The abuse of Presidential Pardon
The Panadura High Court judge, Kusala Sarojani Weerawardana, found ten Presidential Security Division (PSD) officers who were accused of assaulting two famous songsters Rookantha Gunathilike and Chanta Chandraleka Perera to be guilty of the charges and sentenced them to four and a half years of rigorous imprisonment. The PSD officers entered the living premises of the two famous singers, shaved their heads and assaulted them in the year 2000. The PSD officers did this due ... Read More
Stop Peddling (with drug dealers) and Meddling (with terrorists) in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs.
What next? Do the British think that Sri Lanka is still a colony to hold their informants?
It is also a reflection of the QUALITY of information that BRITAIN seems to be basing their decisions on. This is no surprise given that the UN report based their information on a Tamil tiger terrorist information site (using the terrorist propaganda as credible) and of course using the information provided by separatist terrorist to form their foreign policy ... Read More
UN investigation offers hope to victims in Sri Lanka
UN investigation offers hope to victims in Sri Lanka The UN Human Rights Council resolution to establish an international investigation into allegations of human rights violations and abuses committed by both sides in Sri Lanka’s civil war gives hope to tens of thousands of victims who continue to be denied truth and justice, the International Commission of Jurists said today.
“The resolution sends a strong message to the Government of Sri Lanka that the international community ... Read More
19 Tamil Nadu fishermen released by Sri Lanka
Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksha today ordered the release of all the 19 Indian fishermen, who were remanded to judicial custody till April 4, officials in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu said.
They were arrested by the Lankan Navy yesterday off Katchatheevu.
Mannar Court Judicial Magistrate Anandhi had remanded the Rameswaram fishermen to custody today.
... Read More
Sri Lanka Rejects UN Rights Probe
By PTI - COLOMBO
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse rejected today's UN Human Rights Council resolution ordering a war crimes probe, saying he would instead press ahead with his own reconciliation plan.
"We reject this," Rajapakse said. "This resolution only hurts our reconciliation efforts. It does not help.
"But I am not discouraged. We will continue with the reconciliation process I have started," he added in a phone call to AFP.
In a 23-12 vote, the council backed a ... Read More
The arrest of Rev. Fr. Proveen and Ruki Fernando
Bishop's House, Jaffna
We the Catholics of the entire Roman Catholic Diocese of Jaffna, comprising of Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Jaffna Districts are sad and perturbed to know from the media that Reverend Father Proveen Mahesan, resident at Amathipuram, an Oblate settlement and Rukki Fernando a Human Rights activist of the South have been arrested in the Kilinochchi area and have since been taken to Colombo for questioning by the TID.
Rev. Fr. Proneen Mahesan omi (Oblate of ... Read More
Ethics of an ethnic war
Dr Leonard Pinto
Although the ethnic war between the Tamil LTTE and the Sinhalese forces of the Sri Lankan government ended in May 2009, the ethics of the conflict is still current. It is being discussed in institutions in Geneva, USA, Canada, UK, EU and many other countries. It is the ethics of the war that the international community is concerned, as it has major implications in global ethics. The issues surrounding this ethnic war also ... Read More
Release Balendran Jeyakumari - stop harassments of human rights defenders!
Today, as the United Nations commemorates the International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims, the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) reiterates its strong condemnation against the arbitrary arrest and detention of Balendran Jeyakumari and her 13-year old daughter and the intensifying intimidation and harassment against Rukj Fernando and Father Praveen after their release from detention.
Balendran Jeyakumari's husband disappeared during the war against ... Read More
Reporting from Geneva
When terrorist supporters masquerading as human rights activists appeared in Geneva, US and UK representatives canvassing for votes to move a resolution against Sri Lanka in Geneva distanced themselves. The presence of the LTTE activists operating through front organizations in the West embarrassed the US and European diplomats. After disseminating hate propaganda and funding violence over the years, these activists now function through the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam, Global Tamil Forum, Nediyawan ... Read More
The Sri Lankan Government retaliates to proposed the Human Rights Council resolution
A draft resolution promoting reconciliation, accountability, and human rights in Sri Lanka is to be discussed at the United Nations Human Rights Council. The proposed resolution calls for, among other things, the Office of the High Commissioner, "To lead a comprehensive investigation into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka and establish the facts and circumstances of such violations and of the crimes committed with ... Read More
Arrest and detention of Ruki Fernando and Fr. Praveen OMI
The Law and Society Trust is deeply disturbed by the arrest of former staff member of the Law and Society Trust, Mr. Ruki Fernando and Fr. Praveen, OMI from Kilinochchi on Sunday 16th March 2014.
Mr. Fernando worked with the Law and Society Trust for five years until April 2012 as head of the Human Rights in Conflict Programme. He was a deeply committed campaigner for human rights and is widely known and highly respected ... Read More
Arbitrary detention of Human Rights Defenders
Colombo: The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) is deeply concerned by the arrest and detention last week of several individuals in the North and East, including Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) under the provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). CPA condemns these attempts by the Government of Sri Lanka to silence critics and supress legitimate civil society activity. We call for the immediate release of all activists including Balendran Jeyakumari, Ruki Fernando and Fr. ... Read More
The arrest of activist Jayakumari and her 13-year-old daughter
Yesterday (13th March 2014) one of the leading Killinochchi activists and her daughter who have been in the frontline protesting and demanding for the whereabouts of the missing have been arrested by the CID.
Balendran Jayakumari (resident of Tharmapurum) and her daughter Vithushaini (13 years) have been detained in their home (No. 5 Musalumpitty, Pullium Pokkanai, Tharmapurum , Killinochchi- Indian housing scheme) from around 4 pm till around 10 pm. Jayakumari called a politician around 4 ... Read More
The appointment and dismissal of judges is the sole privilege of the executive president
The judgement of the Supreme Court which was given last week held that the judgement of the Court of Appeal allowing the writ of Certiorari on the parliament of Sri Lanka was wrong. The simple argument of the five judges is that the parliament of Sri Lanka, like the parliament of Great Britain enjoys supremacy of parliament which excludes the possibility of any jurisdiction being exercised by the courts over anything that it does. The ... Read More
Illegal eviction of families residing at Wanathamulla
The Standing Committee on Rule of Law of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka, condemns the action that is being taken by the Urban Development Authority to illegally evict families residing at Wanathamulla, Borella without resort to the law on acquisition of private property. What is of deep concern is the use of army personal to threaten and intimidate residents to vacate their premises. This is in blatant violation of the law and ... Read More
U.S. Envoy to Visit Sri Lanka as Pressure Builds for War Crimes Inquiry
By Gardiner Harris
NEW DELHI — A top State Department official is expected to arrive in Sri Lanka on Friday, just three days after the United States announced that it would again seek a resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council pressing for an investigation into allegations of war crimes in Sri Lanka.
... Read More
Disasters hit 1.6 mn people, but Met equipment remains outdated – UNP
Billions of rupees had been wasted on government propaganda exercises but the Meteorological Department was not properly equipped and the Disaster Management Website, too, remained outdated due to lack of funds, an Opposition legislator charged yesterday.
Eran Wickremeratne MP told The Island it was shocking that despite a total of over 1.6 million people being affected by disasters in the last two years, the Rajapaksa regime could not find just one billion rupees to update equipment ... Read More
Badurueliya Hospital to be reopened after weeklong shutdown
In the early morning of December 27, the authorities addressed a large crowd of people protesting outside Badureliya District Hospital. They had come to support a Member of Parliament who was staging a hunger strike demanding the reopening of the hospital. The authorities announced to the crowd that the hospital would be reopened the next morning.
The hospital was closed down after the death of a local man. The man was taken to the hospital in ... Read More
Catholic Bishops on independence of judiciary and independent Commissions
Following is an extract from the Pastoral Letter of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Sri Lanka, entitled 'Towards Reconciliation and Rebuilding of the Nation'.
In this exercise the independence of the Judiciary should be preserved and defended at all cost. The Judiciary which has the sacred role of interpreting and applying the meaning of a given law should be totally free from interference by the other stake holders of power, the legislature and the executive. The ... Read More
British Tamils Call for Putting Pressure on Lanka
By PTI - COLOMBO
The Tamil community in Britain is mounting pressure on the British establishment to compel Sri Lanka to an early reconciliatory action.
Shadow Foreign Minister Douglas Alexander at a meeting with the British Tamils was told to put pressure on Prime Minister David Cameron to seek an international inquiry in Sri Lanka by breaking the March, 2014, deadline, British media reports said. ... Read More
SRI LANKA/AUSTRALIA: PM's stance validates torture
At the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka at the weekend, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that while his government ''deplores the use of torture, we accept that sometimes, in difficult circumstances, difficult things happen''.
His statement is not only legally and morally indefensible, it is also factually incorrect. Torture is prohibited under international law precisely because it is so reprehensible that no civilised society accepts it. The prohibition is absolute. Circumstances, no matter ... Read More
India offers to train Sri Lanka Navy
Colombo: India on Friday offered to train Sri Lankan naval officers as part of ongoing defence cooperation between the two countries.
The offer was made by visiting Indian Navy chief Admiral DK Joshi when he called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Joshi is in Sri Lanka to attend the international naval maritime conference held in the southern port town of Galle.
The Indian Navy will offer training to Sri Lankan naval officers to follow the four-year Bachelor of Technology ... Read More
Murders and extrajudicial killings
On November 22, a suspect in the killing of a police constable and his wife was himself killed after arrest. The suspect was a 30-year-old former instructor of the Commando Battalion of the army. It is alleged that he was taken to identify some weapons and when he attempted to attack the police with one of the weapons he was shot dead. Two more persons related to the inquiry into the same murders were also ... Read More
Bringing the military into all areas of life
The announcement by the de facto chief justice, Mohan Pieris, to introduce regulations in order to limit the maximum age to practice as a lawyer to 70 and to impose further regulations for the renewal of the licenses of lawyers every two years, comes as no surprise.
The government's aim is to bring the military into all areas of life and to spread an authoritarian rule through the entire fabric of society. This implies the ... Read More
Australia Law Council condemns Sri Lanka's worsening rule of law
The Law Council of Australia (LCA) has joined a chorus of criticism directed at the Sri Lankan government over the state of the rule of law in the country.
LCA president Michael Colbran QC said he was particularly concerned by reports of threats and intimidation directed at members of the legal profession and judiciary in Sri Lanka.
He singled out the impeachment of the former Chief Justice of Sri Lanka in January, claiming the dismissal did not ... Read More
The truth and torture of commissions and ommisions
Editorial - Daily Mirror - Saturday, 23 November
This country has known commissions. There have been commissions of inquiry and commissions of the taking kind, kick-backs in other words. There have been omissions too of various kinds. We’ve had leaders who didn’t know or didn’t care to do the stitch-in-time. There have been governments that opted for never, rather than late. Commissions have resulted from omissions. Commissions, paradoxically, have also been marked by omissions; exercises in ... Read More
AHRC condemns the state media attack on Nimalka Fernando
The threats posed to the life of Ms. Nimalka Fenando, a well-known trade unionist, political activist and a human rights defender, by the commercial channel of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation on November 4, 2013 is yet another example of the stark and blatant abuse of the State Media to intimidate, harass and humiliate a person, purely for political reasons.
