Posts Categorized: Politics

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 »

Foreign Judges: Sri Lanka’s Dilemma

by M.S.M Ayub, ‘The Daily Mirror,’ Colombo, January 13, 2017 The question remains as to how Sri Lanka is going to justify its rejection of foreign participation in the accountability process after co-sponsoring the UNHRC resolution The question about the involvement of foreign judges in the mechanism to investigate the allegations of Human Rights violations… Read more »

GSP+ forSri Lanka – Testing the EU’s Commitments

by Thambu Kanagasabai, Toronto, Canada, January 21, 2017 Under this scheme EU [European Union] grants additional tariff reductions to developing countries for imports eligible to qualify for these duty concessions. This scheme which was enjoyed by Sri Lanka until 2010 was suspended due to the ‘failure of Mahinda’s Government to address reported human rights violations… Read more »

UN System Owes Sri Lankan Tamils Remedial Justice

For its failures in delivering justice and to protect them during the genocidal war from 2004 to 2009 by Kumarathasan Rasingam, January 10, 2017 “In the end, it comes down to values, as was said so many times today. We want the world our children inherit to be defined by the values enshrined in the… Read more »

Germany Sued for Damages of ‘Forgotten Genocide’ in Namibia

by Reuters, New York, January 5, 2017 Descendants of the Herero and Nama people brought lawsuit for what they called a campaign of genocide by German colonial troops in the early 1900s Germany has been sued for damages in the United States by descendants of the Herero and Nama people of Namibia, for what they… Read more »

Time for a Political Solution

by Meera Srinivasan, ‘The Hindu,’ Madras, January 9, 2016 Two years after the national unity government took power on the promise of reform and change, the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe combine needs to recover the earlier momentum Two years after Sri Lankans made an emphatic point by voting for change, which President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil… Read more »

The Proposed Constitution

… Will It Accomodate the Just Demands of the Tamils or Abandon Them to Choose Their Own Destiny? By: Thambu Kanagasabai, January 2, 2016 Sri Lanka, the tear shaped island, according to researchers, came into existence about 7000 years ago when the island separated from the Indian sub continent while the narrow strip of shallow… Read more »

Sovereignty can be Bought and Sold like a Commodity

by Stephen Presser, Aeon.co, January 2, 2017 Though it is not often thought of as a commodity, sovereignty resembles one in that it can be bought and sold. Indeed, the purchase of sovereignty was a primary vehicle of American expansion. In a series of treaties that helped create the United States of today, governments operated… Read more »

Narendra Modi’s Year of Living Dangerously

by Sanand Dhume, ‘The Wall Street Journal,’ December 29, 2016 When Narendra Modi stormed to power two-and-a-half years ago with India single-party majority in a generation, much of the world expected a vigorous economic reformer When Narendra Modi stormed to power two-and-a-half years ago with India single-party majority in a generation, much of the world… Read more »

Federalism Addresses Minority Rights: Prof. R. Sivachandran

by Kelum Bandara, ‘The Daily News,’ Colombo, December 30, 2016 Prof. R. Sivachandran, a Central Committee member of Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK), in an interview with the Dailymirror by email, advocates the Federal structure of government for the North and East. The ITAK is the dominant ally of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) at… Read more »

Letter to Amb. Power

by S. Kanesathasan, February 15, 2016 This short submission highlights some unprecedented aspects of the Sri Lankan experience and makes a plea for a strong personal and early initiative by President Obama and Secretary Kerry to finally end the pernicious practice of Sri Lankan governments, including the current one, of unmet commitments made at its… Read more »

Verdict on Raviraj Murder Case

Another Travesty of Justice by M.K. Eelaventhan, December 27, 2016 The recent acquittal of six accused in the political murder trial of late MP Raviraj is not surprising. It is yet another expected verdict from the Sri Lankan judiciary. It would have been a real surprise if the accused were convicted, as in the Sri… Read more »