Posted on August 24, 2010 by srilankalawlessness
Two cabinet ministers laughed in public about the police assault of two opposition Members of Parliament at the Galle police station. They added to their laughter by adding to the story, saying that nothing else is to be expected when anyone tries to assault police officers inside a police station. That was a twist to their merriment. The two ministers were also showing that truth is whatever they say it is. Truth was unimportant. They also referred to JVP’s past, saying they have done this kind of thing in the past. Ha, Ha, Ha.
If a Tory MP was assaulted, by some strange chance, the reaction of the Labor government (or vice versa) would be very different. There would have been an expression of horror and immediately there would have been action against the police officers through a high level inquiry. The political coloring of the victim MPS would have been irrelevant. The status of the Members of the Parliament would have been the primary consideration. All attempts would been taken to assure the public that such things are not taken lightly.
The least that the two ministers could have done before they opened their mouth on the incident was call for an inquiry and to wait for the report. That way they could have kept their own dignity and helped to preserve the dignity of the position of the members of parliament. (more…)
Filed under: civil war, extrajudicial killings, human rights, justice, police, rule of law, Sri Lanka, torture, violations | Leave a Comment »
Posted on January 18, 2010 by srilankalawlessness
“Re-establishment of the authority of public institutions, including that of the election commissioner, and the regaining of the constitutional process within a system that effectively recognizes the separation of powers principles, would require understanding of the recent problems in a different manner.”
The groups engaged in monitoring into the election have reported about flagrant violations of election laws, use of state assets illegally and the use of violence, noting that in Sri Lanka today the collapse of the electoral system on an unprecedented scale is taking place. The election commissioners own comments about the absence of cooperation between him and the government have also been very widely reported.
None of these observations would come as a surprise to anyone who has been an observer of the constitutional process in Sri Lanka. The collapse of public institutions has taken place over a long period of time and the whole debate on the 17th amendment to the constitution is merely a reflection of the extent of this collapse. The source of the collapse is the very nature of the constitutional arrangement in the 1978 constitution, which has placed all power in the hands of a single person who holds the office of the Executive President.
The collapse of all public institutions, including the electoral process, is the necessary result of the political process initiated through the introduction of the executive presidential system. The existence of the executive presidential system in Sri Lanka and any form of democratic government, or even a rational government, are incompatible. (more…)
Filed under: 17th Amendment, civil society, civil war, Constitution, corruption, crime, election violence, fundermental rights, human rights, Judiciary, justice, President, rule of law, Sri Lanka | Leave a Comment »
Posted on January 12, 2010 by srilankalawlessness
Four Tamil prison inmates in Jaffna Prison were hospitalised today, 11th January, after they had fallen seriously ill due to a hunger strike they had undertaken for their release from detention under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. They are among thousands of Tamil detainees in several prisons who have been held under the PTA for a long period now. The prisoners detained under the PTA in Sri Lanka have undertaken a hunger strike which has lasted for a considerable time now demanding that they be released or that legal action be taken against them before court following the due process of law.
The government has so far failed to take effective action in order to ensure justice for prisoners arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act although the war against the LTTE has been declared to have been brought to an end by the middle of May, 2009. (more…)
Filed under: civil society, civil war, human rights, Judiciary, justice, police, PTA, rule of law, Sri Lanka | Leave a Comment »
Posted on January 4, 2010 by srilankalawlessness
The long years of civil war in Sri Lanka deeply impacted all areas of life in the country. One major area to suffer was the media. This was natural, as parties involved in the conflict not only fought the war on the military front but also on the propaganda front.
Therefore, people mostly got exaggerated and distorted versions of reality from the media, which was designed to meet the needs of the war and to respond to the propaganda of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The LTTE had a formidable propaganda capacity and it was natural for the state to compete in an attempt to defeat their propaganda.
A propaganda war creates deep, hard attitudes in media personnel as well as within audiences. While the media grows accustomed to creating the type of propaganda that suits the war, audiences develop an appetite for the same depending on which side they support. In all publications, people view what they read either in favor of the party they support or against the opposition. (more…)
Filed under: abductions, civil society, civil war, crime, election violence, extrajudicial killings, human rights, justice, media, politics | Leave a Comment »
Posted on December 29, 2009 by srilankalawlessness
“When a system reaches that level of collapse it is not possible to recover the system by simple means. What is required in such situations is radical treatment, which can be done only by a leadership that has strong political will to bring an end to that type of degeneration.”
The speech against General Fonseka, insinuating among other things that there had been irregularities in the purchase of arms, and the speech by General Fonseka categorically denying all such allegations and stating that it was the Secretary of Defense who had the power to make decisions in the purchase of arms through Lanka Logistics Limited, has brought to focus the issue of corruption relating to the purchase of arms. The allegations themselves are not new. Over a long period of time there have been allegations of massive corruption relating to the purchase of arms.
