SRI LANKA NEWS

Post Colonial Era And Bifurcations Of Countries, Is Sri Lanka An Exception?

16th May 2014 // 0 Comments

By G K Nathan – The fifth anniversary of Sri Lanka’s military victory against Tamil Tigers on 18 May 2009 will be celebrated by Sinhala Nation, but the Tamil Nation worldwide will commemorate the loss of loved ones and demanding equal rights between Nations, which demonstrates the country remains divided and Sinhala-Tamil conflict remains unresolved. At the end of military conflict, there was a golden opportunity to resolve the long standing conflict by establishing accountability for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity and to bring reconciliation between the divided peoples. Sri Lanka, has failed to pay heed to the international call for accountability and reconciliation, which would have brought peoples together, but continuing to have grand plans to celebrate the military victory, at the same time, rights to […]

Canada to boycott Victory Day parade – ‘Such events won’t help post-war reconciliation’

16th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Canadian High Commissioner Shelley Whiting yesterday said that her country wouldn’t be represented at the Victory Day parade in Matara on Sunday (May 18). The Canadian envoy said that the annual military parade wouldn’t help post-war national reconciliation, therefore she wouldn’t accept the government invitation. The following is the text of a statement issued by High Commissioner Whiting toThe Island yesterday: “As in past years, heads of mission resident in Sri Lanka have recently received invitations to participate in this year’s Victory Parade scheduled to be held in Matara on May 18. As Canadian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, part of my role includes celebrating the successes of the country alongside the Sri Lankan people. However, I will not be attending the Victory Day Parade on […]

90,000 Tamil’s still internally displaced

16th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Five years after the war, Sri Lanka’s level of internal displacement is estimated to be around 90,000 persons, according to the Annual Global Review of the Norway based Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC).  Based on data gathered from January to December 2013, the IDMC’s latest assessment has recorded up to 90,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Sri Lanka by end 2013. It also records that over 480,000 IDPs have returned to the Northern and Eastern Provinces – after the war end– though specific measures were considered necessary to facilitate the returnees.  The report released on 14 May, further records that the State occupation of land prevented the return of at least 30,000 IDPs living in protracted displacement during the assessment year (2013). It noted that out… …of […]

When duplicity nourishes evil

16th May 2014 // 0 Comments

The abduction by Boko Haram terrorists of about 200 schoolgirls in Nigeria has jolted the world into action. All leading nations have sunk differences, in a spirit of harambee, to help Abuja secure the release of the victims the terrorists are threatening to sell unless their fellow combatants in prison are released. The Nigerian government yesterday rejected the proposed swap.   The Boko Haram terrorists must be made to realise that the civilized world cannot be frightened into submission. But, the problem is that the world powers do not go flat out to send terrorists out of business unless such action helps advance their hidden agendas.   The Sudan People’s Liberation Army, it may be recalled, used child combatants in its violent campaign to carve […]

Never Glad Confident Morning Again? The Decline Of The Last Five Years

16th May 2014 // 0 Comments

By Rajiva Wijesinha – Five years ago, I spent the week of my 55th birthday in Geneva. I had been summoned there urgently, because some Western nations had been trying to get sufficient signatures to hold a Special Session of the Human Rights Council in an attempt to stop our imminent conquest of the Tigers. By the time I got to Geneva though, the danger was over, and there was much to celebrate. The superb diplomacy of Dayan Jayatilleka, our Representative in Geneva, supported admirably by the international coalition he had built up, had ensured that the West did not get the required number of signatures, and the danger passed. By the time I got back to Colombo, we had registered an even more remarkable victory, in that the […]

Colombo ‘failing to engage’ with Tamil minority

15th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Five years after the end of Sri Lanka’s decades-long civil war, there are few signs of a government-led reconciliation, MP Rajiva Wjesinha tells DW, arguing that mistrust and suspicion have only grown stronger. Shortly after the Sri Lankan army defeated the separatist “Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam” in May 2009, President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared an end to the country’s bloody civil war which had lasted more than 25 years during that period claimed the lives of at least 100,000 people. Five years after the end of the separatist conflict, Sri Lanka is still struggling with reconciliation between the majority Sinhala community and the Tamil minority. International human rights organizations hold the army as well as the LTTE-separatists responsible for crimes committed during the civil war. […]

Attitudinal change necessary to give momentum to the Provincial councils

15th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka on the threshold of change needs an overhaul of the entire democratic process and good governance. The three decade old war is over and expectations have been raised for a more tranquil future. People are looking forward to a life enriched by greater equity in society, guided by enlightened leadership, with emphasis on fairness in governance, quality education, health and reasonably habitable housing along with accelerated progress in arts and culture and sports. The South has effectively put to rest the crisis filled years of the Southern Youth challenge to the State. Since then the movement has embraced ( been permitted to) democracy with a healthy respect for parliamentary traditions and human rights. At this moment in history the country needs enlightened leadership, […]

