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Implementing Geneva resolutions

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By Dayantha Laksiri Mendis

“Treaties and Non-treaty instruments are the bones and sinews of global politic, making it possible for states to move from talk through compromise to solemn commitment.”

Professor Thomas M. Frank

Taking Treaties Seriously

[1988] 82 AJIL 67

 

Implementation of the Geneva Resolution is an onerous task. It will encounter various challenges and dilemmas. It requires the establishment of institutional structures and national legislation to give effect to operative part of the Geneva Resolutions. Implementing legislation must not offend the 1978 Constitution and the 1976 Vienna Convention of the Law of Treaties (VCLT 1976)

 

The Geneva Resolutions

The Geneva Resolution can be classified as a non-treaty instrument. It is different from a treaty in many respects (Anthony Aust – Modern Treaty Practice). It does not require the consent of the State to be bound by such Resolutions. It has a preambular and operative part. It is likely to be interpreted in the same way as a treaty by reference to articles 31 and 32 of the VCLT 1969. It resembles the Resolutions of other UN Specialized Agencies such as IMO or ICAO which are of a binding nature.

The proposed Geneva Resolution is likely to be different and devastating for Sri Lanka if it is based on the Report of the UN High Commissioner for HR. If so, it is desirable at this point of time to draft a counter resolution and outline Sri Lanka’s proposals relating to reconciliation and accountability without taking a confrontational approach at this time.

 

Operative part of the Geneva Resolutions

Implementation of the operative part of the Geneva Resolutions can be dealt under four areas. These areas are – (a) Establishment of a Truth-seeking and reconciliation commission; (b) Investigation into violations relating to human rights and international humanitarian law (IHL); (c) Reparation to victims; and (d) Guarantee of non-recurrence. All these areas are seen as an integral part of transitional justice.

 

(a) Truth-seeking and reconciliation

Establishment of a Commission for Truth-seeking and Reconciliation is an important consideration in dealing with transitional justice. It is a sensitive area. It can “open old wounds” and therefore such investigation should not be undertaken in Sri Lanka. It can create “new wounds” that can get festered over a period of time. If so, the situation might become worse for reconciliation.

In South Africa, such a commission was established under National Unity and Reconciliation Act No. 34 of 1995. It was necessary to do so as apartheid was inherently anti-democratic and unjust system perpetrated by a white minority. The global community denounced apartheid with sanctions and recognized the right to self determination by the majority community. In Sri Lanka, LTTE was engaged in an armed conflict to establish a separate state in defiance of the Constitution and International law. The global community proscribed LTTE as a terrorist organisation.

Hence, we should gently reject this requirement in the preambular part by reciting the reasons as outlined above.

 

(b) Investigation into violations relating to human rights and humanitarian law

Geneva Resolutions require investigation into violations relating to human rights and international humanitarian law (IHL). It is a requirement of transitional justice. Investigation should not be restricted to the final phase of the war, where Sri Lankan security forces had to proceed, amidst protests, to save the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Sri Lanka from the tentacles of the rebel forces who used child soldiers and civilians as a human shield

The Resolution requires Sri Lanka to establish a credible domestic mechanism. It must be fair to the accused as well as to the victims. The Resolution requires the inclusion of Commonwealth judges and prosecutors along with national judges and prosecutors. Inclusion of Commonwealth Judges and Prosecutors may encounter political and constitutional issues. In this context, when formulating the Report on Sri Lanka, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights should read article 46 of VCLT 1969 which says that any treaty or non-treaty instrument should not offend the fundamental principles of the Constitution.

Any investigation relating to violations of human rights law or IHL would be dangerous in Sri Lanka, unless such investigation is conducted as a non-international armed conflict under common article 3 of Geneva conventions 1949.

