LST Submissions on the Proposed Constitution - December 2020

The Law and Society Trust, among other organizations have submitted proposals to the Expert committee on Public Consultations. 

Click here to read LST's submission in full

Presidential Task Force for Archaeological Heritage Management in the Eastern Province | නැගෙනහිර පළාතේ පුරාවිද්‍යා උරුම කළමනාකරණය සඳහා වූ ජනාධිපති කාර්ය සාධක බලකාය |

Presidential Task Force for Archaeological Heritage Management in the Eastern Province

The President of Sri Lanka established the ‘Presidential Task Force for Archaeological Heritage Management in the Eastern Province’ by Gazette Extra Ordinary 2178/17 dated 2nd June 2020.

Civil Society Statement on the Presidential Task Forces

We, the undersigned from civil society express grave concern regarding the establishment of a spate of Presidential Task Forces in the last few months.

Three Task Forces were appointed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa as a response to COVID-19. One has extensive powers to direct, coordinate and monitor the delivery of continuous services for the sustenance of overall community life, another relates to Economic Revival and Poverty Eradication and one concerns Sri Lanka’s Education Affairs. Two most recently created are the Presidential Task Force to build a Secure Country, Disciplined, Virtuous and Lawful Society (established by Gazette Extraordinary no. 2178/18) and the Presidential Task Force for Archaeological Heritage Management in the Eastern Province (established by Gazette Extraordinary no. 2178/17), both dated 2nd June 2020.

Proposals to ensure employee rights and wellbeing within the COVID 19 pandemic situation and recovery process

As the labour unions and organizations that represent the export processing zone employees, firstly we wish to thank you for establishing a Ministerial Task Force with employees’ representation for managing the impact of the present COVID 19 disaster situation on the employers and employees.

Women’s political participation in Sri Lanka’s 2020 Parliamentary Election

As Sri Lanka prepares for Parliamentary elections to be held in the month of April, we urge all political parties to fulfil the commitments they have made nationally and internationally to strengthen women’s political participation in the country.

LST statement on the Presidential pardon for Shramantha Jayamaha

The Law and Society Trust is appalled that the Presidential pardon has been used to release Jude Shramantha Jayamaha – a man convicted of brutally murdering a young woman, Yvonne Jonsson, at the Royal Park apartment complex in 2005. This is the second presidential pardon given in quick succession that has done much to undermine the rule of law and the judiciary in Sri Lanka.

Ampara civil society organisation’s report launched blocked by Election Commission

The Law and Society Trust (LST) is deeply concerned with the decision that impeded the launch event of a report published by the Human Elevation Organisation (HEO) in Addalachchenai, Ampara on October 12th, 2019.

Responding to Easter Attacks: Role of New Social Imaginaries

Panel discussion and launch of the publication “Islamic Extremism: Clash of Civilizations or Clash within Civilization” by Vidura Prabath Munasinghe and Kaushalya Ariyarathne.

Discussion Panel
Malathei de Alwis
Sivagnanam Jeyasanker
Sharmila Seyyid
Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri

Date – May 28, 2019
Time – 3 pm
Venue – ICES Auditorium, Kynsey Terrace, Colombo 08

Social Media Declaration 2019

The Law and Society Trust was among 16 organisation that developed a code of conduct for Responsible Social Media use in Sri Lanka, that has now been published as the Social Media Declaration Colombo 2019. The Declaration recognises the inviolable importance of the freedom of expression on or over social media, yet at the same time, encourage and strengthen the ethical, progressive, democratic and pro-social use of social media. LST is also a signatory of the Declaration.

LST requests President to convene the Parliament

The Law and Society Trust is deeply concerned with the current developments in Sri Lanka and we urge the President to resolve this impasse by speedily re-convening Parliament and enabling Parliament to determine which member of Parliament has the support to lead the government.The Law and Society Trust is deeply concerned with the current developments in Sri Lanka and we urge the President to resolve this impasse by speedily re-convening Parliament and enabling Parliament to determine which member of Parliament has the support to lead the government.

