Monthly Archives: September 2011


Sri Lanka’s caste-based politics and the Northern problem

Wars usually settle nagging national issues. They bring to a close any on-going conflict among parties and with the victor claiming superiority over the vanquished, both parties striving to resolve their outstanding concerns amicably or otherwise. More often than not –
history bears testimony to it- what usually happens is the total domination of the losing […]

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By Vishnuguptha | Published on September 21, 2011 at 7:04 am

Whither Media Freedom in Sri Lanka? Is ‘unbowed and unafraid’ the best policy?

‘If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had power, would be justified in silencing mankind.’-John Stuart Mill in his essay ‘On Liberty’
(1859) Dheeraratne J in the case of Thilak […]

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By Lakshman Indranath Keerthisinghe | Published on September 21, 2011 at 5:58 am

A World of Conflict – Sri Lanka

Kevin Sites is an award winning American Journalist with a mission. To cover 20 wars in one year. This is an excerpt from his video documentary “A World of Conflict” in which he records his journey into Sri Lanka’s war zones.

 

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By Kevin Sites | Published on September 20, 2011 at 8:13 pm

Out of hurting stalemate

Battle heats up
For the past three years the issue of war crimes and human rights violations has been hanging over Sri Lanka. Every six months or so, especially around the time for the UN Human Rights Council to meet in Geneva, the battle heats up. On this occasion, the government has
strongly criticised the UN Secretary […]

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By Dr. Jehan Perera | Published on September 18, 2011 at 11:50 am

Human Rights groups urge UNHRC to fulfill its responsibilities towards ensuring accountability in Sri Lanka

Sixteen Human Rights Organisations today (September 16, 2011) called upon the current President of the UN Human Rights Council to provide leadership to the Council towards ensuring accountability in Sri Lanka. They also urged the President to issue an official statement acknowledging the transmission of the UN Panel of Experts Report on Sri Lanka by […]

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By Staff Correspondent | Published on September 16, 2011 at 10:56 pm

Exposing the sham: Sri Lanka guilty of deception in lifting of Emergency

Much has been said about the recent decision of the Government to end the Emergency in Sri Lanka. Some welcomed the move and
others are yet to make any pronouncements. This short essay is an attempt to examine the implications of the decision of the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) together with the nature and effect […]

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By JC Weliamuna | Published on September 16, 2011 at 10:25 pm

UK concerned about credibility of LLRC, warns Sri Lanka it will revisit all options if no progress by year’s end

The eight report (13 July 2011) of the Foreign Affairs Committee on the Human Rights work of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the FCO’s
response was presented to British Parliament by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs by Command of Her Majesty in September 2011. The report addresses issues relating to Sri Lanka from […]

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By | Published on September 16, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Sri Lanka’s government under pressure – Turning the screw

Sep 15th 2011, 15:00 by The Economist online |  THE United States is not in the business of threatening its friends, said Robert O.
Blake, US assistant secretary of state, in Colombo on September 14th. But, he added, smiling placidly, there will be pressure. If a domestic commission appointed by Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka’s president, does not […]

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By | Published on September 16, 2011 at 8:39 pm

Sri Lanka govt restricts religious freedoms in practice says US report

The US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour released its report on Sri Lanka on September 13, 2011.
The International Press Freedom Report covers the period from July-December 2010 and states that while Sri Lanka publicly endorses religious freedom it is not applied in practice.  Below is the full statement.
The Constitution
The constitution and […]

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By | Published on September 16, 2011 at 7:10 am

ICG slams Sri Lanka government, calls on HRC to endorse int’l inquiry into war crimes: Lifting emergency laws hoax

(1) Post-war progress? Assessing government claims
More than two years after the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war, the political situation in the country remains deeply worrying. The unique opportunity the government has to build a lasting and just peace after the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is being lost. The government […]

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By | Published on September 14, 2011 at 11:23 pm


Issues

All Sinhalese Heads of State and Heads of Government, from D S Senanayake to Mahinda Rajapakse, failed to negotiate any agreement acceptable to the Northern Dravidians except J R Jayewardene, who was more or less coerced by the Indian government and who left behind the Gandhi-JR Accord. How ironical is it that J R, who virtually launched the campaign against the BC Pact in 1957, had to, thirty years later in 1987, write into law by way of the 13th Amendment to the 1978 constitution, some of the most salient chapters and clauses of the BC Pact?

