tea blossom.PNG The Sri Lanka Reconciliation Award
For your merits in Sri Lanka reconciliation {{{diff1}}}{{{diff2}}}{{{diff3}}}, the WikiProject Sri Lanka Reconciliation herewith presents you this Sri Lanka specific award, which is the blossom of one of the world's most loved drinks.

To keep a cool head in one of the world's hottest conflicts deserves our highest respect! ~~~~

List of Recipients

Recipient Awarded for (diffs or link to decision) Date (UTC)
Lahiru k (talk · contribs) [5][6][7] 08:33, 27 January 2007
Rajsingam (talk · contribs) [8][9][10] 08:33, 27 January 2007
Shunpiker (talk · contribs) [11][12][13], 14:30, 30 January 2007
DESiegel (talk · contribs) [14][15][16] 15:48, 20 April 2007
Black Falcon (talk · contribs) [17][18][19] 15:48, 20 April 2007
Rlevse (talk · contribs) [20] 05:25, 16 November 2007
FayssalF (talk · contribs) [21] 05:26, 16 November 2007
Jehochman (talk · contribs) [22] 05:30, 16 November 2007
Haemo (talk · contribs) [23] 05:40, 16 November 2007
Taprobanus (talk · contribs) Cool head, civility, NPOV, and overall exemplary adherence to the principles of an encyclopedia (at Kerr avon's suggestion) 23:12, 24 January 2009

Sri Lanka Hope Award

This award is a sign of appreciation like the Sri Lanka Reconciliation Award, but also more specifically a sign of hope. In contrast to the Reconciliation Award, it can be awarded by any member, just like a barnstar, without having to ask other members for approval. The wording is only a proposal; awarding members are encouraged to adjust it. Please, when you award it, add the name and cause into the list below.

Teabud100.jpg The Sri Lanka Hope Award
For your merits in Sri Lanka reconciliation, I herewith present you this Sri Lanka specific award as a sign of hope. This is a bud that will become the blossom of one of the world's most loved drinks. ~~~~

List of Recipients

Recipient Awarded for Awarded by Date (UTC)
Watchdogb (talk · contribs) reconciliatory spirit and good suggestion Sebastian 21:01, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
Snowolfd4 (talk · contribs) Effort for NPOV when creating Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan Sebastian (talk) 04:15, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Tools

Project Banner

The {{Banner WPSLR}} project banner template should be added (not subst:ed) to the talk page of every article within the scope of the project. The template does not require any additional parameters.

If you add this banner to an article, please also include that article in watchall so it will show up in our watchlist.

WikiProject Sri Lanka Reconciliation
WikiProject icon This article was within the scope of WikiProject Sri Lanka Reconciliation, a WikiProject to mediate editing conflicts caused by the Sri Lankan Civil War. With the end of that war, that project got closed as having met its stated goals.
 

Userbox for the members

The WikiProject User Box: {{User WPSLR}}

Dove with tea leaf.png This user is a proud member of WikiProject Sri Lanka Reconciliation.



Welcome message for new users

The template {{Welcome SLR}} is designed to welcome new users who showed an interest in Sri Lanka. Please use it whenever you spot a new user - it guides them to our project and it makes Wikipedia a friendlier place overall!

Example: This code:

==Welcome!==
{{subst:Welcome SLR|name=Amda|~~~~}}

creates the text in the following box:
(I'm cheating a bit. See the template description for a full description of parameters.)

Welcome!

Hello Amda, welcome to Wikipedia! Thank you for your contributions. I hope you like the place and decide to stay. Our Introduction contains a lot of helpful material for new users - please check it out! If you need general help, check out Wikipedia:Questions or place {{helpme}} on this page and someone will show up shortly to answer your questions. I noticed that you showed an interest in Sri Lanka related articles. Please take a look at WikiProject Sri Lanka Reconciliation, a bipartisan effort to improve collaboration on and coverage of the Sri Lankan Civil War. Among other things, we collected a number of recommendations for getting your point across while keeping out of trouble. We're here to help! In any event, we invite you to leave us a message on our talk page.

Happy editing! — Sebastian 21:06, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Invitiation for experienced users

The same template now can also be used for experienced users. Enter something like the following:

==WikiProject Sri Lanka Reconciliation==
{{subst:Welcome SLR|~~~~|intro=-}}

Watchlists

All
1 - 3 - 7 days • viewedit
This page contains all SLR related pages. It includes the following three pages with transclusion. There is normally no reason to edit this page.
Scope
1 - 3 - 7 days • viewedit
This contains all articles, categories and templates within our scope. Please keep this regularly updated. It should match "what links here" from our project banner.
Project files
1 - 3 - 7 - 30 - 365 days • viewedit
This page lists all files of this project itself. Please add any new project files that you create here.
Longterm 
30 - 90 - 365 days • viewedit
This page lists only pages that are expected to change less frequently. It is included in the above page.

These three files are also used in /whatsnew.

External 
Wikiproject Watchlist - WikiProject Sri Lanka Reconciliation