The manner in which the State media has been abused -- in this instance by the ... Read More
That’s the president of Sri Lanka, PM, not one of your fags
by Rod Little, Sunday Times
I have to say, I thoroughly approve of the manner in which our prime minister has decided to deal with foreigners, especially jumped–up foreigners who by rights should really still be part of our dominion and thus be doing as they’re bloody well told.
David Cameron struck precisely the right note with a man called Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is somehow running a place that I think we’d all prefer to ... Read More
David Cameron – Winston Churchill is not the best example for Sri Lanka to follow
David Cameron has asked Sri Lanka’s President to act like Winston Churchill. That really isn’t the best of examples to give because in looking up Winston Churchill his policies is nothing that Sri Lanka or any of its leaders adopted or would care to adopt just because Churchill said ‘victory in magnanimity’ – he said a lot more horrible things too. Even Germany called Churchill a war criminal. Next, David Cameron wants us to draw ... Read More
Diplomacy salvages Lanka fiasco; Sujatha meets Tamil leaders
Washington, Nov. 14: If the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) opening in Colombo today had a prize for “special mention” in dealing with the intricacies of the Tamil problem that has bedevilled the summit, it ought to go to foreign secretary Sujatha Singh.
She made the best of a bad situation that domestic politics has placed India in at the CHOGM, and her meeting today with veteran Sri Lankan Tamil politician R. Sambanthan was ... Read More
Cameron calls for international rights probe in Sri Lanka
Colombo: Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron on Saturday threatened to push for an independent international inquiry into allegations of war crimes at the climax of Sri Lanka's 26-year civil war if the island nation does not conduct its own probe by March 2014.
Cameron has been the most vocal critic of Sri Lanka's record on rights during a biennale summit of Commonwealth nations being held in the capital Colombo. The normally sedate event has been ... Read More
Sri Lanka Briefs forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
Violations of Commonwealth Values while the CHOGM 2013 in Progress
* HR festival obstructed; Hate campaign launched
* Foreign journalists blocked visiting Jaffna
* Jaffna protest organisers threatened; people blocked
* Flights to Jaffna cancelled; Visit to East cancelled
* Canada denied pro govt media reports
* Sharma given 3 proposals to implement
Leader of the opposition attacked on his way to HR festival
An unidentified group has made an attempt to attack the opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe a short while ago , who participated in the Human ... Read More
No tears for departed Attorney Generals
Why I have no tears for departed Attorney Generals:
Do we feel sorry for ones extinguishing the light Leaving everything in the dark?
Is there any crime worse than
Killing the soul of a nation?
Is not justice the soul of the nation?
Subverting justice was raised
To an art.
Molding the young to lie
Teaching the abductors and murderers
In uniform to lie under oath
And crafting them false affidavits
To subvert the writ of habeas corpus.
Cynically putting into wastepaper baskets Thousands and thousands ... Read More
Sri Lanka’s Post-Conflict Development – What the World Leaders Saw and Said
If North or East Sri Lanka had not seen development of the kind it is presently witnessing after a stop gap of 30 years, that fault lies entirely with the LTTE. The fault lies partly with foreign Governments and International Humanitarian and UN Agencies whose offices were virtually next door to the LTTE offices. What begs an answer is why none of LTTE’s calculated, premeditated murders never went beyond a standard diplomatic statement while in ... Read More
A solution to the Fishing Rights conflict between Sri Lanka and India
Dr. Leonard Pinto
Anybody can make a claim to the fish in the open sea. But, once caught, it becomes the property of one who caught it. However, the Law of the Sea 1982, provides the proprietary country the exclusive right to its natural resources, including fishery resource within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 200 nautical miles (1 nautical mile =1.151 miles) from the shore, and legal rights in the territorial water, extending to 12 ... Read More
Tamil Politicians – Priests – Public Officials and Academics killed by the LTTE
However much the TNA or the new Northern Province Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran attempts to turn a megalomaniac terrorist banned by 32 foreign nations as a Terrorist Organization, into a ‘HERO’ there are some hard facts that Tamils should not forget. First reminder is - LTTE’s first killing spree started not by killing Sinhalese but by killing Tamils – the popular Mayor of Jaffna, Alfred Duraiappah became Prabakaran’s first target followed by scores of ... Read More
Director says video shows Sri Lanka army committed war crimes
By Shihar Aneez and Ranga Sirilal
(Reuters) - A documentary maker said on Friday video of a Tamil Tiger television presenter suggests she was captured alive and killed, rather than dying in the chaotic end of Sri Lanka's three decade war.
The footage is in the documentary "No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka", the fourth by British journalist and director Callum Macrae to allege the Sri Lankan army committed war crimes at the end ... Read More
Lanka's Northern Province CM praises India
Colombo: Sri Lanka's Northern Province Chief Minister CV Vigneswaran has praised India for its efforts in securing the provincial council elections in his country.
"After 30 years of war and 4 years of peace, we were able to gain an election for the north. India's attention was important there," newly elected Vigneswaran told reporters after meeting a European Union delegation yesterday.
73-year-old Vigneswaran, a former Supreme Court judge, became the chief minister following the landslide victory of ... Read More
Beware – Adverse implications of CHOGM to Sri Lanka
Ranil Wickremasinghe wanted to celebrate the arrival of Portuguese in 1505 and that lost him the election for his foolhardy suggestion not realizing Sri Lanka was a predominantly Buddhist nation and Portuguese banned the practice of Buddhism. The present scenario appears no different and our reservations to the Government come with the advice not to make that same mistake. CHOGM is a celebration of all that was associated with the British. British rule and their ... Read More
What should be the role of the army?
Chief Minister Wigneswaran – So you want the Sri Lankan Army in barracks but you have no issues with the army building houses for Tamils?
What can we deduce when a former Supreme Court judge now turned Chief Minister of the Northern Province of Sri Lanka in the presence of the Governor of the North delivers a speech and tells the Governor in no uncertain terms that he is not welcome and must go because the ... Read More
The day of commemoration for the disappeared - may God save us from madness
On 27 October, about 400 persons from the north and south, most of whom are family members of disappeared persons, gathered at the Monument for the Disappeared at Raddaluwa, Seeduwa. Like the gatherings in previous years, this year's too was a very sad spectacle to watch. Several of the persons carried flowers or a candle to place before their loved ones, whose photographs are set in the marble of the monument.
There are many disappeared family ... Read More
Sri Lanka Northern Elections: Deciphering the Tamil Voter Mentality
No critic can say Sri Lanka is moving to ‘authoritarian’ rule given that a free and fair election has been held, the people of the Northern Province has voted for the 2nd time since the defeat of terrorism in 2009. What is important at this stage is to decipher the voter mentality of the Tamils and to wonder how many of them are ‘separatist’, ‘racist’ or ‘castetist’ because they have placed their vote in a ... Read More
Sri Lanka’s National Identity
Contrary to what is erroneously being promoted the Sinhela race did not descend from banished King Vijaya of India. The discovery of the Balangoda man depicts a rich civilization going back 38000 years. Undoubtedly what distinguishes the Sinhala people is their Sinhala language – both people and language found nowhere else in the world except in Sri Lanka. Thus, they become a distinct community with a unique language, Sinhale culture and literature evolved and developed ... Read More
Did LTTE’s Adele Balasingham inspire Kenyan Mall killer Samantha Lewthwaite?
Shenali D Waduge
What happens when people like Adele Balasingham, Beate Arnestad and Niromi de Soyza glorify terrorism and make martyrs out of female terrorists? People like Samantha Lewthwaite emerges and killings like the Kenyan Mall slaughter resulting in over 100 innocent people being gunned down mercilessly takes place. Public killings have been a hallmark of the LTTE nothing that the ‘international community’ chose to do anything about. Adele Balasingham pioneered and trained female terrorists and ... Read More
Most of the 19 ‘Journalists’ killed were, or by, LTTE
The Committee for the Protection of Journalists – CPJ has released a list of 19 ‘journalists’ it claims to have been killed since 1992 in Sri Lanka. CPJ includes 39 journalists killed worldwide in 2013 – none reported in Sri Lanka since January 2009. In total 1007 journalists are said to have been killed worldwide since 1992, 595 of this number murdered with impunity, whatever that implies, meanwhile 456 journalists are said to live in ... Read More
A report on marginalization and sexual violence against women in the north and east
The Minority Rights Group International has published a report entitled, 'Living with insecurity: Marginalization and sexual violence against women in north and east Sri Lanka'.
The executive summary of the report is as follows:
Four years since the end of the armed conflict, the situation of minority women in the north and east of Sri Lanka has changed dramatically — and for many it is getting worse. In the latter stages of the conflict and its aftermath, ... Read More
Early Publication of the Inquiry Reports on the Welikada and Vavuniya Prison Riots a Must
An Appeal for the Early Publication of the Inquiry Reports on the Welikada and Vavuniya Prison Riots
This intervention is made in a spirit of democratic engagement by the Friday Forum, a group of concerned citizens who have come together to consider current issues of public interest with a view to making a contribution to peace, democracy, good governance and social justice in Sri Lanka.
When persons in the custody of a state institution meet with violent ... Read More
Sri Lanka must say NO to animal sacrifice and ban this vile practice forthwith
We again visit the topic of animal sacrifice and probably will continue to do so until the moral and ethical dimension of killing animals born no different to man comes to a halt. Christians and Jews must receive plaudits for evaluating the practice of animal sacrifice in the light of modern day ethical thinking and deciding to end the act of ritual slaughter. It remains only for Muslims to decide though we know that despite ... Read More
What exactly is World Vision upto again in North Sri Lanka?
Shenali D Waduge
When the armed forces sacrificed their lives to give Sri Lanka peace it was expected that the governing establishment would take over the task to ensure incursions and challenges to Sri Lanka’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and the rights of the people were not threatened. The Government is well aware that over 3000 NGOs/humanitarian agencies and charity organizations prevailed throughout the conflict for reasons best known by them with little to show of money ... Read More
Protest banned in the month of November for the CHOGM
The CHOGM meeting is scheduled to begin on November 15. The government of Sri Lanka has banned protests in the city of Colombo in the month of November. The government has taken this action under the Public Security Regulations and directed that protests, marches and any display of banners and black flags is banned during the first three weeks of the month. The special regulations will be in place in areas that are to be ... Read More
Sadistic tendencies of the Lankan police
The following interview was originally printed in the latest issue of the Torture: Asian and Global Perspectives.
An Interview with Dr. Sunil Cooray on Torture in Sri Lanka
Dr. Sunil Cooray is a senior lawyer who is very well known in Sri Lanka. He has been in legal practice for 46 years. He is the author of the two volumes of the authoritative text Principles of Administrative Law in Sri Lanka. Basil Fernando of the ... Read More
Networking for Rights forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission
SRI LANKA: Six weeks since the 'robbery' of journalists Mandana's residence - No proper inquiry held, intimidations continue and her service terminated by the Sunday Leader
Networking for Rights notes with great concern that though it is more than a month since the alleged "break-in" of the residence of Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema, Associate Editor of the Sunday Leader, no worthwhile investigation has taken place to bring the culprits to book and to find out the real ... Read More
Sri Lanka’s Tamils
“NOW win the peace”, is common advice to victors of a civil war. Sri Lanka’s president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, ended a nearly three-decade long conflict in 2009, but his efforts to produce stability look badly skewed. He, along with Tamil leaders, are storing up troubles ahead.
