Genocide the Tamil people in Srilanka

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

In Sri Lanka, a 'negative peace' prevails The civil war is over in Sri Lanka, but many men suspected of being Tamil Tiger fighters continue to be deta

(Al Jazeera-Kate Mayberry) Seriously injured in a shell attack, his Tamil Tiger comrades dead, Mano (pseudonym) tried to end his own life by biting on the cyanide pill that, like all hardened fighters, he wore around his neck. But an elderly woman nearby rushed to give him water and he survived. Alone, he languished on the sand for six days, surrounded by the bodies of his friends and the ruins of war. "There wasn't anybody there, not a drop of water. I was just lying there in the sun," he said as he recalled the final days of the fighting between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Sri Lankan military. "Then I heard voices and, 200m away, saw soldiers advancing. They took me away." More than 11,000 people were detained by the Sri Lankan authorities at the end of the war on suspicion of being members of the Tamil Tigers, who fought a 26-year battle for an independent Tamil homeland. Some gave themselves up, but no detainees have access to lawyers and few are charged, their families left to find out for themselves the location of their loved ones. More than two-thirds have now been released, but amid a pervasive military presence many struggle to resume a normal life. "A sense of impunity and that the worst can happen is still prevalent," said Jehan Perera, Executive Director of the National Peace Council in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo. "There's been no break with the past."

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Fr. Jim Brown and Mr. Vimalathas: Five years after disappearance, where are they and what has happened to the investigation?

Fr. Tiruchelvam Nihal Jim Brown

(Ruki-Groundviews) Fr. Jim Brown, a Catholic Priest from diocese of Jaffna in Northern Sri Lanka and his associate, Mr. Vimalathas, a father of five people, seem to be just two names and statistics in the long list of disappeared in Sri Lanka, particularly after the escalation of violence and war in the North since 2006.

I didn’t know either before they disappeared, but had got to know about them and the families after they disappeared. I remember the empty and distraught looks on the children of Vimalathas in their small house, who had not realized they will not see and hear from their father again for so long. I remember the hope the parents of Fr. Jim Brown always shares whenever I meet them that their beloved son will return.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Remembering the 2006 Sencholai massacre

(Tamil Guardian 14 August 2011)

August 14 is the fifth anniversary of the massacre of fifty three school girls by Sri Lankan Air Force jets which bombed an orphanage in Vanni. Three staff were also killed.

Four SLAF jets dropped sixteen bombs in repeated passes over the children’s home run by the charity Sencholai.

See the list of victims here, and their photos here.

Also see a survivor’s account of the airstrike here, and photos of the aftermath here andhere. The children's home had been designated a humanitarian zone and its GPS coordinates had been passed to the Sri Lankan military via the UN children’s agency, UNICEF, and the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC).

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tamils still suffer 2 years after Sri Lanka war

(Khaleej Times Online)The roadblocks have been dismantled, the sandbags removed, and Sri Lanka is again a palm-fringed tourist paradise, the government says. But for ethnic Tamils living in the former war zone, it is still a hell of haunted memories, military occupation and missing loved ones.

Hundreds of thousands remain homeless, and no effort has been made to reunite families separated two years ago during the final bloody months of the war between the now-defeated Tamil separatists and the ethnic Sinhalese-dominated government.

A power-sharing program that President Mahinda Rajapaksa promised to enact after the quarter-century war has gone nowhere.

The International Crisis Group castigated the government in a July report that said “the country is yet to see any semblance of compromise or inclusiveness.”

In the meantime, the government has worked hard to project an image of peace and redemption to the world. It insists Tamils have embraced its plan to rebuild homes and shattered lives. It is playing up the Indian Ocean island’s reputation as a tourist destination, building airports, seaports and new roads. It’s even ordered an army headquarters to be converted into a luxury beachside hotel.

But in the ethnic Tamil heartland in the north, resentment has been building

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Inside Sri Lanka's killing fields

August 9, 2011
Headlines Today travels undercover to Vani only to find that Tamil survivors of the civil war still live in the fear of the Sri Lankan army.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Reconciliation in Sri Lanka: Harder than Ever

[ Weekend Leader ]

Travelling through the Tamil areas in North Sri Lanka, one is shocked to see the changing demography of the land. A land that was once inhabited by Tamils and a land that had a distinct flavor of Tamil culture and heritage is now in the grip of Sinhalese hegemony, seen in the form of Buddhist statues, viharas and stupas dotting the landscape that is also lined by broken Tamil homes and newly built shanties of Tamil refugees.

Sinhala and Sinhalisation are now the watch words in the predominantly Tamil areas of North Sri Lanka. Starting from Vavuniya, the change is perceptible as one enters the Tamil heartland.

All those entering into the north have to pass through Omanthai - which has been given a Sinhalese sounding name, ‘Omantha’ - check point on A9 national highway. At this place where more than 90 per cent of the travelers are Tamil speakers, one needs to go with a person knowing Sinhala to answer the queries from the Sinhalese soldiers

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sri Lanka: No Justice in Massacre of Aid Workers

Five Years On, Government Unwilling to Prosecute Soldiers, Police
AUGUST 3, 2011
On the fifth anniversary of the murder of 17 aid workers, the Sri Lankan government is no closer to prosecuting those responsible. The Rajapaksa government is not just unwilling to uncover the truth, it appears afraid of the truth.
James Ross, legal and policy director at Human Rights Watch

(New York) – The Sri Lankan government’s failure to bring to justice those responsible for the execution-style slaying of 17 aid workers five years ago highlights a broader lack of will to prosecute soldiers and police for rights abuses, Human Rights Watch said today. Despite strong evidence of involvement by the security forces in the killings, government inquiries have languished and no one has been arrested for the crime. On August 4, 2006, gunmen murdered the 17 Sri Lankan aid workers – 16 ethnic Tamils and one Muslim – with the Paris-based international humanitarian agency Action Contre La Faim (Action Against Hunger, ACF) in their office compound in the town of Mutur, Trincomalee district. The killings followed a battle between Sri Lankan government forces and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for control of the town. “On the fifth anniversary of the murder of 17 aid workers, the Sri Lankan government is no closer to prosecuting those responsible,” said James Ross, legal and policy director at Human Rights Watch. “The Rajapaksa government is not just unwilling to uncover the truth, it appears afraid of the truth.”

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sri Lanka: Official Report Whitewashes Military Abuses

The Sri Lankan government is finally admitting that its forces caused civilians losses during the conflict’s final months, but unconvincingly claims no responsibility. This is just the latest and glossiest effort to whitewash mounting evidence of government atrocities during the fighting.
Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch

(New York-HRW

) – A new Sri Lankan Defense Ministry report concedes for the first time that government forces caused civilian deaths in the final months of the conflict with the Tamil Tigers but takes no responsibility for laws-of-war violations, Human Rights Watch said today. The report, “Humanitarian Operation – Factual Analysis,” issued on August 1, 2011, claims that government forces did not use artillery against populated areas despite considerable evidence to the contrary and ignores compelling evidence of summary executions by its soldiers.