Articles on Sri Lanka

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A disempowering judgment by the Special Court for Sierra Leone should not blind us to how local activists still made use of its symbolic power. Steve Evans/flickr

Creativity and resilience: how do war survivors make international justice work for them?

How are we to understand why people in different parts of the world continue to demand and participate in transitional justice institutions and processes in spite of the shortcomings?
The road to recovery is a long one for Nepal, which goes beyond the immediate priority of disaster relief. Diego Azubel/AAP

Quake recovery can leverage change of lasting benefit to Nepal

Politics in Nepal will hinder relief and recovery efforts following the earthquake and its aftershocks. But look at it the other way around. Could the disaster help to resolve political problems?
For nearly a decade, the Rajapaksa oligarchy, led by now-defeated president Mahinda, had burrowed into the very bedrock of Sri Lankan politics. EPA/M.A. Pushpa Kumara

Rajapaksa defeat signals the end of a dynasty in Sri Lanka

On Friday morning, with fewer than half the votes counted in Sri Lanka’s presidential election, incumbent president Mahinda Rajapaksa unobtrusively moved out of his official residence at Temple Trees in…
Only a community development approach can truly result in ‘build back better’ when it comes to responding to natural disasters such as the Boxing Day tsunami. EPA/Peter Endig

Boxing Day tsunami: balancing social and physical recovery

There have been many natural disasters since the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, but none have exceeded it in the combination of scale and scope of its destructive impacts. The scale of devastation for coastal…
People celebrate Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai in her home town Mingora in Pakistan’s Swat valley. But history suggests the prize, shared with Kailash Satyarthi of India, is unlikely to reconcile their nations. EPA/Bilawal Arbab

Admirable Nobel decision unlikely to spur India-Pakistan peace

The awarding of a shared Nobel Peace Prize award to a 17-year-old Pakistani girl, Malala Yousafzai, and a 60-year-old Indian man, Kailash Satyarthi, is historic and aimed at conveying multiple messages…
Australia’s defence of Sri Lanka’s human rights record disregards an ingrained culture of violence as part of that country’s political landscape. EPA/M.A. Pushpa Kumara

War is over, but not Sri Lanka’s climate of violence and threats

The Australian government has become the great defender of Sri Lanka’s post-war human rights credentials, it seems. But Sri Lanka’s (and Australia’s) insistence that the end of the civil war means an end…
Australia may be placing the life of Tamil asylum seekers at risk by directly handing them over to a government they claim to be fleeing without first adequately assessing their safety. AAP/Scott Fisher

Handing over Tamils to the state they fled breaks international law

Australia appears to have reached a new all-time low in its violation of international obligations and its treatment of vulnerable people seeking Australia’s protection. If widespread media reports are…
Righting human rights wrongs has never been high on the Sri Lankan agenda despite international pressures. EPA/M.A. Pushpa Kumara

UN inquiry holds few terrors for a Sri Lanka used to impunity

The Sri Lankan government is on the defensive again over human rights. It is hoping to ride out a diplomatic storm after failing to thwart a UN Human Rights Council vote approving an international investigation…
For fleeing Sri Lankans who literally bear the scars of war that may be enough to attract brutal treatment as LTTE suspects when their boats are intercepted. AAP/CNN

Australia dangerously close to the abuse of fleeing Sri Lankans

I was the only lady in the group that was caught by [CID](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criminal_Investigation_Department_(Sri_Lanka) [Criminal Investigation Department]. CID beat the men but to me they…
Just wave the flags and don’t mention the torture. EPA/Sri Lankan government

Commonwealth hamstrung to fight abuse in Sri Lanka

The list of crimes alleged to have been perpetrated by brothers Mahinda and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa – respectively the president and defence minister of Sri Lanka – are truly horrifying. During the last few…
Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa. Alexander Nikiforov

Time for Britain to rethink its place in the Commonwealth

It is difficult to do justice to the mood of despair that has been haunting the corridors of the Commonwealth Secretariat’s headquarters in Marlborough House in recent months. The decision to hold the…

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