Posts Categorized: Government

Constitutional Experiments in Sri Lanka

Summary [Since the decolonisation of Ceylon, the constitutional status of the legislature, executive and judiciary have undergone transformation due to proclamations of the two native constitutions in 1972 and 1978.  These two constitutions were made in order to accommodate the demand of the people of the ethnic majority, as well as to adopt the political… Read more »

CPA: The Need for Reparations

CPA The-Need-for-a-Comprehensive-Reparations-Policy-and-Package Discussion Paper: The Need for a Comprehensive Reparations Policy and Package 27 April 2015, Colombo, Sri Lanka: For any post war society grappling with the consequences of past violence and engaged in exploring modalities for transitional justice, reparations is an important tool. Reparations, if designed and implemented in an inclusive manner that factors in… Read more »

Letter to PM Rajiv Gandhi from TULF on 13th Amendment Our Disappointment With Proposals Contained In The Two Bills 28th Oct 1987 Shri Rajiv Gandhi, Prime Minister of India, New Delhi. Dear Prime Minister, We thank you once again for all your efforts on behalf of the Tamil people. We repeat our deep anguish at the tragic turn of events in Jaffna. We feel it is… Read more »

Devolution in the Northern Province

by Centre for Policy Alternatives, Colombo, March 10, 2015 The first elections of the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) held in September 2013 provided an important opportunity to test the utility of the Thirteenth Amendment in devolving power. Until then, the Northern Province was essentially under Central administration (through the Governor) for the larger part of… Read more »

Sri Lanka’s Unfinished Humanitarian Business

First, the new administration must address the problem of internal displacement in Sri Lanka.

Second, Sri Lanka must deal with the issues of detention and disappearances.

Third, Sri Lanka’s new government must act on both local and international demands for a full enquiry into the conduct of the military campaign that put an end to the Tamil quest for autonomy. Were crimes against humanity committed, and if so, will the perpetrators of those atrocities ever be held accountable for of their actions?

Sri Lanka Premier Starts With Fixing Civil War Ills

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Paintings at Temple Trees, this country’s White House, are still leaning against walls waiting to be hung, and the gated grounds are no longer teeming with guards and stewards who served the home’s previous occupant like supplicants at a royal court. But more than a month after taking over this iconic… Read more »

Tamil Sripavan Appointed Sri Lanka’s Top Judge

Sri Lanka’s president has appointed a Tamil judge as the new chief justice – the first member of the minority community to hold the post in decades. Judge Kanagasabapathy Sripavan, 62, was sworn in in the capital Colombo. President Maithripala Sirisena, from the majority Sinhalese community, has sought reconciliation with Tamils after the separatist war… Read more »

A Garrison State?

The Sri Lankan military is Sri Lankan in name only. In actuality, it is predominantly Sinhalese and Buddhist in composition, and Sinhala-Buddhist supremacist in ethos. How will the militarisation of an ethno-religiously pluralist society by such a monolithic military impact on inter-communal relations and on the rights and security of minorities?

Traditionally, Sinhala-Buddhist supremacists strongly advocated the state-aided internal colonisation of Tamil-majority areas. They realised that the consequent demographic changes would cause a drastic electoral disempowerment of Tamils. State-aided colonisation schemes implemented by successive Lankan governments contributed to the worsening of Sinhala-Tamil relations.

In the post-war period, this project has been embraced by the Rajapaksas for their own purposes. Having decisively lost the 2013 provisional election in the Tamil-majority Northern Province, the Rajapaksas desire to change Northern demographics for electoral reasons just as much as Sinhala-Buddhist supremacists yearn to do so for ideological reasons. The military has become the willing executioner of this joint Rajapaksa-Sinhala/Buddhist supremacist project to render Tamils thinner on the northern ground.

Military Presence in the North of Sri Lanka

Five years since the end of the war, a significant military presence still remains in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. This despite repeated assurances by the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) that the military presence is, and will be phased out in order to pave way for post-war reconciliation efforts. In a context of… Read more »

Losing Battles but Winning Wars

by Fred Carver, Independent Policy Digest, Washington, August 9, 2014 Jean-Marc Ferré/UN Photo To many external observers the Government of Sri Lanka appeared to lose the plot somewhat during the recent UN Human Rights Council (HRC) session. A series of overt and heavy handed attempts to silence dissent, even as the session was discussing a… Read more »

Sri Lanka’s NGO Clampdown

The shrinking space for NGOs can be viewed as a microcosm of broader trends on the island. Peoples’ freedom of movement and freedom of association are consistently curtailed, especially in the north. A restrictive media environment illustrates the fact that the freedom of expression is limited. The government’s unwillingness to promote human rights, reconciliation, or accountability has made a complex post-war environment even more unsustainable. And continued (and unnecessary) militarization has only made things worse. The regime’s recent crackdown on NGOs is another example of the government’s relentless effort to further centralize power and stifle dissent.

Northern Education System Review Report 2014

NPEduReviewReportEng 2014 NPEduReviewReporttamil Provincial Dept. of Education – Northern Province Executive Summary The Northern Education System Review (NESR) was conceived by the newly elected Hon. Minister of Education, Cultural Affairs, Sports and Youth Affairs Mr. Thambirajah Gurukularajah soon after the election of the first Provincial Government of the North. He invited all the senior members… Read more »

Sri Lanka Moves to Silence NGOs, Press Groups

The Sri Lankan government has taken yet another step to silence critical media coverage, banning non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from holding press conferences and issuing press releases, as well as running workshops or training sessions. The action, announced Sunday by Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Defense, left the country’s many press groups wondering whether they are even… Read more »

US Dismayed by P’ment Vote on Non-Cooperation with UN Probe

Asked why US-led resolutions at the UNHRC were increasingly harsher, the US Deputy Assistant Secretary noted that five years after the war ended there had been little progress on issues related to accountability and a political solution to share power with the island’s Tamil community.

“Five years since the war ended I have not seen any meaningful negotiations of the very tricky political issues related to federalism,” Keshap asserted.

TULF, 13th Amendment & Devolution

TULF’s letter to Indian PM Rajeev Gandhi on 13th Amendment – TULFs_disappointment_with_13th_Amendment_Bill “We feel it our duty to also express our disappointment with the proposals to solve the Tamil problem contained in the two Bills – the 13th Amendment to the constitution and the Provincial Councils Bill – presented to Parliament by the Sri Lanka Government…. Read more »

War, Peace and the Manufacturing of Rajapaksa Myths

The post-war Rajapaksa meta-narrative is aimed buttressing the connection between the majority ethno-religious community and the country’s new rulers. It is premised on three main myths – the myth of eternal national insecurity, the myth of miraculous development and the myth of the infallible hero-king. The three myths reinforce each other; in confluence they create and sustain the socio-psychological soil necessary for the new Rajapaksa dynasty to take root and flourish.

NPC Resolution Requesting Assistance on Teachers & MDs

SriLanka_NPC_Resolution_22May2014_English SriLanka_NPC_Resolution_22May2014_Tamil —- The recent resolution by the Northern Provincial Council requesting assistance from India and Tamil Nadu governments. The following resolution was tabled by the Council Member Hon M.K. Shivajilingam and adopted by the Northern Provincial Council in Sri Lanka on May 22, 2014 RESOLUTION Calling upon India to provide Tamil speaking doctors, and teachers for… Read more »