Harim Peiris

Political and Reconciliation perspectives from Sri Lanka

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Archive for June, 2011

Implement the 13th Amendment?

Posted by harimpeiris on June 30, 2011

It should make even the casual observer wonder why the stridency of International calls for accountability in Sri Lanka has been increasing over time and has now reached a multi faceted crescendo. From the Indians to the UN system, from the US to the EU,from the Commonwealth Secretariat to the British Foreign Office, from the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu to the Shadow Foreign Secretary of Britain, the calls for Sri Lanka on alleged violations of international laws in the context of conflict has been increasing. To add to that a law suit has been filed against President Rajapakse in the Federal District Court system in the USA, under the principal of command responsibility.

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International squeeze tightens as domestic policy hardens

Posted by harimpeiris on June 23, 2011

1. Legal proceedings in the United States
The problem with a dead body, in the event of a violent death is that it is irrefutable evidence that a crime has been committed. Accordingly the presence of the bodies of five young Tamil school boys on a beach in Trincomalee with bullets in their brains, as well as the bodies of seventeen aid workers shot execution style within the grounds of their own office premises at Muttur is irrefutable evidence that unnatural violent death and hence crimes had occurred. Unfortunately Sri Lanka’s domestic mechanism’s namely, the Presidential Commission on Grave Human Rights Abuses, with IIGEP monitoring, as well as judicial proceedings have neither established the facts nor punished the culprits. Accordingly the next of kin of one of the boys shot dead in Trincomalee as well as of one of the deceased in Muttur have filed action in the US Courts, under universal jurisdiction against President Mahinda Rajapakse. While the President is immune from prosecution within Sri Lanka, such immunity ceases to exist beyond our shores, except as sovereign immunity within limits while holding office. Summons for the case was duly served on the Secretary, Ministry of Justice as the appropriate authority under the relevant international covenants. In the event that Sri Lanka does not contest the case, as ex parte trial may proceed which could result in a prejudicial judgment and also provide legal precedents for other cases.

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The Private Sector Pension Proposal – An Analysis

Posted by harimpeiris on June 16, 2011

Roshen Chanaka, a twenty two year old free trade zone worker has already paid the supreme sacrifice in the defense of and in defiance against the proposal to tinker with the EPF and ETF systems in the form of a pension scheme for private sector workers. The large scale protests, the shooting dead of a young demonstrator, the strong protest by the German Ambassador of the police assault on workers inside German investor factories, the consequent early retirement of the Inspector General of Police, the incoherence of the minister concerned regarding the proposal, the mixed messages from various government spokespersons, the sudden presidential decision to exempt free trade zone workers from the scheme, the lack of public information on the proposal as a whole and the strong caution by employer groups with regards the same, makes the proposed private sector pension scheme the most relevant and dominant topic in the public policy arena and an essential issue that needs close examination in the public interest.

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