Sri Lanka Need to Offer Complete Help To The Ongoing UN Investigation: David Cameron

“I’m positive several people celebrating right now will be thinking of loved ones overseas, specially in Sri Lanka. When I met with President Sirisena in Downing Street final month I provided my help for the methods his government has begun to take to address the troubles of the previous. But I was also clear that the Government must go additional and that they need to continue to offer you full assistance to the ongoing UN investigation&#8221 said David Cameron.

David Cameron

David Cameron

Issuing a statement on Tamil and Sinhalese New Year the British Prime Minister said  “I would like to send my very best wishes to everybody in Britain, Sri Lanka and around the planet celebrating Aluth Avurudda and to all Tamil communities celebrating Puthandu these days. It’s a time when millions of folks will be coming with each other with households, pals and neighbours to celebrate their New Year.

“But it is also a time to don’t forget the amazing contribution Tamil and Sinhalese communities make to Britain. We see it about us, each and every single day – in our schools and our hospitals, in the arts and businesses – you play an incredibly important and optimistic part.

“I’m positive several individuals celebrating right now will be considering of loved ones overseas, especially in Sri Lanka. When I met with President Sirisena in Downing Street last month I supplied my assistance for the measures his government has begun to take to address the issues of the past. But I was also clear that the Government have to go further and that they need to continue to offer you complete assistance to the ongoing UN investigation.

“I hope that this New Year will bring communities closer with each other in helping to heal the wounds of the past.

“To everybody celebrating Puthandu and Aluth Avurudda I want you a really content and prosperous New Year.”

Rajapaksas Employed Aircrafts Like Regional Taxi Service Specifics Of Aircraft Misuse By Rajapaksas & Their Henchmen Revealed

Appalling particulars of the manner in which former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, his household members and his henchmen who had been Ministers of the former regime misused the Sri Lanka Air Force aircraft throughout the Presidential election campaigning period, have come to light.

SLAF helicopters and fixed-wing aircrafts have been exploited at the whims and fancies of the Rajapaksas and some of the Ministers of the former regime, which has resulted in a loss of millions of rupees which will now be settled by taxpayers’ cash.

Rajapaksas Pic by Susantha Liyanawatte

*Rajapaksas&#8217 final flight &#8211 January 09th 2015- Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa boards a Sri Lanka Air Force Mi-17 helicopter for his flight to Tangalle. His sons Namal, Yoshitha and Rohitha went with him. Photo courtesy Susantha Liyanawatte

Weekly newspaper Sunday Instances reported the SLAF aircrafts have been misused by the Rajapaksa loved ones and some of the former Ministers as if it was a ‘local taxi service’.

Former President had used different varieties of helicopters and Chinese constructed Y-12 passenger transport aircraft on 71 flights for the duration of the period of December 1, 2014 – January 9, 2015. They had all been used to attend election rallies except for a couple of official engagements.

Even though his then rival, President Sirisena was not permitted to use the SLAF assets, others who are not entitled for this perk like his son MP Namal Rajapaksa, the then 1st lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa had freely produced use of this facility and obtained free of charge rides on SLAF helicopters.

Shiranthi Rajapaksa had employed SLAF aircrafts on seven trips for which payments have not been created to this day and 1 such trip involves travelling from Rathmalana to Maharagama and back, which is not a lot more than 5 km apart on December 12.

Meanwhile Namal Rajapaksa had utilized the flights on 25 occasions with out producing any type of payment up to this date and travelled to various locations such as Mattala, Tangalle, Rathnapura, Kandy, Anuradhapura, Manna, Palali and so on.

Meanwhile it has been revealed that Rajapaksa sibling, former Minister Basil Rajapaksa had utilised the SLAF aircrafts on seven flights as effectively as other Ministers like Wimal Weerawansa (seven flights), Susil Premjayantha (three flights), North Western province Chief Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera and an individual named S Manamendra who had travelled on a Bell 412 helicopter from Ratmalana to Colombo, Ginigathena and returned to Rathmalana.