Tour the north, where secessionist Tamil Tiger rebels once ruled, and signs of material progress abound. Since the war’s end splendid roads have spread, along with a web of pylons bringing ... Read More
Sri Lanka backs off on taking up issue of dropping of Pali for IAS exams
Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country whatever schemes are being attempted to overtly and covertly dilute and change this fact. We are well aware of these agendas. Article 9 of the Constitution guarantees foremost place to Buddhism and imposes a mandatory duty on the State not only to protect but also ‘foster’ Buddhism, an obligation confined exclusively only to Buddhism vis a vis all other religions prevalent in Sri Lanka.
Pali (also Pa?i) is ... Read More
Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan waters
There is something more than fishy about the sudden surge in Indian fishermen poaching on Sri Lankan territorial waters leading to a diplomatic debacle between India and Sri Lanka. Given that the culprits are fishermen and fishing is their livelihood what no one seems to answer is, did the LTTE face similar incursions by Indian fishermen and if so how did India, Tamil Nadu and the LTTE deal with the matter? It is pretty obvious ... Read More
The unwelcome Sepoy Mission of an Indian External Affairs Minister to Sri Lanka
A daily problematic issues faced by Sri Lanka as a result of its hegemonic neighbour India are many and have continued through history. When we thought our heroic forces ended the Indian trained and financed LTTE terrorism and brought peace, we now find ourselves facing far more calamities than LTTE suicide missions and bombs. When we thought developing the North, giving freedom to LTTE-enslaved Tamils would bridge divisions, we find TNA the LTTE proxy manipulated ... Read More
Sinhala publication is available
The Sinhala publication, Manawe Himikam is a monthly journal devoted to discussions on current issues. In this edition several issues are discussed.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Dr. Navi Pillay's visit to Sri Lanka - a translation of her interview at the end of her visit.
The Asian Human Rights Commission's report on features of the increasing authoritarianism - a translation.
A comment on the inquiry into the killings by the military at ... Read More
The lessons and choices for contemporary leaders and nationals - Part 2
One can barter and sacrifice history, heritage and one’s religion like Don Juan Dharmapala , one can strike peace pacts like King Senerath of Kandy did in 1617 which Portuguese broke in 1628 by taking Trinco and Batticaloa (this was the same king who on compassionate grounds resettled Muslim traders whom the Portuguese under Constantino de Sá de Noronha were going to annihilate under orders from the Portuguese King, in the Eastern region of ... Read More
Reconciliation in Sri Lanka - Some significant issues, PART 1
Unless and until anyone can prove that ethnic animosities between the Sinhalese Buddhists and Tamil Hindus had prevailed throughout Sri Lanka’s history there is no compelling need to use uncritically western concepts such as ‘reconciliation’.
Genesis of Reconciliation
The Government and people of Sri Lanka must be warned of embracing ideas that have had origin in western settler countries to meet contingencies that were peculiar to their societies and irrelevant to older countries with rich civilizations ... Read More
'Judgeitis' -- disease of the judges
The Guardian reported on September 11 that Lord Carlisle has argued for an inspectorate of judges which could deal with problems before they lead to complaints. Meanwhile new regulations dealing with complaints against judges come into force at the beginning of next month. The new regulations come on the basis of the Constitutional Reform Act of 2005. The Reform Act gives power to the Lord Chief Justice to make regulations dealing with misconduct by ... Read More
Lanka becomes freedom from torture's top country of origin for referrals
As revealed by our recently published 2012/13 Annual Review, Sri Lanka surged ahead to become the top country of origin for those referred to Freedom from Torture for clinical services in 2012.
Of 1,301 people referred to us for torture rehabilitation and forensic documentation services in 2012, 228 were of Sri Lankan nationality. The vast majority of these were ethnic Tamils and most were referred to us by concerned GPs or solicitors representing them in their ... Read More
TNA separatist Manifesto leaves India betrayed again
There is nothing to be surprised about the TNA manifesto – while it attempts to distance itself from the LTTE it continues to cling on to the one slogan that it can bind the Tamils and that is the dream of a separate Tamil State. That dream appears to be close to reality that it must be sending shockwaves to the Indian establishment who are being told that the 13th amendment is not the solution. ... Read More
How many Tamils think like Arun Thambimuttu
Would anyone imagine that a Tamil would say that Tamils were pinching themselves still because they did not believe that the LTTE could be defeated? Would a Tamil say that Tamils thought that LTTE would be revived months after its demise? Would a Tamil say that Tamils were mostly economic refugees and NGOs were using them to project a wrong picture. Well one gentlemen has come forward to confront the lies and his questions are ... Read More
The debate on multiculturalism, uniculturalism and monoculturalism
Dr Leonard Pinto
We need to define the concepts of multiculturalism, uniculturalism and monoculturalism before entering into a debate on their application, practice and future direction in Sri Lanka. Multiculturalism refers to that trend in the society where the different cultures are made inclusive, tolerated and accommodated, and these trends are institutionalised in legislation to respect other cultures. Canada, Australia and other western countries, where multiculturalism is the national policy, respect religions, ethnicity and cultures of ... Read More
When TNA lives in Colombo and ‘Eelam’ is elsewhere
Let’s explore a very simple question. Exactly how does the TNA propose to give dignity to the Tamils by living away from them? Do they propose to run 'Eelam' by remote control from Colombo? How many trips have the chief ministerial candidate made to Sri Lanka’s North or even East during LTTE reign or even after its demise apart from the recent visits to campaign? Do the TNA even know areas of the North now ... Read More
The need for public engagement and vigilance to ensure free and fair elections
A delegation of the Friday Forum met recently with the Commissioner of Elections Mr Mahinda Deshapriya with a view to initiating a constructive exchange of views on measures taken by him to ensure free and fair provincial elections. Mr. Deshapriya emphasised the responsibilities of the public and the voters in these elections to be vigilant and to make their own contribution to a free and fair electoral process. In light of these discussions and ... Read More
Workers strike to protest
Workers strike to protest against the Moratuwa police for torturing a partially disabled colleague
Last week a shocking story was revealed in the media. On August 21 2013 P. Chandana Thushara Peiris, (32), the father of one child was arrested by the Moratuwa police and severely tortured to force him to confess to having possessed bombs and having committed several other crimes. When the family learned about the arrest they visited him at the Moratuwa Police ... Read More
Focus on civilian policing
by Basil Fernando
Within just a few days of the announcement of the new ministry, the Ministry of Law and Order, a rather unusual level of interest has emerged, judging by the many articles that have appeared in response to the government’s move. Though such quick responses are unusual, they are not surprising. If anyone is asked to point out some of the most pressing issues of public importance, the issue of the civilian police would ... Read More
The Armed Forces are now the police
On July 3rd 2013, President Mahinda Rajapaksha published a gazette that authorized the armed forces to engage in “the maintenance of public order”. Last week, he announced a new ministry under the title “the Ministry of Law and Order”. By these two acts, the Sri Lankan civilian police have been virtually reduced to nothing, and their function – which is to maintain law and order – has now been handed over to the armed forces.
The ... Read More
Civilians murdered by LTTE in Sri Lanka in non-combat areas and during ceasefires
What or who gave the right to terrorists and their movements to plan, execute and eliminate people? What or who gave terrorists rights when they are not signatory or bound by the international laws that prevail? Who gave terrorists any right to declare war on nations and with what right have some even entertained these notions that have obliterated situations beyond repair? What or who gave terrorists right to be placed on par with legitimate ... Read More
Change the Name of the “Law and Order Ministry” to the “Rule of Law” Ministry
By Basil Fernando
There is nothing in a name, of course. A thing cannot be made sweet-smelling or foul-smelling merely by changing its name. However, sometimes a name can indicate a new direction, a new policy. As far as responding to the present state of nationwide unhappiness and frustration on the law enforcement, if there is going to be a change then it does require a new direction and a change of policy. If the idea ... Read More
35 TN fishermen arrested by Lankan Navy
Thirty five Tamil Nadu fishermen were on Monday arrested and four boats seized by Sri Lankan Navy while they were fishing between Talaimannar and Dhanushkodi in the Palk Strait, official sources said.
The Sri Lankan Navy arrested the fishermen for allegedly violating the International Maritime Boundary line, the sources said.
The fishermen had been lodged in an army camp at Talaimannar in Sri Lanka, the sources said.
... Read More
Who in Sri Lanka suffers from a Stockholm syndrome and unrequited post-colonial love?
The Question is – Are we proud of gaining independence, do we regret that we gained independence and most importantly are we working towards giving up our independence? It is in the backdrop of these questions that we cannot pretend that with or without CHOGM the British Government has been leading every rebuttal against Sri Lanka at every opportunity. The bewildering scene is that despite the darts that continuously point towards Sri Lanka, like a ... Read More
New ‘Law and Order Ministry’ is a further step towards militarization
The establishment of a Law and Order Ministry under the President has been announced. The Secretary to this Ministry, according to reports, is Major General (Retired) Nanda Mallawarachchi, a retired military officer. Maj.Gen. Mallawarachichi is a former Chief of Staff of the Sri Lankan Army. He later became the Sri Lankan Ambassador to Indonesia. He reported to have played a major role in kidnapping Kumaran Pathmanathan of the LTTE from a hotel and taking ... Read More
The military should make inquiries from soldiers and not from the people
On August 15 (yesterday) people from Rathupaswela, Weliweriya, were asked to go to the army camps in order to record evidence from them. The people did not want to go to the camps for obvious reasons. Previous reports revealed that the people are afraid that those who are witnesses to the events which led to the killing of three persons and assaults on many others would become targets of reprisals. Some people sought the help ... Read More
The need to introduce studies in Killology
Newspapers have published discussions between the president and the representatives from the Rathupaswela, Weliweriya incident. A possible settlement was mentioned by way of the removal of the factory, Venigross Ltd., a subsidiary of Dipped Products PLC, from its present location. However, the reports do not mention a word about the killings of at least three persons and the injuries caused to many others by the assaults of the soldiers.
Surely the killings of the three persons ... Read More
Contaminated Milk Powder – Why have authorities lied to Sri Lankan consumers?
It was as far back as in early March that the Nation newspaper boldly informed the public of Sri Lanka about hazardous milk powder sneaking into Sri Lankan market. Milk powder containing DCD (Dicyanidiamide – a hazardous agrochemical) produced by New Zealand Dairy Company Fonterra whose flagship brand “Anchor” is popular in Sri Lanka. Is it because Fonterra controls 60% of the milk market that authorities remained mum and waited for China and Russia to ... Read More
Horrible military crimes committed at Rathupaswala?
