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As a response to the incident in Dambulla, where Rev.

Inamaluwe Sumangala and supporters stormed a mosque and threatened worshippers in abusive language, Groundviews launched an online signature campaign to collect the signatures and comments of concerned citizens.
Groundviews, the CPA hosted citizens journalism website, initiated an on-line statement titled Not In Our Name, that called on Sri Lankans to put down their names to denounce religious extremism. The campaign ran from 27thApril 31st May. The range of signatories and the comments resulting, more than 1400 in number , kindled the interest of domestic and international media. Radio Netherlands Worldwide reported on this and Young Asia Television broadcast a video report on TV in Sri Lanka.

NEWS
Jan- April 2012

A FOCUS ON LANGUAGE RIGHTS


A Press Conference was held on April 30th at the National Libraries Institute, Colombo, to launch findings of the Programme on Promotion of Language Rights of Minorities, as well as to give information on updates in the legal situation regarding language related complaints submitted,at the National Libraries Institute, Colombo. 32 participants attended.
The panel comprised of SG Punchihewa, Dr Devanesan Nesiah, Dr P. Saravanamuttu, Lionel Guruge, and

LANGUAGE RIGHTS FR CASE


Jovita Arulanantham vs University of Colombo - A fundamental rights/language rights petition was filed in the Supreme Court suing the Colombo Universitys Insitute of Human Resource Advancement (IHRA) for conducting its courses in the Sinhala language only, without a parallel course being offered in the Tamil language.

S.Sivagurunathan . Panelists explained the outcomes of the programme for the media personnel present and replied to questions of the media. A number of press reviews followed, of the programme as well as television coverage on MTV News 1st , Rupavahini, Derana and TNL Radio, Neth FM , Sirasa Radio among other channels, on the 30th, and following dates.
Dr Saravanamuttu was also interviewed on MTVs Morning Show, 23rd May on CPAs contribution to setting up of Language Cont Pg 3 Societies and the progress of this programme

CPA held a discussion on Religious Tolerance and Related Land Issues on 30th April with the participation of civil society and political actors.

Discussion on the LLRC


A two day event was held 24th 25th Jan for civil society and other activists from across Sri Lanka to discuss the LLRC, NHRAP, UPR preparations, advocacy related to 19th Session of the UNHRC and other significant issues. This event was co-organized and co-hosted by CPA and a number of other civil society organizations.

SI /AIR collaboration
Social Indicator is providing data collection services to the American Institutes for Research, for their evaluation of Room to Reads Enhanced Girls Education Programme in Sri Lanka. The programme seeks to motivate, empower and educate girls to enroll and remain in school through a system of ongoing support. The program specifically identifies schools where girls are at high risk of dropout, and gives them material support, life skills education activities, tutoring, and the involvement of mentors and advocates who help girls remain and succeed in school. The three primary goals of the evaluation are to investigate the extent to which the Enhanced Girls Education program (1) is being implemented as it has been envisioned, (2) leads to intended program outcomes, and (3) leads to broader social outcomes. Training was held for the 14 data collectors from the 24th 27tthJan . The training was conducted by two Senior Researchers from the American Institutes for Research. Data collection commenced on the 30th of January in ten schools in the Nuwara Eliya and Monaragala districts. ..LANGUAGE RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS
The overall goal of this programme carried out by CPA was to secure the fundamental rights of minorities with a focus on Language Rights in Sri Lanka. Recognizing that the attention of civil society actors has been inadequate in this area, the project increased awareness and discussion of the serious implications that the lack of implementation of Language policy can potentially have in Sri Lanka, and the importance of recognition of language rights. Whilst such issues as the lack of translated official documentation and institutional display such as name boards and notices were addressed as more easily correctable, Public Interest Litigation initiated precedent on serious and continuous violations of Language Rights.

GENDER Based
Equality
On behalf of CARE International Sri Lanka, SI is currently conducting a Knowledge, Attitudes and Practice (KAP) study to engage men and boys as catalysts for gender based equity in Sri Lanka. The qualitative study comprises in-depth interviews with selected individuals those who have been affected by the tsunami, those working in the Free Trade Zones, military/ex military personnel to supplement the findings of the survey. Fieldwork continued in all four districts until the 9th March and the female component of the survey was considered completed.

