Who’s Afraid Of Accountability? Accountability In 2009, 2015 & 2021

In 2009 in Geneva, not resorting to blanket denial and refusal to consider possible individual cases of violations through local mechanisms (while never countenancing unsubstantiated claims of war crimes) was one of the ways of convincing the UNHRC to support Sri Lanka’s position in the most difficult period, the immediate aftermath of the war. Even after the various reports of its own commissions gave guidance on the cases and possible mechanisms to commence those processes, Sri Lanka failed to do so. In 2015, the administration’s total embrace of 30/1 was…

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What does UN human rights resolution mean for Sri Lanka?

(Reuters) – U.N. human rights boss Michelle Bachelet received a mandate on Tuesday to collect evidence of crimes during Sri Lanka’s long civil war, which ended in 2009 with the defeat of the separatist Tamil Tigers and an upsurge of civilian deaths. [L8N2LL3PG] Rights groups said the decision was a critical step in gaining justice for victims of war crimes, and could have significant implications for the current Sri Lankan government. Here are answers to some common questions: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-sri-lanka-rights-un-factbox/what-does-un-human-rights-resolution-mean-for-sri-lanka-idUSKBN2BG1D5?rpc=401&

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Sri Lanka: Landmark UN resolution marks crucial turning point on justice and accountability

A new UN resolution on Sri Lanka is an important step forward and offers renewed hope of long-awaited justice for victims of the country’s 30-year civil conflict, said Amnesty International, following its adoption by the Human Rights Council (UNHRC) today.  The resolution not only ramps up international monitoring and scrutiny of the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, but also mandates the UN human rights office to collect, consolidate and preserve evidence for future prosecutions and make recommendations to the international community on steps they can make to deliver on justice and accountability.  https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2021/03/sri-lanka-landmark-un-resolution-marks-crucial-turning-point-on-justice-and-accountability/

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India’s Sri Lanka dilemma

New Delhi remains caught between an insensitive Colombo and an angry Chennai. India’s classic dilemma on Sri Lanka is playing out again The Tamil question in Sri Lanka has posed an almost intractable dilemma for Indian foreign policy for decades. During the three-decade long civil war between Colombo and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), New Delhi moved from covert support to Tamil militants in the early 1980s to sending a peacekeeping force in the late 1980s to taking a strong position against LTTE in the 1990s after it…

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Will Sri Lanka human rights report change Swiss asylum policy?

The UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday passed a resolution expressing serious concern about the human rights situation in Sri Lanka and giving a UN mandate to collect evidence of war crimes. This follows a damning report stressing not only impunity for serious crimes during the civil war but a deteriorating human rights situation since the election of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in November 2019. The resolution was supported by 22 countries including Switzerland https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/will-sri-lanka-human-rights-report-change-swiss-asylum-policy-/46455594

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Sri Lanka’s opposition parties hit out at govt for UNHRC “failure”

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s opposition parties have hit out at the government for its handling of the resolution passed at the 46th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva yesterday. The main opposition Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) said the outcome was the direct result of “major failures” on the part of the present government, while the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), expressing similar sentiments, said the UNHRC resolution was an indictment of the government’s domestic and foreign policy failures. The JVP laid particular emphasis on its observation that…

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UNHRC resolution sets stage for international jurisdiction of rights violations in SL

Rajapaksa administration faces humiliating defeat  Resolution adopted by 22 votes for, 11 against, 14 abstentions  India, Japan among key abstentions  Amnesty International hails “landmark” resolution; says it signals shifting approach of international community Despite hefty lobbying, Govt. secures lowest support ever to defeat UNHRC resolution  Central database of evidence of rights violations in SL to cost $ 2.8 m Mechanism to be operational within months  The UN’s top human rights body has brought Sri Lanka one step closer to international prosecution of wartime abuses and human rights violations committed in…

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As the military seeks to consolidate power, it is increasingly targeting journalists with lawsuits and violence in order to stop them from reporting the truth about what’s happening in Myanmar.

By FRONTIER “Don’t be afraid of them,” The Hakha Times CEO Ya Lalawmpuia, also known as Pa Pui, advised his newsroom on March 3. “If we are afraid, we will not be able to reveal the truth about what they [police and soldiers] are doing.” Less than a week earlier, on February 27, Pa Pui, 50, had been arrested in Hakha, the Chin State capital, while live streaming a protest. “They [the police] beat me. I told them I was from the media, but they cursed and told me to…

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“Journalist Tortured Himself”: CCD Arrests Sujeewa Gamage For Faking His Own Attack

As Colombo Telegraph predicted, the Colombo Crimes Division has placed assaulted journalist Sujeewa Gamage under arrest for fabricating a complaint about his abduction and assault and inflicting injuries on himself. In lightning quick time the Police said it has transformed its investigation to focus on why the journalist allegedly “fabricated” the events.