The horrible military killings at Ratupaswala are nothing but mean and horrible killings. Nothing in the military terminology or strategic manuals could ever justify the horrible acts that happened at Rathupaswala. If there is some decency left in the military establishment in Sri Lanka, the first step that should be taken is to arrest the commanding officers who were in charge of these brutal acts of murder and the assaults committed at Rathupaswala. Nothing less ... Read More
Attempting a “Sri Lankan Spring” through a Civil Coup D’etat
Shenali D Waduge
The tragedy that befell Weliweriya has given early Christmas for those who had been splitting hairs wondering how to serve their sponsors to showcase a state of chaos in Sri Lanka. The usual coterie of anti-Sri Lankan destabilizing operators some of whom are columnists were quick to action writing aggrieved accounts about the incident claiming they could not sleep thinking about the 3 deaths. We wonder how they slept through 3 decades of ... Read More
Minor tyranny to excessive tyranny
Normally, the first casualty of rule by the law approach is the judiciary itself. The transitional provision in the constitution (Article 163) read as follow: “ All the judges of the Supreme Court and High Court established by the administration of justice law no. 44 of 1973 holding office on the day immediately before the commencement of the constitution ceased to hold office. The objective of the provision is the assuring the president could control ... Read More
Ban Beef: Start with the Parliament Canteen
Shenali D Waduge
The National Pride of the Sinhala Buddhists and Tamil Hindus which comprise more than 85% of Sri Lanka’s population has been badly hurt by the decision of the Parliament to blatantly ignore the Buddhist-Hindu sensitivities to the serving of Beef but re-introduce the ban on Pork in its canteen, at the request of the minority Muslim members of Parliament representing 9% of the country’s population. Why has Parliament ignored the sensitivities of over ... Read More
The Convocation of the Second Batch of Students of the Centre for Holistic Healing (CHH)
The Centre for Holistic Healing (CHH), the Psychosocial and Counseling Department of the Jaffna Diocese had the Diploma awarding ceremony of the second batch of students on the 25th of April 2013 afternoon during the sessions of the Diocesan Council. It has been a great day of achievement for the nineteen students from the Medical faculty of Jaffna University and B.Sc Nursing students who underwent one year counseling training during the weekends for the ... Read More
The day when the rule of law system collapsed
What happened on July 23, 1983 was not the event of a single day in history. The impact of that day lives on and with each passing year the situation of the rule of law in the country has become worse.
The 1978 Constitution was quite incompatible with the rule of law and democracy. Since then there have been several events which challenged the law as well as the traditions that had prevailed up until ... Read More
"Stop Prosecution of De Jure CJ" – Lawyers tell Government
It is reliably learnt that the government is in the process of instituting criminal prosecution against the CJ, Shirani Bandaranayake shortly. The recommencement of the hate campaign against her in the state media is an indication of this intended action. The state media is known to be operating in close collaboration with all law enforcement agencies in the country. We have witnessed such behaviour of the state media in similar cases where the ... Read More
Rape and other crimes against women on the increase
Every ninety minutes a woman is raped in Sri Lanka, said Women for Rights at a press conference held in Colombo on July 14. The organisation further said that Sri Lanka is 5th on a list regarding domestic violence. Crimes causing violence relating to women and children is on the rise. In Sri Lanka the citizens live in an environment that has no respect for women and it is estimated that 95\% of women using ... Read More
3,000 Sri Lankan workers return after Saudi amnesty
Colombo: Over 3,000 Sri Lankan migrant workers having expired visas returned home under a special amnesty granted by the Saudi Arabian government, an official statement here said Wednesday.
These workers were the first to return, and more are expected to come back later, reported Xinhua citing Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) in the statement.
The overstaying Sri Lankans, during amnesty period, were asked to report to the Saudi Immigration and Emigration Department to obtain a ... Read More
Sri Lanka to hold polls in ex-war zone for first time in 25 years
(Reuters) - Sri Lanka will hold provincial elections in the former northern war zone in September for the first time in 25 years, officials said on Friday, a move long demanded by the United Nations since the end of three decades of conflict in 2009.
But Northern Province, which includes the Jaffna peninsula, has been under military control since the end of the war and the government had resisted requests by the West to pull out ... Read More
13a Decision Time and the Emperors without Clothes
Is it not strange that ALL the protagonists now coming forward to argue that the 13th amendment should continue to prevail alongside the provincial council system are ALL those who openly propagated the notion of “unwinnable war” and the federal option pushed by Western liberalists to devolve powers virtually equating to carving out a separate state no different to Sudan. We knew who those “unwinnable war” peddlers were and we now know that they are ... Read More
Police beat a man’s testicles with a wooden mallet
"The next day at 9 am the same three police officers took him back to the Crime Branch and told him to sign a document which was already prepared. He signed it due to fear of further ill-treatment but affirms that he had no knowledge of the contents of the document. The officers then took him to a bathroom at the rear of the police compound where was stripped naked. He was then made to ... Read More
Why Sri Lanka’s Government should not give Land and Police powers to PCs
Let’s get some facts straightened out. The 13th amendment to Sri Lanka’s Constitution alongside the Provincial Council system were all offshoots of the 1987 Indo-Lanka Peace Accord which Sri Lanka had to sign under duress or face Indian invasion. Thus, neither the Accord, the 13th amendment or the PC system were anything the Sri Lankan people asked for and every letter in the documents were drafted in Delhi – the people have said and continue ... Read More
Tamil Tiger fronts operate in Germany: Sri Lanka
By IANS - COLOMBO
The Tamil Tiger rebel front organisations are still operating in Germany under the guise of community organisations, the Sri Lankan external affairs ministry claimed Monday.
External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris, during a discussion he had in Berlin with the German Minister of Foreign Affairs Guido Westerwelle, said that according to information available to Sri Lankan authorities, there are a substantial number of schools operating in Germany by these groups for propaganda and ... Read More
Buddhists are victims of Hate Speech and Media Manipulation in Sri Lanka
They say you cannot fool the people all of the time and the recent announcement by a Minister who thinks he is doing a favor to those he closely associates with is like a blessing in disguise for the real victims of hate speech and the likelihood that it is going to boomerang on the very authors of the proposed hate speech legislation is something they have not yet taken into consideration. Almost 50 years ... Read More
Judge caught while taking a bribe
AHRC-STM-101-2013-2.jpg The District Court Judge of Homagama, Sunil Abeysinghe and his guard Constable were arrested yesterday (May 30, 2013) allegedly while receiving a bribe of Rs. 300,000/= in order to return a favourable judgement to the bribe giver.
AHRC-STM-101-2013-1.jpg Immediately after the illegal removal of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayke and the appointment of Mohan Peiris as the CJ, one of the earliest steps taken was the reinstatement of Aravinda Perera who was suspended from service by ... Read More
Attacks on Sri Lankan Human Rights Defenders through the Independent Television Network (ITN)
State media (newspaper, TV and radio) in Sri Lanka has been used often to attack Human Rights Defenders HRDs in Sri Lanka in the last few years. The ITN had started a fresh round of attacks in May this year. Those targeted have included prominent heads of NGOs, lawyers, journalists, clergy, academics and activists in exile, the leader of the main opposition party, the United National Party (UNP), other MPs of the party and smaller ... Read More
Undoing constitutional tomfoolery
That the United National Party (UNP) has published a few ideas on the changes to the constitution they would bring about if they come to power is an indication that a serious critique that has been made about the 1978 Constitution can no longer be ignored. As it is good to have even an inadequate debate on vital issues rather than nothing at all, it would be better not to ignore the UNP proposals ... Read More
Ministry of External Affairs EXCLUDES Buddhist Organizations from meeting Thai PM?
The Prime Minister of Thailand arrives in Sri Lanka on May 31, 2013 to mark the anniversary of a highly significant Buddhist event. Her arrival is to promote Buddhism and commemorate the Buddhist links between the two nations. Given the nature of her visit it is questionable why the Minister and Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs have excluded ALL the renowned Buddhist Organizations most of whom have direct links with Thailand and who ... Read More
Daily Mirror Editor asks Communities to unite in support of Ban on Cattle Slaughter
In an age when editorials are irrelevant as information is electronically available within seconds of events happening, the role of editors need to transform into one of championing causes, bringing people together and not dividing them and working towards the integrity and sovereignty of the nation. The Daily Mirror Editor has led the way by its 30th May editorial calling for all communities in Sri Lanka to unite in solidarity against cattle slaughter. It is ... Read More
The 2nd issue of the Sinhala E-publication Srilankawe Manawa Himikam
The Asian Human Rights Commission is pleased to announce the publication of the 2nd issue of Srilankavae Manawa Himikam (Human Rights in Sri Lanka).
This issue includes articles on the Vesak celebrations, the mass grave at Matale, a comment on the advice of the Chief Justice to the lawyers to settle cases outside of court with the relevant public authorities, the issue of police submission to the rich and the powerful, the death of the 7-year-old ... Read More
My Esteem for the Buddha
An open letter at Wesak to my Buddhist Sisters and Brothers
My good friend, the Ven. Bellanwila Wimalarathana wrote a letter to Christians on his understanding of Christ at Christmas last year. This has prompted me to reciprocate with this letter to you at Wesak.
A seekers vision
I write in my personal capacity as a disciple of Christ, a student of Buddhism and one who perceives the universal wisdom and values in world religions as gifts ... Read More
Gota-Sambanthan and why Nationalists say NO to the 13th amendment
If ever the nation of Sri Lanka stood united wherein all factions of society whatever their opposing views came together to say NO – that was when India forced Sri Lanka’s then President J R Jayawardena to sign the Indo-Lanka Accord on 29 July 1987 threatening to invade Sri Lanka if it did not do so. The SLFP, key members of the UNP, the nationalists, the JVP and even Prabakaran opposed it so much so ... Read More
Serious doubts on the inquiries into the mass graves at Matale: Asian Human Rights Commission
Serious doubts have emerged regarding the future investigations into the mass grave at Matale where the remains of 156 persons have been found. In today's press it was reported that the Judicial Medical Officer in charge of the investigation has been transferred (JMO in charge of Matale mass grave also to be transferred -- Sri Lanka Mirror, May 20, 2013). Furthermore, it is also reported that the magistrate conducting the inquiries is also to be ... Read More
Britain and Sri Lanka compared in accountability
We certainly agree that everybody have to be accountable for their actions. But, we chose to pass on following Britain’s example of “accountability” when its own investigation into a massacre that took place in 1972 underwent 2 British inquiries and lasted 38 years for families of the slain to finally be told that it was the British troops that fired upon the unarmed civilian protestors 7 of whom were teenagers in Londonderry on January 30th ... Read More
Concern over appointment of commission regarding the mass grave in Matale
The standing committee of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) on Rule of Law at its meeting on 10th May decided to express its concern on the appointment of a commission regarding the unearthing of the mass grave in Matale, when in fact what is necessary is to proceed under the normal Law of the Country. Commissions of inquiry has throughout our history has been a modus adapted to sweep an issue ... Read More
An Appeal by Sri Lankan Buddhists to Thailand PM
Buddhist Sri Lanka warmly welcomes the arrival of the Prime Minister of Thailand Ms. Yingluck Shinawatra during this Wesak month. The arrival of the Thai Premier will serve to strengthen the pristine links of Theravada Buddhism to which Thailand, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Buddhist communities in several other nations of the world belong. Before Ms. Shinawatra illuminates the Sri Lankan Parliament with her presence to deliver her message to Sri Lanka, we wish ... Read More
Sri Lanka army to reduce presence in northern Jaffna
The Sri Lanka army has said that it would reduce the number of military camps in the former rebel stronghold of northern Jaffna and hand over lands back to their original owners.
