Democracy

INDIA/SRI LANKA: Gang Rapes, Justice and Civilization in India and Sri Lanka

An incident was reported in December 2019 from India regarding the gang rape of a woman and what happened thereafter. The news of the gang rape stirred up a massive protest from many parts of India. Among those who were involved in the protest were sections of the intelligencia of India such as Professors, doctors, […]

BANGLADESH: Defending rights requires unified resistance

A Joint Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission, Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances, and Odhikar on the occasion of International Human Rights Day Dhaka/Manila/Hong Kong, 10 December 2019: On International Human Rights Day, the Asian Federation against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD), the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), and Odhikar pay tribute to and stand in […]

PAKISTAN: Activist languishing in jail a month after his arrest on trumped up charges

One month since Professor Muhammad Ismail was arbitrarily detained, he is still languishing in prison on trumped-up charges of ‘hate speech’, ‘spreading false information’ and ‘cyberterrorism’. CIVICUS, the global civil society alliance and the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) calls on the Pakistan authorities to halt his persecution and release him immediately and unconditionally. In […]

SRI LANKA: Election 2019 – Hamlet without a Prince of Denmark

By Basil Fernando The 2019 election has not generated any real enthusiasm among the people. There have been the usual rituals of meetings, distribution of rice parcels, promises of other little santhosom (gifts) – those are what the sovereign people of Sri Lanka have been offered. In reality, they have been left with a beggar’s […]

SRI LANKA: What happens to the people happens also to judges, lawyers, and others

A comment on the memoir of Former Chief Justice Dr Shiranee Bandaranayake entitled “Hold Me in Contempt” Basil Fernando Attorney-At-Law This memoir by former Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake on the (now nullified) impeachment is a significant contribution to the cause of promoting the independence of judiciary in Sri Lanka. Its significance lies in the […]

WORLD: Thai judge survives shooting himself in the chest in open court as a protest against interference with judicial independence

By Basil Fernando In a Thai courthouse on 4th October 2019, Judge Khanakorn Pianchana shot himself in the chest as a protest against interference with the independence of judges in their decision-making process. Fortunately, he survived the suicide attempt – made in open court – and is reportedly out of intensive care. Regarding the issue […]

WORLD: A NATION IS NOT MERELY TERRITORY OR AN IDEOLOGY BUT A COLLECTIVE CONSCIOUSNESS

By Basil Fernando Legalistically speaking, a nation is a people living together in a particular geographical region. But legal definitions do not create a nation. The meaning of nation is far deeper than any legal definition of it. Often politicians define a nation in terms of ideologies. For example, if a nation at a given […]

SRI LANKA: අශ්වයා පණ අදිද් දී ජොකියා වීමට පොරකෑම

බැසිල් ප‍්‍රනාන්දු පාලකයෙකු පත් කර ගන්නේ රාජ්‍ය තන්ත‍්‍රය ජනතා සුභසිද්ධිය සදහා කි‍්‍රයාත්මක කරවා ගැනීම සදහාය. දැන් කලක සිටම ලංකාවේ පවතින ප‍්‍රධානම ප‍්‍රශ්නය නම් රාජ්‍ය තන්ත‍්‍රය පණ අදින තත්ත්වයක පසුවීමය. මූල්‍ය කටයුතු පිළිබඳ අංශයේ වුවත්, නිෂ්පාදන අංශයේ වුවත්, ආරක්ෂක අංශයේ වුවත්, යුක්තිය පසිඳලීමේ යෙදී සිටින ආයතන වල වුවත්, සුබසාධන පිළිබඳ අංශයේ එනම් සෞඛ්‍ය, අධ්‍යාපනය, වැඩිහිටියන් හා […]

WORLD: International Statement of Solidarity on Assassination of Derk Wiersum

A Joint Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission, Lawyers for Lawyers, and 30 other civil society organisations of the world 4 October 2019 – We, the undersigned organizations, are deeply shocked by the brutal killing of our Dutch colleague Derk Wiersum. We extend our deepest condolences to Mr. Wiersum’s family, friends, colleagues and all […]

SRI LANKA: Weaponisation of Ambiguity – Sri Lanka’s 1978 Constitution

  By Basil Fernando  The 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka is an outstanding example of how meaning can be manipulated through the weaponisation of ambiguity. It uses language that gives the appearance of a liberal democratic constitution of a republic while also putting in place various devices that severely undermine all the basic norms and standards […]

