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 […]

SRI LANKA: Making a Constitution for a traumatised nation

By Basil Fernando Sri Lanka, as it faces the worst crises in terms of the economy, the society, culture and the legal and moral norms on which the society exists, is today a highly traumatised nation. All the norms of a civilised society are in the worst crisis that Sri Lanka has experienced in recent […]

SRI LANKA: Participatory Constitution-making – The essentials

By Basil Fernando Today, there is a consensus that Sri Lanka has entered into a period of crisis that is worse than it has ever faced in recent history. It is also agreed among most of the people who are highly knowledgeable in the field of economics and financing that this crisis will last for […]

SRI LANKA: Who should be in the constitutional convention?

The making of a new Constitution through a constitutional convention is now being discussed in the community. This is against the privately-drafted Constitution through a group of lawyers which the Government intends to introduce in early 2022. The difference between such a Constitution and one that is made with the participation of many groups and […]

SRI LANKA: Legal arguments against the proposal to present the draft Constitution

The basic legal argument against the proposal to present the draft Constitution is as follows; The proposal is based on a false premise as it denies the process of the making of the Constitution whereas it must provide everyone and every group of people the right of participation as it is a Constitution of the […]

SRI LANKA: Fake constitutions create irrational societies

By Basil Fernando A fake Constitution alters the rules of logic that are the basic foundations of a good constitution. The change of logic leads to irrationality. The spread of irrationality into public institutions creates rotten systems within such public institutions. Where the public institutions go rotten, every aspect of social life comes into severe […]

SRI LANKA: A Man Borrows Two Papayas To Feed His Starving Children

By Basil Fernando A man of about 50 years, walks to a vegetable shop in Savithripura, Anuradhapura, and in front of a few others who also have come to buy some vegetables, he asked the small shop owner whether he could borrow two raw papaya fruits from the shop owner’s garden, in order to feed […]

WORLD: Desmond Tutu: The man who revived the moral universe

Article | World | 29-12-2021

By Basil Fernando Archbishop Desmond Tutu who passed away this week will be counted among the great human beings who have contributed on the one hand for the great political transformation of his own country, and a person who has revolutionized the idea of achieving equality even under the most difficult circumstances. His great achievement […]

SRI LANKA: A People’s Constitution; The Need To Think Outside The Box

By Basil Fernando The discussion on the making of a new constitution through an intensely participatory process, as against underhand methods, is now on. These are a few thoughts as a response to some questions that are being discussed. In dealing with the problem of the 1978 Constitution, we are in fact confronted with the […]

SRI LANKA: Beware: The Third Readymade Constitution is Coming Soon

Professor G.L. Peiris has announced that the drafting process of the Constitution is over and that the text is ready. He said that it was to be presented to the Parliament in January next year. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, in a televised speech, referred to the Constitution being drafted within the course of next year. This […]

SRI LANKA: CPC Amendment Bill Will Undermine The Role, Function & The Independence Of Judiciary

By Basil Fernando There are many objections that can be taken against the proposed Code of Criminal Procedure Bill on the basis of the unconstitutionality of many of the provisions of the Bill. Some of these objections are as follow; The essence and core of the Bill is to dispense with the requirements of the […]

SRI LANKA: The proposed amendment to CPC will create serious problems for administration of justice

By Basil Fernando The proposed Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill to amend the Code of Criminal Procedure Act No. 15 of 1979 will open up a Pandora’s box of serious abuses. In essence what the Bill proposes is to allow Magistrates to dispense with the personal attendance in court of a suspect or accused. […]


Basil Fernando A guy enters into two prisons with a gang of his friends. In one of the prisons he threatens a group of prisoners undergoing trial by placing his pistol on the forehead of one. He tells them what they should do about their case. Inside another prison he wants his friends and himself […]

SRI LANKA: Women take humans rights to the mainstream

By Basil Fernando Human rights have now become very much an integral part of public discussions in almost all public media. At one time, it remained an interest confined to a few groups and persons who were either advocates of human rights or those who attacked the very notion of human rights as part of […]

SRI LANKA: “Should we take the High Commissioner’s statement seriously?” A comment on a TV discussion

By Basil Fernando A discussion on the statement made by the United Nations (UN) High Commissioner (HC) for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, at the 48th Session of the UN Human Rights Council on 13th September 2021, was held on the same day in a television programme, and it is now available on YouTube. The moderator […]

SRI LANKA: Sri Lanka’s rapidly shrinking public space

by Basil Fernando The freedom of association In the past few months, the Sri Lankan Government intensified its pressure against associations who are contributing to defend the rights of people against a series of serious attacks by the Government. Government attacks centre round the passing of several laws that affect the right to education, the […]

SRI LANKA: The Emergency Powers Of The President & The Situation Of Women

By Basil Fernando While Sri Lanka is faced with many crises, the President has acquired the powers to act under the National Security Law by taking emergency powers into his hands. Will that contribute to Sri Lanka’s ever deepening crises or will the situation aggravate, as all power is taken away from everyone else except […]

WORLD: Measuring the impact of advocacy programmes

Article | | 03-09-2021

BY Basil Fernando “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” – Friedrich Nietzsche The word advocacy is used for various purposes and in each case, there is a different connotation attached to it. Commercial advertisements advocate the buying of their products and the promotion of other commercially-related objectives; political parties […]

ශ්‍රී ලංකා: නුපුරුදු සෙල්ලමක අවසානයේ පටන්ගැන්ම

බැසිල් ප්‍රනාන්දු රටක් තමන් විසින්ම පාලනය කර ගැන්ම ලංකාවේ වර්ථමාන කාලය තුල නොපැවති පුරුද්දකි. නුපුරුදු සෙල්ලම තමන් දන්නා ආකාර වලින් කරන්නට ගොස් ඇතිවී තිබෙන ආරවුල අද ආර්ථිකයේ, සමාජයේ, සෞඛ්‍ය පද්ධතියේ, අධ්‍යාපන පද්ධතියේ, මෙන්ම නීතිය ක්‍රියාත්මක කරවා ගැනීම හා අධිකරණය පිළිබදවද පැන නැගී ඇති අර්බුද ජාලයක් තුලින් ඉස්මතු කොට ඇත. දැනට පොදුවේ කතා කරන්නේ ඩොලර් අර්බුදය […]

ශ්‍රී ලංකා: නව පරපුරක තත්වාවබෝධය

බැසිල් ප්‍රනාන්දු ලංකාව අද විවිධකාර මහාපරිමාන ගැටලු පිළිබදව අවබෝධයක් ලබා ගත හැකි මහා විශ්ව විද්‍යාලයක් බවට පත්ව ඇත. රටක් මුහුණදිය හැකි සියලුම වර්ගයේ ගැටලු දැන් ඉතා තීව්‍රව රට පුරා පැතිර පවතී. සෑම පවුලක් හා ගම් බිමක් පාසා සැබෑ මරණ බයක් පැතීරී පවතී. එක් අතකින් ඔවුන් අවට කවුරුන් හෝ කොවිඩ් 19 වෛරසය නිසා මරනයට පත්වී සිටී. […]