- Monday, 03 March 2014
The government seeks to give an impression that it is untroubled by the impending US-sponsored resolution on it at the latest session that has just commenced at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. In his first meeting with the Foreign Correspondents Association in Sri Lanka in three years, President Mahinda Rajapaksa is reported to have said he was not disturbed by it and that it would only be a single black mark against the country. However, other reports said he admitted feeling disturbed at being censured by the UNHRC and compared the US treatment of Sri Lanka as being similar to Cassius Clay’s “punching bag.” The Sri Lankan media which is usually respectful of the President showed him in a cartoon in a boxing ring looking flustered across from a much larger President Obama.
However, the government has not given up trying to win over countries to its side. It sent a high ranking Parliamentary delegation over to South Africa, but who appear to have returned with a request to forge a wider consensus from the national polity if they are to receive the South African government’s support for a Truth and Reconciliation process. Such a process holds the key to Sri Lanka’s ability to deal with the past issues of political violence that go beyond merely the last phase of the war. India also appears to have become a focal point of the latest governmental initiative with President Rajapaksa seeking a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when they attend a regional conference in Myanmar this week. In addition, Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa is reported to be visiting India for another regional dialogue at which he will meet his counterparts from India.
- Friday, 28 February 2014
National Peace Council of Sri Lanka
12/14 Purana Vihara Road
Tel: 2818344,2854127, 2819064
CONSIDER JOINT INQUIRY INSTEAD OF INTERNATIONAL INQUIRY
The Sri Lankan government has rejected the report submitted by the UN Human Rights Commissioner that recommends an international inquiry into alleged war crimes and human rights violations in the last phase of the country’s war. The government continues to deny the allegations and asserts that it only carried out a humanitarian rescue operation during the last stages of the war due to the forcible holding of the civilian population by the LTTE and also asserts that the alleged number of persons who had died or disappeared as a gross exaggeration. It set up an inquiry but entrusted it to the military against whom the allegations are made, which does not make it an independent investigation. It is an accepted principle in law that no person can be a judge in their own cause.
- Monday, 24 February 2014
Most of the political analysis at the present time revolves around the forthcoming session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The latest are the two options that the government appears to be developing, wooing supportive countries to come up with a counter-resolution, and wooing South Africa to assist in the formulation of a truth and reconciliation process as an alternative to an international investigation into war crimes. But there are also other important developments taking place in the country which require equivalent analysis. One of the most important of these is the relationship between the central government and provincial council and the sharing of power between them. The root cause of the war, which has led to the charges of war crimes, was the dispute about the sharing of power between the Sinhalese-dominated central government and the Tamil-majority parts of the country, specifically the Northern and Eastern provinces.
Case studies from Partnerships for Peace: Strengthening the role of civil society in promoting human rights and democratic reform, implemented by the National Peace Council of Sri Lanka with support from the European Union.
- Wednesday, 19 February 2014
Center for Women and Development (CWD-Jaffna)
Resources for Peace and Reconciliation (RPR-Mannar)
Vanni Cultural Foundation (VCF-Puttalam)
Organisation for the Welfare, Counseling Upholding of Rights of Disabled (OWCURD-Gampaha)
Social Economic and Environmental Development Organisation (SEEDO-Monaragala)
True Vision Rural Rehabilitation Organisation (TVRRO-Ampara)
Ruhunu Rural Women’s Organisation (RRWO-Hambanthota)
Centre for Communication Training (CCT-Colombo)
Resources for Peace and Reconciliation (RPR)