Contributors

Rehan Abeyratne is Associate Professor of Law at the Jindal Global Law School, where he has taught since 2011. He also serves as Assistant Dean (Research) and as Executive Director, Centre for Public Interest Law. He has a B.A. in Political Science from Brown University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Prior to joining JGLS, Abeyratne was a Holmes Public Service Fellow at the International Justice Network in New York City, where he assisted individuals detained at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, in habeas corpus proceedings in U.S. federal courts. His previous experience includes work for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, and on human rights projects in Thailand and Burma. Abeyratne’s research focuses on comparative constitutional law, jurisprudence, and international criminal law. He is admitted to the Bar of the State of New York.

Ananda Abeysekara teaches religion and politics at Virginia Tech, USA. He is the author of (2003) Colors of the Robe: Religion, Identity, and Difference (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press) and (2008) The Politics of Postsecular Religion: Mourning Secular Futures (New York: Columbia University Press).

Niran Anketell is an Attorney at Law and practices primarily in constitutional and human rights matters in Sri Lanka. He also invests his time in initiatives on transitional justice and accountability in respect of human rights violations in Sri Lanka. Anketell has an LL.B from the University of Colombo and an LL.M in International Legal Studies from New York University, where he was Hauser Global Scholar and Fulbright Scholar.

Radhika Coomaraswamy was Under Secretary General of the United Nations and Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict 2006-2012. Before that she was the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Human Rights Commission on Violence Against Women 1994-2003. In Sri Lanka she was a Director of the International Centre for Ethnic Studies 1982-2006 and Chairperson of the Sri Lankan Human Rights Commission 2003-2006. She has written two books on constitutional law, and many articles in the area of women’s rights and ethnic studies. She is also a member of the Global Faculty of the New York University School of Law. 

Roshan de Silva Wijeyeratne teaches law at Griffith University, Australia. He teaches Property Law and specialist electives in Legal History, Law and Culture, and Native Title. His research is primarily in the field of law and nationalism, post-colonialism, and colonial history. He has published extensively on Sri Lanka’s crisis of constitutionalism and state, and in 2014 published Nation, Constitutionalism and Buddhism in Sri Lanka (London and New York: Routledge). Currently he is collaborating with Professor Bruce Kapferer on an article on state and counter-state terror in Sri Lanka and with Dr Asanga Welikala on an edited collection of essays on Constitutionalism in South and Southeast Asia (with a particular focus on Sri Lanka and Burma).

Chandra R. de Silva is Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Professor of History at Old Dominion University, USA. He served as Dean, College of Arts and Letters (2003-2010), and as Chair, Department of History (1998-2003) at the same institution. Before he moved to Norfolk, Chandra de Silva was Chair, Department of History, Indiana State University (1991-1998) and Visiting Professor of Asian Studies, Bowdoin College (1989-1991). He started his academic career at the University of Peradeniya (then the University of Ceylon) where he served as Professor of History until 1989. He has over 100 publications on history and on contemporary education, ethnicity, politics, and law. His books include The Portuguese in Ceylon, 1617-1638 (1972) and Sri Lanka: A History (2nd Ed., 1997). His edited volume on Portuguese Encounters with Sri Lanka and the Maldives: Translated Texts from the Age of Discoveries was published in 2009.

Sachintha Dias obtained an LL.B with first class honours from the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo in 2013. He was the winner of numerous awards including the Gate Mudaliyar Edmund Pieris Award, the Professor Tilak Hettiarachchi university-wide award for academic excellence, and the University of Colombo Scholarship for outstanding academic performance. He is an Attorney at Law, having obtained first class honours at the final examination of the Sri Lanka Law College. He served as an Assistant Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo for a brief period before being awarded the Tony Honore Scholarship from the University of Oxford to read for the Bachelor of Civil Law degree. He is currently a graduate member and scholar of Queen’s College, Oxford.

Rohan Edrisinha, LL.B (Hons) (Colombo) and LL.M (Berkeley), taught at the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo from 1986 to 2011. He served as the Constitutional Advisor to the UNDP Nepal and the head of its constitution support programme from 2011 to 2014. He taught at the Faculty of Law, University of the Witwatersrand in 1995 and was a visiting fellow at Harvard University in 2005 and the University of Toronto in 2009. He was a founder Director and Head of the Legal & Constitutional Unit of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) from 1997 to 2010. His publications include Essays on Federalism in Sri Lanka (2008) co-edited with Asanga Welikala; Power Sharing in Sri Lanka: Constitutional and Political Documents 1926-2008 (2009) co-edited with Mario Gomez, V.T. Thamilmaran and Asanga Welikala; The Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution: Substance and Process (2011) co-edited with Aruni Jayakody; Participatory Constitution Making in Nepal: Issues of Process and Substance (2014) co-edited with Budhi Karki; and The Federalism Debate in Nepal (2014) co-edited with Budhi Karki. In 2015, he has served as an independent consultant on constitutional matters in Myanmar and is a visiting lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo.

