Posts Categorized: Government

CHRD: Oral Submission to Consultation Task Force

by K.S. Ratnavale, Centre for Human Rights & Development, Kotte, Sri Lanka, July 5, 2016 There has been a country –wide discussion about Transitional Justice. The government of Sri Lanka has appointed a Task Force who in turn appointed Zonal Task Force for consultations. There has been an avalanche of activities in the districts and… Read more »

State Structure in Sri Lanka 2007

by Claus Kruse, Centre for International Migration & Development/Northern & Eastern Provincial Councils, 2007 CIM-Overview-State-Structure 2007 5.7.6 Conclusions Owing to the prevalent administrative circumstances, the government-controlled line of command is the preeminent planning authority at district and local level. This situation appears prevalent in most districts, and usually these entities are viewed as the… Read more »

A Comment on the Proposed Office of Missing Persons

by Basil Fernando, ‘Colombo Telegraph,’ May 30, 2016 Basil Fernando It seems no progress can be made in Sri Lanka on the attitude to murder. Murder is now regarded as normal and therefore not something to worry much about. And, this is exactly what should worry everyone. But hardly anyone seems to worry about it…. Read more »

Federalism – A Misused Political Trump Card

Federalism is not division nor disintegration but a device to distribute the powers to the regions, allowing the different ethnic groups the freedom to preserve their language, ethnic identity, culture and way of life, while preserving the essential unity of the country.

Getting US Messaging Right

Getting US Messaging about Sri Lanka’s ‘Democratic Transition’ Right by Taylor Dibbert, ‘The Diplomat,’ Tokyo, March 31, 2016 Nisha Biswal, the U.S. State Department’s assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs, spoke at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, on Monday. Her prepared remarks were… Read more »

Sampur: Documentary Trailer

Thousands of individuals from across Sri Lanka have been displaced for years, some multiple times.  For over a decade, the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) has documented issues related to displacement and returns, advocating reform and litigating on unjust and arbitrary practices. Two cases CPA has followed closely for years, supporting litigation and advocating land… Read more »

Rising from the Embers

by Tomasz Augustyniak, ‘Quartz India,’ March 28, 2016 On Friday evenings, vans and tuk-tuks usually form long queues before Jaffna’s only shopping mall. There’s a hint of exquisite perfume in the air. Mothers in kurtas mind their colourfully attired children. Single young men sporting oversized wrist watches zip around on motorcycles. Though rare, one can… Read more »

No Foreign Judges?

President Maithripala Sirisena has recently said at a gathering of judicial officers that he won’t accept foreign judges in any investigation into human rights violations here. Stating that he has his faith in local judges and judicial administrators he has stressed the need to ensure judicial independence. President Sirisena may have his faith in the… Read more »

Of Rape, Killings, Impunity and our Collective Amnesia

The passion and commitment of local women’s rights activists and others, although largely unsung, is awe-inspiring and we have the deepest respect for their work. However, this is not a struggle that they alone can accomplish. The state of violence against women and children in Sri Lanka, is our collective reality. The only way by which we can achieve any significant success in this regard, is if we also realise the collective responsibility – the government, the criminal justice system and society as a whole.

So, the question here should not be, if or not we should protest, but rather, that we recognize that protests are an integral part of the process, but, that it cannot achieve much on its own.

Action on Mahaweli System B in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 16 March 2016, 23:47 GMT] Maithiriapala Sirisene, the president of genocidal Sri Lanka, who visited his native district of Polonnaruwa last week, has vowed to ‘develop’ the villages that are being Sinhalicised along the border of Batticaloa and Polonnaruwa through ‘Mahaweli System B’, which is being accelerated according to his latest instructions. Hailing… Read more »

National Question Can Be Solved Only By Power Sharing

On January 25 this year Opposition and Thamil National Alliance (TNA) Leader R. Sampanthan left for London and then to the Scottish capital Edinburgh accompanied by his trusted lieutenant Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran, MP. Sampanthan’s visit to Scotland coincided with the government taking steps to draft a new Constitution. Scottish experience Both Sampanthan and Sumanthiran participated at a constitutional workshop held to explore possible alternatives… Read more »

CJP: Story of the Political Prisoners in Sri Lanka

CJP Justice delayed Observations. The controversial PTA (Prevention of Terrorision Act) which was in effect throughout the long ethnic war in spite of protests from Human Rights Groups is still in effect even 6 years after the war.The prolonged and indefinite detention of most of the prisoners is due to this. With regard to most… Read more »

Statistical Information for the Northern Provincial Council

Northern Provincial Council 2015 Statistical Information 2015 Northern Provincial Council (Unable to easily find similar information through the Eastern Provincial Council.  Some information is available for digging at —

Pressing Your Case: Nonviolent Movements and the Media

  Introduction by Nada Alwadi Organizers and strategists of nonviolent movements often struggle in dealing with the mainstream news media. Some consider it their enemy, because coverage can be patchy or inaccurate. Others unrealistically expect the media to advocate for their causes. Yet few resources for activists have provided a reliable explanation of how an… Read more »

A Look at Language Rights in Sri Lanka

When asked about what the official language in Sri Lanka is, a majority of Sri Lankans said that it is Sinhala only while only 15% gave the correct answer of Sinhala and Tamil. CPA has a long history of work in the field of language rights, one that speaks of great success for minority communities… Read more »

“More Than a Domestic Mechanism”

For nearly three decades, the government of Sri Lanka fought with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), but after years of resistance, the new government has committed to launching a genuine transitional justice program to address, and redress, the grave international crimes committed by all sides during the conflict. This welcome about-face comes after… Read more »

144 NGOs & Activists Call on GOSL to Stand by Intl Commitments

We the undersigned activists and organizations condemn President Maithripala Sirisena’s recent statements (BBC Sinhala Service, 21 Jan. 2015, Frontline, 14 Jan, 2015) wherein he appears to be indicating a withdrawal from the obligations the Government had committed to in the consensus resolution passed at the 30th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in… Read more »

Testing Time for Sri Lanka and Tamils

Yet another — a fourth new constitution — is in the making for the troubled Sri Lanka, which has had three different constitutions since independence, in the years 1948, 1972 &1976, all of which apparently failed to meet the national challenges, which prevailed in Sri Lanka.  The refreshing picture in this iteration is the participation… Read more »