September 2015

Five Lies In Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Statement On OHCHR Report

27th September 2015 // 0 Comments

By Niranjan Rambukwella – The Member of Parliament from Kurunegala, Mahinda Rajapaksa, recently released a statement explaining his position on the recently released United Nations investigation into allegations of human rights abuses and crimes that occurred during and after the war in Sri Lanka. His statement contained five major factual inaccuracies. 1. “The investigation on Sri Lanka was not carried out by an independent Commission of Inquiry but for the very first time, by the OHCHR.” This was not the first time the OHCHR has carried out an investigation. Other investigations include the OHCHR investigations into Darfur in 2004, and the investigations on Afghanistan and Kyrgystan. These were all carried out by the OHCHR. 2. “Similarly, I too had to go against the wishes of […]

Dheepan star appeals to Sri Lanka’s majority community

27th September 2015 // 0 Comments

Dheepan star Antonythasan Jesuthasan says Sri Lanka’s majority Sinhalese population holds the keys to uplift minorities to equal status. He says such moves will help heal a country which he once fled, and hopes to return someday. French director Jacques Audiard’s film Dheepan won the Palme d’Or considered the highest prize at the Cannes festival, had its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). The film follows Tamil refugees who seek asylum in France following the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka. “I am not supporting any division of Sri Lanka.  We need the help of the Sinhalese people to integrate and help us (minorities) become equal citizens,” Jesuthasan told Lanka Reporter in an interview at TIFF. “It is up to the majority […]

GTF cautiously welcomes draft resolution

27th September 2015 // 0 Comments

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 GTF said the text is a product of a consensus endorsement including Government of Sri Lanka, and reflects the sometimes competing interests of a wide range of stakeholders. The GTF has consistently called for an international accountability mechanism, and though the tabled resolution falls short, still we view that the proposed resolution can lead to a credible accountability process with substantial international involvement. GTF has always called the investigations to be against the allegations on both sides of the conflict. “While welcoming the government’s commitments, we note that implementing the resolution and the […]

It’s official, a hybrid of Judges comprising local and foreign

27th September 2015 // 0 Comments

Aftermath… It’s official, a hybrid of Judges comprising local and foreign, operating under Sri Lanka’s domestic laws, will investigate alleged war crimes committed by the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) and the LTTE, in the little over a seven year period from 2002, till the war ended on 19 May 2009. This was as a consequence of a USA led resolution which was tabled at the ongoing UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions at Geneva on Thursday. This resolution may undergo changes in the coming days before being put to vote by the UNHRC’s 47 member countries. State controlled ‘Daily News’ quoting Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva on its Thursday’s edition said that GoSL will co-sponsor this USA backed resolution. Therefore, it’s likely […]

India Supports Sri Lankans’ Quest for Justice

27th September 2015 // 0 Comments

UNITED NATIONS:  Noting a “sea change” in the approach of the new Sri Lankan government over the issue of the alleged war crimes during the last phase of the civil war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam or LTTE, India has said it supports the quest for justice while being respectful of the country’s sovereignty. The issue of human rights and the situation pertaining to the ongoing discussions on UN Human Rights Council came up during a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly summit yesterday. “As far as India is concerned, we naturally support the quest for justice. At the same time we are respectful of Sri Lanka’s sovereignty. We […]

Ban notes India’s influential role in Sri Lanka

26th September 2015 // 0 Comments

Modi, Sirisena discuss reconciliation process UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has noted India’s influential role in Sri Lanka,during talks he had with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Ban and Modi met in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly which began yesterday. The UN said that the UN Chief underlined India’s influential role in supporting the democratic transitions in both Nepal and Sri Lanka. They also focused their discussion on the importance of implementing the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular with reference to climate change. The Secretary-General emphasised the need for climate change finance as a key to building trust between developed and developing countries. He underlined the tremendous importance of India’s role in renewable energy, and encouraged the Prime Minister to continue to […]

UK hails Sri Lanka’s stand on draft resolution

26th September 2015 // 0 Comments

The British Government has welcomed the stand taken by Sri Lanka on the draft resolution submitted to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva. UK Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire said that Sri Lanka’s cooperation on the resolution is another step closer to addressing the legacy of the conflict. The draft resolution on Sri Lanka was submitted to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) yesterday with several amendments to the original text proposed earlier in the week. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and United States of America have co-sponsored the resolution which was officially submitted to the 30thsession of the UNHRC in Geneva. Titled “Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri […]

War crimes or political solution?