Ameer Faaiz is a practising lawyer, specialising in the civil branch of the law with a focus on constitutional, administrative, and commercial law. Faaiz is also the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress’ (SLMC) Director of International Affairs. Over the years he has played a critical role in Sri Lanka’s political negotiations involving different communities, including facilitating an agreement between the main Muslim parties to set up the Peace Secretariat for Muslims, which collectively advocated on behalf of Muslims during Norwegian-facilitated peace process. He functioned as the convener of the SLMC Constitutional Affairs Committee that developed the SLMC’s position on constitutional reform. In addition to his work with the Muslim community, he co-founded and is now chairman of the One Text Initiative, an innovative non-partisan consensus-based dialogue process that brings mainstream political stakeholders together to confidentially discuss issues of concern. Over the last two decades, he has also worked with internally displaced persons in the north and east through his chairmanship of the Rural Development Foundation.

Laksiri Fernando, BA (Ceylon), MA (New Brunswick), PhD (Sydney), is former Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the University of Colombo. He has had visiting assignments at the universities of Heidelberg, Manila, New South Wales, Ryukoku, and Sydney. He has been a Japan Foundation Research Fellow. He specialises in human rights, ethnic issues, and constitution making, and public policies related to them. His publications include (2002) Human Rights, Politics and States: Burma, Cambodia and Sri Lanka and (2014) Thomas More’s Socialist Utopia and Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Professor Fernando now a regularly writes in several electronic and printed journals and newspapers. As a practitioner of human rights, he was Head of Human Rights of the World University Service (WUS) in Geneva and Director of the Diplomacy Training Program (DTP), University of New South Wales, Australia. Professor Fernando was Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Colombo, and Director of the National Centre for Advanced Studies (NCAS) in Colombo. He has also undertaken several assignments for the government of Sri Lanka in the past on peacebuilding and constitutional reforms, and was also a director of the Colombo Stock Exchange.

Luwie Niranjan Ganeshathasan holds an LL.B degree from the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo, and is an Attorney at Law of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka. He works as a Researcher at the Legal & Constitutional Unit of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA). Since January 2012, he has been involved in supporting public interest litigation cases filed and handled by CPA, and in co-authoring several policy briefs and advocacy documents on issues related to devolution of power, human rights and reconciliation in post-war Sri Lanka.

Kumaravadivel Guruparan is a Lecturer in Law at the University of Jaffna, currently on study leave pursuing a PhD in Law at University College London (UCL) as a Commonwealth Scholar. He holds an LL.B (Hons) from the University of Colombo and a BCL from Balliol College, University of Oxford where he was a Chevening Scholar.

Mark Hager is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Amherst College and holds a Ph.D. in religious studies from Harvard University. He served sixteen years on the law faculty at American University in Washington, D.C., teaching courses on contracts, civil liability, constitutional law, employment law, commercial law, and human rights. Hager has extensive experience litigating complex federal lawsuits pertaining to prisoner rights, police misconduct, consumer protection and victims of state-sponsored terrorism. He is also an experienced commercial arbitrator. Hager has appeared numerous times on U.S. television and radio regarding legal and political issues. He has published roughly ninety articles in popular, professional and scholarly periodicals. His ‘American Scene’ column on U.S. law, politics and economics has appeared regularly in Echelon magazine. With Echelon, he is currently engaged in Sri Lankan wildlife/conservation investigations, with an eye toward development of legal protection strategies. Hager has consulted on legal and technical writing challenges with individuals, firms and nongovernmental organisations in Sri Lanka and has trained Sri Lankan lawyers and researchers on writing skills. He has also consulted on developing investment linkages between Sri Lanka and the United States.

Reeza Hameed LL.B (Sri Lanka), LL.M (Harvard), PhD (Queen Mary, University of London), is a long-standing member of the Civil Rights Movement of Sri Lanka (CRM), and has made a significant contribution to the promotion and defence of civil liberties in Sri Lanka, as a lawyer, researcher, and a writer. Hameed is a member of the Sri Lanka and New York Bars, and senior partner in a law firm in London. He made his mark as junior counsel to S. Nadesan QC in a number of historic constitutional and fundamental rights cases, including the Pavidi Handa Case, the Kalawana Case, the Judges Case, the Daily News Contempt Case, the challenge to the Third Amendment, and challenges to the banning of the Aththa newspaper and The Saturday Review. When the editor of the Aththa, B.A. Siriwardene, and later Nadesan himself, were charged with breach of privilege of Parliament, Hameed was part of the defence team, led by Senior Attorney H.L. de Silva. He appeared regularly with C. Ranganathan QC and Desmond Fernando PC.

