14th May 2014

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

PAKISTAN: The practice of fake police encounters exposed through a live video recording by the media

14th May 2014 // 0 Comments

The citizens of Pakistan watched a video recording of a police encounter on all the television channels where a man who had been pronounced dead started crying and screaming that he was alive. The police ignored his cries for help and dragged him by the hair into a police van. He was taken to a mortuary and thrown in the morgue along with three other accomplices. The ‘dead man’ continued to cry out for some time, begging for someone, anyone, to save him inside the morgue, but no one came to his assistance. In fact, his life could have been saved if the police had admitted him to a hospital which was just ten minutes away from the location where the fake encounter occurred. On […]

From Sri Lankan Frying Pan into Indian Fire?

14th May 2014 // 0 Comments

I have, from time to time expressed my concerns about the risk of Indian dominance in Sri Lanka through Tamils. The US sponsored UNHRC Resolution against the Sri Lankan Government was seen to have been without the vote of India. But a deeper  sight into India’s attitude through Tamil Nadu – would raise the question as to whether India’s abstention was a manifestation of  the objection not to the Resolution itself but to the country that sponsored it. In effect it was a no-vote.  According to The New Indian Express – Bangalore:  [Justice still eludes the victims of 2009 Sri Lankan War when tens of thousands of Tamil civilians were killed, said Ramu Manivannan, author of the book ‘Sri Lanka: Hiding the Elephant’. Speaking at […]