September 2015

US for process in Lanka with UN support

29th September 2015 // 0 Comments

US Secretary of State John Kerry says the US will support a domestic process led and owned by the Sri Lankan people and conducted in cooperation with the UN and with international support. The US Embassy in Colombo said that Kerry had expressed this view when he met President Maithripala Sirisena in New York. The Secretary commended the bold steps taken by the new Sri Lankan government to restore democratic freedoms at home and to renew its engagements with the United Nations and other key partners abroad. He noted the United States’ support for a credible domestic process for justice and reconciliation in Sri Lanka — one that is led and owned by the Sri Lankan people and is conducted in cooperation with the UN and […]

Domestic mechanism guarantees Sri Lanka’s sovereignty – PM

29th September 2015 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka’s sovereignty is guaranteed again by formulating a domestic mechanism to find out the truth about the war, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The Prime Minister said the LTTE and its leader Prabhakaran are responsible for this conflict and if they were alive, cases would have be filed against them. He added that most of them are dead. He added that the prime concern should be reconciliation and not filing cases. The Prime Minister added that to bring about unity and reconciliation, the truth should be found first. He also said for this reason, Sri Lanka has introduced the Compassionate Council which other countries had not adopted in similar situations. He added that this Council was […]

UN Resolution Could Advance Justice

29th September 2015 // 0 Comments

(Geneva) – The United Nations Human Rights Council should adopt a resolution ensuring a robust international role in Sri Lanka’s justice mechanism for abuses during the country’s brutal civil war, Human Rights Watch said today. The resolution, expected to be adopted on October 1, 2015, contains a number of strong provisions but will need to be thoroughly implemented for victims to obtain genuine justice. “This resolution makes it clear the time has come for the Sri Lankan government to act,” said John Fisher, Geneva director at Human Rights Watch. “The resolution’s endorsement of a judicial mechanism with international participation is an important recognition of the need for an international role to ensure justice for victims.” The resolution draws on the new report by the UN […]

Hybrid court, the correct mechanism – GTF

29th September 2015 // 0 Comments

by Dilrukshi Handunnetti A longstanding advocate of Tamil rights who has sought to mainstream human rights issues at international fora, The spokesman of the Global Tamil Forum, Suren Surenthiran believes that the OHCHR- proposed hybrid court would be the correct mechanism to take the process of investigating rights abuses in the island. In an interview with the Sunday Observer, he called upon all Sri Lankans to support the process to ensure a peaceful Sri Lanka for all people. Excerpts : Suren Surenthiran.colombotelegraph Q: The Global Tamil Forum has welcomed the OHCHR report that indicated war crimes committed by both sides to the conflict in Sri Lanka. However, the report has ruled out genocide, a key concern of the Tamil Diaspora. Does GTF accept this position? […]

USA sets new stage for Tamil struggle

29th September 2015 // 0 Comments

Tamils have to understand that there is a ‘profound’ logic in the US resolution tabled at Geneva on Thursday, ultimately settling for prodding Eezham Tamils into ‘domestic’ investigation of ‘Sri Lanka’, just as the USA had set the stage for the genocidal war and the barbed-wire camps. International investigation for genuine reconciliation comes only when a war is over. But the war on the nation of Eezham Tamils is not yet over. It has only entered into another stage is what the tabled resolution implies. The blessing in disguise is that Tamils all over the world could now clearly identify the main villains and their henchmen. Eezham Tamils were long lacking this perception, commented Tamil activists for alternative politics in the island. The final draft […]

Vaiko detained during anti Sri Lanka protest

29th September 2015 // 0 Comments

India’s MDMK general secretary Vaiko and representatives from 32 organisations were detained in Chennai after they threatened to lay siege to the U.S. Consulate in Chennai following a rally condemning the draft US resolution for a domestic investigation into the alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka, The Hindu newspaper reported. A large number of supporters belonging to the 32 organisations under the “May Pathinezhu Iyakkam” banner convened at the Rajarathinam Stadium in Egmore in protest against the draft resolution. The protesters demanded an international investigation into the alleged genocide of Tamils, referendum for Tamil Eelam and lifting of the ban on the LTTE by all the countries. “We will mobilise the youth, students in Tamil Nadu and wherever Tamils are living. The Union government has continuously […]

Heinous Crimes of Both Sides Should be Investigated: Global Tamil Forum

29th September 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: The London-based Tamil Diaspora organization, the Global Tamil Forum (GTF), has said that “heinous crimes of both sides” in the Sri Lankan conflict, should be investigated. In a statement issued on Saturday on the UN Human Rights High Commissioner’s report on alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka and the US draft resolution on the issue which are now before the UN Human Rights Council  (UNHRC), the GTF said it has “always called investigations to be against  allegations on both sides of the conflict.” “Victims of heinous crimes alleged to have been committed by both sides have waited for over six years for this process to reveal the truth and justice to be served. They sincerely hope that all stakeholders of this process, including the […]