Kamaya Jayatissa holds a Masters in Public International Law and International Organisations from the Sorbonne University, Paris, and a Diploma in International Governance and Sustainable Development from Sciences Po, Paris. She is currently completing her PhD at the Sorbonne University. Her thesis is provisionally titled, ‘State Coalitions in Public International Law.’ She is former Vice-President of the International Law Students’ Association of the Sorbonne University and also the founder of ‘What’s Next’, a French-Sri Lankan Youth Forum based in France. Kamaya Jayatissa currently works as a Programme Officer at International Alert, Sri Lanka. She previously worked as a Research Officer at the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Paris and as a Special Assistant to the Permanent Delegate of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

Nihal Jayawickrama is the Coordinator of the UN-sponsored Judicial Integrity Group that drafted the Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct and related documents. He practised law before serving briefly, at the age of 32, as Attorney General and then as Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Justice from 1970-77. He was Vice-Chairman of the Sri Lanka Delegation to the United Nations General Assembly, a member of the Judicial Service Advisory Board and the Council of Legal Education, and a Member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague.  Moving into academic life, he was Associate Professor of Law at the University of Hong Kong (1984-1997), and the Ariel F. Sallows Professor of Human Rights at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada (1992-1993). As Chairman of the Hong Kong Section of the International Commission of Jurists, he was one of the principal commentators on constitutional and human rights issues in the period leading to the transfer of sovereignty. Moving out of academic life, he was Executive Director of Transparency International, Berlin (1997-2000), and Chair of the Trustees of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, London (2004-2007). Since 2000, he has served on several UN expert groups, been a consultant on judicial reform and the implementation of UNCAC, and worked with governments and judiciaries in Asia and the Pacific, Africa, and Eastern and Central Europe. He is the author of (2002) The Judicial Application of Human Rights Law (Cambridge University Press).

Harshan Kumarasingham is Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London and Lecturer in Comparative Politics at Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich. He held until recently the Smuts Research Fellowship at the University of Cambridge and remains an Affiliate of the Centre of South Asian Studies at the University. Kumarasingham also held the Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship Award at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. His recent work covers comparative politics and how the Westminster system was exported across the world and includes the monograph A Political Legacy of the British Empire: Power and the Parliamentary System in Post-Colonial India and Sri Lanka (2013).  His Constitution Maker: Selected Writings of Sir Ivor Jennings came out this year with Cambridge University Press, which will be followed by an edition covering Jennings’ work in Ceylon. Kumarasingham is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Nikhil Narayan is the senior legal adviser for South Asia and head of office for International Commission of Jurists’ Nepal programme office. He was formerly a visiting scholar and cooperating attorney at the George Washington University School of Law’s International Human Rights Clinic in Washington, DC. Narayan was also assistant professor of law at Jindal Global Law School, Jindal Global University, India. He has worked in the Horn of Africa, Middle East and South Asia, including in Sri Lanka with the Centre for Policy Alternatives on human rights, transitional justice and post-conflict constitutional reform for the past ten years. Narayan received his Juris Doctorate (JD) from the Columbia Law School, New York.

Suri Ratnapala is Emeritus Professor of Public Law at The University of Queensland and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law. He is the author many books including Welfare State or Constitutional State?, Australian Constitutional Law: Foundations and Theory, Australian Constitutional Law: Commentary and Cases and Jurisprudence. He is co-author and co-editor of Jurisprudence of Liberty. He has received fellowships from prestigious international research centres and received honours including the Sir Anthony Fisher International Memorial Prize, a John Templeton Foundation Award for his teaching in constitutional law and theory, a Centenary of Australian Federation Medal for his work in law and economics, and an Alan McGregor Fellowship of the Centre for Independent Studies. He was elected to the membership of the Mont Pelerin Society in 1998 and served on its Board from 2008 to 2014 and was elected to the Australian Academy of Law in 2012. Ratnapala has been a consultant with the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and AusAid in institutional capacity-building projects. Prior to entering the academy he was a Senior State Counsel in the Attorney General’s Department of Sri Lanka.

