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UNHRC Report: Increasingly Complex and Widening Conflicts Take Huge Toll on Children in 2015

UNHRC Report: Increasingly Complex and Widening Conflicts Take Huge Toll on Children in 2015 Increasingly complex and widening conflicts have taken a huge toll on children in much of the Middle East in 2015, with parts of Africa and Asia facing protracted and relapsing wars that show no signs of abating, wrote Leila Zerrougui, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, in her annual report to the Human Rights Council. The Report covers the period from December 2014 to December 2015. “Children were disproportionately affected, displaced and often the direct targets of acts of violence intended… More

The Island on Washington DC Book Launch

The Island on Washington DC Book Launch At the Atlantic Council early January, 2015. (L-R) Bharath Gopalaswamy, Director of the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center, Mark Salter, author of To End a Civil War, Erik Solheim and Richard L. Armitage, former US Deputy Secretary of State. Here’s some nice publicity for the book in yesterday’s edition of one of Sri Lanka’s best-established newspapers. Only shame is its offering such a jaundiced perspective on the Norwegian mediation effort in the country . . . Norway failed in SL for want of broader int’l involvement – Solheim The Island, 9 February 2016,… More

The UN Human Rights Commissioner visits Sri Lanka

The UN Human Rights Commissioner visits Sri Lanka UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Hussein has just wrapped up a four day visit to Sri Lanka. During the course of his visit Hussein reportedly held discussions a wide range of people. The photos below highlight a couple constituencies he met with that particularly interest me. The first, two of the country’s most respected Buddhist leaders,  Chief Prelates of the Malwathu and Asgiri Chapters, the Most Venerable Sumangala and Aththadassi Thera. The second a group of Tamil civilians, who Hussein met at a welfare centre situated inside one of the numerous IDP… More

L’oignon no more

 L’oignon no more Quelle abômination! No wonder the ‪#‎JeSuisCirconflexe‬ hashtag is already spreading comme la foudre . . . And what on earth comes next? A friend suggests the following. “2015: oignon. 2016: ognon. 2030: le truk ki fe´ pleure´ …” From The Guardian, 5 Feb. 2016 Not the oignon: fury as France changes 2,000 spellings and ditches circumflex #JeSuisCirconflexe campaigners fight back against decision by the Académie Française to ‘fix anomalies’ and scrap the circumflex accent French linguistic purists have voiced online anger at the loss of one of their favourite accents – the pointy little circumflex hat (ˆ)… More

One Year of ‘Yahapalanaya’ in Sri Lanka: Transitional Justice in Crisis?

One Year of ‘Yahapalanaya’ in Sri Lanka: Transitional Justice in Crisis? Here’s an excellent Groundviews analysis from Niran Anketell – well informed for once by comparative international experience – of Sri Lanka’s current transitional justice challenges – and what needs to be done to address them. Thoroughly recommended. —————— In October 2015, the Sri Lankan government took a giant stride towards reconciliation when it co-sponsored a historic resolution at the Human Rights Council. Despite howls of protest from fringe elements within the Sinhala and Tamil community who opposed it, the Resolution was defended stoutly by mainstream members of both ruling… More