“We will reduce the existing 17 military camps in Jaffna to just three,” Army chief Lt Gen Jagath Jayasuriya said.
The fourteen camps pulled out from different parts of Jaffna would be relocated in the main Palaly cantonment, he said on Tuesday.
Lands on which the ... Read More
The caste base of our cultural roots
Reconciliation has not been treated as an attractive word in Sri Lanka. The government's view is that forgetting is the best course available. It argues that reconciliation attempts could reopen the wounds and will do more harm than good. Officially therefore, the government policy is to encourage forgetting.
This policy does not come under serous criticism from the intellectuals and the opinion makers in Sri Lanka. A few have complained about this policy. However, their ... Read More
A Slippery Slope
Some call it the land of murder; it is also known as the land of rape; the land of robbery; the land of corruption; the land of criminals and the land of liars! It must be asked if our country has lost its identity with the positive values in life and in doing so has thus lost its connection with its soul and therefore its identity. The answer is simple, yes. We have ... Read More
A Youtube presentation of Sumanthiran MP's speech on Rizana Nafeek and the PTA
The Sri Lankan parliament debated a motion of no confidence on Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion Dilan Perera for his failure to prevent the execution of Rizana Nafeek, who was executed by Saudi authorities. This execution has led to serious criticisms in Sri Lanka and abroad. The United National Party (UNP) presented the no confidence motion, which was debated in parliament.
During the debate, MA Sumanthiran MP, who raised several serious issues, including the misuse to ... Read More
Release Azath Salley
CRM calls for even-handed action under the normal law -- (CRM ref. E01/05/2013)
Azath Salley's detention under the Prevention of Terrorism Act should be revoked and he should be released immediately. If there are indeed serious allegations of his inciting religious hostility that merit investigation, such investigation, and any consequent action, should take place under the normal law. It should also be part of a wider law-enforcement exercise against all such offenders, irrespective of ethnic, religious ... Read More
Civil Society Condemn the Unlawful Arrest and Detention of Azath Salley
(The original article may be seen at: http://www.lankaenews.com/English/news.php?id=13674)
(Lanka-e-News-07.May.2013, 2.30PM) We the undersigned, vehemently condemn the arrest and detention of Former Deputy Mayor and General Secretary of the National Unity Alliance (NUA), Azath Salley, by a team of officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the Terrorism Investigation Department (TID), on Thursday, 2 May 2013 morning, and call for his immediate release in the absence of any demonstrable evidence.
Mr. Salley was arrested under the draconian ... Read More
On your knees ladies and gentlemen, on your knees!
Suggesting perhaps that the creative imagination of the cartoonist is catching up with the reality of Sri Lanka the Daily Mirror yesterday carried this cartoon as an illustration for its editorial entitled, A case for best legal brains .
AHRC-ART-049-2013-1.jpg The cartoonist created this cartoon in reaction to a photograph which also appeared in the Daily Mirror in which a police officer saluted the controversial UPFA parliamentarian, Duminda Silva.
The cartoonist has extended his imagination ... Read More
The absence of political will to eliminate thuggery
For a law enforcement agency the elimination of thuggery is one of the simplest things to do. For thugs are cowards and they crawl and beg for mercy whenever they find that there is a strong enough will on the part of the law enforcement agencies and the courts to deal with crime. Anybody who has been to a High Court where serious crimes are tried will have plenty of stories to tell as ... Read More
Whose remains are in the mass grave at Matale
The publically known facts about the mass grave at Matale is that the remains of 154 persons were discovered in this grave, that the remains show injuries which indicate that they were all murdered and that most likely they were assassinated sometime between 1986 and 1991.
However, the key question is as to whose remains these are. Identifying the exact names of those whose remains are inside this mass grave is of importance, not only for ... Read More
Mannar Bishop denies 'separation' seeks 'viable political solution'
Sunday, 21 April 2013 02:24
Bishop of Mannar, Most Rev. Dr. Rayappu Joseph said he never stood for the separation of the country nor rejected any viable political solution to the national question. The Bishop made this statement in response to the lead story published in The Nation last week titled "Mannar Bishop, TNA Resurrect LTTE's ISGA Demand".
Following is the full text of his response.
My attention has been drawn to the news headline captioned "Mannar Bishop, ... Read More
Bangladesh to back Sri Lanka on human rights issue
By IANS - COLOMBO
Bangladesh Tuesday said it will back Sri Lanka on the human rights issue, the Sri Lankan President's Office said, reported Xinhua.
Visiting Bangladeshi Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque gave the assurance when he met President Mahinda Rajapaksa here.
During the meeting, Haque reassured the support of Bangladesh to Sri Lanka in the international fora, the President's Office said.
"We stand by our Sri Lankan brothers on the issue of human rights. It's an internal matter, and ... Read More
Ushering in a new era of purified judiciary?
President Mahinda Rajapaksa was recently quoted as saying that he will take stern action to see that the judiciary will remain 'pure'. This statement raises many questions.
The test of a good judiciary is its ability to act independently. Here, 'independent' means the absence of dependence on the executive. The judiciary must be able to take any action when the law requires it to do against any executive agency including the executive president himself. Quite ... Read More
Resolution on the rule of law and judicial independence in Sri Lanka
REFERRING to the Statements we have previously issued expressing our grave concern about the flawed impeachment process by which Chief Justice Bandaranayake was removed from the office of Chief Justice in defiance of the judgements of the highest courts in Sri Lanka
REFERRING also to the statements of concern issued by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers;
the Commonwealth (Latimer House) Principles on the proper relationship between the Executive, the Legislature and ... Read More
Sri Lankan IPL officer under police radar following complaint
CHENNAI: Cyber crime wing sleuths in Chennai have registered a case based on a complaint from a lawyer that a Sri Lankan security officer of IPL has been acting as a spy.
Advocate Pugazhenthi said in his petition that Chandala, a Sri Lankan national, has been assigned as a security officer for IPL matches. According to the lawyer, Chandala has been spying on Tamil activists agitating against the Sri Lankan government which is accused of ... Read More
Sri Lanka blames India for protracted war
By IANS - COLOMBO
Sri Lanka Wednesday blamed India for the Tamil separatist war which dragged for 30 years on the island.
The information department quoted Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa as telling the local media that India could never absolve itself of the responsibility for creating terrorism in Sri Lanka.
India's former permanent representative to the UN, Hardeep Singh Puri, called for an investigation into specific allegations of war crimes during the last 100 days of military operations ... Read More
Inter-religious integration—Inclusion not intrusion
A Reflection by Bishop Duleep de Chickera
Over the past months Sri Lankans have been educated on two Arabic words: halal and haram (that which is permissible and not permissible). Unfortunately the circumstances of learning have been an unprecedented antagonism towards the Muslim community much deeper than the halal issue. This trend must be addressed without delay by the government and all religions before it spirals into a much wider conflict, which the country can ill ... Read More
Conflict will return if reconciliation is not addressed: US tells Sri Lanka
History has shown that societies that do not adequately address reconciliation and accountability usually return to a conflict situation at some point down the road. Reconciliation and accountability should be viewed as being essential to ensuring a peaceful and prosperous future for the country, U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Michele J. Sison said on Monday.
Calls for reconciliation and accountability should not be seen simply as exhortations by the international community, she said addressing the ... Read More
Recognising ourselves as our worst enemies
Kishali Pinto Jayawardena
With a foreign policy in tatters, the judiciary and the legal system in deep crisis and the state of the economy looking more perilous with each monumentally wasteful government extravaganza, the seasonal call of the koha heralding the Sinhala and Tamil New Year sounds more eerily mocking than musical.
Racist extremism has no boundaries
On the domestic front, a superficial bubble of post war development waits in suspense as it were, to be pricked ... Read More
A new Sinhala monthly publication - Sri Lankave Manave Himicam
We are glad to share with you the first issue of Sri Lankave Manave Himicam which is a monthly publication of the Asian Human Rights Commission in Sinhala.
This issue covers many current issues relating to human rights in Sri Lanka such as the resolution before the United Nations for Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka and the opportunities that this resolution opens up for resolving some of the troubling problems in the country, the mass ... Read More
Oh Attorney General...
It means (Oh Attorney General, Oh Attorney General, the Thugs are raping our daughters and people wonder what they could do... )
Yes, Mr. Attorney General millions of poor and innocent people are looking to you to prevent the rape of women and abuse of children and they hope you would walk the talk or put your words into immediate and effective action.
While welcoming this new move, it is necessary to ask how many such crimes ... Read More
Core values 'Ko' -- where are the core values?
The International Bar Association in the executive summary of their report entitled, 'A Crisis of Legitimacy' issued in March 2013 makes the following recommendation to the Commonwealth:
The Commonwealth should assess the seriousness with which the Sri Lankan authorities take these Recommendations, monitor the urgency with which they are acted upon, and consider with great care:
(i) Whether they are respecting its core values and principles, including the respect for separation of powers, ... Read More
Administrative liquidation and the independence of the judiciary
In a very recent order from the Supreme Court of India the court, among other things, stated as follows:
For this Court, the life of a policeman or a member of the security forces is no less precious and valuable than any other person. The lives lost in the fight against terrorism and insurgency are indeed the most grievous loss. But to the State it is not open to cite the numbers of policemen and ... Read More
For Sri Lanka, More Empty Words
By SAMANTH SUBRAMANIAN
March 21, 2013
A YEAR ago, when I was living in Colombo, Sri Lanka, I arranged to meet a friend for lunch, to talk about a Sri Lankan journalist who had gone missing and was presumed dead. By the time we met, my friend had a new mission: to keep another Sri Lankan safe.
The previous day, the United Nations Human Rights Council had passed aresolution “noting with concern” the Sri Lankan government’s refusal to ... Read More
By CHERYL STRAYED
Sonali Deraniyagala’s extraordinary memoir, “Wave,” opens on the morning of Dec. 26, 2004, as the author putters around a Sri Lankan beach-side hotel with her family. By chapter’s end she’s pantless, half-drowned, bleeding, bruised and numbly resistant to what she’ll soon be forced to know: The five people she loves most in the world are dead. Her two young sons. Her husband. Her parents. All of them killed by a force she can’t ... Read More
Tamil Nadu for referendum in Sri Lanka
Chennai, March 27 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa Wednesday introduced a resolution in the assembly calling for a referendum to carve out a Tamil Eelam state in Sri Lanka.
Pushing the resolution in the house, the chief minister said Tamils living in Sri Lanka as well as Tamils of Sri Lankan origin living in other countries should take part in the referendum.
