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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. […]

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 […]