Failing the Victims: An Expert Assessment of Sri Lankan Government’s Transitional Justice Efforts – Geneva Press Club

26th February 2017 // 0 Comments

The Geneva Press Club – Club suisse de la Presse, in collaboration with the Monitoring Accountability Panel (MAP). Press conference on the following topic: Failing the Victims: An Expert Assessment of the Sri Lankan Government’s Transitional Justice Efforts With: 1) Mr. Richard J Rogers MAP Member, Lawyer, International criminal law and Human Rights expert 2) Mr. Andrew Ianuzzi MAP Member, Lawyer, International criminal law expert When: Tuesday 28th February 2017 at 2:45 pm Where: The Geneva Press Club – Club suisse de la Presse Contact: Phone: +41 22 546 14 44 ; Email: NOTE: The event will be live streamed at:… On 28 February 2017, the Monitoring Accountability Panel (“MAP”) will issue its Second Spot Report, which will coincide with the 34th session of […]

Sri Lanka: Pledge to End Police Abuse Not Met

21st February 2017 // 0 Comments

(New York) – The Sri Lankan government has not met its pledge to curtail police abuses prior to the March 2017 session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Human Rights Watch said today. Security sector reform was one of 25 undertakings by Sri Lanka in the Human Rights Council resolution adopted by consensus in October 2015. Members of the Sri Lankan police march with an elephant during Sri Lanka’s 69th Independence day celebrations in Colombo, Sri Lanka February 4, 2017. The Sri Lankan government has failed to repeal the abusive Prevention of Terrorism Act or take serious measures to reduce torture in custody. “It’s crucial that the Human Rights Council consider closely whether Sri Lanka made progress in the security sector as well as […]

SL military puts up shoot-at-sight warning inside appropriated Keappaa-pulavu lands

19th February 2017 // 0 Comments

[TamilNet, Friday, 17 February 2017, 23:13 GMT] The occupying military of genocidal Sri Lanka has put up notice boards threatening the protesting families and the people visiting Keappaa-pulavu not to enter the lands that have been seized from the uprooted families. “This land belongs to the Air Force. Unwarranted entry is prohibited. Those entering unwarranted will be targeted by gunfire,” say the warnings that have been put up inside the lands of uprooted people on Friday. In the meantime, SL Air force personnel have been shooting photos using professional DSLR cameras threatening the visitors expressing solidarity with the protesters. Tamil politicians, except those from the ITAK collaborating with the SL regime, have started to stay overnight with the protesting families as military threats have started […]

Sustained Concerns About Torture in Sri Lanka

19th February 2017 // 0 Comments

Torture remains a major problem in Sri Lanka. A recent report from the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment has reminded us of that. The report presents a grim picture of systematic torture and the concomitant impunity which continue to plague the island nation. The report also lays out a number of thoughtful recommendations and conclusions. The International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) has issued a strong press release about the report. Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka has also written about it. Freedom from Torture has weighed in too. The document, however, received little attention in the Sri Lankan press. “What struck me was his [Juan Méndez’s] description of the collapse of the very system meant […]

Don’t give time to Govt. for probe

19th February 2017 // 0 Comments

Northern Province Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran has urged the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) not to heed to the government’s request for more time to probe war crimes allegations. Wigneswaran made the request when he met EU ambassador Tung-Lai Margue together with the UN Resident Coordinator Una McCauley on February 15 in Jaffna. The Chief Minister had reportedly said that the investigations process would slow down, adding that there was also a possibility of the issue being swept under the carpet if more time was given. He had also raised several concerns including the continuous presence of the military in the province.

Sri Lanka still unsafe for Tamil asylum seekers to return

19th February 2017 // 0 Comments

The Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, speaking at a press conference in Canberra together with the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, urged asylum seekers who had fled the country to return. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe emphasized in his statement, “Come back; all is forgiven; it is quite safe in Sri Lanka; we are just starting the missing persons office.” The Australian Tamil Congress (ATC) would like to categorically state that Sri Lanka has not reached a point where every Tamil asylum seeker can just return without worrying about the consequences; indeed Sri Lanka is far from it. Juan Mendez, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on ‘Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment’, in a report released only a month ago, recommended to […]

Witnesses cannot rely on Sri Lankan state for protection – ITJP

15th February 2017 // 0 Comments

Witnesses cannot rely on Sri Lankan state for protection – ITJP  Witnesses and victims in Sri Lanka cannot rely on the state for protection, a report by the International Truth and Justice Project has found. In the report ‘Putting the Wolf to Guard the Sheep’, ITJPSL underline that the Sri Lankan government has made three concerning appointments to a witness protection body, including alleged perpetrators of torture. “Appointing figures to a witness protection body who could one day find themselves on trial for serious crimes like torture, is akin to putting wolves to guard the sheep. This raises serious concerns about the good faith of the Government to deliver on its international commitments and its promises of justice to its own people,” the report states […]

