Posts Categorized: Government

No Starting Point to Resolution

It is a wholly nonsensical debate: those who want to repeal the 13th amendment argue, quite misleadingly, that it significantly devolves land and police powers to the provinces. They also call for Parliament to be stripped of its powers to enable a merger of the North and Eastern provinces — when even the main opposition party (the United National Party) is against such a move. Just as misleading are attempts by those campaigning for the 13th amendment, including India and the TNA, to convey to the Tamil people that it is a good starting point to a political solution.

Police Powers and Land Under 13 A

Executive power lies with the President and his servants – and to the extent that a Chief Minister is not a servant of the President, the Constitution does not, and indeed cannot, vest executive power in the Chief Minister.

Freedom of the Press 2013

http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press/2013/sri-lanka Freedom of the Press 2013 Report Sri Lanka Sri Lanka In Sri Lanka the “score moved from 72 to 74 to reflect an increase in verbal threats and intimidation against journalists by government officials, as well as the sale of the Sunday Leader, formerly one of the island’s most independent newspapers, to an owner… Read more »

Malnutrition Among Northern IDPs

Attached is a report of a project started a year ago to lower malnutrition in IDPs in the Northern Province by 10%, paid for by Japan through the World Bank for US$2.7 million.  A year ago the malnutrition figures were: Prevalence of anemia (Hb < 11.0g/dL) among children 0-23 months = 61.60% Prevalence of anemia… Read more »

The Tyranny of the Majority

Culture matters; and so do rules. In Patterns of Democracy, political scientist Arend Lijphart argues that democratic governments come in two basic models: majoritarian, like the British, with strong single-party cabinets dominating decision-making, or “consensual,” with power exercised through coalitions. Lijphart observes that while in homogeneous societies all citizens can feel reasonably represented in a majoritarian system, the same model in nations deeply divided by class or identity “spells majoritarian dictatorship and civil strife.” He argues for electoral rules which guarantee a measure of proportional representation, coalition governments, an empowered and truly bicameral legislature, decentralization. Lijphart claims that the consensual model maximizes democratic legitimacy without sacrificing effectiveness.

Land Deeds Distributed to Over 3000 Mahaweli Farmers

  Pres. Rajapaksa distributing deeds in pop-up tentPresident Mahinda Rajapaksa distributed land deeds to  3,000 farmer families in the Mahaweli L Zone under the theme of “Farmland Rights for you who give Golden Harvest to the Nation”, at a ceremony held at Sampath Nuwara Mahaweli grounds in the former conflict-affected Weli Oya on Saturday. Addressing… Read more »

Throwback

Vittachi concludes the book with a question. “Have the Sinhalese and the Tamils reached the parting of the ways?” The question was asked in 1958. It was definitively answered, 25 years later, in 1983. Another 26 years later, in 2009, we were reminded of the answer.

55 years after Vittachi first asked the question, who in the Sinhala community is willing to openly ask the question,

Economic & Social Statistics 2006 & 2012

Economic & Social Statistics of Sri Lanka 2012 by Central Bank of Sri Lanka Economic and Social Statistics of Sri Lanka 2012 ***** Brief Analysis of Population and Housing Characteristics 2006 by Dept. of Census & Statistics Population and Housing Analysis 11-12-06 ***** Poverty Indicators by Dept. of Census & Statistics Poverty Indicators 2009 2010… Read more »

Sri Lanka Census 2012

Population by ethnic group according to districts, 2012 SL Census 2012 Ethnic Group by District [PDF]   District Population Distribution – 2012 Ethnicity Sinhalese Sri Lanka Tamil Indian Tamil Sri Lanka Moor Burgher Sri Lanka 20263723 15173820 2270924 842323 1869820 37061 Colombo 2309809 1771319 231318 27336 242728 13304 Gampaha 2294641 2079115 80071 10879 95501 9898 Kalutara… Read more »