Michael Roberts, Rhodes Scholar for Ceylon in 1962, has taught at the Department of History, Peradeniya University (1961-76) and the Department of Anthropology, Adelaide University (1977-2003). His many publications encompass social mobility, social history, agrarian issues, peasant protest, popular culture, urban history, caste in South Asia, practices of cultural domination, and nationalism. His main focus has been Sri Lanka, but there have been ventures into Indian socio-political history, Australian myth-making, and the socio-history and politics of cricket, while he has written extensively on the sacrificial devotion of the Tamil Tigers as part of his comparative study of martyrdom. He has written against the popular academic grain on issues such as the British wastelands legislation and the last stages of Eelam War IV. His survey of nationalist currents in the British period within Volume I of the monumental source book, Documents of the Ceylon National Congress and Nationalist Politics in Ceylon: 1929-1950 (1977, 4 vols) is surprisingly underused and so too his essays on Anagarika Dharmapala and the anti-Muslim pogrom of 1915. His most recent work includes Sinhala Consciousness in the Kandyan Period (2004) and Tamil Person and State (2014). He runs two web sites: http://thuppahi.wordpress.com and http://cricketique.wordpress.com, and had a hand in the dormant http://sacrificialdevotionnetwork.wordpress.com/.

Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu is the founder Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, (CPA). He has presented papers on governance and peace in Sri Lanka at a number of international conferences and is widely quoted in the international and local media. In 2010, he was awarded the inaugural Citizens Peace Award by the National Peace Council of Sri Lanka, and in 2011, he was invited by the German government to be a member of the international jury to choose a universally recognised human rights logo. In September 2013, he was invited by President Obama to attend his ‘High Level Event On Civil Society’ in New York. He is also a founder director of the Sri Lanka Chapter of Transparency International and a founding Co-Convenor of the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV), which has monitored all the major elections in Sri Lanka since 1997. In 2004 he was an Eisenhower Fellow. Currently, he is Chairperson of the Eisenhower Fellows, Sri Lanka, member of the Board of the Berghof Foundation, the South Asia Transparency Advisory Group, and a member of the Gratiaen Trust. Saravanamuttu received a BSc (Econ), Upper Second Class Honours degree and PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), University of London, in 1979 and 1986, respectively. He lectured in International Politics at the University of Southampton, UK, from 1984-92.

Ambika Satkunanathan is a researcher and activist based in Sri Lanka. From February 1998 to March 2014, Ambika functioned as Legal Consultant to the Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Colombo. Her research has focused on transitional justice, militarisation, and gender and Tamil nationalism. Her publications include, Whose Nation? Power, Agency, Gender and Tamil Nationalism in Asanga Welikala (Ed) (2012) The Sri Lankan Republic at 40: Reflections on Constitutional History, Theory and Practice (Colombo: CPA); Sri Lanka: The Impact of Militarisation on Women in the Oxford Handbook of Gender and Conflict (forthcoming), and Creating Insecurity or Securing the State? Arbitrary Arrest and Detention in the Context of the Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka, in the Routledge Handbook of Human Rights in Asia (forthcoming). She is Chairperson of the Neelan Tiruchelvam Trust, an indigenous philanthropic organisation in Sri Lanka, and an Advisory Board Member of Suriya Women’s Development Centre, Batticaloa, in the Eastern Province. She has a Master of Laws (Human Rights) degree from the University of Nottingham, where she was Chevening Scholar 2001-2, and earned bachelors degrees (LL.B / B.A) at Monash University, Australia.

Kalana Senaratne is currently a researcher at the Social Scientists’ Association (SSA) in Sri Lanka. He holds LL.B and LL.M degrees from the University of London and a PhD in international law from the University of Hong Kong. His articles have been published in journals such as the Asian Journal of International Law and the Hong Kong Law Journal. Senaratne has previously worked at the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP) and the Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He writes regularly to the Sri Lankan press on issues relating to politics and current affairs.

Chandraguptha Thenuwara (BFA, MFA, MPhil) was born in 1960, Sri Lanka. He is a Senior Lecturer and Head of the Department of History and Art Theory at the University of the Visual and Performing Arts Colombo. In 1993, he founded the Vibhavi Academy of Fine Arts (VAFA), an artist-run alternative art school. He studied painting at the Institute of Aesthetic Studies, University of Kelaniya (1978-1981) and Surikov State Art Institute, Moscow, Russia (1985-1992). He received his MPhil at the Post-Graduate Institute of Archaeology (PGIAR), Kelaniya University (2006). Since 1978 he has exhibited widely in Sri Lanka and abroad. His works are also included in the collections of the Queensland Art Gallery Australia, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum Japan, John Moore University Art Collection, Liverpool, and Fine Arts Museum of Udmurtia, Izhevsk, Russia. His public monuments include the Seeduwa Monument to the Disappeared and the Monument to Neelan Tiruchelvam at Kinsey Terrace, Colombo. Chandraguptha Thenuwara is a leading Sri Lankan artist whose work focuses on issues surrounding the impact of war in Sri Lanka. In response to overwhelming crisis, Thenuwara has devised his own stylistic formulation, which he has called ‘Barrelism’. Among his recent works there were drawing and painting series such as ‘This is not a White Van’, ‘This is not a White Flag’ and ‘Thorns’. His noted solo exhibitions include ‘Neo-Barrelism’ (2007), ‘Wall’ (2011), ‘Beautification’ (2013), and ‘Monotony’ (2014).

