Sept 12 (IPD) Ruki Fernando is a human rights activist based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. This interview has been edited lightly.
Three years on, what's your broad take on the coalition government’s performance? Where does the reform agenda currently stand?
Some reforms have happened since 2015 to varying degrees, but many of the promised reforms have come to a standstill and seem unlikely to happen by next year.
The release of some lands occupied by the military after months of protests, the release and indictments of some political prisoners, more space for free expression and assembly compared to years under the previous regime, arrests of some Navy and Army personnel in relation to a couple of disappearance cases, convictions of Police and Army personnel (for torture, killing of civilians and rape), are also some positive things seen since 2015. The passing of the 19th amendment to the constitution reducing the powers of the executive president and strengthening independent institutions and checks and balances, the ratification of the International Convention Against Enforced Disappearances and making this a crime in Sri Lanka, the passing of the Right to Information Act were some progressive legislative changes - while the proactiveness and independence displayed by the leadership of the Human Rights Commission and the Right to Information Commission were also positive features.