1st October 2015

US, UK hail adoption of “historic resolution”

1st October 2015 // 0 Comments

The United States and Britain hailed the adoption of the “historic resolution” on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council today. The US Ambassador to Geneva Keith Harper said that the  consensus resolution expresses international support for Sri Lanka as it takes courageous steps to strengthen democracy and restore civil liberties. “We have witnessed important changes in Sri Lanka since January, which have made today’s consultative, constructive resolution possible. The goal of this resolution—and of our efforts here in Geneva—is to help Sri Lanka undertake a difficult but essential journey. And, we welcome that this resolution recognizes the critical role of continued OHCHR engagement. As Secretary Kerry reiterated last week, the United States will remain steadfast in supporting justice, promoting reconciliation, and seeking an […]

I robbed bank for my education

1st October 2015 // 0 Comments

The suspect taken into custody in connection with a failed robbery at a private bank in the Panadura town, had stated that he was a medical student at the Moscow University and that he resorted to robbery to find money for his fees, the Police said. The 35-year-old suspect, who entered bank had allegedly handed to the lady cashier at the counter a bank slip written on its back that he was in possession of a revolver and that he would shoot if she raised cries or activated the alarm and robbed her of cash Rs. 500,000. However, when he was running away with the cash a Police constable on traffic duty on the Galle Road gave chase and caught him. Investigations revealed that he […]

UN war crimes resolution marks a turning point for victims

1st October 2015 // 0 Comments

A crucial resolution adopted at the UN Human Rights Council today offers the victims of Sri Lanka’s armed conflict the prospect of finally getting the truth and justice they deserve, Amnesty International said. The resolution was adopted without a vote today at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, following the publication earlier this month of a UN report into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights by all sides during Sri Lanka’s armed conflict. Although far from perfect, if the resolution and the underlying commitments of Sri Lanka’s government are implemented in good faith it presents an opportunity for victims to finally get the truth and justice they have been waiting for. David Griffiths, Amnesty International’s South Asia Research Director “The adoption of […]

Resolution on Sri Lanka adopted without a vote

1st October 2015 // 0 Comments

The resolution on Sri Lanka presented to the UN Human Rights Council, was adopted without a vote during the 30th session of the Council in Geneva today. Titled “Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka” the resolution was passed after no country sought a vote on the text. The US delegation presented the resolution to the Council today and some of the co-sponsors made comments on the text. The President of the Council announced that the resolution had been adopted by consensus. “The adoption of this resolution is a turning point for human rights in Sri Lanka, and crucially recognizes terrible crimes committed by both parties during the armed conflict. Although far from perfect, if the resolution and the underlying commitments of Sri […]

Jaya writes to Modi on fishermen issue

1st October 2015 // 0 Comments

Chennai :- Taking exception to the continued arrests of Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy, Tamil Nadu government has told the Centre that Colombo’s “dubious actions” has resulted in the situation at sea remaining “precarious.” Referring to the latest instance of arrest of fishermen who set out from Tuticorin district on September 26, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that this was the third such incident within a span of a week. “In spite of the several steps being taken by my Government with an accommodative frame of mind to devise a permanent solution to this sensitive livelihood issue, the situation at sea remains precarious with the dubious actions of the Sri Lankan Government,” she said in a letter to Modi. The […]

UNICEF puts focus on children in Lanka’s war

1st October 2015 // 0 Comments

The United Nations agency on children, UNICEF, said that children bore the brunt of the war in Sri Lanka and of the atrocities committed by both sides. It said that children, and people who were children at the time of atrocities and violations, should be given ample voice in all processes proposed by the report on Sri Lanka by the UN and be supported in those processes as witnesses or claimants as if they were still children. It also said that the families of children who were recruited, killed, maimed or otherwise had their rights violated should be supported in all these processes as special interest groups. “Children, and people who were children at the time, should be considered in all processes of restitution, truth […]

We Cannot Let The Country Be Destroyed: Leader Of The Opposition

1st October 2015 // 0 Comments

Leader of the Opposition R. Sampanthan addressing a star-studded line up of politicians, including Chandrika Kumartunga, Mahinda Rajapaksa and Ranil Wickremesinghe noted that the country’s politicians always should give priority to “Democracy”. The Tamil National Alliance leader, who has been in the limelight lately said the erosion of democracy will lead to the destruction of the country. “Sri Lanka should always be a vibrant democracy. We cannot let the country be destroyed. So we should strengthen our democratic institutions and protect democracy as a whole” Sampanthan said. He made these observation while speaking at the 60th Anniversary Celebrations of the Department of Elections held at the BMICH yesterday. The event was a rare one in the sens it drew some of Sri Lanka’s key political leaders […]

Resolution a crucial step towards credible justice process – EU

1st October 2015 // 0 Comments

The European Union (EU) today said that it will continue to support Sri Lanka as it looks to work in partnership with the international community to implement its commitments as it moves forward on the path of reconciliation, justice and progress on human rights. The following comments were made by the EU representative at the UNHRC in Geneva during the general debate on the report of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Sri Lanka: “The European Union wishes to congratulate the High Commissioner and his office for the report on Sri Lanka. We welcome and support the clear recommendations it contains. The OISL report documents in a clear and authoritative manner truly terrible events indicating that war crimes and crimes […]

