19th Amendment is a key step forward in Sri Lanka’s path towards sustainable human development

Excellencies, distinguished colleagues on the podium, members of the media, ladies and gentlemen, Ayubowan, Vannakkum, Good Afternoon. I am going to talk to you on the 19th Amendment as a scientist and professional, and I will talk about its relationship to Sri Lanka’s path towards sustainable human development (SHD) – ie., sustainable development with a […]

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   […]

A volunteer’s story from post-tsunami Sri Lanka

Just over ten years ago, a powerful undersea earthquake caused a devastating tsunami that wrapped around two-thirds of Sri Lanka’s coastline on Boxing Day, at around 8:30am. Being a holiday, locals were fishing, bathing and playing on the beaches. Within a matter of minutes some 35,000 people were dead, thousands were missing and over half […]

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. […]

‘What is represented and what is made invisible’: Women and Transitional Justice Processes in Sri Lanka

Photo via Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom During a recent conversation about campaigns to eliminate violence against women, and the participation and role of women working at the community level in these campaigns, particularly their ability to influence and shape the form and manner of these initiatives, a friend, who for many years […]

Plantation Community: A status revisit

Image via Wikipedia Disenfranchisement of the Indian Origin plantation workforce in the year 1948 after independence stalled the development of the ‘plantation community’ (PC) in contrast to other communities in the country. Memoirs and research papers on labour movement and Trade union struggle of Plantation workforce is not new and many have attempted to describe […]

‘Raja Saha Ghatakaya’ – An exceptional novel

The novel Raja saha Ghatakaya (445 pages) by Visakesa Chandrasekaram has an interesting genesis of its own – the author, wrote the English version (The King and the Assassin) first and published it in October 2014, and the Sinhala version in December 2014. This review is limited to the Sinhala novel as I am yet […]

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. […]

Gang rape and murder of a school girl

Image courtesy News First The recent gang rape  and murder of a school girl in Jaffna has, within the few days, triggered many public reports in newspapers and elsewhere, raised many issues including the Code of Professional Practice for journalism; national reconciliation; the death penalty; public demonstrations in Jaffna and Colombo; judicial reforms in relation […]

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