Posts Categorized: Politics

Going Back to an Alliance that Can Win Elections

The key to mobilizing the alliance that won the presidential election of January 2015 would be to find a suitable political accommodation that makes the new constitution acceptable to all parties and all communities. If the new constitution proposes changes that any ethnic or religious community is strongly opposed to, it will not get the… Read more »

UN Rights Envoy Calls for Inquiry into Abuses of Rohingya in Myanmar

Two questions loom large: Will one of the 47 member states in the human rights council put forward a resolution to form a commission of inquiry? And, if so, will Myanmar cooperate?… However, the military would be under intense pressure to cooperate with a UN-backed commission of inquiry. Refusal by the government and military to cooperate… Read more »

Putting the Wolf to Guard the Sheep

Sri Lanka’s Witness Protection Authority by International Truth & Justice Project, South Africa, February 13, 2017 ITJP Sri-Lanka-Witness-Protection-Report Executive Summary The new body set up in Sri Lanka to protect witnesses and victims of crimes, the “National Authority” includes three appointments made by the Government of President Maithripala Sirisena that give rise to grave concerns… Read more »

Governance On The “Advice Of The Mahasangha”

by H.L. Seveviratne, ‘Colombo Telegraph,’ January 30, 2016 Prof. H.L. Seneviratne We frequently hear politicians declaring that they will follow the steps of the ancient kings who always ruled according to the advice of the Mahasangha. This is a vague generalization that has no historical or scientific validity. When we look at our history we… Read more »

How the US Helped Destroy LTTE Floating Armories

by P.K. Balachandran, ‘The Indian Express,’ February 10, 2017 Ex-Sri Lankan navy chief Colombage narrates how the US helped destroy LTTE floating armories COLOMBO: Former Sri Lankan navy chief Adm. Jayanath Colombage has, in his recently published book Asymmetric Warfare At Sea: The Case of Sri Lanka, described how the United States helped the Sri Lankan navy destroy the LTTE’s… Read more »

Sri Lanka to Ask UN for More Time to Probe War Crimes

by AP on Voice of America, February 7, 2017 COLOMBO, SRI LANKA — Sri Lanka says it needs more time to fulfill promises given to the U.N. human rights body to investigate war crime allegations from the nation’s long civil war, which ended nearly eight years ago. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told foreign correspondents late… Read more »

Draconian Law Cripples Sri Lanka’s Reconciliation Hopes

by Ruki Fernando, on his blog, February 7, 2017 “The country’s leadership needs to act on commitment to repeal Prevention of Terrorism Act” First published at on 3rd Feb. 2017 In March 2014, my colleague, Father Praveen and I were arrested and detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act by the Terrorist Investigation Department,… Read more »

Cameroon Teeters After English Speakers Protest Treatment

A Bilingual Cameroon Teeters After English Speakers Protest Treatment By Francois Essomba & Dionne Searcey, ‘The New York Times,’ February 9, 2017 BAMENDA, Cameroon — Lawyers have long put up with laws that aren’t translated into their native English. They have endured French-speaking judges whose English is barely passable and who aren’t familiar with their… Read more »


by Mano Ganesan, via Twitter, February 8, 2017 Tamils demand #Coexistence & not mere #integration and #reconciliation ‘Tamasha'[theatrical show]. I told few DPL & int’l friends @ my ministry today. Minister of National Dialogue President, Democratic Workers’ Congress Convenor, Civil Monitoring Commission on Extra-Judicial Killings and Disappearance

TNA’s Directionless and Docile Leadership

  The simple and stark truth is that the issues of Tamils will continue to be dragged on due to political compulsions and necessity of the ruling Government or any Government, exploiting the opposition of monks to their advantage. by M.K. Eelaventhan, February 7, 2017 Tamil National Alliance – composing EPRLF, TELO, Ilankai Thamil Arasu… Read more »

War Crimes Swept Under the Carpet

The Sri Lankan war crimes swept under the carpet  by Bruce Haigh, ‘The Age,’ February 6, 2017 According to successive Sri Lankan governments the only war crimes committed during the country’s long civil war, from July 1983 to May 2009, were those perpetrated by the Tamils; aggressive denial has defined their response. The alienation of… Read more »

Reconciliation Accomplished

by Sanjana Hattotuwa, ‘The Sunday Island,’ Colombo, February 5, 2017 In 2003, aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier, the then US President George W. Bush delivered an infamous address proclaiming an end to large scale combat operations in Iraq. “Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States… Read more »

Two Years In Government

A review of the pledges made in 2015 through the lens of constitutional reform, governance and transitional justice by Centre for Policy Alternatives, Colombo, February 2, 2017 The political transition of January 2015 promised ambitious reforms and raised expectations accordingly. Two years on, serious concerns have emerged with regard to the National Unity Government’s reform… Read more »

Sri Lanka’s Transition to Nowhere

Time may be running out for meaningful reforms, and transitional justice remains just out of reach. by Alan Keenan, ‘The Diplomat,’ Tokyo, February 1, 2017 Sri Lanka’s Transition to Nowhere – Alan Keenan – Diplomat – Feb 2017 The momentum of the early months soon slowed, as deep political dysfunctions reasserted themselves in the face… Read more »

The Travel Ban and an Authoritarian ‘Ladder of Violence’

by Amanda Taub, ‘The New York Times,’ February 2, 2017  WASHINGTON — History is full of examples of leaders using “us versus them” politics to paint a particular minority group as a threat to the majority’s safety, morals or culture. That history has scholars of authoritarianism unnerved by President Trump’s order to halt immigration from… Read more »

National Question and Grievances Faced by a Minority

by Dr. Nirmala Chandrahasan, ‘Daily Mirror,’ Colombo, January 30, 2017 In a recent article in the Daily mirror of January 5, 2017, titled “Let’s make Sampanthan’s New Year wish come true, the writer refers to the fact that the Opposition Leader has pinned his hopes for a peaceful and prosperous country in 2017 on a… Read more »

Report of SR on Transitional Justice on Victim Participation

by UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, Geneva, December 27, 2016 SR Transitional Justice Victim Participation Conclusions  84. The present report and the report to the General Assembly focusing on national consultation processes emphasize the importance of broad participation in transitional justice measures, including by victims. They… Read more »

Report of Special Rapporteur on Torture

by UN Special Rapporteur on torture, Geneva, December 22, 2016 SR Torture report on visit to Sri Lanka Conclusions 109. The issue of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment is part of the legacy of the country’s armed conflict, and one of the reasons why the citizens of Sri Lanka continue… Read more »

ITJPSL Welcomes Juan Mendez Report

by International Truth & Justice Project Sri Lanka, South Africa, January 26, 2017 ITJP Juan-Mendez-Report-Welcomed PRESS RELEASE: Johannesburg (26 January 2017): A UN report describing a “culture of torture” in Sri Lanka reinforced by decades of impunity is a wake up call to President Sirisena’s Government to comply with its obligations under international law and… Read more »

Hunger Strikers in Sri Lanka Demand Answers

‘Give us our children back’ by Dharisha Bastians & Geeta Anand, ‘The New York Times,’ January 26, 2017 COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Seated on a platform outside a regional post office in Sri Lanka’s former war zone, about 150 miles north of the capital, Colombo, a mother whose son has been missing for seven years… Read more »