"India should stop calling Sri Lanka a friendly nation," she said.
"There should be ... Read More
A bad, sad, mad world
By Nilantha Ilangamuwa
"When a dog howls at the moon, we call it religion. When he barks at strangers, we call it patriotism."
-- Edward Abbey
Another howler has emerged from Sri Lanka. And, neither laughing nor crying will make any difference. In reply to the recent attack on Buddhist monks in Tamil Nadu, by politically motivated extremists, has proved once again the range of the howls by those holding unquestionable power and enjoying all the ... Read More
The UN report on human rights violations
The latest report of the Office of the United Nations Human Rights Council
The annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General to the Human Rights Council has been issued on February 11, 2013.
Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on advice and technical assistance for the Government of Sri Lanka on promoting ... Read More
The Recent Suppression of Tamil Voice at Vavuniya
A group of hundreds of relatives of the disappeared from Mannar and Vavuniya were to arrive on the 5th night in Colombo by buses to share with the people in the South their pathetic stories about the disappearances of their loved ones during and after the war, and then to present a petition to the UN to request its intervention to trace them.
But, when they were about to leave that night the police and ... Read More
Letter to the UNHRC in support of North and East Christian Clergy.
Dear Sir / Madam,
We the undersigned individuals and groups vehemently support and endorse the views and demands, contained in the letter sent on 18th Feb. 2013 by 133 Christian Clergy in North and East Sri Lanka, to the President and members of the UN Human Rights Council.
It is our view that lives of thousands of innocent people in the last stages of the war were lost not due to any lack of information but ... Read More
The killing of children and Sri Lanka's bloody legacies
The mass grave in Matale uncovered late last year and the ongoing demands for independent and credible investigations into the fate of disappeared persons during the last days of the fighting between government forces and the LTTE in 2009 have at their core, the common element of impunity and a common cry for justice.
Pitiful legacies of future generations
So when pictures circulate of the late LTTE leader's twelve year old son looking apprehensively at his ... Read More
Karunanidhi urges Centre to back US resolution against Sri Lanka
By IANS - CHENNAI
DMK president M. Karunanidhi Wednesday urged the central government to announce that it would support the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka in the UN Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
In a letter to party cadres referring to the general strike called by Tamil Eelam Supporter's Organisation (TESO) March 12, Karunanidhi said: "The central government without further delay should come forward in support of the US resolution and it should immediately announce its decision ... Read More
Janata Party president Swamy meets Rajapaksa
Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy met Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa here and discussed issues of mutual interest.
The meeting took place yesterday at Rajapaksa's official residence, the Temple Trees in Colombo.
Swamy's meeting with Rajapaksa comes amidst the ongoing protests launch in various forms by certain pro-LTTE elements in India against the Sri Lankan government.
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and the Secretarty to the Ministry of External Affairs Karunatilaka Amunugama were also present on the occasion.
... Read More
Sri Lankan navy attacks Tamil Nadu fishermen
Rameswaram: A group of fishermen from Tamil Nadu were on Tuesday allegedly attacked by Sri Lankan naval men while they were fishing near Katchatheevu, fisheries department officials said.
The fishermen from this coastal area had ventured for fishing in 20 boats, officials said, adding, the Lankan naval men allegedly attacked them with ropes and steel pipes causing extensive damage to their fishing nets and communication equipment.
The officials, quoting a boat-owner, said they reportedly even stuffed sugar ... Read More
Karunanidhi objects to Lankan minister's statement
Minister Douglas Devananda's statement warning of a protest "seem to be a planned strategy by Sri Lanka to divert off attention from the tyrannies of the Rajapaksa government which are slowly coming to light...," DMK chief M Karunandihi said. (File/PTI)
Objecting to a Sri Lankan Minister's announcement that Lankan fishermen would rally against their Indian counterparts, DMK chief M Karunandihi today described it as a "planned strategy" by Colombo to divert off attention from the ... Read More
Sri Lanka has to embrace devolution, India insists
New Delhi, Feb 27 (IANS) India made it clear Wednesday that Sri Lanka will have to devolve more powers to its provinces so as to empower the Tamil minority.
Speaking at the end of a charged debate on "war crimes" in Sri Lanka, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, however, declined to reveal how India will vote next month at the UN meet on human rights in Geneva.
While reiterating that India wanted a united Sri Lanka, Khurshid ... Read More
Why action lacking? Asian Human Rights Group asks.
The absence of action regarding complaints of torture and ill-treatment
1. The ALRC and its sister organisation the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has submitted to the government of Sri Lanka in 2012 a total of 46 complaints relating to torture and ill-treatment. All these cases related to serious assaults on persons after arrest and during the period of detention at police stations. The victims in these cases and the date of the incidents are listed ... Read More
The debasement of politics after the 1953 Hartal
For the purpose of this article I would describe positive or genuine politics as the attempt of political parties and others involved in politics trying to improve the material conditions of lives of the citizens. By material conditions I mean food, which also would imply employment, shelter which would imply conditions of housing, and sanitation, and clothing, those necessities to allow the people to engage in social life with dignity. To this may be ... Read More
Mass grave called a 'crime site'
Human remains in central Matale district is "the scene of a crime", a forensic medical officer has told Al Jazeera.
The remains of more than 150 people have been excavated in the town of Matale in central Sri Lanka.
The skeletal remains were discovered late last year by workers building a facility at a hospital in Matale.
Dr Ajith Jayasena, Matale hospital's judicial medical officer in charge of the investigation, told Al Jazeera that the site "is a ... Read More
Some 2,000 Christians join days of lamentation to mark nation’s independence
Organised by the Anglican Church, the peaceful protest underscores ethnic discrimination in the country. Religious leader calls on Christians to speak out against violations.
Peacefull protestSri Lanka, February 05, 2013: Dressed in white, more than 2,000 Christians on Monday took part in two days of lamentation, an event organised by the (Anglican) Church of Ceylon to coincide with the country’s 65thIndependence Day. The goal of the alternative celebration was to reflect on the situation of the ... Read More
Rajapaksa prays at Tirupati, returns to Colombo
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa returned to Colombo Saturday after praying at the Lord Venkateswara Temple at Tirupati.
A few hours after praying at the temple, Rajapaksa, his family and members of the Sri Lankan delegation flew to Colombo amid tight security. His
two-day visit had been marred by protests by Tamil groups who denounced the President for not granting autonomy to Tamil areas and for human rights violations.
Rajapaksa, his wife Shiranthi and other family members had ... Read More
Proper inquiries needed into the remains of about 200 bodies found
The question of enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka has been a matter of concern for so many years now. The particular issue that the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) wishes to highlight in this statement is the finding of the remains of around 200 bodies at Matale which is under investigation by the Sri Lankan authorities. According to forensic experts who have so far done the preliminary work the remains of the bodies indicate injuries ... Read More
True independence -- a YouTube presentation
The YouTube presentation may be found here: http://youtu.be/kyrXq1Jgy08
The Asian Human Rights Commission has issued a short video presentation on the 65th Anniversary of Sri Lankan independence.
Except for a government celebration Independence Day of 2013 did not attract much attention. This is not accidental. The people are seeing very little positive results of the post independence political performance of many of the governments.
The 1978 Constitution in particular has brought about an institutional paralysis which is causing ... Read More
The murder of a chief monk and execution-style killings
The chief monk of Sunandonanda of Egodauyana, Moratuwa was assassinated by a group of persons on the evening of February 4. According to reports there had been a prolonged dispute over a piece of land that the chief monk claimed he had the title for where a number of families had erected their huts. They claimed to have been living there since the Tsunami of December, 2004.
Complaints relating to the dispute had been lodged ... Read More
No action regarding the complaint of rape against the chief monk of Shanti Viharaya, Kalaniya
The Asian Human Rights Commission has written to the Inspector General of Police with regard to the inaction of the Sri Lankan police to arrest a suspected rapist and to urge him to take action in this matter.
Mr. N.K. Illangakoon
Inspector General of Police
Government of Sri Lanka
Police Head Quarters
Re: No action regarding the complaint of rape against the chief monk of Shanti Viharaya, Kalaniya
I refer to my letter dated February 1, 2013 regarding ... Read More
Sri Lanka blocks entry of jurists
By IANS - NEW DELHI
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, center, swears in new Chief Justice Mohan Peiris, right, a retired attorney general and a legal adviser to the Cabinet on January 15. (AP)
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, center, swears in new Chief Justice Mohan Peiris, right, a retired attorney general and a legal adviser to the Cabinet on January 15. (AP)
The International Bar Association has expressed concern over the postponement of its Human Rights Institute ... Read More
Seeking financial aid to save 22-year-old Mr. Wengadasalam Sudeshkar from execution in Qatar
Earlier, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) informed the public in Sri Lanka and abroad about the possibility of yet another person being beheaded in the Middle East like the earlier incident of Ms. Rizana Nafeek. Mr. Wengadasalam Sudeshkar was sentenced to death on December 31, 2012. At the time of the incident that caused an unintentional death, for which Sudeshkar was tried, he was 20 years and six months of age.
After negotiations held ... Read More
Some Reflections on the Outdated Notion of Parliamentary Supremacy
Dr. Jayantha de A. Guneratne, President’s Counsel
During the recent controversies on the impeachment of the Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, the view has been taken quite strongly by parliamentarians of both the government and the opposition that the orders of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal (S.C.Reference No. 312012/C.A.(Writ) Application No.35812012, 01.01.2013, 07. 01. 2003) issued against the proceedings of the Parliamentary Select Committee which inquired into the impeachment, is an affront to ... Read More
Human Rights seeks to prevent another beheading
An appeal to the President to intervene so as to prevent another beheading - the case of Mr. Wengadasalam Sudeshkar who faces the death sentence in Qatar
We reproduce below the letter written to His Excellency the President of Sri Lanka, the Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa regarding the case of Mr. Wengadasalam Sudeshkar who faces the death sentence by beheading in Doha, Qatar.
The AHRC urges its readers to write to the President of Sri Lanka at the ... Read More
Sri Lanka army wants local rules for civil war
Sri Lanka’s military on Thursday asked the government to introduce its own rules to deal with civil wars, saying existing international humanitarian laws cover only state actors and not terrorist organizations.
The country’s armed forces face numerous human rights allegations for their conduct during a decades-long civil war with separatist Tamil Tiger rebels that ended in 2009.
The suggestion is part of the military’s response to a call to implement a war commission report that suggests investigating ... Read More
Open letter concerning the removal of the Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake
High Excellency President Mahinda Rajapakse
Honorable Speaker of the Parliament Chamal Rajapakse
Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte
January 23, 2013
Concerning the removal of Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake
The International Commission of Jurists and the undersigned senior judges and eminent jurists from around the world condemn the recent removal of Chief Justice and urge you to act immediately to restore the independence of the judiciary by reinstating the legal Chief Justice, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake. We are gravely concerned that ... Read More
India to boost English training infrastructure in Sri Lanka
Colombo: India will help set up a three-tier English training system in Sri Lanka to boost English language training infrastructure in the island nation. The Indian government will provide appropriate equipment and teaching aids for setting up a language laboratory of 30 computer units in each of the nine provinces of Sri Lanka, according to an Indian High Commission statement on Friday.
