Yearly Archives: 2016

Political Justice is Not Enough to Rebuild Sri Lanka

by Timothy Ryan, Solidarity Center, AFL-CIO, Washington, DC, September 28, 2016 For Sri Lanka, gender equity will be fundamental to a stable, peaceful and equitable futureThe civil war that raged for 26 years in Sri Lanka was always about more than political grievances. The politics were rooted in economic and social disenfranchisement of the Tamil minority by the Sinhala… Read more »

“Reconciliation” and Government’s “Sinhala Silence”

by Kusal Perera, on his blog, September 27, 2016 Tamil politics took a new turn last Saturday not given much political attention in Colombo. The Tamil People’s Council (TPC) called for a mass protest on that day (24 Sept) under the banner”Ezhuga Tamil” (Let Tamils Rise) demanding early answers for their pressing problems. Jaffna district… Read more »

The President at the UN

  Political appointees of the President perceive political appointees of the PM as their enemies, and independent of any direct order or edict, block, manoeuvre and curry favour with scant regard for actual policy development, implementation or reform. This results in scenarios very far removed from the roseate picture of Sri Lanka painted at the… Read more »

Registration of Deaths (Temporary Provisions)(Amendment) Bill

So it is tens of thousands in numbers who have met with this fate. In amending the Registration of Deaths (Temporary Provisions) Act, now, there is provision to issue a different kind of certificate and that is a certificate of absence. This is a most welcome move; one about which we would congratulate the Government… Read more »

Why International Law Still Matters

Sands allows his extraordinary book to revolve around a simple question: Do we need the crime of genocide? Does the category add anything to the power and effectiveness of crimes against humanity? “The term ‘genocide,’ with its focus on the group,” Sands writes, “tends to heighten a sense of ‘them’ and ‘us,’ burnishes feelings of… Read more »

OMP – Upholding or Denying Justice?

by Thambu Kanagasabai, LLM [Lond.], FCII, September 25, 2016 Sri Lanka ranks second in the list of countries after Iraq to record the largest number of disappearances with unofficial estimated numbers of about 90,000 since the 1980s. Out of these disappearances, enforced or involuntary disappearances are reported to be around 65,000. Enforced Disappearances always involve state… Read more »

USTPAC Deeply Disturbed by Sri Lankan Justice Minister’s Statement

USTPAC Press Statement_Justice Minister War Crimes_160923 WASHINGTON, Sept. 23, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In an interview with BBC Sandeshaya, Sri Lankan Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe categorically rejected all allegations of war crimes committed by Sri Lanka’s armed forces and stated the government would take legal action against anyone who alleges the armed forces committed war crimes.  Furthermore, he said that anyone who… Read more »

Making and Unmaking Nations

by Scott Straus, Cornell University Press, 2016 In Making and Unmaking Nations, Scott Straus seeks to explain why and how genocide takes place—and, perhaps more important, how it has been avoided in places where it may have seemed likely or even inevitable. To solve that puzzle, he examines postcolonial Africa, analyzing countries in which genocide… Read more »

AI: Keep Victims at the Centre of Justice, Truth and Reparation Efforts

by Amnesty International, London, August 29, 2016 Amnesty ASA3747212016ENGLISH Amnesty ASA3747212016TAMIL Amnesty International’s written statement to the 33rd session of the UN Human Rights Council (13 – 30 September 2016) … Public consultations, the bedrock on which Sri Lanka’s transitional justice process must be built, are underway. However, implementation has been undermined by lack of… Read more »

Report of Working Group on Enforced Disappearances

Report of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances on its mission to Sri Lanka 9 to 18 November 2015, Geneva, July 8, 2016 Report of WGEID on mission to Sri Lanka_A-HRC-33-51-Add.2 Introduction … 6. Enforced disappearances have been used in a massive and systematic way in Sri Lanka for many decades to suppress political dissent,… Read more »

Building More Viharas In The North-East Will Negate Reconciliation Efforts

by Thangavelu, ‘Colombo Telegraph,’ September 6, 2016 On August 23, 2016 the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) passed a resolution during the 56th sitting unanimously condemning the building of a Buddhist vihara by Sri Lankan troops on land belonging to a Hindu temple in Kilinochchi. The resolution was moved by NPC member Subramaniam Pasupathipillai. “The Kanakambikai… Read more »

The Fractured North

by Dharisha Bastians, ‘The Daily FT,’ Colombo, September 8, 2016 A permanent political solution within Rajavarothiam Sampanthan’s lifetime is Sri Lanka’s last best hope for achieving peace within this generation. The TNA after Sampanthan will be a fragmented and disintegrating alliance, whose conflicting interests will make a final solution to an ethnic conflict that has… Read more »

Mother Teresa

by M. K. Eelaventhan, Toronto, September 3, 2016 September is a month of significance because Mother Teresa passed away on 5th September 1997 at the age of 87.  Mother Teresa reflects the thinking – the utterence of Pongunthenar, the universal poet of the Sangam age, who said the following, “every country is my country and every… Read more »

A Broken System

by Raisa Wickrematunge, @raisalw, ‘Shorthand Social,’ no date, accessed September 7, 2016 It all started when Malaka* and Rohan* (names changed to protect identity) went to meet relations in Wattegama. Returning from the visit, they saw two policemen making off with their motorcycles, which they had parked on the main road. They confronted the officers, who began… Read more »

Court Refuses to Lift Overseas Travel Ban on ex-Navy Spokesman

by ‘Ceylon News,’ Colombo, September 6, 2016 A Sri Lankan court on Tuesday refused to lift the overseas travel ban on war-time navy media spokesman Captain D.K.P Dassanayake as he remains a wanted person in connection with the abduction of 11 school children in Colombo during the height of the war. A group of Sri… Read more »

WSJ: UNSG Urges Sri Lanka to Speed Up War Reconciliation

by Uditha Jayasinghe, ‘The Wall Street Journal,’ New York, September 2, 2016 Ban Ki-moon says victims of country’s lengthy civil war need justice COLOMBO, Sri Lanka—United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday said victims of Sri Lanka’s decadeslong war “cannot wait forever” for justice, and urged the country to speed up its reconciliation process as it seeks to… Read more »

That Great Betrayal and Institutional Accountability

by Kishali Pinto Jqyawardene, ‘The Sunday Times,’ Colombo, September 4, 2016 Visiting United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s assertion that ‘much needs to be done in order to redress wrongs of the past and restore accountability of key organizations, particularly the judiciary and the security services’ raises an interesting question. Myopic framing of core… Read more »