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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 […]

Ganesan Nimalaruban: A murder and responses of Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice

Photo courtesy Vikalpa Ganesan Nimalaruban’s murder in July last year wasn’t an issue for or comprehensively covered in the mainstream media in Sri Lanka. Vikalpa covered the circumstances of his murder and funeral, and this content was translated into English and published onGroundviews. Responses to the stories on both sites included a former high ranking UN diplomat and […]

Reconciliation, Rights & Freedom: Four years after the end of war in SRi Lanka

Image courtesy The Telegraph It is now 4 years after the end of the war. The way we Sri Lankans will remember the end of the war is likely to demonstrate once again how divided we are, as North and South, as Sinhalese and Tamils. Some Tamil friends in the North told me that they […]

Freedom of assembly in post-war Sri Lanka

Sandya Ekneligoda, wife of missing journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda, center,  speaks to reporters during a protest rally out side the parliament in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013. Relatives, colleagues and opposition activists staged a protest rally Thursday demanding that the Sri Lanka government hold proper investigation to find out what happened to Ekneligoda who […]

Conviction of Efraín Ríos Montt and the need for accountability

Image courtesy The Guardian On 10 May 2013, former Guatemalan dictator Efraín Ríos Montt was found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity and sentenced to 80 years in prison. It was the first time that an ex-head of state had been convicted for genocide by a court in his or her own country. The […]

Is the Tamil Diaspora Against Unity in Sri Lanka?

“The great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes The Tamil Diaspora is a diverse ethnic group. Amongst it, the majority are strongly connected to their kith and kin in the island of Sri Lanka. Arguably, the Tamil Diaspora is […]

First Failure in Geneva: Trap, Blunder or Model?

However bad Sri Lanka’s foreign policy is and external relations are, they have yet to hit the nadir that they did under President Jayewardene in the 1980s. The first ever resolution on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka adopted in Geneva by the Human Rights Commission was in March 1987, while the first decision, […]

Police in Sri Lanka show their true saffron colours

Lest we forget, the Sri Lankan police, who act under the orders and protection of the Ministry of Defence, are far from doyens of impartiality. A few weeks ago, we noted that “it is quite clear that four policemen, no more than 3 feet away from and staring directly into the face of the Buddhist “monk” […]

Responding to Geneva by Exemplary Restitution

Robert O. Blake has once said, “International mechanisms can become appropriate in cases where states are either unable or unwilling to meet their obligations.” After Geneva March 2013, US officials have reiterated this in stricter terms. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran has said the final Geneva Resolution will not relieve the affected Tamils and reminded the […]

A Missing Person in Sri Lanka: Heartfelt Issues & Ground Realities

Image courtesy Salon / AP Photo by Eranga Jayawardena When I was in Sri Lanka from mid-April to early June 2009 I was on holiday with my wife and not able to pursue investigations in any depth. In contrast my sojourn in May-June 2010 focused on a range of studies and travels. One gem of […]

Interview with Nimalka Fernando: The UN HRC resolution and beyond

Nimalka, now we’ve seen that the council voted for the resolution on Sri Lanka. What is your initial impression? It’s a serious voting pattern. Because if you look at the resolution, the resolution has very substantial  concerns raised by civil society for a period of time. From holding elections in the North, addressing issues of […]

UN HRC 22nd Session | Resolution ‘Promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka’

An archive of material around the Resolution titled ‘Promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka’ passed at the UN Human Rights Council today. Final text below, and available as PDF here, and as Word document here. ### Human Rights Council Twenty-second session Agenda item 2 Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human […]

Sons and daughters missing, missed, forgotten: LLRC’s failure in Sri Lanka

Tamil mothers, sisters, wives and daughters have not yet given up their hopes to find their disappeared sons, brothers, husbands and fathers. The tragedy of endless search continues for them. Some Tamil women have more than one tragedy to digest. Vasanthathevi Kathirkamanathan is still searching for her missing daughter. And, her husband has been missing […]