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SRI LANKA: A Tragic Transformation: The Strange Case Of The 1978 Constitution

By Basil Fernando I have borrowed the title of this article from the immortal work of Robert Lewis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. This novel is about a mysterious and tragic transformation caused by the use of certain chemicals. By the use of such chemical concoctions, Dr. Jekyll, an amiable, […]

INDIA: The other, invisible victims of CAA in Meghalaya

Article | India | 18-03-2020

By Avinash Pandey Despite all the claims of them too being “atoot ang” or unbreakable part of the country, news from the North Eastern states of India seldom make it to the national headlines, with The Telegraph, published from Kolkata being an exception, perhaps because of its proximity. So there were no surprises on national […]

SRI LANKA: How can unscrupulous lawyers manipulate delays in the law?

By Basil Fernando This article is about the manner in which unscrupulous lawyers could manipulate delays in the law to their personal advantage. This type of behavior is now a permanent feature in Sri Lanka’s legal system. Analysis of the methods used for such manipulation are based on experiences from actual cases. Reflections on the […]

SRI LANKA: Election 2019 – Hamlet without a Prince of Denmark

By Basil Fernando The 2019 election has not generated any real enthusiasm among the people. There have been the usual rituals of meetings, distribution of rice parcels, promises of other little santhosom (gifts) – those are what the sovereign people of Sri Lanka have been offered. In reality, they have been left with a beggar’s […]

SRI LANKA: What happens to the people happens also to judges, lawyers, and others

A comment on the memoir of Former Chief Justice Dr Shiranee Bandaranayake entitled “Hold Me in Contempt” Basil Fernando Attorney-At-Law This memoir by former Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake on the (now nullified) impeachment is a significant contribution to the cause of promoting the independence of judiciary in Sri Lanka. Its significance lies in the […]

INDIA: Borewells and potholes kill more Indians than terror

Article | India | 28-10-2019

By Avinash Pandey Efforts to rescue 2-year-old Sujith Wilson, trapped in a borewell for over 3 days in a village in Tiruchirappalli district of Tamilnadu now have entered fourth day. Rescue teams, including those from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation of India (ONGC) have confirmed that Sujith has […]

WORLD: Thai judge survives shooting himself in the chest in open court as a protest against interference with judicial independence

By Basil Fernando In a Thai courthouse on 4th October 2019, Judge Khanakorn Pianchana shot himself in the chest as a protest against interference with the independence of judges in their decision-making process. Fortunately, he survived the suicide attempt – made in open court – and is reportedly out of intensive care. Regarding the issue […]

WORLD: A NATION IS NOT MERELY TERRITORY OR AN IDEOLOGY BUT A COLLECTIVE CONSCIOUSNESS

By Basil Fernando Legalistically speaking, a nation is a people living together in a particular geographical region. But legal definitions do not create a nation. The meaning of nation is far deeper than any legal definition of it. Often politicians define a nation in terms of ideologies. For example, if a nation at a given […]

SRI LANKA: අශ්වයා පණ අදිද් දී ජොකියා වීමට පොරකෑම

බැසිල් ප‍්‍රනාන්දු පාලකයෙකු පත් කර ගන්නේ රාජ්‍ය තන්ත‍්‍රය ජනතා සුභසිද්ධිය සදහා කි‍්‍රයාත්මක කරවා ගැනීම සදහාය. දැන් කලක සිටම ලංකාවේ පවතින ප‍්‍රධානම ප‍්‍රශ්නය නම් රාජ්‍ය තන්ත‍්‍රය පණ අදින තත්ත්වයක පසුවීමය. මූල්‍ය කටයුතු පිළිබඳ අංශයේ වුවත්, නිෂ්පාදන අංශයේ වුවත්, ආරක්ෂක අංශයේ වුවත්, යුක්තිය පසිඳලීමේ යෙදී සිටින ආයතන වල වුවත්, සුබසාධන පිළිබඳ අංශයේ එනම් සෞඛ්‍ය, අධ්‍යාපනය, වැඩිහිටියන් හා […]

SRI LANKA: Weaponisation of Ambiguity – Sri Lanka’s 1978 Constitution

  By Basil Fernando  The 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka is an outstanding example of how meaning can be manipulated through the weaponisation of ambiguity. It uses language that gives the appearance of a liberal democratic constitution of a republic while also putting in place various devices that severely undermine all the basic norms and standards […]

SRI LANKA: ලංකාවේ නීති අධ්‍යාපනයේ අසාර්ථකත්වය

බැසිල් ප‍්‍රනාන්දු ලංකාවේ නීති අධ්‍යාපනය මුළුමනින්ම අසාර්ථකත්වයකින් පෙළෙන අධ්‍යාපන ක‍්‍රමයකි. වෘත්තීය අධ්‍යාපන ආයතන වල මූලික වගකීම වන්නේ එම වෘත්තියෙහි නියැලීමට බලාපොරොත්තු වන අපේක්ෂකයන්ට එසේ එය කර ගැනීම සඳහා අවශ්‍ය දැනුම, අවශ්‍ය පුහුණුව මෙන්ම අවශ්‍ය සදාචාරක පදනම ඉගැන්වීමය. මේ අනුව බලන විට දැනට ලාංකික නීති අධ්‍යාපනය වටා ගොඩනැගුනු සෑම ආයතනයක් තුළම දකින්නට ලැබෙන්නේ ඔවුන්ගේ වෘත්තිය කර […]

