SRI LANKA: Lifting of Emergency — Exposing the sham exercise

JC Weliamuna, LLM (Colombo) Human Rights & Constitutional Lawyer, Eisenhower Fellow, Senior Ashoka Fellow Much has been said about the recent decision of the Government to end the Emergency in Sri Lanka. Some welcomed the move and others are yet to make any pronouncements. This short essay is an attempt to examine the implications of […]

PAKISTAN: Devastating floods and the criminal negligence of the authorities

What plans are underway to deal with the aftermath of this year’s flood?   Baseer Naveed with Stewart Sloan Ongoing flooding due to monsoon rains has inundated the entirety of the Sindh province causing billions of Rupees in damage and the loss of crops alone is estimated to be Rs. 5.6 billion. The people in […]

WORLD: A unique regional initiative: The Asian Alliance against Torture and Ill-Treatment

Article | World | 15-09-2011

Erik Wendt & Therese Rytter, Rehabilitation & Research Centre for Torture Victims, Denmark It is well documented that torture, enforced disappearances and extra-judicial executions are carried out throughout Asia by agents of the state, notably police, military, and special investigation units, who expose ordinary citizens to such heinous crimes in complete disregard of national legislation. […]

WORLD: The AHRC and RCT launches the Asian Alliance against Torture and Ill-Treatment (AAATI)

Article | World | 09-09-2011

The Asian Human Rights Commission is happy to announce the launching of the Asian Alliance against Torture and Ill-Treatment (AAATI). Kindly see the attached video on this launch at: For more details about the AAATI kindly see the article below: Why the Asian Alliance against Torture and Ill-Treatment Basil Fernando, Director, Policy & Programme […]

PHILIPPINES: A stranger’s thoughts of a place in her country

As a Filipino, born and raised in Manila, it is a shame to say that on my first trip to Mindanao I felt mixed emotions. I was happy because I had the opportunity of travelling to this part of the country, but I was also worried due to the stories of war in that land […]

PHILIPPINES: Medical practice–the poor are likely to die

By Danilo Reyes  The common phrase that the poor suffers the most, in all aspects of life, is not difficult to comprehend. But no one could ever grasp the depth of the poor’s suffering in a life in which he was conditioned to live. It is not like an experimental exposure where a person can […]

PHILIPPINES: Absence of protection thrives for decades

By Danilo Reyes  I can still remember images of twenty years ago when my mother (now a retired public school teacher) and I travelled on a night bus from our hometown to Cotabato City. In those days our hometown was about six to seven hours away. The travel time would be shorter now as the […]

PAKISTAN: One year after the floods-women continue their struggle to rebuild their lives & livelihoods

FOR PUBLICATION  AHRC-ART-046-2011  August 24, 2011 An Article by the Asian Human Rights Commission PAKISTAN: One year after the floods-women continue their struggle to rebuild their lives & livelihoods By Bushra Khaliq  One year ago during the months of July and August the floodwaters that ravaged the southern parts of Pakistan have long receded. Though […]

SRI LANKA: Photos of Razeek’s exhumation

A collection of photos from activists in Sri Lanka published by the Asian Human Rights Commission The AHRC has received the following photos from the exhumation of disappeared human rights activist Mr. Pattini Razeek in Sri Lanka from a local source. Please also read our earlier statement on the case: SRI LANKA: The body of […]

INDIA: Supreme Court – ‘Salwa Judum’ is unconstitutional

Article | India | 21-07-2011

“People do not take arms without reason” — Supreme Court The recent judgment of the Supreme Court of India in Dr. Nandini Sundar and others Vs State of Chhattisgarh and Union Government indicates that the country’s judicial system is alive, and a citizen can hope for justice from it. In the decision rendered on 5 July 2011, […]

ASIA: The Societal Importance of the elimination of torture and ill treatment in the South Asian context

A summary of a presentation made to the Vigil India Movement, Bangalore by the Asian Human Rights Commission Each generation has its own challenges. Not long ago the great challenge was to dispel the foreign invader and to claim our land as our own. Today we face a far different challenge, which is, to become […]

PAKISTAN: Karachi killings – government combating militancy with state sponsored militancy

Baseer Naweed Karachi, the capital of Sindh, remains a hotspot of continuous arms clashes between different political and religious parties where the government has still not been able to use rational methods to control the fighting. The conflict between different armed groups is a clear demonstration of the collapse of the rule of law. The […]

SRI LANKA: Glaucon’s story about the ring of invisibility and J.R. Jawardene’s legacy

Basil Fernando  In Plato’s Republic Glaucon narrates a story about a ring of invisibility.  The man who found the ring used his power to enter the palace, rape the queen, kill the king and to take over the throne. ‘They’d have the scope I’m talking about especially if they acquired the kind of power which, […]

SRI LANKA: Mass protest against murders of seven women in Kahawatte

According to reports yesterday, July 5, 2011, about 2,000 persons from the Kahawatte area participated in a protest demanding the removal of the police working in the area. The reason behind this protest is the inability of the police to effectively investigate the murders of seven women who were killed in separate incidents. The people […]

SRI LANKA: The challenge for the new IGP is to win the cooperation of his ASPs

Basil Fernando  The new Inspector General of Police, N.K Illangakoon, in his first public statement has admitted that there are problems in the policing system of Sri Lanka. He mentioned that the policing system has been distanced from the people. The IGP’s statement should be an occasion to reflect on another, more disconcerting problem for […]

SRI LANKA: Examining the reasons for the absence of outrage against forced disappearances

Basil Fernando In my earlier short essay titled Replacing investigations with gossip, I tried to point to the absence of outrage against forced disappearances in Sri Lanka, which I ended by saying that there must be some cultural for such an attitude. In this second short essay I venture to look into what that cultural root […]

SRI LANKA: Serious deficit of the rule of law due to actions of men most learned in the law

Keynote address delivered at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Citizens Movement for Good Governance (CIMOGG) — June 29 2011 by Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena, Attorney at Law, Media Columnist and Author.  Introductory Comments Mr Chair, members of CIMOGG and friends, when Dr A.C. Visvalingam initially spoke to me in regard to delivering the keynote address […]

SRI LANKA: Replacing investigations with gossip

The attempt to trivialize the campaign on the disappearance of Prageeth Ekneliagoda Basil Fernando There are discussions about Prageeth Eknaliagoda’s abduction and disappearance that go something like this: Was he a journalist or was he not a journalist? Was he a great journalist or was he a lesser journalist? Was he abducted and made to […]

PAKISTAN: What is the score in Balochistan?

Baseer Naweed After the killing of Professor Saba Dashtyari, a renowned scholar of Balochistan, a question commonly asked by the people is: What is the latest score in Balochistan? The killings, whether extrajudicial or through target killings, have become so common that not one day passes when one or two bullet riddled bodies are not […]

PAKISTAN: The appeasement policy — government misses the initiative of taking the armed forces to task

Baseer Naweed  The government of Pakistan — the so called legacy of Bhuttoism — has once again come out in support of our armed forces in an attempt to present them as brave and innocent. The government is reluctant to initiate an independent inquiry commission in the incidents of Abbottabad and Mehran Naval base and […]