Onus on Turnbull to Remember Sri Lanka’s Victims

15th February 2017 // 0 Comments

This week, Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is visiting Australia. Besides growing economic cooperation, apparently ‘enhanced cooperation on development and sport’ between the two nations is on the agenda. But let’s hope that beyond friendly cricket matches, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull asks some hard questions about how the Sri Lankan government will provide accountability to victims and their families, still awaiting justice seven years after the horrific end to the country’s long civil war. Last year, the Sri Lankan government agreed to a 2015 United Nations Human Rights Council resolution that mandates the creation various transitional justice mechanisms, including a way to provide accountability for war crimes that envisions international involvement. This was a positive change in approach, and next month the the Sri Lankan government is due to report […]

Sri Lanka’s Mangala Samaraweera is a Scammer

15th February 2017 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka’s Mangala Samaraweera is a Scammer. The UNHRC and High Commissioner Hussein Should Not Trust Him. “The world is watching the credibility of the UNHRC. If the UNHRC fails to give justice, everyone in the grieved world, search for justice by taking arms” NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, February 14, 2017 / — Current Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera plays the role of the good cop with a big smile who travels everywhere throughout the world. His intention is to dismiss Sri Lanka from the international war crimes that were committed in May 2009 by the Sri Lankan Sinhalese army in the “No Fire Zone” that resulted in the death of over 145,000 innocent Tamils. Mr. Samaraweera also served as foreign minister […]

CBK, War Crimes And The Rule Of Law

11th February 2017 // 0 Comments

by S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole Judges are notoriously scared and take political decisions, or are corrupt and at times communal Killers need to be punished and not celebrated as heroes Douglas Devananda and EPDP MP Chandrakumar, admitted to the massacres of and use of cluster bombs on civilians during the last phase of the war in Mullivaikal In communalist eyes, the murdering soldiers are heroes. The murdered civilians are nobodies It is reported that President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga (CBK) has stated that there is no need for a war crimes probe and that the need is for a new constitution. It is a major flip-flop for someone who publicly cried at the Justice K. Palakidnar Memorial Oration on 24.07.2011 over her son’s and daughter’s comments […]

Army refused to ‘burn down’ northern Jaffna.

11th February 2017 // 0 Comments

The Jury Is Out: Armed Forces, Not India, Stalled JRJ’s ‘Jaffna Advance’ by N. Sathiya Moorthy It’s sad that based merely on speculative assessments that India’s ‘Operation Garland’ of air-dropping food and medicines to the civilian population, bilateral relations had been allowed to flounder It needs to be recalled that only a day before ‘Operation Garland’, India had sent in civilian boats filled with food and medicines, for the civilian population of Jaffna peninsula Contemporary military history of India clearly shows as to how prepared or unprepared was the nation’s military for the IPKF operations J. R. Jayewardene The routinely declassified documents of the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), dating back to the Eighties, have shown that it was the Sri Lankan armed forces, and […]

Sri Lankan war survivors urge U.N. to push for speedy justice for abuses

11th February 2017 // 0 Comments

Government has failed to prosecute alleged war crimes such as torture, unlawful killings and enforced disappearances By Shihar Aneez COLOMBO, Feb 10 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Families whose loved ones disappeared during Sri Lanka’s civil war have called on the United Nations to pressure the government to speed up a war crimes probe after a senior minister said it would take more time to investigate alleged abuses. Almost eight years have passed since the civil war pitting government forces against separatist Tamil rebels ended, but the government has failed to prosecute alleged war crimes such as torture, unlawful killings and enforced disappearances. More than 100,000 are estimated to have died some 65,000 went missing during the 26-year conflict, which ended in May 2009 with the […]

Sri Lanka War Crimes Probe: UN Urged Not To Give Additional Time

11th February 2017 // 0 Comments

The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) passed a Resolution in its Sixth Parliamentary sitting in Paris, France, thanking the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for monitoring Sri Lanka’s International Crimes and Human Rights abuses, strongly urging the UNHRC not to give any extension of time beyond the March 2017 deadline to the Sri Lankan Government for it to fulfill its commitment to the unanimously adopted UN Human Rights Council Resolution 30/1, which was voluntarily co-sponsored by Sri Lanka itself on “promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka”. Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran – PM – TGTE The TGTE Resolution while encouraging the UNHRC to remain seized with accountability and transitional justice in Sri Lanka, requests it to refer the matter to the UN General Assembly […]

Norway ready to assist in accordance with int’l procedures Tamil diaspora role in assassination bid

5th February 2017 // 0 Comments

Norway ready to assist in accordance with int’l procedures Tamil diaspora role in assassination bid by Shamindra Ferdinando The Norwegian embassy has indicated Norwegian readiness to assist an ongoing investigation into the alleged involvement of Norway based Tamil diaspora elements in an attempt to assassinate Jaffna District Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran. Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka on behalf of the Government constituent, JHU recently alleged that Norway based eelam activists had been behind the assassination bid. Acting on information provided by an ex-LTTE cadre, the police have so far arrested five members of the LTTE. It is alleged that Norway based LTTE elements had given the contract to a group local Tigers to carry out the assassination using claymore mines. Police investigators have […]

