Genocide the Tamil people in Srilanka

Saturday, November 27, 2010

One country, two nations

THEY look more like desperate refugees than the pampered vanguard of an organised mass colonisation. But that is how most local Tamils view the 600-odd ethnic Sinhalese who pitched up at the derelict railway station in the northern Sri Lankan town of Jaffna last month. As the new arrivals saw it, they were moving back home after a stay in the south. Now resettled in the crudest of tarpaulin shelters at Navatkuli, just outside town, crowded onto scrubby land shaded by a few coconut palms, they complain of joblessness and worry about the approaching rainy season. But they insist they are here to stay.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Parameters for international investigations into Sri Lanka’s war

(Jan Jananayagam, Tamil Guardian)There has been some convergence between Tamil and international demands for an independent international investigation into the events of 2009 in Sri Lanka. The international community now largely supports the view that the manner in which the last stages of the war in Sri Lanka were fought may constitute crimes against humanity.

The Office of War Crimes of the United States Department of State, for example, states at the outset of its 2009 report on Sri Lanka that “on further congressional direction, [the report] focuses on reports of alleged conduct which may constitute violations of International Humanitarian law (IHL) and/or crimes against humanity occurring during a period of especially intensive fighting, from January through May 2009”.

The International Crisis Group report of 2010 says (p24): “The government’s alleged actions concerning the supply of food and medical care to civilians including alleged attacks on humanitarian operations and hospitals deserves separate attention. They ... certainly raise the questions of whether individuals may also be responsible for Crimes Against Humanity.”

The People’s Tribunal on Sri Lanka held in Dublin in January 2010 also made findings that crimes against humanity had taken place. It found that forced disappearances and violations committed in the camps holding internally displaced persons during and after the war “clearly constitute ‘crimes against humanity’, as defined in the Rome Statute, Article 7”

Sunday, November 21, 2010

'War criminal' gets a UN job

A suspected war criminal who allegedly played a key role in the slaughter of 40,000 civilians in Sri Lanka has landed a cushy job at the United Nations -- with full diplomatic immunity.

Human-rights groups are outraged that Shavendra Silva, 46, a top ex-military commander, was named Sri Lanka's deputy permanent UN representative in August, after which he moved to New York.

His arrival came a year after his troops defied international pleas and shelled a no-fire zone packed with women, children and elderly refugees, according to observers.

Silva also stands accused of mowing down a group of separatist political leaders who agreed to surrender and were waving white flags when they were shot.

Read more:

UN must produce a Congo-type war crimes report on Sri Lanka, says Prof. Boyle

Reviewing the recently released 550-page United Nations Report of the Mapping Exercise Documenting the Most Serious Violations of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Committed Within the Territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), an article in the American Society of International Law (ASIL) said, "[t]he report detailing killings, rapes, destruction, and other violent attacks is alarming, not least because similar crimes continue to be committed in the DRC, where impunity still reigns large." Professor Boyle of Illinois College of Law, an expert in international law, commenting on the UN report said, "Tamils worldwide must demand the same “UN Mapping Report” of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed by the Government of Sri Lanka against the Tamils."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

‘Quiet diplomacy’ does not work with Sri Lanka – Tissainayagam

Economic aid should be linked to press freedom in Sri Lanka, veteran Tamil journalist J. S. Tissainayagam, who was released from government custody by international pressure earlier this year, said Wednesday. In his first interview since his release, Mr. Tissainayagam rejected arguments that ‘quiet diplomacy’ would achieve better conduct from President Mahinda Rajapakse regime, and said “the more pressure that is put publicly, the more the government is willing to act”. He linked his own release directly to the government’s then efforts to retain the EU’s GSP+ trade concessions. Tissainayagam is currently a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University Journalism School in Boston.,38836.html

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

24th Anniversary of the massacre of 320 Tamils in Batticaloa remembered

The massacre of 320 innocent Tamils of Pullumalai in Batticaloa district on 10.11.1986 by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and Sinhala thugs was remembered Wednesday by the people of Batticaloa district. The SLA soldiers and the Sinhala thugs who brutally massacred the 320 Tamils were not arrested during the United National Party (UNP) government then and the present United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) too has failed to take action on them or to pay compensation for the affected or find the disappeared persons, sources in Batticaloa said. Complaints made by the victims’ family members to Sri Lanka President’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Committee (LLRC) recently in Chengkaladi Secretariat were not registered, the sources added.

