Govt. yet undecided on consensual resolution at UNHRC

Govt. sends 20-page response to UNHR HC’s observations  UK and US to closely review UNHRC report on Sri Lanka  Ready to visit some provisions of PTA, Sri Lanka tells EU  Moragoda’s nomination as SL Envoy to India still stands Sri Lanka’s political arena these days is dominated by two topics – the impending United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions and the controversy over the proposed joint venture with India on developing the East Container Terminal (ECT) at the Colombo Port.  Both issues have put to the test Sri Lanka’s…

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UNHRC’s Sword of Damocles

In an unprecedented development, the UN Commissioner, in her report, has called on member nations to refer Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court (ICC) while going on to recommend targeted sanctions on individuals, including punitive action such as travel bans and freezing of assets. It is to be noted that the UN Commissioner’s call to refer Sri Lanka to the ICC, which is the court of last resort when all domestic options have been exhausted, points to the fact that the UNHCR has lost faith in domestic mechanisms that…

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FSP blasts govt’s failure to deliver on its promise

By Anuradha Hiripitiyage The government’s promise to increase the daily wage of the plantation workers to Rs. 1,000 would not be fulfilled, Propaganda Secretary of the Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) Duminda Nagamuwa told The Island yesterday. Nagamuwa said that in 2020 the government had issued four gazettes announcing price controls, which were ignored by large scale rice mill owners. “This is also not the first time that the government has undertaken to increase the daily wages of estate workers. Last year also the Cabinet approved a proposal to increase daily wages but…

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Presidential Commission of Inquiry, human rights and Geneva sessions: What’s at stake?

President Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa (NGR) and his Government’s nonchalance regarding the United Nations Human Rights Council report on Sri Lanka, which was a confidential document but released prematurely by the Foreign Minister to score political points, is typical of a regime trying to put up a brave face before succumbing to the inevitable.  NGR’s appointment of yet another commission to inquire into human rights abuses is simply an exercise to hoodwink the world body. However, odds are stacked against the President and his Government this time. The regime is going…

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How sound is SriLanka’s collective consciousness?

In Sri Lanka, this rhetoric of misleading the collective consciousness in order to gain power was going on over decades.  Bandaranaike created a false patriotism by nationalising privately held assets and businesses. This patriotism was reduced to providing employment in these businesses to the political supporters of the successive political parties. Eventually the government budget had to finance these loss-making institutions. Still, this false patriotism is powerful enough to create a public opinion that we should continue with the State ownership of those entities.  It is beneficial to the rulers,…

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Carefully reviewing UN report on human rights situation in Sri Lanka US

By Lalit K Jha    Washington, Jan 29 (PTI) The US has said that it is carefully reviewing a report from the UN on Sri Lanka’s human rights situation which highlights worrying trends such as deepening impunity, increasing militarisation of governmental functions, ethno-nationalist rhetoric and intimidation of the civil society over the past year.     The report urges enhanced monitoring and strong preventive action by the international community, warning that “Sri Lanka’s current trajectory sets the scene for the recurrence of the policies and practices that gave rise to grave human rights violations.”    …

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Mohan Pieris Accuses UNHRC In Geneva Of Being Tool For ‘Vanquished Terrorists’; Suffers Rebuke From UN Secretary General

Disgraced former Chief Justice and Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s envoy to the United Nations in New York Mohan Pieris embarrassed himself and the Government of Sri Lanka in his very first address to the UN General Assembly on Thursday (28), accusing the Human Rights Council in Geneva of being a tool of terrorists. Mohan Pieris With the whole world in the chamber, Pieris also accused UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachelet of engaging in an “exercise” in regime change in Sri Lanka, in her latest report to the Human Rights Council, which was a…

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Bachelet concerns: HRCSL to discuss with Govt. delegation

The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) will discuss the serious human rights-related concerns raised by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), led by Michelle Bachelet, once the government delegation to Geneva is finalised. HRCSL Chairperson Jagath Balasuriya told The Morning yesterday (28) that the HRCSL does not yet know as to who would comprise the delegation led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to make its way to the 46th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, Switzerland, which is…

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Reconciliation in Practice

Below is an excerpt from a presentation given by Shreen Saroor at the event Night of Ideas 2021 organized by the French Embassy on the topic “reconciliation in practice.” Our country is ethnically, religiously and linguistically diverse and our survival depends on equal treatment. Discrimination and violence against Tamils led to civil war and displacement. After the 2019 terrorist attacks, the government detained hundreds of Muslims without charge and turned a blind eye when mobs attacked Muslim homes and businesses. Today, media outlets spread rumors blaming Muslims for Covid-19, while the government…

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It’s natural for U.S. ambassador to stand for Indian involvement in ECT

Some eminent Buddhist monks such as Ven. Elle Gunawamsa Thera and Ven. Medagoda Abhayatissa Thera are among those who made the most incisive and hard hitting comments against the regime The U.S. has long advocated for what it called ‘free and open navigation’ in the Indo-pacific region.  India is a strategic alliance with the U.S. in this respect The U.S. Defence Strategic Guidance issued in January 2012 had discussed India and characterised U.S. hopes for the country to exert leadership in the Indian Ocean The business model proposed by the…

