Posts Categorized: Human Rights

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 »

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 »

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 »

The Formula for a Richer World?

by Dierdre N. McCloskey, ‘The New York Times,’ September 2, 2016 Equality before the law and equality of social dignity are still the root of economic, as well as spiritual, flourishing — whatever tyrants may think to the contrary. The world is rich and will become still richer. Quit worrying. Not all of us are… Read more »

CERD Concluding Remarks & Video

by UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, August 15-16, 2016 CERD_C_LKA_CO_10-17_24983_E-1 Videos of proceedings: August 15 – 2hrs 50 minutes http://webtv.un.org/meetings-events/human-rights-treaty-bodies/committee-on-the-elimination-of-racial-discrimination/watch/consideration-of-sri-lanka-2468th-meeting-90th-session-of-committee-on-elimination-of-racial-discrimination-/5096765195001 August 16 – 3 hrs http://webtv.un.org/meetings-events/human-rights-treaty-bodies/committee-on-the-elimination-of-racial-discrimination/watch/consideration-of-sri-lanka-contd-2469th-meeting-90th-session-of-committee-on-elimination-of-racial-discrimination-/5089683096001 Documents associated with the report at http://sangam.org/committee-racial-discrimination-assessment-sri-lanka-report/

UNSG: Sustaining Peace – Achieving the SDGs

by UN Secretary-General, Colombo, September 2, 2016 UN Secretary-General – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opfyKTCA_wM&feature=youtu.be Foreign Minister – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T32wo98qUCU https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/speeches/2016-09-02/remarks-event-sri-lanka-sdg16-sustaining-peace-%E2%80%93-achieving 2 September 2016 Secretary-General’s remarks at event in Sri Lanka on SDG16: Sustaining Peace – Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals It is an honour to be here today to talk about the links between peace and sustainable development. This is my… Read more »

Deforestation Now Urgent Concern in Post-War Sri Lanka

By Johann Rebert, Asia Foundation, San Francisco, March 16, 2016 Following parliamentary elections in August 2015 and six years after the end of a bloody, decades-long civil war, Sri Lanka’s newly elected president, Maithripala Sirisena, has made the important decision to keep the Ministry of Environment directly under his wing. The move, which also positions the… Read more »

Looking for the Missing

by Jeevan Thiagarajah, ‘Daily News,’ Colombo, August 22, 2016 The Office of Missing Persons (OMP) was legislated. It has elicited words of appreciation from several quarters. In doing we may forget similar inquiries from the past. The JVP commenced its second insurrection in the South, purportedly in protest against the Indo-Lanka Accord. This was a… Read more »

Sri Lankan Justice Has No Place for ‘Accountable Amnesties’

by James Ross, Human Rights Watch, New York, August 22, 2016 Commission Recommendation Conflicts with UN Resolution It’s time to add “accountable amnesties” to notable oxymorons like “open secret” and “working vacation.” EXPAND   According to Sri Lankan media reports, the Presidential Commission to Investigate Complaints Regarding Missing Persons is recommending those accused of human… Read more »

Sri Lanka’s National Policy Document on Rehabilitation

by P.K. Balachandran, ‘The New Indian Express,’ August 22, 2016  COLOMBO: The Sri Lankan Ministry of Rehabilitation has recommended, through its National Policy Document, the enactment of a comprehensive law that addresses all displaced persons and communities in order to be prepared for any eventuality in the future. The comprehensive policy document has recommended recognition… Read more »

Asia Foundation: Sri Lanka Strategic Assessment 2016

by Asia Foundation, San Francisco, March 2016 Asia Foundation Sri Lanka Strategic Assessment 2016 Sri Lanka underwent a major political transition in 2015 with the election of President Maithripala Sirisena and the establishment of a new coalition government between the United Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) and one faction of the United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance… Read more »

What Have You Done with My Husband?

By Ananthi Sasitharan as told to and with additional reporting by Melissa Petro | Comic by Danielle Chenette, ‘Narratively,’ August 12, 2016 As Sri Lanka’s bitter civil war ground to a bloody end, many rebel leaders disappeared, never to be seen again. Seven years later, one wife wants answers. In October 2015, the United Nations… Read more »

INFORM – Human Rights Situation in Sri Lanka

by INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre, Colombo, August 18, 2016 Full report at http://www.forum-asia.org/?p=21357 Human Rights Situation in Sri Lanka August 17, 2015 – August 17, 2016 Introduction The January 2015 presidential elections didn’t just defeat Mahinda Rajapakse. It was an electoral rejection of Rajapakse politics and way of ruling by Sri Lankan people, ending also… Read more »