SOUTH KOREA: Sinking of the ROKS Cheonan Korean naval vessel in the Yellow Sea of Pacific Ocean

Rasika Sanjeewa Weerawickrama It was a devastating fact that the Korean navy ship ‘ROKS Cheonan’ sinking in the East China Sea around 9.22PM 26th March 2010. Cheonan was a Korean Navy Pohang Class corvette ship. It sank near Baengnyeong Island in the Yellow Sea. At the time of its sinking, the ship was in South […]

INDIA: India’s police are its worst enemy

Article | India | 15-06-2010

Basil Fernando* On 23 May 2010, police officers, including a woman police constable reportedly tortured and abused a mother and her 12-year-old son in Rajouri Garden Police Outpost in Delhi. It is reported that the officers forced Mala (name changed) to strip naked in front of her minor son and demanded her to have sex […]

INDIA: Country’s democracy stripped naked by Delhi police

Article | India | 14-06-2010

Avinash Pandey Samar* On 23 May 2010, police officers, including a woman police constable reportedly tortured and abused a mother and her 12-year-old son in Rajouri Garden Police Outpost in Delhi. It is reported that the officers forced Mala (name changed) to strip naked in front of her minor son and demanded her to have […]

PAKISTAN: Half of the population is exposed to food insecurity because of bad governance and abuses.

Julia Lemétayer The Pakistani people are increasingly vulnerable to food insecurity because of the government’s bad governance and its lack of political will to tackle hunger. According to the Global Hunger Index (GHI) prepared by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Pakistan is one of the most food-insecure countries in Asia. Causes of food […]

GAZA: Strong condemnation of the ruthless attack by Israeli Defense Forces on the humanitarian flotilla bound for the Gaza Strip

Article | | 03-06-2010

Rasika Sanjeewa Weerawickrama A Most ruthless attack by the Defense Forces of Israel It has been established that the flotilla loaded with humanitarian aid and volunteer humanitarian workers heading towards the Gaza Strip was surrounded by commandos from the Israeli Defense Forces (IDS) and attacked. Initial reports state that nine humanitarian workers were killed. The […]

SRI LANKA: The history of the Attorney General’s Department

These days a topic for public discussion is the takeover of the Attorney General’s Department by the President of Sri Lanka. A discussion on this issue will benefit from reflections on the history and the functions of the Attorney General’s Department. We reproduce below a speech made by the then Solicitor General, Mr. K.M.M.E Kaluntunga, […]

INDONESIA: Pages from Indonesia’s history — past abuses remain unresolved

The violence on 13, 14 and 15 May 1998 followed as a culmination of a series of violence that occurred in Indonesia before the fall of President Suharto, who had been in power for 32 years. Two major events led to this violence on 13-15 May, namely the kidnappings and disappearances in the period 1997-1998 […]

ASIA: Vitriolage — the horror and injustice of acid attacks

Baseer Naveed and Stewart Sloan “Acid will be thrown on the faces of women and girls who step out of their houses without covering their faces… People who fail to comply with these orders will themselves be responsible for the consequences.” This was the announcement made by the Baloch Ghaeratmand Group; until recently a little […]

PHILIPPINES: Negros and its people through my eyes–inequality before the law (Part 4)

Danilo Reyes The story of two elderly farmers, Marilyn Lanotes, of Hacienda Tres Hermanos and Uldarico Nalipay, of Hacienda Manuela, both in Cadiz City, Negros Occidental, are just two of the many examples that can illustrate the inequality before the law between farmers and landowners and how the application of the law is abused to […]

PHILIPPINES: Negros and its people through my eyes–language is their freedom (Part 3)

Danilo Reyes The island of Negros is divided into two dominant languages–Cebuano in the east and Hiligaynon in the west. The accent, words and the meaning of the spoken word in these languages is unique and different in their own way. However, to a certain extent a Cebuano speaker like me, with some basic knowledge […]

PHILIPPINES: Negros and its people through my eyes–control begins at childhood (Part 2)

Danilo Reyes From the moment a child is born into a family of sugarcane workers he becomes an object of control in his society, community and even in his own family. For such a long time now the lives of the people have revolved around sugarcane planting and production that it is naturally assumed any […]

SRI LANKA: Samples of brutality that happened in the late eighties

MCM Iqbal, Secretary to several commissions of inquiry in Involuntary Disappearances recalls some of narratives of cases told by witness before the commissions. This is from a taped interview with Basil Fernando Since I was secretary at two of the separate evidence commissions that were conducting enquiries into disappearances during the so-called period of terror, […]

PHILIPPINES: Negros Island and its people through my eyes (Part 1)

Danilo Reyes I am not a Negrense, a term that refers to the inhabitants of the island of Negros. I am a Filipino but have never been to Negros until recently. While I can speak Cebuano, the language spoken in the eastern part of the island, Negros Oriental; the Hiligaynon language spoken in the western […]

PAKISTAN: Religious minority women, the forgotten victims of a fragmented society

Juliette Thibaud At the crossing of the multiple divisions and fractures which fragment the Pakistani society, Christian, Hindhu and Sikhs, women suffer one of the heaviest burdens of all the marginalized groups in Pakistan and are the unfortunate victims of both a male dominated society and a Muslim dominated country. Stories of the violation of their […]

SRI LANKA: If Sri Lankan Tamils had an Ambedkar

Basil Fernando Over the years, Sri Lankan Tamils have had leaders such as J.V. Chelvanayagam, G.G. Ponnambalam, Appapillai Amirthalingam, Velupillai Prabhakaran and Karuna Amman to name a few. The first three names belong to a group of elite Tamil leaders who were, in essence, Democrats. But their idea of democracy was limited, similar to the […]

SRI LANKA: No justice–no nation–one justice–one nation

Basil Fernando What makes a nation a nation is above all the justice that prevails within that nation. It is justice that creates the bond between the people. Justice connects one with the other. Justice among the people is the one thing that is common to all in a nation if it exists. Justice binds […]

PHILIPPINES: Who were the massacred journalists? – Part 4

Daddy’s Little Girl By Mayang Reblando More than anything else, he was my Daddy. So much goes into that simple statement. My Daddy, Alejandro “Bong” Reblando was my hero, my strength, the best of all my bestfriends. He was my mentor and my protector. He was the angel sent from above. He was indeed the […]

SRI LANKA: Absence of fairness and executive control of legal process

Basil Fernando No citizen has a special privilege where committing crimes is concerned. Whether the crime is that of murder or rape, income tax fraud or the non-disclosure of information relating to income, it makes no difference. All citizens are bound by the same laws and therefore, those who violate such laws, irrespective of their […]

SRI LANKA: Legal Profession and the Protection of Individual Liberties

Basil Fernando A few decades ago, Bunty De Soysa was one of Sri Lanka’s leading criminal lawyers; at one point, he was also president of the country’s Bar Association. In one case, he represented a group of young leftist radicals in court who were charged with offences relating to their political activities. During the course […]

SRI LANKA: Sarath Fonseka’s case — Sri Lankan society is the loser

Basil Fernando In talking about Sarath Fonseka’s case and Prof. G.L. Peiris’ media conference some argue that justice should not only be done but must also be seen to be done. However, a course of action which is basically unjust cannot be made to seen as just purely by procedural means. To attempt to do […]