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INDIA: Trying misogyny welcome, but how about curbing all crime against women?

Article | India | 18-12-2016

by Avinash Pandey It is fourth anniversary of 16 December 2012, the brutal gang rape and murder of a student in Delhi that shook the conscience of the nation and led to unprecedented protests against sexual violence across India. Crime against women has been common in India, as has been the support for such crime […]

SRI LANKA: Conspiracy to deny due process rights to Sri Lankan citizens

by Basil Fernando In last week’s article, we discussed the recommendations of the United Nation’s Committee against Torture. The Committee has recommended the state party establish an independent body tasked with the investigation of complaints against law enforcement officers, one that is independent of police hierarchy. In this week’s article, we will discuss a few more […]

SRI LANKA: A few practical suggestions for police reforms

by Basil Fernando “A History of Ceylon Police” by late A.C. Depp, former Inspector General of Police, is a book consisting of three volumes that gives a good insight into the manner in which the police system came about in Sri Lanka. Reading these pages removes any surprise about the rather pathetic condition into which this […]

AHRC TV: Mass destruction in Burma and other stories in JUST ASIA, Episode 149

Article | Asia | 25-11-2016

This week Just Asia begins with Burma, where satellite evidence shows mass destruction in Rakhine state, home to the persecuted Muslim Rohingya minority. The latest images from Human Rights Watch indicate that some 820 structures were burnt in five villages between November 10-18. The rights watchdog is calling for an urgent UN investigation into the […]

PAKISTAN: Caught between the military and the terrorists

The people of tribal areas bordering Afghanistan are caught between the Pakistan army on one hand, and the Taliban and ISIS on the other. The terrorists attack and kill tribal leaders for not allowing them to set up their training centers and move freely in the mountains, while the Pakistan army arrests, tortures, and extrajudicially […]

नेपाल: बाधक नियत कि घुम्टो ?

Article | Nepal | 24-11-2016

शैलेन्द्र प्रसाद हरिजन (अम्बेडकर) वि.सं. २०७३ मंसिर १ गते “तराई जस्टिस सेन्टर” का तर्फबाट अधिवक्ता दिपेन्द्र झाले आगामी दिनमा न्यायाधीश नियुक्ति गर्दा समानुपातिक समावेशी सिद्धान्तका आधारमा नियुक्ति गर्नका लागि न्याय परिषद्मा ध्यानाकर्षण पत्र बुझाएका थिए । ध्यानाकर्षणमा संशोधित न्याय परिषद् ऐनको दफा ५ तथा न्याय सेवा आयोग ऐनको दफा १०(२) र नेपालको संविधान २०७२ को […]

SRI LANKA: De Facto State of Emergency?

By Basil Fernando When the high level delegation of Sri Lanka met the UN Committee against Torture (CAT Committee) last week on the 5th Periodic Review, one of the Committee members raised an important issue. The Member asked whether the dysfunctionality of the justice system in Sri Lanka has virtually created a situation of a de facto […]

INDIA: Demonetisation last nail in the coffin of already beleaguered peasantry

Article | India | 21-11-2016

By Avinash Pandey Even if one puts the cacophonous debate on the merits and demerits of demonetisation of Rupees 500 and 1000 currency notes aside, one thing is clear: it has hit hard the farmers all set to sow Rabi crops. Almost entirely dependent upon cash transactions for everything, starting from buying seeds and fertilisers, […]

PAKISTAN: Compensation programs required to help victims of violence

Amir Murtaza Violence has always been an integral part of human history, in all parts of the world. It is roughly estimated that each year more than a million people lose their lives, and many more suffer non-fatal injuries, as a result of self-inflicted, interpersonal or collective violence. The World Health Organization defines violence as, […]

PAKISTAN: Over 100 workers at ship-breaking yard incinerated without a trace

Javeria Younus In one of the worst incidents that has occurred at plot number 54 Gadani ship-breaking yard, in Balochistan, 26 people have lost their lives and more than 100 are reported to missing and feared dead. It is likely those missing had their bodies burned to ashes and washed away by the water used […]

INDIA: MP Government sheds even the pretence of the rule of law

Article | India | 07-11-2016

Avinash Pandey The fact that the Madhya Pradesh state government has shed even the pretence of fair-trial, a cornerstone of the rule of law, has emerged as the only uncontested truth four days after the incredulous police encounter that resulted in the killing of 8 under-trial jail escapees. The circumstances of the reported jailbreak from […]

SRI LANKA: An ‘ethical state’ and the division of people into upper and lower castes

By Basil Fernando Gunadasa Amarasekera has recently published a book entitled ‘Sabyathwa RajyakKara’ (Towards an Ethical State). At around the same time, I published a book entitled ‘Dharmasokage Dhamma Prathipaththtia sahaPrajatanthrawadi watinakama’ (The Policy of Dhamma of Dharmasoka and Democratic Values). In this article, I will try to show the similarities and differences in the ideas found in these two books. The […]

नेपाल: किन विभाजित छन् दलित समुदाय ?

Article | Nepal | 27-10-2016

शैलेन्द्र प्रसाद हरिजन (अम्बेडकर) राष्ट्र बिभिन्न जात–जाति, धर्म, संस्कृती, समुदाय वा सम्प्रदायको एकीकृत रुप हो । राष्ट्रको समग्र विकास हुनका लागि यी सबै समुदायको विकास हुनु अनिवार्य छ । यद्यपि, नेपालको सन्दर्भमा अधिकांश दलित, मधेशी र जनजातिलगायतका अल्पसङ्ख्यक तथा सीमान्तीकृत समुदाय राज्यको मूल प्रवाहमा आउन सकेका छैनन् । त्यसमा पनि मधेशी दलित समुदायको अवस्था अत्यन्तै […]

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 […]