&#8220The Sri Lanka Air Force is but to acquire payments for flights provided to members of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s household and former Ministers of his Government. The rates were charged from the point of departure of the aircraft/helicopter from the SLAF base in Ratmalana. Until yesterday the SLAF has not received any payments for these flights.&#8221 the Sunday Occasions said.

Right here are some of those who took the flights:

Namal Rajapaksa – MP

December 1, 2014 – SLAF Bell 412 helicopter to fly from Ratmalana to Colombo, Mattala and return to Ratmalana.
December three, 2014 – SLAF Bell 412 helicopter to fly from Ratmalana to Koggala, Tangalle, Colombo and return to Ratmalana.
December 7, 2014 – SLAF Bell 412 helicopter to fly from Ratmalana to Colombo, Tangalle, Wellawaya, Hambantota, Colombo and return to Ratmalana.
December 9, 2014 – Harbin Y 12 transport aircraft – to fly from Ratmalana to Mattala, Bandaranaike International Airport and return to Ratmalana.
December 11, 2014 – Bell 412 helicopter to fly from Ratmalana to Colombo, Ratnapura, Kandy, Colombo and return to Ratmalana.
December 12, 2014 – Bell 412 helicopter to fly from Ratmalana to Colombo, Hambantota, Wellawaya, Hambantota, Koggala, Bandaranaike International Airport and return to Ratmalana.
December 14, 2014 – Harbin Y 12 transport aircraft to fly from Ratmalana to Katunayake, Anuradhapura, Bandaranaike International Airport and return to Ratmalana.
December 15, 2014 – Bell 412 helicopter to fly from Ratmalana to Colombo, Ratnapura and return to Ratmalana.
December 16, 2014 – Harbin Y 12 transport aircraft to fly from Ratmalana, Mattala, and return to Ratmalana.
December 17, 2014 – Bell 412 helicopter to fly from Ratmalana to Colombo, Palavi, Mannar, Colombo and return to Ratmalana.
December 21, 2014 – Harbin Y 12 transport aircraft from Ratmalana, Vavuniya and return to Ratmalana.
December 22, 2014 – Bell 412 helicopter to fly from Ratmalana to Colombo, Galgamuwa and return to Ratmalana.
December 24, 2014 – Bell 412 helicopter to fly from Ratmalana to Colombo, Tangalle, Koggala, Tangalle, Colombo and return to Ratmalana.
December 25, 2014- Y12 Harbin transport aircraft from Ratmalana to Ampara.
December 26, 2014 – Y12 Harbin transport aircraft to fly from Ampara and return via Katunayake to Ratmalana.
December 27, 2014 – Bell 412 helicopter to fly from Ratmalana to Colombo, Deraniyagala and return to Ratmalana.
January 1, 2015 – Bell 412 to fly from Ratmalana to Koggala, Tangalle, Kurunegala and return to Ratmalana.
January 2, 2015 – Bell 212 helicopter to fly from Hingurakgoda to Kekirawa, Aralaganwila and return to Hingurakgoda.
January four, 2015 – Harbin Y 12 transport aircraft to fly from Ratmalana to Kankesanthurai (Jaffna), Mattala and return to Ratmalana.
January 5, 2015 – Bell 412 helicopter to fly from Ratmalana to Wirawila, Makandura, Colombo, Kaduwela, Nattandiya and return to Ratmalana.
January six, 2015 – Bell 412 helicopter to fly from Ratmalana to Colombo, Medamulana, Koggala and return to Ratmalana.
January 6, 2015 – Harbin Y 12 transport aircraft to fly from Ratmalana to Mattala and Anuradhapura. Night Stop.
January 7 2015 – Harbin Y 12 transport aircraft to fly from Anuradhapura, Wellawaya and return to Ratmalana.