ශ්‍රී ලංකා: මානව හිමිකම් හා ජන ජීවිතය

බැසිල් ප‍්‍රනාන්දු ලාංකිකයාගේ ජන ජීවිතය තුළ දිනපතාම වැඩෙන ඛේදවාචක තත්ත්වය එක් සිද්ධියකින් කෙටියෙන් සදහන් කළ හැකිය. දැන් රෝහලකට ශල්‍යකර්මයක් සඳහා යන පුද්ගලයෙකුට වෛද්‍යවරුන් නියම කරන්නේ ඔහුගේ ශල්‍යකර්මයෙන් පසු දැමෙන මැහුම් වලට උඩින් දමනු ලබන ප්ලාස්ටර් පටියත් පුද්ගලික ආයතනයකින් ගෙන එන ලෙසය. මේ සා ප‍්‍රමාණයකට රජයේ රෝහල් තුළ සේවයක් පතා එන සාමාන්‍ය ජනතාව පිටම වෛද්‍ය ප‍්‍රතිකාර […]

SRI LANKA: How the poor pay for the national debt and for corruption?

By Basil Fernando The one of the most frequent practices in the public hospitals now is that patients have to pay for everything. For example, a patient undergoing an operation has to buy everything from outside shops, even the plaster that is used to cover the wound caused by the operation. This explains to the […]

SRI LANKA: මරණ දඩුවම අහෝසි කිිරීම පිළිබඳ නීති කෙටුම්පත

 බැසිල් ප‍්‍රනාන්දු. මරණීය දණ්ඩනය අහෝසි කිරීම පිළිබඳව නීති කෙටුම්පතක් ගැසට් කරන බවට ඇති අනාවරණය සතුටට කරුණකි. එය ලෝකයේ බොහෝ රටවල් අශිෂ්ඨ යැයි පිළිගන්නා ක‍්‍රමවේදයක් ලංකාව තුළද පිළිගැනෙන බවට ප‍්‍රකාශයකි. ඒ නිසා මෙය ලංකාවේ නීති ක‍්‍රමය සම්බන්ධයෙන් තීරණාත්මක වෙනසක් ඇති කළ හැකි අවස්ථාවකි. එහෙත් මෙම අවස්ථාවේදී සලකා බලා පිළියම් යෙදිය යුතු තවත් බරපතල ප‍්‍රශ්නයක් ඇත. එනම් […]

SRI LANKA: Power without authority

By Basil Fernando An election can give political power to the winning political party and its leadership. Thereby, they could claim that their exercise of power is legitimate. From the point of view of formal legitimacy, that claim is justifiable. However, elections cannot create the authority of the state if it has lost that authority. […]

INDIA: What’s the score: 100 children dead and counting, sir

Article | India | 19-06-2019

By Avinash Pandey How many wickets- asked Mangal Pandey, Health Minister of Bihar during a press conference to know the current status of India Pakistan clash in the ongoing Cricket World Cup. It is just that he asked the question in the middle of a meeting of health department to tackle the outbreak of Acute […]

INDIA: From women killed in wombs, to women without wombs

Article | India | 16-04-2019

By Avinash Pandey A newspaper carrying a story titled, “Why many women in Maharashtra’s Beed district have no wombs” should have shocked India despite the current electoral frenzy the country is undergoing due to parliamentary elections. The story had all the elements to stir the conscience of even the countries not famous for any democratic […]

INDIA: Ending discrimination and populism is a must to eliminate racial discrimination

Article | India | 23-03-2019

By Dr. Divya Padmanabhan March 21 marks the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination worldwide. The day was first observed in 1966, and continues to be observed annually since then. The theme for this year is ‘Mitigating and countering rising nationalist populism and extreme supremacist ideologies’. While many countries are fighting […]

INDIA: Hiding data can’t hide jobless growth

Article | India | 12-03-2019

By Avinash Pandey Contrary to the claims of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India seems to have been losing jobs at a staggering rate, with unemployment rates reaching a decade-long high. From 2.6% between 1977-78 and 2011-12, it has now jumped to 7.23% in February 2019. Unemployment rates are worst for youth, touching almost 20 percent […]

INDIA: International Women’s Day requires regrouping to claim lost ground

Article | India | 08-03-2019

By Avinash Pandey In functioning democracies based on rule of law, International Women’s Day would be a solemn occasion to mark victories for valiant struggles for the rights of women, to commemorate them, to celebrate them and to reaffirm our faith in continuing the struggle, until ‘women own half the earth and half the sky’. […]