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SRI LANKA: Is the Criminal Procedure Act still valid?

By Basil Fernando The procedures that should be followed by the police in the investigations into crime are found in the Criminal Procedure Code of Sri Lanka (CPC). Ever since the British introduced the basic procedures for investigations of crime based on their own laws, basic elements of the Criminal Procedure have remained the same. […]

SRI LANKA: When the law ceases to be a command that must be obeyed

By Basil Fernando A lawyer practicing in Negombo was abducted on the night of 12 July 2017 and taken to a deserted field. There six persons, two of whom were wearing camouflaged uniforms, beat him thoroughly on his back and his head, threatening him that, “you should not be messing with us,” and “you should […]

INDIA: IT industry the new killing farms, techies the new farmers?

Article | India | 24-07-2017

Avinash Pandey Gopikrishna Durgaprasad, a 25-year-old gainfully employed young man, committed suicide a few days ago in Pune, Maharashtra. With Maharashtra seeing thousands of suicides every year, and being the state with the most farmer suicides annually, Gopikrishna’s death would not have been significant news on its own. What was different about this case though, was that […]

INDIA: Curious case of anti-farmer, anti-consumer, self-pricing tomatoes

Article | India | 14-07-2017

Avinash Pandey Looking at the pattern of tomato pricing in India, year after year, could lead one to believe that tomatoes are pricing themselves, evilly conspiring against the farmers producing them and the consumers buying them, helping only the intermediaries in the process. As of now, tomatoes are being sold for more than Rs. 80 […]

SRI LANKA: Drinking toddy which is not toddy

By Basil Fernando “A large crowd of people gather here every day,” a social worker told me, pointing to a two-storey building that is now a toddy shop. There was a banner with a familiar advertisement: Ra Bomu – lets drink toddy. People were going to and from the building. Pointing to the property annexed […]

SRI LANKA: Can a torture victim receive justice from the Sri Lanka Legal System?

Sanjeewa Weerawickrama [1] Torture is an act, a form of punishment, a horrible experience, causing severe physical pain and mental suffering. It uses force to make a person confess to a crime he did not do. [2]. A person has the fundamental right not to be tortured. Freedom from torture is covered in the next two examples […]

SRI LANKA: A Diary of a frequent visitor

Article by Basil Fernando I arrived at the Katunayake Airport and there was my friend whose car I usually use in my visits. On our way from the airport into the roads a conversation immediately started and of course my first concern was to note how my friend was doing in his business – which […]

INDIA: Ominous arrests point at imminent rule of the outlaw in Uttar Pradesh

Article | India | 06-07-2017

By Avinash Pandey The arrests of 31 Dalit activists in Lucknow, state capital of Uttar Pradesh, is an ominous marker of the things to come. Add the circumstances of their arrest and they also hint at an authoritarian regime lurching around, set for the takeover of whatever little is left of dissent, democracy and the […]

INDIA: Weed out the rogues in uniform rather than trivialising rape

Article | India | 30-06-2017

by Avinash Pandey ‘Why do armed women cut off a particular organ of Indian soldiers engaged in combating armed insurgencies across India, be it Punjab, Kashmir, Arunachal, Assam, Bengal or Jharkhand?’ asked senior opposition leader Azam Khan. The insinuation was unmistakable, and it had a basis: armed Maoists had indeed chopped off private parts of Central Reserve […]

INDIA: A ‘stain-less’ government amidst bloodstains on the streets

Article | India | 28-06-2017

by Avinash Pandey ‘There are no stains on my government,’ said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his visit to the United States of America. This can only mean that the Prime Minister thinks the bloodstains of innocent Indians are not stains. In actual fact, no one can remember another time when so much blood was […]

SRI LANKA: Opposite Approach to Minimize Torture in Sri Lanka

By Sanjeewa Weerawickrama [1] The history of torture has been from time immemorial. Today and in the future torture is a reality in many countries. To solve a problem there may be multiple approaches. Maybe certain methods are more effective than others but each has its own ways, means and value. An intervention to minimize […]

SRI LANKA: Dengue Fever Epidemic In Sri Lanka Vs. State Responsibility

by Sanjeewa Weerawickwama The population of Sri Lanka is 20.97 million (2015) people. Some 1.84 million are migrant workers. The number of Dengue Fever affected individuals in 2015 was 29, 777. In 2016 it was 55, 154. Statistics for the first 5 months of 2017 show affected individuals to be 56,887! And the total number […]

SRI LANKA: A False confession: Did it really happen?

By Sanjeewa Weerawickrama Criminal offenses such as thefts, rapes, homicides, assaults and kidnappings should be investigated according to existing laws. A criminal investigation is team work where multiple entities are involved. Analysis is necessary to establish that a crime was committed by a particular person or persons. Reliable and correct evidence should be gathered with […]

SRI LANKA/WORLD: Reconciliation in a country entrenched with multiple discriminations

By Basil Fernando IN spite of several years of discussions and talks the work towards reconciliation in Sri Lanka has not made much progress. In this paper we will try to look into the problem areas relating to reconciliation in the light of multiple discriminations that are entrenched in Sri Lanka. This is against the usual approach […]

INDIA: Breaking down the Supreme Court judgment in the Babri Masjid demolition case

Article | India | 26-04-2017

By Urmila Pullat On April 19, 2017, the Supreme Court of India(SC) passed an important judgment with respect to the fraught Babri Masjid demolition case. The matter in question pertained to FIR 198 of 1992 which was one of many FIRs filed on Dec 6, 1992 after the demolition of the Babri Masjid. FIR 198/92 […]

SRI LANKA: Meethotamulla tragedy to be duplicated at Muthurajawela?

by Basil Fernando Dealing with the Meethotamulla waste dump has now become a major national problem for Sri Lanka. At least 30 persons have lost their lives due to the collapse of the waste dump. Many others might have died or suffered serious diseases due to the existence of this waste dump polluting the entire […]

SRI LANKA/ INDIA: Annihilation of Caste is now available for the Sinhala readers

A Sinhala Translation of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar’s book Annihilation of Caste is now available in Sinhala translation entitled “ Kulaya Mulin Uputa Demeema” The book has been translated into an easy, readable language by Osadhi Nayantara Gunasekera and published by the Asian Human Rights Commission. The book is now available in bookshops in Sri Lanka. Annihilation of Caste […]

SRI LANKA: Lawlessness and the Meethotamulla Garbage Dump Collapse

An Article Basil Fernando For many decades Sri Lankans have ignored the collapse of their legal system, the crisis of the judicial system and the virtual disappearance of all legal traditions. For this reason, the bond between law and social structure is now weak. This means that the law is unable to keep the political, […]

INDONESIA : What are you going to do for Papua, Mr. President?

Since Suharto stepped down in 1998, and political reform occurring for the last 18 years, Papua has yet to enjoy real reform, as enjoyed by other provinces in Indonesia. While there have been initiatives to address human rights problems in Papua and West Papua provinces, they have not resulted in significant improvements on the ground. […]

PAKISTAN: State infringes upon the people’s right to freedom of speech

By Javeria Younes Intellectual freedom has always been viewed as a threat to hegemonic and tyrannical government, for whom dissent in any form is unacceptable, as it shakes the very foundation upon which the tyrannical status quo rests. Ideas and ideologies encompassing freedom and equality for the masses are always dangerous, as the existence of […]