Basil Rajapaksa, former Minister of Economic Improvement

December 13, 2014 – Bell 412 helicopter to fly from Ratmalana to Colombo, Kurunegala, Kegalle and return to Ratmalana.
December 15, 2014 – Bell 412 helicopter to fly from Ratmalana to Colombo, Ratnapura, Colombo and return to Ratmalana.
December 16, 2014 – Mi- 17 helicopter to fly from Ratmalana to Colombo, Vavuniya, Jaffna and Palaly.
December 16, 2014 – Harbin transport aircraft Y 12 to fly from Ratmalana to Palaly and return to Ratmalana.
December 17, 2014 – Bell 412 helicopter – to fly from Ratmalana to Colombo, Wennappuwa, Colombo and return to Ratmalana.
December 18, 2014 – Bell 412 helicopter – to fly from Ratmalana to Colombo, Matale, Colombo and return to Ratmalana.
January 8 2015 – Bell 412 helicopter – to fly from Ratmalana to Colombo, Medamulana, Koggala, Medamulana, Colombo and return to Ratmalana.

Former initial lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa

December 7, 2014 – Mi-17 helicopter from Colombo to Matale, Pallekele, Kandy and return to Ratmalana.
December eight, 2014 – Mi-17 helicopter from Colombo to Kandy and return to Colombo.
December 10, 2014 – Mi-17 helicopter from Ratmalana to Maharagama and return to Ratmalana.
December 12, 2014 – Mi-17 helicopter from Tangalle to Colombo
January two, 2015 – Mi-17 helicopter to fly from Ratmalana to Colombo, Naula and return to Ratmalana.
January three, 2015 – Mi-17 helicopter to fly from Ratmalana to Badulla, Colombo and return to Ratmalana.
January four, 2015 – Mi-17 helicopter to fly from Colombo to Kurunegala and return to Colombo.

Wimal Weerawansa, former Minister of Housing and Building

December 20, 2014 – Harbin Y 12 transport aircraft to fly from Ratmalana, Ampara and return to Ampara.
December 21, 2014 – Bell 412 helicopter to fly from Ratmalana to Colombo, Moneragala, Wellawaya, Buttala and Koggala and return to Ratmalana.
December 21, 2014 – Harbin Y 12 from Ratmalana to fly to Koggala and return to Ratmalana.
January 1, 2015 – Bell 412 helicopter to fly from Ratmalana to Colombo, Kandy, Colombo and return to Ratmalana.
January 2, 2015 – Bell 412 helicopter to fly from Ratmalana to Kandy, Kantale, Sigiriya and return to Ratmalana.
January two 2015 – Harbin Y 12 transport aircraft from Ratmalana to Hingurakgoda and return to Ratmalana.
January 5 2015 – Mi 17 transport helicopter to fly from Ratmalana to Colombo, Wirawila, Matara, Ambalangoda, Matugama and return to Ratmalana.

Susil Premajayantha, former Minister of Atmosphere and Renewable Energy

December 30, 2014 – Bell 412 helicopter to fly from Ratmalana to Colombo, China Bay, Kantale, Valachchenai and Hingurakgoda. Evening stop.
December 31, 2014 – Bell 412 helicopter to fly from Hingurakgoda to Ampara, Colombo and return to Ratmalana.
January 2, 2015 – Mi-17 helicopter to fly from Ratmalana to Colombo, Palaly, Jaffna, Vavuniya, Mannar and return to Colombo.

Politics Of Constitutional Reform

By S. I. Keethaponcalan

Dr S.I. Keethaponcalan

Dr S.I. Keethaponcalan

The adjust of government in January 2015 in Sri Lanka turned the attention of the nation, at least partially, to constitutional reform. President Sirisena won the presidential election promising to make changes to the program of governance. With no wasting as well a lot time, the present government, initial released a draft proposal, then published the draft bill known as the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, and finally announced amendments to the 19th Amendment. The proposals entail numerous components. This write-up, even so, deals with the central aspect, i.e, powers of the president and the politics played about this concern.

First Proposal

The 1st proposal published by the government in February 2015 to reform the constitution entailed some radical rudiments as it proposed to transform the current executive presidential program into a parliamentary type of government. According to the original proposal the president was needed to act “always…on the tips of the Prime Minister” except of course “in the case of the appointment of the Prime Minister.” The prime minister was also to be the head of the government.

