« Observations on the Bill to Amend the Voluntary Social Service Organisations (Registration and Supervision) Act No. 31 of 1980 » by The Centre for Policy Alternatives

The Cabinet of Ministers approved on 20 February 2018 a proposal to introduce amendments to the Voluntary Social Service Act (VSSO) No. 31 of 1980. The proposed amendments contain far-reaching consequences on the activities and finances of civil society and if enacted in its present form will have a chilling effect on a range of private entities across Sri Lanka. The present move is also in a context when there are several existing laws in place to monitor and regulate non-governmental organisations and other entities that are likely to fall within the proposed amendments.

The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) has prepared a short note containing key concerns on the proposals and process, with the hope of a constructive engagement on this issue and raising with it the necessity and proportionality of what has been proposed.

Download the note in English.

« Sri Lanka’s NGOs test limits of new freedoms » by IRIN

NGOs faced extreme scrutiny under the previous long-term President Mahinda Rajapaksa, particularly those working on human rights or issues related to the legacy of the conflict in the north. But optimists within the humanitarian community in Sri Lanka believe the early signs auger well for improvements under the new government of Maithripala Sirisena, who promised during the election campaign to arrest the nation’s drift towards dictatorship.

Via http://www.irinnews.org/…/sri-lanka-s-ngos-test-limits-of-n…

« A decade later, remembering a Sri Lanka town wiped away by tsunami » by Paula Hancocks

And yet in the midst of the misery I witnessed in Sri Lanka was incredible generosity. Residents who had lost everything, who had seen horror beyond imagination, running up to us to offer a face mask to help cope with the unmistakeable stench of death, trying to give us a bottle of water.

via: http://edition.cnn.com/2014/12/24/world/asia/remembering-sri-lanka-tsunami/

« Rebuilding Sri Lanka after the flood » by Alistair Dutton

« When I arrived in Sri Lanka in 2004 I saw the total destruction caused by the Boxing Day tsunami. Houses and trees had been ripped out of the ground along the eastern coast, with bodies and belongings strewn among the debris. Over 30,000 people were killed in Sri Lanka alone, not to mention India, Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar. »

via: http://www.scotsman.com/news/rebuilding-sri-lanka-after-the-flood-1-3636327

« Top Sri Lanka lawyer says fears for life after criticizing govt » by Agence France-Presse

The head of Sri Lanka’s bar association said on Wednesday he feared he might be killed after he described President Mahinda Rajapakse’s government as becoming more autocratic.

via: http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140716/top-sri-lanka-lawyer-says-fears-life-after-criticising-govt

« US warns Sri Lanka over failure to investigate war crimes » by Dean Nelson

« World is losing patience with Sri Lanka over its refusal to investigate war crimes, US warns, as new report details alleged massacre of 17 French aid workers… »

via: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/srilanka/10494147/US-warns-Sri-Lanka-over-failure-to-investigate-war-crimes.html

source: www.telegraph.co.uk

« The Truth about the Assassination of 17 Humanitarian Aid Workers in Sri Lanka » by Action Against Hunger

Ahead of International Human Rights Day, observed on 10th December, humanitarian organisation Action Against Hunger | ACF International reveals publicly for the first time who is responsible for the assassination of the 17 humanitarian aid workers killed on 4th August 2006 in the city of Muttur, Sri Lanka, and who protected the perpetrators of the crime. In one of the most serious crimes ever committed against humanitarian workers, the 17 aid workers were lined up, forced to their knees and shot in the head.

Entitled The Truth about the Assassination of 17 Humanitarian Aid Workers in Sri Lanka, the report unveils that according to the information ACF holds, the aid workers were assassinated by members of the Sri Lankan security forces and the criminals were covered up by Sri Lankan top authorities.

