Posts Categorized: Politics

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 »

SL HRC Letter re Proposed Amendment to Criminal Procedure Act

The passage of the new Bill will hinder the efforts of the Government which has expressed its determination to stop torture in Sri Lanka. by Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, September 21, 2016 HRC SL Letter-to-PM-on-21.09.2016 Proposed Amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure Act Depriving Suspects of Access to Lawyers until their Statements… Read more »

Why Referendums Aren’t as Democratic as They Seem

The Interpreter By Amanda Taub & Max Fisher, ‘The New York Times,’ October 4, 2016 The voters of the world have had quite a year: They rejected Colombia’s peace deal; split Britain from the European Union; endorsed a Thai Constitution that curtails democracy; and, in Hungary, backed the government’s plan to restrict refugees, but without… Read more »

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 »