MaithripalaThis was in a way intriguing since President Sirisena did not guarantee to abolish the executive presidential program in his election manifesto. He only promised to take away what he named the “autocratic” powers of the president. Nevertheless, the abolitionists who provided impetus to Sirisena’s election campaign had been elated.

Nevertheless, some of the nationalist Sinhala groups that consisted of political parties and ideological factions were up in arms, especially the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU). The group declared that it would not support the proposed adjustments. Why? These groups believed that a diluted political leadership is detrimental to the national security of the country. This notion possibly was based on two assumptions.

One, a robust political leadership (preferably the president) is a precondition to stop a feasible reemergence of the LTTE. The threat perception within this group still remains really strong. They believe that the LTTE will make a comeback with the assistance of the Tamil diaspora and friendly governments in the West. Two, a parliamentary type of government would potentially magnify the power and influence of Tamil parties, specially the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), forcing future governments to make unnecessary concessions. The possibility of an executive prime minister conceding to the Tamils on the far more critical question of devolution of power is not acceptable to these groups. Hence, the assault on the 1st proposal.

19th Amendment

The resistance forced the UNP government to renegotiate the constitutional amendment with concerned parties and alter its original concepts of constitutional reform. Consequently, the government officially published the draft bill of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution. The 19th Amendment might be observed as a victory for JHU and other nationalist Sinhala factions simply because the thought to transform the program into a parliamentary type of government was dropped. According to the proposed 19th Amendment the president is not required to act on the advice of the prime minister.

The draft bill of the 19th Amendment tried to attain two objectives. 1, it retained the executive presidency although curtailing some of the powers which abetted authoritarianism. For instance, according to the bill, the president shall be “the Head of the State, the Head of the Executive and of the Government and the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.” The bill meanwhile proposed to reintroduce the two term limit for the president and restrict the term in office to 5 years as an alternative of the original six years. Two, it proposed to elevate powers of the prime minister. According to this draft the prime minister, for example, will be the head of the cabinet of ministers, decide the number of ministers and have the powers to assign and change subjects of the ministers.

As a result, the proposed 19th Amendment could be depicted as a compromised formula as it attempted to strike a balance in between agendas that seek to abolish and these that seek to retain the executive presidential method. As the stress mounted against the draft bill, the government not too long ago published what it known as the “Amendments proposed to the 19th Amendment to the Constitution Bill,” which stated that “There shall be a President of the Republic of Sri Lanka, who is the Head of the State, the Head of the Executive and the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.”

Regardless of these alterations, the JHU’s resistance continued, which indicated that the celebration was not in favor of constitutional reform at this point in time. It is crucial to note that the celebration, in spite of its meager electoral base, has exercised considerable energy and influence below the present method. Probably there is a nexus amongst the energy the celebration enjoys under the present method and the continuous resistance to any form of constitutional modify.

National Government

Meanwhile, in an fascinating turn of events, the Sri Lanka Freedom Celebration (SLFP), which hitherto performed tasks of the principal opposition party in parliament, accepted ministerial portfolios in the new government and became component of what is termed the national government. For the initial time in the history of Sri Lanka, the two significant parties, the SLFP and the United National Party (UNP) are in the government at the exact same time.

The SLFP’s entry into the government should have raised the likelihood of obtaining the amended version of the bill ratified in the national legislature. The UNP does not have the required two-thirds majority in parliament. With the SLFP assistance, a two-thirds majority could be achieved. Given that both are in the government, theoretically, it must be straightforward to adopt the amendments now.

The SLFP even so is not budging. Party leaders declared that the SLFP would not help the proposed amendment sans provisions to reform the electoral system and want the next general election carried out beneath the new program. The fact that even if the electoral system is reformed quickly, sufficient time needed to provide for implementation does not look to be resonating.

