Sri Lanka’s human rights record has, over the past few years, come under heavy scrutiny. This scrutiny is then followed by heavy, strongly worded criticism – from international human rights watchdog bodies, liberal governments around the world, and the island’s own set of human rights activists and rights defenders. Whilst most of the scrutiny has been focused on the final ...

India believes that the primary responsibility for the promotion and protection of human rights lies with the States. Consequently resolutions of this nature should fully respect the sovereign rights of states and contribute to Sri Lanka’s own efforts in this regard. India had welcomed the recommendations of Sri Lanka’s LLRC report. We believe that there is indeed a window of ...

Today’s action by the UN Human Rights Council encourages the Government of Sri Lanka to continue on the path toward reconciliation following 27 years of civil war. The United States, together with the international community, sent a strong signal that Sri Lanka will only achieve lasting peace through real reconciliation and accountability, and the international community stands ready to help.  ...

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America Introduction of Draft Resolution L.2 on Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka Delivered by Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe Human Rights Council 19th Session Geneva, March 22, 2012 The United States is pleased to introduce draft resolution L.2, on Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka for consideration and approval ...

Ceylon Today spoke to Rajavarothiam Sampanthan, the leader of the Tamil National Alliance. The 79-year old father of three is a parliamentarian representing the Trincomalee district. He started his political life in 1977 as the candidate for the Tamil United Liberation Front, and was elected to office. His seat was forfeited in 1983, after he refused to swear an oath ...

The following is a story filed for Ceylon Today, wrapping up today’s events at the United Nations Human Rights Commission. It’s written for tomorrow’s paper, hence the use “yesterday”. Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Geneva, Tamara Kunanayakam, yesterday lashed out at the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, saying that Sri Lanka “unreservedly dissents” with the observations made ...

The following is the full text of the speech by Mahinda Samarasinghe, Sri Lanka’s special Human Rights envoy, at the 19th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. Not checked against delivery. I am honoured and privileged to be able to once again share with this august body, Sri Lanka’s experience in promoting and protecting the human rights of ...

Sri Lanka’s opposition parties have now, in the face of unprecedented fuel price hikes, pledged to continue protesting and agitating till the government reduced fuel prices. Several of the protest marches have been greeted with tear gas and water cannons, and in Chilaw one person died as a result of shooting when police reportedly opened fire onto the protesters. The ...

The following is an article a colleague of mine, Rasika Jayakody, wrote for Ceylon Today. I’m reproducing it here for access convenience. Rasika is our senior political affairs correspondent, but is unfortunately not on twitter. Premakumar Gunarathnam alias Kumar Mahaththaya is widely known as the elusive leader of the rebel group which is now baptized as the ‘Jana Aragala’ movement. ...

The following is a piece on the newly-opened Southern Expressway, and some of the issues that were brought up. Originally published on Ceylon Today on November 30, 2011. Less than a week into its operation the southern expressway has managed to throng up questions about its functionality and safety, which were brought to the public domain by experts, think tanks ...

An analysis / reportage piece that I wrote for Ceylon Today, published on December 5, 2011. Dates in the article are relative. The tensions within the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the vulnerable position the party is in have come into focus again with the passing of a weekend which saw the vulnerabilities of the party exposed. A series of ...

In a series of compilations for Ceylon Today, I’ve gone back to digging around the cables to profile how several key political players were portrayed in the US Embassy cables. The first of which, published last week, is on Mangala Samaraweera. Mangala Samaraweera As former Minister of Foreign Affairs and strongman of successive governments and the current opposition, Mangala Samaraweera ...

The following is a piece I wrote for Ceylon Today trying to capture the moments and emotions on the day the verdict was delivered on the controversial White Flag case. The original was carried on CT, on November 19, 2011. It is reproduced below. Nalin Ladduwahetty, defence lawyer for former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka, held on tightly to Anoma Fonseka’s ...

I woke up today to find a news alert from Reuters in my inbox, saying that Steve Jobs was dead. I’ve never been a fan of Apple, save for the iPad that I fell in love with the first time I held one in my hands. For me, however, the genius of Jobs was how he created needs that we ...

I’m happy to tell you there is very little in this world that I believe in. Listening to the comedians who comment on political, social, and cultural issues, I notice most of their material reflects an underlying belief that somehow things were better once and that with just a little effort we could set them right again. They’re looking for ...

I’ve finally managed get myself an iPad. Yes, I’m going to play Angry Birds on it, and yes I want to read stuff on iBooks. Yes, I’ll be playing around with flipboard. But that’s not the main reason that I bough (iBought?) the iPad. I want to try and produce content on the road, including pictures, text and video, and ...

Wikileaks finally went ahead with a complete dump of the cables. Whilst the media partners who understand journalism were critical of the move, which put out the cables without censoring names, Wikileaks went ahead with it anyway. People might get killed over the content of it, since the cables effectively manages to name names. I’ve [...]

Inch-sized holed on the walls of the Northern town of Kilinochchi remind the passers-by of the violence that erupted on the very ground that they now travel through. A lot has changed since Sri Lanka’s three-decade long brutal war came to a bloody end, with government forces completely annihilating the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elaam (LTTE). Kilinochchi saw some ...

Previous Page