Category: Parliament Watch

SAHR carried out a comparative study on the best parliamentary practices in the region, and has put forward a publication titled “Transparency in Parliament” which comprises the Right to Transparent Governance Guidelines (RTG Guidelines). SAHR now plans to take these Guidelines forward by carrying out a Parliamentary Watch program in collation with Transparency International. The watch is conducted in Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, and monthly reports will be issued on an ongoing basis.

There are 2 aspects to the Parliamentary Watch program:

1st Aspect : The first aspect involves rating Parliament for its transparency, accountability, integrity and independence against indicators derived from best practices in SAHR’s RTG Guidelines and indicators suggested by TI’s Research Department. Parliament’s functioning will be analyzed in respect of these indicators, with special attention to the Rule Book of parliament and how these provisions are practiced in reality. Such things as Calendar of parliament, calendar of business, record of business conducted, record of attendance, records of debates and discussions will be studied.

2nd Aspect : The second aspect involves the study of parliament’s role in legislating issues that reflect human rights concerns. Specific areas of interest to SAHR include – minority rights, extra judicial killings, law enforcement, women’s children’s and workers’ rights, corruption etc.

Pakistan parliament moves to bring ISI under civilian control

The Senate has recommended an effective role of Parliament in monitoring the spy agency while giving it power to arrest and detain In a bid to bring Pakistan’s powerful ISI under civilian control, the Senate has recommended an effective role of Parliament in monitoring it while giving the spy agency power to arrest and detain. A report unanimously adopted by...

Bangladesh: Government Pre-empts ‘Adivasi’ Bill

Kamran Reza Chowdhury The government has pre-empted an attempt to initiate a legislative proposal of a parliamentary caucus through a private member’s bill styled Adivasi Rights Bill 2013 in the current session. Workers Party chief Rashed Khan Menon is likely to place the bill in parliament for recognition of the country’s ethnic minorities as “adivasi” and protection of their rights....

National Forum on Parliamentary Best Practices 2012 – Pakistan

The National Consultation for Pakistan was held in Islamabad on the 29th of August 2012. Among the attendees were the Members of the National Assembly of Pakistan, Honorable Shahnaz Wazir Ali from Pakistan People’s Pasrty and Honorable Bushra Gohar from the Awami National Party. Other participants included civil society activists, policy makers, lawyers, and the media. The main issues discussed...

National Consultation: Nepal

 The forum, ‘Making Parliament Accountable and Human Rights Responsive’, held in Kathmandu in December 2011 was attended by current and former politicians, civil society leaders and members of the media. Guests include the Honorable Subhash Chandra Nembang as Chief Guest, the former Home Minister Honorable Bhim Rawal, the former Foreign Minister Honorable Upendra Yadav, Mr. Padma Ratna Tuladhar and Mr....

Round Table on the Indian Parliament Debates: A People’s Perspective

A roundtable of discussion was held at the India International Centre, New Delhi on the 18th of July 2012. The roundtable began with an overview of SAHR’s vision as envisioned by founder members Kuldip Nayar and I. K Gujral. The idea that gave birth to the Parliament Watch programme in India – that is, the necessity to critically evaluate bills...

National Forum on Parliamentary Best Practices 2012 – Bangladesh

The National Consultation on Making the Parliament Accountable, Transparent and Human Rights Responsive took place on 20th February 2012, bringing together parliamentarians, academics and human rights activists. The participants focused on ten major areas of concern including integrity mechanisms, structural and functional independence, as well as addressing human rights issues in a timely manner, and several recommendations were made for...

National Forum on Parliamentary Best Practices 2012 – Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka hosted the National Forum on Parliamentary Best Practices 2012, on 16th February, in Colombo. The Chief Guests were Honourable D E W Gunasekera (Senior Minister of Human Resources, and Chairman of the Committee on Public Enterprises) and Honourable Rauf Hakeem (Minister of Justice, and Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee), and were joined by several other parliamentarians, human...

Parliament Watch Sri Lanka: April-June 2010 (1st Quarterly) Report

The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) won the General Elections of 8th April 2010, by a landslide victory gaining 144 seats in the 225 member parliament1 This victory was largely due to defeating the LTTE in May 2009, a strong performance by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the 2010 January 26th presidential elections, the promised development drive and the request by...