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Sri Lanka’s regime is preparing to host a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in mid-November. Embarrassingly, however, a disturbing documentary containing evidence of atrocities towards the end of the island’s civil war was broadcast by Channel 4.
Propaganda could be described as persuasion without morals. It has been a tool of power for centuries and in our own time, its use in inculcating a state of belief which is not in proportion to evidence, is most clearly seen in politicians' choice and use of slogans.
Sections of the UK civil service are to be privatised. Unions have raised concerns about the impact on staff pay and conditions. Such a move also raises serious questions about accountability to the public and democracy.
Sri Lanka is facing a constitutional crisis after the chief justice was impeached, in a process ruled unlawful by the supreme court. The bid by cabinet members to replace her with one of their own legal advisers has been widely criticised as an attack on the independence of the judiciary. Pro-democracy activists are challenging the move, despite the danger they face from an increasingly dictatorial regime.
“A buccaneering, deal making, hungry spirit”. These are the qualities which our Prime Minister advocated in his speech to the CBI recently (19 November 2012).
There is a whole raft of initiatives and referendums on state ballots. We offer a summary here, with comments where appropriate on issues of social justice relating to these proposals.