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An unprecedented constitutional crisis in Sri Lanka elicits a yawn

Sri Lanka’s Parliament debated the impeachment of the country’s Chief Justice over two days last week. In the course of these debates, and akin to the critical submissions by him during the equally chaotic and pivotal debate on the 18th Amendment in September 2010, Tamil National Alliance MP M.A. Sumanthiran delivered one of the most […]

The Republic at 40: Four decades of constitution (un)making in Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan Republic at 40: Reflections on Constitutional History, Theory and Practice is a collection of scholarly essays marking the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Sri Lankan Republic in 1972, edited by Asanga Welikala. Spanning two volumes and at over 1,100 pages, this is not a tome that can be compressed into […]

The consequences of the Black Friday impeachment will be game changing

Image by AP, courtesy The Hindu The Black Friday impeachment is another shameful day in the history of our country. The absolute majority in parliament obtained through dubious means has been used once again by this government to deny justice to the chief justice of our country and undermine the independence of the judiciary. It […]

A legal primer: The impeachment of the Chief Justice in Sri Lanka

Photo from MSN News Groundviews interviewed Luwie Ganeshathasan, a Researcher in the Legal and Constitutional Unit of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (the institutional home of this website), on several key issues arising from the impeachment proceedings against the current Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, Shirani Bandaranayake. ### Is there provision in the constitution to […]

LLRC & the Lessons on Devolution: Sri Lanka’s LLRC Revisited

Learning lessons is a humbling experience. It takes place with the admission that one has made mistakes. Having made them, one feels the adverse consequences; having felt them, one realizes the importance of learning from those mistakes, learning not to repeat them, learning the required lessons. In the realm of politics, then, this process, this […]

The Rajapaksa ‘Sangamaya': Creating employees and customers of citizens

Image from Lanka Standard The following video features the last couple of a minutes of a longer speech delivered by Dr. Nihal Jayawickrama at the launch of The Sri Lankan Republic at 40: Reflections on Constitutional History, Theory and Practice, a collection of scholarly essays edited by Asanga Welikala, a Senior Researcher at the Centre […]

Sri Lanka’s LLRC Timeline: Update 1

In August 2012, Groundviews published a sui generis visual timeline tracing key events and developments around the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), from its inception to the implementation of its action plan, over the next three years. Since its first release around four months ago, we have continued to curate the timeline with relevant […]

Impeachment Misadventure and the Advent of the Spring in Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy Dawn, by AFP “Natural justice is a pledge of reciprocal benefit, to prevent one man from harming or being harmed by another.” Epicurus The iniquitous ex parte guilty verdict of Sri Lanka’s first female chief justice—which according to the Parliamentarian Vijitha Herath is an order from above—is not primarily about her alleged misconduct.  […]

Action Plans and Information as a Guard Against Inaction: Sri Lanka’s LLRC Revisited

The LLRC Action Plan gives great weight to land questions, which makes a lot of sense. Solving problems relating to land ownership and usage would go a long way towards satisfying personal needs with regard to what we have described as Recovery in the Draft National Policy on Reconciliation. While government has done well with […]

Bridging Sri Lanka’s Deficit of Hope

The opening scene in the German-Sri Lanka feature film Machan (2008) unfolds at a garbage-strewn Colombo street, somewhere in the city’s underbelly. Three young men are putting up political posters, playing hide and seek with policemen on night patrol. Conversation reveals that the men are doing this to earn a few rupees. Soon, the inevitable […]

Racing Tanks with Bicycles: A Parable of ‘Reconciliation’ in Sri Lanka

Photo via Facebook photo set by Akiy Photography, direct link here. Note that original photo does not blur the face of the child. Some photographs of ‘aid’ being provided to Sri Lankan Tamils in Keppapilavu were recently posted online. The Keppapilavu community were the last to be released from the Menik Farm Camp, but were […]

Post-Mullivaaikkaal governance in Sri Lanka: Towards a totalitarian state

Image courtesy Lanka Standard The present crisis engulfing the Jaffna University may be a turning point for the Tamil politics and Sri Lankan politics at large. There are three important issues, I would like to deduce from this stalemate, which are necessary to gauge the trajectory of post-war Tamil politics in Sri Lanka. Two of […]