Disband Missing Persons Commission, Zeid Tells Lanka

1st October 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid, has recommended that the Sri Lankan Commission to Investigate Cases of Forced Disappearances should he disbanded because its credibility has been seriously questioned by the families of the victims and other observers. >> Other Top Stories << India Calls Pakistan Sponsor of Terrorism, Asks it to Evacuate Occupied Kashmir IAF Man’s Father Lynched for Alleged Cow Slaughter Shows of Vijay’s Movie ‘Puli’ Cancelled   In his report to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva on Wednesday, Zeid said that task assigned to the missing persons’ commission (headed by former Justice Maxwell Paranagama) should be transferred to a “credible and independent institution established in consultation with the families of the disappeared.” The Paranagama commission, […]

Wigneswaran expresses concerns over resolution

1st October 2015 // 0 Comments

Chief Minister of the Northern Province, C.V. Wigneswaran, on Wednesday expressed concerns over “some of the serious weaknesses” in a draft resolution on Sri Lanka, which is likely to be adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council on Thursday. In a statement, Mr. Wigneswaran, a former judge of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, said any attempt to entrust the responsibility of prosecution with any local prosecutor “can never bring justice to victims”. In this context, he referred to reservations of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights about a domestic judicial mechanism going into allegations of human rights violations. The draft resolution’s “failure” to propose a mechanism that could gain the support and confidence of the victims “is a matter of grave […]

OHCHR budget plans for six missions to Colombo, 14 days each

1st October 2015 // 0 Comments

OHCHR requires $ 337,800 to implement Sri Lanka resolution UNHRC Secretariat to inform member states of budgetary implications ahead of adoption of consensus resolution on Lanka OHCHR budget plans for six missions to Colombo, 14 days each Budget makes provision for UN P4 level expert to review progress on  resolution and OHCHR recommendations The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights will request the United Nations to pass a supplementary budget allocation to the tune of $ 337,800 in order to conduct its review and assessment of Sri Lanka’s progress, as mandated by the US-sponsored resolution to be adopted in Geneva today. Before the resolution co-sponsored by Sri Lanka, entitled ‘Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka’, is adopted by consensus at the […]

UN Human Rights Council: Statement on High Commissioner’s report on Sri Lanka

1st October 2015 // 0 Comments

The High Commissioner’s investigative report on Sri Lanka marks a significant step towards justice and accountability for the victims of international crimes and the family members of Sri Lanka’s dead and “disappeared.”  The international investigative team extensively documented alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity, including torture, extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. Now the government of Sri Lanka and the international community need to engage credibly, promptly and transparently to see these recommendations implemented. The Sri Lankan government, having asked for trust, needs to seize on this opportunity to deliver meaningful and expeditious justice and other reforms. The Sri Lankan government has accepted many recommendations to improve the human rights situation, including a repeal of the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act and reforms to the Witness and […]

The long road from Geneva

1st October 2015 // 0 Comments

For two weeks, Sri Lanka has been a hot topic at the 30th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, after a report by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Investigation (OHCHR) found evidence of probable war crimes committed in the island during the last years of the conflict. The report implicates both the LTTE and Government troops in what investigators called “systematic” killings, extra-judicial executions, the recruitment of children as soldiers and enforced disappearances. The report contained few surprises, after Britain’s Channel 4 television systematically released evidence of alleged war crimes committed during the last phase of the war in Sri Lanka in films released over the past three years. With the exception of evidence gathered about a few […]

War crimes allegations should have been investigated soon after 2009 to prevent white nations waging a witch-hunt

1st October 2015 // 0 Comments

Govt cannot dance to the tune of foreigners – Gomin Dayasri by Manjula Fernando The Sri Lankan forces should not be penalised for liberating thousands of people from the grip of the LTTE.War crimes allegations should have been investigated soon after 2009 to prevent white nations waging a witch-hunt, said famed legal luminary Gomin Dayasri adding “This is where the former government missed the bus”. Gomin Dayasri newsalai.com He said, “The litmus test for the government is the wording in the American backed Resolution at the UNHRC.” Excerpts: Q: Is it a possibility that Sri Lanka’s military may have committed war crimes against the LTTE terrorists at the decisive final stages of the war as alleged? A: War crimes are different from ordinary crimes. There […]

Govt. is more wary of domestic implications

1st October 2015 // 0 Comments

The eventual outcome at the ongoing sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva will be critical for Sri Lanka in terms of international implications and for its image as a progressive democracy but there is also likely to be a domestic political fallout as a result. Colombo’s emissaries are currently engaged in frantic bouts of diplomacy in Geneva, hoping to dilute a United States sponsored resolution on alleged war crimes that was expected to be favorable to Sri Lanka but turned out to be quite contentious in the wake of pressure exerted by the European Union. The latest reports suggest that Colombo has agreed to support a resolution where there will be a ‘Sri Lankan judicial mechanism that will include local, […]

Sinhala Racists have started their usual campaign of alleged international interference

1st October 2015 // 0 Comments

By Upul Kumarapperuma With the tabling of the Resolution at the sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in respect to the government of Sri Lanka, a new concept of ‘Hybrid Court Mechanism’ has come to light, which has become the latest addition to the legal jargon of the country. After the Resolution was made available in the public domain, the nationalist hardliners have started their usual campaign of alleged international interference and the Western intimidation to the sovereignty and the independence of the country. Further, some of the hardliners have defined the Resolution and the reaction of the government to the Resolution as the greatest betrayal of the country and the war heroes who have saved the country from the clutches of […]