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Parallel Enigmas of Pirabaharan and Rajapaksa

Photo courtesy TTN The attempts to field the ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa as a Prime Ministerial candidate to contest the upcoming parliamentary elections by a vocal fringe of the southern political community is similar to the attempts to reincarnate the mystique of Veluppillai Pirabaharan by a vocal fringe of the northern political community. After the demise […]

Troubling, The U.S. Declaration of Independence

Modern, recent, European, the concept of the human being as a rights bearing subject dates only from around the seventeenth century. This in itself isn’t troubling. (Europe has given us good things: cricket, paan and kokis from the countries that colonized us alone.) But the celebrated texts of its earliest articulations, like John Locke’s Second […]

THE MIRUSUVIL CASE: WHY SEARCHING REFORM IS URGENT AND NECESSARY

Image courtesy Daily News The High Court Trial at Bar’s recent conviction and sentencing of Staff Sergeant Sunil Rathnayake to death for what has come to be known as the ‘Mirusuvil massacre’ was met with the entirely expected and bellicose outrage of extremist nationalist Sinhala Buddhist elements. But a more interesting and nuanced response emerged […]

President CBK – A reflection on her politics of Inclusivity and Tolerence

Photo via Club Madrid In 1994, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, at the age of forty nine years, was elected as the youngest and first ever female President of Sri Lanka. Twenty one years later, in June 2015, as she celebrates her 70th birthday, it is appropriate to look back at the legacy of this amazing lady, who […]

The 19th Amendment and the future of Sri Lanka

Excellencies of the diplomatic community, Mr Abeykoon, Secretary to the President, officials of the Presidential Secretariat, ladies and gentleman, It may sound as if I am repeating what has already been said when I say that I share the sentiments expressed by both Mr. Dhanapala and Prof. Munasinghe. To me, as a citizen, the 19th […]

Tourism mega-development in Sri Lanka results in human rights violations

Sri Lanka has an increasing number of tourist arrivals which could be very good for the development of the island. Therefore, of course, the local communities should benefit from the tourism above all. This does not seem to be always happening. The Society for Threatened People (STP) Switzerland, together with the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement […]

19th Amendment is a key step forward in Sri Lanka’s path towards sustainable human development

Excellencies, distinguished colleagues on the podium, members of the media, ladies and gentlemen, Ayubowan, Vannakkum, Good Afternoon. I am going to talk to you on the 19th Amendment as a scientist and professional, and I will talk about its relationship to Sri Lanka’s path towards sustainable human development (SHD) – ie., sustainable development with a […]

THE NINETEENTH AMENDMENT: CENTREPIECE OF GOOD GOVERNANCE

Image courtesy News First Distinguished members of the Diplomatic Corps, Ladies & Gentlemen, On behalf of His Excellency Maitripala Sirisena and my colleagues in the Presidential Secretariat, I have great pleasure in warmly welcoming you to this afternoon’s briefing on the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka. It is just over a month […]

800 years of the Magna Carta and Human Rights today

Image courtesy The Remnant Trust To me, the essence of Magna Carta is limiting the sovereignty and powers of the rulers (King at that time) and moving towards reaffirmation of sovereignty and freedoms of the people. It is about rule of law, due process and equality of everyone before the law. This is particularly relevant […]

Coconut saplings for war widows – an innovative project worth emulating

Since the end of the war the Government and other organisations  within and outside Sri Lanka  have being helping the victims of the war in the North and the East  to enable them to resume their normal lives.  Among the organisations that helped  were  many  charitable institutions of  the Tamils in the  diaspora.  Their  affinity   […]

A volunteer’s story from post-tsunami Sri Lanka

Just over ten years ago, a powerful undersea earthquake caused a devastating tsunami that wrapped around two-thirds of Sri Lanka’s coastline on Boxing Day, at around 8:30am. Being a holiday, locals were fishing, bathing and playing on the beaches. Within a matter of minutes some 35,000 people were dead, thousands were missing and over half […]

Human Rights Challenges in Sri Lanka

Speech delivered on behalf of me by Marisa de Silva, on the occasion of the Islamic Centre Felicitation event, held in Maligawatte today. Thank you for making me part of this celebration. Practically, felicitations are possible for a few, but many deserve felicitation. Felicitation for me means felicitation for many others I have worked with. […]

‘What is represented and what is made invisible’: Women and Transitional Justice Processes in Sri Lanka

Photo via Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom During a recent conversation about campaigns to eliminate violence against women, and the participation and role of women working at the community level in these campaigns, particularly their ability to influence and shape the form and manner of these initiatives, a friend, who for many years […]