WORLD NEWS

Speech by Dr. ANBUMANI RAMADOSS MP at the 34th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council – March 22, 2017, Geneva

23rd March 2017 // 0 Comments

Speech by Dr. ANBUMANI RAMADOSS MP at the 34th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council – March 22, 2017, Geneva http://tubestream.tv/view/3AOzikJISNs Item 2 – Interactive Dialogue with High Commissioner’s report on Sri Lanka Mr.President, I’m Dr.Anbumani Ramadoss, Member of Parliament and former Indian Health Minister. I come here on behalf of 78 million Tamil people in India. The Tamils in Sri Lanka has been subjected to constant racial abuses, ethnic cleansing and structural genocide since its independence, which culminated in the killings of more than 1,00,000 Tamils in 2009 by the Sri Lankan Government forces. Even after 8 years Justice has not yet reached the victims. The report of the High Commissioner on Sri Lanka assesses the progress the Government of Sri Lanka […]

Statement on Sri Lanka by: Hon Mr Steven J Rapp, former US Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes

23rd March 2017 // 0 Comments

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND, March 21, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ — Transcript of an oral statement made by Hon Mr Steven J Rapp, former US Ambassador-at-Large and currently Distinguished Fellow at The Hague Institute for Global Justice, in conversation with Hon K Manikcka Vasagar, Minister for International Affairs with the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) in Geneva on 15 March 2017. Hello and Good Day! I am here in Geneva and one of the issues upon which I am engaging is something that I worked very hard on when I was US Ambassador-at-large for Global Criminal Justice visiting Sri Lanka twice in 2012 and 2014. I believe very strongly in there being transitional justice and accountability for the crimes committed in 2009 in particular, and the truth being […]

‘SL needs to implement 27 conventions for GSP+’

21st March 2017 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka needs to ensure that there is no serious failure on its part to implement the 27 international conventions at the desired level to be qualified for the GSP plus concession, Commerce Director General Sonali Wijeratne said. “Looking at the regulations which are applicable to the European Parliament and Council, the facts of the case and the experience of others countries that have also thought of applying under various conditions, Sri Lanka has an excellent case.” According to Wijeratne, Sri Lanka has to look at a compendium of other issues as to how long Sri Lanka can actually keep GSP plus concession going on by ensuring that there is no serious failure on the part of Sri Lanka to implement the conventions at the […]

Sri Lanka Echocardiogram project – 5th to 9th July 2017

21st March 2017 // 0 Comments

Dear Friend, Areas affected by the war in the North and East of Sri Lanka are still recovering from the three decade long civil war that ceased in 2009. Local health care provision, whilst making tremendous achievements against all the odds, is still sub-optimal. In particular, the whole of Northern Province, with a population of over 1,000,000 is served by only 3 cardiologists – 2 in Jaffna district and 1 in Vavuniya district. However, there is no cardiology or echocardiogram (echo/ ultrasound scan of the heart) service in the other three districts of the Northern Province (Mannar, Killinochi and Mullaitivu). The Health Ministry of Northern Province has requested Assist RR  to help reduce the work load on the three cardiologists by providing free echocardiogram clinics in the […]

Annual World Bank report 2017 Inbox x

16th March 2017 // 0 Comments

‘’ The report identifies high levels of poverty in key districts in the north and east of the country, including Mullaitivu (28.8 percent), Mannar (20.1 percent) and Batticaloa district (19.4 percent). At 20.8 percent, the data from Monaragala district in Uva province also offers cause for concern. Within Batticaloa, estimated poverty rates run as high as 45 percent in Manmunai West and 38 percent in Karalai Pattu South. Across the board, poverty rates are disproportionately high for vulnerable groups such as youth and ethnic minorities; and unemployment is high for youth and women …. Social assistance programs need attention and important knowledge gaps remain. ’’ – Sri Lanka Poverty and Welfare: Recent Progress and Remaining Challenges, 31 January 2017, http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2017/01/31/srilanka-poverty-welfare-recent-progress-remaining-challenges   ‘’The research finds that […]

Sixth Amendment to Sri Lanka’s Constitution: Contradictory, Incoherent and Unconstitutional – Dr. Barbara Jackman

16th March 2017 // 0 Comments

Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) is Challenging Sri Lanka at the UN Against it’s Sixth Amendment TORONTO , CANADA , March 14, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ — At the International Conference held on Thursday March 9th at the Delta Hotel in Toronto Dr. Barbara Louise Jackman a highly respected authority in immigration and refugee law, with particular emphasis on cases involving national security, domestic and international human rights issues, torture, and the rights and protections afforded by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and Canada’s responsibilities under international treaties, described the 6th Amendment to Sri Lanka’s constitution as a “schizophrenic clause with internal contradictions and an open violation of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights. She pointed out that the amendment is not […]

EU asks for ‘concrete’ HR progress ahead of GSP+

16th March 2017 // 0 Comments

Recognises progress on several fronts including RTI, legislation on the Office of Missing Persons Detailed exchanges with PM and Mangala on constitution-making and repealing PTA     EU Working Group conclusions to be reported to EU-Sri Lanka Joint Commission  The European Union has underscored the importance of the Sri Lankan Government achieving “prompt and concrete” progress on human rights ahead of the decision on GSP+ expected in May, the EU said in a statement yesterday. Both sides released a joint press statement following the meeting of the Working Group on Governance, Rule of Law and Human Rights under the European Union-Sri Lanka Joint Commission, which kicked off on Monday. The EU delegation to the Working Group called on Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and met with Foreign […]

Is The New Constitution A New Con?

