Posts Categorized: Government

For Sri Lanka to Break Cycle of Impunity Promises Need to Be Kept

Sri Lanka may be undertaking a change of course towards accountability for atrocities committed during its 26-year civil war. The new government promised to establish a truth commission and co-sponsored a UN resolution calling for international involvement in a domestic tribunal. At the same time, a commission of inquiry initiated by the previous government issued… Read more »

What Do Constitutions Do?

by Sumit Bisarya, Lawyers for Justice in Libya, December 24, 2015 Sumit Bisarya International IDEA   Constitutions cannot build roads or bridges.  They cannot cure disease, educate children or put food on the table (at least directly).  A few countries, such as the United Kingdom, seem to get by perfectly well without a written Constitution… Read more »

A More Robust Democracy will Safeguard Peace in Sri Lanka

by Richard Armitage & Karen Bue, ‘South China Morning Post,’ Hong Kong, October 9, 2015 The horrors of the conflict in Sri Lanka were laid bare in a report issued last month by the UN Human Rights Council. Unlawful killings, enforced disappearances, sexual violence and the use of child soldiers were among the parade of… Read more »

World Bank on Integrating Island & Need for Empowering Local Govnts

Key challenges are how to manage the growth of the Kandy-Colombo-Galle region, in particular, the Metropolitan Colombo Region, and how to enhance connectivity of other single-city agglomerations with the Kandy-Colombo-Galle region so as realize their potential for economic growth and poverty alleviation…

Specifically, the report identified three areas where reform could address fundamental deficits – in empowerment, resources, and accountability:

· Improving intergovernmental fiscal relations to address empowerment.

· Identifying practical ways to increase the resources available to local governments to allow them to perform their mandated functions.

· Strengthening mechanisms to hold local governments accountable for their actions.

2015 UNHRC Resolution on Sri Lanka

 —– Archived webcast of discussion of OHCHR Report on Sri Lanka OHCHR Report on Sri Lanka – 37th Meeting, 30th Regular Session Human Rights Council OHCHR Report on Sri Lanka (Cont’d) – 38th Meeting, 30th Regular Session Human Rights Council  —— Resolution on Sri Lanka A/HRC/30/1 UNHRC Resolution 30/1 October 1 2015 Received from (main… Read more »

Report & Recommendations of UNHCHR to UNHRC on Sri Lanka

HCHR Report and Recommendations  A_HRC_30_61_ENG   A/HRC/30/61 Advance Unedited Version Distr.: General 16 September 2015   Original: English Human Rights Council Thirtieth session Agenda item 2 Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General Report of the Office of… Read more »

FM’s Speech at UNHRC

Statement by Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, MP Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka General Debate of the 30th Session of the UN Human Rights Council Geneva, 14 September 2015 Mr. President High Commissioner for Human Rights Excellencies Distinguished delegates I would like to begin by thanking you, and the members of the Council for the… Read more »

NPC Chief Minister Speeches in US & UK

Speech to Federation of Tamil Sangams in North America convention, San Jose, July 4, 2015 Transcript of speech in Tamil — CVWigneswaran-Speech-FeTNA-July042015 Transcript of speech in English — CVWigneswaran-Speech-FeTNA-July042015-TxEng   Speech in London hosted by International Association of Tamil Journalists, July 17, 2015

Seize This Opportunity for True Reform

Sri Lanka: Seize this opportunity for true reform Come September, the United Nations Human Rights Council will assemble in Geneva for its 30th session. This session marks an important date for Sri Lanka, the United States and the international community: the long-awaited release of the UN report on war crimes committed during Sri Lanka’s civil… Read more »

With Just 273 Political Prisoners in Custody, How Many Have Disappeared?

The recent revelation that only 300 prisoners remain in Government custody only confirms that the crimes committed by the Government are even more heinous than previously imagined. As such, no Sri Lanka government is going to facilitate the legal, administrative and political changes that domestic judicial institutions need to meet ‘international standards.’ The only way is for international justice to be dispensed by international courts.

Only a Democratic South can Democratise the North

“Gotabhaya’s security state gradually expanded its tentacles to the South. He turned us into an unhappy and insecure people, who live in fear of the arbitrary powers of our own elected government. Our concerns were more intimate to us than the grievances of the North. However, they are an extension of a strategy that he experimented and later entrenched in the North.”

Constitutional Experiments in Sri Lanka

Summary [Since the decolonisation of Ceylon, the constitutional status of the legislature, executive and judiciary have undergone transformation due to proclamations of the two native constitutions in 1972 and 1978.  These two constitutions were made in order to accommodate the demand of the people of the ethnic majority, as well as to adopt the political… Read more »

CPA: The Need for Reparations

CPA The-Need-for-a-Comprehensive-Reparations-Policy-and-Package Discussion Paper: The Need for a Comprehensive Reparations Policy and Package 27 April 2015, Colombo, Sri Lanka: For any post war society grappling with the consequences of past violence and engaged in exploring modalities for transitional justice, reparations is an important tool. Reparations, if designed and implemented in an inclusive manner that factors in… Read more »

Letter to PM Rajiv Gandhi from TULF on 13th Amendment Our Disappointment With Proposals Contained In The Two Bills 28th Oct 1987 Shri Rajiv Gandhi, Prime Minister of India, New Delhi. Dear Prime Minister, We thank you once again for all your efforts on behalf of the Tamil people. We repeat our deep anguish at the tragic turn of events in Jaffna. We feel it is… Read more »

Devolution in the Northern Province

by Centre for Policy Alternatives, Colombo, March 10, 2015 The first elections of the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) held in September 2013 provided an important opportunity to test the utility of the Thirteenth Amendment in devolving power. Until then, the Northern Province was essentially under Central administration (through the Governor) for the larger part of… Read more »

Sri Lanka’s Unfinished Humanitarian Business

First, the new administration must address the problem of internal displacement in Sri Lanka.

Second, Sri Lanka must deal with the issues of detention and disappearances.

Third, Sri Lanka’s new government must act on both local and international demands for a full enquiry into the conduct of the military campaign that put an end to the Tamil quest for autonomy. Were crimes against humanity committed, and if so, will the perpetrators of those atrocities ever be held accountable for of their actions?

Sri Lanka Premier Starts With Fixing Civil War Ills

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Paintings at Temple Trees, this country’s White House, are still leaning against walls waiting to be hung, and the gated grounds are no longer teeming with guards and stewards who served the home’s previous occupant like supplicants at a royal court. But more than a month after taking over this iconic… Read more »

Tamil Sripavan Appointed Sri Lanka’s Top Judge

Sri Lanka’s president has appointed a Tamil judge as the new chief justice – the first member of the minority community to hold the post in decades. Judge Kanagasabapathy Sripavan, 62, was sworn in in the capital Colombo. President Maithripala Sirisena, from the majority Sinhalese community, has sought reconciliation with Tamils after the separatist war… Read more »