Posts Categorized: Government

Tamil Voters Hope Provincial Election is Step toward Autonomy

by Associated Press in ‘The Washington Post’ Asia/Pacific section, September 20, 2013 JAFFNA, Sri Lanka — The ethnic Tamils of Sri Lanka tried to gain autonomy in their northern heartland first through three decades of protests and strikes, then through three decades of civil war. Northern cities were reduced to rubble and at least 80,000… Read more »

State Facilitated Colonization of Northern Sri Lanka

by Watchdog, ‘Groundviews.org,’ Colombo, September 19, 2013 On 25th September 2012, the Menik Farm camp in Vavuniya, which at its peak, housed close to 300,000 internally displaced persons, was officially closed down when the Government of Sri Lanka relocated the last batch of IDPs. This formally marked the closure of all post-2009 IDP camps in the… Read more »

Protracted Displacement, Urgent Solutions

by Centre for Policy Alternatives, Colombo, September 10, 2013 Significant changes have taken place in post-war Sri Lanka that have assisted the improvement in the lives of those affected by displacement and over 480,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have been able to return to their homes and communities. However, four years after the war displacement… Read more »

Assessing Local Governance in the Northern Province

While there are a few bright spots, HHR’s survey results have proven that local governance problems in the Northern Province run deep and wide; it appears that most local government bodies are failing to perform their duties.[3]

Amidst scores of charts, graphs and numbers, what comes out most clearly from this survey is the profound lack of public participation.

The Northern Election And Historical Stumbling Blocks

“Why,” the monitor asked the crowd, “wouldn’t you rather vote for the party that gave you new roads and buildings, the party that could continue to develop this region?” The answer from a Tamil resident of the North was succinct. “What is the point of new roads without dignity?”

Why is Land a Fundamental Issue to the Tamils?

Image courtesy DBS Jeyaraj Introduction President Jayewardene did not like the word ‘colonisation’. Instead, he preferred the terms ‘land settlement’. But the Land Settlement Ordinance uses ‘settlement’ to mean a settlement on claims over ‘land’.  Item 18 of the Provincial Councils List of the 13th Amendment, reads as follows: 18. Land, – Land, that is to say,… Read more »

Demographic Change in the Tamil Homeland

Sources for the situation, now and in the past — 1.) TamilNet Almost daily reports on enroachment, such as “Border Division of Mannar Sinhalicized” at http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=79&artid=36552 and “Amparai GA, DS Officials Step Up Sinhalicization of Batticalow” at http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=36567 2.) International Crisis Group “Sri Lanka’ North II: Rebuilding Under the Military,” 16 March, 2012 at http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/Files/asia/south-asia/sri-lanka/220-sri-lankas-north-ii-rebuilding-under-the-military.pdf 3.) TNA MP R…. Read more »

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.