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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 […]

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   […]

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. […]

Sri Lankan perceptions on life post-war

Six years after the end of war in Sri Lanka, the four main ethnic communities are still divided when it comes to issues related to reconciliation. ‘Sri Lankan perceptions on life post war’ is a series of infographics looking key public opinion data from CPA’s ‘Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka’ survey (conducted annually since […]

Addressing “blocked grief” in Jaffna

Photograph via Steppes Travel Six years after the end of the war the population in the North of Sri Lanka remains passive, ensnared in wartime mentality because they haven’t been able to express and deal with their sorrow and trauma. Professors from Jaffna University talk of a young generation incapable of envisioning a better future. […]

A Choice between Stability and Virtue?

Photo by EPA/M.A.PUSHPA KUMARA, via Sky News I start with a quote from Shang Yang (390-338 BC), an insightful statesman in the Chinese state of Qin: “A country where the virtuous govern the wicked will suffer from disorder, so that it will be dismembered; but a country where the wicked govern the virtuous will be orderly, so that it […]

Post-war Sri Lanka: 6 years and still an open wound

On May 19 six years had passed since the war ended. Six years ago former president Mahinda Rajapaksa spoke to the people of Sri Lanka commenting the final battle of the war: “Our troops went to this operation carrying a gun in one hand, the Human Rights Charter in the other, hostages on their shoulders, […]

Tamils in North & East Sri Lanka remember those killed despite intimidation and surveillance

Several remembrances events were held across the North and East in Sri Lanka on 18th May 2015 (the day the war ended in Sri Lanka in 2009) by Tamils to remember those killed during the war[1]. They were organized by Tamil politicians, religious clergy, civil society and women’s groups. Many were religious events. Most appear […]

6 Reasons Why Accountability in Sri Lanka Matters

Sri Lanka’s 26-year civil war ended six years ago amidst allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other serious abuses by both government and rebel forces. In 2011, a U.N. panel concluded that “the conduct of the war by [both sides] represented a grave assault on the entire regime of international law designed to […]