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I was saddened recently to read an attack on recent appointments to the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka by a body that calls itself the Friday Forum. The body describes itself as a Group of Concerned Citizens, an informal gathering of public spirited persons who are dedicated to promoting peace and development in Sri Lanka within a framework of democracy.

The concern of at least some of these citizens is of very recent origin. Many of them were conspicuous by their silence when Sri Lankan democracy was in grave danger and when minorities were physically attacked. They continued to enjoy prestigious government jobs when the first six amendments to the constitution subverted all democratic norms and drove the TULF from Parliament, when a Court of Appeal judgment was overturned by sudden legislation, when crossovers to government were legitimized, when mayhem took place at the Jaffna DDC elections and the Jaffna Public Library was burnt, when Mrs Bandaranaike’s Civic Rights were taken away by an Act of Parliament, when the 1982 Referendum deprived voters of the right to choose their representatives for six more years, when July 1983 took place.

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March 13, 2011


H.E. Naoto Kan

Prime Minister of Japan

President of the Democratic Party of Japan

Your Excellency:

The Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD), whose Executive Committee currently convenes in Bangkok, expresses its deepest condolences and sympathy to the people of Japan for the loss and massive damages caused by the powerful earthquake and tsunami last March 11.

As part of the liberal and democratic network, CALD stands by the Democratic Party of Japan in leading the rescue and relief efforts and in addressing the vital and crucial reconstruction challenges that confront the country.

While the days ahead would definitely be difficult, we in CALD trust that under your leadership, the people of Japan will find strength and embrace hope in the midst of this terrible global disaster.

Sincerely yours,

Dr. Rajiva Wijesinha, MP


Council of Asian Liberals & Democrats

A small contingent from CALD met CALD Honorary Individual Member, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, and democracy icon Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in her lakeside house in Yangon last 31 January 2011.  Prior to this, the CALD delegation also had a meeting  with party officials of the National League for Democracy.  Read the rest of this entry »

CALD resolution expressing concern over the recent proclamation of the Cambodian National Assembly to strip the Hon. Sam Rainsy of his parliamentary seat and calling for the restoration of his mandate as an elected Member of Parliament

“This shows that power in Cambodia is becoming more and more absolute and more and more illegal.”

– Hon. Sam Rainsy

Leader of the Cambodian Opposition

CALD resolution reaffirming its support for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s call for meaningful and inclusive political dialogue; recognizing the National League of Democracy as the legitimate voice of Burma’s democratic opposition; and recommending the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

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Rajiva Wijesinha

April 2011
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