Category Archives: legal issues

Alleged ‘Land Grabbing’ by the Security Forces in Sri Lanka

Gerald Peiris, … an essay that is part of  Chapter 11 in a forthcoming monograph titled Sri Lanka: Land Policy for Sustainable Development, by G. H. Peiris, currently in the press (as a Visidunu Publication, 471 Lake Road, Boralesgamuwa, Sri Lanka) [1]

In view of the significance accorded in recent public debate and discussion on the subject of ‘land grabbing’ in several conflict-ridden countries of the Third World it is necessary to devote attention to a series of facts that are of crucial relevance to a balanced understanding of the related  situation in Sri Lanka.

Gerald Peiris Bhavani Fonseka  Mirak Raheem

Land Grabbing: Concept and Empirical Application  

The phenomenon referred to as ‘land grabbing’ lacks definitional clarity. In many writings of recent times (Keely, 2009; Borras, et.al., 2011; Deininger & Byerlee 2011; Rulli, et. al., 2013; Brimayer & Moon, 2014; to name only a few), especially those sponsored by civil society organisations, this phrase has been used exclusively in the specific connotation of large-scale acquisition of land in the poorer countries by foreign governments and private firms that are based in the politically and economically powerful countries. Estimates of the extent of grabbed land worldwide vary. The prestigious journal, The Economist (21 May 2009) placed it at 15-20 million ha. According to the World Bank, it is as high as 45 million ha, with an overwhelmingly large proportion of it in the less densely populated areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, South and Central America and Southeast Asia. In a major World Bank sponsored study (Deininger & Byerlee, op. cit.) ‘land grabbing’ has been portrayed as a phenomenon of both positive as well as negative impacts which nevertheless requires effective regulation. But more generally, this process is perceived as an exemplification of neo-colonial economic exploitation that has adverse consequences on the local people in the form of violation of fundamental rights, incitement of inter-group conflict, mass impoverishment and environmental degradation. What should be noted here is that in none of the research writings on the subject of ‘land grabbing’ as a global phenomenon do we come across a specific reference to Sri Lanka as a country that has been seriously affected by this phenomenon.[2] Continue reading

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Target Incitement to Violence – Deploy Gota’s Capacities

Dayan Jayatilleka, courtesy of The Island, 21 June 2017, where the title is  The issue is incitement: The BBS, Champika & the Gota factor” … with highlighting being the work of The editor, Thuppahi

The entire discussion or debate about the BBS, Gnanasara Thero and extremism is missing something. The discussion confuses ultra-nationalism, chauvinism, Islamophobia and extremism with the real issue: incitement to violence. Whether an ideology is extremist or not is one issue, but it is an issue that is difficult to resolve. What is far easier to resolve, legally and morally, is the issue of whether or not an action or statement constitutes an ‘incitement to violence’ against an individual or a collective.

 Gnanasara Thero Ranawake

It is morally slippery to avoid the central issue that is present before our very eyes, namely incitement, and instead to shift attention by merely equating all forms of chauvinism and denouncing them all equally. Continue reading

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UNP and Unity Government denounce Hate Speech

ONE: Island News Item with focus on Malik Samarawickrema’s Statement

The United National Party notes with deep concern the recent attempts by subversive elements to sabotage the reconciliation efforts of the national unity government led by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, UNP Chairman Malik Samarawickrema said in a statement. Since its founding, the UNP has remained a secular political party fostering unity while building a truly Sri Lankan identity.

The UNP welcomes the statement of the Cabinet of ministers, the Prime Minister and the President to use the full force of the law against those causing religious tensions, racial hatred and undermining the efforts at reconciliation since the new government came to power. Continue reading

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Asoka Bandarage’s Study of The Separatist Conflict in Sri Lanka appeared in 2009

Assoke Bandarage BANDARAGE COVER

The Routledge Flier: Using careful historical research and analysis of policy documents, this book explains the origin and evolution of the political conflict in Sri Lanka over the struggle to establish a separate state in its Northern and Eastern Provinces. The conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the secessionist LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) is one of the world’s most intractable contemporary armed struggles. The internationally banned LTTE is considered the prototype of modern terrorism. It is known to have introduced suicide bombing to the world, and recently became the first terrorist organization ever to acquire an air force. The book argues that the Sri Lankan conflict cannot be adequately understood from the dominant bipolar analysis that sees it as a primordial ethnic conflict between the Sinhala majority and the Tamil minority. The book broadens the discourse providing a multipolar analysis of the complex interplay of political-economic and cultural forces at the local, regional and international levels including the roles of India and the international community. Overall, the book presents a conceptual framework useful for comparative global conflict analysis and resolution, shedding light on a host of complex issues such as terrorism, civil society, diasporas, international intervention and secessionism.

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A Historical ‘Cuppa’ of Ceylon Tea

Ceylon Tea: The Trade That Made a Nation

The Colombo Tea Traders’ Association will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Ceylon tea on July 20th with the launch of an illustrated history entitled Ceylon Tea: The Trade That Made a Nation. This art-quality large-format illustrated book has been authored by Richard Simon with Dominic Sansoni as Illustrations Editor, while the design has been fashioned by Sebastian Posingis. Continue reading

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Ethnic Conflict in Buddhist Societies in South and Southeast Asia

https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2017/06/07/deciphering-religious-rivalries-in-south-and-southeast-asia/

 Ethnic Conflict in Buddhist Societies in South and Southeast Asia. The Politics behind Religious Rivalries, edited by K.M. de Silva, 2015 (pp. 270 +xvi) 

The book aims to examine the role of Buddhism as a factor of conflict in the three main Theravada Buddhist societies of South and Southeast Asia—Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar.  The dispute in this island had engaged the attention of Sri Lanka’s political class for the two previous decades, while political analysts from Sri Lanka and others from various parts of the world examined the impact of Buddhism on the Sri Lanka polity and the prolonged ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. The situation in Thailand and Myanmar provided a convenient comparative basis in the reviews and in the literature in these three Buddhist societies. Continue reading

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Kepel’s Koranic Expertise renders him a Prime Target for Assassination

Matthew Campbell, in The Times, 28 May 2017, where the title is Islamists vow to murder academic who know Koran better than them”

Gilles Kepel is waiting for a taxi on a London street corner. The roads are gridlocked, the cab is late and France’s foremost expert on Islam is starting to look nervous. He has every reason to be. Isis has placed this polished, polyglot professor on a death list, calling on its followers to kill him without delay. In France he has round-the-clock police protection. Yet here he is, alone and unprotected in the British capital – “Londonistan” was the term he coined for it years ago – barely two days after a suicide bomber killed 22 people at a Manchester concert.I have just interviewed him and he has ordered a cab to get to another meeting. But it is nowhere to be seen. Ushering him into the Underground, I ask him what it feels like to be threatened by a group that specialises in beheading its victims in front of a camera.

 Gilles Kepel’s expertise has unsettled Islamic extremists.

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