In other areas of Sri Lankan life too there are allegations of corruption about almost everything. Added to all this is the fact that there is no effective agency anymore for investigations into bribery and corruption. The Commission for Bribery and Corruption, which was a weak institution even in normal times, has been virtually paralysed by the interference in the making of appointments in recent years. Many reports about important persons have been made from time to time; however, none of them have resulted in a public inquiry that would recreate public confidence in dealing with corruption in Sri Lanka. (more…)
Filed under: abductions, civil war, corruption, crime, extrajudicial killings, human rights, IGP, justice, police, politics, rule of law, Sri Lanka | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 30, 2009 by srilankalawlessness
“The modern commissions on corruption have developed many methodologies of ensuring effectiveness of their workings. For example, the old commissions, as it exists in Sri Lanka, often get the officers for doing enquiries from the policing service.”
For the first time in a presidential election campaign, the issue of corruption has come to the very forefront of the 2010 elections. One of the candidates has already promised that taking measures for the elimination of corruption will be one of the major priorities of his program. The very recognition of the problem is of historic importance.
Any serious discussion on measures to eradicate corruption in Sri Lanka need to address three separate problems;
A: the law relating to bribery and corruption is itself as it exists at present suffer from many limitations.. The offences that constitute corruption need to be more clearly laid down in order to facilitate any process of attempt to deal with corruption by criminalizing corruption and thereby dealing with it through the criminal justice process. (more…)
Filed under: civil society, civil war, corruption, election violence, human rights, justice, police, politics, rule of law, Sri Lanka | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 27, 2009 by srilankalawlessness
“People are faced with the problem of trying to save themselves from a political system that is that has virtually destroyed all the basic public institutions within the country. What the people need to express their vote for, is not to give a further assent to a system that is destructive of the nation but in order to destroy the system as it exist now and to return back to democracy.”
In Sri Lanka now everybody’s discussion is about the presidential election which is to be held by the end of January 2010. All Sri Lankans will be exposed to the harassment of excessive propaganda on this issue in the coming two months. The heat in this discussion is not about some of the country’s major economic, political and social problems. It is more about an individual who may become the all powerful person within the country. In the Sri Lankan political system, the executive president virtually enjoyed absolute power very much like the monarchs of feudal times.
The election that is held prematurely two years before its time is made with the hope of exploiting victory over the LTTE for the purpose of getting a second term for the incumbent president. He is challenged by a joined opposition which is seeking a common candidate . The likely candidate is the former army commander whose claims are based on leading the military in the final struggle against the LTTE. Both will try to claim the highest powers within the country on the basis of this military victory.
However the country’s major problems now are the instability of the economy , solving growing unemployment and extremely difficult living conditions that are faced by the people throughout the country. More than any other time, the common problems of all communities, Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and others, have surfaced as against a peculiar problems of any particular community. (more…)
Filed under: civil society, civil war, corruption, Depatment of Election, justice, media, police, politics, rule of law, Sri Lanka | 1 Comment »
Posted on November 9, 2009 by srilankalawlessness
Presidential and parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka are expected in the coming months. The government’s approach is to rely on its victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to consolidate its power for a further term. Its statements do not indicate any significant changes to existing policies or programs.
In previous presidential elections, the government promised to abolish the executive presidency. However, it is approaching the coming elections with a view to consolidating the power of the executive president.
Meanwhile, all opposition parties have placed the abolition of the executive presidency in their manifestos and high on the agenda of their party platforms. However, they have not explained what power arrangements would (more…)
Filed under: civil society, civil war, Constitutional Council, Depatment of Election, human rights, politics, rule of law, Sri Lanka | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 19, 2009 by srilankalawlessness
The people of Sri Lanka have always looked forward to the rainy season, which generally begins in October and ends in January, as it brings many blessings. It brings much needed water to the paddy fields and assures food for the year to come. It also fills the reservoirs. Many of the blessings for the year ahead also depend on rains from the heavens.
However, for the nearly 300,000 people in camps for internally displaced persons, the expectation of rain this year will not create such feelings of joy. In fact, for them it will bring enormous adversity. Leaking roofs, overflowing gutters and swamp-like conditions are what they will have to expect. Their relatives living outside, the people of goodwill in the country, (more…)
Filed under: civil war, human rights, Human Rights Commission, IDPs, Sri Lanka | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 8, 2009 by srilankalawlessness
“Does the law mean anything in Sri Lanka for such citizens? As almost every citizen belongs to similar categories as the persons mentioned above, it may be justified to ask, what the law means in Sri Lanka to its citizens who are entitled by law for protection but are deprived, in fact, of such protection.”
The two boys who were murdered by the Angulana police, Ranga Bandara, MP, or a child in an IDP camp, all have one thing in common as Sri Lankans; they have no protection in law.
Yet according to the legal enactments each is entitled to protection. The Angulana boys were entitled under the law to be arrested only on suspicion of a criminal charge, to be treated humanely during detention and if there were any charges, to be produced before a court within 24 hours. As for Ranga Bandara, MP, according to the law there were many kinds of protection available. As a Member of Parliament he had the right to special protection. As a citizen of the country he had the right to have his property protected. Further he had the right when a crime was committed against him to expect an independent and impartial inquiry by competent investigators and to have the perpetrators of the crime prosecuted. (more…)
Filed under: abductions, civil society, civil war, crime, extrajudicial killings, human rights, IDPs, illegal arrest, justice, police, politics, rule of law, Sri Lanka | 1 Comment »