15th March 2017 // 0 Comments

The Government has pledged us a new constitution, an inclusive constitution, an openly drafted constitution, a referendum approved constitution. Last year, the whole Government seemed to be participating in a thorough reshuffle of attitudes, principles, and expectations, with a minimum of stubbed toes. As  Foreign Minister, Mangala Samaraweera, stated at the 30th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC), “The best guarantee for non-recurrence, a political settlement that addresses the grievances of the Tamil people,” seemed to be well on its way to meet us. This article would not need to proceed any further had not the symptoms of cognitive dissonance set in. Now we have Mangala Samaraweera and President Maithripala Sirisena assuring the public that there will be and will not be a new […]

Can foreign judges et al be avoided? Debate over Geneva Resolution 30/1

15th March 2017 // 0 Comments

By Shamindra Ferdinando Amidst mounting pressure, on the political front, with the Joint Opposition (JO) relentlessly undermining his authority, President Maithripala Sirisena has apparently ended his ‘honeymoon’ with those who had brought him to power, just over two years ago. President Sirisena has thrown a coalition that had helped him to defeat war-winning President Mahinda Rajapaksa, at the January 2015, presidential polls, into disarray. The President made his move at the onset of the 34th sessions of the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Obviously, the change of the President’s stance was meant to consolidate his position, both in and outside parliament. The Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces assured loyalists that foreign participation in war crimes probe wouldn’t be allowed, under any circumstances. President […]

Dual citizenship Geetha cannot be an MP: AG

15th March 2017 // 0 Comments

The Attorney General today informed the Court of Appeal that MP Geetha Kumarasinghe was still a citizen of Switzerland and according to the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, a person who has dual citizenship cannot be an MP. Deputy Solicitor General Janak De Silva informed Court that, according to clause 91(1) of the Constitution, she was not entitled to Parliamentary privileges and could not be a Member of Parliament. J.C. Weliamuna, counsel for the petitioners informed Court that the respondent Geetha Kumarasinghe had requested the Swiss authorities to relinquish her Swiss citizenship on August 25. But there was no documentary evidence to prove that they had revoked her Swiss citizenship. DSG de Silva said that though the respondent Kumarasinghe had asserted that she had given […]

No organizations can interfere in Sri Lanka’s (Killing of Tamil civilians) internal affairs – Rtd. Rear Admiral Sarath

13th March 2017 // 0 Comments

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan Rtd. Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara will leave for Geneva tomorrow leading a three-man delegation to meet UN Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein to mount an offensive against the case, now argued before the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), that Sri Lankan forces committed war crimes, especially during the closing stages of the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. This allegation is the centrepiece of the UNHRC resolution that is widely accepted by the international community including the Tamil Diaspora. He takes a 100-page dossier of facts to buttress his arguments against the allegations. Weerasekara, Chief Coordinator of The Federation of National Association sponsored by the Global Sri Lankan Forum, told Ceylon Today that UN Human Rights Chief […]

‘Security Forces in Sri Lanka Continue to Operate With Impunity’

13th March 2017 // 0 Comments

Yasmin Sooka spoke to The Wire about Sri Lanka’s transitional justice process, the sequencing of judicial mechanisms for the same and the role other countries can play. Yasmin Sooka. Credit: Youtube screenshot Yasmin Sooka is the executive director of the Foundation for Human Rights in South Africa, and the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP). She is regarded as a leading human rights lawyer, activist and an international expert in the fields of transitional justice, gender and international war crimes. She previously served on the UN Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on Sri Lanka. This interview has been edited lightly. Would you tell us a little bit about ITJP’s work? ITJP documents human rights violations and abuses as well as gathers evidence for the purposes of […]

What Mangala Said (And Didn’t Say) At The UNHRC

11th March 2017 // 0 Comments

Last week, during the 34th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), and a full 17 months since Sri Lanka’s co-signing of Resolution 30/1, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera delivered a speech at a high-level segment in Geneva. Kicking off on an uncharacteristically sombre note, Samaraweera said: “Those of different faiths and beliefs, across gender, caste and creed, that constitute our country, worked together to gain Independence for our nation in 1948. That achieved, we failed to forge the perfect nation of individuals who all hold equal rights, working as one to achieve the heights our nation could attain.” “As a result, for 69 long years, we journeyed through pain, violence, loss of life and precious human resources, ruining chances of socio-economic progress. This […]

At UNHRC, states call for timetable from Lanka on establishing reconciliation mechanisms

