Genocide the Tamil people in Srilanka

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The British prime minister, David Cameron supports Sri Lanka investigation call

The British prime minister, David Cameron, has said there should be an independent investigation into claims that the Sri Lankan government was guilty of human rights abuses during the defeat of Tamil Tiger rebels last year.

Mr Cameron stopped short of backing calls for an international war crimes tribunal, made by an MP from the opposition Labour party, Siobhan McDonagh. She told parliament that there was growing evidence of alleged assassinations and other abuses.

The Sri Lankan government strongly denies the claims. It emerged last week that Sri Lankan officials have hired a British public relations company, Bell Pottinger,at a cost of nearly five million dollars a year to try to enhance the government's post-war image.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sri Lanka rejects 'atrocity' photos

Sri Lanka's foreign minister has cast doubt on newly released photos that are said to show a massacre of Tamils during the country's civil war.

On an official UK visit, GL Peiris said images published by the Global Tamil Forum were a bid by rebel sympathisers to tarnish Sri Lanka's image.

Some of the pictures apparently show the bloodstained bodies of bound and blindfolded young people.

Sri Lanka's long civil war ended in May 2009 with the Tamil Tigers' defeat.

The Global Tamil Forum (GTF), a group which includes former supporters of the separatist insurgents, released the images as the Sri Lankan foreign minister visited London.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Amnesty to begin campaign on Sri Lanka Army execution of Trincomalee students

With the fifth anniversary of the massacre of five Tamil students in Trincomalee beach by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers approaching on January 2nd, Amnesty International (AI), the human rights watchdog has embarked on a postcard campaign "to use this case as an example of the ongoing lack of accountability in Sri Lanka," according to the U.S. Director of Amnesty Jim McDonald. AI researchers plan to use the campaign as the focus of a broader effort to highlight the need for an independent international investigations into Sri Lanka's war crimes.

Ten years of impunity for Jaffna-based journalist’s murderers

(Published on 18 October 2010 Reporters Without Borders)

On the 10th anniversary of Tamil journalist Mayilvaganam Nimalarajan’s murder in the northern city of Jaffna, Reporters Without Borders reiterates its hope that the Sri Lankan government will finally relaunch the police investigation into his death.

The Jaffna correspondent of the BBC’s Tamil and Sinhalese-language services and the Sri Lankan newspapers Virakesari and Ravaya, he was gunned down in his home on 19 October 2000. His killers also injured three other members of his family, including his parents.

Reconciliation in Sri Lanka will require tough government initiatives to combat impunity in high-profile cases such as Nimalarajan’s murder, one of the most shocking killings of the past decade. Now that the war is over, the police and the judicial authorities need the resources and political support that is essential in order to be able to identify and arrest those responsible.,38579.html

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sri Lanka: Groups Decline to Testify Before Flawed Commission

(New York October 14, 2010) - Three leading international organizations will not accept an invitation to testify before a Sri Lankan government commission because it lacks the ability to advance accountability for war crimes, Human Rights Watch, the International Crisis Group, and Amnesty International said in a joint letter to Sri Lanka's Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission that was released today.

The three organizations said that they would welcome an opportunity to appear before a genuine, credible effort to pursue political reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka, but that the Commission does not meet minimum international standards for commissions of inquiry.

"There is little to be gained by appearing before such a fundamentally flawed commission," said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. "Accountability for war crimes in Sri Lanka demands an independent international investigation."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Quiet diplomacy: That's the Commonwealth way

(By Mark Colvin ABC) While you're watching the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony tonight, take a moment to look at the VIP box.

The first guest of honour in New Delhi is Britain's Prince Edward, there representing his mother, the Queen, in her capacity of Head of the Commonwealth.

Nothing unusual about that.

But alongside him in the guest of honour spot will be Mahinda Rajapaksa, the president of Sri Lanka.

The Games are these days the most visible expression of the Commonwealth itself - an organisation which aims to promote democracy, human rights, good governance, the rule of law, individual liberty, egalitarianism, free trade, multilateralism and world peace.

Democracy? President Rajapaksa was re-elected in January in an election in which he used state funds to campaign and ensured that the state-run news media effectively silenced opposition candidates.

Monday, October 11, 2010

3 children raped daily in Sri Lanka

At least three children are raped in Sri Lanka each day, indicating that the incidence of sexual assault of minors is escalating.

Statistics available at Police Headquarters reveal that 480 cases of child rape were reported between January and June this year, while 925 such cases were reported last year. An officer at Police HQ said Ratnapura district had the country’s highest number of child rape cases – 79 in 2009, and 47 in the first six months of this year.

“A lack of parental care, attention and supervision is one major reason children get sexually abused, and in most cases the wrongdoer is a close relative of the victim,” the Police officer said. “Going by the number of cases reported to the Police, it would seem that girls in the 14-to-16 age group are becoming regular targets for rape.”

The officer added that the number of rape cases that go unreported may be much greater than the number that gets reported.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Inquiry urged into Sri Lankan rights violations

HUMAN RIGHTS violations committed during the Sri Lanka conflict must be subject to an independent, international investigation, former UN assistant secretary general Denis Halliday said last night.

“Sri Lanka has been forgotten, despite the staggering violations of human rights, the war crimes and the crimes against humanity that took place there,” he said. “All this has been ignored.”

Mr Halliday was speaking following the second of two public meetings in Dublin at which he presented new evidence of alleged war crimes and human rights abuses in the south Asian state.

Video footage showing extra-judicial killings, the desecration of corpses and the bombing of hospitals was screened at last night’s event at Trinity College. Also in attendance was Mary Lawlor, director of human rights group Front Line.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The largest illegal prisons camp in the world

Sri Lanka has the largest illegal prisons camp in the world detaining some 8000 political prisoners within them, University Lecturers for Democracy (ULD) member Professor Kumar David said quoting the International Commission of Juries (ICJ).

Speaking at a press briefing held by the ULD a short while ago, Prof. David said that ex-army commander Sarath Fonseka is the most well known among other political prisoners which include thousands of Tamil youth who are detained without a warrant or any other legal provisions.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Seeking the truth in Sri Lanka

What really happened in the closing stages of Sri Lanka's civil war? The island's victorious government has defiantly rejected calls for an international investigation into alleged war crimes by troops and the Tamil Tigers. Instead it has launched its own inquiry which it says will establish important facts and promote reconciliation. Some witnesses have testified in private, but BBC correspondent Charles Haviland has been attending its public hearings.