Download the full report here http://cl.ly/2d0Z0s173E14

Read the full press release by ACF (and access the online version of the report) herehttp://www.actionagainsthunger.org.uk/mediaroom/latest-news/the-truth-about-the-assassination-of-17-humanitarian-aid-workers-in-sri-lanka/

Humanitarian Negotiations Revealed: The MSF Experience edited by C. Magone, M. Neuman and F. Weissman

Humanitarian Negociations Revealed : The MSF experience

Magone, Claire ; Neuman, Michael ; Weissman, Fabrice
November 2011 – HURST

From international NGOs to UN agencies, from donors to observers of humanitarianism, opinion is unanimous: in a context of the alleged ‘clash of civilisations’, our ‘humanitarian space’ is shrinking. Put another way, the freedom of action and of speech of humanitarians is being eroded due to the radicalisation of conflicts and the reaffirmation of state sovereignty over aid actors and policies.

 The purpose of this book is to challenge this assumption through an analysis of the events that have marked MSF’s history since 2003 (when MSF published its first general work on humanitarian action and its relationships with governments). It addresses the evolution of humanitarian goals, the resistance to these goals and the political arrangements that overcame this resistance (or that failed to do so). The contributors seek to analyse the political transactions and balances of power and interests that allow aid activities to move forward, but that are usually masked by the lofty rhetoric of ‘humanitarian principles.’ They focus on one key question: what is an acceptable compromise for MSF?

This book seeks to puncture a number of the myths that have grown up over the forty years since MSF was founded and describes in detail how the ideals of humanitarian principles and ‘humanitarian space’ operating in conflict zones are in reality illusory. How, in fact, it is the grubby negotiations with varying parties, each of whom have their own vested interests, that may allow organisations such as MSF to operate in a given crisis situation — or not.

About the Contributors

Marie-Pierre Allié
a medical doctor, is the president of the French section of Médecins Sans Frontières.

Caroline Abu-Sada
is the coordinator of the Research Unit of the Swiss section of Médecins Sans Frontières.

Laurence Binet
is a director of studies at the Centre de réflexion sur l’action et les savoirs humanitaires, Fondation Médecins Sans Frontières.

Jean-Hervé Bradol
a medical doctor, is a director of studies at the Centre de réflexion sur l’action et les savoirs humanitaires, Fondation Médecins Sans Frontières. He is a former president of the French section of Médecins Sans Frontières (2000–2008).

Rony Brauman
a medical doctor, is a director of studies at the Centre de réflexion sur l’action et les savoirs humanitaires, Fondation Médecins Sans Frontières. He is a former president of the French section of Médecins Sans Frontières (1982–1994).

Xavier Crombé
is a lecturer at Sciences Po in Paris. He is a former head of mission for Médecins Sans Frontières in Afghanistan (2002– 2003) and a former director of studies at the Centre de réflexion sur l’action et les savoirs humanitaires, Fondation Médecins Sans Frontières (2005–2008).

Stéphane Doyon
is the nutrition team leader at the Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines of Médecins Sans Frontières.

Michiel Hofman
is a former head of mission for Médecins Sans Frontières in Afghanistan (2009–2011).

Michel-Olivier Lacharité
is a programme manager for Médecins Sans Frontières.

Benoît Leduc
is a former programme manager for Médecins Sans Frontières (2007–2010).

Marc Le Pape
is a sociologist and a former member of the Board of the French section of Médecins Sans Frontières (1998–2008).

Claire Magone
is a director of studies at the Centre de réflexion sur l’action et les savoirs humanitaires, Fondation Médecins Sans Frontières.

Michaël Neuman
is a director of studies at the Centre de réflexion sur l’action et les savoirs humanitaires, Fondation Médecins Sans Frontières.

David Rieff
is an independent journalist, author of A Bed for the Night. Humanitarianism in Crisis (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003).

Fiona Terry
is an independent researcher and a former director of studies at the Centre de réflexion sur l’action et les savoirs humanitaires, Fondation Médecins Sans Frontières.

Claudine Vidal
is a sociologist, Groupe de sociologie politique et morale, École des hautes études en sciences sociales.

Fabrice Weissman
is a director of studies at the Centre de réflexion sur l’action et les savoirs humanitaires, Fondation Médecins Sans Frontières.

Jonathan Whittall
is a humanitarian adviser at Médecins Sans Frontières—South Africa.