9th March 2017 // 0 Comments

Govt. officially announces co-sponsorship at informal session in Geneva  Several state delegations want new resolution to require Lanka to commit to specific timetable No aspects of 2015 resolution have been changed by new draft resolution says US US says draft resolution prepared in consultation with Govt. By Dharisha Bastians in Geneva The Sri Lanka resolution at the 34th Session of the UN Human Rights Council should contain a timeframe for implementation of transitional justice commitments the country had made in 2015, several member states said, when the first informal session on the draft resolution to promote reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka got underway in Geneva yesterday. During the informal session on the ‘zero draft’ of the resolution, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, […]

Speaking Frankly About Sri Lanka and Accountability – The Huffington Post

9th March 2017 // 0 Comments

Taylor Dibbert, Contributor Sri Lanka’s compliance with an October 2015 UN Human Rights Council resolution is being hotly debated at the Council’s 34th session, which began in late February and will run through March 24. At this point, it looks as though another resolution on Sri Lanka will be passed later this month and that the Sri Lankan government will support such an initiative. While some people appear to be in favor of another resolution on Sri Lanka, others (for various reasons) are not. For example, some have argued that what’s really needed now is for the UN Security Council to refer Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court (ICC). It’s true that the Sri Lankan government has failed to implement a resolution it cosponsored. […]

Disturbing Report by WAN – Abuse of Women in the war affected areas in Sri Lanka

9th March 2017 // 0 Comments

Dear All, Today being the International Women’s Day, I wish to share with you all something that Otthulaippu is subscribing to.  I am sure you will all subscribe your time reading and forwarding this message to your family and friends to support this cause and raise awareness of plight of our unfortunate women and children in Sri Lanka ….. Thanks and regards Thilaka On behalf of Otthulaippu Otthulaippu.com http://www.uktamilnews.com/?p=24598 Dear Well-wishers, A damning report was released in August 2016 by Women Association Network (WAN)[i].  This report[ii] discusses the plight of women, who are facing various forms of cruelty and oppression at the hands of men, including their husbands in Northern and Eastern regions in Sri Lanka. They are victims of emotional, financial and sexual abuse […]

Toronto Event to discuss TGTE’s Challenge at the UN Against Sri Lanka’s 6th Amendment

9th March 2017 // 0 Comments

TORONTO, CANADA, March 7, 2017 Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) is pleased to invite you to the launching of its campaign to challenge Sri Lanka at the United Nations against Sri Lanka’s sixth amendment. The 6th Amendment criminalizes the peaceful advocacy for an independent state which is a violation of freedom of speech, thought and conscience and the right of self-determination, set out in articles 18, 19 and 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, ratified by Sri Lanka. The 6th Amendment does not prohibit calls for its repeal – as such this call for support is extended to lawyers practicing in Sri Lanka as well. Speakers: 1) Ms. Barbara Jackman, Human Rights Attorney. 2) Mr. David Matas: Human Rights Attorney. […]

Geneva Event: Sri Lanka Rejects Foreign Judges in Accountability Mechanism: What Next?

9th March 2017 // 0 Comments

In 2015 the UN Human Rights Council passed Resolution 30/1 on Transitional Justice in Sri Lanka. The Resolution calls for the “participation” of foreign judges. Since the term “participation” is covered in ambiguity, relevant stakeholders have interpreted it different ways according to their respective constituents. However, the UN High Commissioner’s repeated call for a hybrid court in the advanced copy of the Council’s Report and the Sri Lankan President’s immediate rejection of the idea of foreign judges constitute a paradigm shift. The issue has become sharpened raising the question of how a rollover resolution will be interpreted. The Side Event will explore the various scenarios such as time bound benchmarks, and also the consequences of a failure of benchmarks in terms of a referral to […]

“Do Not Give Sri Lanka More Time” – TNA MPs Tell UN

7th March 2017 // 0 Comments

Some 11 MPs representing the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has appealed to the United Nations against granting an extension of time to the Sri Lankan government to implement the 2015 resolutions. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights The MPs have signed the appeal to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), requesting the UNHRC to not give the Sri Lankan government an extension to implement the resolutions, which was to be implemented by this month. The signatories include; S. Sritharan, S. Adaikalanathan, Siva Mohan, Dharmalingam Sitharthan, S. Yogeswaran, Shanthi Kantharaja, Sivasakthi Ananthan, G. Srinesen, Charles Nirmelanathan, S. Viyalanderen, and K. Kodeeswaran have signed the petition. In the appeal, the signatories have pointed out that even though the Sri Lankan […]

“ROLLING OVER” OF UNHRC RESOLUTION IS NOT A GOOD OPTION FOR SRI LANKA

7th March 2017 // 0 Comments

Should Sri Lanka ‘Roll Over’ in Geneva? The 47-member Human Rights Council (HRC) has a mandate to hold no fewer than three regular sessions a year, for a total of at least ten weeks. These sessions take place in March (four weeks), June (three weeks) and September (three weeks). Further, if one third of the Member States requests, HRC could decide to hold a special session at any time, to address human rights violations and emergencies. That was how the 11th Special Session of the HRC was convened to consider the situation in Sri Lanka in 2009, a week after the conflict came to an end. Noteworthy is the fact that the request for convening the special session was made by the Permanent Representative of […]

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