Deepika Udagama is Head of the Department of Law, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. Having earned a Doctor of Juridical Science Degree in international human rights law from the University of California at Berkeley, she pioneered human rights education in Sri Lanka at both university and community levels through the establishment of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights (CSHR) at the University of Colombo, of which she was the Founding Director. She was a member of the Human Rights Commission and the Law Commission of Sri Lanka and has served on UN human rights bodies including as Co-Special Rapporteur on Globalisation and Human Rights, appointed by the former UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights. She was a Senior Fulbright Scholar at the Harvard Human Rights Centre and continues to serve on several editorial boards including that of the Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights. She has taught at the UN University, Tokyo; Hong Kong University, and the National Law University Delhi. The main focus of her research is the intersection between international and constitutional protection of human rights.

Rajesh Venugopal is at the London School of Economics. He writes on nationalism, development, and ethnic conflict.

Asanga Welikala is ESRC Teaching Fellow in Public Law at the School of Law, University of Edinburgh, and Associate Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law. He teaches in the Public Law of the UK and Scotland (PLUS), Public Law and Individual Rights (PLAIR), and Constitutional Law Honours courses. He holds LL.B and LL.M (European Public Law) degrees from the School of Law, University of Hull, where he also won the F. W. Taylor Prize. In 2014 he was awarded his PhD for the thesis, ‘Beyond the Liberal Paradigm: The Constitutional Accommodation of National Pluralism in Sri Lanka’, from Edinburgh Law School. He is also a Senior Researcher of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), Sri Lanka, and a Project Director at the Center for Constitutional Transitions (formerly of NYU Law School). Welikala has worked on constitutional and legal reform issues in a number of countries in addition to Sri Lanka, including the Maldives, Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia, Egypt, and Libya, and in 2004-05 during the Iraqi constitution-making process, was a Legal Officer in the Office of Constitutional Support, United Nations Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) in Baghdad. His publications include, as editor, The Sri Lankan Republic at 40: Reflections on Constitutional History, Theory and Practice (2012); as author, A State of Permanent Crisis: Constitutional Government, Fundamental Rights, and States of Emergency in Sri Lanka (2008); and as co-editor, Essays on Federalism in Sri Lanka (2008), and Power Sharing in Sri Lanka: Political and Constitutional Documents 1926 – 2008 (2009). He is currently working on a monograph on the Sri Lankan constitution for the Constitutional Systems of the World Series (Hart), and a co-edited collection with Sujit Choudhry and George Anderson on territorial cleavages in constitutional transitions (Oxford University Press). His research interests lie in comparative constitutional law, applied constitutional theory, and Commonwealth constitutional history.

Jayampathy Wickramaratne is a senior legal practitioner specialising in constitutional law, human rights litigation, administrative law and criminal law. In 2001, he was appointed President’s Counsel. He holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration and was awarded the PhD degree for his thesis titled ‘Fundamental Rights in Sri Lanka.’ He served as Consultant in the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and as Senior Advisor in the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs. Wickramaratne was a member of the team that drafted the Constitution Bill of 2000. He was a member of the panel of experts appointed by the President and a signatory to the ‘majority report’ which proposed a strong power-sharing arrangement as a solution to Sri Lanka’s ethnic crisis. He also chaired a committee that drafted a new constitutional Bill of Rights. Wickramaratne has done several assignments in the legal sector of Laos. He is a Director of the Institute for Constitutional Studies, a non-governmental organisation working on constitutionalism, devolution, power-sharing, and human rights in Sri Lanka. Wickramaratne has written extensively on issues relating to power-sharing, human rights, and other constitutional issues and presented numerous papers at international and local events. He is the author of Fundamental Rights in Sri Lanka, now in its second edition (2006), and Towards Democratic Governance in Sri Lanka: A Constitutional Miscellany (2014). He is intimately involved in the on-going process of constitutional reforms in the administration of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.