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Sri Lanka: Right to Information Legislation Considered

(June 28, 2016) On June 24, 2016, the Right to Information Law, with amendments, passed its second reading in Sri Lanka’s Parliament, following a debate that began the day before. The draft legislation had been introduced in the legislature on March 24 by the Minister of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media, Gayantha Karunathileka. (Sri Lanka […]

Sri Lanka: Two Laws on Wages Adopted

(June 21, 2016) In March 2016, Sri Lanka adopted two laws on wages designed to guarantee a minimum income level for workers. The National Minimum Wages Act, No. 3 of 2016, mandates a national, minimum monthly wage of Rs10,000 (about US$67.56), and the Budgetary Relief Allowance of Workers Act, No. 4 of 2016, establishes that […]

Sri Lanka: Proposal to Raise Minimum Age of Criminal Liability

(May 23, 2016) It was announced on May 19, 2016, that the Cabinet of ministers of Sri Lanka has approved a proposal to amend the country’s Penal Code, to change the age of criminal responsibility. (Sri Lanka to Amend Penal Code to Increase Minimum Age for Criminal Responsibility, COLOMBO PAGE (May 19, 2016).) At present, […]

Sri Lanka: Criticism of Ongoing Use of Torture

(May 13, 2016) In a statement following a nine-day trip to Sri Lanka, Juan E. Méndez, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture, claimed that criminal and terrorism investigators in Sri Lanka still use torture against detainees, even though the use has declined since the end of the country’s civil war seven years ago. While […]

Sri Lanka: Electronic Media Authority Being Considered

(Apr. 26, 2016) Sri Lanka’s government is considering establishing an independent body that would regulate electronic media. The authority would be empowered and required to investigate complaints made against electronic media. The authority would be created with the input of media stakeholders; government officials noted that the body would not be designed to control media […]

Sri Lanka: Plans to Accede to Landmine Treaty

(Mar. 7, 2016) Sri Lanka’s Cabinet ministers, meeting on March 3, 2016, approved the country’s accession to the Land Mine Convention, also known as the Ottawa Convention, which bans the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of anti-personnel mines. Sri Lanka will be the 163rd country to become a State Party to the Convention.  (Sri Lanka […]

Sri Lanka: Prime Minister Comments on Constitutional Revision Plan

(Jan. 25, 2016) Speaking on January 17, 2016, the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe, stated that a new Constitution now being planned will not change the unitary structure of the nation. He discounted rumors that the country would be divided and asserted that he wants the country to be united, attributing the reports […]

Sri Lanka: Human Rights Commission Recommends Ending Death Penalty

(Jan. 6, 2016) The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) recently recommended in a letter to the country’s President, Maithripala Sirisena, that Sri Lanka take two related steps: ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and abolish the death penalty in domestic legislation. The letter was also […]

Sri Lanka: Committee to Draft New Constitution

(Oct. 23, 2015) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of Sri Lanka has appointed a committee to make recommendations for a new Constitution for the country. In addition to officials from the Department of Legal Draftsman (an agency in the Ministry of Justice), the committee includes legal scholars, officials from the parliamentary staff, and legislative representatives. (Sri […]

Sri Lanka: Update on War Crimes Investigation Proposal

(Sept. 24, 2015) On September 22, 2015, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of Sri Lanka, speaking to the legislature, rejected the recommendation from the United Nations that there be international involvement in the investigation into the war crimes that allegedly occurred during the country’s civil war or that there be established any form of hybrid domestic […]