The project, besides enhancing the English Language training infrastructure in Sri Lanka, will help ... Read More
Appointment of new Chief Justice undermines Rule of Law
The appointment of former Attorney General Mohan Peiris as Sri Lanka's new Chief Justice raises serious concerns about the future of the Rule of Law and accountability in the country, the ICJ said today (January 15).
Mohan Peiris has served in a variety of high-level legal posts in the past decade, always playing a key role in defending the conduct of the Sri Lankan government.
He served as Sri Lanka's Attorney-General from 2009 to 2011. Since then ... Read More
The president's choice for Chief Justice is no respecter of the law
This morning, according to reports, the main gates leading to the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka remained closed and heavily guarded in order to prevent the Chief Justice, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake from entering in order to continue to function as the legitimate holder of the post of Chief Justice. She has rejected the ouster by the president as illegal. Her view is supported by the judgement of the Court of Appeal delivered last week on ... Read More
Unleashing a period of terror again?
With the law, the legal institutions and the courts diminishing in value secret agencies are surfacing quite openly once again. The presence of the military and the police the night before Mohan Peiris was sworn in as chief justice and also during the day itself and the ferocious manner in which the Chief Justice, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, was escorted out of her official residence are images that were designed to terrorise the lawyers and citizens ... Read More
Joint statement on the removal of the Chief Justice
We note with grave concern that the Sri Lankan Parliament has decided to remove the Chief Justice of the country through a Parliamentary Select Committee, in contravention of a Constitutional determination by the Sri Lankan Supreme Court. The Court had determined that such a decision could only have been constitutionally taken through an Act of Parliament and not through a Standing order.
This drastic move by the legislature began after the Supreme Court found a controversial ... Read More
CJ Shirani Bandaranayake's statement
I am the 43rd Chief Justice of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. As the Chief Justice, I have an obligation and an unwavering duty towards the judges, lawyers and the citizens at large of my country.
I stand here before you today having been unjustly persecuted, vilified and condemned. The treatment meted out to me in the past few weeks, was an ordeal no citizen let alone the Chief Justice of the Republic ... Read More
We salute the Chief Justice for her courage
H.E President Mahinda Rajapaksa's purported letter of removal has been received by the Chief Justice. The Lawyers Collective states that this removal affects the very foundation of independence of the Judiciary, the Rule of Law and all basic norms of a working democracy. The politically motivated process of removal of the Chief Justice was nothing but a misuse and abuse of Constitutional provisions and Standing Orders.
The Executive and Legislature deliberately ignored the constitutional interpretation by ... Read More
UN expressed deep dismay on the execution of Rizana Nafeek
We express our deep dismay at the execution of a young Sri Lankan woman in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.
Rizana Nafeek, who arrived in Saudi Arabia from Sri Lanka to work as a housemaid in 2005, was charged with the murder of her employers' baby a week after her arrival.
Despite a birth certificate that allegedly showed she was a minor at the time of the baby's death and repeated expressions of concern from the international community, ... Read More
Saudis execute Sri Lankan woman
Rizana Nafeek executed - President Mr. Rajapaksha bears full responsibility for this death
According to reports received, the Government of Saudi Arabia has executed Ms. Rizana Nafeek (1988 - 9 January 2013) today. The embassy of Sri Lanka in Riyadh has confirmed this report.
AHRC-STM-011-2013.JPG Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) wishes to categorically state, that the singular responsibility for this innocent young Sri Lankan woman's death is upon the President of Sri Lanka, Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksha. ... Read More
The debate shifts from impeachment to the future of the rule of law
The Supreme Court in its decision made on January 1, 2013 finally put the debate on the issue of the impeachment of the Chief Justice to rest by providing the following answer to the question referred to it by the Court of Appeal.
In view of the reasons we have set out above we answer the question referred to us, as set out at the beginning of this Order, as follows.
"It is mandatory under Article 107(3) ... Read More
The fourth anniversary of the death of the journalist and editor Lasantha Wickrematunge
Today, January 8, is the fourth anniversary of the assassination of Lasantha Wickrematunge. Lasantha Wickrematunge was one of the best known journalists and the editor of the Sunday Leader, a newspaper critical of the government. Despite the enormous publicity generated by this broad daylight assassination both locally and internationally, the government has refused to conduct any credible investigation into this murder.
The belief in political circles as well as those who were close to Lasantha is ... Read More
The judiciary refuses to be 'tamed and vanquished'
Predictably, Government propaganda hitmen wasted little time in rushing to condemn the Supreme Court's most extraordinary and exceptional Determination this week that the parliamentary impeachment of a superior court judge has to be determined by law and not by Standing Orders. The level to which this Government has deteriorated was amply seen by the fact that while party seniors preferred to remain quiet, with one or two even cautioning that the time has come to ... Read More
SAUDI ARABIA/SRI LANKA: The imminent danger of the execution of Rizana Nafeek
According to the news received from Saudi Arabia Rizana Nafeek, who has been the Dawadami Prison since 2005 may be executed at any moment. This was revealed to the BBC Sinhala Service by Dr. Kifaya Iftekhar, who is based in Saudi Arabia and who has been looking after the interests of Rizana for several years now. Dr. Iftekhar also said that the Sri Lankan government has been informed by the Saudi authorities of the possibility ... Read More
The last five days of Sri Lanka’s democracy
AHRC declares a week of concern for threats against the independence of the judiciary in Sri Lanka
The Asian Human Rights Commission alerts all concerned persons in and outside of Sri Lanka to the possibility that a five days from now there may not be a judiciary that can exercise judicial power with independence in Sri Lanka. In all likelihood, the judiciary will be brought under the direct control of the Executive President, in the same ... Read More
The Beginning of Sri Lanka’s Year Zero
On the 8th of January, the President of Sri Lanka will address a proposal to parliament to remove the incumbent Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, based on a report by a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC). The entire PSC process has been declared unconstitutional and null and void by the Supreme Court of the country. For two days, the illegal proposal will be debated in the parliament and on the 11th it will be put to a ... Read More
Bar Association to strike for two days
The Bar Association of Sri Lanka strongly, unequivocally and with no reservations whatsoever condemns the decision to take up for debate the impeachment motion against her Ladyship the Chief Justice Dr. Shirani A. Bandaranayake based on the findings of the Parliamentary Select Committee which was quashed by the Court of Appeal and determined to be unlawful by the Supreme Court. The Bar Association has decided to call for all its members (in 78 Branch Associations) ... Read More
Acting contrary to the greater good of Sri Lanka
This week, newspaper reports quoted Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary and President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s brother accusing foreign elements of ‘using the judiciary to destabilise Sri Lanka’ (Daily Mirror, December 29th 2012). This is a classic instance of doublespeak. It is abundantly clear that, rather than so-called foreign interests, it is the Government itself which is destabilising the country. Its sheer brute force in ramming an arbitrary impeachment of Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice through Parliament against the ... Read More
Impeachmentof the Chief Justice
The Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales (BHRC) is concerned at the circumstances surrounding the impeachment of the Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, Shirani Bandaranayake, and at reports of attacks against the judiciary and the legal profession within Sri Lanka.
The independence of the judiciary and the rule of law
The independence of the judiciary is fundamental to the rule of law, and we condemn any move to restrict or compromise that independence. ... Read More
How predictions can turn out to be wrong
When the impeachment proposal was announced, the immediate reaction of many was that the outcome was pre-determined as the government has a two thirds majority in Parliament (acquired as this was even by foul means). It was therefore predicted that this would be the end of the matter. There will be rituals, like the PSC proceedings which were presumed to be artificial and then the beheading of CJ will take place, after government MPs ... Read More
Increase of crimes and constitutional tomfoolery
The construction of a government that prevents one person becoming the prey of another can be said to be the aim of constitutionalism. Ever since Montesquieu, the greatest of political thinkers and statesmen have struggled to develop principles to achieve this aim of preventing citizens becoming prey of rulers who rule not for the purpose of achieving the greater good for the people, but to enrich themselves at the expense of the nation. The ... Read More
SRI LANKA: 15th of December; a day to remember
The Bar Association of Sri Lanka passed a historical resolution today opposing the impeachment motion and avowing that, if the incumbent CJ is removed, the Bar Association will not welcome anyone who is appointed in her place. The following is a summary of the resolution given by the Lawyer’s Collective.
“The President of BASL formulated the resolution based on the two sets of resolutions that have been received. He presented it to the House. In ... Read More
Congress of religions on impeachment of the chief justice
At the outset, we endorse wholeheartedly the appeal of the four Mahanayake Theros to the President to set aside the impeachment motion brought against the Chief Justice.
It is a matter of grave concern to the people of the country that the Government through the accusations levelled against Chief Justice seem to have convinced itself that the Chief Justice has not lived up to the standards of personal integrity expected of her.
Since this is a very ... Read More
Crisis in the University of Jaffna --- A new wave of old scenario
The Asian Human Rights Commission expressed grave concern over the present situation in the University of Jaffna. Most students are unable to attend lectures as the whole university is in a state of stalemate. The government has added a “national security” mood to the crisis, rather than taking it as a part of the problem in higher education in Sri Lanka. Therefore, the AHRC has identified the present crisis in the University of Jaffna as ... Read More
"Don't be misled by false propaganda of state media"
- Lawyers Collective
The Lawyers Collective calls upon the public not to be misled by the shameless, malicious and false propaganda of the State Media on the Impeachment of Chief Justice.
There are constant false and insulting contents in the Lake House newspapers and broadcasts over SLBC, ITN and Rupavahini Corporation, all of which are being used as propaganda units of the Government. The Chief Justice, the Judiciary and the lawyers who have fearlessly come ... Read More
Senior-most judge seeks fair trial for CJ
Justice C. G. Weeramantry, former senior vice president of the International Court of Justice and the Senior Most Retired Judge in Sri Lanka, said yesterday it was essential that a tribunal deciding on the rights of any citizen must consist of persons who are totally uncommitted before the hearing.
If any members of the tribunal have directly or indirectly indicated their views upon the matter in advance of the hearing, that tribunal ceases to be impartial, ... Read More
Crisis in the University of Jaffna --- A new wave of old scenario
The Asian Human Rights Commission expresses grave concern over the present situation in the University of Jaffna. Most students are unable to attend lectures as the whole university is in a state of stalemate. The government has added a 'national security' mood to the crisis, rather than taking it as a part of the problem in higher education in Sri Lanka. Therefore, the AHRC has identified the present crisis in the University of Jaffna ... Read More
'We salute the Chief Justice'
We salute the Chief Justice and her legal team for the historical decision to walk out of the PSC proceedings. We call upon the people, in particular the judges and lawyers, to grasp the historic significance of this moment
It is news now that the Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake and her legal team, led by Romesh De Silva PC, walked away from the Parliamentary Select Committee proceedings, expressing no confidence in the manner in which the ... Read More
The fight against reducing the judiciary to a government stooge
The letter written by the senior and well-respected lawyer SL Gunasekara provides a very thought-provoking approach to dealing with the present impasse created by the government’s wish to proceed with the impeachment against the Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, which they are doing irrespective of the request made by the Supreme Court to delay proceedings on this matter until they make a determination on the question for reference made by the Court of Appeal. The ... Read More
From a farce to witch hunt
The impeachment of the Chief Justice which was staged as a farce has now turned into a blatant witch hunt where the government is shamelessly mobilising taxi drivers and other mobs to call for the resignation of the Chief Justice.