SAY NO TO SRI LANKA: LONDON CONFERENCE ON BOYCOTT

15th May 2014 // 0 Comments

SAY NO TO SRI LANKA: LONDON CONFERENCE ON BOYCOTT, DIVEST & SANCTION AGAINST SRI LANKA : TGTE  Joined by Several International Scholars & Activists: Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE). LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, May 14, 2014 /EINPresswire.com/ — Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) is organizing an International conference in London on May 17th, to plan strategy to boycott, divest and sanction against Sri Lanka’s political & military leaders and against Sri Lanka itself. This conference is taking place during TGTE’s week of mourning to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the mass killings in the final months of the war in 2009, which resulted in tens of thousands of innocent Tamils killed and Tamil women raped by the Sri Lankan Security forces. What: Say No […]

Between Modi and MoD: Mahinda’s choice

15th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Between Modi and MoD: Mahinda’s choice by Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka Mahinda Rajapaksa has just won the Sri Lankan Presidential election of 2015. The Modi mood sweeping India has given a second wind and a fresh momentum to the Mahinda incumbency. However, the dramatic new chapter in the Indian epic, if misunderstood and underutilized by President Rajapaksa, can enhance rather than decrease the pressures on Sri Lanka. Given that he is named after the son of a great leader of India —Ashoka—who bore the message of the greatest son of the Indian subcontinent— Gautama, the Buddha— there’s a question, more geopolitical than metaphysical, that Mahinda Rajapaksa must ask himself: what if King Devanampiyatissa had declined to convert or delayed in converting to the doctrine of the […]

Sri Lankan President set NOT to attend Glasgow 2014 after fears of Protest by Tamils

14th May 2014 // 0 Comments

A potentially harmful diplomatic challenge for Glasgow 2014 is likely to be avoided due to the fact Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is not planning to attend the Commonwealth Games this summer, insidethegames has learned.  This comes after two letters were sent to British Foreign Secretary William Hague voicing concerns the presence of the controversial leader would mean the Games are overshadowed by questions relating to genocide and human rights abuse.  The first was sent by Hague’s opposition counterpart in the Labour Party, shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander last Friday (May 9), demanding to know exactly how the Government plans to ensure the event is not hit by controversy. It cites how police have already warned there could be protests on the streets of Glasgow if he does attend, before […]

I WAS TORTURED IN SRI LANKA FOR HARBOURING TAMILS

14th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Last week, the Australian government decided not to co-sponsor a UN inquiry into human rights abuses in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan government praised its “bold” decision, and defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa posed for a celebratory shot with Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison as the former handed the latter a premium box of Dilmah tea. The deal – which is essentially the Australian government turning a blind-eye to the torture of Sri Lankan citizens, among other abuses – has been criticised as placing Australia “on the same team as China, Russia and the Congo in opposing the investigation”. The agreement is apparently based on the excellent relations between the two countries, which – of course – doesn’t justify it in any shape or form. The news comes a few […]

Why The LTTE Was Defeated

14th May 2014 // 0 Comments

By Kumar David – It is natural that many reasons are ascribed for the defeat of the LTTE; none is exclusively true, they are interconnected and some more significant than others. After five years it is timely to invite Colombo Telegraph readers to separate the wheat from the chaff and enter into a thoughtful (not polemical) discussion so as to gain some maturity of perspective in these post-Geneva-2014 days. Most oft proclaimed in the South is that a determination of leadership (funding, unflagging political support, military strategy, and resisting foreign pressure to compromise) decided the issue; but this is only partly true. A second argument, popular with Tamil liberals, is that the LTTE lost the moral high ground by espousing terrorism against Sinhalese civilians and Tamil leaders, and that internally […]

Should Sri Lanka panic about international war crimes prosecutions yet?

14th May 2014 // 0 Comments

BY NAYANTHA WIJESUNDARA   LL.M (Colombo); Ph.D in Conflict and Peace Studies (Colombo); LL.B (London); Attorney-at-Law  I have observed with amazement the current discourse in Sri Lanka about the possibility of an international war crimes prosecution with regard to the Sri Lankan war. The discourse is largely incomplete, biased and often misleading. Hence, I felt it opportune to write a succinct piece on this issue just to put the matter into perspective for the layman who has no expertise on the workings of international criminal justice. I will not discuss whether the Sri Lankan war requires dissection before the international criminal justice system as that is an evaluation of the merits of the matter which falls beyond the scope of this modest piece of writing.  Is it possible that the […]