Photos allege Sri Lanka massacre

Al Jazeera has obtained photographs that appear to show Sri Lankan army soldiers abusing Tamil civilians in the final days of the Sri Lankan civil war.

The pictures show various graphic scenes, with dead bodies blindfolded and hands bound, shot through the head and mounds of bodies on the back of a farmer's trailer.

It is claimed that the photos were taken in the closing months of the country’s long-running conflict that ended 18 months ago.

One of the photos shows a line of bodies, including what is believed to be the body of the son of Velupillai Prabhakaran, the leader of the rebel group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or Tamil Tigers, that was defeated in the civil war.

Another photo shows the naked body of a young woman and the body of a boy, perhaps in his early teens.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Government should expedite finding political solution, Cardinal tells LLRC

Sri Lanka's newly appointed Cardinal Most Rev. Dr. Malcolm Ranjit Wednesday appealed to the Government of Sri Lanka to speed up the process to find a political solution to the decades’ long ethnic conflict. The war is over but the fundamental issue that led to the armed struggle still exists and a sustainable political solution should be found as an only solution to the ethnic conflict, said Cardinal Dr.Malcom Ranjit testifying Wednesday before the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) appointed by the Government of Sri Lanka. The eight-member (LLRC) Commission appointed in May 2010 has been recording evidence from the public to report on the lessons to be learnt from the events in the period from 21st February 2002 to 19th May 2009. Cardinal Dr. Malcom Ranjit further said that the government should intensify its search for finding a lasting political solution to the ethnic conflict without further delay. The Sinhala Only Act imposed in 1956 was the cause for the tension between the two communities that led to the war later.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

If Zimbabwe, why not Sri Lanka?

(Dr Sam Pari was a panellist at the International Peace Research Association Conference 2010. She is the spokesperson of the Australian Tamil Congress.) As Aussie cricket fans, myself included, plan to gather today in pubs and in front of television screens to cheer for green and gold, I can’t help but cringe at the team we are cheering against. Every time the Sri Lankans hit a six we ‘boo’ in unison, but is there more that we should be ‘boo’-ing about? Even still should we be playing cricket with a country accused of war crimes? Some may argue that one should not mix sports with politics. However, that is only a convenient bypass considering only a few years ago we boycotted a cricket tour of Zimbabwe, and our former foreign minister Alexander Downer even called for Zimbabwe to be banned from the International Cricket Council. So I ask: If Zimbabwe, why not Sri Lanka? In fact, for Sri Lanka, sports and politics seems to be very much intertwined - retired cricket captains, Sanath Jayasuriya and Arjuna Ranatunga have entered politics; Ajantha Mendis is in the Sri Lankan Armed Forces. Ranked 133 out of 149 (which is lower than Burma) in the 2010 Global Peace Index, Sri Lanka’s human rights record is nothing to admire.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Sri Lanka bishop accuses forces over missing priests

(At least two Roman Catholic priests have gone missing in Sri Lanka in the past four years, the church says.

Kingsley Swampillai, the bishop of Trincomalee and Batticaloa, said one of the priests vanished after security forces took him in for questioning.

Bishop Swampillai and his colleagues were testifying before a commission looking into the country's civil war.

It ended last year when troops defeated Tamil Tiger rebels, who had been fighting for a separate state.

The United Nations estimates the ethnic conflict killed up to 100,000 people. Many others disappeared.

The government says the commission will promote reconciliation and has rejected international calls for an external inquiry.