SRI LANKA: Absence of Remorse as an Obstacle to Reconciliation

Basil Fernando People who live through long periods of repression often develop psychological and cultural habits that lead them to pretend not to see or hear what is going on around them in their society. These psychological habits may help people survive through difficult times. However, even after the difficult times have passed, cultural habits […]

SRI LANKA: Let Us Abandon This Archaic Ideology

Basil Fernando The basic premise of Frank de Silva’s article ‘Proposed change to criminal law – now withdrawn’ which appeared in the Island newspaper recently is summed up in the following paragraph, “The difference is also that the opponents – the HRC and the BASL going by media reports – are conscious only of rights, not […]

Sri Lanka: Human Rights – Foreign Policy (+) Internal Policy (-)

By Basil Fernando After the election of the new government, Sri Lanka’s foreign policy has been to show positive attitudes towards the protection and promotion of human rights. In international forums and in public declarations, it has declared that it accepts the international law on human rights, that it is committed to enforcing international agreements […]

Sri Lanka: Hair Dresser severely tortured for failing to give a haircut to HQI, Hatton

Basil Fernando Kadireshan Ravishankar, 34 was severely tortured by the HQI and other officers of the Hatton police station merely for failing to provide a haircut immediately on his order a couple of days ago. The case exposes the dangers of not allowing lawyers from representing their clients at police station, an amendment Minister of […]

SRI LANKA: The Minister of Justice wants to add a joke into the statute book as an amendment to the criminal procedure code

Basil Fernando A new dimension was added to the debate on the proposed amendment to the criminal procedure code when the Minister of Justice attempted to defend the amendment on the basis that it is required to enable investigations into crime. The proposed amendment is that lawyers would not be able to represent people at […]

नेपाल: नेपालको संविधान संसोधनको प्रस्ताव त्रुटीपुर्ण

Article | Nepal | 26-09-2016

शैलेन्द्र प्रसाद हरिजन (अम्बेडकर) नेपाल सरकारले हाल तयार पारेको संविधान संसोधन त्रुटीपुर्ण रहेको छ । यो संसोधन प्रस्तावले मधेशी दलित, जनजाती लगायतका अल्पसंख्यक तथा सिमान्तकृत समुदायको केही मागहरु आँशिक रुपमा समेटे पनि अधिकाँश मागहरु संबोधन गर्न सकेको छैन । सरकारले ल्याएको संविधान संसोधनको प्रस्ताव ललिपप मात्र देखिएको छ । यसवाट कुनै पनि माग संबोधन हुन […]

SRI LANKA: Supreme Court Judgments on torture and the State’s failure to protect those in custody

By Basil Fernando One more judgement from the Supreme Court, on torture by the Sri Lankan police, was added to a long list of such judgements, when the Supreme Court decided in favour of a petition filed by W.N.L.K. Fernando of Naththandiya Police against officers attached to the Wennapuwa Police Station [S.C.F.R. Application No. 612/09]. The […]

SRI LANKA: Gayashan is still missing

Gayashan still remains missing following police detention at the Hambanthota Police Station Thanks to media interest, the matter is being discussed all over the country. The Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundera is reported to have spoken with the father of Gayashan, promising that he would do everything in his power to find the young […]

SRI LANKA: Send the police dogs to find the disappeared boy

By Basil Fernando For a week, the media reported that a boy who was last seen at a police station had ‘disappeared’. Everyone knows that this word is a euphemism for murder. Somehow, it is less disturbing to talk about a disappearance. No police dogs have been sent to look for the boy or at […]

ASIA: Advances in legislative processes and lack of institutional frameworks to uphold the prohibition of torture in Asia

Article | Asia | 09-09-2016

By Md. Ashrafuzzaman INTRODUCTION: There is an urgent and unavoidable need to protect people from torture. And, towards this end, there have been few notable legislative developments in Asia. However, despite the promulgation of select legislation in certain Asian jurisdictions, which now criminalize torture, the crime remains entrenched in the fabric of daily life. The […]

INDIA: A democracy that discriminates and disgraces citizens even in death

Article | India | 08-09-2016

Avinash Pandey Unable to pay the ambulance drivers INR 1500, or around USD 22, a young mother was forced to sit out the night with her child’s dead body outside a hospital in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut district. This happened less than two weeks after a nationwide outrage over the ordeal of a tribal man named Dana Majhi […]

INDIA: Mewat rapes and murders expose the total failure that is the police

Article | India | 01-09-2016

Avinash Pandey Shri M.L. Khattar, Chief Minister of Haryana, finally announced the constitution of a Special Investigation team (SIT) to probe the armed robbery, double murder, and gang rapes in Dingerheri Village of Mewat that occurred on 25 August 2016. In the incident, armed robbers broke into a house, gang-raped two women of the family, […]

PAKISTAN: Indigenous Kalash tribe under threat from Muslim religious groups

Arsalan Barijo The smallest ethnic and religious community of Pakistan is fighting for the survival of its culture and religious identity, in the face of religious extremism, forced conversion, migration, and climate change. Are we going to allow this rich culture to vanish from the pluralistic land of Pakistan? The Kalash people live primarily in […]

PAKISTAN: Ongoing Genocide of the Hazara Shia Sect

By Ishaq Mohammadi Hazaras draw their racial lineage from Turks and Mughals and are mostly followers of the Shia sect of Islam. Their ancestral land is situated in central Afghanistan named as ‘Hazarajat’. Hazaras living in Pakistan also come from the same race and territory. They migrated to then British India to avoid persecution. They […]

PAKISTAN: Culture and honor killings in patriarchal societies

Nida Paras Societies and cultures are man-made. Cultures play a vital role in national identities and their development. Rich cultures treat men and women More equally than ours with positive impact on the nation. Other cultures are terrible and full of fear with negative impact on the nation. In patriarchal societies, bad cultures are very […]

PAKISTAN: Innocence lost with no respite for children from abuse

Javeria Younes Words fail to express the grief when the victim of a heinous crime is a child who has been a victim of parental greed. Children, who are the future of a nation, form the vulnerable faction of society; children are most prone to being beaten, sexually exploited, forced into bonded labor, and murdered […]

INDIA: Did Modi just legitimise 20% of cow vigilante violence?

Article | India | 09-08-2016

Avinash Pandey Narendra Modi’s high-octane poll campaign in 2014 was littered with the promise of development, with a capital D. Buying into his promise, big business rooted for him, in India and abroad. And now, after a little more than 2 years of premiership, the developments under his watch have rattled the same gung-ho corporate […]

PAKISTAN: Reasons behind rejection of the Government’s Commission for Missing Persons

By Nasurullah Baloch, Chairman, Voice of Baloch Missing Persons In 2010, a Commission was founded by the Pakistan Government to probe the missing persons’ cases and trace those still missing and unaccounted for. On 16 July 2016, this Commission presented its report to the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Then, the head of the body, (retired) […]

INDIA: State supported mob violence against Dalits and Muslims not internal matter

Article | India | 04-08-2016

Avinash Pandey One doesn’t often see a respected international media house asking a democratic republic’s prime minister to break his silence in an editorial. Even more rare is it to see this “silence” tagged with the adjective “shameful”. The New York Times did exactly that today, 8 August 2016. The editorial forewarns Mr. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of […]

INDIA: Save yourselves, women of India, as the Republic will not

Article | India | 02-08-2016

Avinash Pandey Delhi, the national capital of India, has witnessed another gory incident involving the rape-murder of a minor. This time, a 16-year-old was allegedly raped, strangled, and then set on fire in her own house in East Delhi. The police reportedly tried to pass off the crime as suicide, filing a case of rape and […]