Unfortunately, in Sri Lanka, the Common Article 3 was not given effect to by the Geneva Conventions Act of 2006. The initial draft Bill prepared by me in 2001 incorporated the provisions relating to Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 (draft Bill is on file with me) on the advice of the top legal advisers at ICRC headquarters in Geneva. These legal advisers came to the conclusion after consulting Jean Simon Pictet’s five points enshrined in the negotiating record (travaux preparatoires) of the Geneva Conventions 1949 and I was given the go ahead to draft the requisite legislation.

International human rights standards are also not properly transformed into national legislation in Sri Lanka. There are many “deficiencies” and “inconsistencies” in our national legislation. Assistance to and Protection of Victims of Crime and Witnesses Act, No. 4 of 2015 requires substantial amendments.

 

 

 

Unless international human rights standards are properly transformed into the domestic legal system by way of new legislation or amendment to existing law using the correct legislative techniques, any domestic mechanism established for this purpose will not be effective and will not be able to function according to international standards.

Operative part of the resolution will recite that accountability will be determined under common article 3 of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and therefore national legislation needs to be enacted to incorporate common article 3 of the Geneva Conventions to the existing Geneva Conventions Act 2006 (A draft Bill is annexed as a schedule to this paper to illustrate the requisite amendment).

 

(c) Reparation to victims and tracing missing persons

Reparation to victims is also an important requirement under Geneva Resolutions to promote reconciliation. Legislation has been already enacted to establish a domestic mechanism for such reparation. The amount granted is too small and may be increased in the future.

It does not take into account reparation already provided to victims of war either through legislation or army routine orders or Cabinet Memoranda.

Unfortunately, the civilian victims, especially women who have lost their husbands or children have not been adequately compensated. Hence, there is a great need to compensate civilians who have suffered due to eviction, injuries, unlawful killing and/or and those who have suffered due to suicide bomb attacks. The legislation must clearly identify those who are really entitled to these benefits in the context of the Sri Lanka’s armed conflict.

Operative part should recite the continued implementation of national legislation relating reparation and of missing persons.

 

(d) Guarantee of non-recurrence

Guarantee of non recurrence is a very challenging requirement of the Geneva Resolutions.

In most countries, the reconciliation between ethnic and religious groups are handled by an Ethnic Relations Commissions. In developing countries such as Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago, these Commissions are established through constitutional provisions. These Commissions are empowered by law to take action where there is a threat to ethnic or religious harmony.

These Commissions have produced enormous literature relating to peace, harmony and development and organised drama festivals to promote racial and ethnic reconciliation. I have seen many plays written by Eric Brathwaite in Georgetown and Port of Spain and cried how backward my beloved country is in regard to reconciliation and creating ethnic harmony and unity. We have not understood that national security is ethnic harmony and unity, and ethnic harmony and unity is national security.

These Commissions are empowered to refer any matter to a Tribunal established by legislation. Such matters include “hate speech” or any act which causes ethnic disharmony. Issues relating to burial or cremation regard to those who died from covid19 should be referred to such a Commission and not to politicians or religious bigots

Establishment of an Ethnic Relations Commission and a Tribunal may satisfy the reconciliation requirement, as these Commissions have prevented a fully fledged armed conflict between diverse religious groups and ethnicities in many countries.

Operative Part should recite the establishment of such institutions to make reconciliation more effective and efficient. It can be described as a 13+.Ethnic harmony is national security.

 

Additional requirements

Geneva Resolutions imposes additional requirements. These include the full implementation of the 13th Amendment, reform of the Prevention of Terrorism Act and the Public Security Ordinance. Implementation of the 13th Amendment, PSO and the PTA is part of the “domain reserve” under article 2(7) of the Charter of the United Nations. Hence, such intervention is not fair and legitimate.

 

Impact on State sovereignty

Implementation of the Geneva Resolutions and the recent Report of the HR Commissioner can impact on State sovereignty. In today’s world, State sovereignty is diminished through ratification, accession or succession to treaties. A treaty per defitionem may restrict State sovereignty. However, a non- treaty instrument is not in the same category unless there is express or implied consent to be bound by it. Co-sponsoring gives implied consent

In regard to ratified treaties, a State cannot hide behind state sovereignty to avoid international obligations. International compliance and control measures established by various legal regimes demonstrate that state sovereignty is diminished and the Westphalian Order does not exist anymore in its pristine form.

