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‘Census on human and property damages due to conflict’: Critical points, translation & scanned version

The Census on human and property damages due to conflict – 2013, which began data collection last week is one of the key recommendations in the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission report. According to a statement by the Department of Census and Statistics “The responsibility to conduct a Census to assess the human and property […]

Sovereignty vs. the Right to Life

Photo courtesy Vikalpa The most fundamental and important right a human being has is her right to life. This cannot be justified through first principles because this is itself a first principle. In common sense morality, it is granted that a human being has a fundamental right to life, and that this right trumps all […]

CHOGM 2013: A lie well told

Photo by Lakruwan Wanniarachchi, AFP/Getty Images via FT Photo Diary I imagine that beneath the cordial smiles and exchange of pleasantries there is much weeping and gnashing of teeth taking place at Temple Trees these days. The façade that was CHOGM 2013 seems to have crumbled, at least in the eyes of the world, although certainly […]

British Prime Minister and TNA leaders shun families of disappeared in Jaffna

Photo courtesy Marisa de Silva Tamil families of the disappeared, primarily from the North, gathered in front of the area between the Public Library and Duriappa Stadium by 2pm, on 15th Nov., as they thought the visiting British Prime Minister would land at the Duriappa Stadium. They were accompanied by some Christian clergy and activists […]

Commonwealth & human rights principles in Sri Lanka, in the weeks before CHOGM

Photo by REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte, via Channel 4 News The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) is due to start tomorrow. The last few weeks has seen series of violations of Human Rights and Commonwealth principles in Sri Lanka, which is the host country and expected to lead the Commonwealth in the next two years. Victims of human […]

Mohammed Irshad’s story and the banality of violence in the Rajapaksa regime

[Editors note: Also read I’m not mad to tie myself to a tree by the author, which appeared in the Ceylon Today newspaper.] Giving up a pensionable government job as a Samurdhi animator, Mohammed Irshad fled Sri Lanka began work as a bakery employee in Saudi Arabia. This is his story. Mohammed Irshad’s name may […]

Commonwealth must honour its own commitments

Photo courtesy Contribute Magazine The choice of Sri Lanka as a venue for CHOGM 2013 has always remained controversial. But now that most member countries have agreed to go ahead and participate in the high-profile summit happening in Colombo, the moment has arrived for the Commonwealth to reassess its commitment towards its own values. ### […]

Will Logarani Be The Last Victim Of Violence Against Women?

All photographs by the author, or sent it by the author. Around 5pm on 17 October 2013, within the Jaffna municipality, one of our friends (a male youth resident of Jaffna) came to our home (a few friends were gathered there) looking very disturbed. We were surprised to see him again, as he was with […]

Interview with J.C. Weliamuna: What ails Sri Lanka today, and how to address it

Image courtesy Colombo Telegraph J.C. Weliamuna is a well-known Attorney-at-Law, human rights activist and is this year’s recipient of the Citizens Peace Award. His acceptance speech flagged the degree to which democratic governance had eroded in Sri Lanka, in full view of citizenry, and the importance of protecting civil liberties by speaking out, despite the […]

Buddhist Monk attacked by Bodu Bala Sena and Police inaction

Image courtesy News First History of threats Venerable Watareka Vijitha Thero is the Chief Incumbent of the Rotalawela Mahaweli  Maha Viharaya in Mahiyanganaya, in the Uva province. In July 2013, the Mahiyangana Pradeshiya Sabha of which Vijitha Thero is a member had discussed the destruction of a building above the shop in Mahiyanganaya, where Muslims […]

Not By Ourselves Alone: A Critique of (Tamil) Self-Determination

Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES via The Star Twenty eight years, four months and some days ago, the LTTE killed more than one hundred and thirty Sinhala civilians in what has become known as the Anuradhapura massacre. I phrase it thus because I wonder whether, a year and a half or so from now, anybody from […]

The Al Jazeera interview with Mahinda Rajapaksa: Calling the bluff

The President’s recent and wide-ranging interview on Al Jazeera is interesting on a number of counts (download the episode in HD here). For starters, our President is clearly grossly uninformed or deliberately seeks to misinform. Take for example his assertion, around 8:50 into the interview, that European Union election monitors said the recently held Provincial […]

Judiciary apologizes for failing to safeguard basic human rights

Photo by AFP, via Al Jazeera No, not in Sri Lanka, as readers may have hoped, but in Chile. In Chile, last week, on the fortieth anniversary of the military coup by General Pinochet which overthrew the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende, the Chilean Judges Association issued an anticipated but unprecedented apology for the […]

30 Years Ago: Audio recordings of panel discussions

Photograph by Tehani Ariyaratne, from 30 Years Ago To complement the launch of 30 Years Ago and focus on some of the issues the project is anchored to and inspired by, four panel discussions were on the 24th and 25th of August at Park Street Mews, Warehouse D in Colombo. The inaugural session featured Deshamanya Bradman Weerakoon and Dr. […]