NEWS From the Field

Framed
Perspectives:
Post War Sri Lanka through photography
http://www.movingimages.asia features the countrys first high-definition video productions and the first to document their respective subject matter, content that furthers civil, progressive and inclusive discussions on the future of democracy, peace, reconciliation, social justice, fundamental rights and equality in Sri Lanka. Supported by Groundviews.org

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PRESS RELEASE Press releases were issued on the CPA stance on the release of the Lessons Learnt and Reconcilliation Commission Report (LLRC) (Jan 4th & Jan 17) and with an Interim Report and a reminder to participate in the Feeback on the Census excercise (April 16th). CPA translated Chapter 9 of the LLRC report consisting of Recommendations, and disseminated this to its mailing lists

LEGAL NEWS
Land Circular case progress
The writ application filed by TNA National List M.P., M.A Sumanthiran challenging the Land Circular (2011/04) was taken up on 19th Jan in the Court of Appeal. Murdu Fernando, DSG appearing for the Respondents gave an undertaking to withdraw the Land Circular and informed Court that a new circular will be issued and presented to Court. K. Kanag-Isvaran (P.C), and Attorneys-at-Law Viran Corea, Bhavani Fonseka and Gehan Gunatilleke appeared for the Petitioner and were instructed by Mohan Balendra. Land Circular Background Petition Background
In October 2011 the Court of Appeal presided over by Justice W.L.R Silva heard the petition filed by TNA National List M.P and lawyer M.A. Sumanthiran seeking an interim order restraining the Land Commissioner General and other respondents from implementing the Land Circular No. 2011/04. This Circular deals with land in the Northern and Eastern provinces in Sri Lanka. The Court of Appeal issued a stay on the operation of the Public Notice issued requiring people from the North and East to register lands by 20th November 2011. DSG Ms. Murdu Fernando informed Court that the State is reconsidering the Land Circular and that a committee may be appointed for this purpose. This matter was to be taken up in the Court of Appeal on 19th January 2012.
More details at the CPA website, in VIbhasha Issue 2 http:/ /cpa lanka.o rg/wp-co ntent/ u p l o a d s /2 0 1 2 /0 2 /2 n d - E d i t i o n Vibhasha-English-.pdf

The Land Circular exclusively dealt with land in the Northern and Eastern provinces. It temporarily suspended all distribution of land in the North and East unless lands are distributed for national security and special development projects, and provides for the settlement of disputes relating to state land. The circular also required all persons in the North and East, including private landowners, to submit ownership application forms disclosing all details of their land. Under the circular, all landowners of the North and East, including private land owners such as the petitioner were required to furnish details to the relevant Divisional Secretary or Assistant Government Agent, through the Grama Niladari, within two months. The Land Settlement Department thereafter issued a public notice requiring all landowners in the Northern and Eastern provinces to submit their details on or before 20th November 2011. The Petition stated that the provisions of the Registration of Title Act No. 21 of 1998 have not been complied with. For instance, no cadastral surveys have been conducted in the Northern Province prior to issuing the public notice calling for details on private lands. The consequences of not furnishing such details are unknown.
Consequently private landowners of the North and East stand to lose title to their lands if they fail to furnish details within two months. The new circular provides that competing claims to state lands in the North and East would be decided by two Committees of Inquires and special mediation boards. The committees include military personnel in their membership, such as the Area Civil Co-ordinating Officer and a representative of the relevant Security Commander. Nominees of the police or of the three armed forces are appointed to an Observation Committee, which is established to assist the Committees of Inquiry.. The petitioner argued that the actions of the respondents are unreasonable, capricious, irrational, unfair, arbitrary and ultra vires, and cause serious irremediable loss, harm, damage and prejudice to the petitioner and to the people of the Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka. The challanged circular thus seriously compromises and erodes the rule of law and adherence to constitutional provisions including Articles 4(c) and 105, which vests the judicial power of the people in the courts, and provides that all courts, tribunals and institutions involved in the settlement of disputes ought to be established by Parliament. The Land Circular is also merely an administrative circular issued by the Land Commissioner General, who has no apparent authority in law to issue such a circular.