Global Tamil Forum unreservedly condemns the recent alleged attempt to harm Honourable Parliamentarian M A Sumanthiran in the North of Sri Lanka

1st February 2017 // 0 Comments

PRESS STATEMENT 31 January 2017, London   Global Tamil Forum unreservedly condemns the recent alleged attempt to harm Honourable Parliamentarian M A Sumanthiran in the North of Sri Lanka   The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) is deeply shocked and horrified to hear the news of a plan to assassinate Honourable Member of Parliament Mr. M.A. Sumanthiran in Jaffna. GTF and diaspora Tamils are immensely relieved that the alleged plan failed and are grateful to all whose timely action helped preventing the dastardly act. We condemn those who planned this reprehensible attempt in the strongest possible terms, and call upon the authorities to conduct a thorough investigation to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice. Mr. Sumanthiran plays a very important role in the post-2009 […]

Tamils Welcome New US President Donald Trump

25th January 2017 // 0 Comments

Tamils Welcome New US President Donald Trump and Ask Him to Reverse the Illegal Sinhalese Settlement in Tamil Homeland illegal Sinhalese must leave because they have taken control of everything in the Tamil homeland. This brings chaos and jeopardizes the Tamil culture, resulting in misery and economic suppression” — Tamils fo Trump NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, January 24, 2017 / — The letter that sent by the Tamils for Trumporganization to the new president Donald Trump began with a congratulation: “We congratulate you, Mr. President, and wish you the best. The responsibilities and challenges of the presidency make it the biggest job in the free world.” “It is time for every American to accept the election result and embrace Mr. Trump as president. […]

UNP, SLFP poles apart on Constitutional reforms

22nd January 2017 // 0 Comments

President authorises party ministers to discuss their position with different sections of society, ACBC endorses position Cabinet approves revised draft of National Human Rights Action Plan By Our Political Editor President Maithripala Sirisena has given the green light to Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) ministers to convey their January 3 decisions on constitutional reforms to different sections of society. This is notwithstanding an earlier move to convene an SLFP Central Committee (CC) meeting where these decisions were to be endorsed. The fact that the ministers are going ahead first making their position publicly known, a party source said, would only mean that Sirisena, the SLFP leader, had chosen to first have consultations. He will report the outcome thereafter to the CC, the source added. While […]

Digital Specialty Chemicals Ltd CEO Ravi Gukathasan Donates $2 Million to Toronto Uiversity Scarborough Campus for Tamil Studies

18th January 2017 // 0 Comments

By Berton Woodward One of University of Toronto Scarborough Campus’s earliest Tamil alumni has given UTSC a historic donation of $2 million to support Tamil studies. UTSC alumnus Ravi Gukathasan is CEO of Digital Specialty Chemicals Ltd. in Scarborough. His gift to the university will fund an annual post-doctoral fellowship in Tamil studies as well as scholarships, event programming and digital archiving. (Photo by Ken Jones) The gift from Ravi Gukathasan (U of T PhD, 1986; UTSC BSc, 1982), who is CEO of Digital Specialty Chemicals Ltd. in Scarborough, is the largest single cash gift from an alumnus in UTSC’s 51-year history. It will fund an annual post-doctoral fellowship in Tamil studies as well as scholarships, event programming and digital archiving. “I want UTSC to be […]

European Commission decides to restore GSP+ trade access for Sri Lanka

11th January 2017 // 0 Comments

ECONOMYNEXT – The European Commission Wednesday said it proposed the European Union remove import duties on Sri Lankan products, restoring GSP Plus trade access to the island’s biggest export market. “These one-way trade preferences would consist of the full removal of duties on 66% of tariff lines, covering a wide array of products including textiles and fisheries,” it said in a statement. The European Parliament and the Council have now up to four months to raise potential objections before the measures become effective. “Granting access to the GSP+ scheme does not mean that the situation of the beneficiary country with respect to the 27 international conventions is fully satisfactory,” the EC statement said. “Instead, it offers the incentive of increased trade access in return for […]

Sri Lanka: Adopt Task Force’s Justice Proposals

11th January 2017 // 0 Comments

Consultations Highlight Broad Accountability Concerns (New York) – Sri Lanka’s government should promptly implement recommendations on transitional justice proposed by the Consultation Task Force (CTF) in a report released on January 3, 2017, Human Rights Watch said today. The report reflects the first broad survey of Sri Lankan citizens on their aspirations for truth and justice, as called for by the October 2015 resolution of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Key among the task force’s recommendations is the creation of a war crimes court comprised of both international and national judges and other officials, with no time limit on its jurisdiction. Support for this court included ethnic Sinhalese, whose population suffered thousands of enforced disappearances three decades ago for which there has been […]

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