INFOGRAPHIC: Religious Violence in Post-War Sri Lanka Religious tensions have been exacerbated in post-war Sri Lanka, contrary to claims by the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) that attacks against places of religious worship are isolated incidents. In Mach 2013, the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) published a report highlighting concerns about violence and intolerance against all religious communities in the country. The trends highlighted by CPA ...

Engaging with Civil Society Photo courtesy Business Today Recently, the media reported that the Defence Secretary held a meeting in the Defence Ministry with a number of NGOs who had worked with the GOSL and the Commonwealth Foundation on the Peoples” Forum which was part of the activities of the 2013 Colombo CHOGM.  These NGOs included representatives from the National Peace Council, the ...

Post-War Development in Nepal and Sri Lanka: A Comparison Image courtesy Wikipedia This is an abridged version of a paper presented at the Annual Symposium of the Centre for Poverty Analysis on Post War Development in Africa and Asia in Colombo on 01 September 2014 Introduction Both in Nepal and Sri Lanka the transition from war to durable peace has been painful and is ongoing and not devoid ...

INFOGRAPHIC: Presidential Commission on Missing Persons The Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons (the Commission), was established over a year ago on 15th August 2013 by Gazette 1823/42. The sole purpose of the Commission was to investigate and inquire into cases of disappearances in the Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka. In March 2014, the Centre for Policy Alternatives ...

9/11 and My Muslimness Photo of ‘World Trade Centre’ by Anuradha Henakaarachchi at the Colombo Art Biennale 2009, taken by the author. I was sitting in my garden, gazing at the stars listening to my Walkman, which was the only thing to do back then as you ticked off the minutes until the regulated power cuts that cursed Sri Lanka at the time ...

Sunila Abeysekera Commemoration: Speech by Nimalka Fernando State Responsibility to Protect Human Rights Defenders Sunila Abeysekera Commemoration, September 9th 2014 We as individual human rights activists, as well as  the human rights community as a whole greatly miss Sunila today.   As we struggle to grapple with myriads of contemporary challenges we miss her indomitable character, and  energy.  As we gather today to celebrate her life and ...

INFOGRAPHIC: LLRC Implementation Statistics The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) report, along with the National Action Plan to implement the recommendations of the LLRC (Action Plan), are the two key documents produced by the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) outlining its process of reconciliation after three decades of war. Over two years have passed since the Cabinet approved the Action Plan in ...

The Legacy of A New Woman in Our Generation: Sunila Abeysekara (1952-2013) Photo courtesy New York Times ‘Her discourse, even when ‘theoretical’ or political, is never simple or linear or ‘objectivized’, universalized; she involves her story in history’. – Helene Cixous and Catherine Clement, The Newly Born Woman, 1986. My first meeting with Sunila Abeysekara was unforgettable. It was July 1976 and I was being held at Slave Island police station. I was ...

When the British administrator J.S. Furnivall coined the term “plural society” he was talking about colonial Burma to describe the extraordinary diversity of nationalities, ethnicities, races and religions that inhabited its cities. Sixty years ago he wrote, “Bengali Muslims jostled alongside Iraqi Jews and Armenian Christians”. Walking around Yangon’s streets today, you can still experience this diversity in the ...

Urgency of paradigm shift in understanding ‘co-existence’ Image courtesy Gecko Sri Lanka blog Changing socio-political and economic scenarios, post war peace building needs in Sri Lanka and unleashing of anti-Muslim activities by Buddhist extremist groups have prompted discourses on ‘Co-Existence’ an urgent priority for social harmony. The current discourse on Co-Existence as spearheaded by all communities seems ill equipped, un-holistic and inappropriate to the challenges that ...

Comrade Bala Tampoe, the Legend Is No More! Photography by Kannan Arunasalam, via i.am Meeting with comrade Bala Tampoe at the Ceylon Mercantile Union (CMU) office in Colombo had been a tradition I looked forward to whenever I visited Sri Lanka. At the end of July, after attending my mother’s funeral in Sri Lanka, I paid a courtesy call to comrade Bala at his house in Ratmalana. ...

CBK, Ven. Sobitha, the Uva Polls and the Presidential Stakes Photo by Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images via The Republic Square The Uva provincial council elections campaign in the Badulla and Moneragala districts, are taking on an intensity that was missing even in the recent Western and Southern Provincial Council elections, not least because the UNP’s young firebrand Chief Minister Candidate former MP, Harin Fernando has breathed some new life into ...

FAQ on the UN Human Rights Council Resolution (2014) on Sri Lanka Image courtesy Rights Now A UN investigation into allegations of violations of human rights in Sri Lanka is about to commence. As an aid to public discussion, Friday Forum sets out below information to help the general public understand the legal basis, origin, nature and scope of this inquiry. 1. What is the Human Rights Council? The Human Rights Council (HRC) is the main inter-governmental body within ...

Disappearances and the struggle for truth and justice Photo courtesy Human Rights Solidarity 30th August is the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances. Tens of thousands have disappeared in Sri Lanka in last few decades[1]. On this day, families of disappearances in Sri Lanka will gather in Vavuniya in the North, to once again publicly appeal to find their loved ones, at least know the ...

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