“We have much to lose” — UNHCHR

( February 28, 2017, Geneva, Sri Lanka Guardian) Without commitment to fundamental human rights, to the dignity and worth of the human person and to the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, our world will become chaos, misery and warfare. Opening ceremony of the 34th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva Statement by Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, … Continue reading “We have much to lose” — UNHCHR

New challenges are emerging in Torture Prevention

In the Latest Issue of Torture Magazine The following press release issued by the Asian Human Rights Commission, a Hong Kong-based Human Rights Monitoring, Documenting and Analysing body  ( February 14, 2017, Hong Kong SAR, Sri Lanka Guardian) “74% of psychology students had received less than one hour of instruction about military medical ethics and most gave incorrect answers when tested on specific instances in … Continue reading New challenges are emerging in Torture Prevention

Hypocrisy vs denial: Ending enforced disappearances

The solutions proposed are controversial but realistic. Firstly, we need to rethink the current detention framework under Article 10 of the Constitution; we need more flexible detention laws allowing long-term detention of suspects without trial. by Faisal Siddiqi ( February 6, 2017, Islamabad, Sri Lanka Guardian) On the issue of enforced disappearances or missing persons, a kind of media civil war is going on, with … Continue reading Hypocrisy vs denial: Ending enforced disappearances

Sri Lanka: Politicians’ assets — RTI changing the rules of the game?

The government has already shown policy commitments to reforming and empowering citizens through public access to asset declarations. This is evidenced through the Open Government Partnership (OGP) commitments to removing asset declaration secrecy provisions and implementing RTI. These commitments received Cabinet approval on 11 October 2016. by Asoka Obeyesekere ( February 5, 2017, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Reading a MP’s asset declaration is one of … Continue reading Sri Lanka: Politicians’ assets — RTI changing the rules of the game?

Why we should reject the arrogant & scornful theory against Immigrants

Frederick Douglass Describes the “Composite Nation” Frederick Douglass was an African-American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman. ( February 3, 2017, Boston, Sri Lanka Guardian) There are such things in the world as human rights. They rest upon no conventional foundation, but are external, universal, and indestructible. Among these, is the right of locomotion; the right of migration; the right which belongs to no … Continue reading Why we should reject the arrogant & scornful theory against Immigrants

Torture is torture, and waterboarding is not an exception

– UN expert urges the US not to reinstate it ( January 30, 2017, Geneva, Sri Lanka Guardian ) The United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer, has appealed to US President Donald Trump not to reconsider the acceptability of waterboarding and other methods of torture used as interrogation techniques. “Without any doubt, waterboarding amounts to torture,” said the independent expert tasked by the … Continue reading Torture is torture, and waterboarding is not an exception

Human Rights: A Tribute To Professor Sir Nigel Rodley ( 1941-2017 )

Former United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Torture Professor Juan Méndez, Professor of Human Rights Law in Residence at Washington College of Law, pays his tribute to friend and colleague Professor Sir Nigel Rodley. by Professor Juan Méndez ( January 26, 2017, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) So many of us grieve the loss of a friend, a mentor, a rigorous scholar and a world-renowned champion of … Continue reading Human Rights: A Tribute To Professor Sir Nigel Rodley ( 1941-2017 )

ICC expands definition of war crimes

by Yvonne McDermott ( January 25, 2017, Boston, Sri Lanka Guardian) The international law of armed conflict seeks to protect civilians and those no longer taking part in hostilities from the worst effects of war. Serious violations of these laws covering armed conflict situations constitute war crimes. War crimes are a particular category of international crime, which can be tried by international criminal tribunals, like … Continue reading ICC expands definition of war crimes

Global feminism: Women Marching Worldwide

by Ariadna Estévez ( January 24, 2017, Boston, Sri Lanka Guardian) The day after the inauguration of Donald Trump as 45th president of the United States, almost three million women and men marched on the streets nationwide to show their rejection to the demonstrated sexism, xenophobia and Islamophobia of the new American president. Americans and immigrants in the US were joined in their dissent by … Continue reading Global feminism: Women Marching Worldwide

A Parting Shot at Personal Freedom

President Barack Obama, in the death throes of his time in the White House, has delivered perhaps his harshest blow to constitutional freedom by permitting his attorney general to circumvent the Fourth Amendment, thereby enabling people in law enforcement to get whatever they want about whomever they wish without a showing of probable cause of crime as the Fourth Amendment requires. That amendment expressly forbids … Continue reading A Parting Shot at Personal Freedom