These demands imparted the impression that the present electoral program is detrimental to its probabilities of winning the next general election. It is true that J. R. Jayewardene, the architect of the present constitution, thought that the proportional representation program would bestow an added advantage to the UNP. But the SLFP has won sufficient elections under the present technique. The party can give the UNP a run for its funds if an election is carried out below the present method even nowadays. It is amusing to see the party selecting a but to be determined technique to the present a single.

Consequently, one can argue that concern about the electoral program can’t be the actual lead to of the SLFP resistance to the proposed bill. Some think that the SLFP is covertly operating for President Sirisena. The president understands that weakening the office of the executive president at this point in time could be unsafe. It could pave the way for former president Mahinda Rajapaksa to return to active politics and even enter parliament as the prime minister. Such a situation could be suicidal for Sirisena and his partners such as Democratic Party leader Sarath Fonseka and former president Chadrika Kumaratunga. Naturally, he can’t choose a strengthened office of the prime minister.

If he is not keen to reform the constitution as proposed, one of the very best approaches to delay or scuttle the method is to get the SLFP to make unrealistic demands. Following all, he is the leader of the SLFP. The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has already accused the president of conspiring against the proposed constitutional adjust.

Supreme Court

Obviously, the bill was challenged in the Supreme Court. It was determined that some clauses of the bill had been inconsistent with the constitution. In order to be approved, they require the approval of the men and women in a referendum, in addition to a two-thirds majority in parliament. Importantly, the clauses that bestow powers on the prime minister need approval of the people. The government nevertheless, is not keen to go for a referendum right away. According to news reports coming from Colombo, these clauses will be dropped. This will eliminate any possibility of creating fundamental changes to the system. If approved, the proposals, in the present kind, will take away only a handful of powers of the president and the prime minister will stay a rubber stamp.

*Dr. S. I. Keethaponcalan is Chair of the Conflict Resolution Division, Salisbury University, Maryland.

Ranil is enjoying one hundred days…

Colombo Port City Suspension Creates Uncertainty For Foreign Investors
When Sri Lanka effectively defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels in May possibly 2009, placing an end to Asia&#8217s longest civil war, there was hope to transform the island nation into a &#8216Miracle of Asia&#8217.

Successive government&#8217s had dreamt of transforming the capital Colombo into a major economic and tourism hub but the 30-year conflict had left no area for development…

Read a lot more @&nbsphttp://www.thesundayleader.lk/ 2015/03/29/colombo-port-city- suspension-creates- uncertainty-for-foreign- investors/


China denies Rajitha&#8217s claims on slashing expressway expense

Acting Ambassador of China, Ren Faqiang denies that a sum of Rs 30 billion has been decreased from the building cost of the Colombo Outer Circular Expressway, as claimed by Cabinet Spokesman Dr Rajihta Senaratne…

Watch @&nbsphttps://www.youtube.com/watch? v=t1H4BCzxuPg


Rajitha: &#8216I repeated what Ranil said&#8217

Cabinet Spokesman and Overall health Minister Rajitha Senaratne stated yesterday that it was Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who had told him that the Chinese contractor developing a section of the Colombo Outer Circular Road connecting the Highways had agreed to lessen the price of the project by Rs. 30 billion.

He produced the claim throughout the weekly Cabinet Press Briefing in Colombo.

Senaratne was responding to a denial by the Chinese Embassy in Colombo of a statement produced by him on Wednesday…

Study far more @&nbsphttp://www.island.lk/index. php?page_cat=post-particulars&amp web page=article-information&ampcode_ title=122575


National Chamber expresses concerns on CEPA
The National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka, counting more than 65 years of service to the company community in Sri Lanka and obtaining a membership of over 630 corporates and more than 1500 Tiny and Medium Enterprises, is concerned more than the proposed signing of the CEPA (Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement) with India…

Study more @&nbsphttp://www.island.lk/index. php?page_cat=write-up-information&amp page=write-up-information&ampcode_ title=122559