Sri Lanka’s caste-based politics and the Northern problem

Wars usually settle nagging national issues. They bring to a close any on-going conflict among parties and with the victor claiming superiority over the vanquished, ...

Human Rights

Sunday Times Editor Sinha Ratnatunga(second from right):In the case of Sinha Ratnatunga v.The State {2001}2Sri LR 172, The Court of Appeal held as follows: ‘What the Press must do is to make us wiser, fuller, surer and sweeter than we are. The Press should not think that they are free to invade the privacy of individuals in the exercise of the constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression merely because the right to privacy is not declared a fundamental right of the individual.’ It was further held that: ‘The law of defamation both civil and criminal is also geared to uphold the human being's rights to human dignity by placing controls on the freedom of speech and expression. The press should not seek under the cover of exercising its freedom of speech and expression, make unwarranted incursions into the private domain of individuals and thereby destroy his right to privacy. Public figures are not exceptions. Even a public figure is entitled to a reasonable measure of privacy.’ It is also important to note that the Court held: ‘The press is all about finding the truth and telling it to the people. In pursuit of that, it is necessary that the press should have the broadest possible freedom of the press. In other words there should be very limited control over the newspapers. Otherwise wrong doing would not be disclosed. Charlatans would not be exposed. Unfairness would go unremedied. Misdeeds in the corridors of power-in government and private institutions will never be known. However with that great gift of press freedom comes great responsibility. In other words the more powerful the press is, it should also be a responsible press which will not abuse the enormous power it has.’

Whither Media Freedom in Sri Lanka? Is ‘unbowed and unafraid’ the best policy?

‘If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in ...

Multimedia

wordl-of-conflict

A World of Conflict – Sri Lanka

Kevin Sites is an award winning American Journalist with a mission. To cover 20 wars in one year. This is an excerpt from his ...

Issues

US envoy Robert Blake: "The significance of the US position is that it is apparently not insisting on an independent international mechanism. Instead it is asking for a “full, credible and independent accounting of and accountability for those who violated international humanitarian law” as identified by the visiting US envoy who has accordingly expressed his interest in the forthcoming report of the Commission on Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation"

Out of hurting stalemate

Battle heats up For the past three years the issue of war crimes and human rights violations has been hanging over Sri Lanka. Every six months ...

Human Rights

HR Laura Dupuy Lassare (R) of Uruguay, President of the HRC with Human Rights High Commissioner Navi Pilllay

Human Rights groups urge UNHRC to fulfill its responsibilities towards ensuring accountability in Sri Lanka

Sixteen Human Rights Organisations today (September 16, 2011) called upon the current President of the UN Human Rights Council to provide leadership to the Council ...

Opinion

President Rajapakse: "One can argue that those who advise the Executive to violate legal principles are also guilty of these breaches of national and international norms and without such authority the Executive probably would not go that far"

Exposing the sham: Sri Lanka guilty of deception in lifting of Emergency

Much has been said about the recent decision of the Government to end the Emergency in Sri Lanka. Some welcomed the move and President Rajapakse in ...

Human Rights

William-Hague-002

UK concerned about credibility of LLRC, warns Sri Lanka it will revisit all options if no progress by year’s end

The eight report (13 July 2011) of the Foreign Affairs Committee on the Human Rights work of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the FCO’s British ...

Human Rights

Robert Blake shakes hands with President Rajapakse on September 12, 20011 in Colombo. Photo taken from http://news.yahoo.com/photos/photo-of-the-day-slideshow-1309242001-slideshow/robert-blake-met-sri-lankan-president-mahinda-rajapakse-photo-073419728.html

Sri Lanka’s government under pressure – Turning the screw

Sep 15th 2011, 15:00 by The Economist online |  THE United States is not in the business of threatening its friends, said Robert O. Robert Blake shakes ...

Human Rights

Picture shows scenes after a church was attacked on July 6, 2008 by a large mob led by Buddhist monks

Sri Lanka govt restricts religious freedoms in practice says US report

The US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour released its report on Sri Lanka on September 13, 2011. Picture shows scenes after a ...

Human Rights

MR president relelceted in 2010

ICG slams Sri Lanka government, calls on HRC to endorse int’l inquiry into war crimes: Lifting emergency laws hoax

(1) Post-war progress? Assessing government claims More than two years after the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war, the political situation in the country remains deeply ...