Geneva resolution fell short of expectations; but credible probe possible – GTF

28th September 2015 // 0 Comments

Global Tamil Forum (GTF) spokesman Suren Surendiran told The Island yesterday that the draft resolution tabled at the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council fell short of their expectations. UK based Surendiran expressed confidence that the proposed resolution could pave the way for what he called a credible accountability process. Sri Lanka has accepted the resolution, thus ensuring unanimous approval for a series of recommendations, including a Sri Lankan judicial mechanism that accommodated Commonwealth and other foreign judges, defence lawyers and authorized prosecutors and investigators. Surendiran has sent us the following statement: “The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) cautiously welcomes the draft resolution on Sri Lanka tabled at the UN Human Rights Council on 24th September, which Sri Lanka is widely expected to co-sponsor. The text is a […]

Wigneswaran Lashes Out at Concentration of Power in his Party

28th September 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’ Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran on Sunday publicly lashed out at “concentration of power” in the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK), the party to which he belongs. ITAK is the single largest constituent of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). Striking a belligerent note in his address at the 125th anniversary function of Jaffna Hindu College, Wigneswaran vowed to stick to his convictions and urged the younger generation to do likewise. “In certain political parties one or two persons are taking all decisions. These power centers expect others to accept the decisions they take. If others point out  deficiencies in these decisions, they are branded as opposition parties,” he said. Though Wigneswaran did not mention the ITAK, it was clear that the cap […]

The UN Human Rights Council Resolution on Sri Lanka is Tabled

28th September 2015 // 0 Comments

After a flurry of diplomatic activity in Geneva, the UN Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka has finally been tabled. On September 24, the U.S.-led UN Human Rights Council (HRC) resolution on Sri Lanka was tabled. This would be the fourth HRC resolution passed on the island nation since 2012. The Sri Lankan government has praised the resolution and it appears that the original idea of passing it by consensus will go ahead as planned. The resolution calls for wide-ranging reforms and a domestic accountability mechanism with international involvement. Some commentators have stated that what the resolution demands constitutes a hybrid court or hybrid mechanism. Regardless of one’s interpretation, it remains unclear how much international involvement will actually take place and falls short of […]

Sri Lanka’s War Crimes Controversy

28th September 2015 // 0 Comments

Earlier this month, the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights released its long-awaited investigation into alleged crimes during Sri Lanka’s civil war. The conflict, which began in 1983 and lasted nearly three decades, pitted the Sri Lankan government against various ethnic Tamil rebels, most prominent the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which were fighting for the creation of a separate state in the country’s north and east. The 272-page report makes for grim reading. Focusing on alleged abuses committed by both sides between 2002 and 2011, it documents numerous crimes, including unlawful killings and sexual violence, especially at the hands of the military during the last phase of the war in 2009, under the administration of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The report contains […]

The Pending UN Resolution On Sri Lanka

28th September 2015 // 0 Comments

By S. V. Kirubaharan – Since the end of the war in Sri Lanka, there have been four resolutions passed in the UN Human Rights Council – UN HRC. The first of these resolutions was initiated soon after the ‘end of the war’ on 26 May 2009, by Sri Lanka itself with the help of India. This resolution was described as ‘Machiavellian’ by diplomats and civil society. Sri Lanka implemented none of its recommendations. At the time when it was passed in the HRC, the US was not a member. Since the US became a member of the HRC in June 2009, matters concerning Sri Lanka began moving in the right direction. This resulted in three consecutive resolutions – in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Ample […]

‘No Scapegoats’ promises Ranil Wickremesinghe

28th September 2015 // 0 Comments

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says, the government will keep the ball rolling for a local judicial mechanism and will only seek foreign expert help when necessary to investigate alleged human rights abuses linked to the war. Addressing media heads in Colombo yesterday Wickremesinghe had said that the government has discussed matters with the US and it will be Sri Lanka which will create necessary laws and mechanisms with foreign expert help when needed. However, the Premier said foreign expert help will be sought when necessary to ensure the efficient functioning of the mechanism. The Prime Minister also confirmed that Sri Lanka will co-sponsor the resolution with the US. The draft resolution tabled last week at the UNHRC proposed that the Lankan judicial mechanism should obtain […]