The Truth About Justice in Sri Lanka

14th May 2014 // 0 Comments

It is time to be realistic about the chances of achieving accountability on human rights in Sri Lanka Five years ago – in May 2009 – Sri Lanka’s brutal civil war finally ended. Regrettably, there is ample evidence to suggest that violations of international humanitarian and human rights law were committed by both the Sri Lankan military and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). In spite of significant international criticism, the Sri Lankan government has refused to conduct a proper inquiry into what transpired at the end of the war and human rights violations in the country have continued unabated since that time. Indeed it is the nexus between past atrocities that remain unaccounted for and the ongoing human rights violations – which are rarely dealt with […]

Most people in northern Sri Lanka are hesitating to speak fearing surveillance

14th May 2014 // 0 Comments

The Jaffna University Science Teachers’ Association has condemned the closure of the university between May 16 and 20, pointing to intimidation and repression of free discussion on campus. It said that some university professors and student leaders received death threats warning them against holding any commemoration for those who lost their lives during the war, alleging that they were trying to revive the LTTE. Earlier this month, the registrar of the university had sent out a circular announcing that the university and its hostels will remain closed from May 16 to 20, which coincides with the days that the country’s ethnic conflict ended. “Why should Tamils speaking of the war be such an explosive issue five years after it ended, a war in which neither […]

Pro-government forces issue death threats against Jaffna university teachers and students

14th May 2014 // 0 Comments

University of Jaffna teachers in military-occupied northern Sri Lanka held a silent protest last Friday at noon, condemning death threats issued against them and student leaders by suspected military-backed thugs. Teachers marched around the university premises and picketed at the entrance. They held placards with slogans such as: “Are extra-judicial killings of teachers and the threatening of professors and students a wonder of Asia?” Other placards asked: “Is a university an academic field or a killing field?” “Does student education mean arbitrarily closing the university?” and “Are threats or intimidation not terrorism?” Threatening notices were dumped on the university premises on Tuesday last week, headed: “Terrorism will not be allowed to rise again.” They were issued anonymously under a false name: “Student Force to Defend […]

Yasmin Sooka’s evidence based on sound legal grounds will no doubt play a vital role in the final report by the UN OHCHR.

14th May 2014 // 0 Comments

  Must Watch VIDEO: Canadian Senator Mobina Jaffer interviews Yasmin Sooka on May of 2014 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdtf-R_qo7Q In the light of Sri Lanka’s dismissal of the international investigation and their refusal to cooperate, Yasmin Sooka’s evidence based on sound legal grounds will no doubt play a vital role in the final report by the UN OHCHR.  An UN report with such damning legal evidence cannot be dismissed easily by the UN Security Council and the ICC.  That will be the next stage in the road to accountability and justice.         What is more remarkable in this video is her dedication to the cause of human rights.  Whether it be South Africa her own country, Sierra Leone, or Sri Lanka, she brings an unparalleled […]

Mapping 12 years of Sri Lankan opinion

13th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Perspectives of Sri Lankans over the last decade or so makes for fascinating reading five years after the end of the war. This infographic is only a snapshot of the hope, frustration, changes and divides between communities in Sri Lanka since 2001. Looking at this makes us wonder what the future holds. Will cycles of hope and frustration continue? Will there be a lasting peace? Or will another war mark the beginning of a new timeline of violence? The data for this infographic was taken from the Peace Confidence Index, an island wide public opinion poll which was conducted continuously from 2001 – 2008 and Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka survey, which has been conducted island wide annually since 2011 by Social Indicator, the survey research unit of the Centre for […]

UK not happy with ban by Sri Lanka

13th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Britain says it is concerned at reports that the Sri Lankan government has proscribed a number of individuals and Tamil organisations operating outside Sri Lanka. UK Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth office Hugo Swire said that while UK respects the right of the Sri Lankan government to take appropriate action against individuals and groups where there is clear evidence of their involvement in terrorist activities, the British high commissioner to Sri Lanka has made clear to the Sri Lankan government that the proscription should not be used to prevent or stifle the right to freedom of speech, particularly at a time when Sri Lanka’s human rights record is under international scrutiny. “We believe that this development is not conducive to a successful […]

Bathiudeen re-settling people in forest reserves: environmentalists

13th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Four leading environmental associations today charged that Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen had illegally cleared 18,000 acres of forest land belonging to leading wildlife parks in three districts.The Center for Environmental justice, the Environment Conservation Trust, the Sri Lanka Environment Congress and the Buddhist Collective for Nature said the Minister had cut down trees in forest reserves at 14 locations in the districts of Mannar, Vavuniya and Mullaitivu.Center for Environmental Justice Executive Director Hemantha Vithanage said the forests have been cleared violating the Environmental Act. He charged that the Minister is currently inflicting undue influence on the authorities to release some more land in the Madhu area for the resettlement of people.Mr. Vithnage said the resettlement of internally displaced persons was completed in 2012 […]

1 412 413 414 415 416 419