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SRI LANKA: The attack on lawyers on the Defense Ministry website amounts to contempt of court

SUNDAY, JULY 12, 2009 By Basil Fernando (July 13, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Lawyers are officers of the court. Any attack on them in relation to their official functions . The publication of a statement against several lawyers, with photographs of three of them – naming them as traitors because they have appeared on behalf […]

SRI LANKA: The law is a dangerous thing

This is a discussion among several imaginary characters. These imaginary characters do not represent any living persons. The Characters A journalist who is conducting the interview, a senior police officer who had agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity, a retired judge, a political scientist and a philosopher. Journalist– This discussion is about the […]

SRI LANKA: Criminal gangs and the failure to invest in the administration of justice

About a hundred criminals have been shot dead either in gun battles with the police or in mysterious circumstances like trying to attack police officers, even when handcuffed. This was revealed in an article published in the Sunday Lakbimanews, written by Gayan Kumara Weerasinghe. The article goes on to enumerate many criminal gangs operating around […]

PAKISTAN: The real need to make torture a heinous crime under Pakistan law

FOR PUBLICATION AHRC-ART-032-2009 June 26, 2009 An Article on the menace of torture in Pakistan by the Asian Human Rights Commission PAKISTAN: The real need to make torture a heinous crime under Pakistan law Torture in custody is a common phenomenon in Pakistan because of the rogue legal system and impotence of the rule of […]

SRI LANKA: New Chief Justice Asoka de Silva welcomed by Bench and the Bar

(The new chief justice Asoka de Silva was welcomed by the Bench and the Bar on 11thJune at the Superior Court Complex at a ceremonial sitting. The address of the Chief Justice Asoka de Silva to the audience on this occasion is reproduced below – editor). I thank you both Mr. Attorney, Mr. Dayaratne, The […]

SRI LANKA: Crimes, dengue fever, attacks on journalists, problems of toilets and food and euphoric celebrations

Basil Fernando Ankubura Seelaratne is a 25-year-old Buddhist monk who with youthful exuberance was engaged in campaigns to eliminate the sale of illicit liquor. Last week he was hospitalised in a critical condition after being poisoned. Some of his dayakayas (donors) poisoned the food given to him as part of the Buddhist traditional practice of […]

SRI LANKA: Justice and the rooster coop

(This article is published on the occasion of the retirement of the Chief Justice, Sarath Nanda Silva’s, who is due to leave office on the 7th June. The article examines the fundamental failure of the system of justice in Sri Lanka and the responsibilities for this situation. The article is based on the assumption that […]

SRI LANKA: Justice and the media in peril — Asian Human Rights Commission

Basil Fernando Sri Lanka’s justice system, legal profession and media are all under peril says a report published this week by the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute(IBAHRI). The report is entitled, Justice in Retreat: A report on the independence of the legal profession and the rule of law in Sri Lanka. This expression of concern […]

SRI LANKA: Dengue fever and dysfunctional democracy

Basil Fernando 80 persons have died of dengue fever recently. Over 5,000 people are infected and there are fears that of further spread of the virus. The president has asked the authorities to pay more attention to the issue. Diseases happen in all societies. However, the way diseases are dealt with depends on the efficiency […]

SOUTH ASIA: Militarisation and Human Rights in South Asia

This paper was presented to a conference organized by the World Council of Churches held in Bangalore India in April 2009 on Peace, Security and Development in South Asia. As a background to this paper I would like to place a few considerations that may be useful in discussing the subject. A few such considerations […]

PHILIPPINES: Blinding and Paralyzing Fear and Indifference — Asian Human Rights Commission

Jesus answered, ¡§Truly, I say to you, you look for me, not because you have seen through the signs, but because you ate bread and were satisfied. Work then, not for perishable food, but for the lasting food which gives eternal life. The Son of Man will give it to you, for he is the […]

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar who unravelled the unique South Asian master-servant relationship based on the Indian caste system

Basil Fernando B.R. Ambedkar was a man whose work unraveled the unique nature of the master-servant relationship in South Asia. Today is the anniversary of Dr. Ambedkar’s birth. Born to the family of an untouchable on April 14th 1891, Dr. Ambedkar was destined to reveal the central mystery of the South Asian social relationship which, […]

SRI LANKA: The Interim Report of the Parliamentary Committee on NGOs is flawed from the point of view of policy, science and law

Basil Fernando (This article is a comment on the Interim Report of the Select Committee of Parliament for investigation of the Operations of Non-Governmental Organizations and their Impact, which was presented to parliament on December 8, 2008)  The purported aim of the committee and its report is to prevent the abuse of funds by non-governmental […]

SRI LANKA: Part six of an article; the Interim Report of the Parliamentary Committee on NGOs is flawed from the point of view of policy, science and law

Basil Fernando  (This is the sixth part of an article which is a comment on the Interim Report of the Select Committee of Parliament for investigation of the Operations of ‘non-governmental’ Organizations and their Impact, which was presented to parliament on December 8, 2008). On double registration, censorship and surveillance  The Interim Report proposes that […]

SRI LANKA: Part four and five of an article; the Interim Report of the Parliamentary Committee on NGOs is flawed from the point of view of policy, science and law

Basil Fernando (This is the fourth and fifth part of an article which is a comment on the Interim Report of the Select Committee of Parliament for investigation of the Operations of ‘non-governmental’ Organizations and their Impact, which was presented to parliament on December 8, 2008).  Part four – Manipulation of language, part five – […]

SRI LANKA: Part three of the Interim Report of the Parliamentary Committee on NGOs is flawed from the point of view of policy, science and law

Basil Fernando  (This is the third part of an article which is a comment on the Interim Report of the Select Committee of Parliament for investigation of the Operations of ‘non-governmental’ Organizations and their Impact, which was presented to parliament on December 8, 2008)  Early Buddhist and Jainist movements as belonging to “non-governmental” In this […]

SRI LANKA: Part two of the Interim Report of the Parliamentary Committee on NGOs is flawed from the point of view of policy, science and law

Basil Fernando (This is the second part of an article which is a comment on the Interim Report of the Select Committee of Parliament for investigation of the Operations of Non-Governmental Organizations and their Impact, which was presented to parliament on December 8, 2008) About origins In this part of the article we will discuss […]

SRI LANKA: The Interim Report of the Parliamentary Committee on NGOs is flawed from the point of view of policy, science and law

Basil Fernando (This is the first part of an article which is a comment on the Interim Report of the Select Committee of Parliament for investigation of the Operations of Non-Governmental Organizations and their Impact, which was presented to parliament on December 8, 2008)  The purported aim of the committee and its report is to […]

ASIA: Protection of human rights in non-rule of law countries – institutional reforms in the administration of justice must be given primacy of place

The celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the UDHR is a grim reminder that even after 60 years of the adoption of this great declaration the gap between what is declared and what is actually achieved by way of the improvement of the protection of the rights of the people is enormous. Both in the […]

BANGLADESH: The government must address the dire state of rule of law

We assembled jurists, lawyers and legal academics from throughout Asia gathered in Hong Kong on 17-21 November 2008 for the Fourth Regional Consultation on an Asian Charter for the Rule of Law call for the following steps to address the dire state of the rule of law and human rights in Bangladesh:  1. Establishing the […]