15th May 2014

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 – […]

Colombo ‘failing to engage’ with Tamil minority

15th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Five years after the end of Sri Lanka’s decades-long civil war, there are few signs of a government-led reconciliation, MP Rajiva Wjesinha tells DW, arguing that mistrust and suspicion have only grown stronger. Shortly after the Sri Lankan army defeated the separatist “Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam” in May 2009, President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared an end to the country’s bloody civil war which had lasted more than 25 years during that period claimed the lives of at least 100,000 people. Five years after the end of the separatist conflict, Sri Lanka is still struggling with reconciliation between the majority Sinhala community and the Tamil minority. International human rights organizations hold the army as well as the LTTE-separatists responsible for crimes committed during the civil war. […]

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 […]

Between Modi and MoD: Mahinda’s choice

15th May 2014 // 0 Comments

Between Modi and MoD: Mahinda’s choice by Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka Mahinda Rajapaksa has just won the Sri Lankan Presidential election of 2015. The Modi mood sweeping India has given a second wind and a fresh momentum to the Mahinda incumbency. However, the dramatic new chapter in the Indian epic, if misunderstood and underutilized by President Rajapaksa, can enhance rather than decrease the pressures on Sri Lanka. Given that he is named after the son of a great leader of India —Ashoka—who bore the message of the greatest son of the Indian subcontinent— Gautama, the Buddha— there’s a question, more geopolitical than metaphysical, that Mahinda Rajapaksa must ask himself: what if King Devanampiyatissa had declined to convert or delayed in converting to the doctrine of the […]