Hemanthi Goonasekera
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  • Colombo
  • Sri Lanka
  • Project Manager - Asian Disaster…
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Profile Information

Please feel free to provide a short bio about yourself or the work of your organization (no more than 3 paragraphs)
I am a development practitioner, working for Asian Disaster Preparedness Center - Thailand.
Please indicate if you're joining PCDN as an individual or organization (please mark the appropriate category)
individual (professional)
Please list the countries and/or regions in which you (or your organization) have direct and significant expertise
Sri Lanka, Thailand, Maldives, Netherlands
What is your current country of residence (or location of your organization)?
Thailand
What is your current job (and organization) and/or where and what field are you studying?
Project Manager - Asian Disaster Prepardness Center - Bangkok, Thailand
How many years professional experience do you have ?
11-15
What is your personal or organizational website?
http://www.adpc.net
Which Languages do you speak Proficiently? (note we can not list all languages, only some major world languages or ones related to conflict regions)
Sinhala
Which are your primary sectoral areas of expertise (or the primary sectoral areas of your organization) ?
Civil Society, Democratization, Development, Environment, Gender, Transparency, Youth
Which are your primary skills areas(or the primary skill areas of your organization)?
Advocacy, Budgeting, Capacity Building, Curriculum Development, Fundraising, Program Administration, Program Design, Program Implemenation, Research, Training
What are some of your current areas of research (if any)?
Human Trafficking in post disaster situations.
If appropriate feel free to list several of your (or your organization's) publications
Please visit www.adpc.net there are many disaster management resources available for free.

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Comment Wall (23 comments)

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At 9:33am on February 19, 2009, THUSHARA WITHARANA said…
Hi hemanthi,

Thank you for your reply. It is short and sweet. But Current situation is not sweet. Most of them tell Human Rights are not valid in this time. So I like to read your own ideas. Please continue that discussion in your free time.

Thushara.
At 3:20pm on February 16, 2009, Rene Wadlow said…
AN APPEAL TO CONTACTS IN INDIA TO EXPRESS COMPASSION BY CONTACTING THE SRI LANKAN AUTHORITIES FOR THE RESPECT OF HUMANITARIAN LAW




Sri Lanka : The Last Round ?



Rene Wadlow



With the Sri Lankan government troops closing in to the remaining Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) stronghold, it looks as if this is the last round of a military struggle that began in 1983 but whose roots go back at least to independence in 1948. The ongoing conflict between the Sinhala and the Tamils that has ebbed and flowed derives its emotional force, in part, from competing beliefs that began during the colonial period about legitimate rule, economic wellbeing, and sacred authority.



The Office to the United Nations, Geneva, Association of World Citizens has had a long-standing concern with the conflict in Sri Lanka and has made frequent calls for good-faith negotiations on the political and administrative structure of the State. I had thought that reason would win out over the irrational drive to settle complicated issues of social-political structures through armed violence. I seem to have been wrong since both the government and the LTTE gave up negotiations in exchange for a military ‘solution’. A military victory seems now possible for the government forces.



There are two short-term dangers. There are some 200,000 people trapped between the LTTE militias and the government troops. There have been appeals from the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross for a cease-fire so that civilians, especially the sick and wounded, can leave the fighting area. As this is being written (11 Feb. 2009), there is no cease-fire and none seems in view.



There have been calls from the Government to the LTTE leadership to lay down their arms and end the fighting. Again, this is a logical possibility, but given past LTTE willingness to fight to the bitter end, a massive rendition seems unlikely. Thus, there may be a heavy loss of life of those caught in the cross-fire.



The second danger is revenge killings on a large scale. The Tamil-Sinhalese conflict has been extremely bitter. Many families in both communities have lost kin. Although binding up the wounds of war should be the first priority, there is always a danger that revenge killings take place. Logically, the establishment of social cohesion — that is, an ongoing process of developing a community of shared values and opportunities based on a sense of trust, hope and reciprocity — should be the prime aim of government policy. However, there are small groups of violent individuals who may be ready to kill for revenge or to get rid of rivals.



Therefore, the Office to the UN, Geneva, of the Association of World Citizens has sent a three-point appeal to the President of Sri Lanka, Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa:



1) calling for the respect of international humanitarian law as expressed in the Red Cross Geneva Conventions;



2) appealing for the protection of all civilians both during the on-going conflict and especially in the period following the end of armed conflict during which there is a danger of revenge killings. We are sure that Sri Lanka will respect universally-recognized human rights standards;



3) appealing further that serious consultations on the governmental and administrative structures of the State be undertaken so as to facilitate national unity based on the respect of individual views and aspirations.



Wide support for these three aims would be welcome. Letters could be sent to the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in New York:

H.E. H.M.G.S. Palikakkara

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka

630 Third Ave.

New York, NY 10017, USA





Rene Wadlow, Representative to the United Nations, Geneva, Association of World Citizens
At 11:58am on December 30, 2008, Sie.Kathieravealu said…
Learning about your interest and experience from your profile information, I would like to request your help in a work I am engaged for the past few years. So far I could not find a person who could help me in my work but from reading your profile I believe that you might help with my work.

