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Assessing Local Governance in the Northern Province

Introduction In April 2013 Home for Human Rights (HHR) undertook a survey in the Northern Province. HHR hoped to accurately capture the opinions that the people have about the performance of their local government bodies and locally elected officials. The survey looked at a range of topics including public services, projects, development and public participation. […]

Northern Provincial Council Elections: A Pre-Election Survey

Image courtesy Sri Lanka Brief Provincial Elections in the Northern Province will be held on the 21st of September 2013 – the first time in 25 years. According to the Department of Elections, 714,488 people are registered to vote. Social Indicator, the survey research unit of the Centre for Policy Alternatives conducted an opinion poll […]

A rejoinder to “Disarming the juggernaut of religious intolerance in Sri Lanka”

Image courtesy Huffington Post taken by Ishara S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images I recently read this article “Disarming the juggernaut of religious intolerance in Sri Lanka” on Groundviews by Dynalogue – who consider themselves a non partisan, apolitical youth discussion group who have organised themselves to discuss political, social and economic issues burgeoning in our country. It is a welcome sight […]

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 […]

The Weliweriya violence: Documenting the inconvenient for posterity

Image courtesy NAFSO The archiving of tweets documenting the violence in Weliweriya began after a reader, @apelankawe, asked us to do so. @groundviews any plans of archiving #weliweriya tweets? — Vidura (@Apelankawe) August 2, 2013 Ended up archiving every single tweet containing the hashtags #Weliweriya, #Weliveriya, #weliweriyaclash and #weliweriyaclash. The final report from the investigation […]

Why is land a fundamental issue to the Tamils?

Image courtesy DBS Jeyaraj Introduction President Jayewardene did not like the word ‘colonisation’. Instead, he preferred the terms ‘land settlement’. But the Land Settlement Ordinance uses ‘settlement’ to mean a settlement on claims over ‘land’.  Item 18 of the Provincial Councils List of the 13th Amendment, reads as follows: 18. Land, – Land, that is […]

How we can have a just peace: The postwar discourse in Sri Lanka

The last part of the background note  prepared for the first session of the Marga Institute’s panel discussion on ‘Long War, Cold Peace’ contained  the conceptual framework which  Dr Jayatilleka uses for his assessment  of what he describes as  the post war crisis – “ the  cold peace” on which he focuses in Chapters 3,  […]

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.

Political Violence in Sri Lanka

Image courtesy Huffington Post taken by Ishara S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images An introduction Prosterman in 1976 estimated that some 68 million people have perished from all forms of deliberate human violence from 1820 to 1970. Zimmerman in 2013 found that if the victims of state violence suffering from pogroms, brutal repression, and other forms of state coercion were added, […]

Remembering the riots

Image courtesy Thuppahi’s blog June 2013 saw violent clashes between small groups of Sri Lankans at cricket grounds around the UK. Although barely reported by the mainstream media, for members of Voices for Reconciliation (VfR) – a peace-building network that facilitates dialogue within and between every Sri Lankan community in the UK- these altercations served […]

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 […]