Genocide the Tamil people in Srilanka

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Remembering, May 31,1981 Jaffna library burned to Tamils' dismay

If May 10, 1933 is recognized in history for the Aryan Nazi book burning campaign in Germany, its equivalent happened on May 31-June 1, 1981 in Jaffna. The white-skinned Aryan Nazis burnt over 25,000 books in 1933, which they deemed ‘un-German.’ The brown-skinned Aryan Nazi sympathizers of Sri Lanka burnt a library full of 97,000 books and manuscripts in 1981, to destroy what they perceived as the records of the Tamil culture on the island.

To collectively remember the vandalism perpetrated by the unruly, anti-cultural mobs in Sri Lanka in the targeted (1) June 1981 burning of the Jaffna Public Library, (2) July1983 burning of books and documents of prominent Tamil elites in Colombo, and (3) 1984 burning of libraries of Hartley College, Point Pedro and a civil community center in Valvettiturai, as a bibliophile, I post below a 1,030 word essay by Lance Morrow, that appeared in Time magazine in May 2, 1988.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

US urged to use UNHRC for Sri Lanka war-crimes accountability

[TamilNet, 28 May 2011, ] Eleven prominent Rights Groups including Carter Center, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and International Crisis Group, in a letter to US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, urged the US to "take advantage of the opportunity of 17th session of the U.N. Human Rights Council to highlight the need for effective accountability in Sri Lanka for war crimes and other abuses committed by both sides." The communication pointed to conclusions of the war-crimes report by the UN panel of experts that "tens of thousands were killed in the final months of the war..." and called for "establishment of an independent international mechanism with a mandate to conduct investigations into alleged violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, including war crimes."
Full text of the letter to Secretary Hillary Clinton follows:

Friday, May 27, 2011

Sri Lanka: Confronting the Killing Fields

(By Steve Crawshaw international advocacy director of Amnesty International)

A hard-hitting UN report has found compelling evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity during the final phase of the war in Sri Lanka in spring 2009.

In the face of repeated government denials, the report’s authors reckon that up to 40,000 died in just a few terrible months in spring 2009 — kept out of the sight of television cameras, and out of the politicians’ minds. The report calls for an international investigation, which could have far-reaching consequences. Members of the Nonaligned Movement, as they meet in Bali this week, have a critical part to play in ensuring these terrible abuses never happen again and that survivors of the conflict can seek justice, thus laying the groundwork for reconciliation.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sri Lanka: Military Conference to Whitewash War Crimes

(New York-MAY 23, 2011)

Governments should decline the invitation to attend a Sri Lankan military conference that seeks to legitimize the unlawful killing of thousands of civilians during the armed conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Human Rights Watch said today.

The Sri Lankan government has invited 54 countries to its "Seminar on Defeating Terrorism: The Sri Lankan Experience" from May 31 to June 2, 2011 in Colombo, the capital.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sri Lanka: Survivors appeal for justice two years on

By Yolanda Foster, Amnesty International’s Sri Lanka researcher

Civilians displaced during the closing days of the war, May 2009 ©Amnesty International

It’s now 2 years since the end of the war between the Sri Lankan security forces and the Tamil Tigers. To many, the Sri Lankan conflict may seem strangely remote. For survivors and those of us who monitored the abuses during the war, the month of May will never be quite the same.

I still remember the 19th May 2009 and the sense of shock and relief as the government announced the war was over. The relief was based on hope that finally the months of deprivation for trapped civilians living without adequate food and water and living in fear of shelling was at an end. The relief quickly ebbed when I realised the scale of denial. In spite of a recent UN Panel report that has catalogued a series of violations, including government shelling of civilians, the government continues to repeat its absurd claims of a “No civilian casualty policy”.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Over hundred thousand IDPs waiting to return

After two years since the Sri Lankan government has declared its military victory over the Tamil Tigers, over one hundred thousand displaced had not returned home says a new UN report.

"Between 1 April and 13 May 2011, 1,139 persons (366 families) departed the Menik Farm and Kodikamam Ramavil camps for their areas of origin in Mullaitivu (Maritimepattu and Odusuddan) and Kilinochchi (Pachchilaipallai and Karachchi) Districts, increasing the total population returned to the Northern Province to 373,593 persons (114,561 families).

