Harim Peiris

Political and Reconciliation perspectives from Sri Lanka

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Archive for April, 2011

Bob Blake’s visit and a Human Rights Agenda

Posted by harimpeiris on April 26, 2011

Robert O Blake, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs and former United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka is due to visit Sri Lanka on May 3rd, a visit originally scheduled to occur in April but postponed to May. Bob Blake will be coming to Sri Lanka at a time when the government is facing a serious international situation with the publication in full of the UN experts report on accountability issues in Sri Lanka. It is widely believed that the US will be at the forefront of pushing for accountability in Sri Lanka. This also comes at a time when the US State Department has raised serious concerns regarding the state of human rights in Sri Lanka.

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The UN experts report – some food for thought

Posted by harimpeiris on April 21, 2011

The UN panel of experts has submitted their report to the UN Secretary General, who in turn has forwarded it to the Government of Sri Lanka and consequently we have the executive summary leaked to the media to inform the reading public. The government has promised a full response and as we await the response and perhaps the publication of the full report, some preliminary comments on the report has become the public political discourse.

 

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Human Rights Weaknesses in Sri Lanka – The US State Department Report

Posted by harimpeiris on April 13, 2011

Human rights flow from us being human beings. Civilized societies and legitimate states are required to protect them. Human rights violations in Sri Lanka are a sensitive subject. The government denies it; the people ignore it, all part of a social compact, where during a necessary war against separatist terrorism the suspension of civil liberties and resultant violations of human rights were necessary. As Cicero argued in the Roman Senate, “In the war of good against evil, the laws are silent”. However surely there is a very valid political question whether two years after the end of the war, such a situation should continue, whether as part of our peace dividend, an improvement in the human rights situation should not occur. Here are extracts of what the US State Department reported about the post war state of human rights in Sri Lanka, during 2010.

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