Monday, November 20, 2017 09:27:30 PM

Constitutional reform, communications & political transformation: An interview with Mark Freeman

By Groundviews - Thu Nov 09, 8:03 am

Mark Freeman is the founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Integrated Transitions (IFIT). As noted on IFIT’s website, Mark is a Belgian and Canadian citizen. He is a leading expert in international human rights and conflict resolution.

Groundviews caught up with Mark during a recent visit to Colombo. We began our conversation interrogating the role and relevance of foreign experts, of whom Sri Lanka has arguably seen more than its fair share of, in helping to strengthen, inter alia, our constitutional reform process. The question posed to Mark is how experts can contribute in a way that doesn’t exacerbate what is often a hostile reaction to their visits and recommendations.

Mark is then asked, given the proclivity of successive governments including the one in power to take from international experts whatever that is convenient and shun, or decry, whatever that is inconvenient, how best local actors including those in official roles engage with input that is aimed at strengthening democracy, even if it is a bitter pill to swallow.

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