Harim Peiris

Political and Reconciliation perspectives from Sri Lanka

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Archive for March, 2010

National Reconciliation within the Mahinda Chinthanaya

Posted by harimpeiris on March 23, 2010

Among the more serious and politically important features of an election are the election manifestos that political parties present as their policy platform for seeking a mandate from the people. While not legally binding nor justiciable, it has significant political, moral and ethical weight. In the event of a party in power, it is arguably a component of the social contract that binds the government and the governed. It also provides a particular world view of a political party or group and a statement of intent regarding policy implementation.

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The UN Panel of Experts and a Reconciliation Commission Alternative

Posted by harimpeiris on March 9, 2010

Among the political news making the headlines of the last few days has been the stated intention of the office of the UN Secretary General to appoint a panel of experts to advice the Secretary General on accountability issues in Sri Lanka with regards to human rights and the conduct of the now concluded war. This initiative comes on the heels of the UN Human Rights Commissioner’s annual report in which the call for an international investigation into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka is renewed. The local Sri Lankan counter part of such action has been the manner in which war crimes or shooting of surrendees became a political issue at the recent presidential election with the former Army Commander and presidential challenger retired General Sarath Fonseka making the allegations and after the elections repeating the same or reiterating his willingness to testify internationally regarding the same, on the eve of his arrest last month. When an issue makes waves at a presidential election and attracts the attention of the upper echelons of the UN systems, observers can conclude that the issue is on the radar screen and on the agenda of significant players in power politics, both domestically and internationally.

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The UPFA and UNF messages to the electorate

Posted by harimpeiris on March 2, 2010

Nominations for the general elections to parliament closed last Friday and now the six week long campaign is upon us, which will culminate on election day, April 8th 2010. The walls of not just Colombo but of every city and town in the country are adorned or more accurately its aesthetics quite spoilt by the smiling faces of the record seven thousand five hundred plus candidates in the fray for the two hundred and twenty five seats in the supreme legislature of the land.

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