Implementation of the Resolutions may offend the provisions of the Constitution. In Sri Lanka, the Constitution grants sovereignty to the people and its elements are enshrined under Article 4 of the 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka. If the legislative implementation of the proposed Resolution offends the Constitution, Sri Lanka should propose an alternative counter resolution which is in harmony with our constitutional provisions.

 

Conclusions

Implementing the Geneva Resolutions is an exacting task. It will encounter many challenges and dilemmas. The draft report evince that High Commissioner has not understood the atrocities committed by the rebel forces or Kadi’s Case in the European Court of Justice on freezing of assets without due process.

High Commissioner has gone on to declare unfairly and wrongly that security forces who saved Sri Lanka’s territorial integrity and sovereignty as enemies of mankind (Hostes Humanis) by subjecting them to universal jurisdiction and International Criminal court. (preambular part).

At this time, we must not forget that President Mahinda Rajapaksa saved the country from the rebel forces. If not for him, the armed conflict would have dragged on for many years. In this context, he was assisted by India, Pakistan, USA and many other countries. He was also assisted by the Defence Secretary, Army Commander and many others. Since then, we have enjoyed freedom from fear and freedom from unlawful killing. (preambular part need to recite this fact).

Geneva Resolution must not be rejected in toto. A rejection might send wrong signals to UN Member States. After all, the UN is the best friend of small and weak States, although the Thucydides’ doctrine (powerful States do what they can and small States must accept what they must) still continue to apply in the conduct of international relations and diplomacy. Notwithstanding the aforementioned phenomenon, the UN has assisted small and weak States in situations where might is not right. Let us engage with quiet diplomacy and convince the international community to go along with our counter resolution. (preambular part needs to recite some of these observations)

Hence, it is necessary to draft a counter resolution and identify how we intend to deal with reconciliation and accountability taking into account ground realities, constitutional provisions and the political ramifications.

We need to understand Morgenthau’s realism in dealing with this vexed issue and not engage in an unnecessary confrontation with Western countries. In my career, I have experienced quiet diplomacy and good reasoning with my Western counterparts at the UN or in diplomatic circles constitute the best tools that lead to victory at the end of the day. Such a strategic approach is important as the victories on the battlefield.

ANNEX

GENEVA CONVENTIONS (AMENDMENT) ACT 2021

 

AN ACT

to amend the Geneva Conventions Act 2006 (No. 4 of 2006); to give effect to common article 3 and for connected matters.

BE IT ENACTED

by the Parliament of ……………

Short title and date of commencement

1. This Act may be cited as the Geneva Conventions (Amendment) Act 2021 and shall come into operation as the Minister may appoint by Order published in the Gazette.

 

Amendment of section 2 of the Act

2. Section 2 of the Geneva Conventions Act No. 4 of 2006 is hereby amended by adding immediately after section 2, the following section 2A.

“2A.(1) A person who in Sri Lanka commits or aids, abets or procures any other person to commit a breach of paragraphs (a), (b), (c) or (d) in sub-article (1) of Common Article 3 of the Conventions as provided in Schedule V to this Act is guilty of an indictable offence.

7

(2) A person who commits an offence under section 2A is liable –

(a) Imprisonment for life or any lesser period where the offence involves the willful killing of a person protected by the relevant Convention; and

(b) Imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years for any other offence.

 

(3) An offence against section 2A shall not be prosecuted in a Court except by indictment in the name of the Attorney General.”