Numerous bank heads resign, some probably to challenge Finance Ministry order
Following the resignations of Dr. Rani Jayamaha as Chairperson of Hatton National Bank and Sunil Wijesinha as National Development Bank PLC Chairman and the likelihood of far more such resignations, extremely reputable sources indicated that the Finance Ministry has notified a number of private commercial bank heads who had been appointed to represent government owned shares to step down…

Read more @&nbsphttp://www.adaderana.lk/ bizenglish/many-bank-heads- leave-some-most likely-to- challenge-finance-ministry- order/


Below photos showcase the present status of some places of Colombo…



&#8203
See much more @&nbsphttp://www.mahinda.information/2015/ 04/colombo-fate/

Lastly, Ranil is enjoying one hundred days in his Jet…

Maithri behind attempts against 19A: JVP

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake right now charged that President Maithripala Sirisena was behind the statements made by Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka and MPs Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and Nimal Siripala de Silva against the 19th Amendment.

&#8220The silence of President Sirisena reflects that he is behind the attempts against the 19th Amendment. Otherwise, some components with only two parliamentary seats will not be in a position to make a lot hype. The President ought to prove in action if he is not involved in this anti-19th Amendment conspiracy,&#8221 Mr. Dissanayake told a news conference.

Source:&nbsphttp://www.dailymirror.lk/ 68723/video-maithri-behind- attempts-against-19a-anura

Is this part of the master strategy orchestrated by Rajitha Senaratne and JHU? Listen to it @&nbsphttps://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=jBm_dzDGIGU

Inclusion Is A Necessity, Not An Alternative

By Lasanthi Daskon Attanayake

Lasanthi Daskon Attanayake

Lasanthi Daskon Attanayake

Dr Ajith C S Perera, in his post ‘Access to Justice : Constitutional Protection for All’ succinctly encapsulate the wide variety of troubles faced by persons living with disabilities in Sri Lanka. His emphasis is ‘access’ of all forms, not just to the constructed atmosphere but to the whole social, political and legal fabric of the country. This is not the initial time Dr Perera wrote about access. He being the only Disability Rights Activist in Sri Lanka to method mainstream print media in writing critical pieces on the want for recognising the huge percentage of persons with disabilities in Sri Lanka continues to campaign difficult .

Much less than four days after we study Dr Perera’s post, a news item seems in a neighborhood newspaper on the discrimination faced by a student with a disability in one particular of the top Girls’ Schools in Colombo, which is followed by however one more article in Colombo Telegraph relating to the issues faced by a traveller with a disability.

It is sad that a youngster with a disability, be it in a major school or not, has to fight for her rights although the School Principal apparently stated that they can not make adjustments ‘just for 1 student’. What would that Principal expect that ‘one child’ to do, exactly where does she anticipate the child to go, if she is not accepted by her personal college? Do we know how many tiny girls and boys in this country are shut out of education in this way? Do we know that physical infrastructure, most of the time, is not the only situation they face? Do we know how significantly we are burdening the families of those youngsters and the society in turn, by not delivering them the chance to be productive members of society?

This is just one story, one aspect. Disability cuts across all dimensions of society, disability could influence any one of us at any offered time. Disability in its numerous types, come to us in our old age. But, we , as a society, look at disability as the abnormality or the impossibility. Our ‘normal’, ‘perfect’ human selves look at persons with disabilities and feel ‘sorry’ for them, wonder what sins they committed in their previous lives to reside with a disability in this life, and heave sighs of relief that we are fortunate not to have ‘sinned’.

&nbsp

Ajith C

*Dr. Ajith Perera &#8211 Campaigns for the Democratic Correct for Inclusion

We take these attitudes to our governing systems, into our policy generating and into our administration. And we ignore the concerns of persons with disabilities due to the fact, to us, in all our undisputed self-proclaimed perfectness, they are only an unfortunate ‘few’.

What we, as a country are reluctant to recognize is that persons with disabilities are the biggest minority group in the nation, and provided the opportunity to be participants in our socio-financial sphere, they would make their contribution to the nation as significantly as the so-named majority would.

