UK Human Rights Counsellor questions Sri Lanka’s ‘commitment to transitional justice’

Following the report of UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, Pablo de Greif, the UK Human Rights Counsellor, Matthew Forman, expressed ‘concern’ and ‘profound disappointment’  over Sri Lanka’s progression on transitional justice. In the statement, Forman reiterated the UK’s “profound disappointment” at Sri Lanka’s decision to withdraw support for resolution 30/1. Read more here: Core Group reiterate ‘profound disappointment’ over Sri Lanka’s withdrawal from UN resolution The UK Human Rights Counsellor also expressed concern over Sri Lanka’s inability to tackle accountability; as he…

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Opposition now playing ’race card’ like SLPP did earlier: Mangala

Former Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said today that the Opposition in Parliament is now playing the ‘race card’ like the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) did when it was in the Opposition earlier. In a Tweet, he also said that what Sri Lanka needs is an alternative vision and not a duplicate of the present regimes xenophobic and racist/majoritarian policies. Sad that the opposition in Parliament is now playing the ‘race card’ like the SLPP in opposition earlier; what Sri Lanka needs is an alternative vision and not a duplicate…

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Not a reflection on the situation currently prevalent in Sri Lanka

The Actg. Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka at UN replying to the United Nations Special Rapporteur’s report during the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non- recurrence on 17 September 2020, said that the United Nations reports was “unacceptable” Madam President, As this Council is aware, in November last year, the people of Sri Lanka gave a resounding mandate to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to pursue a policy framework aimed at achieving the fourfold outcome of “a productive citizenry, a contented family,…

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Should the 19th Amendment to the 1978 Constitution be tampered with?

By Dr.Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu Most importantly it set limits on the power of the president to dissolve parliament, removed his/her legal immunity and required that he consult with the prime minister before acting in a number of instances as well as that the President’s Office and that of the Prime Minister be audited by the Office of the Auditor General. Consultation with the Prime Minister and the removal of legal immunity ensures accountability as the President could be brought to Court and the Prime Minister was accountable to Parliament on a…

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Sinhala society is building a Sinhala-Buddhist Sri Lanka

By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka I am proud that the Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka, of which my father was the Founder-President, was one of nine media industry bodies/organisations to express “deep concern” over aspects of the 20th Amendment and their potential to “negatively impact Sri Lanka’s democratic institutions”. Mervyn de Silva would have endorsed the statement, had he lived. He founded the Lanka Guardian magazine in May 1978 as a critical civic alternative at the moment of ‘High Authoritarianism’. The monopolisation of power through the 20th Amendment turns the Presidency into…

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PCoI on Easter attacks warns Maithripala

The Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) appointed to probe the Easter Sunday terror attacks today issued stern warnings to former President Maithripala Sirisena and three others. The former President, his private Secretary and the three Auxiliary Bishops of Colombo were warned to refrain from making statements to media refusing remarks made by witnesses testifying before the Commisison. The PCoI yesterday issued notice to the four individuals summoning them before the Commission today. Last week, Sirisena was accused of offering Inspector General of Police (IGP) Pujith Jayasundara, who has been suspended from service,…

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Debating draft 20th Amendment | Minority parties weigh in

Democratic People’s Front and Tamil Progressive Alliance Leader  Mano Ganesan What is the Tamil Progressive Alliance’s (TPA) stance on the 20th Amendment? Before we go into the rest of your questions, let me establish the fact that the Tamil Progressive Alliance is now working closely with the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), which is a political party that Sajith Premadasa, Patali Champika Ranawaka, Rishard Bathiudeen, Rauff Hakeem, and myself established to build a stronger Opposition to the governing party. We are all equal representatives of the SJB. Therefore, I am sure that it…

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The 20th Amendment Bill – Lest We Forget

The 19th Amendment transformed the office of President, which was previously vested with absolute executive power, into a constitutional Head of State who was required to act on the advice of the Prime Minister and the Constitutional Council in respect of his constitutional functions. It also required the Cabinet of Ministers to be drawn only from among Members of Parliament. Nevertheless, this transitional provision empowered President Sirisena, who was not a Member of Parliament, to appoint himself as a Minister, and to hold three Ministries including the vitally important one…

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Thugs In Saffron

By Ameer Ali – Dr. Ameer Ali The rapid erosion of that historic image of Sri Lanka, as peaceful, beautiful, resourceful and tolerant multiethnic and multicultural island may said to have reached its nadir when thugs in saffron robes are allowed to roam around the country as Buddhist priests slapping priests from other faiths and beating and locking up government officers, while law enforcers, perhaps afraid of reprimand from the Sangha and or the President, were they to arrest such thugs, remain just onlookers. The most shocking incident of this lawlessness and…

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20 Amendment – the Government determined to stay the course

ECONOMYNEXT – The government is determined to follow procedure and not make any changes to the 20th Amendment to the Constitution before it reaches the Committee stage in Parliament, a highly placed source in the Prime Minister’s office said. “The legal process is that the proposal is gazetted and once approved by Cabinet it can be tabled before Parliament,” the source told EconomyNext. “There is no need for any changes to be made, and legally they cannot be made before the Committee stage,” the senior official said. Asked whether the…

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19th Amendment is Rajepakshes protection from handing over Sri Lanka to the Chinese.

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam http://austms.blogspot.com.au/ 24 September  2020 On 22 September, my media Energy took me to the Rediff article ‘India’s Dilemma in Sri Lanka’ by Dr Badrakumar. How I got there – I cannot remember. Why it came to me – I know through my own assessment of myself through my true Sri Lankan position. I accumulated Energy through the Hindu pathway which is also largely Indian pathway. Along that pathway I formed relationships including through my media work. The passage of my book ‘Naan Australian’ to National Library of Australia…

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