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The LLRC report and ‘accountability’ in Sri Lanka

Readers will find no big surprises after reading the final report of Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC). It is very much what most people were expecting. A document that looks to the future, exonerates the military, does not touch on the question of accountability and includes some touchy-feely language about the country’s need to […]

The official report of the LLRC

The official report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission was tabled in Parliament today. The official government site the report is available at is, at the time of writing, charitably put, doing very badly with the local and international demand for and interest in the report. We managed to get a PDF of the […]

Post-war situation in Northern Sri Lanka & Prospects for Reconciliation

Changes since the end of the war: 30 months after the end of war, more people travel between the once off limits North[i] and the South and many of the travel restrictions have been eased. The dreaded Medawachiya checkpoint is no more, and since 2010, we have not taken a flight or ship to Jaffna, […]

CHOGM-2011: HOW DIPLOMATIC VICTORIES END IN DISGRACE

[Editors note: As noted by the author below, an example of the distressingly bad propaganda of the Sri Lankan Government, attributed in some websites to the Director General of the President’s Media Unit, Bandula Jayasekera. It’s not the first time an airbrushed image of CHOGM involving the President has been published in Government controlled media. This […]

Sri Lanka and the death of Muammar Gaddafi

Muammar Gaddafi was captured alive and killed thereafter. This is a fact that no one contests today. Even the killer himself accepted the responsibility in front of a mobile camera.  Once any individual is captured, in spite of the crimes allegedly committed by the person, whether victim or perpetrator,  due process and the rule of […]

Waiting for the end of the LLRC

Image courtesy LLRC Another session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva has come to an end. Sri Lanka has emerged unscathed, even though considerable pressure is being exerted on the Sri Lankan Government, from different actors in different quarters of the world: one, regarding a political solution to the conflict; two, regarding the […]

Channel 4’s ‘Killing Fields': Journalism, Advocacy or Propaganda?

Image from Channel 4 Introduction The UK based Channel 4 documentary, “Killing Fields”, possesses an interesting characteristic. It has the power of accentuating the prejudices and biases of viewers. The reaction found on a variety of forums is arguably more illuminating than the documentary itself. Those who feel the Sri Lankan government has done no […]

Human Rights in Sri Lanka: Impunity against Accountability and Justice

Image credit AP, via BBC News “There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth…not going all the way, and not starting.” – Lord Buddha Authors note: When I was a teenager, I heard from a Sinhala brother that he constantly felt guilty for being unable to protect nearly 70 000-80 000 Sinhala youth […]

13th Amendment: Plus? Or Minus?

Introduction Leader of National Freedom Front (NFF) and the Minister of Construction, Engineering Services, Housing & Common Amenities, Hon Wimal Weerawansa delivered a public lecture on the 7th of September 2011 on the ‘13th amendment plus? Or Minus? at the Youth Services Council, Maharagama. The following commentary is a summary of the key points he […]

Libya, Sri Lanka and Responsibility to Protect (R2P)

Muammar Qaddafi, Libya’s leader, speaks at an equestrian show at the Tor di Quinto cavalry school in Rome, Italy, on Monday, Aug. 30, 2010. Italy’s 2008 apology to Libya for three decades of colonial rule is paying dividends for Italian companies including Eni SpA and Finmeccanica SpA. Photographer: Victor Sokolowicz/Bloomberg via Getty Images Libya is […]

War Crimes Investigations in Sri Lanka: An Unpopular View

“In trying to do good, we have been living beyond our moral resources and have fallen into hypocrisy and self-righteousness” — William V. Cannon, commenting on the Vietnam War, New York Times, February 6, 1966 “Conquer the angry man by love, Conquer the ill-natured man by goodness. Conquer the miser with generosity. Conquer the liar […]

Thus Spake Gothabaya

[Editors' note: An edited version of this article appeared in the Daily Mirror today.]     “The existing constitution is more than enough for us to live together. I don’t think there is any issue on this more than that. “I mean this was given as a solution for the whole thing with the discussion […]

Darusman Deconstructed: Godfrey Gunatilleke’s Critique

With the solitary, honourable exception of Sunday Times columnist Lasanda Kurukulasuriya, (‘Give a dog a bad name and hang him’, From the Sidelines, Sunday Times, Colombo, August 14, 2011), the Lankan media and Colombo’s commentariat completely missed the most important intellectual event in civil society in this post-war phase of our contemporary history. A media […]

No One, in the US or Sri Lanka, Should Be Above the Law

Photo by Sudath Silva In a report released last month Human Rights Watch called on the US government to launch criminal investigations into allegations of detainee abuse authorized by senior Bush administration officials. The 107-page report, “Getting Away with Torture: The Bush Administration and Mistreatment of Detainees,” presents substantial information warranting criminal investigations of former President […]

Sri Lanka’s Tamil question: Justice, Lies and Videotape

Sri Lanka’s thirty year war is now more of words than of guns, but it is no less bitter. RNW’s team in the country met with fierce resistance from the Sri Lankan government to the current calls for justice from the international community. But the problem is that the international community’s presence in the country […]