Let us now explore a couple of of the prominent gaps.

Gaps in our Laws

Sri Lanka was among the first countries which signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on the quite day it was opened for signature. We enacted a law relating to disability as far back as 1996, a decade ahead of the CRPD came into getting. Possessing made such progress, we now choose to shy away from ratifying the convention and bringing in new progressive legislation in relation to disability. It is therefore worthy of locating out what trigger or causes have debilitated the aspirations of at least a million and a half (going by the government statistics) persons with disabilities living in the island.

Plainly speaking, the malady of disability rights in Sri Lanka has several tentacles the archaic disability rights legislation, the non-ratification of the CRPD and the reluctance to enact a new, progressive law.

The 1996 Act (Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act. No. 28 of 1996), has only a fleeting mention of the ‘rights’ of the disabled and instead focuses heavily on the establishment of the National Council on Disability, its powers and functions. Professor Fiona Kumari Campbell writes that the Act, despite its pretence of being concerned with rights, severely lack in the provision of a codified statement of rights and a philosophical framework to help interpretation and generate the development of politics and law reform.

Considering that 2006, the Ministry of Social Solutions has been struggling with emerging and disappearing draft disability rights Bills. Mysterious circumstances have made a draft Bill disappear and a various version with no substantial improvements to the 1996 Act emerge. Another Bill was drafted in 2013 which again is mysteriously shelved away. Although wider, nationwide consultations had been suggested on the draft bill by particular advocates, the furthest audience it reached have been a couple of chosen consultants (which includes the author). Yet, the consultants themselves had been not informed whether their suggestions were taken into consideration or not, and as to why the drafting approach did not proceed beyond the point of receiving suggestions from them.

The ratification of the CRPD is an issue vehemently debated by particular disability rights advocates themselves. Some were of the robust opinion that the State can’t ratify the treaty unless and till the domestic law falling in line with the CRPD is enacted.

The core of the debate, according to the author’s understanding, is the vexed query of the Disability Services Authority. The Ministry of Social Solutions appears to be of the firm belief (as expressed by its officials) that the establishment of an Independent Authority will take disability out of the purview of the Ministry and that it would be detrimental to the yeoman services provided by the Ministry to the community of persons with disabilities in Sri Lanka. The members of the National Council on Disability have not voiced their opinion on this concern in the open, but it could be safely assumed that they are drastically divided among themselves on this concern.

Marginalisation within the Movement

It is sad that the majority of the outspoken members of the community of persons with disabilities are not broadly represented in the National Council and that the activities of the Council are not as transparent as it must ideally be.

It is also sad that the majority of activities of Disabled Peoples’ Organisations in Sri Lanka stay in the periphery and does not penetrate into mainstream advocacy. Even though the need for empowerment and service provision is of paramount importance, the require for progression of the movement to influence legal and political adjustments cannot be ignored. The globe has witnessed and is nonetheless witnessing the alterations that are brought about by way of mobilisation and activism. I have often heard Disability Rights Advocates say that aggressive lobbying is not the way to get factors done in Sri Lanka, and that we have to function hand in hand with the political and administrative authorities if we are to acquire good results. But somehow, this mild diplomacy does not appear to have brought a lot good adjustments in the disability sphere.

There is also a lack of solidarity and transparency within the Movement The movement wants to revamp itself, open its doors to young men and women with disabilities and supply them space to express their views. A democratic movement, open for criticism will bring in vigour and vitality. A strengthened movement will inevitably influence social progression and bring in political modify.

Ignorance

Our politicians still remain ignorant (at least) of the potential of the voter base of persons with disabilities and their households. If we go strictly by government statistics (2012) which state that eight.five% of the population reside with some form of a disability and assume that there are close upon a single and a half million persons with disabilities, and add one loved ones member per each individual with a disability, nevertheless the number would be at least 3 million persons. Surprisingly, our political leaders do not seem to accept this as a potential voter base.

Coupled with this disinterest and the extreme lack of access in the electoral procedure, persons with disabilities are kept away from political participation.