 

Amendment of the Schedules

(3) The Schedules to the Geneva Conventions Act No. 4 of 2006 is hereby amended by inserting immediately after Schedule IV, the following new Schedule V

SCHEDULE V (Section 2A)

CONFLICTS NOT OF AN INTERNATIONAL CHARACTER

In the case of an armed conflict, not of an international character occurring in the territory of the one of the High Contracting Parties, each party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions.

(1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, color, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth or any other similar criteria.

To this end, the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above mentioned persons:

(a) Violence to life and person in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;

(b) Taking hostages;

(c) Outrages upon personal dignity in particular humiliating and degrading treatment;

(d) The passing of sentences and carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced and regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

 

(2) The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.

 

Mendis LLB (Cey), MPhil (Cantab) is former Legal Adviser to the ICRC, Lecturer on IHL at the KDU and University of Colombo, former Ambassador to Austria and Permanent Representative to the UN in Vienna, former UN Legal Expert and Legal Adviser to several Caribbean, African and Asian countries. He has drafted diverse legislation, treaties and non non-treaty instruments at the time he served as Commonwealth Legal Expert to the Caribbean Community Secretariat in Guyana, South America.



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Breathtaking new paintings found at ancient city of Pompeii

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The frescoes depict Greek mythology: Paris kidnaps Helen which triggers the Trojan War (BBC)

Stunning artworks have been uncovered in a new excavation at Pompeii, the ancient Roman city buried in an eruption from Mount Vesuvius in AD79.

Archaeologists say the frescoes are among the finest to be found in the ruins of the ancient site.

Mythical Greek figures such as Helen of Troy are depicted on the high black walls of a large banqueting hall.

The room’s near-complete mosaic floor incorporates more than a million individual white tiles.

BBC/Tony Jolliffe The Black Room

The black room has only emerged in the last few weeks. Its white mosaic floor is almost complete (BBC)

A third of the lost city has still to be cleared of volcanic debris. The current dig, the biggest in a generation, is underlining Pompeii’s position as the world’s premier window on the people and culture of the Roman empire.

Park director Dr Gabriel Zuchtriegel presented the “black room” exclusively to the BBC on Thursday.

It was likely the walls’ stark colour was chosen to hide the smoke deposits from lamps used during entertaining after sunset. “In the shimmering light, the paintings would have almost come to life,” he said.

Two set-piece frescoes dominate. In one, the god Apollo is seen trying to seduce the priestess Cassandra. Her rejection of him, according to legend, resulted in her prophecies being ignored.The tragic consequence is told in the second painting, in which Prince Paris meets the beautiful Helen – a union Cassandra knows will doom them all in the resulting Trojan War.

BBC/Tony Jolliffe One of the "black room" frescos discovered in Pompeii, showing Apollo trying to seduce the priestess Cassandra

The god Apollo is depicted on one of the frescos trying to seduce the Trojan priestess Cassandra (BBC)

The black room is the latest treasure to emerge from the excavation, which started 12 months ago – an investigation that will feature in a documentary series from the BBC and Lion TV to be broadcast later in April.

A wide residential and commercial block, known as “Region 9”, is being cleared of several metres of overlying pumice and ash thrown out by Vesuvius almost 2,000 years ago.

Staff are having to move quickly to protect new finds, removing what they can to a storeroom.

For the frescoes that must stay in position, a plaster glue is injected to their rear to prevent them coming away from the walls. Masonry is being shored up with scaffolding and temporary roofing is going over the top.

BBC/Tony Jolliffe Fresco protection

A plaster glue must be injected behind a fresco or it is likely to come away from the wall (BBC)

Chief restorer Dr Roberta Prisco spent Tuesday this week trying to stop an arch from collapsing. “The responsibility is enormous; look at me,” she said, as if to suggest the stress was taking a visible toll on her. “We have a passion and a deep love for what we’re doing, because what we’re uncovering and protecting is for the joy also of the generations that come after us.”

BBC Map showing excavations in Pompeii

Region 9 has thrown up a detective story for archaeologists.

