Black Sunday- Mourning the Death of Criminal Investigating Capacity

In answering the call of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Sri Lanka, the faithful living in various parts of the country wore black and attended the churches as a protest against the failure to provide justice for all those who were killed in the Easter Sunday bombings in 2019. They also participated in silent protests. This Black Sunday is a good occasion to reflect back not only on the lives that were lost on that blackened Easter Sunday, but also the general nature of the threats posed to human life…

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Rupavahini Incident: Unanswered Questions

In a separate article, I reported a recently delivered judgment by the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka regarding an arbitrary termination of broadcast by the Rupavahini Corporation in 2008. The purpose of this article is not to recapture the findings of that judgment but to go into some of the factual information reconfirmed by the judgment. A Rupavahini Program invited three panelists to discuss some matters of public interest, relating to a gazetted notification. It announced some new regulations relating to broadcasting. While the panel discussion was going on, the…

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Letter to IGP on the police failed to take proper action in the case attempted cutting of the neck and thereby committing attempted murder

Dear Mr. C. D. Wickramaratne: SRI LANKA: Letter to IGP on the police failed to take proper action in the case attempted cutting of the neck and thereby committing attempted murder Sarath Bundula Ekanayake has complained to the Yakkla Police Station that his neighbour and his wife living next to his premises attempt to sever his neck threatening ‘today, we will cut your neck’. He alleges that the neighbour’s wife is a police officer working at the police headquarters at Peliyagoda. In an affidavit filed by Sarath Bundula Ekanayake, he…

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A prison study by Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka

In November 2020, the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka published a report on their prison studies. This study conducted over a long period of time of two years was based on interviews with relevant persons. This included prisoners, prison guards, and all officers and persons connected with the work of prisons. This Study is excellent documentation of the actual conditions prevailing in the prisons in Sri Lanka in 2020. It gives details of issues on the conditions in the prisons that require a close study by the Government and Civil Society.…

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Four years prison term for contempt of court violates the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)

On 12 January 2021, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka found S. V. R. P. P. A. R. L. S. Alphonsu, known also as Ranjan Ramanayake, as guilty of having committed the offence of contempt of court and sentenced him to four years of rigorous imprisonment. The accused is presently a Member of Parliament, formerly a deputy minister, and is also a well-known actor. The reason for the charge and the conviction was an interview that was broadcast in 2017 with some words to the effect…

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A submission on the making of a new constitution

 submission on the making of a new constitution 1.This submission is made on the assumption that the attempt to make a new constitution is an act done in good faith, motivated solely by the attempt to address what has gone wrong with the system of governance in Sri Lanka and with a view to provide for the basic legal structure for sustainable form of governance that will serve the best interest of everyone in the nation. If that were not the case, if the attempt to make a constitution would…

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A Criminal Justice System in Crisis

A constitutional crisis is not just a matter relating to a legal text. It influences all aspects of life and, in particular, the working of public institutions. The Prison Study carried out by the National Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) reflects the magnitude of the problems in the criminal justice system in general and the prison system in particular. The study was done by a team of researchers on behalf of HRCSL and deserves careful examination and consideration. It is a comprehensive and clear statement about the situation…

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The duty to stop murder

In Sri Lanka, the closest event prior to the human rights day on December 10th, is the killing of 11 prisoners and injuring of over 100 other prisoners in the Mahara prisons. That incident clearly speaks about the massive contradictions involved in the claims about the protection of human rights and the actual reality that exists in the country. The prisoners, throughout the country, have been recently complaining about the spread of COVID 19. They have been attempting to get the attention of the authorities to have proper testing as…

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