Other places

Our whole legal program, like the infrastructure, the courts, the judiciary and the practitioners, remain in the dark of the problems a particular person with a disability would face in accessing legal redress, as quoted at the beginning of this write-up, majority of our schools and universities are not ready to accept a child with a disability, our transport systems, our roads, our public places, regardless of current improvements, remain largely inaccessible to persons with disabilities. Moreover, the corporate sector is poorly informed of the prospective of inclusive firms. All in all, as a nation, as a society, we are totally oblivious to the challenges faced by persons with disabilities in our social and physical atmosphere.

How do we move forward?

The answers are numerous, but the primarily we require to understand that disability is not an isolated problem. It is cross-cutting, and omnipresent, it could affect any 1 of us at any offered time, temporarily or permanently. Persons with Disabilities are not ‘a few’ as many would like to think. they are ‘many’, living among us and with us. Disabilities are not ‘uncommon’ or ‘abnormal’, they are a portion of normality, a reality of life. Persons with Disabilities share the same dreams, aspirations, hopes and feelings as the non-disabled majority.

As a result, as a nation, as a society, it is essential for us to initial and foremost consider inclusion a necessity, not an choice.

*Lasanthi is an Lawyer-at-Law who is reading for her Masters in Human Rights at the University of Colombo. She is an independent consultant on disability and is a going to lecturer at the Department of Disability Studies, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ragama. She is married to Senarath Attanayake, the first and the only elected politician who has lived with a disability his whole life and also the 1st person in a wheelchair to become an Lawyer-at-Law

Sri Lanka’s borrowing soars just before parliamentary poll

(Adds government increasing t-bill threshold)

COLOMBO, April 6 (Reuters) – Sri Lanka’s government borrowing has risen sharply considering that January, central bank information showed on Monday, as the new government seeks to woo voters and strengthen its grip on energy at a parliamentary election.

The government has sharply elevated state sector wages and lowered duties on key commodities, placing pressure on government finances and pushing yields on Treasury bills up by in between 76 to 82 basis points (bps) considering that Jan. 7.

Possessing won a presidential election on Jan. 8, President Maithripala Sirisena appointed Ranil Wickramasinghe as prime minister, although he lacks a majority in the 225-seat parliament.

Sirisena has pledged to hold parliamentary elections, which could take location prior to the finish of June – a year ahead of schedule.

The total outstanding stock of T-bills and T-bonds rose by 216.six billion rupees ($ 1.63 billion) in the 1st three months of this year – equivalent to about 90 % of total net borrowing through T-bills and T-bonds in 2014.

Total outstanding dollar-denominated Sri Lanka Improvement Bonds (SLDB) jumped 18 percent in the first 3 months with the government borrowing a net 70 billion rupees worth SLDBs.

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said he will seek parliamentary approval on Tuesday to raise the threshold limit in treasury bill borrowing to 1,250 billion rupees ($ 9.4 billion) from an earlier 850 billion rupees. As of Wednesday, outstanding treasury bills totalled 829.two billion rupees.

Government spokesman Rajitha Senaratne told Reuters on Friday that the government demands to borrow more to spend contractors who took on debt in order to complete ambitious infrastructure projects for the duration of the previous administration’s tenure.

Sirisena has ordered a evaluation of all infrastructure projects under the previous government, alleging corruption.

Market analysts mentioned the pressure on government finances was also due to a delay in a planned sovereign bond situation of up to $ 1.5 billion.

Roadshows to test investor appetite identified some fund managers have been reluctant to purchase the bond prior to the election, according to analysts, although there had been nonetheless some who favoured a eurobond problem this month.

(Reporting by Shihar Aneez and Ranga Sirilal Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore/Ruth Pitchford)

Very first Published: 2015-04-06 06:28:35 Updated 2015-04-06 18:37:49

Supply: http://www.sharenet.co.za/news/Sri_Lankas_borrowing_soars_ahead_of_parliamentary_poll/233983ab1b2e470e168cdfa073cbf8fd