WORLD NEWS

Sri Lanka: The Human Rights Crisis In The Tamil North & East – An Appeal For International Intervention

16th March 2018 // 0 Comments

By Brian Senewiratne – Dr. Brian Senewiratne I am a Sinhalese from the majority community in Sri Lanka. I have campaigned for the past 70 years for the Tamil people to live with equality, dignity, safety and without discrimination. I cannot think of any time in the past seven decades that the outlook for the Tamil people has been more disastrous than it is today. Sri Lankan (Sinhalese) politicians are simply incapable of addressing the major human rights problems faced by the Tamil people. They do not have the ability, integrity or honesty to see that what has been done to the Tamil people in the North and East is unacceptable. This publication is being written for circulation at the 37th Sessions of the Human Rights Council […]

Getting away with killing Muslims is not easy as killing Tamils.

15th March 2018 // 0 Comments

There is a potential threat of domestic terrorism of a new type. The excellent choice for Minister of Law and Order, Ranjith Madduma Bandara, and the Defence authorities under President Sirisena and Ruwan Wijewardene must coordinate to face this new, existential threat. It was on March 3rd, after Ampara but just before Teldeniya, that an impressive young Sri Lankan scholar, Dr. Sara Dissanayake, warned that the State had not recognized right-wing extremism and far right hate crimes as a national security threat (“Why the Government Needs to Overcome the Fear of Labelling”). She has proven spectacularly correct. Her analysis came a few weeks after security scholar Prof. Rohan Gunaratne accurately identified ‘Sinhala Only’ as the beginning of the country’s slide into chronic cycles of conflict. […]

TNA asks govt. to fulfil Geneva commitments

12th March 2018 // 0 Comments

By Shamindra Ferdinando Contrary to pledges given by the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government that it has reached some consensus with the UN and it is not under pressure to set up a hybrid war crimes court here, the Tamil Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has reiterated that Sri Lanka should be held accountable for the implementation of its own commitments in line with Geneva Resolution 30/1 adopted on Oct 1, 2015. The resolution envisages hybrid court comprising local and foreign judges, including those from the Commonwealth. Geneva sessions are currently underway with the Sri Lanka issue to be taken up later this week. TNA leader R. Sampanthan has told visiting UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman that the international community should ensure the full implementation of the […]

Canada demands foreign judges; UK calls for more progress

9th March 2018 // 0 Comments

By Easwaran Rutnam Sri Lanka came under fire as the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC)in Geneva began its 37th session last week,with the United Kingdom and Canada among the countries to fire the first salvo. Canada came out strongly,demanding that Sri Lanka fulfill its international commitments by ensuring the involvement of Commonwealth and international investigators, prosecutors and judges in the accountability process. In a statement to the UNHRC,Canada said it fully supports efforts to bring dignity and justice to all those affected by Human Rights violations and abuses. “The end of Sri Lanka’s 26-year civil war was an important moment, but it was only a first step. Frustrations persist amongst those seeking to heal the wounds of all those who suffered and wish to achieve real […]

Those involved in violence identified but will not be charged.

8th March 2018 // 0 Comments

The government says those involved in the unrest in Digana and Teldeniya have been identified. But it is said that none of them will be charged because of there close links to a VIP of the new party and involvement of Buddhist monks. Speaking at the weekly cabinet decisions media briefing, co-cabinet media spokesperson Minister Rajitha Senaratne said those involved in the clashes belonged to a political party but refused to name the political party due to pressure from a government VIP. The Minister said of the four individuals involved in the incident in Digana, two were newly elected at the recent Local Authority Election, another was a Head of the party and a district organizer and the other was a monk involved in the […]

Tamil Canadians Condemn Anti-Muslim Violence in Sri Lanka

8th March 2018 // 0 Comments

The Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) unequivocally and strongly condemns the targeted anti-Muslim violence being instigated by extremist groups in the central and eastern provinces of Sri Lanka.  Over the past few weeks, Muslim homes, business and mosques have been destroyed by orchestrated mobs.  “Tamil Canadians are deeply disturbed by the rise in targeted violence directed at Muslim communities in the Central and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka” said Dr. Vadivelu Santhakumar, President of the Canadian Tamil Congress.  “The government of Sri Lanka must take decisive and swift action to protect Muslim communities across the entire island from extremist violence and threats to their safety, “said  Danton Thurairajah, Executive Director of the Canadian Tamil Congress.  “Government inaction to protect its citizen and uphold the rule of law […]

US, UK, Aus. issue travel advisories on SL

7th March 2018 // 0 Comments

The United States, Britain and Australia had issued travel advisories regarding Sri Lanka, following the violence in the Kandy District and the declaration of State of Emergency for a period of one week. The US State Department advised US citizens to monitor local media updates as further incidents could occur in the next few days. “The Sri Lankan Government declared a State of Emergency and curfews have been imposed in some regions, including Kandy Administrative District, due to communal unrest. Further incidents possible over the next few days. Monitor local media for updates,” the US State Department tweeted. The UK Foreign Office advised British citizens to exercise caution, avoid protests and rallies and comply with local security requirements. “The Sri Lankan government announced a nationwide […]