26th September 2015 // 0 Comments

UNHRC will adopt a moderate watered-down Resolution that will not be inimical to the SL Government. By Izeth Hussain Once again the battle is raging in Geneva about the problem of war crimes in Sri Lanka. I believe that there is a sub-text to that battle, namely the problem of finding a solution to the ethnic problem. Some time ago I wrote an article on the Ban Ki-moon conspiracy, a tripartite one involving the US, India, and the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to use the threat of war crimes investigations to promote a political solution to the ethnic problem. I emphasized that it was a “benign conspiracy” meant to serve the best interests of both Sri Lanka and India. Later when India surprisingly voted […]

Foreign judges no strangers to Sri Lanka

26th September 2015 // 0 Comments

Peace and reconciliation will always remain a distant dream in Sri Lanka. By Manek shaw ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’, the title given to the resolution tabled at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) by the United States of America on Thursday (24) itself clearly emphasized the need of Sri Lanka traversing in the right path of strengthening its unity, integrity and sovereignty. Unlike the previous three resolutions brought out successfully by the US against Sri Lanka during the Rajapaksa regime, the latest resolution of the US has ‘called for a credible justice process’ supporting the call made by the OHCHR Chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein to set up a Hybrid Special Court to investigate into the alleged war crimes […]

The OHCHR Report on Sri Lanka is unacceptable

26th September 2015 // 0 Comments

By Neville Ladduwahetty In 2014 the UN Human Rights Council by resolutionA/HRC/25/L.1/Rev.1 authorized the High Commissioner for Human Rights “To undertake a comprehensive investigation into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka during the period covered by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, and to establish the facts and circumstances of such alleged violations and of the crimes perpetrated with a view to avoiding impunity and ensuring accountability…” (Clause 10b of Resolution). In pursuance of this resolution, a Report titled “OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka” was made public. Thefollowing analysis relates to this report. The methodology adopted carried out a “desk review of existing material, including Government publications, international and Sri Lankan Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)/civil […]

Sri Lanka likely to dodge international war crime probe

25th September 2015 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka appears set to avoid an international inquiry into atrocities committed during its lengthy civil war. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka appears set to avoid an international inquiry into atrocities committed during its lengthy civil war if a new UN resolution is adopted next week. Colombo has lobbied successfully for a watering-down of an earlier motion demanding foreign involvement in any probe into human rights abuses during the 37-year conflict. The draft resolution, which is likely to pass unanimously next week, refers to the importance of having foreign experts involved in a potential investigation, but does not make the condition mandatory. The initiative was tabled at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva late Thursday, a week after the publication of a long-awaited UN report that […]

Bahu hails his one time hate figure

25th September 2015 // 0 Comments

It was former President late J.R. Jayewardene who devolved power and gave citizenship to people who did not have a country of their own, New Left Front (NLF) leader Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne said. He said the late President eradicated cast based discrimination that existed in the Sri Lankan political arena especially at elections. Addressing the media in Colombo yesterday he said that in the past there was a belief that only persons belonging to the ‘Govigama’ caste should be appointed as the country’s Prime Minister and the President. But former President J.R.Jayewardene appointed R.Premadasa as the Prime Minister and changed that belief. Although the former President was a dictator who introduced a dictatorial Constitution, he did these positive things. According to Dr. Karunaratne, today President […]

Government committed to implement resolution

25th September 2015 // 0 Comments

The Government says it is committed to implement the resolution submitted to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that the resolution signifies a path-breaking success for Sri Lanka in the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva at the current 30th Session. He said that for the last several years, Sri Lanka was repeatedly humiliated by the international community with Resolutions that censured the conduct of our country. Successive resolutions since 2012, adopted by divisive and acrimonious voting, resulted in repeated defeats and isolation for Sri Lanka. “Although the Government at the time claimed victory through a Resolution in the Human Rights Council in May 2009, that was hardly a victory for the people of Sri Lanka, as that effort […]

US Draft Resolution: What The Ranil–Sirisena Govt Will Not Tell you!