Interaction Transition Case Study

Sri Lanka: Transitioning from a Humanitarian Crisis to a Human Rights Crisis InterAction Transition Case Study – Sri Lanka – January 2013 Sri Lanka is recovering from a devastating 26-year civil war, which ended in May 2009 with the military defeat of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) by the government of Sri… Read more »

The Middle Managers of Ethnic Cleansing

But after observing the role played by the native bureaucrats within the colonial administrations of the 19th and 20th centuries, it was realized that it was also possible for a bureaucracy to go against the very interests of its own class or nationality… They were actually described at that time as the ‘steel frame of the British Empire’…
The rise of the Nation-State, which at all times “seeks to homogenize its population in order to consolidate its power”, posed new problems for minority Nations, and governance in general. Here also, the discriminatory policies in sharing of resources and opportunities, changing demography through State sponsored colonization schemes and land alienation policies, all were implemented by the bureaucracy. In most cases, by a bureaucracy belonging to the group that was being systematically marginalized and annihilated. This universal characteristic is all the more apparent in the Tamil speaking areas of the North and East in Sri Lanka. There, no writ can be carried out without the collaboration of the Tamil and Muslim bureaucrats.

Ini Avan: Hauntingly Beautiful But…

Ini Avan, Asoka Handagama’s latest film, in Tamil, has won international cinematic acclaim. And it is easy to see why. The film has interesting characters who within their confined destinies take some unpredictable turns and moves at a compelling and deliberate pace through carefully designed frames with strong aesthetic appeal that are also revisited, like recurring… Read more »

Govt Withdraws Funding in Northern Province

The government has withdrawn over Rs 560 million worth of funds ear marked for development in the TNA controlled Northern Province, reports the Sunday Times. According to Jaffna’s Local Government Assistant Commissioner S Jeyaharan, the directive to withdraw the funds came from the Ministry of Local Government. M K Sivajilingam said: “They do not want us… Read more »

The Story of the Weeping Widows

As the group delved in to the deeper meaning of this particular interaction, the dilemmas faced by the welfare oriented NGOs working in the war affected regions became more and more apparent. On the one hand they are forced to work with the rhetoric of “peoples participation” and “empowerment”. They have to accede to the demands made by the donors in this respect. But on the other they have to work within a system that is unmerciful and relentless in its grip on centralized political power. Even the civil administration in those areas has changed a great deal. The transformation is to the extent that the language hitherto spoken only by the military hierarchy, such as “ granting permission” and “ban on activities”, is used now by the civil administration in their day-to-day interactions with NGOs. A single wrong move on their part may mean end of the road for the NGOs. It is in working with the most marginalized of the war-affected community that these vulnerabilities of the NGOs get to be exposed thoroughly.

Impeachment of the Sri Lankan Chief Justice

Indeed, the two issues – this assault on the independence of the judiciary and the accusations of war crimes – are interlinked and must be seen as such. The Sri Lankan government’s insistence that Sri Lanka should be left to investigate and remedy its own shortcomings with regard to the latter looks increasingly (if more evidence were required) implausible as one of the last remaining independent institutions – the court – is so openly dismantled.

TIC on ‘Hate Campaign’

The intimidating poster campaign is linked to Dr Saravanamuttu’s legal challenge of the Divineguma Bill in the Supreme Court. The proposed law intends to create a new Divineguma Department that will consume the Samurdhi poverty alleviation programme and the Southern and Hill Country Development authorities. The Bill encroaches into the functions of the Provincial Councils.

Sinhalicised Division Formalised in Mullaiththeevu

The Colombo government has issued a new map of Mullaiththeevu district on September 25, when SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa attended a ‘special’ District Development Council (DDC) meeting of Ki’linochchi and Mullaiththeevu districts in Ki’linochchi…
Almost all of the 11,789 people belonging to 3,536 families in the ‘Weli Oya’ division are Sinhala settlers.