Sri Lanka

 (نيويورك، 26 أكتوبر/تشرين الأول 2010) - قالت هيومن رايتس ووتش اليوم إن على الملك عبد الله ووزير الداخلية الأمير نايف، أن يأمرا بوقف إعدام ريزانا نافيك، عاملة المنازل السريلانكية المحكوم عليها بالإعدام بعد إدانتها بقتل طفل كان تحت رعايتها عندما كانت تبلغ من العمر 17 عاماً. المملكة العربية السعودية هي واحدة من ثلاث دول في العالم ما زال معروف عنها إعدام أشخاص - خلال العامين الماضيين - على خلفية جرائم يُفترض أنهم ارتكبوها وهم في سن الطفولة.

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) draws your attention to the appeal made in 2007 into the case of Rizana Nafeek, who went to Saudi Arabia as a maid when she was 17 years old and who was sentenced to death by a Saudi court on the allegation that she had killed an infant of her employer. However, she completely denied the charges and explained that the death occurred as an accident by suffocation while she was bottle feeding the child. As a result of intervention by human rights organisations an appeal was filed on her behalf and the death sentence was set aside.

In this Groundviews interview, the interviewer asks WLUML Council member, Chulani Kodikara, about affirmative action, and also whether for example, the entry of telegenic females sans political acumen to parliament in any way helps advocacy on stronger female representation. Pegged to this, he also questions her about substantive equality, that goes beyond, in her own words, the classical liberal notion of formal equality which assume that removing formal barriers, for example giving women the right to vote and be elected to political office, is sufficient to give women equal access to political institutions.

'Women are not just victims of war, as some aspects of their experiences are empowering and can be used as a resource for healing and transformation’. War is a gendered process. Post war is no different. It may be a cliché to say that in Sri Lanka as elsewhere in the world, the most visible and harmful impact of 30 years of war has been on women, but that is the reality. As men joined militant groups or the armed forces, were arrested, abducted, disappeared, or took flight to safer locations outside the community or the country, women were left behind to cope with fractured families and communities; multiple displacement, transition in alien spaces such as camps for the displaced; or resettlement in distant and unfamiliar regions.

The announcement of the new Ministerial Portfolios has everyone talking. Who has got demoted or promoted, included or excluded, or whether the appointments are apt, or not, is a common talking point whether in Colombo or elsewhere. Amongst the surprises were the appointments of two men as Minister and Deputy Minister respectively of the Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Empowerment previously known as Women’s Affairs. Cat’s Eye decided to conduct a spot poll of some women on what they thought about this choice.

The manifestos, called Mahinda Chintanaya II in the case of the incumbent President and The Common Minimum Plan in the case of General Sarath Fonseka, have now been released to the public. In an election short on substantive issues and characterized by mud-slinging by both sides, these documents provide the voter an idea of the programmes both candidates wish to prioritize.

Resettlement efforts are under way for thousands of displaced Muslims from Sri Lanka’s north who have been languishing in refugee camps for nearly two decades, officials say. The internally displaced people (IDPs) were forcibly evicted in October 1990 from the northern districts of Jaffna, Mannar, Kilinochchi, Mullaithivu and some parts of Vavuniya by the insurgent Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). About 75,000 Muslims are estimated to have fled, making their way towards government-controlled areas in Vavuniya and Anuradhapura, as well as to Puttalam District on the northwestern coast, according to the International Crisis Group (ICG).

“War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength.” - George Orwell (Nineteen Eighty-Four). Thus begins the Rajapakse era, with the arrest of Gen. Sarath Fonseka. I did not and do not consider Sarath Fonseka to be a hero, any more than I consider Mahinda Rajapakse and Gotabhaya Rajapakse to be heroes. Still I believe Fonseka’s arrest should be a matter of gravest and most intimate concern to all those who value democratic freedoms, because it symbolises the conclusive triumph of a new political commonsense which equates Mahinda Rajapakse (and his brothers) with the country and thus damns any opponent of Rajapakse rule as an enemy of the nation. A democracy which equates opposition to the powers that be with treachery to the nation is no longer a democracy but an autocracy.

Publié le 26 janvier 2010: L’élection présidentielle d’aujourd’hui va se tenir dans un climat particulièrement tendu, notamment pour la presse qui a été confrontée à de multiples entraves. Les médias d’Etat ont été utilisés pour promouvoir le candidat sortant Mahinda Rajapaksa. Certains médias privés ou d’opposition ont été les cibles d’attaques qui ont culminé avec l’enlèvement, le 24 janvier au soir, du journaliste politique Prageeth Eknaligoda. Reporters sans frontières appelle les deux camps à tout faire pour ne pas créer un "scénario à l’iranienne" où des élections contestées et contestables ont débouché sur un cycle de manifestations et de répression, dont la presse serait évidemment la victime.

26 January 2010: Tension surrounds today’s presidential election, especially for the press, which has had to face many obstacles. Use of the state media to support President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s campaign for another term has been accompanied by harassment and violence against privately-owned opposition media, culminating in the 24 January abduction of political reporter Prageeth Eknaligoda. Reporters Without Borders appeals to both sides to make every effort to avoid an Iran-style scenario in which the challenging of a questionable election result leads to a cycle of demonstrations and repression in which the press would clearly be one of the victims.

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