8th November 2017

Federalism is not Separatism: the Supreme Court de-demonizes Federalism

8th November 2017 // 0 Comments

The Supreme Court determination in the Chandrasoma Vs Senathirajah case (SC Spl 03/2014 -Decided on 04/08/2017), this August, did not receive the public attention it deserved. The silence speaks volumes for a society that chooses to languish in ignorance by choice. The ongoing political debate on a new constitution does not seem to have absorbed the nutrition the judgment offers for a discourse on constitutional making. Yet for a national political psyche hegemonized by Unitarism for decades, the finding is unparalleled. The declaration that Federalism is not the same as separatism marks a paradigm shift in terms of judicial interpretation of what it is. I hardly wish to go into detail to the particulars of the case or the technical points of the judgement as […]

Even new amendments to LG Polls Law are flawed – EC member Prof.Hoole

8th November 2017 // 0 Comments

Election Commission’s Member Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole, in an interview with the Daily Mirror, shares his thoughts on the Commission and the upcoming local authorities’ elections     They will make us violate some law somewhere Those who voted for the PC Elections Act do not know what they voted for Our laws are full of mistakes We are always in violation of something It came to a matter of choosing which laws we would violate   Q How is the Election Commission getting ready for the local government elections in the wake of  Government announcing they would be conducted in January?   Your question shows how wrong the general assessment is on this matter. It is not the business of Government to announce the date. Yet, […]

US announces grant to promote religious freedom in Sri Lanka

8th November 2017 // 0 Comments

The US has announced a grant of nearly USD 5,00,000 for organisations which can come up with ideas and projects to promote religious freedom in India and Sri Lanka. The Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, in its notice, said it seeks to “reduce religiously-motivated violence and discrimination in India” through its USD 493,827 programme. And for Sri Lanka, it seeks to ensure that authorities at all levels of government in Sri Lanka effectively implement national laws and policies protecting religious freedom. Recipient of both the India Programme and Sri Lanka – with similar objectives of religious freedom and protection – would be announced after screening of applications in this regard, it said. For India, the state department wants the applying […]

Despite end of Sri Lanka’s civil war, men report rape and torture under new government

8th November 2017 // 0 Comments

LONDON – He was barely a teenager when Sri Lanka’s civil war ended, spared by youth from witnessing its horrors. But last year, the brutal conflict caught up with Witness #205. Raped, branded and beaten, he is one of more than 50 men who say they were abducted and tortured under Sri Lanka’s current government. The men’s previously unpublished accounts conjure images of the bloody civil war, which ended in 2009. The men agreed to tell their stories and to have the extensive scars on their legs, chests and backs photographed in July and August. The AP reviewed 30 medical and psychological evaluations and conducted interviews with 20 men. The strangers said they were accused of trying to revive the Tamil Tiger rebel group and were […]

US pledges support despite delay in SL reconciliation efforts

8th November 2017 // 0 Comments

By Uditha Jayasinghe Despite delays in Sri Lanka’s reconciliation process the US will “stand by” Sri Lanka to bring “enduring and sustainable” peace, a top official said yesterday, insisting America was ready to engage on wide-ranging issues including regional security. US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon, who is the highest ranked official from the Trump administration to visit Sri Lanka, told reporters that the US would work to return American Peace Corps members to teach English in Sri Lankan classrooms, give $ 21 million to develop the dairy industry and provide a second Coast Guard Cutter vessel to the navy. “The whole world is watching Sri Lanka and they want to see Sri Lanka succeed because they understand that it is […]

Partnership Dialogue commences, US reiterates support for implementation of UNHRC resolution

8th November 2017 // 0 Comments

The second Sri Lanka- US partnership dialogue commenced in Colombo today, with the US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon meeting with Sri Lanka’s Foreign Secretary, Prasad Kariyawasam. “Sri Lanka and the United States recalled their co-sponsorship of a resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council in March 2017, reaffirming Sri Lanka’s commitment to promote reconciliation, accountability, and human rights in pursuit of lasting peace and prosperity,” a joint statement released on Monday read. “The United States expressed support to Sri Lanka in the implementation of commitments as agreed in the Human Rights Council resolution, such as truth-seeking, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence, that includes providing closure to the families of the missing, and implementing appropriate reforms to enhance the […]

EU : Tamils losing hope in Government

8th November 2017 // 0 Comments

by Zacki Jabbar The European Union says Sri Lankan Tamils are losing hope in their government due to the slow progress in its reconciliation programme and addressing accountability issues arising from the war with the separatist Liberation Tigers Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which ended in May 2009. Head of a visiting delegation of the European Parliament Jean Lambert, said in Colombo last week, that Tamil political and civil society leaders in Jaffna had expressed disappointment that the promised change they had voted for in electing Maithripala Sirisena as President on January 8, 2015 was not happening fast enough. Emphasising that the momentum should not be lost, Jean noted that allegations of war crimes against the security forces and the LTTE, the operation of the Office of […]