Genocide the Tamil people in Srilanka

Friday, February 25, 2011

Sri Lanka: The need to address persistent impunity for violations and abuses of international human rights and humanitarian law

Sri Lanka: The need to address persistent impunity for violations and abuses of international human rights and humanitarian law

Index Number: ASA 37/002/2011 Date Published: 24 February 2011 Categories: Sri Lanka

In this written statement to the sixteenth session of the Human Rights Council Amnesty International expresses its concern that Sri Lanka’s human rights record has not improved since the organization last addressed this Council in May 2010. Impunity persists for past violations and abuses of international human rights and humanitarian law, and new and serious violations of human rights continue to be reported.

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Amnesty enlists Trinco killings in push for UN war-crime investigation

[TamilNet,25 February 2011] Dr. Kasipillai Manoharan, the father of one of the “Trinco 5” students killed by the Sri Lanka security forces in 2006, and two Amnesty officials delivered 52,000 signed petitions to the UN offices in New York Tuesday, Amnesty website reported. The petition, which appeared to have been timed to precede the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) sessions scheduled from February 28 to March 25 in Geneva, was the result from the responses Amnesty received following a call for action campaign demanding international investigations as a first step towards accountability for crimes committed by both protagonists in Sri Lanka's war.
Amnesty Photo: (L-R) McDonald, Foster, and Dr Manoharan handing over petition to UN official
(Amnesty Photo: (L-R) McDonald, Foster, and Dr Manoharan handing over petition to UN official)
US Director of Amnesty International, Jim McDonald and Yolanda Foster, the Amnesty researcher on Sri Lanka, accompanied Dr. Manoharan to deliver the petitions to the U.N. "We pressed the UN to act on our petition without delay and let them know we would be following up to make sure an international investigation is promptly established," Jim McDonald said in a posting at the Amnesty website.

Registering Jaffna residents 'illegal'

A Tamil political party in Sri Lanka has submitted a petition to the Supreme Court against forcibly registering Tamil residents in Jaffna allegedly by the security forces.

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian MA Sumandiran told BBC Sandeshaya that the measure is a violation of a previous Supreme Court order.

“This is completely illegal. You cannot selectively register a community,” he said.

The MP who is a prominent human rights lawyer further said that it is an illegal act under international law.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

UN: 5,000 Tamils are held off-limits in Sri Lanka

GENEVA (AP) -- A senior U.N. official says 5,000 suspected ex-combatants remain in Sri Lankan camps 21 months after a quarter-century civil war ended.

Neil Buhne said Friday those ex-combatants are suspected loyalists to separatist Tamil Tiger rebels defeated in May 2009.

He says they remain in camps beyond reach of U.N. and Red Cross officials, but another 5,000 suspected ex-combatants were released.

Buhne spoke on his last day as head of the U.N. mission in Sri Lanka.

The government carved the camps out of the jungles of northern Sri Lanka to hold 300,000 ethnic Tamil civilians displaced by civil war and screen out former rebels who could stir up trouble.

Buhne says another 18,000 Tamils remain in so-called welfare centers because of land mines.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Military Intelligence Head must answer extra judicial killings

(February 14, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) According to information provided by two victims about the conduct of the army, Army’s Intelligence Head, Major General H. K. G. Hendawitharane who comes under the Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse’s control is being implicated in the complicity of murders and tortures carried out in Sri Lanka. Backed by over thirty years of experience in the army, Hendawitharane gives daily briefing to the President on security matters and is the official security adviser to the President. Two Tamils who escaped the extra judicial violence under the command and influence of Maj. Gen. Hendawitharane have migrated to western countries recently and have provided very valuable first hand account of the modus operandi of the operations of the Maj. General.

British MPs urge the Prime Minister to support an independent, international war crimes investigation in Sri Lanka

41 British parliamentarians have written to the British Prime Minister David Cameron urging him to add Britain’s support to calls for an independent, international inquiry into allegations of war crimes committed during Sri Lanka’s 25 year civil. The MPs are all Members or Supporters of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils.

This is a major issue of concern for British parliamentarians, and follows credible evidence provided by the US State Department, the European Commission and International Crisis Group, as well as the findings of the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, that war crimes could have taken place in Sri Lanka. The MPs believe it is important for the future prospects of peace and reconciliation on the island that these allegations are investigated in a robust and impartial fashion.

