A Postwar Opposition for Future Elections

 By Dr Dayan Jayatilleka Isn’t it amazing just how many people don’t connect up the dots? Take this chap Gobi for instance. What if he (or a clone) were to pop up from under a bed and pop a cop just before the presidential or parliamentary election? Would it not warrant the imposition of a

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UNHRC Resolution(s) and people’s participation in Sri Lanka; what gives this regime the advantage in southern society?

By Kusal Perera “Funding has monetized human rights action. NGOs pay – or in their words, compensate -labourers or farmers who attend protests. They give them travel fare, board and minimum wages for the days they miss work. While I don’t blame the participants for accepting such payment, this practice discourages the volunteerism that has

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Early Progress on Devolution Crucial to Sri Lanka: Indian Envoy

BY MEERA SRINIVASAN The Hindu “India considers early progress on devolution and a political settlement as being crucial to Sri Lanka to tackle mounting international pressure,” High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Y.K. Sinha, said, a week after India abstained from voting on the U.S.-backed resolution in Geneva. Early resumption of dialogue between the

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Lessons From Geneva

The New Indian Express Wednesday, April 02, 2014 By V Suryanarayan Published: 02nd April 2014 02:00 AM Last Updated: 02nd April 2014 01:12 AM Gross human violations that took place in Sri Lanka during the last stages of the Fourth Eelam War have come into sharp focus once again. The UN Human Rights Council, on March 27, after

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DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA A famous soliloquy in the history of Hollywood movies in Don Siegel’s iconic film Dirty Harry begins with Clint Eastwood, playing Inspector Harry Callahan says “I know what you’re thinking— did he fire six shots or only five…” In similar vein I can tell what the strategists of the Opposition are thinking

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Reconciliation is a Difficult Task Involving a Feelings and Attitudes Towards one an Another- Bradmon Weerakoon

By Rights Now News Desk Senior civil servant Bradmon Weerakoon says that reconciliation is a difficult task involving a feelings and attitudes towards one another. He made these remarks in an event held in Colombo on yesterday (27th March) under the theme ‘Preface to Reconciliation. “What are we trying to reconcile? What are we trying

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Mandates of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

By Neville Ladduwahetty Paragraph 10 and 10 (b) of the US-proposed UN Resolution A/HRC /25/L.I/Rev.1 that was passed in Geneva on March 27, 2014, “requests the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR): (b) To undertake a comprehensive investigation into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both

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Dangerous Defeat In Geneva

DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA “The passage of the resolution marks a historic moment…” -R. Sampanthan, TNA leader (‘Tamil National Alliance Welcomes UNHRC Resolution’) Having lost the crucial vote in Geneva and opened the door to an international investigation, Sri Lanka is now in new territory. Sri Lankans saw who their real friends were at the UNHRC

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US drops in press freedom

U.S. drops in press freedom ranking, to #46 out of 180 countries measured

Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index measures the state of the free press in countries around the world. The U.S. fell 13 places to No. 46 thanks to the conviction of a WikiLeaks’ informant, the effort to track down and punish NSA leaker Edward Snowden and the Justice Department’s monitoring of reporters. BY LESLIE LARSON  

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Media Freedom in Sri Lanka –A reality or concept?

By Shirley Candappa The media in Sri Lanka comprises several different types of communication –radio, newspapers, television, magazines and web-based media. There are over a dozen privately owned radio stations and more than 30 privately operated television stations, there are also four major print media organizations, a number of political party-run newspapers and a large

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Sam Rajappa - pic: the weekend leader

Sonia Gandhi wanted Colombo to decimate LTTE before finalising a political solution

By Sam Rajappa Hello Friends Sam Rajappa is a veteraqn Indian journalist with vast insight and knowledge about the happenings in the Indian corridors of power. After having worked for a number of Indian and Foreign media institutions he served as director of the Statesman print journalism school after retiring from active journalism.

In a recent

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A Sri Lankan soldier stands in front of a war monument in Kilinochchi, the former stronghold of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (photo by Will Baxter)

Critics Question Sri Lanka’s ban on Tamil Exile Groups

Analysis: Ban could muzzle rights groups and derail abuse investigations Rights monitors are questioning the motives behind Sri Lanka’s decision to ban 16 Tamil diaspora organizations, which the government has accused of links to “terrorism” and the alleged revival of a separatist movement. On Tuesday, External Affairs Minister GL Peiris signed the proscription order outlawing

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Journalism and the safety of the JOURNALIST

By S. Skanda Sri Lanka according to ‘Reporters Without Borders’ ranks 163rd out of 179 countries in the Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index. During the days of the civil war, Sri Lanka known as one of the most dangerous places to be a journalist. Powerful figures in the defence establishment stand accused of harassing  

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The Crisis in US- Sri Lanka Relations

Dr Dayan Jayatilleka Was it just me or did you notice something very strange in Geneva during the resolution on Sri Lanka? All the speakers who were critical of Sri Lanka focused on post-war sins of commission and omission on the part of the government and the state apparatus— in other words, the present. There

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Savitri Goonesekera

‘Is this a govt. of laws or a govt. of men?’

