25th September 2014

China, Russia, Cuba and Venezuela supports the killing of 40,000 Tamil civilians

25th September 2014 // 0 Comments

The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) was split today on the push to investigate Sri Lanka for alleged human rights abuses, with some countries backing a UN led investigation while others opposed it. The European Union (EU) extended firm support to the investigation on Sri Lanka by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and urged the Sri Lankan Government to support the probe. However a group of ‘like minded countries” objected to attempts to exert pressure on Sri Lanka through the investigation, adding that the investigation did not have the full support of the UNHRC. Montenegro and Britain were among the countries which supported to the UN led probe on Sri Lanka while China, Russia, Cuba and Venezuela were among the […]

INFOGRAPHIC: Military Presence in the North of Sri Lanka

25th September 2014 // 0 Comments

Five years since the end of the war, a significant military presence still remains in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. This despite repeated assurances by the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) that the military presence is, and will be phased out in order to pave way for post-war reconciliation efforts. In a context of increased militarization, the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) highlights the numerous statements made by Government officials regarding the varying numbers pertaining to the apparent reduction of forces. The contradictions in the actual situation are highlighted by the statements made by President Rajapaksa, who in January 2014 claimed that there was a presence of 12,000 military personnel in the North with Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the President claiming only two days […]

‘Military takeover’: Defence Ministry responds to CBK

25th September 2014 // 0 Comments

by Shamindra Ferdinando The Defence Ministry yesterday alleged that an attempt was being made to discredit the military in accordance with an overall political strategy meant to undermine the government. A senior Defence Ministry spokesperson told The Island that some politicians had been discussing the post-war role of the military in a disparaging manner. The official was responding to recent statements attributed to former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga. Mrs. Kumaratunga was quoted as having said the country was facing the threat of being taken over by the military. The former President expressed concern whether the military would intervene when the people tried to bring about a change. Kumaratunga said that many others felt the same way. “I have strong fears over this. Today, even the roads are […]

Sri Lanka president uses U.N. speech to assail war crimes probe

25th September 2014 // 0 Comments

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa assailed the United Nations Human Rights Council on Wednesday in his address to the U.N. General Assembly, calling its probe into Sri Lanka’s 26-year civil war disproportionate and politically motivated. Sri Lanka has refused to cooperate with the Human Rights Council’s investigation into the deaths of some 100,000 people since it was announced in March, despite mounting international pressure to issue visas to U.N. investigators. “Post-conflict Sri Lanka has also become an unfortunate victim of ill-conceived agendas of some in the Human Rights Council,” Rajapaksa said in his address to the 193-member U.N. General Assembly, adding that the body was overlooking Sri Lanka’s “substantial progress” since the war ended in 2009. “There is an obvious lack […]

New evidence of torture by Sri Lanka’s security forces

25th September 2014 // 0 Comments

An ethnic Tamil survivor of alleged torture at the hands of Sri Lankan security forces poses for a photograph in London, October 2012. Photo by Will Baxter. New evidence has emerged that Sri Lanka’s security forces have perpetrated acts of torture and sexual violence against ethnic Tamils as recently as last year, according to a UK-based rights group. In a report released Wednesday, Freedom From Torture (FFT) said that its doctors have documented 40 new cases of post-war torture and sexual abuse. Victims included both men and women. “The overwhelming majority of these cases are ethnic Tamils, and the key factor that led to their detention and torture appears to be a real, or perceived, connection to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE),” the report said. “Our […]

Liking violence: A study of hate speech on Facebook in Sri Lanka

25th September 2014 // 0 Comments

Photo courtesy Sri Lanka BriefThe Centre for Policy Alternatives, the institutional anchor of Groundviews, released today a report co-authored by Shilpa Samaratunge and I on hate speech online, looking at Facebook in particular. The report is the first in Sri Lanka to focus on hate and dangerous speech in online fora, contextualising the growth of this disturbing digital content with increasing violence against Muslims and other groups in Sri Lanka. As the blurb on the front cover of the report avers, The growth of online hate speech in Sri Lanka does not guarantee another pogrom. It does however pose a range of other challenges to government and governance around social, ethnic, cultural and religious co-existence, diversity and, ultimately, to the very core of debates around how we see and […]