I am a person with a passion for peace and good governance that would bring in prosperity and a pleasan living to ALL the people in Sri Lanka.

I have prepared a set of suggestions to replace certain clauses in the constitution of Sri Lanka so as to bring-in sustainable peace to the country.

You would be well aware of the fact that people who advocate for peace are now called traitors and that many peace activists are silent now for many reasons. But I am not advocating peace but calling for good governance not only in SriLanka but also throughout the world.

The international community is well aware of everything that is going on in Sri Lana and it seems the IC is just watching or indirectly supporting the government of Sri Lanka and a few countries are directly supporting the government. I do not wish to comment on their views and actions.

But it is really strange to note that even China is supporting the Government in the "war" against "terrorism". May be China (or the present day China) is not aware of the causes that led to the present situation. If I am not wrong, Article 4 of the Chinese constitution says as follows:

"Article 4. All nationalities in the People's Republic of China are equal. The state protects the lawful rights and interests of the minority nationalities and upholds and develops the relationship of equality, unity and mutual assistance among all of China's nationalities. Discrimination against and oppression of any nationality are prohibited; any acts that undermine the unity of the nationalities or instigate their secession are prohibited. The state helps the areas inhabited by minority nationalities speed up their economic and cultural development in accordance with the peculiarities and needs of the different minority nationalities. Regional autonomy is practiced in areas where people of minority nationalities live in compact communities; in these areas organs of self- government are established for the exercise of the right of autonomy. All the national autonomous areas are inalienable parts of the People's Republic of China. The people of all nationalities have the freedom to use and develop their own spoken and written languages, and to preserve or reform their own ways and customs."

It is really sad to note that China has not made the Sri Lankan government aware of this clause in their constitution which could be used by the Sri Lankan government as one of the ways for a political solution.

But in my humble opinion that Article, may to some extent, pacify the Tamils and may help to reduce the ethnic problem BUT it cannot solve the problems faced by the people of Sri Lanka as a whole.

The main cause for all the ills of any country and every country is the present democratic system of governance which allows "corruption" of all forms to thrive unchecked.

In my opinion "Corruption" includes any kind of waste, neglect and every form of malpractice, dishonesty, abuse, misuse, unreasonable exercise of power, failure or refusal to exercise power, anything and everything left undone which results in the right of the people being denied or impaired.

Without a "just society" in existence much talked about "terrorism" cannot be eradicated. For the creation of a "just society" there should be "good governance" in the country. For the creation of "good governance" in the country "corruption" in ALL its forms must be eradicated. And to eradicate "corruption" the present democratic system of governance, where full power to make final decisions ultimately rests in the hands of one person, must be changed.

So the only way to salvage a country is to change the present system of governance to one that is truly democratic where the final decision-making power will NOT be in the hands of ONE person BUT shared by as many people as possible and thus restricting individual hasty decisions that lead to trouble everywhere.

To make a country truly democratic, the powers of the Parliament (the decision making supreme body of a country) should be split and separated and each of the separated powers must be handled by different groups of persons selected and elected by the people for the purpose of administering EACH SET OF POWERS or duties as the case may be.

Particular care should be taken to see that all powers are NOT CONCENTRATED in one place and that they do not overlap and there must not be a secret budget to be handled by a single person.

All transactions should be transparent including Diplomacy which has to be diplomatically transparent.

One set of powers dealing with the development of the country should be given to the set of representatives at the village level. The people of each and every village must be empowered to determine their way of life (lifestyle). The life-style of a village, its lands and resources shall not be disturbed by external forces. All plans of development of a village that remotely/indirectly affects the village must have the concurrence of the people of that village concerned.

It has to be ensured that people are treated equitably regardless of their gender, race, colour, ethnic or national origins, age, disability, socio-economic background, religious or political beliefs and affiliations, marital status, family responsibilities, sexual orientation or other inappropriate distinction;

Separate the powers of parliament and empower different groups of people's representatives with different powers so that no single group has the full power. All the groups together will make the whole. The country is not divided but the powers of parliament are divided/separated.

Different groups have to be elected for such purposes as administration, fiscal management, planning, implementing, policy and law making, auditing and for any other function that may be deemed necessary.

The decision-making powers with regard to each and every set of powers must be spread through-out the country.

With such system discrimination, injustice, bribery and corruption might become history.

Even now the administration is from village level unto National Level in many countries with many stages in between - one above the other - with powers overlapping and the final decision-making power is at one place - the top. That is the problem and so that system must be changed.

We can lead the world with such a REAL DEMOCRACY with a parliament encompassing representatives from all the villages and starting the administration of the country at the village level and going unto national level.

Mahatma Gandhi wanted the villages of India to be empowered but it has not been implemented by the government of India yet due to human nature of not willing to lose the little power each person (office) is already in possession.

A change in the people's attitude and understanding of the problem is important. They must be made aware of the benefits the "rule of law" will bring to them in the long run. Now they are after short-term profits. They are not considering the future generations. A corrupt-free society will bring-in good-governance that will benefit everyone other than the crooked politicians.