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Secret US document reveals Lanka’s ‘Indo-Pacific’ role?

The new Secretariat will focus on the current maritime security environment in the region and, among other things “discuss new areas of cooperation in the fields of maritime security and threats A secret 2018 national security document titled ‘US Strategic Framework for the Indo Pacific,’ declassified on January 5 – with the Trump administration on its way out – describes the formation of such an entity, among its plans for India and South Asia The launch in Colombo of a Trilateral Maritime Security Secretariat, for cooperation between Sri Lanka, India and…

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Sri Lanka group seeks probe of reporter’s alleged kidnapping

A Sri Lankan media rights group is urging the police to expedite a probe into the alleged abduction and torture of a journalistBy BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI Associated Press18 March 2021, 13:27• 2 min read COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — A Sri Lankan media rights group on Thursday urged police to expedite a probe into the alleged abduction and torture of a journalist, calling the incident a serious threat to the safety of journalists in the country. However, Sri Lankan police say the journalist, Sujeewa Gamage, lied about being abducted and has been taken into…

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Resolution on SL to be taken up at UNHRC on March 22

The resolution on Sri Lanka will be taken up at the United Nations Human Rights Council next Monday with a vote expected the same day or the following day, Daily Mirror learns. Tuesday was the deadline for the incorporation of any amendment to the resolution to be moved by the core group of countries led by the United Kingdom. The other countries in the core group are Canada, Germany, Malawi, Macedonia and Montenegro. Besides, there are around 40 countries that have signed the resolution as co-sponsors or additional co-sponsors. Most…

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UNHRC needs to ensure that human rights and accountability developments in Sri Lanka firmly remain on the international agenda

UNHRC needs to ensure that human rights and accountability developments in Sri Lanka firmly remain on the international agenda The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) welcomes the new resolution A/HRC/46/L.1/Rev.1 (Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka) tabled on March 16th to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) by the core group of countries that include Canada, Germany, Malawi, Montenegro, North Macedonia and UK. We call upon all member countries of the Council to support and non-member countries to co-sponsor the resolution. This will ensure that human rights…

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For Sri Lankan reporters, the ghosts of violence and intimidation loom again

When Wickrematunge was killed, Gotabaya Rajapaksa was defence secretary. As brother of the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Gotabaya Rajapaksa wielded unparalleled military influence, earning a reputation as the country’s most feared bureaucrat. When Wickrematunge exposed a corrupt arms deal Rajapaksa had signed off, he broke the silence in the press about the activities of the defence secretary. Years later, Sri Lankan criminal investigators alleged that Gotabaya Rajapaksa operated military death squads to attack journalists, including Wickrematunge and Noyahr. Rajapaksa has consistently denied this and all other allegations of wrongdoing. From 2005 to 2015, Mahinda Rajapaksa presided over…

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The High Commissioner, Michelle Bachelet, is a former president ofChile. She and her family were jailed under the dictatorial rule of Pinochet. Her father was killed by its jailors, and she was abused in prison. Could her background and character be factors behind her report? My speculation is that must be the case. No matter what our work is, our own life experiences enter into our decision-making. I believe many of her actions as the socialist president  (2006-10; 2014-18) suggest she agrees with Martin Luther King when he spoke of…

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UK, Canada seek to influence member states against Lanka

The Sri Lanka Core group members, Canada and the UK, are campaigning hard to muster support for their resolution against Sri Lanka at the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council. Sri Lanka Core group consists of Canada, Germany, the UK, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Malawi. Canada High Commissioner David McKinnon met the Bangladesh High Commissioner Tareq Ariful Islam, at the Canada House, Colombo 07. Sources said that meetings between diplomats of those countries were rare. Bangladesh is a member o the f UNHRC. The meeting at the Canada House took…

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Sri Lanka: An Intelligence Perspective on Easter Carnage

Perhaps, the Commission could have been authorised access to the periodic reports and files of the SIS in respect of the NTJ. Such classified material would have been valuable in the quest for the roots and ramifications of the NTJ. Most of the witnesses who appeared before the Commission for evidence may not have possessed the type knowledge of the NTJ and its ramifications which only SIS officers would have possessed. The SIS usually seeks to protect the identity of their officers as well as their records, for risk of…

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Significance of P2P march

The Rajapaksas weakest link is the ineptitude in handling foreign relations, which has caused maximum damage to the country. This was seen in all critical situations: continued insensitivity in handling India’s concerns, embarrassing the new US administration by undiplomatic comments, and clumsiness in handling Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Colombo and the inability to strategize the approach to the UNHRC session. The after effects of this weakness is likely to impact the country in the coming months. Perhaps for the first time since the 70s, Tamils of all hues…

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