By Namini Wijedasa Lawyers, academics and activists hit out at the growing militarisation of every aspect of society at a forum organised by the BASL to analyse the implications of a gazette vesting police powers in the armed forces Speakers at a crammed public forum this week denounced increasing military encroachment into various aspects of

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The Modern Axis of Buddhist hate

By Jake Scobey-Thal ‘Foreign policy’ a highly reputed US-based magazine has drawn attention to what it refers to as dangerously radical brand of Buddhism. Commenting on a photograph of which appeared in a Lankan newspaper of  two monks (one presenting the other a birthday gift),  Myanmar’s Ashin Wirathu and the Sri Lanka’s Galagoda Atte Gnanasara.

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IMADR Oral Statement: 25th Session of the Human Rights Council – Item 5

Item 5: Recommendations of the Forum on Minority Issues 19 March 2014 Thank you Mr. President, Please permit me to share with you the good news of the release of the two Sri Lankan human rights defenders Ruki Fernando and Fr Praveen by the authorities. We wish to express our appreciation to all those member

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IMADR Oral Statement: 25th Session of the Human Rights Council – Item 4

Item 4: General Debate 18 March 2014 Thank you Mr. President, IMADR welcomes the report of the High Commissioner on Sri Lanka, and endorse its recommendations. It is particularly worrying that the armed forces, Terrorist Investigation and Surveillance Units of Sri Lanka are used to intimidate and harass human rights defenders, especially family members of

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Sri Lanka in Geneva: Frozen in Fixed Positions

DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA With almost exactly a week to go before a crucial vote in Geneva, Sri Lanka seems very much on the back foot. While William Hague, the Foreign Secretary of the UK makes a direct appeal to the readers of ‘The Hindu’, presenting four points in support of his country’s call for an

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The Arrest Of Ruki And Fr. Praveen Is Highly Damaging To National Interests: Law And Society Trust

The arrest of Ruki Fernando and Fr. Praveen under the PTA and their detention is not only a violation of their rights but also is highly damaging to national interests at this crucial time as it sends a strong negative signal to the international community regarding the state of human rights and threats to activists in Sri Lanka at

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Report launch: Australia’s cooperation with Sri Lanka to intercept asylum seekers is in urgent need of rethink

A new report has found that Australia’s cooperation with Sri Lanka to prevent would-be-refugees from seeking protection is riddled with human rights risks and should be stopped immediately. The report, Can’t flee, can’t stay: Australia’s interception and return of Sri Lankan asylum seekers, which is based on interviews with government officials, information obtained through freedom

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Face The UNHRC Resolution To Restore Credibility

By  Jehan Perera There was speculation that the ongoing 25th session of the UN Human Rights Council would see the immediate establishment of a high powered international investigation into war crimes in Sri Lanka and economic sanctions against the country.  The unexpected feature of the draft resolution sponsored by the US is the provision to

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BY DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA At the High Level Segment of the UNHRC Geneva, Prof GL Peiris did something I haven’t seen him do in a quarter century. He read out from a text, looking up only once or twice. It was on a perfect continuum with Mahinda Samarasinghe’s clumsy, bellicose speeches at the same venue

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Mariyakade Diplomacy and non-aligned Diplomacy

By Harsha Gunasena Senior Minister D.E.W. Gunasekara, MP for Kalawana electorate at that time, came home late in the night after a visit to his electorate. He was resting when then President J.R. Jayewardene called him and told him to come immediately to discuss an important matter which could not be discussed over the phone.

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A crisis of expectations

By Dharisha Bastians Months of anticipation for human rights campaigners, the Tamil Diaspora communities and the country’s main Tamil party ended in an anti-climax when despite international pledges and dire warnings, the US draft resolution at the Human Rights Council released Monday failed to call for an international inquiry into alleged war crimes in Sri

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Supporters of the Sri Lankan government display pictures of President Mahinda Rajapaksa in March 2013 to denounce last year's UNHRC resolution. Pic: AP.

Sri Lanka under fire at Human Rights Council

By Gibson Bateman On March 3, the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) began its 25th session in Geneva. Since two US-led resolutions have been passed on Sri Lanka in as many years at the HRC – and the possibility of a third resolution being passed highly likely – the human rights and governance record

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Sri Lanka’s victims dismayed by draft resolution at UNHRC

The insubstantial draft resolution on Sri Lanka that was released yesterday at the United Nations Human Rights council (UNHRC) has greatly disappointed and shocked the Tamil people, who are the primary victims of the ongoing conflict in the Island of Sri Lanka. The resolution text effectively calls for more of the same: it requests another

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