In my opinion the people are ready to change the present system but they are not being given the opportunity by power hungry politicians. I think the countries of the World must move towards this goal and like-minded persons from all walks of life must join the movement and strengthen it. Only then can the people be able to give a send-off to ALL the corrupt politicians of ALL political parties and usher-in a new era of a corrupt-free society in any country. Rajaji (the last Governor-General of India) tried it in India but was not successful.

Rather than continuing to express and analyze the problem of the day we must move towards a solution.

They (the people) should move away from race/religion/language/class-centered/oriented politics and move towards a needs-focused administration that which is race-blind, religion-blind, language-blind and class-blind for sustainable peace, prosperity and a pleasant living for ALL the people in a country.

It is also humbly requested that you be good enough to give me the email addresses of the many commentators found in your page so as to enable me to contact them for the same purpose or in the alternative, it is humbly requested that you be good enough to forward this request to them for their views because that even after the "war on terrorism" is over, a political solution has to be found to sustain the "hard won war". That political solution must prevent the re-occurrence of such a war. You might have come across some experiences of the "war" but I am experiencing the "war" from the start (1956) to this date.

It is hoped that you would have the time to comment on the above suggestions which have been put forward in the interest of everyone.


Sie.Kathieravealu
At 10:10am on December 30, 2008, Muralitharan said…
Hi hemanthi,
Thanks for adding me and your comments. Actually my contact here with USAID/SLTI is ending in January 31, 2009 and I hope to join an upcoming new USAID project in April-May. I like to make use of that 2-3 months gap to involve any short-term activity. Please consider if you need any assistance from me during that time. I also like to meet you when you are here.
Thanks and keep in touch.
At 5:13pm on December 21, 2008, Uditha Asanga Wijethunga said…
An end of the Neo-liberalism approaches towards for social issues.

Today world has being confronting drastic trap for past few years, called economic recession inflicts badly as an ongoing tragedy directly and indirectly over the world. The origin of this economic downturn merged in well developed countries such as USA, UK, and Germany ect, and now infiltrates to other continents such as Asia and Africa. This crisis drastically hits irrespectively diverse level of the peoples from elites to grassroots over the world.

World leading financial institutions and related bodies are crippled and unemployment rates are being increased due to economic down turn. Alike, people who are living in under the low living conditions with hunger, IDP, and malnutrition are still remaining over the world especially in Asian and African regains. Approximately half of the populations on the planet are living amidst such related issues. Charities and International organizations which have being engaging admirable service on behalf of the helpless people are fading on ongoing catastrophe of lack of monitory assistant and due to interrupted fund channeling.

Proper time has came to get every possible actions need to be taken control as a globally as never before against such issues. The fact behind all these issues is neo-liberalism is being diminishing. After the Cold war, world has been changing towards embracing neo-liberalism. Most of States dropped out from the responsibility of welfare State and its’ main intention was strength privet economic sector. This doctrine has being becoming an obsolescence concept for past few years. Further more, the stance of “police State” system can not be manipulated amidst the impending risk of economic down turn. The prevailing economic gap between haves and haves not will be increased and potentials may be created to harm human solidarity. With the economic scenario, diluting of charities and NGOs will be a vital due to interrupted funds channeling. There for every State hand down to under take every possible action to confront these merging issues of regarding services for instances hunger, poverty, what have been under taken previously by charities and NGOs.

I strongly believe that according to the my point of view, all neo- liberal structured should be changed towards socialism or welfare State systems as constructively assist the human kind who are living in less living conditions, if any State need to confront successively economic crisis and provide a admirable service for the all social group of a country. USA and some of European countries are attempting to bail out declining financial institutions by pumping billions of dollars. Alike, charities should be bailed out providing money to safe guard millions of innocent lives.
At 1:59pm on November 24, 2008, Sankha said…
Dear Hemanthi,
Thanks for your appreciation of my interest. I think you are so expertise on my field and i am happy to get to know about you. Since the current situation of Sri Lanka is getting worst, we have to meet our selves not in the field. anyway wish you good luck for your work.
I think you may aware about FLICT where i completed my Internship. i wouuld like to know about tour organisation. becoz it seems realy intesting.
At 7:41pm on November 18, 2008, shyam tosawad said…
Dear friend
thanks for being my friend wish you all the best.
At 3:19pm on November 17, 2008, THUSHARA WITHARANA said…
Last month I worked with Prayathna(forma ANTY WAR FRONT) now i working in "rights now" a human rights NGO
At 2:10pm on November 17, 2008, THUSHARA WITHARANA said…
hi,where R U in.
At 8:20am on November 17, 2008, THUSHARA WITHARANA said…
i think U intrest in peace.i'm a graduate in Peace & conflict Resolution in University of Kelaniya In Sri lanka.Then i studied in Internatioan Relations,Human Rigts,Counselling Psycology Diplomas.my last job is Youth national coordinator in anty war front in Sri Lanka.
Now i work in Human rights NGO.We help marginalized people in Sri lankan Conflict.
So we can share our peace knowladge & details
 
 
 

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