Excavations in the late 19th Century uncovered a laundry in one corner. The latest work has now revealed a wholesale bakery next door, as well as the grand residence with its black room.

BBC/Tony Jolliffe Reception Hall

In the reception hall, rubble in the far right corner is from renovation at the time of the eruption (BBC)

The team is confident the three areas can be connected, physically via the plumbing and by particular passageways, but also in terms of their ownership.

The identity of this individual is hinted at in numerous inscriptions with the initials “ARV”. The letters appear on walls and even on the bakery’s millstones.

Dr Sophie Hay explained how a rich politician left his mark on the buildings

“We know who ARV is: he’s Aulus Rustius Verus,” explained park archaeologist Dr Sophie Hay. “We know him from other political propaganda in Pompeii. He’s a politician. He’s super-rich. We think he may be the one who owns the posh house behind the bakery and the laundry.” What’s clear, however, is that all the properties were undergoing renovation at the time of the eruption. Escaping workers left roof tiles neatly stacked; their pots of lime mortar are still filled, waiting to be used; their trowels and pickaxes remain, although the wooden handles have long since rotted away.

Dr Lia Trapani catalogues everything from the dig. She reaches for one of the thousand or more boxes of artefacts in her storeroom and pulls out a squat, turquoise cone. “It’s the lead weight from a plumb line.” Just like today’s builders, the Roman workers would have used it to align vertical surfaces.

She holds the cone between her fingers: “If you look closely you can see a little piece of Roman string is still attached.”

BBC/Tony Jolliffe Plumb line

It’s possible to see a remnant piece of string around the neck of the plumb line (BBC)

Dr Alessandro Russo has been the other co-lead archaeologist on the dig. He wants to show us a ceiling fresco recovered from one room. Smashed during the eruption, its recovered pieces have been laid out, jigsaw-style, on a large table.

He’s sprayed the chunks of plaster with a mist of water, which makes the detail and vivid colours jump out.

You can see landscapes with Egyptian characters; foods and flowers; and some imposing theatrical masks.

“This is my favourite discovery in this excavation because it is complex and rare. It is high-quality for a high-status individual,” he explained.

BBC/Jonathan Amos Ceiling fresco

The archaeologists have had to piece together a ceiling fresco that was shattered during the volcanic eruption (BBC)

But if the grand property’s ceiling fresco can be described as exquisite, some of what’s being learned about the bakery speaks to an altogether more brutal aspect of Roman life – slavery.

It’s obvious the people who worked in the business were kept locked away in appalling conditions, living side by side with the donkeys that turned the millstones. It seems there was one window and it had iron bars to prevent escape.

It’s in the bakery also that the only skeletons from the dig have been discovered. Two adults and a child were crushed by falling stones. The suggestion is they may have been slaves who were trapped and could not flee the eruption. But it’s guesswork.

“When we excavate, we wonder what we’re looking at,” explained co-lead archaeologist Dr Gennaro Iovino.

“Much like a theatre stage, you have the scenery, the backdrop, and the culprit, which is Mount Vesuvius. The archaeologist has to be good at filling in the gaps – telling the story of the missing cast, the families and children, the people who are not there anymore.”

BBC/Tony Jolliffe Mosaic floor
There are certainly more than a million tiles in the mosaic floor, possibly up to three million (BBC)
BBC/Tony Jolliffe Roman lamp
Boxes full of artefacts: One of the many oil lamps recovered during the excavation (BBC)
BBC/Tony Jolliffe Fresco showing Leda and the Swan
Another fresco depicts Leda and Zeus in the form of a swan, whose union would lead to Helen’s birth (BBC)
BBC/Tony Jolliffe A piece of moulded cornicing painted in bright colours
Brilliant colours: Ornate cornicing was also preserved under the volcanic debris (BBC)
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Democracy continuing to be derailed in South Asia

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A scene from Sri Lanka’s ‘Aragalaya’ of 2022.

