Sri Lanka

4-minute film on the rule of law in Sri Lanka and IBAHRI fact-finding report, 2013
 

Sri Lanka: IBAHRI calls for protection of lawyers following death threats
News release: 19 September 2014 - The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) calls on the Sri Lankan government to take immediate measures to protect the independence of the legal profession in Sri Lanka, following concerns at an escalation of intimidation against lawyers and civil society members working on human rights and rule of law issues. In particular, the IBAHRI calls on the relevant authorities to undertake swift and transparent investigations into the reported death...
 

Sri Lanka: IBAHRI calls for increased vigilance from international community following UN Resolution
News release: 1 April 2014 - With the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) having voted to open an international investigation into alleged war crimes by both the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the final stages of Sri Lanka’s 26-year civil war, the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) calls for increased vigilance by the international community following an escalation in threats to human rights defenders.
 

Sri Lanka: IBAHRI backs Navi Pillay’s call for United Nations inquiry into alleged war crimes and human rights violations
News release: 27 February 2014 - The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) urges the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to establish an independent and international inquiry into alleged war crimes and past violations of human rights law in Sri Lanka as called for by the United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, in a recently published report.
 

Sri Lanka, Making Commonwealth values a reality, November 2013
The day before the start of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo Sri Lanka the IBAHRI held a press conference in Bangkok, Thailand, to discuss ‘Making Commonwealth Values a Reality’. The press conference was held at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand, following the revocation of visas by the Sri Lankan authorities for IBAHRI speakers to attend a jointly organised conference with the Bar Association of Sri Lanka in Colombo.
 

Lack of judicial independence prevents Sri Lanka from conducting effective investigations into war crimes states IBAHRI
News release: 15 November 2013 - The lack of judicial independence in Sri Lanka is a concern strongly reiterated by the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), in light of recent comments made by President Mahinda Rajapakse that Sri Lanka’s legal system is capable of responding to human rights violations.
 

IBAHRI and ICJ urge Commonwealth States to make Sri Lanka accountable to Commonwealth values
News release: 14 November 2013 - Bangkok, Thailand - The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) and the ICJ urge the Commonwealth Heads of States meeting in Colombo this week to make Sri Lanka accountable to Commonwealth values.
 

IBAHRI Commonwealth Conference in Sri Lanka cancelled
News release: 13 November 2013 - Following the Sri Lankan authorities’ action last week of revoking visas for speakers of an International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) delegation to attend the conference ‘Making Commonwealth Values a Reality’, the event has now been cancelled.
 

Sri Lanka denies entry to IBAHRI delegation for the second time, ahead of major Commonwealth summit
News release: Thursday 7 November 2013 - Entry to Sri Lanka has been denied to participants of an International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) high-level delegation which includes the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers Gabriela Knaul, and the first UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers Param Cumaraswamy. The group has had its visas revoked officially, or de facto, notwithstanding the public assurance from Sri Lanka...
 

Sri Lanka fact-finding, 2013
Following the suspension of visas by the Sri Lankan authorities for an IBAHRI delegation to visit Sri Lanka, the IBAHRI conducted a remote mission to investigate the impeachment of Chief Justice Bandaranayake and the rule of law in Sri Lanka.
 

Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner tells BBC that IBAHRI is ‘absolutely welcome to come in’
News release: 2 May 2013 - The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) welcomes the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the United Kingdom’s recent public statement that IBAHRI representatives will be granted visas to enter Sri Lanka.
 

Film - Sri Lanka facing constitutional crisis concludes IBAHRI report
This 4-minute film looks at the findings and recommendations of the IBAHRI fact-finding report on the impeachment of Chief Justice Bandaranayake and the erosion of the rule of law in Sri Lanka
 

Commonwealth urged to reassess Sri Lanka’s suitability to host CHOGM and assume Chair
News release: 24 April 2013 - At a panel discussion to launch the new International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) report, A Crisis of Legitimacy: The Impeachment of Chief Justice Bandaranayake and the Erosion of the Rule of Law in Sri Lanka, panellist Sadakat Kadri said, ‘Sri Lanka is due to be holding the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, CHOGM, in Colombo in November 2013...
 

Panel discussion - A Crisis of Legitimacy: The Rule of Law in Sri Lanka, 22 April 2013
The IBAHRI launched its fact-finding report on Sri Lanka at a panel event in the House of Lords, London, on 22 April 2013. Hosted by Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, the expert panel discussed the removal from office of Chief Justice Bandaranayake and the erosion of rule of law.
 