25th September 2015 // 0 Comments

By Tamara Kunanayakam – A US-sponsored draft resolution against Sri Lanka is back on the Human Rights Council agenda, this time with a vengeance and despite the Ranil –Sirisena government’s conciliatory and obsequious pro-Washington, pro-Western stance! There is no more Mahinda Rajapaksa to blame, no more pro-Beijing foreign policy, no more Non-Alignment, no more ‘megaphone diplomacy’ or ‘megaphone diplomats’, no more corruption. History dawned in Sri Lanka only on 8 January, before that, there was only darkness, violence and obscurantism. Today, enlightened leaders have flooded the land with newness, goodness, transparency, and unity, along with privileged relations with a much-maligned West. So, what went wrong? A generous response would be our new, enlightened leaders read all the signs wrong. An accurate response would be they […]

Sri Lanka’s Tamil party welcomes resolution at UN

25th September 2015 // 0 Comments

Sri Lanka central bank says will float rupee from Friday – market sourcesSri Lanka central bank seen keeping rates steady on FridayIndia, Sri Lanka fishermen problem needs bottoms-up solution: Envoy (With Sri Lanka recalls its envoy, a friend of India)Sri Lanka to focus on reconciliation 6 years after war-endSri Lanka opposition MPs protest summoning of ex-president  Sri Lanka’s main opposition on Friday welcomed the draft text of a resolution on Sri Lanka tabled by the co-sponsors at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), also the main Tamil political party in the country, said that resolution constituted a significant victory for justice in Sri Lanka. The resolution, which was tabled in Geneva on Thursday, backs a domestic process with foreign […]

Kerry says resolution on Lanka an important step

25th September 2015 // 0 Comments

US Secretary of State John Kerry says the resolution on Sri Lanka submitted to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) yesterday, marks an important step toward a credible transitional justice process, owned by Sri Lankans and with the support and involvement of the international community. He said the resolution lays out a path to provide truth, justice, reparation, and guarantees of non-recurrence that the Sri Lankan people deserve while safeguarding the reputation of those, including within the military, who conducted themselves with honor and professionalism. Kerry said the United States will remain steadfast in its commitment to walk with Sri Lanka as it takes these important but challenging steps. “The United States, Sri Lanka, and our partners tabled a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva […]

Only A Few In The Military Was Responsible For Crimes

25th September 2015 // 0 Comments

Foreign Minister Managla Samaraweera says that a few in the military hierarchy was responsible for crimes and human rights violations during the war against the LTTE and by and large and overwhelming majority of the country’s security forces had behaved in a very humane and responsible manner. Samaraweera in a statement says that the reputation of the vast majority of Sri Lanka’s military cannot be tarnished by the wrongdoings of a few. Samaraweera issuing a statement on the tabling of UN Human Rights Council Resolution on Sri Lanka, says “the international community recognises this fact and the unfortunate reality that the reputation of the vast majority of the armed forces was tainted in the recent past because of the system and culture created by a […]

TNA Welcomes The Draft Text Of Resolution On Sri Lanka

25th September 2015 // 0 Comments

The Tamil National Alliances welcomes the draft text of a resolution on Sri Lanka tabled by the co-sponsors of the resolution yesterday. Issuing a statement the TNA said; “In particular, we welcome the draft resolution’s call on Sri Lanka to involve foreign and Commonwealth judges, lawyers, investigators and defenders in a judicial mechanism to be set up in Sri Lanka that would be mandated to try international crimes. This constitutes a significant victory for justice in Sri Lanka. The TNA is committed to help the government and international stakeholders evolve such a court, and will support its work. We also wish to note our appreciation of the government’s assent to this text and its willingness to co-sponsor it in the Human Rights Council. A court […]

How Mahinda abused his power to protect his friends.

25th September 2015 // 0 Comments

I still remember how Sajith and Hema cried when Dulanjali was caught printing fake money. Had I been 10 minutes late, police would have remanded Dulanjali. I was at an emergency meeting. Lalith sent me a chit explaining the matter. I left the meeting and gave a call to the IG. Already everything had been arranged to take her to courts. IG told me, ‘Sir, don’t interfere in this. This is a serious matter. Already, media-men are buzzing around like bees.’ I gave the IG a piece of my mind and said, ‘You do what I say. Obtain a statement and release Dulanjali within half an hour. Don’t let me call you again.’ That is how I settled Dulanjali’s matter,” Kurunegala district MP, former president […]

Second US draft resolution sticks to demand for foreign judges

25th September 2015 // 0 Comments

Sep 25 (ENS) The second US draft resolution on war crimes in Sri Lanka, which was presented to the UNHRC in Geneva on Thursday, has stuck to the original demand that the domestic judicial mechanism which the Lankan govt is going to set up to try war crimes cases, should include foreign judges, defence lawyers, and authorized prosecutors and investigators. While welcoming SL’s proposal to establish a Judicial Mechanism with a Special Counsel to investigate allegations, more.. The draft resolution on Sri Lanka was submitted to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) today with several amendments to the original text proposed earlier in the week. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and United States of America have […]

1 2 3 4 5 17