Sections of progressive opinion in Sri Lanka are currently commemorating the second anniversary of the country’s epochal ‘Aragalaya’, which brought down the dictatorial and racist Gotabhaya Rajapaksa regime. April 9th 2022 needs to be remembered especially as the date on which Sri Lankans in their tens of thousands, irrespective of ethnic, religious and language differences rose as one to impress on the country’s political class and rulers that their fundamental rights cannot be compromised or tampered with for whatever reason and that these rights should be realized henceforth.

During the ‘Aragalaya’, Sri Lanka attained nationhood, since the totality of the country’s social groups, standing shoulder-to-shoulder, spoke out for equity and equality among them, from the same platform. Thus was Sri Lankan nationhood born, which is quite different from statehood. It is left to progressives to ensure that Sri Lankan nationhood, thus born out of the ‘Aragalaya’, does not prove to be stillborn.

To express it briefly, political ‘Independence’ or statehood is believed by most Sri Lankans to have been attained in 1948 but this is not tantamount to achieving nationhood. The latter is realized when equity and equality are established among a country’s communities.

Of course, we are a long way from achieving these aims but the historic significance of the ‘Aragalaya’ consists in the fact that the ideals central to nationhood were articulated assertively and collectively in Sri Lanka as never before. The opinion climate conducive to nation-building, it could be said, was created by the ‘Aragalaya’.

It is left to the progressives of Sri Lanka to forge ahead with the process of realizing the ideals and central aims of the ‘Aragalaya’, without resorting to violence and allied undemocratic approaches, which are really not necessary to bring about genuine democratic development.

The ‘Aragalaya’ was a historic ‘wake-up’ call to the country’s political elite in particular, which, over the years could be said to have been engaged more in power aggrandizement, rather than nation-building, which is integral to democratic development. Given this bleak backdrop, it amounts to a huge joke for any prominent member of the country’s ruling class to make out that he has been ‘presiding over the only country in Asia where democracy is completely safeguarded.’

To begin with, a huge question mark looms over Sri Lanka’s true constitutional identity. It is not a fully-fledged parliamentary democracy in view of the substantive and sweeping powers wielded by the Executive Presidency and this issue has been discussed exhaustively in this country.

On the other hand, Sri Lanka is not free of strong theocratic tendencies either because there is no clear ‘separation wall’, so to speak, between religion and politics. The fact is that Sri Lanka’s rulers are constitutionally obliged to defer to the opinion of religious leaders. Therefore, Sri Lanka lacks a secular foundation to its political system. This columnist is inclined to the view that in terms of constitutional identity, Sri Lanka is ‘neither fish, flesh nor fowl.’

Moreover, the postponement of local and Provincial Council polls in Sri Lanka by governments alone proves that what one has in Sri Lanka is at best a ‘façade democracy’.

derailing democracy in Sri Lanka goes Religious and ethnic identities in particular continue to be exploited and manipulated by power aspirants and political entrepreneurs to the huge detriment of the countries concerned.

Needless to say, such factors are coming into play in the lead-up to India’s Lok Sabha polls. They are prominent in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh as well. Statesmanship is a crying need in these societies but nurturing such leaders into existence will prove a prolonged, long term project, which also requires the interplay of a number of vital factors, many of which are not present to the desired degree in the countries concerned.

However, of the ‘South Asian Eight’, India is by far the most advanced democracy. It has a Constitution that explicitly enshrines the cardinal rights of the people, for example, including the very vital Right to Life. Such a right is non-existent in the Sri Lankan Constitution, for instance, and this is a huge drawback from the viewpoint of democratic development. Among other things, what this means is that the Sri Lankan state exercises substantive coercive power over its citizens.

On the other hand, the Indian Supreme Court has time and again creatively interpreted the Right to Life, so much so life-threatening conditions faced by Indian citizens, for instance, have been eliminated through the caring and timely intervention of the country’s judiciary. Sri Lanka needs to think on these things if it intends to entrench democratic development in the country. Thus far, the country’s track record on this score leaves much to be desired.

