“Sri Lanka’s achievements provide confidence and hope”: Ravinatha

Published : 12:00 am  June 14, 2014  |  Category: Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  445 views  |  

 Says humanitarian crises can be overcome with political commitment Following is the statement by Ravinatha P. Aryasinha, Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka and Leader of the Sri Lanka Delegation, at the 26th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council on 12 June in Geneva. The statement was in relation to Agenda Item 3 – Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Report of the Special Rapporteur on his Mission to Sri Lanka, 2-6 December 2013   Mr. President, I have the honour to comment on the Report A/HRC/26/33/Add.4, of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons Dr. Chaloka... 


What should Parliament do about the UNHCR inquiry?

Published : 12:00 am  June 13, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  1 Comment  |  1,168 views  |  
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The Government has taken up the position that the UN has no mandate to inquire into the alleged violations of human rights during the war and that it is an encroachment on our national sovereignty. At the UN’s founding Conference in San Francisco in 1945 this is what President Truman said: “We all have to recognise, no matter how great is our strength that we must deny ourselves the license to do always as we please.” Of course the USA has not always followed Truman’s suggestion. The Five Members of the Security Council agreed to be members of the UN only if they were given the right of veto and they have continued to exercise it depending on whether the UN intervention is against one... 


Erik Solheim, a disgruntled peacemaker?

Published : 12:00 am  June 13, 2014  |  Category: Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  714 views  |  

By Kumar Rupesinghe Erik Solheim, the Norwegian facilitator, has stated that he would go before the War Crimes Tribunal on Sri Lanka initiated by the UN Human Rights Council and give testimony as to how many people were killed in Sri Lanka. In Erik Solheim’s recent statements, he argues that the war could have been solved through peace talks without military action: “We were very close to peace in Sri Lanka. What happened during the successful time when there were no killings?” These emotionally-charged statements stated by a senior Minister of the Norwegian Government, who was deeply involved in the protracted conflict in Sri Lanka, throws up issues of importance for the field of conflict... 


An open letter to the Bar Association President on professional negligence of some magistrates

Published : 12:20 am  June 12, 2014  |  Category: Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  436 views  |  

Upul Jayasuriya President Sri Lanka Bar Association (BASL) No. 153, Mihindu Mawatha Colombo 12 Sri Lanka Fax (+94) 11 244 80 90 Dear Mr. Upul Jayasuriya, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has closely monitored the situation of the rule of law in Sri Lanka, with particular emphasis on the way the criminal justice system functions. The AHRC wishes to draw your attention to some glaring acts of negligence on the part of certain magistrates that have resulted in serious consequences, including death, for persons who appeared before them. We are writing to you, the President of the Bar Association, because such serious neglect on the part of the magistrates also reflects that members of the... 


Ravinatha outlines Lankan stance at HRC

Published : 12:18 am  June 12, 2014  |  Category: Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  388 views  |  

 Following is the statement by Ravinatha P. Aryasinha, Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka and Leader of the Sri Lanka Delegation to the Human Rights Council 26th Regular Session in Geneva on Tuesday Mr. President, Madam High Commissioner, At the outset, Sri Lanka wishes to associate itself with the statement made by the Islamic Republic of Iran on behalf of the Non Aligned Movement. My delegation takes note of the update by the High Commissioner. We urge the Council to give equal focus and attention to economic, social and cultural rights and civil and political rights, as well as to undertake a more robust approach to upholding the right to development. We observe the financial... 


Navi Pillay’s swansong at UNHRC

Published : 12:00 am  June 12, 2014  |  Category: Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  371 views  |  

Following is the Opening Statement by Navi Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, at the 26th Human Rights Council Session on Tuesday: Mr. President, distinguished members of the Human Rights Council, excellencies and colleagues, I have the honour to address the 26th session of the Human Rights Council – my last as High Commissioner for Human Rights. When I first addressed you, in September 2008, I pledged to embark on an open-minded, frank, and reciprocally reinforcing interaction, based on the premise that the credibility of human rights work depends on impartiality and commitment to truth, with no tolerance for double standards. I have engaged with this Council over six... 


The Rule of Law

Published : 12:00 am  June 11, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  3 Comments  |  1,598 views  |  
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Aristotle said more than 2,000 years ago, “The rule of law is better than that of any individual.” The Organization of Professional Associations is discussing the principle of the Rule of Law and bemoaning the loss of the principle in our system of government today. But when some say that law and order has eroded, others say no and point out to the ending of the war and remind us that the situation was worse during the period of the war. But this is to confuse the principle of the Rule of law and the prevalence of order in society. Ensuring order and peace No Rule of Law is required to ensure order and peace in society. The Government knows how to do so. So the Government politicians will... 


No game of thrones, it’s a game of bingo

Published : 12:00 am  June 11, 2014  |  Category: Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  489 views  |  

Defenceless under the nightOur world in stupor lies;Yet, dotted everywhere,Ironic points of lightFlash out wherever the JustExchange their messages:May I, composed like themOf Eros and of dust,Beleaguered by the sameNegation and despair,Show an affirming flame – W.H. Auden ‘Another time’ By Sarath de Alwis It is no game of thrones. It is simply a game of bingo. The reported decision of Gotabaya Rajapaksa to enter electoral politics is a reassuring sign that our democracy can still be retrieved from its dysfunctional stupor to a semblance of a democracy. His eventual entry to Parliament is assured either through the national list or elections. It will be a quantum leap from the ambiguous... 


CCI President on moving Sri Lanka into a new league of development

Published : 12:00 am  June 11, 2014  |  Category: Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  417 views  |  

The ‘Build SL’ Construction and Regenerating Expo was inaugurated by Chief Guest Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa, on 30 May at the BMICH, Colombo. Following are excerpts of the address delivered by Chamber of Construction Industry Sri Lanka President Dr. Surath Wickramasinghe The Chamber of Construction Industry was founded in 2001, at a time when the construction industry was recording minus growth as against the construction industry growth rate being between 17 and 20% today. The construction industry has progressed rapidly, under the guidance of the ‘Mahinda Chinthana’ policy statement, over the post 2005 period, particularly in relation to road infrastructure, airport... 


Beliefs that veil the Buddha’s core message

Published : 12:00 am  June 11, 2014  |  Category: Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  740 views  |  

By Vipula Wanigasekera Self-inquiry and self-realisation are fundamental to the Dhamma – the philosophy of Buddha, and this is the very teaching that seems to be eclipsed by some of the practices, rituals, and beliefs that are predominantly witnessed today, leaving genuine freedom seekers in a state of confusion.  Knowledge vs. wisdom One obvious paradox is the correlation that has been made between knowledge of Dhamma in theoretical sense and the truth which needs to be realised. Can the accumulation of knowledge be an instrument to realisation of the truth? If not, the answer lies in the Kalama Sutta – a discourse of the Buddha which advocates self-realisation as against collecting and... 


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