Sri Lanka facing constitutional crisis concludes IBAHRI report
News release: 28 March 2013 - The removal from office in Sri Lanka of Chief Justice Bandaranayake was unlawful, is undermining public confidence in the rule of law, and threatening to eviscerate the country’s judiciary as an independent guarantor of constitutional rights states the Executive Summary of an International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) report released today.
 

IBAHRI seriously concerned by decision of Sri Lankan government to block entry of high-level delegates
News release: 5 February 2013 - The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) expresses serious concern at the Sri Lankan government’s decision to deny entry to Sri Lanka to senior international figures, including a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India, Justice J S Verma.
 

Forced postponement of IBAHRI high-level delegation visit to Sri Lanka
News release: 1 February 2013 - An International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) delegation has been forced to postpone a planned visit to Sri Lanka to assess the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary due to the last minute withdrawal of permission to enter the country.
 

BBC interview with IBAHRI Co-Chair Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, 30 October 2012
BBC interview with IBAHRI Co-Chair Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, on threats to the Sri Lankan judicary.
 

IBAHRI calls on Sri Lanka Government to promote rule of law and prevent harassment and intimidation of judges and magistrates
News release: 26 October 2012 - In a confidential letter to the President of Sri Lanka, His Excellency Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa, and to the Sri Lankan authorities, the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) expressed grave concern about recent threats to the independence of the judiciary and called for the rule of law to be adhered to, and promoted, in Sri Lanka.
 

IBAHRI expresses regret at Bar Association of Sri Lanka’s unreserved condemnation of appointment of UN Panel on Accountability
News release: 27 June 2012 - The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) is disappointed by the recent Resolution of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka condemning both the appointment of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka, and its subsequent report.
 

Emergence of war crimes video evidence brings IBAHRI call on Sri Lankan Government to establish credible investigation
News release: 21 June 2012 - The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) calls on the Government of Sri Lanka to fully cooperate with the international community to establish an independent commission of inquiry in accordance with the recommendations made in the United Nations’ Report of the Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka.
 

Gradual erosion of judicial independence in Sri Lanka concerns IBAHRI
News release: 2 June 2011 - The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) is concerned about the increasing erosion of judicial independence in Sri Lanka. In a confidential letter, dated 19 May 2011, the IBAHRI outlined its concerns to the Government of Sri Lanka in regard to the 18th Amendment to the Constitution and the proposed 19th Amendment – which limits the term of the Chief Justice to five years and gives the President of Sri Lanka the authority to appoint the Secretary to...
 

IBAHRI alarmed by reports of coercion of prominent human rights advocates in Sri Lanka
News release: 12 March 2010 - The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) is alarmed at reports of intimidation and the possibility of criminal charges being brought against prominent human rights lawyer and Executive Director of Transparency International, Sri Lanka (TISL), Mr J C Weliamuna, and Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA).
 

IBAHRI calls on Sri Lankan Government to ensure prompt and effective investigation into the assassination of journalists
News release: 8 January 2010 - On the first anniversary of the assassination of prominent Sri Lankan journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge, the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) has written to the Sri Lankan Government urging a prompt and effective investigation into his case together with that of the murders of other journalists over the past three years.
 

Comprehensive documentation of widespread torture and the decline of rule of law in Sri Lanka, 2009
Comprehensive documentation of widespread torture and the decline of rule of law in Sri Lanka presented at the UN Human Rights Council
 

Panel discussion - Sri Lanka: Justice in retreat, 2009
Following the release of its 2009 report on the rule of law in Sri Lanka, the IBAHRI hosted a high-level debate on the issues at the Law Society in London on 25 June 2009.
 

Sri Lanka fact-finding, 2009
In the final week of February 2009, the IBAHRI sent a high level delegation to Sri Lanka to examine the independence of the judiciary and lawyers. A report detailing the findings and recomendations of the mission was subsequently released.
 

Sri Lanka fact-finding, 2001
In 2001, the IBAHRI sent a delegation to Sri Lanka to meet with the Bar Association, representatives of the media, judges, academics and politicians. The focus of the mission was to identify the circumstances surrounding the calling of a referendum on the Constitution and assess its implications for the rule of law, a subsequent report was released.
 

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