A predominant challenge facing progressives of South Asia, such as the ‘Aragalaists’ of Sri Lanka, is how to forge ahead with the task of keeping democratization of the state on track. A negative lesson in this connection could be taken from Bangladesh where the ideals of the 1971 liberation war under Shiekh Mujibhur Rahman were eroded by subsequent regimes which exploited divisive religious sentiments to come to power. In the process, religious minorities came to be harassed, persecuted and savaged by extremists in the centre.

Whereas, the founding fathers of Bangladesh had aimed to create a secular socialist state, this was not allowed to come to pass by some governments which came to power after the Sheikh, which sought to convert Bangladesh into a theocracy. A harrowing account of how the ideals of 1971 came to be betrayed is graphically provided in the international best seller, ‘Lajja’ by Taslima Nasrin, the exiled human and women’s right activist of Bangladesh.

At page 60 of the 20th anniversary edition of ‘Lajja’, published by Penguin Books, Nasrin quotes some persons in authority in Bangladesh as telling the country’s Hindus during the religious riots of 1979; ‘The government has declared that Islam is the state religion. If you want to stay in an Islamic country all of you must become Muslims. If you don’t become Muslims you will have to run away from this country.’

Not all the post-liberation governments of Bangladesh have turned against the ideals of 1971 and the present government is certainly not to be counted as one such administration. But the lesson to be derived from Bangladesh is that unless progressive opinion in a secular democracy is eternally vigilant and proactively involved in advancing democratic development, a country aiming to tread the path of secularism and democracy could easily be preyed upon by the forces of religious extremism.

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Homemade…to beat the heat

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With lots of holidays cropping up, we are going to be on the move. Ok, that’s fine, but what about the scorching heat! With temperatures soaring sky high, skin issues are bound to surface.

Well, here are some beauty tips that will give your skin some relief:

Aloe Vera: Apply fresh aloe vera gel to the skin. It helps to soothe and heal sunburn. Aloe vera contains zinc, which is actually anti-inflammatory.

Papaya: Papaya pulp can be applied on the skin like a mask, washing it off after 20 minutes. Papaya contains enzymes and helps to remove dead skin cells. Add curd or lemon juice to the pulp to remove tan. Fruits like banana, apple, papaya and orange can be mixed together and applied on the face. Keep it on for 20 to 30 minutes. Papaya helps to cleanse dead skin cells. Banana tightens the skin. Apple contains pectin and also tones the skin. Orange is rich in Vitamin C. It restores the normal acid-alkaline balance.

 Lemon Juice: Lemon is a wonderful home remedy for sun tan because of its bleaching properties. You can apply lemon juice by mixing it with honey on the tanned skin and leave it for 10 to 15 minutes before washing it off .

Coconut Water and Sandalwood Pack: Sandalwood has great cleansing properties, whereas, coconut water is widely known for a glowing skin. Mix coconut water with one tablespoon of sandalwood powder to make a thick mixture and apply it all over the face. Wash it off after 20 minutes. This is a perfect cure for tanned skin.

Cucumber, Rose Water and Lemon Juice:The cucumber juice and rose water work as a cooling means for soothing the brown and red-spotted skin. To use these effectively, take one tablespoon of cucumber juice, lemon juice, and rose water and stir it well in a bowl. Use this solution on all over the face and wash it off with cold water after 10 minutes. This helps to turn your skin hale and healthy.

Milk Masks: Yes, milk masks do give glowing effect to tired skin. Just apply milk mixed with glycerin all over the face. Relax for 15 minutes and rinse with water. The treatment softens, rejuvenates and restores a natural PH balance, thus protecting the skin from the negative effects of the sun. You can also take half cup of milk and add a pinch of turmeric in it. Apply the mixture on your face and wait till it gets dry. Use this solution on a daily basis for exceptional results.

(Yes, time to take care of your skin and beat the heat!)

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