The following text was sent as a letter addressing the Chairman, Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka today. It was signed by Sudarshana Gunawardana of Rights Now Collective for Democracy on behalf of 16 civil society organisations.
This was faxed to the Human Rights Commission today (Friday 13.12.2013) and it will be sent to the HRC by registered post tomorrow.
Therefore the Rajapakse government, which began its existence by suppressing the independent media and went on to stifle political dissent expressed through protests, has now taken the next step: expelling foreign passport-holders who discuss rights, democracy and allied subjects.
In a dismaying reflection on the state of the freedom of expression in Sri Lanka, people regularly ask Mr Kamardeen how he has gotten away with the Puss plays for so long. He isn’t robbing a bank, he replies. He is only writing a play. He is supposed to get away with it.
“We were satisfied that there was ample evidence of a “widespread” and “systemic” attack conducted by the Sri Lankan authorities, the AI and EU reports referring in terms to the abuse of the Tamil population being part of a government “strategy,” Ruling that they “did not find it credible that, if only from his service in the police from 2003 to 2009 that the appellant did not know of the routine and serious abuse of Tamils”, the Upper Tribunal Judges said “…it is our view that the country evidence shows overwhelmingly that the Sri Lankan authorities were specifically attacking the Tamil population, the police force being agents in that attack, certainly by the way of torture and kidnapping.”
The occupants — some of whom were displaced to the Vanni and other parts of the country during the brutal war — returned only to find out they could go nowhere near their land. Once their home, it had now become an exclusive domain of the army. “We don’t even know if our homes are there or have been demolished,” said A. Kunapalasingam, president of the Vali-North Rehabilitation and Resettlement Committee.
My attire offers an alternative – an alternative that demands that I be judged for who I am than for how I look. The University and its Senate may not agree with this. But certainly I am ready for the debate but the Senate has run-away from it and banned the niqab altogether – even without a proper hearing. Certainly that is not something that a University should do.
Marking the death of Nobel Peace Laureate and former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, the Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu called him a “remarkable leader, politician and statesman” and an “extraordinary human being”.
In a short voice recording, Dr. Saravanamuttu said Mandela “would continue to inspire generations to come” and provides, through his life, a standard, example and inspiration for countries seeking, like Sri Lanka, to move beyond war.
“Like with Nehru, Mandela’s puissant leadership was founded on the strength of his character and his unerring moral compass, his intelligence, education and cultured urbanity. This is what enabled the rejection of the nativism and the rancour that has characterised the unprincipled use of nationalism all over the post-colonial world, and which has marred and continues to derail democratic nation-building.”
Welikala goes on to say that,
“The freedom from fear imbued Nelson Mandela’s personal conduct and political creed throughout his life, and it is the leadership attribute that ensured a plural and inclusive constitutional democracy in his motherland. It is unfortunately not an example that many Asian and African leaders have had the will, the capacity or the character to follow.”
The Census on human and property damages due to conflict – 2013.
Download the full questionnaire in Sinhala and Tamil as a PDF or high-resolution images, the only English translation of it at the moment in the country and a critique of significant shortcomings here:
“The ringing indictment of caste-based discrimination and prejudice contained in a strongly worded resolution that the European Parliament passed last month has put this particular form of human rights abuse firmly on the international agenda. Equally importantly, the resolution has served to drag this pernicious institution out of the shadows of the South Asian migrant experience in Europe where it has long remained hidden and into the public domain of legal and institutional scrutiny.”
“Today marks two years since the alleged abduction of the two human rights activists Lalith Weeraraj and Kugan Muruganandan who were last seen on the day before the World Human Rights Day. After this controversial abduction Lalith Weeraraj’s father, a rubber tapper working at Siri Niwasa Watte told the media that he strongly believe that the government is behind this abduction by referring to a statement made by the Cabinet Spokesman, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella at a press conference stating that Lalith and Kugan are in police custody, though the police authorities strongly denied this claim soon afterwards.”
ACF reste mobilisée et publie aujourd’hui le rapport « La vérité sur le massacre de Muttur ». Tous ces éléments de preuves directes et indirectes convergent vers les mêmes responsables du crime : des membres des forces de l’ordre sri-lankaises.