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SRI LANKA: Illegal arrests and illegal detentions damage the legal system

By Basil Fernando Illegal arrests and illegal detentions do not only harm individuals, they also cause irreparable damage to the legal system as a whole. The recent wave of arrests of those who have participated in peaceful demonstrations has not only caused serious damage to the life and liberty of these individuals but they have […]

SRI LANKA: An emergency means nothing less than ‘legalizing lawlessness’

By Basil Fernando A declaration of emergency means suspensions of all the laws which normally operate within a country for the protection of the people. A declaration of emergency takes away all the basic protections which are considered essential to the normal functioning of the society. Lawlessness is declared to be normal under a period […]

SRI LANKA: Malnutrition and Starvation- Next Stage of the Crisis

By Basil Fernando As people began to learn about the terrible consequences of the dollar crisis, there also emerged a political slogan that seemed to suit the occasion. “Gota Go Home” became the slogan and in no time it became the rallying cry from almost everyone throughout the country. There appeared at the time there […]

SRI LANKA: A Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Ministry

By Basil Fernando At the moment, the general discussion in Sri Lanka is about the formation of a new Government. Practically speaking, that is the most immediate and urgent task. As there are many views expressed on that issue, we will not comment on it, and we assume that this issue will be resolved soon. […]

SRI LANKA: A New Era Of Politics Begins In Sri Lanka

By Basil Fernando A peaceful mass uprising on 9th July 2022 has brought about the end of a political era which started with the promulgation of the 1978 constitution of Sri Lanka: that constitution completely undermined democracy, the rule of law and human rights in the country. During a period of continuous protests over 3 […]

SRI LANKA: In Sri Lanka politics is imaginary but corruption is real

By Basil Fernando Politics in Sri Lanka mostly consists of the making of speeches at every place. There is lot of talk in the Parliament and there is also a lot of talk in the media shows. However, no real form of governance is taking place in the country. There is no direct relationship between […]

SRI LANKA: 22nd Amendment Bill – Fundamentals are wrong

By Basil Fernando The amendment of a constitution is a serious task. However, some may argue that it is not such an important task as far as Sri Lanka is concerned. That is because of the most trivialized manner in which Constitutional Amendments have been brought about in Sri Lanka in the recent years. However, […]

SRI LANKA: Wild Politics and Brutal Policing

By Basil Fernando Police brutality is very much a normal part of the abnormal way of life that exists in Sri Lanka just as attacks by wild elephants have become an usual part of life for people living in remote villages. How that came about has a history of its own and it is the […]

SRI LANKA: Delays In Justice As A Major Cause Of Economic & Political Catastrophe

By Basil Fernando Delays in justice as a key factor that destroyed the economic and political system. Everybody’s talk during the last few months has been about the catastrophic economic crisis in the country and also the crisis of the political system. The link between the two has been well understood by everyone. However, in […]

SRI LANKA: Two big lies told about the 1978 Constitution

By Basil Fernando Two great lies have been propagated about the 1978 Constitution. When a lie is repeated many times by many persons, often such a lie begins to be treated as a conventional truth. The first of these lies is that the 1978 Constitution was created on the model of the French Constitution and […]

SRI LANKA: Parliamentarians’ Inability to Mourn

By Basil Fernando What happened on the 9th of May was a tragedy. It is a tragedy that the entire nation should genuinely mourn. Such genuine mourning has a capacity to generate reflections that could transform the thinking and practices of all those concerned about how to avoid such tragedies in the future. Such genuine […]

SRI LANKA: What HRCSL can do to assist SL fight debt crisis

By Basil Fernando The debt crisis, or what is known better as the US dollar crisis, is what is threatening the stability of Sri Lanka right now. In a very clear message to the nation, given by way of a press interview, Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe on 11 May […]

SRI LANKA: MPs Letters – A Revival Of A Very Dangerous Practice Facebook Twitter WhatsApp Share

By Basil Fernando  There are many reports in the media that Government Members of Parliament are sending lists to the Police to arrest persons. This habit has been revived after the events of May 9th and the days that followed. Now the media reports that thousands of arrests have been made and that hundreds are […]

SRI LANKA: People’s Uprising for System Change

By Basil Fernando April and May 2022 will be remembered as the most important months in the post-independence era. During this short period the much hoped for people’s awakening expressed itself powerfully. People who wielded authority failed to see the writing on the wall although the wall was just next to the Presidential Secretariat and […]

SRI LANKA: The changing meanings of system change

By Basil Fernando One of the most popular phrases that is being talked about in Sri Lanka is the need for a system change. Often in media interviews, various people are asked about what they mean by a system change. Varying answers are given by persons depending on their ideologies, perspectives and above all, on […]

SRI LANKA: The absence of the will to do justice

By Basil Fernando Within a few days after the Rambukkana Police shooting, a large body of information has become available to the public about this incident. The attempt by the Government and also a section of the Police to give their own version about the incident has revealed a very routine pattern that exists in […]

SRI LANKA: A simple way out of the constitutional trap

By Basil Fernando Two crises overlap in Sri Lanka. One is the economic crisis which preoccupies everyone at the moment. However, in seeking a solution to the economic crisis, another crisis stands against any real solution. That is the constitutional crisis. However, this aspect has not received very much attention during the discussions which are […]

SRI LANKA: Can Sri Lanka rise from its constitutional limbo?

Can Sri Lanka rise from its constitutional limbo? When Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe accepted to take over as the Head of the Central Bank, in one of his early statements, he said that he would be able to do the expected job if there is no interference from outside. The demand for non-interference is today one […]

SRI LANKA: Suspend PTA immediately – UN Experts tells GOSL

By Basil Fernando  The Sri Lankan delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) suffered a great setback when its promise to amend the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act, No. 48 of 1979 as amended (PTA) was responded to by the 16 UN special experts calling on the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) […]

SRI LANKA: What Is The Greater Wrong – Contempt Of Court Or Illegal Detention?

By Basil Fernando In two occasions, the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) held in two separate cases decided by the Sri Lankan Supreme Court related to contempt of court that the punishment imposed by the Court amounted to disproportionate punishment and that such punishment amounted to illegal detention. The UNHRC held that on both […]