SRI LANKA: Charades and its price

Nilantha Ilangamuwa  Only a fool tests the depth of the water with both feet. – African proverb The entire country, not just its diplomatic missions, is in a dilemma today. This has its roots beyond the present regime’s misuse of authority. Absolute authority it did attain, since the Big Ben alarm sounded three years ago after […]

SRI LANKA: The Rule of Law and Democracy in Sri Lanka

Basil Fernando A preliminary Remark on Possible Objections to A Conversation on Rule of Law And Democracy In Sri Lanka I realize at the very outset that a conversation on rule of law and democracy in Sri Lanka would be objected to by different persons for several reasons. One group considers this conversation as largely […]

SRI LANKA: Dum spiro, spero, dum vivimus vivamus

By Nilantha Ilangamuwa Speech after long silence; it is right, All other lovers being estranged or dead, Unfriendly lamplight hid under its shade, The curtains drawn upon unfriendly night, That we descant and yet again descant Upon the supreme theme of Art and Song: Bodily decrepitude is wisdom; young We loved each other and were […]

SRI LANKA: President J.R. Jayawardene failed to understand what nations live by

(A discussion on the current abductions and the debate at the Human Rights Council on accountability and reconciliation) Basil Fernando Tolstoy wrote a great short story entitled ‘What men live by’. It is about an angel who was sent by way of punishment to earth to get an understanding of what men live by. As […]

SRI LANKA: Sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity

What the London based Channel 4 is showing the World again on Sri Lanka is not a new phenomenon for this country. This kind of barbaric knavery has a long history. At that time those victims were alone, no one had seen them. The guardian turned away for the time. As this writer pointed out […]

PAKISTAN: Saleem Shahzad case -rule of law or rule of ISI?

Freedom of expression is one of the essential pre-requirements for the practice, protection and promotion of democracy. If we are to speak of a democratic Pakistan we need to examine, whether the media is free. Each and every day media professionals are facing threats of kidnapping or murder for telling the truth. The truth about […]

PAKISTAN: WOMEN’S DAY — Rape victim blaming attitude

Bushra Khaliq Rape victim blaming has its roots in all societies and causes are surely riddled in the culture. Stigmatization of the rape victim, multiple social and legal inequities and absence of supportive and viable systems enhance the victimization of rape victim. Lack of gender focused education, sexual stereotypes and decadent myths impede the necessary […]

SRI LANKA: Needed — A Ministry of Truth

“… dislike doctrines, you have a horror of systems, as for principles, you deny that there are any in political economy; therefore we shall call it your practice — your practice without theory and without principle.” Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850) [Open letter to the French Parliament, originally published in 1845]   The operation in Geneva has […]

SRI LANKA: The casual approach to murder investigations

Basil Fernando The assassination of Anthony Fernando of Chilaw, who shot dead while engaged in a peaceful demonstration against the rise in the prices of oil, as it affects the livelihood of the fisherfolk reveals the changes of law, policy and attitudes relating to murder in Sri Lanka. The government has made no attempt at […]

PAKISTAN: More Muslim than the Muslims

National Data Base Authority (NADRA) creates a new religion with the name of Qadiani in religion column of identity cards’ forms. By Rabab Fizah and Anna Thorning  The persecution of Ahmadis, a black listed minority sect of Islam, continues and during the first two months of this year three members from the minority sect, the […]

SRI LANKA: Drama on the Ah

If a girl sits badly, it is up to her mother to cover her thighs. – Orma (Kenyan) Proverb Again, it works, doesn’t it? But for how long you are going to trap the public with this same strategy which has different faces? When the person who has abused power and undermined the basic rights of […]

INDIA: A corpse of rights without justice at its soul

One of the sad truths that we have to live with today is that the people’s struggles for human rights are highly fragmented in India. Equally disheartening is the fact that whenever or wherever human rights comes up for discussion, it is addressed in piecemeal, ignoring and leaving far behind a comprehensive approach to rights […]

The system works here in Hong Kong, Sir; it is the system operators that have failed in Sri Lanka — a reply to a presidential advisor

One of the advisors to the Sri Lankan president went to Vavuniya last Saturday (February 25) to talk to the people displaced by ‘the war’ and was interviewed by a BBC correspondent. The presidential advisor told the correspondent that the displaced people in Vavuniya had not received as much benefit as the people in the […]

SRI LANKA: Vox Papuli, Vox Del

By Nilantha Ilangamuwa “As your attorney general I’m sorry to have to tell you that the present picture of crimes in the United States is far from good. In fact I would say it is shocking – particularly so in regard to the percentage of juveniles involved in law breaking”. Tom C. Clark, Former Attorney […]

SRI LANKA: On the Edge of the Knife

There is always a fallacious belief that, “It would not be the same here; here such things are impossible”1. The morning of Valentine’s Day (February 14) started with the unwholesome smell of the burnt carcass of a person; the incident took place in the central part of Colombo, which is one of most secure places […]

SRI LANKA: The agony of political lies

“What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.” – Viktor E. Frankl1 High level military officials were […]

SRI LANKA: The state propaganda machinery’s role in creating a brain dead nation

Basil Fernando Not only the content but also the style of the propaganda issued by the state media is aimed at dulling the minds and discouraging independent thought within the nation. The result is that when immensely dangerous things happen to the community the people have learned to avoid any public discussion on these matters. […]

PAKISTAN: Brutal sectarian violence against Shias continues unabated

It is a recognized fact that a state’s police and law enforcement agencies play a critical role as the first line of defense against the threats of terrorism and insurgencies. Police is often failing to protect the members of religious minorities including Ahmadias, Shias, Christians and Hindus. Militant groups are carrying out suicide bombings and […]

SRI LANKA: Can GOSL implement LLRC recommendations?

JC Weliamuna  This is the question of the day. This is raised nationally and internationally and answers contrast for different reasons. In this article, I endeavor to briefly answer this question from a governance perspective, keeping in mind the present socio-political realities in Sri Lanka. The President appointed the Commission of Inquiry on Lessons Learnt […]

SRI LANKA: Illusion of Freedom

Nilantha Ilangamuwa  “They tell us, these tyrants, that they adore a God of peace and equality, and yet they usurp our land and make us their slaves. They speak to us of an immortal soul and of their eternal rewards and punishments, and yet they rob our belongings, seduce our women, violate our daughters. Incapable […]