7th October 2015

Boycott U.S. products, Nedumaran tells youth

7th October 2015 // 0 Comments

Tamil National Movement leader P. Nedumaran has called upon the youth and student community to boycott U.S. products in protest against the country’s resolution in the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) against the interests of Sri Lankan Tamils. Addressing a meeting here on Tuesday, Mr. Nedumaran, who was on his “Tamizhar ezhuchi payanam,” said that the U.S. had moved a resolution in the UNHRC favouring internal inquiry into war crimes in Sri Lanka. Alleging that two lakh Tamils were massacred by the ‘Sinhala chauvinists’ in the civil war in 2009, Mr. Nedumaran said that the Tamils would get justice only if an international probe was conducted. It was unfortunate that India had supported the U.S. in the UNHRC, he said. The authoritarian act of […]

When loved ones are stolen can poetry repair the wound?

7th October 2015 // 0 Comments

Amnesty International recently launched “Silenced Shadows”, a poetry competition on disappearances in Sri Lanka. Poet R Cheran, one of our competition judges, explains how literature can be a force for change. More than 80,000 people disappeared in Sri Lanka. Many people there, including me, have relatives or friends who have disappeared in the past 30 years during the war. It is still an open wound. When a friend or relative is killed, painful as that is, at least you know their fate and you can have some closure. But if someone you love disappears, it is more cruel. You will be like a small bird trapped in a dark cage, searching for a corner where none exists. This pain is unbearable. The major issue in Sri Lanka […]

It is now crystal clear that the Sinhala leaders will never put forward a just resolution to the Tamil national question

7th October 2015 // 0 Comments

By Imtiyaz Razak – It is now crystal clear that the Sinhala leaders will never put forward a just resolution to the Tamil national question. Therefore, we are not prepared to place our trust in the impossible and walk along the same old futile path…. We therefore ask the international community and the countries of the world that respect justice to recognize our freedom struggle.” This is the key sections of the annual Heroes’ Day statement delivered by the slain leader of the disabled Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), V. Pirapaharan. The LTTE cadres silenced their guns in May 2009, and we are being told that V. Pirapaharan is dead. Whether such a statement from the LTTE leader represents accurate or not, the statement […]

Sri Lanka’s Hide & Seek Honeymoon With Israel

7th October 2015 // 0 Comments

By Latheef Farook – An Israeli Parliamentary delegation visited Sri Lanka from 24 to 30 of September 2015. According to reports the delegation had discussions with Secretary-General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake on areas of mutual interest, security arrangements in Parliament, the public outreach and employing disabled people in Parliament. However Mr. Dassanayake did not disclose the areas of mutual interest he discussed with the visiting Israeli team. The question is how could Sri Lanka have areas of mutual interest with Israel in view of its long list of war crimes which has turned the Middle East into a killing field. Sri Lanka is a country with more than 2000 years old civilization. In the 1960s and 1970s Sri Lankan voice was highly respected in all […]

Four Army Personnel Found Guilty Of Raping Woman Killinochchi

7th October 2015 // 0 Comments

Four Army personnel, found guilty of raping one woman and molesting another in Killinochchi in the north, were sentenced to 25 years imprisonment by Jaffna high court today. The four were accused and charged of raping one woman and molesting another in 2009. The Jaffna High court further ordered the accused to pay one of the women who was raped Rs. 500,000 as compensation and in the event of the accused failing to pay the sum ordered to add another 5 years to their sentence. One of the accused in the rape is still absconding and the case was heard without his presence. “One and only case where a Tamil woman survived the military rape and pointed at her rapists in court.” a women’s rights activist […]

Investigate LTTE diaspora for war crimes?

