28th September 2015

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 […]