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The End of War in Sri Lanka: Reflections and Challenges, a compilation of content from Groundviews.org , was first released in May 2010. In March 2012 CPA released the compilation as a free iBook on Apple iTunes. LLRC Recomendations translated A translation of Chapter Nine on Recommendations of the LLRC report, into Sinhala and Tamil was initiated by CPA in Feb 2012

Library NEWS
Vibasha Newsletter

NEW PUBLICATIONS Tamil Language Rights in Sri Lanka, is written by a distinguished former civil servant and a valued colleague at CPA. Dr Devanesan Nesiah also headed the team appointed in 1998 by the Official Language Commission of Sri Lanka to conduct an Audit on the Use of Tamil as an Official Language in the provinces outside of the North East. Consequently, this monograph is enriched with both experience and expertise on a subject that was at the heart of the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka and one that continues to be integral to the challenge of our transition from a post-war society to a post-conflict one. Published as part of the Programme on Protecting Language Rights in Sri Lanka. Language and Humanity, the English language translation of Bhasawa Saha Manusathwaya, by SG Punchihewa was printed in March 2012. Legal Framework on Places of Religious Worship

Outreach Unit published the January/February and March/ April issues of the V ibasha Newsletter in this period. The latter was a special edition which carried all updates from the Programme on Promoting Language Rights in Sri Lanka, including updates in the complaints made to the Official Languages Commission and Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka. E Copies are available at http:// www.thepeoplesrights.org/2012/ 04/vibasha/

CPA issued a Brief Note on the Legal Framework Governing Places of Religious Worship in Sri Lanka which can be downloaded at http:// www.thepeoplesrights.org/ and at cpalanka.org
For more information on any of these publications please contact publications@cpalanka.org or access http://bookscpa.wordpress.com/

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7th Jan. Luwie Ganeshathasan participated in a Seminar on the Future of Higher Education in Sri Lanka hosted by the Faculty of Arts, University of Colombo in collaboration with the University Teachers for Democracy and Dialogue. The seminar was on challenges faced by government universities in delivering free higher education, and aimed to analyze the quality of services provided by state universities from the perspective of university teachers. The proposed bill for establishing a Quality Assurance and Accreditation Board and a Non-State University Council and its implication on higher education, were also discussed.
Luwie participated as an observer in order to assess the possibility of CPA intervening in challenging the constitutionality of said bill.

Events attended

Staff NEWS

Contact CPA
Centre for Policy Alternatives 24/2 28th Lane Off Flower Rd Colombo 7 Sri Lanka Tel +94-112-565304-6 Fax +94-114-714460 Governance and Anti Corruption Programme +94-113-030461-2 Legal Unit +94-112-565304-Ext 100 Media Unit Tel +94-112-2375263 Outreach Unit +94-112-370801-4 P&CA Unit +94-112-2565304-6 Ext 111 Social Indicator +94-112-370474
Circular designed & compiled by Chandrika Gadiewasam chandrika@cpalanka.org

Jan 21st Mirak Raheem acted as a facilitator in session at Young Researchers Forum organized by the Young Researchers Collective (YRC). Jan 31st Mirak Raheem presented at a workshop on the LLRC organized by SEDEC focusing on the political solution. January 2012 Bhavani Fonseka was a speaker at a discussion hosted by SEDEC on the LLRC, its findings and implications and presented on Governance Issues raised in the LLRC report and implications at a meeting hosted by Caritas Sri Lanka. She also presented on the LLRC and its implications to a meeting hosted by the EU. 13th 18th Feb At the invitation of the Foundation for Human Rights, Bhavani Fonseka attended a number of meetings in South Africa Feb from to discuss the Human Rights situation.
23rd Feb Luwie from Legal Unit participated in a discussion on the devolution of land power under the 13th amendment at the NM Perera Centre, the discussion was preceded by a presentation by retired civil servant Austin Fernando Jan - Mar Luwie participated at several civil society meetings on the joint civil society submissions to the UPR. 15th Feb Mehala from Legal Unit attended a Discussion on Domestic Violence Intervention Services in Sri Lanka at the ICES. This discussion focused on an exploratory mapping of organisational intervention services for victim-survivors of domestic violence conducted by ICES in 2010/2011. The mapping focused in particular on identifying organisations providing the following services: counseling, shelter, legal advice and legal aid, and health sector interventions. Mr Luwie Ganeshathasan joined the Legal Unit as a Researcher on Jan 1st and Ms Subashini Samaraarachchi joined as a Research Assistant on March 1st . Sampath Rohana Kumara, who worked as the Sinhala Media Monitor resigned from CPA.

CPA AFFILIATED WEBSITES

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