Posts Categorized: Politics

Why Some Wars Get More Attention Than Others

But when the world asks why America has forgotten Yemen and other conflicts like it, that has the situation backward. The truth is that inattention is the default, not the exception. Conflicts gain sustained American attention only when they provide a compelling story line that appeals to both the public and political actors, and for… Read more »

“Reconciliation” and Government’s “Sinhala Silence”

by Kusal Perera, on his blog, September 27, 2016 Tamil politics took a new turn last Saturday not given much political attention in Colombo. The Tamil People’s Council (TPC) called for a mass protest on that day (24 Sept) under the banner”Ezhuga Tamil” (Let Tamils Rise) demanding early answers for their pressing problems. Jaffna district… Read more »

The President at the UN

  Political appointees of the President perceive political appointees of the PM as their enemies, and independent of any direct order or edict, block, manoeuvre and curry favour with scant regard for actual policy development, implementation or reform. This results in scenarios very far removed from the roseate picture of Sri Lanka painted at the… 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 »

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 »

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 »

Building More Viharas In The North-East Will Negate Reconciliation Efforts

by Thangavelu, ‘Colombo Telegraph,’ September 6, 2016 On August 23, 2016 the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) passed a resolution during the 56th sitting unanimously condemning the building of a Buddhist vihara by Sri Lankan troops on land belonging to a Hindu temple in Kilinochchi. The resolution was moved by NPC member Subramaniam Pasupathipillai. “The Kanakambikai… Read more »

The Fractured North

by Dharisha Bastians, ‘The Daily FT,’ Colombo, September 8, 2016 A permanent political solution within Rajavarothiam Sampanthan’s lifetime is Sri Lanka’s last best hope for achieving peace within this generation. The TNA after Sampanthan will be a fragmented and disintegrating alliance, whose conflicting interests will make a final solution to an ethnic conflict that has… 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 »

That Great Betrayal and Institutional Accountability

by Kishali Pinto Jqyawardene, ‘The Sunday Times,’ Colombo, September 4, 2016 Visiting United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s assertion that ‘much needs to be done in order to redress wrongs of the past and restore accountability of key organizations, particularly the judiciary and the security services’ raises an interesting question. Myopic framing of core… Read more »

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Charged with Corruption

by BBC, August 31, 2016 One of Sri Lanka’s most controversial politicians has been charged with corruption involving the illegal transfer of state-owned weapons. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is charged with allowing a private firm to establish a floating armoury. It is claimed the move deprived the state of more than $75m (£57m). Mr Rajapaksa, who denies… 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 http://webtv.un.org/meetings-events/human-rights-treaty-bodies/committee-on-the-elimination-of-racial-discrimination/watch/consideration-of-sri-lanka-2468th-meeting-90th-session-of-committee-on-elimination-of-racial-discrimination-/5096765195001 August 16 – 3 hrs http://webtv.un.org/meetings-events/human-rights-treaty-bodies/committee-on-the-elimination-of-racial-discrimination/watch/consideration-of-sri-lanka-contd-2469th-meeting-90th-session-of-committee-on-elimination-of-racial-discrimination-/5089683096001 Documents associated with the report at http://sangam.org/committee-racial-discrimination-assessment-sri-lanka-report/

UNSG: Sustaining Peace – Achieving the SDGs

by UN Secretary-General, Colombo, September 2, 2016 UN Secretary-General – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opfyKTCA_wM&feature=youtu.be Foreign Minister – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T32wo98qUCU https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/speeches/2016-09-02/remarks-event-sri-lanka-sdg16-sustaining-peace-%E2%80%93-achieving 2 September 2016 Secretary-General’s remarks at event in Sri Lanka on SDG16: Sustaining Peace – Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals It is an honour to be here today to talk about the links between peace and sustainable development. This is my… Read more »

Colombian Negotiators Announce a Final Peace Accord

by Jenny Bouvier, ‘Colombia Calls,’ Washington, DC, August 24, 2016 The suitcase has been ready and there have been several false alarms, but last night it was confirmed that tonight will be the night.  A final peace agreement, pending a few items, has been reached in Havana.  The negotiating teams are expected to spend the… Read more »

America Shouldn’t Rush to Support Sri Lanka’s Military

by Taylor Dibbert, ‘The National Interest,’ August 18, 2016 Colombo needs to shape up before it gets rewarded by Washington. The United States is poised to deepen ties with Sri Lanka’s military. Such an initiative would likely include increased military cooperation between the two countries, training programs and possibly an uptick in military assistance heading… Read more »