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women urges prompt investigations into acts of sexual violence in Sri Lanka

10 February 2011 The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee) urges Sri Lanka to "promptly investigate, prosecute and punish all acts of violence including sexual violence" which arose during the last stages of the conflict and in the post-conflict phase. Prior to this, ECCHR submitted a report during the 48th Session CEDAW Committee on the foreseeability of sexual violence during the Sri Lanka conflict. The paper demands new legal means to hold perpetrators accountable and calls on the UN to consider the highly frequent occurrence of sexual violence in conflicts when developing their strategy for respecting human (and women's) rights. Sexual violence, both tolerated and directly ordered, is committed during conflict by state and non- state actors. Despite this, it remains a taboo subject and is left broadly unpunished. ECCHR argues that in certain circumstances sexual violence is a foreseeable consequence of conflict. Furthermore, both the existence of sexual violence and the denial that such violence is a crime constitute clear expressions of gender-based discrimination and patriarchal systems that must be overcome.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

How the ICRC was kept out of killing zones

(Tamil Guardian 11/02/ 2011)Bosnian Serbs denied the Red Cross access to the eastern town of Srebrenica in July 1995 to hide the ongoing massacre of some 8,000 Muslim civilians, a witness said this week.

See report on the trial of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic here.

In 2009, Sri Lanka also blocked the Red Cross (ICRC) from accessing the northern enclave in Tamil civilians were being massacred by shelling by its forces.

See the BBC's report (Jan 16) here, and CNN's report (Jan 27) here.

On March 1, Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee appealed for Sri Lanka to allow the civilians to escape the killing zone. This is what he said:

The Sri Lankan government should use the ceasefire offer by the LTTE to evacuate all civilians caught in the crisis. Seventy thousand or more more civilians are trapped there ... [Also] Colombo should allow international organisations like the ICRC to work there."

However, Sri Lanka refused both requests.

This is what Pierre Krähenbühl, ICRC director of operations said in mid-April:

"The situation is nothing short of catastrophic. I cannot remember ... as much concentrated pain and exposure to violence with very, very minimal possibilities to reach anywhere that could be called safe."

See AP's report here.

This is what Krähenbühl said on May 15, 2009:

"Our staff are witnessing an unimaginable humanitarian catastrophe [in Mullaitivu]”

See the ICRC’s statement here.

For a chronology of the bloodbath, see a selection of TamilNet reports from January - May 2009 here.

Monday, February 7, 2011

80 killed, 200 wounded, carnage continues inside 'safe zone'(08/02/2009

[TamilNet, 08,02 2009, ]Sri Lanka Army (SLA) continued indiscriminate barrage of artillery shelling on the 'safety zone' killing more than 80 civilians and causing injuries to 200. Most of the casualties were reported along the roads. Every single shell fired by the SLA was exploding in densely populated civilian area and people were forced to stay inside bunkers. However, as people feared ending up in the hands of the SLA which is close to Chuthanthirapuram, they were fleeing in thousands further into LTTE territory amid shelling, facing deaths and injuries on their way, said TamilNet correspondent in Vanni. According to eyewitness reports, 40 dead bodies of civilians, including children and women, were seen along the 2.5 km stretch of Paranthan Puthukkudiyiruppu Road between Chuthanthirapuram and Theavipuram.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

'Wish and reality of Sri Lanka's Independence'

[TamilNet, 05,02,11] “I wish all Sri Lankans around the world a happy celebration and continued peace and prosperity in the coming year," said a statement harping on "post-war reconciliation" released from the office of the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, on the eve of the independence day of Sri Lanka on 4th February. But the imposed celebration was largely ignored inside the island and outside, the day drew protests across the world by Eezham Tamils. “Sri Lankan High Commission has invited the Sri Lankan community for a reception to celebrate their independence. We will assemble outside the embassy to condemn the Sri Lankans celebrating while denying the Tamils their right to independence,” the call for protest in London said. Demonstrations were held in London, Toronto and in Oslo. Addressing protesters in Oslo, Conservative Party (Høyre) leader Erna Solberg called for war-crimes investigations.