Posts Categorized: Politics

Comparing Contentious Post-war Politics in Nepal and Sri Lanka

By Jonathan Goodhand and Oliver Walton, ‘East Asia Forum,’ Australia, October 27, 2016 Sri Lanka and Nepal may have turned their backs on protracted and bloody conflicts but the fault lines that fuelled these wars have not gone away. One key challenge now facing political elites is that of constitutional reform. But long-standing central-peripheral tensions threaten… Read more »

The ICC, Out of Africa

by Thierry Cruvellier, ‘The New York Times,’ November 6, 2016 In just a few weeks, Burundi, South Africa and Gambia have announced that they would withdraw from the International Criminal Court, a permanent tribunal investigating war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. Since its creation in 1998, the I.C.C. has been hobbled by the refusal… Read more »

Why Facebook Won’t Help Heal War Torn Sri Lanka’s Wounds

by Senel Wanniarachchi, ‘The Sunday Leader,’ Colombo, November 6, 2016  Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict, one of the world’s most protracted and destructive conflicts of our time was brought to a bloody, military end in May of 2009. Seven years have passed since, but the communities in the country remain divided along narrow ethno-religious lines. In… Read more »

Devolution of Land Powers

by Verite Research, Colombo, October 2016 Devolution of Land Powers_A guide for decision-makers Executive Summary This is a practical guide for decision-makers on devolving land powers in Sri Lanka. It is meant to help comprehend the complex and sometimes contradictory provisions in relation to the devolution of powers over land. The guide is presented in… Read more »

Dynamics of Sinhala Buddhist Ethno-Nationalism in Post-War Sri Lanka

by Ayesha Zuhair, Centre for Policy Analysis, Colombo, April 20, 2016 Almost seven years have lapsed since the end of the war, yet Sri Lanka continues to remain a deeply divided society. Empirical evidence from the four waves of the ‘Democracy in post-war Sri Lanka’ public opinion survey conducted by Social Indicator (SI), the survey… Read more »

Counter Terror Smarter

By Michael German, US News & World Report, October 26, 2016 The counterterrorism debate is again playing out like so many times before. As soon as police identified a Muslim-American, Ahmad Khan Rahami, as a person of interest in a bombing attack in New York City, policymakers automatically inferred links to international terrorist groups and… Read more »

My Rights are an Entitlement, not a Favour

by Namini Wijedasa on her blog, October 29, 2016 You know what, I’m not comfortable with the yardstick used by some to measure the performance of this government. I’m not happy with being asked to appreciate and be grateful for regaining some of my most basic rights, such as the freedom to express myself freely…. Read more »

Northern Muslim Expulsion & Tamil Leadership

By Shahul Hasbullah, ‘Colombo Telegraph,’ November 2, 2016 Prof. Shahul Hasbullah Last Sunday, October 30, 2016, a commemoration event was organised in Colombo by the newly formed group “North Muslim Civil Society” on the theme of “A necessary Solution for Northern Muslims”. I was struck by the fact that the chief guest and guest of… Read more »

Fighting For Fish

by Meera Srinivasan, ‘Caravan,’ India, November 2, 2016 EARLY IN DECEMBER LAST YEAR, Kadiramalai Loganathan’s father succumbed to a long illness. The funeral exacted a heavy price, and to recoup it the fisherman had little choice but to quickly return to sea. On the night of 16 December, barely a week after his loss, Loganathan… Read more »

Old Wine

by Sanjana Hattotuwa on his blog, October 23, 2016 President Sirisena is clearly unhappy. When UPFA MP Kumara Welgama’s house was raided last week in search of two state-owned vehicles, President Sirisena said it was an “immature” act. Especially since of late, the President has taken some effort to demonstrate by example what political immaturity… Read more »

How Sri Lanka Demonstrates the Limits of the UN System

This is a classic example of pursuing an important issue in a forum that’s not equipped to handle it. by Taylor Dibbert, ‘The National Interest,’ Washington, DC, October 20, 2016 In recent years, the island nation of Sri Lanka has received considerable attention from the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council. Country-specific council resolutions were passed… Read more »

January 8: The Promise and the Pain

President Sirisena’s outburst last week only reinforced public perception that two years after they swept into office on a wave of hope and change, the Government’s only commitment was to the restoration of the political status quo and the corrupt business of politics as usual. In ways that will become apparent only years from now,… Read more »

Why Just Counting the Dead in Syria Won’t Bring Them Justice

A full tally of the war’s horrific violence requires estimates, models, and sophisticated pattern analysis to understand who’s responsible and why. by Patrick Ball, ‘Foreign Policy,’ Washington, DC, October 19, 2016 Nearly 18,000 people died in Syrian government prisons between March 2011 and December 2015. My colleagues and I at the Human Rights Data Analysis Group(HRDAG)… Read more »

GTF welcomes the UN Special Rapporteur’s statement

Issued for immediate release  PRESS STATEMENT 22 October 2016, London   Global Tamil Forum welcomes the UN Special Rapporteur’s statement on minority rights and calling on Sri Lanka to act decisively to not to lose the momentous opportunity to bring lasting peace and reconciliation among all communities The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) welcomes the end-of-mission… Read more »

Statement of UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues

Statement of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Rita Izsák-Ndiaye, on the conclusion of her official visit to Sri Lanka, 10-20 October 2016 http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=20709&LangID=E by Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva, 20 October 2016 In my capacity as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on minority issues, I conducted an official… Read more »

Tamils Resort to Nationalism to Shore Up Eroding Political Base

By JS Tissainayagam, ‘Asian Correspondent,’ September 30, 2016 In its list of demands, the ‘Eluga Thamil’ (Tamils Arise!) rally in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, on Sept 24 included phrases that form the bedrock of Tamil nationalism – ‘Tamil nation,’ ‘sovereignty’ and the ‘right to self-determination.’ This is because the Sri Lanka government and Tamil politicians supporting the regime are… Read more »

A Tamil Diaspora Perspective on Sri Lanka

I want to reemphasize that any type of political resolution should be based on the people’s will ascertained through a referendum. by Taylor Dibbert, ‘International Policy Digest,’ USA, October 10, 2016 Mr. Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran is Prime Minister of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE). He is based in New York City. This interview has… 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 »

Buddhism and the Regulation of Religion in the New Constitution

by Benjamin Schonthal and Asanga Welikala, Centre for Policy Alternatives, Colombo, August 2016 Buddhism-and-the-regulation-of-religion-in-the-new-constitution-Working-Paper-3 …This Working Paper offers a legal and historical overview of the issue of Buddhism in Sri Lanka’s constitution, which, we hope, will help the Constitutional Assembly in its deliberations. We also hope that this Working Paper will help advance discussions beyond… Read more »

Elugha Tamil [Arise Tamils] and Vilifying Hon. Wigneswaran

by Thambu Kanagasabai, October 9, 2016 The ‘Eluga Tamil rallies held in Jaffna on September 24, 2016 received overwhelming response and ended with astonishing success beyond the expectations of many, belying the pessimists. The success of this event was due to the undaunted efforts of Tamil Peoples’ Council spearheaded by Northern Province Chief Minister Wigneswaran,… Read more »