The issue of enforced disappearances has impacted Sri Lankan’s across the ethnic divide for decades. The use of enforced disappearances during the “youth insurrections” of the 1970’s and 80’s and during the protracted armed conflict by both state and non-state actors is well documented. Despite several commissions of inquiry appointed by successive governments to investigate these incidents, the fate of thousands remains unknown.
May 19th 2017, Colombo, Sri Lanka: The eighth anniversary of the end of the war draws attention to the progress made and prospects for meaningful reconciliation. At the expense of the multi-faceted challenge of transitional justice and reconciliation, attention, in recent years, has focused heavily on the last stage of the war, in particular the allegations of international crimes against both sides, the demand for accountability, the modalities and the mechanism in respect of it.
The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) is pleased to publish its CPA Working Papers on Constitutional Reform No.10 on Devolution under the Thirteenth Amendment: Extent, Limits, and Avenues for Reform by Dr Asanga Welikala.
Land is a key issue for reconciliation in Sri Lanka. Reparations including the restitution of land, if implemented in the correct manner, can contribute to long-term peace building efforts and prevent further marginalisation of people who were affected by the war. With promises by the government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) to initiate reforms including with transitional justice processes and mechanisms, the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) examines a key issue that is crucial for reparations and reconciliation in Sri Lanka: occupation of land in the Northern Province.
Memorialisation is an important tool in addressing conflict situations where years of repression, social inequality and injustice have created polarised communities. Memory initiatives can be a great healer and an enabler of reconciliation, paving ways and opportunities for dialogue, understanding, apologising, acknowledging and addressing past violence between divided societies.
The Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons (the Commission) was established on 15th August 2013 under Gazette No. 1823/42. Over a year into its mandate, the Commission continues to operate under circumstances that raise serious concerns in respect of the search for truth, justice and accountability in Sri Lanka.
28 October 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka – According to the latest ‘Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka’ survey conducted by Social Indicator, the survey research unit of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, divisions between people’s opinions when it comes to reconciliation still persist. The state of the economy and cost of living continue to adversely affect the household with people compromising on food quality and medical care.
5 August 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka: The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) vehemently condemns the violent attack by a group of Buddhist monks and supporters on a discussion held in Colombo with the families of the disappeared on 4th August 2014. The discussion, at which, families had gathered to share reflections on the search for their disappeared loved ones, was held on private premises with the support of civil society organisations.
25 July 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka: The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) is deeply concerned by the Government of Sri Lanka’s (GOSL) dilution of the primary mandate of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons (COI). These concerns arise from the Gazette No.187/18, issued on 15th July 2014 expanding the mandate of the COI, of which the sole purpose was to investigate and inquire into disappearances in the Northern and Eastern Provinces during the period 1st January 1983 to 19th May 2009.
23 July 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka: More than a month after the events in Aluthgama, many questions remain in terms of justice and accountability regarding these and others developments related to ethnic and religious freedom in Sri Lanka. These questions are even more poignant as we mark 31 years since the deadly pogrom of July 1983.
18 August 2011, Colombo, Sri Lanka – According to a new survey conducted by Social Indicator, the survey research unit of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, Sri Lankans are divided in opinion on the topic of reconciliation – about whether the government has done enough with regard to addressing the root causes of the conflict.
August 16, 2011, Colombo, Sri Lanka: CPA notes the decision of the Elections Commissioner to hold elections in October to twenty-three local authorities, after elections to these authorities were effectively postponed for more than a year through the use of Emergency Regulations. The Commissioner’s decision was made while a number of cases, including one filed by CPA’s Executive Director Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu challenging the failure of the Commissioner to hold elections, were pending before the Supreme Court.
The North and East of Sri Lanka were the worst affected provinces during the ethnic conflict. Both areas witnessed death, destruction and displacement and are presently going through phases of rebuilding, reconstruction and development.
The Eastern Province began to experience a new political climate after the entire Province was brought under Government control in 2007. The Provincial Council began to function for the first time since 1987, following the election held in 2008. The government launched its' mega-development project - Nagenahira Navodaya - in order to develop the war affected province.
In this context, one year after the establishment of the Provincial Council, the importance of assessing the change from the viewpoint of those in the Eastern Province was strongly felt than ever before.
In Sri Lanka, land has been a critical factor in the ethnic conflict that intensified and resulted in the outbreak of a war that spanned over two decades.
30th January 2010: A series of recent events connected to the presidential election last week give rise to extremely serious concerns about the state of democracy in Sri Lanka today.
CMEV received reports of multiple explosions in Nallur, Uduppidy, Manipay, Vaddukottai, Chavakachcheri and Tellipallai. CMEV's mobile teams were dispatched to a number of locations where the attacks had reportedly taken place. CMEV teams verified damages at the following locations.
1. A push bike parked overnight in front of the polling station, J/Chunnakam Roman Catholic Tamil Mixed School (Polling Station Nos 28) was damaged.
25th January 2010 Colombo Sri Lanka CMEV is deeply concerned that the integrity of the electoral process has been seriously challenged in the course of this Presidential Election campaign. In particular, CMEV wishes to record its grave concerns over the blatant disregard demonstrated for the Rule of Law, the authority of the Election Commissioner, allegations of irregularities in the conduct of postal voting, the intervention of serving military officers in the political campaign and the misuse of state resources and of state media organs.
The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) conducted a field visit to the Jaffna, Killinochchi and Vavuniya districts from 17-19th January 2010 to monitor the situation prior to the 26th January Presidential election. CMEV met with residents of the area including those who had recently returned, internally displaced person (IDPs), civil society groups, agencies and government officials.
20th January 2010, Colombo, Sri Lanka: The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) is deeply concerned by the developments this week that suggest the remainder of the election campaign and the presidential election itself would not be conducted according to the legal procedures and limitations established by the Constitution and the law.
The Commissioner of Elections appears to have given up on his attempts to enforce the law in terms of his powers under the Seventeenth Amendment.