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The Liberal Party began as a think-tank called the ‘Council for Liberal Democracy’, the first institution to criticize the all embracing statism of the colonial and immediate post-colonial periods. In espousing free economic policies together with wide-ranging political freedoms, the Council, and then the Party, opposed both the authoritarian crony capitalism of the United National Party and the socialism of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. Both major parties are now in theory in favour of wide freedoms, but to ensure that these are understood and entrenched there is still need of coherent Liberal activism.

 
Lakbima Article

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The Care of Children 17 - The systemic changes needed to ensure the care of children

An important item on the legislative agenda over the last few years has been a change to the 1939 Children and Young Persons Ordinance. A few years back, when Milinda Moragoda was Minister of Justice, he had asked for reports in various areas where it seemed justice was not being served. Not all the committees appointed have reported as yet, and there seems to have been little concern to expedite these. However, the indefatigable Shirani Thilakawardhana headed the committee asked to report on children, and she did a typically thorough job.


The new draft is certainly an advance on what we had before, and if we cannot improve on it soon, we should go ahead with it anyway, simply to get rid of provisions for caning, and the generally punitive approach taken 70 years ago to children in need. However it would be best if we had some intense consultation and produced something better, since this would also help with introducing some general principles with legislation.


One is to make changes comprehensively, instead of approaching problems piecemeal. The proposed draft makes reference to the Orphanages Ordinance, whilst talking about Approved Voluntary Children's Homes (which is the politically correct term now for Orphanages) as well as Child Observation Homes and Community Homes and Places of Worship. It would make sense therefore to also amend the Orphanages Ordinance, and introduce contemporary ideas, based on the Universal Declaration of Children's Rights, with regard to standards of care as well as reform and rehabilitation in the case of those in conflict with the law.

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Irudina Article on 12th October 2014

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Eighteenth Death Anniversary of Dr.Chanaka Amaratunga

 

A Visionary of Our Time
Kamal Nissanka

Dr Chanaka Amaratunga, founder leader of the Liberal Party of Sri Lanka passed away under tragic circumstances 18 years ago on 1st of August 1996. In the formal years Chanaka's political affiliations were with the United National Party (UNP). Although he was a conservative democrat before at Oxford he identified himself as a liberal democrat and once returned to Sri Lanka in the early eighties he found that the referendum of 1982 which resulted in postponing due general election in the same year as undemocratic and against the norms of liberal democracy. Chanaka, with a small group of liberal agitated against the referendum of 1982.

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