Today was declared by the lawyers a day of protest against the impeachment process which is ignoring the request by the Supreme Court to delay the proceedings until it inquiries into a constitutional question referred to ... Read More
Judiciary sans independence: The Sri Lankan chronicle
by Jasmine Joseph
The future of a judge who would have been the longest serving Chief Justice of the nation is grim in Sri Lanka. Widely alleged as politically motivated, the current move by the President to impeach her gives an opportunity to analyze the soundness of constitutional principles relating to judiciary in general and impeachment of judges in particular.
The bedrock on which the judiciary in Sri Lanka is built like most constitutional democracies ... Read More
Impeachment against CJ -- Irreparable loss of confidence and public respect of the judicial system
Noting with grave concern that the impeachment proceedings initiated against Her Ladyship the Chief Justice would inevitably lead to an irreparable loss of confidence and public respect of the judicial system as a whole which in turn would further deteriorate the state of governance of the country.
Noting in particular as lawyers from the North and East of Sri Lanka the importance of ensuring stability in the administration of justice as such stability is quintessential to ... Read More
Space for individuals in UN Human Rights Complain Mechanism
Lack of public awareness is one the major reason of absence of watchful oversight of citizens on their rights, issues and concerned authorities. It has been appropriately said that informed citizenry is empowered citizenry; the more people are informed, the more they are vocal and critical on their issues and rights .In this way , Public education stands as per-requisite for any planned and desired change in society what unfortunately Pakistan by and large lacks.
UN ... Read More
Speaker's ruling has no bearing upon the substantive issues in the impeachment
The Speaker's ruling relating to the Supreme Court's notice to the Speaker and the members of the Parliamentary Select Committee does not in any way prohibits the constitutional right of the Court to entertain and to determine the Reference made by the Court of Appeal for a specific question relating to the scope of Article 107 (3) of the Constitution. Since the issue mooted is of utmost importance, various aspects relating to it should be ... Read More
Why only judges should judge?
The Parliamentary Select Committee's inquiry has raised the issue of the politicians being judges. Some have even said that the politicians have a better right to judge because they are elected representatives of the people whereas the judges are not.
The people elect their representatives for particular purposes. By the very nature of judging guilt and innocence that is not a matter that would depend on people's consent even if a hundred percent of the electors ... Read More
The Standing Orders relating to the impeachment are flawed in law - says an international expert
1. I am Sergei GOLUBOK. I hold postgraduate degrees of LL.M. in International Human Rights Law awarded by the University of Essex in the United Kingdom and Candidate of Juridical Sciences in Public International Law and European Law awarded by the St. Petersburg State University in the Russian Federation. In 2008-2011 I had an honour to serve as a legal secretary at the Registry of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. Currently ... Read More
An independent judiciary?
SRI LANKA: We dream of an independent judiciary, says a released Burmese political prisoner Basil Fernando
In Yangon, I have been meeting many persons with long stories to share. Some of those whom we have met are the daughter of the first Prime Minister of Burma, who has returned after 35 years of exile in India. I also met political activists released from prison after 22, 17 and 5 years. The AHRC also visited ... Read More
The Supreme Court requests the PSC to withhold the impeachment inquiry
The Supreme Court yesterday (November 22) decided to inform the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) appointed to inquire into the allegations made in the impeachment motion filed by a number of Members of Parliament against the Chief Justice. The court is inquiring into a reference made by the Court of Appeal acting in terms of Article 125 of the Constitution referring to the following question relating to the interpretation of the Constitution for the determination of ... Read More
PSC rejects the request of the Supreme Court
Yesterday the Supreme Court in a carefully worded order made a request of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) inquiring into the impeachment not to proceed with their inquiry until the Supreme Court made a determination on the reference made to it by the Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court referred to the good relations that should exist between the two branches of the government and stated:
.....this Court whilst reiterating that there has to be mutual ... Read More
Sri Lankan Army to recruit Tamil women
R. K. Radhakrishnan
The entirely Sinhalese Sri Lankan Army is set to recruit its first Tamil women this month.
At a special ceremony arranged by the Army in the former LTTE capital, Kilinochchi, on Saturday, about 100 women in the age group of 18-22 will be selected to undergo training into the Army, one official said. Asked if some of the former LTTE women wing members were also being recruited, the official said that all can take ... Read More
Leaked Report on Sri Lanka Critical of U.N.
By ROBERT MACKEY
An internal review of how the United Nations handled the bloody final months of Sri Lanka’s civil war in 2009, when as many as 40,000 civilians were killed, has concluded that the response was “a grave failure of the U.N.,” according to a leaked draft of the report.
The investigative panel, led by Charles Petrie, a former United Nations official, criticized what it called “a sustained and institutionalized reluctance” by staff members in Sri ... Read More
Sri Lanka military probing war crime allegations
The Sri Lankan Army said Monday it was still investigating allegations of atrocities during the war against the Tamil Tigers that ended in 2009.
According to army spokesperson Ruwan Wanigasooriya, a court of inquiry was on to record statements from witnesses and others, Xinhua reported.
A five-member probe was appointed in January based on the recommendations of a war commission known as the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).
Sri Lanka's former attorney general Mohan Peiris said ... Read More
Nine killed in Sri Lanka prison riot
Colombo: At least nine people were killed and another 26 wounded at Sri Lanka's main prison on Friday after inmates overpowered guards and fought gun battles with elite police commandos, officials said.
Clashes erupted as elite police Special Task Force (STF) commandos carried out a search inside the Welikada prison for drugs and smuggled mobile phones, a military official at the scene said.
"Some of the inmates grabbed weapons and have used them," the officer said asking ... Read More
Lanka tops South Asia on prosperity index
South Asian economies have witnessed a sharp fall in making wealth following problems in economies and politics — from governance to personal freedom including safety and security.
Low score in entrepreneurship and opportunities, personal capital, and weak governance system of the country, has pulled Nepal down to the 108th position in 2012, from a year ago’s 93rd position, according to the Global Prosperity Index (GPI) published by London-based think tank, Legatum Institute, today.
Legatum’s prosperity index has ... Read More
Were there human rights abuses in Sri Lanka?
Post-war Sri Lanka – the challenges of reconciliation, reintegration and rehabilitation By Zafar Iqbal Three years on from the end of the civil war, Sri Lanka continues to face a number of multifaceted challenges concerning reconciliation, reintegration and rehabilitation. The country faces intense scrutiny over war crimes allegedly committed by its military in the bloody finale of the war; whilst allegations of widespread human rights violations – such as executions, the shelling of civilians and ... Read More
Sri Lanka: What happened to the refugees?
The camps are closed but the problems haven’t gone away.
Tamil refugees at the Menik Farms refugee camp in Sri Lanka
File photo: Tamil refugees at the Menik Farms refugee camp in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, October 17, 2012: The world’s largest camp for internally displaced persons was closed permanently on September 24.
Menik Camp was the last one still open after the end of the civil war. Having heard the experiences of other resettled people, tales of broken ... Read More
Sri Lanka hydro power generation up on cyclonic rains
Sri Lanka's state-run Ceylon Electricity Board has upped hydro power generation and stored more water as cyclonic rains lashed the island, while irrigation tanks in several areas were also filling up, data from state agencies show.
Data on the CEB website (www.ceb.lk) shows that daily hydro power generation had risen to 11.2 million units of electricity (GigaWatt hours) or 41.7 percent of the total by October 31 compared with 4.7 GWh or 14.6 percent on October ... Read More
Saving Sri Lanka’s Education – From Whom?
Sri Lanka’s education has been like a volcano – steadily waiting to erupt and it is getting closer to its objective. Undeniably there is no one cause for the current crisis. For Sri Lanka’s education to get on track those responsible for the current crisis must first accept accountability and then resolve to set things straight. Unlike any other ministry – the country’s future depends on the education of its younger generation and we need ... Read More
Rajapaksa’s political survival and the security of India
India’s fragile federal status predicts a possible eventual breakup of India similar to that of the Soviet Union. This spells a national security concern for both India and Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s armed forces eliminated the initial possibility securing Sri Lanka’s security and that of India. Why should India want to commit hara-kiri by continuing to encourage the eelaam slogan bypassing the possible dangers thinking it can handle worst case scenario of annexing Sri ... Read More
Sri Lankan judges, lawyers boycott courts over attack on outspoken judge
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lankan judges and lawyers boycotted courts on Monday to protest an assault on an outspoken judge, and hundreds of lawyers staged a demonstration demanding a thorough investigation into the attack.
About 500 lawyers and staff wearing black headbands marched in front of Colombo’s court complex. They carried a coffin, saying the weekend attack on Judge Manjula Tilakaratne represented the death of an independent judiciary. Later, they burned the coffin.
... Read More
Tamil diaspora requested to help
We have lots of food for thought this month especially Bishop Daniel Thiagarajah’s most determined ideal to widen the scope of educational programmes to help create a dynamic and vibrant socio-economic, cultural and spiritual New Society.
He has also appealed for volunteers from the Diaspora to be involved in our programmes and projects and make connections with us.
In a sermon delivered at the Colombo JDCSI Church, the Rev Dr Gunalan Thiagarajah uses the example of how ... Read More
All internally displaced resettled in North Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s success story comes after suffering 3 decades of terrorism, loss of close to 80,000 lives, rejection of numerous local and international bids of ceasefires and peace talks, refusal to stop killings of innocent civilians, continuance of child conscription to finally decide on a military solution to ending the conflict. It took just 3 years to complete the military elimination of the LTTE including its ground leadership in May 2009 becoming the first nation ... Read More
TESO wants New Delhi to do more for Sri Lankan Tamils
India should also move a resolution in the U.N., demanding its intervention to allow the Tamils to decide their rights, a meeting of the Tamil Eelam Supporters’ Organisation, chaired by DMK chief M. Karunanidhi, said. File photo
The Hindu India should also move a resolution in the U.N., demanding its intervention to allow the Tamils to decide their rights, a meeting of the Tamil Eelam Supporters’ Organisation, chaired by DMK chief M. Karunanidhi, said. File photo
Hinting ... Read More
Take a lead in Sri Lankan Tamils welfare: DMK tells the Centre
Chennai: Hinting that India's rehabilitation efforts for Tamils in post civil war Sri Lanka were "not satisfactory," key UPA partner DMK today asked the government to take the lead ahead of Colombo to ensure their welfare.
India should also move a resolution in the UN, demanding its intervention to allow the Tamils to decide their rights, a meeting of the recently revived Tamil Eelam Supporters' Organisation (TESO), chaired by DMK chief M Karunanidhi said.
Welcoming Prime Minister ... Read More