Toy Pistol Local Governance in Hambantota Image courtesy Nidahasa The country woke up a few days ago to news that a group of opposition UNP MPs on a fact finding visit to the new airport and port in Hambanthota had come under attack from goon squads. Subsequently, photographs showed His Worship (the UPFA) Lord Mayor of Hambantota, Eraj Ravindra Fernando, chasing the UNP MPs with ...

I was engaged in the thoroughly humdrum activity of marking some LL.B Honours dissertations early this Good Friday morning when I received an email from my old schoolmate, Sam Wickramasinghe, informing me of the death last night of Ananda Chittambalam. I am still shocked at the suddenness of his demise and terribly saddened by the news. But as Dryden said, ...

Colombo’s changing cityscape Introduction Since the end of the war in 2009, reconstruction and development in Sri Lanka has centred primarily on rapid economic development (Bopage, 2010; Goodhand, 2011). This can be seen in the current drive to transform Colombo into a “world-class city”, as a “preferred destination for international business and tourism” (Secretary of Defence and Urban Development). The improvements can ...

Women and Children: The Cutting Edge of International Law Photo by UN/Myriam Asmani, via World Education Blog The Grotius Lecture 2014[1] PREFACE Sometime at the end of 2012, while I was still the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict, I met an ambassador from an Asian country just before a United Nations Security Council meeting on children and armed conflict. He ...

The arrest, detention and torture of Tamils in post-war Sri Lanka Image from The Anti-Torture Initiative There is an alarming trend in the Sri Lankan security forces operation, of arresting the family members of suspects and keeping them as hostages in detention camps. Irrespective of their age, gender and connection to those suspects, the family members are kept under arrest/ detention most notably in the infamous 4th/ 2nd floors in ...

Generating Calamity, 2008-2014: An Overview of Tamil Nationalist Operations and Their Marvels Summarising previous essays (see bibliography below) this article proceeds in point-form with an eye on greater impact via succinctness. A. During the last phase of Eelam War IV in 2008/09 the LTTE attempted an international heist that is unprecedented in world history:[1] they used some 320,000 of their own people to manufacture a picture of an “impending humanitarian disaster” ...

Illusory Economy versus the Real Economy of Sri Lanka Editors note: Read the original article by the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka on Forbes.com or as a PDF here. Photo by Dinuka Liyanawatte/REUTERS, courtesy the Curionimist. ### A Rejoinder to the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka The Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has penned a compelling article entitled “Practical, not Conventional, ...

Rescuing Patriotism from the Extremists Photo: Paula Bronstein for The Global Mail It is almost five years since the military victory of May 2009 brought an end to three decades of armed conflict. Yet, the prospects for securing a stable and inclusive peace in Sri Lanka appear bleak. The first victim of “peace” was the APRC. This long and important process for developing a ...

Sri Lanka: Post-Geneva, Post-Provincial Council Elections Photograph by Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP/Getty Images via Al Jazeera Post- Geneva and post- PC elections, some clarifications are in order because the resolution, locally, came to be obscured by the fog of elections and the scare stories that were put out about sanctions and the electric chair, not to mention the absurdity of the arithmetic of the Geneva vote propounded by ...

UNHRC Resolution: To be reviewed with objectivity Image courtesy Rightsnow “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crises, maintain their neutrality”. John F. Kennedy   The D day in March has passed us by having placed a heavy hand as expected.  The intensely canvassed process for a yes or no to the resolution has ended with a yes to ...

Freedom and bondage: Lankans, then and now Introduction There is a need to question the adequacy and suitability of current conceptions of both ‘human rights’ and ‘secularism’ to meet the challenges of unbridled majoritarianism, which seems perfectly at home within the institutions and procedures of the modern Sri Lankan state. In the first part of this article I propose an alternative vision of human rights. This ...

Remembering Sithie Tiruchelvam Photo courtesy The Hindu Writing a tribute to Sithie Tiruchelvam is not an easy task. Sithie was an intensely private person who was averse to public, over-the-top displays of emotion and sentimentality. I am aware that a piece that says little about her private persona could sound impersonal, even clinical. I have therefore attempted to pay fitting tribute, not ...

Dangerous defeat in Geneva Image courtesy Wikipedia “The passage of the resolution marks a historic moment…” Having lost the crucial vote in Geneva and opened the door to an international investigation, Sri Lanka is now in new territory. Sri Lankans saw who their real friends were at the UNHRC on Thursday night. Our friends, Pakistan, Cuba, China, Russia — and in a welcome ...

CBK takes on religious intolerance in Sri Lanka Photo courtesy Dinouk Colombage President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga has since her graceful retirement from office more than eight years ago after the completion of a constitutionally mandated two term limit, busied herself with an impressive portfolio of issues internationally, issues which are also crucial to our South Asia region. Her status as an elder stateswoman, allows her to address ...

Video of Ruki Fernando’s interview with the BBC Photo by Pat Roque/AP, courtesy The Guardian The recent arrest of human rights activists Ruki Fernando and Father Praveen Mahesan under Sri Lanka’s draconian PTA law resulted in widespread condemnation within Sri Lanka and from the international community. As we noted in a previous article, “this is happening when deliberations at the Human Rights Council on Sri Lanka are ...

Arresting Performance: Shelling Sri Lanka’s zone in Geneva Photo courtesy Janikissima on Flickr “He who tries to defend everything, defends nothing”- Sun Tzu (‘The Art of War’) With the arrests of an outspoken middle aged Tamil woman activist with no history of violence, her detention in Boossa under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, the handover of her 13 year old daughter to the child protection authorities, the detention without ...

Arrest of Ruki Fernando and Father Praveen Photo courtesy Janikissima on Flickr Last night’s arrest of Ruki Fernando and Fr. Praveen in Kilinochchi on terrorism charges, soon after the arrest of Jeyakumari Balendran and her young daughter on suspicion of harbouring a criminal, is extremely disturbing and an urgent call to action. In stark contrast to what the Government says in Geneva is what it does ...

Previous Page