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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 […]

Sri Lanka: Proposal to Establish Truth and Reconciliation Commission

(Sept. 16, 2015) On September 14, 2015, Sri Lanka’s government announced a plan to establish a Commission for Truth, Justice, Reconciliation and Non-Recurrence to handle cases related to the atrocities that occurred during the country’s 26-year-long civil war. According to Foreign Minister Mangala Samarawera, the Commission will be modeled after the one established in South […]

Sri Lanka: Biometric Passports Become Standard

(Aug. 12, 2015) Based on a rule effective August 10, 2015, all passports newly issued by Sri Lanka will contain fingerprints as biometric markers. Existing passports will remain usable, however. The goal is to meet international standards and, according to Immigration and Emigration Controller, General Nihal Ranasinghe, the inclusion of fingerprints will increase the efficacy […]

Sri Lanka: Press Council Revival Controversial

(July 16, 2015) On July 2, 2015, Sri Lanka’s government announced that the Press Council, which had given authorities a great deal of control over the media in the past, is being revived. The decision followed by only six months the election of President Maithripala Sirisena, whose rise to power brought with it hope for […]

Sri Lanka: Small Political Parties Object to Proposed Constitutional Amendment

(June 24, 2015) A number of small political parties in Sri Lanka have stated that they are opposed to a constitutional amendment on the electoral system proposed by the Prime Minister. They are concerned that the amendment would pose a threat to democracy in the country, by providing for less representation of non-majority parties, and […]

Sri Lanka: President Campaigns for Amendment on Electoral Reform

(June 12, 2015) On June 8, 2015, President Maithripala Sirisena of Sri Lanka spoke at a rally in support of a proposed amendment of the country’s Constitution that would change the electoral system. It would be the 20th amendment of the document. (Sri Lankan President Campaigns for Passage of Electoral Reforms, COLOMBO PAGE (June 8, […]

South Africa; Sri Lanka: Cooperation Agreements in Tourism, Zoo Management

(Mar. 2, 2015) Sri Lanka and South Africa concluded two cooperation agreements on February 24, 2015. The agreements are: 1) Draft Declaration of Intent between the National Department of Tourism of the Republic of South Africa and the Sri Lankan Ministry of Tourism and Sports on Cooperation in the Field of Sustainable Tourism Development for […]