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Breaching his own pledges to end nepotism in government President Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Government recently delivered a bonanza of diplomatic posts to the sons, daughters and nephews of ministers and regime loyalists and in a shocking twist, the list includes the Dulmini Attanayake, the daughter of newly minted National Organizer of the main opposition SJB. Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunge’s daughter Pavitra Ranatunga who also resides in Adelaide Australia has been appointed Third Secretary to the Sri Lankan Consulate in Sydney. Minister Bandula Gunawardane’s daughter Randula Gunewardane will soon leave for New York,…

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A Lesson For Sri Lanka’s President From The Failed Trump Administration

By Chandra Jayaratne – Chandra Jayaratne Many in Civil Society are of opinion that the President, in keeping with the commitments of his successful election manifesto accepted by a majority of voting citizens and the pledges he reiterated upon the assumption of office and the inaugural address to the parliament, must ensure that the government led by him, including his cabinet and the key decision making executives, desist from knowingly uttering falsehoods, presenting non-transparent information or engaging in deceptive acts; and further ensure that they collectively commit to uphold the truth and…

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Tamil parties unitedly escalate demands at UN in Geneva

“Only God can save the Tamil people now” (Thamil Makkalai Inik Kadavul Thaan Kaappaatra Vaendum) was the anguished response of respected Sri Lankan Tamil political leader Samuel James Veluppilaai Chelvanayakam after the results of the 1970 Parliamentary Elections were known.  The United Front (UF) led by Sirimavo Bandaranaike had swept the polls with a two-thirds majority. The UF constituents – Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) and Communist Party (CP) had obtained 91, 19 and six seats respectively in a Parliament of 157 MPs. The chief…

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Storm is brewing at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, the world’s Human Rights parliament?

The jagged asymmetry in the treatment of Sunil Ratnayake and Hejaaz Hizbullah is the most telling symptom and best illustration of the state of human rights and justice in Sri Lanka today, as well as of the character of the Gotabaya Rajapaksa regime.  Ex-Army Sergeant Ratnayake, a Sinhala-Buddhist, was serving a sentence upheld by highest courts for the crime of cutting the throat of a five-year-old Tamil child. He was pardoned by the President and welcomed on release by the current Secretary to the Ministry of Defence. Hizbullah, a young…

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U.N. rights boss calls for sanctions on some Sri Lankan ex-military

U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet called on states on Wednesday to impose “targeted sanctions” on former Sri Lankan military commanders implicated in alleged war crimes during the final years of a 26-year civil war that ended in 2009. “States can consider targeted sanctions, such as asset freezes and travel bans against credibly alleged perpetrators of grave human rights violations and abuses,” she said in a report on Sri Lanka to the U.N. Human Rights Council. Bachelet voiced concern that since 2020, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had appointed at least 28…

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Sri Lanka: UK must spearhead international push for justice following damning UN report

The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) must take urgent steps to address the worsening human rights situation in Sri Lanka Amnesty International said today, following the release of a damning UN report on the country’s efforts to ensure accountability for crimes committed during the civil conflict.  Almost 12 years on from the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war, the report, from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), warns that the Sri Lanka’s persistent failure to address historic crimes is giving way to ‘clear early warning signs of a…

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UNHRC urged to adopt a new resolution on Sri Lanka

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), at its upcoming session, should act on the recommendations of the UN High Commissioner for human rights, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said today. HRW urged the council to adopt a new resolution to enhance scrutiny of Sri Lanka’s deteriorating human rights situation and pursue accountability for past and recent violations. In her report released on January 27, 2021, High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said she was “alarmed” by Sri Lanka’s deteriorating human rights situation and set out steps that the Human Rights Council should take to…

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What’s In Store In Geneva For The Sri Lankan Government

By Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka –  Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka The UN Human Rights Council’s first session of the year 2021 to be held from 22nd February to 23rd March is the most important because it opens with the participation of member states at the Ministerial level, known as the High-Level Segment. Often, Foreign Ministers, Ministers of Human Rights, Justice Ministers and others of similar rank speak at the Council on behalf of their countries and take up issues of human rights around the world.  As in the other two sessions held later in…

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Full Text Of The Leaked Report: War Criminals, Murderers And Fraudsters Exonerated By Nandasena’s Political Victimisation Commission

A leaked copy of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) on political victimization reveals that it has been used to exonerate, white-wash and acquit without charge perpetrators of the most heinous crimes committed in Sri Lanka in the recent past and in many cases reward murderers, abductors, and money launderers with compensation by the state. The report, first leaked on social media and thoroughly perused by Colombo Telegraph revealed that the Commission unanimously decided that the charges and indictments against every accused in so-called emblematic cases highlighted by the UN,…

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When God Wants To Judge A Nation, He Gives Them Wicked Rulers: Our Government & Tamils Should Take Note

By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole – Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole John Calvin wrote: “When God wants to judge a nation, He gives them wicked rulers”. The Bible also says in Jeremiah 23:19 “See, the storm of the LORD will burst out in wrath, a whirlwind swirling down on the heads of the wicked.” These are timely warnings as boasts are made of having killed Velupillai Prabhakaran “like a dog,” as if justice is not to be feared. Indeed, no one of decent family kills even a dog. That divine warning, as this article puts…

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