Posts Categorized: Politics

Statement by Former Members of the CTF

Statement by Former Members of the Consultation Task Force Colombo, March 15, 2017 CTF Eng_Statement_150317 15th March 2017, Colombo, Sri Lanka: The Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms (CTF) was mandated to ascertain the views of the public on the reconciliation mechanisms proposed by the Government of Sri Lanka and incorporated in the resolution co-sponsored… Read more »

Measures to Placate Sri Lanka’s Tamil Minority are Stalling

The ruling coalition includes chauvinist Sinhalese with scant interest in moving forward [reconciliation]? by ‘The Economist,’ March 16, 2017 “WE ARE like dogs in the street, while your men occupy our homes,” read one of the banners strung up by Tamil protesters, mostly women in saris and ragged children. They had been camping for more… Read more »

Sturgeon Says Scotland Could Hold Independence Vote

 In ‘Autumn of 2018’ by Reuters, posted on ‘The New York Times,’ March 9, 2017 EDINBURGH — Scotland could hold an independence referendum in the autumn of 2018, just months before Britain is due to leave the European Union, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told the BBC, and a second poll in a month suggested… Read more »

OHCHR Report on Sri Lanka

Advance edited version February 10, 2017 Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on Sri Lanka OHCHR Report on Sri Lanka 10 Feb 2017 http://ap.ohchr.org/documents/dpage_e.aspx?si=A/HRC/34/20 Summary    The present report assesses the progress made in the implementation of Human Rights Council resolution 30/1, on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human… Read more »

US State Dept. Human Rights Report 2016

Sri Lanka EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   Sri Lanka is a constitutional, multiparty republic with a freely elected government. In January 2015, voters elected President Maithripala Sirisena to a five-year term. The Parliament shares power with the president. August 2015 parliamentary elections resulted in a coalition government between the two major political parties. Both elections were free and… Read more »

Report of the Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues

Report of the Special-Rapporteur on minority issues on her mission to Sri Lanka Feb 2017               Contents I. Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 3 II. Minority rights: legal, political and institutional framework………………………………………………… 4 III. Overall challenges for minorities …………………………………………………………………………………….. 6 A. Governance and political participation ……………………………………………………………………… 6 B. Linguistic rights …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 6… Read more »

China and Sri Lanka: Between a Dream and a Nightmare

Colombo is realizing the unintended strategic consequences of closer ties with Beijing by Jeff Smith, ‘The Diplomat,’ Tokyo, November 18, 2016 My previous article for The Diplomat examined Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte’s trip to Beijing and the security and economic implications of the deals he sealed with China to construct ports and artificial islands in the… Read more »

CRS: Background, Reform, Reconciliation, and Geopolitical Context

by US Congressional Research Service, Washington, DC, January 4, 2017 CRS Sri Lanka Background Reform Reconciliation and Geopolitical Context Jan 2017 Summary Sri Lanka is a nation of geopolitical importance despite its relatively small size. Strategically positioned near key maritime sea lanes that transit the Indian Ocean and link Asia with Europe and Africa, Sri… Read more »

A Look Through CIA Reports

‘Burn Jaffna to the ground’ by ‘Tamil Guardian,’ London, February 20, 2017 Declassified documents from the CIA show how despite regarding himself as “South Asia’s elder statesman and a political moderate” the Sri Lankan president “had twice ordered his forces to take Jaffna” as part of a massive military assault on the peninsula.  A set… Read more »

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 http://www.ucanews.com/news/draconian-law-cripples-sri-lankas-reconciliation-hopes/78188 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 »

Co-Existence

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 »