7th October 2015 // 0 Comments

When quelling the riots that broke out in August 2011 in the UK, this is what Prime Minister David Cameron quite candidly said, “a fight back is underway and phoney human rights cannot prevent the British government from savagely silencing the protesters.” One can imagine what he would do if he had to deal with terrorists! by Jayantha Gunasekera ( October 4, 2015, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Velupillai Prabhakaran the architect and dreamer of Tamil Eelam, had as his role model the self appointed Fuehrer of Germany, Adolf Hitler. Both of them did not possess any education, but were extremely intelligent. Prabhakaran whilst living in a dream world was initially determined to crush the so called educated, and so-called high caste people. He, like Hitler […]

Sri Lankan Government will not be able to ‘escape’ with a domestic mechanism

7th October 2015 // 0 Comments

When Dr Kasipillai Manoharan (father of Manoharan Ragihar who, with all the trappings of a classic Greek tragedy, was shot along with four other friends at the Trincomalee beach front on 2nd January 2006) says that he has no confidence in domestic legal mechanisms to redress his anguish (The New York Times, 2nd October 2015) this is not a claim made for cheap political advantage. Stories of injustice This father went through the local justice process with all its pain, humiliation and hopelessness, including being relentlessly badgered during the hearings of the Udalagama Commission inquiry (2006), resulting in him breaking down in tears. So the academic rhetoric of the law and intricate constitutional tangles mean little to him. At the other end of the country, […]

Tamil people were taken away from the camp and are still missing.

7th October 2015 // 0 Comments

Reconciliation cannot take place when truth is Suppressed The wounds of the civil war still exist today. In addition to soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the motherland, there were large number of families living in the North and the East that became victims of Asia’s longest civil war. Out of those who sacrificed their lives are missing persons who were taken away by different groups.  In an interview with the Dailymirror, Dr. Thangamuthu Jayasingham, officer in charge of the Vantharumoolai refugee camp in 1990, recalled how people were taken away from the camp and are still missing. Excerpts are as follows: Q  What exactly happened that day? This is an incident that took place 25 years ago on September 5, 1990 and I am still […]

MP Weerawansa is seeking cheap publicity!

7th October 2015 // 0 Comments

War crimes: Pandemonium in parliament over ‘hybrid court’ By Saman Indrajith Pandemonium reigned in Parliament yesterday following a protest mounted by opposition MPs inside the Chamber against the alleged moves to set up a hybrid court to prosecute the military personnel who crushed terrorism. The rumpus led to the suspension of sittings for ten minutes. When Parliament commenced notice of motions and orders of the day, NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa sprang to his feet, claiming that the government had promised during the previous sittings to allocate time for a debate demanded by the Opposition on the recent UNHRC report and resolution against Sri Lanka, but the promised debate had not been included in the list of scheduled business in Parliament for this week. The MP […]

What is the American agenda?

7th October 2015 // 0 Comments

What is the American agenda? Different views and thoughts have surfaced amongst top government ranks in Colombo over the conduct of the United States of America with regard to the recent developments in Geneva and New York. Prior to the tabling of the UNHRC Resolution, US Senior Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal arrived in Colombo and stated that a resolution would be moved in support of Sri Lanka. She became popular here over that positive assurance at a time Colombo was placed in an embarrassing situation with the UNHRC pressing for a Hybrid International Court on alleged war crimes. However, it was clear that the top rung in the Colombo Government were not happy over the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights’ report […]

The good, the bad and the ugh! US Resolution on Sri Lanka:

7th October 2015 // 0 Comments

by Manjula Fernando The US Resolution co-sponsored by Sri Lanka and adopted by a consensus at the UN Human Rights Council’s 30th session last week, has been given different colours and hues by various stakeholders and critics of the Government. Expatriate Sri Lankans stage a massive demo in Geneva, urging the UNHRC not to undermine domestic efforts for reconciliation. Pic: Colombopage While former Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Geneva, Tamara Kunanayakam, a strong critic of Foreign Minister, Mangala Samaraweera and the National Unity Government, opined the Resolution that was passed without a vote in Geneva last week served the global interests of the US and is very much about a system change in all spheres; political, legal, security and defence in Colombo to fall in line […]