SRI LANKA: ලංකාවේ නීති අධ්‍යාපනයේ අසාර්ථකත්වය

බැසිල් ප‍්‍රනාන්දු ලංකාවේ නීති අධ්‍යාපනය මුළුමනින්ම අසාර්ථකත්වයකින් පෙළෙන අධ්‍යාපන ක‍්‍රමයකි. වෘත්තීය අධ්‍යාපන ආයතන වල මූලික වගකීම වන්නේ එම වෘත්තියෙහි නියැලීමට බලාපොරොත්තු වන අපේක්ෂකයන්ට එසේ එය කර ගැනීම සඳහා අවශ්‍ය දැනුම, අවශ්‍ය පුහුණුව මෙන්ම අවශ්‍ය සදාචාරක පදනම ඉගැන්වීමය. මේ අනුව බලන විට දැනට ලාංකික නීති අධ්‍යාපනය වටා ගොඩනැගුනු සෑම ආයතනයක් තුළම දකින්නට ලැබෙන්නේ ඔවුන්ගේ වෘත්තිය කර […]

WORLD: Geneva Meeting on the Goal 16 of SDG and the spirit of 1980 Gwangju uprising

Statement | World | 02-10-2019

A side event was held in UN Human Rights Council premises on the 23rd of September. It was sponsored by the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) and the May 18 Foundation, South Korea. It was also supported by the Right Livelihood Foundation, CIVICUS (Geneva) and the International Bridges to Justice, also based in Geneva. Ambassador […]

ASIA: Human Rights Mechanisms need practical actions on domestic institutional developments for administration of justice

An Oral Statement to the 42nd Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council by the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) Mr. President. The effectiveness of the United Nations Human Rights Mechanisms for protection of rights depends very much on the compliance of the State parties to implement Article 2 of the International Covenant on […]

ASIA: Actual protection of indigenous people within the framework of SDG Goal 16

An Oral Statement to the 42nd Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council by the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) Mr. Vice President. The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) thanks the both mandates for their reports. We wish to emphasise on greater protection of the indigenous people in the countries of Asia and the […]

BANGLADESH: Claim of economic growth without protection of human rights is a fallacy

An Oral Statement to the 42nd Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council by the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) Madam Vice President. The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) wishes this Council to address some questions relating to enforcement of human rights, comprehensively. The issue of a State, which ratifies the United Nations’ treaties […]

MYANMAR/BANGLADESH: Rights, dignity, and future of genocide survivors at stake

A Joint Oral Statement to the 42nd Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council by the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LWRC) Mr. President, The Asian Legal Resource Centre and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada thank the Special Rapporteur for her oral update. The Council is well aware of the […]

PHILIPPINES: Extrajudicial killing of jurists as part of a pattern of widespread and systematic violations of human rights

A Joint Written Submission to the 42nd Regular Session of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council by the Asian Legal Resource Centre and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada 1. Introduction Since 30 June 2016, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (the Philippines) has engaged in a campaign of extrajudicial killing in violation of the […]

ශ්‍රී ලංකා: මානව හිමිකම් හා ජන ජීවිතය

බැසිල් ප‍්‍රනාන්දු ලාංකිකයාගේ ජන ජීවිතය තුළ දිනපතාම වැඩෙන ඛේදවාචක තත්ත්වය එක් සිද්ධියකින් කෙටියෙන් සදහන් කළ හැකිය. දැන් රෝහලකට ශල්‍යකර්මයක් සඳහා යන පුද්ගලයෙකුට වෛද්‍යවරුන් නියම කරන්නේ ඔහුගේ ශල්‍යකර්මයෙන් පසු දැමෙන මැහුම් වලට උඩින් දමනු ලබන ප්ලාස්ටර් පටියත් පුද්ගලික ආයතනයකින් ගෙන එන ලෙසය. මේ සා ප‍්‍රමාණයකට රජයේ රෝහල් තුළ සේවයක් පතා එන සාමාන්‍ය ජනතාව පිටම වෛද්‍ය ප‍්‍රතිකාර […]

CAMBODIA: The roots of Cambodia’s persistent rights violations: Impunity of the powerful

A Joint Written Submission to the 42nd Regular Session of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council by the Asian Legal Resource Centre and Lawyers Rights Watch Canada 1. Introduction Human rights in the Kingdom of Cambodia have remained a constant concern for decades, but recent years have seen marked deterioration of respect, protection and fulfilment […]

THAILAND: Unforgotten in Thailand – Ensure truth, justice, and reparations for victims of enforced disappearance

A Joint Written Submission to the 42nd Regular Session of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council by the Asian Legal Resource Centre and Lawyers Rights Watch Canada 1. Introduction: Persistent impunity for enforced disappearances A pattern of impunity for enforced disappearances1 persists in Thailand despite years of promises to ratify the International Convention for the Protection […]