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The Future Of The Tamils And The Challenge For The Tamil Diaspora

16th May 2014 // 0 Comments

By Brian Senewiratne –   This dual title has a reason. When I was first asked (3 April 2014) by theTamil Writers Guild (of which I was a member) whether I would come and deliver the 2014 C.J.T. Thamoderam Memorial Lecture, I was asked to speak on the first of these. When I found that it was physically unsafe for me to do so because of the long reach of the murderous Rajapaksa regime, I was asked to send a 12 minute recording on the second of these titles. I will try and deal with both. Let me sum up each one in a sentence. The Tamils have no future under the Totalitarian virulently chauvinistic regime that now runs Sri Lanka. Those who think otherwise are not on the […]

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 […]

Sri Lanka: Torn between yesterday and tomorrow

15th May 2014 // 0 Comments

The civil war in Sri Lanka, which lasted for more than 25 years and claimed over 100,000 lives, ended in 2009. But as things stand today, the country is still bitterly divided and the reconciliation efforts falter. In May 2009, the Sri Lankan army captured the last of the areas controlled by the militant separatist organization, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. On May 18, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared that the civil war, which claimed the lives of some 100,000 people, had finally ended. According to the United Nations, some 40,000 people died in the last months of the war. International aid agencies reported that around 280,000 people – mostly belonging to the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka’s northern and eastern regions – […]

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, […]

Rt. Hon Douglas Alexander MP, on the Commonwealth and President Rajapaksa

15th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Question by Shadow Foreign Secretary, Rt. Hon Douglas Alexander MP, on the Commonwealth and President Rajapaksa <http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm140513/text/140513w0001.htm#14051391000018> Commonwealth Mr Douglas Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will convene a special session of Commonwealth representatives to discuss the suitability of President Rajapaksa as Chairperson in Office. [197767] Mr Hague: Any decision on the Chair-in-Office role is for all Commonwealth Heads of Government to take by consensus, and we have no plans to convene a session on this. On 27 March 2014, the UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution which establishes an international investigation, and calls on the Sri Lankan Government to make progress on human rights and reconciliation. We encourage the Sri Lankan Government to co-operate with the resolution […]

More UK support for UN peacekeeping – do you agree?

15th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Call for more UK support for UN peacekeeping I am writing as Executive Director of UNA-UK to ask you to join us in calling for greater UK engagement with UN peacekeeping. Click here to show your support UN peacekeeping is one of the most effective tools at the international community’s disposal. For over six decades, UN peacekeepers have supported peace processes, protected civilians and helped people around the world to rebuild their lives. The UK’s Building Stability Overseas Strategy acknowledges the important role of UN peacekeeping operations in stabilising fragile situations, at a lower cost than coalition missions and without the need for direct UK military intervention. But while the UK continues to support UN peacekeeping financially and through its Security Council seat, it has significantly reduced […]

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 […]

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 […]

TGTE to go ahead with events in UK

14th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Britain has not imposed any ban on events organized by the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) over the weekend despite the Government claiming it had sent evidence against organizations proscribed recently under a UN Security council resolution, including the TGTE. The TGTE, in a press statement today, reconfirmed that it will be hosting the “Say No to Sri Lanka” international Conference on May 17th in London, to formulate innovative political and legal strategies for boycott, divestment, and targeted sanctions against Sri Lankan political and military leaders and sanction against Sri Lanka itself. TGTE said it will also be hosting a special exhibition from May 12-16 in front of the British Parliament in London to highlight mass killings and Genocide of Tamils. TGTE leader V. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Rajapaksa did not succumb to int’l pressure in 2009: Lanka Minister

14th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Government spokesman and Minister of Information Keheliya Rambukwella said some countries had put pressure on Sri Lanka when the war was reaching a decisive stage in 2009, President Mahinda Rajapaksa refused to succumb to pressures exerted by some countries to end the military campaign against the LTTE in 2009. “Some countries (British and US) sent advance teams and even were ready to send ships. But the President (Rajapaksa) refused to give in,” he said at a gathering in the central district of Kandy yesterday. Rambukwella’s reference to the international pressure was apparently aimed at the visit of the then British Foreign Minister David Miliband and his then French counterpart Bernard Kouchner to meet Rajapaksa in 2009. Rambukwella said the international pressure during the 2009 conflict was much […]

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 […]

Russia could not save Yugoslavia from war crimes tribunal.

14th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Mr.Taylor Dibbert has expressed his doubts on the chances of success of the Human Rights accountability in Sri Lanka. Please read and form your own opinion on the subject. As far as the Tamils internationally are concern, they will not rest until justice is done to the victims of Mullivaaikkal Genocide; its fifth anniversary is in the horizon. Please remember Russia could not save Yugoslavia from war crimes tribunal.   Visvanathan   This is a Tamil Canadian reportThe Truth About Justice in Sri Lanka It is time to be realistic about the chances of achieving accountability on human rights in Sri Lanka. By Taylor Dibbert May 13, 2014 Five years ago – in May 2009 – Sri Lanka’s brutal civil war finally ended. Regrettably, there is ample evidence to […]

Canadian Parliament calls for targeted sanctions against Sri Lanka

14th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Mr. Paul Dewar (Ottawa Centre, NDP): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAizzieEocs Mr. Speaker, last month, the Sri Lankan government launched a smear campaign against international civil society groups, including ones right here in Canada. These groups helped lead the successful push for an international independent investigation into the atrocities committed during the Sri Lankan civil war. What actions is the government taking to protect peaceful Canadian citizens against the Sri Lankan ban? Will the Minister consider targeted sanctions against those responsible for abuses and repression, as was recommended by the foreign affairs committee in 2009? Hon. John Baird (Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC):  Mr. Speaker, no government anywhere in the world and no leader of any government in the world has stood up more strongly and loudly than the […]

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