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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. […]

Media monitoring of Navi Pillay’s visit to Sri Lanka

Photograph courtesy UN Sri Lanka At the invitation of the Sri Lankan Government, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay visited Sri Lanka at the end of August in what was, in her words, “the longest official visit I have ever made to a single country”. Groundviews requested Selvaraj Rajasegar, a colleague at the […]

Coercive Population Control in Kilinochchi

Photo courtesy The Social Architects [Editors note: Please read Above the Law: Violations of Women’s Reproductive Rights in Northern Sri Lanka by The Social Architects, which expands on this initial report and address the points made in the comments as well as in other web fora, including mainstream media which picked up on this article.] […]

How will India facilitate a credible and independent investigation in Sri Lanka

Image credit PTI, via IANS While domestic politics took centre stage in Delhi this past March with the Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK) pulling out of the ruling coalition, far away from the mêlée, at the UN Human Rights Council’s (HRC) 22nd session in Geneva the Indian representative made some very interesting remarks which gave us […]

Celebratory Memoirs of the Life of Comrade Sunila Abeysekera

Image courtesy One Billion Rising / Beyond Borders Last Thursday, I was reading an article about Joan Jara, the widow of renowned Chilean activist, singer, songwriter and theatre director Victor Jara, and her family. They are seeking long-delayed justice for the kidnap, torture and brutal murder of Victor in 1973, by the Chilean secret police. My […]

Any lessons learnt from Navi Pillay’s visit?

Photo courtesy UNESCO-GLOBE Reading what appeared on state media, I got the impression that the ego of the Government, or at least that of the so called “independent” editors of state media has been challenged by Navi Pillay’s visit. I can understand why. If people ignored her visit, the state media would have beaten their […]

Opening remarks by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay at a press conference during her mission to Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy UN Given the importance of the mission and the nature of the statement, Groundviews is reproducing in full Navi Pillay’s opening remarks, delivered at a press briefing held earlier today in Colombo, Sri lanka. Download the statement as a PDF from here.

Sri Lanka’s disappeared, visit of Navi Pillay and another Commission of Inquiry

Photo credit Vikalpa On 30th August – International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances – hundreds of families of disappeared persons in Sri Lanka, most of them Tamils and from the war affected North and East, will travel to Colombo to meet with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navatheenam Pillay, at […]

Ravana Balaya uses children in protest

On Monday (26) the Buddhist monks of the National Organisation for Ravana Power (Ravana Balaya) marched to the UN office in Colombo demanding that UN Human Rights Chief, Navaneetham Pillay, leave the country. However, in a shocking display of disregard for the safety of their followers, the “Ravana Balaya” had placed numerous child monks at […]

A FRESH BILL OF RIGHTS: FOREVER A FARCE?

In 2009 , the then Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights  (hence disbanded) ‘sought to remedy’ the many deficiencies that exist  in the current fundamental rights chapter of the 1978 constitution. The Ministry appointed a committee chaired by Presidents Counsel Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne, tasked with the preparation of a fresh Bill of Rights to […]

Human Rights and Business in Sri Lanka: In conversation with Priyanga Hettiarachi

Priyanga Hettiarachi is the director and founder of RightsBusiness, founded after Priyanga’s return to Sri Lanka after a number of years working in Australia, The Netherlands and England. Given Priyanga’s award-winning work and experience, we begin our conversation around why he chose to come back to Sri Lanka, post-war. Given how loaded and contested a […]