Saturday, May 14, 2011

More than 100,000 civilians in safe zone, ICRC suspends Vanni missions

[TamilNet, Friday, 15 May 2009, ] "Unless an external humanitarian intervention is carried out without delay, it would be difficult to avert an inhuman catastrophe," said a volunteer doctor appointed by the LTTE to serve the civilians within the so-called safety zone, Friday afternoon. "The ICRC has abandoned its missions, there is no food, no proper access to potable water to tens of thousands of civilians who are forced to stay under the bunkers, surrounded by dead bodies and wounded civilians who are dying without medical help," the medics doctor told TamilNet through a satellite phone. The Sri Lankan forces are deploying superior fire power and advancing along the coastal line deploying cluster munitions and shells causing immediate fire. The doctor has seen at least 800 dead bodies within the area where he has been able to move while trying to help the wounded civilians. Meanwhile, an spokesperson with the ICRC in Colombo confirmed that the ICRC had stopped all missions as it was unable to reach the shore due to continuous shelling. Sri Lankan military sources in Colombo said 6,000 civilians have been captured by the military Friday in addition to 2,750 civilians on Thursday. An oil dump was hit in SLA artillery fire, according to the military sources.

Sri Lanka authorities failed to address past human rights violations despite the end of the war, the Amnesty International said.

(BBC 13 May, 2011)

The government continued to subject people to torture and enforced disappearances, the watchdog said in its annual report.

"Enforced disappearances and abductions for ransom carried out by members of the security forces are reported in many parts of the country," the report said.

On Thursday, the UN said Iniya Bharati, an advisor to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, is running a faction of the TMVP paramilitary group that still forcefully recruits children.

AI annual report 2011 - Amnesty International

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Wikileaks: Sri Lanka 'rejected rebel surrender offer

(BBC10 May 2011)The Sri Lankan government rejected a surrender offer by Tamil Tiger rebels at the end of the war, reports released through the Wikileaks website say. They say that Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa dismissed US pressure to allow a mediated surrender with the words "we're beyond that now". The leaked US cables suggest requests for the International Red Cross to go into the war zone were refused.

Friday, May 6, 2011

ANC statement on the UN panel of experts` recommendations on Sri Lanka

(Author : Ebrahim Ebrahim 6 May 2011)

The United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, had appointed a Panel of Experts to advise him on accountability in the Sri Lankan conflict. Amongst those who served on the panel is Yasmin Sooka, a prominent South African jurist. The Panel of Experts concluded that there were serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law committed by both the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers Tamil Eelam (LTTE), some of which would amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The African National Congress has consistently condemned any act of violation of human rights in all conflict areas. We therefore urge all conflicting parties to resolve problems through peaceful dialogue and negotiation. We have noted, with regret, that breakdown of the ceasefire and the negotiations between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE led to a military solution of resolving the problems.

The ANC supports the recommendations of the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s Panel of Experts that called for the establishment of an independent body to investigate all violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws committed in the conflict.

We also call on the government of Sri Lanka to take immediate steps to address the core grievances of the Tamil population and engage in a genuine reconciliation process.

Issued by: Head of International Relations Dr Ebrahim Ebrahim African National Congress

Monday, May 2, 2011

SRI LANKA: Cry from the Graves?

(South Asia Analysis Group by Sivanendran )

The end of the three decade old civil war that pitted the government against the LTTE and divided the population created a reasonable expectation that Sri Lanka would be able to reach reconciliation and healing, which would pave the way for rapid economic progress. But alas the country appears to be getting more divided and polarised than ever before.

Fifty years of ethnic cleansing have wiped out whole generations who knew any sort of peace, and have made cohabitation between the Tamils and the Sinhalese people in Sri Lanka virtually impossible. The Sinhala politicians have transformed the country into a counter-insurgency state like Columbia, in which repression, torture, imprisonment without trial and disappeared people are institutionally embedded. It appears that it is an extremely difficult task for the Sri Lankans to reverse this process.

Violation of Human Rights in Sri Lanka

With the end of the civil war, there was a glimmer of hope in resolving the longstanding crisis. However, this is unlikely. The current regime having come back to power appears to block meaningful efforts at accountability of individuals for past violations of human rights.