27th September 2015

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 […]

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 […]