Statement by eyewitness of final battle to be sent to UNHRC

4th March 2018 // 0 Comments

A statement made by a Northern Provincial Council (NPC) member, who was an eyewitness to the final stages of the war, is to be sent to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). NPC member S. Kugadas had made his maiden speech at the Northern Provincial Council last week. In his speech he made references to the final stages of the war. Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran had then requested that the speech be sent to the UNHRC which is currently meeting in Geneva. The Northern Provincial Council agreed to the request. The NPC member said that he had witnessed firsthand the brutal effects of the final stages of the war. He alleged that hundreds of civilians were killed during the battle, including those […]

Global Tamil Forum calls on the international community to use all its leverage to ensure accountability and reconciliation has not reached a dead-end in Sri Lanka

3rd March 2018 // 0 Comments

PRESS STATEMENT  03 March 2018, London  Global Tamil Forum calls on the international community to use all its leverage to ensure accountability and reconciliation has not reached a dead-end in Sri Lanka  The warning signs are all there.  Almost nine years after the end of the war and two and a half years after co-sponsoring a UNHRC resolution calling for comprehensive transitional justice measures, the Government of Sri Lanka has not taken meaningful steps to inspire confidence of its commitments and intentions. The Office of Missing Persons (OMP), the only transitional justice process Sri Lanka has contemplated to-date, has not been operationalised more than a year and a half after it was legislated. The constitutional reform process appeared to be in a standstill. The recent Local […]

Sri Lanka, a cautionary tale about over-reliance on China: OBG

3rd March 2018 // 0 Comments

Mar 02, 2018 (LBO) – Sri Lanka, perhaps, provides the most cautionary tale from their Asia-Pacific markets about over-reliance on China-backed infrastructure development, a research firm said. In a blog post about Asia-Pacific’s road to economic prosperity, Asia Regional Editor of Oxford Business Group, Patrick Cooke said Chinese acquisitions from other countries make emerging nations in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) crosshairs nervous. At the close of last year, Sri Lanka formally handed over 70 percent control of Hambantota Port to Chinese interests on a 99-year lease. “It is a result of being unable to service the loans from Chinese state-controlled entities it acquired to build the 1.3 billion dollars maritime complex,” Cooke said. “Chinese acquisition of equity in strategic assets from countries unable to […]

Twists and turns in the Jaliya Wickramasuriya case

3rd March 2018 // 0 Comments

Wickramasuriya was arrested for misappropriation of public funds while serving as the Sri Lankan Ambassador to the USA from 2008 to 2013 Wickramasuriya was residing in the US and engaging in the business of Tea Export, at the time he was appointed as the Consular General to the Sri Lankan mission in Los Angeles in 2005 According to the ‘B’ Report (B 21/2016) submitted to the Fort Magistrate’s Court by the FCID, the former Diplomat is accused of having pocketed US$ 322,027.35 Through the e-mail, a request had been made from Wickramasuriya’s Counsel to treat the sensitive information provided as confidential. However, it has found its way to the Rajapaksas B report page In a new twist in the saga of Sri Lanka’s former Ambassador to […]

GTF calls on Sri Lanka and the International Community to ensure the UNHRC Resolution is fully implemented in a faithful and timely manner

3rd March 2018 // 0 Comments

PRESS STATEMENT  30 March 2017, London  GTF calls on Sri Lanka and the International Community to ensure the UNHRC Resolution is fully implemented in a faithful and timely manner The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) cautiously welcomes the unanimous adoption of the resolution ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’ (34/L.1) at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). This resolution, in effect, reaffirms the full implementation of the Resolution 30/1 of 2015. The fact that the resolution was sponsored by forty seven   countries and twenty seven countries spoke at the Interactive Dialogue on Sri Lanka is reflective of the strong commitment of the international community to peace, accountability, justice and reconciliation for all the peoples of Sri Lanka. We are grateful to every one […]

Sri Lankan airlines gives Hero’s Welcome and Services to Brigadier who made death threats to Tamils

24th February 2018 // 0 Comments

Tamils must think before flying in Sri Lankan Airlines!  The Sri Lankan brigadier and defence attache to the UK, Priyanka Fernando, who was seen making death threats to Tamil protesters in London, received a hero welcome on board the Sri Lankan airlines flight he took back to Colombo this week.  Brigadier Fernando was recalled back to Sri Lanka amid widespread calls, including from cross-party UK parliamentarians for his expulsion and for him to be investigated by the police.  In a photograph tweeted today, he is seen taking a selfie with the staff of the state carrier, Sri Lankan airlines as he flew home.  Brigadier Fernando was filmed making a throat slitting gesture to Tamils protesting outside the Sri Lankan High Commission in London on February […]