Sri Lanka’s War Crimes Controversy

28th September 2015 // 0 Comments

Earlier this month, the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights released its long-awaited investigation into alleged crimes during Sri Lanka’s civil war. The conflict, which began in 1983 and lasted nearly three decades, pitted the Sri Lankan government against various ethnic Tamil rebels, most prominent the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which were fighting for the creation of a separate state in the country’s north and east. The 272-page report makes for grim reading. Focusing on alleged abuses committed by both sides between 2002 and 2011, it documents numerous crimes, including unlawful killings and sexual violence, especially at the hands of the military during the last phase of the war in 2009, under the administration of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The report contains […]

“The resolution must speak of a political solution,”

28th September 2015 // 0 Comments

In the coming days, a United States-led core group at the United Nations Human Rights Council will put forward its resolution on accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka, responding in part to the OISL (Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Investigation into Sri Lanka) report released on Sept. 16. The resolution, which is likely to be adopted by the council, will have a considerable bearing on the process of accountability in Sri Lanka. The UN report lays bare patterns of grave violations committed by the Sri Lankan armed forces and the rebel Tigers they were fighting. The abuses, ranging from unlawful killings, enforced disappearances and torture to sexual violence, abduction and forced recruitment of children are horrific by any standard. Six years after […]

Indemnity Act To Protect Sri Lanka Armed Forces who Raped and Killed Tamil girls Proposed

28th September 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: Udaya Gammanpilla, a United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) MP from Colombo District proposes to move a bill in Parliament in October, to indemnify the Sri Lankan armed forces against prosecution for bona fide official actions taken during military operations. “I will move a Private Member’s bill on this in the next two weeks,”  Gammanpilla told Express on Saturday. “An Act of Indemnity will protect military personnel from being prosecuted for their officially assigned or bona fide actions. But it will not provide protection for non-bona fide actions like mass killing,” he explained. In the past, the Lankan military were indemnified thrice for limited periods to tackle troubled situations; first in 1915, during the Sinhala Buddhist-Muslim riots; and again in 1982 and 1988 to tackle […]

Move resolution for probe into Sri Lanka war crimes: PUCL

28th September 2015 // 0 Comments

The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) has called upon the Centre, as a member of the UN Human Rights Council, to move a resolution calling for a credible, independent, international investigation into the violations of humanitarian and human rights laws committed against Tamils by the Sri Lankan army during the end stages of the war in May 2009 and thereafter. PUCL made the demand during its National Council meeting held in Allahabad on September 19 and 20. The PUCL had for long held the position that India should take a consistent principled stand as regards the violation of human rights and demands for accountability to commission of major human rights exercise, particularly when such incidents occurred in countries neighbouring India. The organisation wanted the […]

‘Backing US resolution on Lanka would mean denial of justice’

28th September 2015 // 0 Comments

DMK chief M Karunanidhi today cautioned India against supporting a “watered down” resolution by the US on Sri Lanka in the UN Human Rights Council over alleged rights violations during the last phase of civil war against LTTE in 2009 in the island nation. New Delhi should not “withdraw” from the demand for international probe on the matter as the resolution has supported domestic probe by Colombo, he said. “Attempting to support US (sponsored) resolution would amount to denial of justice” to Tamil victims of alleged human rights violations and war crimes, Karunanidhi said, adding, Tamils wanted India to “tread the issue cautiously.” Referring to Colombo’s insistence on a domestic probe into the allegations, Karunanidhi said the call for international investigation had been made since […]

Move against money laundering

28th September 2015 // 0 Comments

CB directs banks to be FATCA compliant – Move against money laundering says Governor By Ishara Gamage Ceylon Finance Today: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has directed all commercial banks and financial institutions to comply with United States Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) as soon as possible, Governor Arjuna Mahendra told Ceylon FT yesterday. “Previous CBSL regime hasn’t done anything about this. So, we have to build strong dialogue with all banks to fully implement this within the next year, the Governor said. He said that compliance with this Act is vital for smooth trade and economic relationships.”Otherwise we will face difficulties in foreign currency transactions”, he remarked. The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is a new piece of legislation introduced […]

End Military Occupation Of N&E!

27th September 2015 // 0 Comments

By Kumar David – Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe it seems is pushing for an expeditious replacement constitution. I suspect he is of the view that if there is moderate devolution to Tamil areas within six or twelve months, international and local demands for punishment of convicted (fat hopes if it’s a 100% domestic process) politicians and military brass can be defused. An accommodating President Sirisena will no doubt be glad to garland culprits with an amnesty. I can’t see even small punishments or a rap on the knuckles; that’s the power hegemonic politics. A domestic process sans international component will flop because Lanka has neither systems nor ethos to handle it. Realistically however I am reconciled to the inevitable as my preferences will make little […]

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