LST’s Response to the statement of His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith

The Law and Society Trust is committed to promoting human rights through advocacy and legal research. We are greatly disturbed to hear the statements made by His Eminence, The Most Reverend Malcolm Ranjith on Sunday 23 September 2018, dismissing and discrediting “human rights as the latest religion of the West” and cautioning Sri Lankans not to be deceived by these “tricks”.

‘Waiting for Mahinda mahaththaya’: Part I

Law and Trust Society Review May 2018 says the local government election for 337 local government bodies in Sri Lanka (except Elpitiya Pradeshiya Sabha), was held on 10 February, 2018. This election and its results captured special attention due to two main reasons:

Waiting for Mahinda mahaththaya: Part II

Reading the Result
Law and Trust Society Review May 2018 says according to the election results, it is clear that – except in the area subject to the Weliweriya – Rathupaswala drinking water controversy and brutal attack on protestors – in Bandarawela, Beruwela and Lahugala, the SLPP has failed to secure the landslide victory depicted by their overall island-wide result. Therefore, it could be assumed that people in these field survey sites still bear a grudge against Mahinda Rajapaksa for the harms to them which took place during his presidency.

Lankan trade unions have lost 60 per cent of their membership in a decade

Trade unions in Sri Lanka have lost 60% of their members during the last decade as unions struggle to adapt to new realities brought about by labour law relaxation, Vidura Munasinghe, a labour rights researcher at the Law and Society Trust (LST) told The Island.

FATalks: Sandun Thudugala on the Communal Violence in Kandy

On 7 March 2018, FORUM-ASIA talked with Sandun Thudugala, Head of Programmes of Law & Society Trust, Sri Lanka, about the communal violence in Sri Lanka in the previous days and how the incidents were part of a bigger problem in the country.

PRESS RELEASE: Launch of South Asia Judicial Barometer

(Colombo, 1 December 2017) – The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) and its member, Law and Society Trust (LST) are pleased to share the first South Asia Judicial Barometer, which was launched on 27 November 2017 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

LST IN THE PRESS: A more autonomous Sri Lanka is in India’s interest

Dhairya Maheshwari speaks to Executive Director of Law & Society Trust, Colombo, Dinushika Dissanayake, to make sense of the apprehensions that seem to have widened the rift between the Sinhala majority and minority Tamils in the island nation.

Read more

ARTICLE | Opinion and Fact: Fact or Fiction?

Dinushika Dissanayake, Executive Director, Law & Society Trust

“The overwhelming response from all parts of the Country to the Public Representations Committee for Constitutional Reform is in-itself a confirmation that the people of Sri Lanka demand a progressive, inclusive and living Constitution that protects and promotes their rights. In fact, the 1978 Constitution itself has caused rifts among ethnic and religious minorities due to its majoritarian bent and sparse bill of rights as well as its centralization of power in an executive President and a central executive. The subsequent amendments such as the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in fact were responses to these overwhelming failures. Therefore when the Venerable Thera refers to a new Constitution ‘creating unnecessary rifts among our Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim brethren’, in fact the rifts began in the late 1940s with the disenfranchisement legislation. The need of the hour is clearly nothing more and nothing less than an inclusive Constitution, geared to protect the citizens, minorities and majority, from the tyranny of the state, and not necessarily only from each other.”

Please click here to read the full article

IN MEMORIAM: Justice P.N. Bhagwati (21 December 1921 – 15 June 2017)

The Law & Society Trust (LST) condoles the passing away of Justice Prafullachandra Natwarlal Bhagwati, former Chief Justice of India and a former Member of the Board of Directors of LST. Justice Bhagwati contributed with great distinction to human rights law and jurisprudence as a judge and jurist as well as through his work with the United Nations, including as Chair of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, and other international bodies.


More than 8500 books available at the LST Library