Sri Lanka Campaign report outlines ongoing intimidation of Tamils in North

24th February 2018 // 0 Comments

The Sri Lankan campaign released a report this week, highlighting the Sri Lankan government’s ongoing surveillance, harassment and intimidation of Tails in the North – from human rights activists to ordinary citizens engaged in dissent. “Amid much optimism about the relative increase in space under the current government, it appears that many serious ongoing restrictions faced by those living in the North of the country are being ignored,” said the report, based on a series of interviews carried out in late 2017 across the Northern Province. “In the context of ongoing impunity for past cyclical mass violence in Sri Lanka, the risks associated with a continuation of the status quo cannot be understated.” The report – entitled “I live in fear and go to work” […]

In world report Sri Lanka listed among countries unsafe for Muslims

22nd February 2018 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka has been listed among countries unsafe for Muslims in a newly released world report. In the report, Amnesty International notes that Sri Lanka saw a rise in Buddhist nationalist sentiment last year, including attacks against Christians and Muslims. In September, a group of hardline Buddhist monks attacked the homes of Rohingya refugees in Boosa, southern Sri Lanka. In November, dozens of home and businesses of Muslims were attacked near the southern city of Galle. The State of the World’s Human Rights report for 2017 to 2018 by Amnesty International notes that in South Asia, governments invoked law and order, national security and religion as they engaged in attacks against religious minorities, criminalized freedom of expression and subjected civil society to a campaign of intimidation, threats, smears and violence […]

Sri Lanka ranked 91 in Corruption Perceptions Index

22nd February 2018 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka has failed to show significant improvement in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2017, released by Transparency International (TI), the global movement against corruption, the Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) said. The index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption whereas Sri Lanka has moved up 4 places from 95th to 91st, far more importantly its CPI score has only risen by two points from 36 to 38, representing the slow rate of progress. The TISL said being the local chapter of the global movement, was concerned by the fact that Sri Lanka’s current CPI score of 38 was the same score that prevailed in 2014. “A close analysis of Sri Lanka’s positioning in the CPI from 2012 […]

UN Stops Lt.Col R. Wasantha Kumara Hewage From Leading 12th Force Protection Company In UN Peacekeeping Mission To Lebanon(UNIFIL)

22nd February 2018 // 0 Comments

UN Stops Lt.Col R. Wasantha Kumara Hewage From Leading 12th Force Protection Company In UN Peacekeeping Mission To Lebanon(UNIFIL) Pending Review of Alleged Human Rights Violations Committed In Kiinochchi and Puthukkudiyiruppu During War Against LTTE In a rare acknowledgement of failure in its screening process, the United Nations has stopped a Sri Lankan military commander from going for a peacekeeping mission in the middle east. Up until several rights watchdogs and Tamil organisations wrote to the head of UN peacekeeping urging to stop Lieutenant Colonel Rathnappuli Wasantha Kumara Hewage, he was scheduled for deployment to Lebanon on 18 February 2018. Detailing the commander’s wartime record in a period when extensive violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law perpetrated by the Sri Lankan security […]

Swiss AG demands harsh penalties for LTTE masterminds

22nd February 2018 // 0 Comments

In the indictment plea in the Tamil Tigers’ trial, in Bellinzona, which lasted for almost two days, Swiss Attorney General Juliette Noto has requested that the 12 Tamils be found guilty of participating or supporting the LTTE. The newspaper Neue zürcher zeitung said the federal prosecutors are clear that the accused Tamils have financed terrorism and supported a criminal organization with the Tamil Tigers. For most of the 13 defendants, the federal prosecutor attested grave offenses and a high level of criminal energy. The 12 Tamils have contributed to maintaining an efficient and complex system in Switzerland over the years with the sole purpose of illegally raising funds and then channelling them through tortuous routes to the LTTE. In the main, the federal prosecutor requests […]

EU urges Sri Lanka to honour commitments on OMP

22nd February 2018 // 0 Comments

The European Union (EU) says the Sri Lankan Government must honour their commitments on the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) and Transitional Justice. In a tweet, the EU office in Sri Lanka said that without clarity about the fate of their missing or disappeared loved ones, many Sri Lankans will not be able to participate in national reconciliation. The families of the disappeared from Kilinochchi yesterday marked one year of continuous protests. The protest is being staged to find out the truth about their loved ones and hold accountable those responsible for their disappearances. President Maithripala met with the families of the disappeared in June and November last year and promised to release a list of surrendees who surrendered to the Army at the end of […]

Tamil Tiger due to be deported says he will face torture in Sri Lanka

22nd February 2018 // 0 Comments

By Danny Tran Updated Tue at 10:29pm PHOTO: Sri Lanka is not safe for those who fought for the Tamil Tigers, his supporters say. (Reuters) RELATED STORY: US may deny resettlement of hundreds of Tamils on Nauru, Manus RELATED STORY: Sri Lanka reconciliation efforts slammed on civil war anniversary RELATED STORY: Sri Lanka faces new torture allegations A Sri Lankan asylum seeker who claims he once built warships for the Tamil Tigers says he will be tortured and possibly killed in his home country if he is deported by the Australian Government on Thursday. Santharupan Thangalingam, 46, said he was a senior leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a militant terrorist organisation, which waged a bloody insurgency against the Sri Lankan Government for more than a quarter of a century. […]

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