Posts Categorized: Human Rights

Land Grabbing & Accountability

by South Asia Centre for Legal Studies, Colombo, September 27, 2016 Despite land grabbing being a common feature of many armed conflicts and an integral part of discriminatory policies against minority groups, it is insufficiently addressed in post-conflict or transitional justice accountability processes. While truth-commissions, in particular the Truth Commission in El Salvador, have highlighted… Read more »

Can Sri Lanka Hold On to Its Fragile Peace?

But it’s not Power or other foreign officials whom the government needs to win over. Far more crucial is the Tamil minority that feels left behind by the country’s postwar progress and embittered by the Sinhalese majority’s seeming indifference to its plight. And this is where the young woman with the tiny photograph comes in…. Read more »

Still Missing in Mullaitivu

by Meera Srinivasan, ‘The Hindu,’ Chennai, October 1, 2016  More than seven years after the brutal three-decade-long civil war ended in Sri Lanka, people are still picking up the pieces and searching for their loved ones. The last time Mary Sabamalai saw her son Mayuran was in 2008, when he came home for his 21st birthday…. Read more »

SL HRC Letter re Proposed Amendment to Criminal Procedure Act

The passage of the new Bill will hinder the efforts of the Government which has expressed its determination to stop torture in Sri Lanka. by Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, September 21, 2016 HRC SL Letter-to-PM-on-21.09.2016 Proposed Amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure Act Depriving Suspects of Access to Lawyers until their Statements… Read more »

Why Referendums Aren’t as Democratic as They Seem

The Interpreter By Amanda Taub & Max Fisher, ‘The New York Times,’ October 4, 2016 The voters of the world have had quite a year: They rejected Colombia’s peace deal; split Britain from the European Union; endorsed a Thai Constitution that curtails democracy; and, in Hungary, backed the government’s plan to restrict refugees, but without… Read more »

India’s Disturbing Oscar Entry Takes on Police Torture

by BBC, London, September 28, 2016 A thriller in Tamil language has been chosen as India’s official entry to the Best Foreign Language Film at next year’s Oscars. Sudha G Tilak writes on an unusually gritty crime drama on police brutality and corruption. A homeless young man is walking down a street after watching a… Read more »

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 »

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 »

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 August 16 – 3 hrs Documents associated with the report at