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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Divided people in a distorted democracy

The Geneva Calamity comes more from the thinking of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, than that of the former Chilean politician who is now the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. It is such thinking of disaster advancement that made our Foreign Minister tell the Geneva meeting in his virtual address that Sri Lanka acted in ‘self-defence” in the fight against the LTTE’s terrorism. Was it self-defence that led to the actions of the armed forces or the fundamental right to safeguard the unitary state, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the…

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For Families of the Disappeared, the International Community is Their Last Hope

For the past four years the three women have been part of a group participating in a continuous protest asking the simple question, “Where are they?” But to find the answer to the simple question is a very complex process fraught with evasion, denial and politics. While the previous government set up an Office on Missing Persons that has found no one yet nor brought any of the guilty to book, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his government deny the very concept of the missing. They refuse to accept the possibility…

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Tamils in Jaffna commence hunger strike demanding referral of Sri Lanka to the ICC

Tamils in Jaffna commence hunger strike demanding referral of Sri Lanka to the ICC A hunger strike urging the Sri Lankan government to be brought before the International Criminal Court (ICC) commenced in Nallur, Jaffna today morning. Jaffna and Eastern University students and religious leaders – including Jaffna district’s archbishop priest, Jebaratnam Adigalar and Hindu clergy, Velan Swamigal came together to launch the first day of the hunger strike in front of the Nallur Kandasamy Temple. Velan Swamigal stated that one of the demands from the hunger strike is that…

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British Tamil woman commences hunger strike demanding Sri Lanka be referred to ICC

British Tamil woman commences hunger strike demanding Sri Lanka be referred to ICC Ambihai K Selvakumar, a director of the International Centre for the Prevention of Genocide (ICPPG) is in the second day of her hunger strike, as she continues her demand that the UK refer Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court. This hunger strike comes as the UN Human Rights Council convened for the 46 th session in Geneva at the start of this week. During deliberations, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet outlined her damning…

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Support for Sri Lanka’s unity and territorial integrity and Abiding commitment to aspirations of the Tamils of Sri Lanka for equality, justice, peace and dignity

Issuing his statement on OHCHR report on Sri Lanka, Ambassador Indra Mani Pandey, Permanent Representative of India, said they believed that respecting the rights of the Tamil community, including through meaningful devolution, contributes directly to the unity and integrity of Sri Lanka.Full statement is as follows, We have taken note of the High Commissioner’s report on Sri Lanka and her oral remarks. The Council has adopted 7 Resolutions on the question of human rights in Sri Lanka since May 2009, when the three decades old conflict in that country ended.…

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Sri Lanka-Pakistan ties on a new footing following Imran Khan’s visit

By P.K.Balachandran The two-day visit of the Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to Sri Lanka, which concluded on Wednesday, has put Pakistan-Sri Lanka relations on a higher footing. Besides the traditional defense and security ties, which will be enhanced, the relationship may acquire a strong economic basis, and Pakistan may become a factor in Lankan Muslim politics. Imran’s intercession on the issue of the burial of the COVID-19 dead, might result in government’s lifting the ban on it, thus bringing the curtains down on the bitter conflict between the State…

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Reconcile!! It will never happen Says Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary Adm.Jayanath Colambage

By Meera Srinivasan Seeking India’s “proactive” support at the UN Human Rights Council, where a resolution on Sri Lanka will be soon put to vote, the Secretary to Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, “India cannot abandon us”. “If the world is one family, as your Foreign Minister has said, then we are immediate family, isn’t it,” Admiral Jayanath Colombage (retired) said, citing External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar’s reference to ‘vasudhaiva kutumbakam’ in his recent address to the Council. The Foreign Secretary, a former Navy Commander, spoke to The…

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Support us or? Sri Lanka attempting “to play Pakistan Vs India”

The Foreign Secretary, a former Navy Commander, spoke to The Hindu on Sri Lanka’s prospects at the ongoing session in Geneva, Indo-Lanka relations, Colombo’s broader foreign policy choices, and strategy for reconciliation from “within”, and regional cooperation. Sri Lanka, Mr. Colombage said, would be “very uncomfortable” if countries in the region did not extend support in Geneva. He expressed hope that India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh — who are among members of the current Council — will back Sri Lanka, since the countries had similarities, “are battling COVID-19 and facing…

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More Army men involved in narcotics racket

More Sri Lanka Army personnel are involved in transporting drugs from the South of the country to Colombo, Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) said.  A Senior PNB Officer noted preparations are underway to arrest a Corporal of the Army connected to this drug smuggling ring. This information was revealed when questioning a Lance Corporal, who was arrested by the Panadura Anti-Vice Narcotics Squad recently, with 43 kg of drugs worth approximately Rs 450 million.  It was further revealed the drugs had been transported into the country via the Southern coast. Additionally,…

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21 countries (Russia, China, Pakistan ..)have spoken in favour of Sri Lanka at the UNHRC so far, and that is an achievement.

.  Foreign Minister Gunawardena said, 21 countries have spoken in favour of Sri Lanka at the UNHRC so far, and that is an achievement.  However, the Sri Lankan Government wants the UK-led Core Group’s resolution completely revoked.  He also said the US has also posed questions to the UNHRC. He added the resolution on Sri Lanka is not fair.  The UNHRC session traditionally goes up to four weeks, and would end by 19 March 2021. On Monday (1 March) an informal meeting between the member States will take place.  Gunawardena…

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In Geneva, India Signals to Sri Lanka that Support in UNHRC Is Not a Given

He then noted that India’s position rested on two pillars. The first was support for Sri Lanka’s unity and territorial integrity. Commitment to Sri Lankan Tamils’ aspirations for “equality, justice, peace and dignity” was the second pillar, said the Indian diplomat.  India declared that these were “not either-or choices”. “We believe that respecting the rights of the Tamil community, including through meaningful devolution, contributes directly to the unity and integrity of Sri Lanka. Therefore, we advocate that delivering on the legitimate aspirations of the Tamil community is in the best…

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UNHCR Should Focus On The Sovereignty Of The Oppressed Not Of The Oppressors

By Ranjith C. Perera – Ranjith C. Perera Most countries when confronted with human right violations in their countries they hide behind the ‘sovereignty’ principle of the UNHRC. Most recent case is the report on human rights violations by the Sri Lankan government. Besides the human rights questions related to 30 year civil war, 2021 preliminary report sent to Sri Lanka, it is reported prominent charges have been raised on the 20th constitutional amendment, military appointments to civil administration etc by the new government that came into power one year ago. According to media…

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Lanka’s (Executioner) Ambassador In Geneva Set To Align With World’s Worst Human Rights Violators

However Sri Lanka’s ambassador took the floor in support of Eritrea. Candauda Chandraprema said the Council should limit its interventions to the Universal Periodic Review, a once in four years review of each UN country. Sri Lanka criticized country specific actions on Eritrea and called on the UN not to interfere into internal affairs of countries. Eritrea’s government remains one of the world’s most repressive, subjecting its population to widespread forced labour and conscription, imposing restrictions on freedom of expression, opinion, and faith, and restricting independent scrutiny by international monitors.…

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UNHRC sessions: What Lanka should have done

The United Nations Human Rights Council is in session and Sri Lanka is among the countries that have come before its scanner. It is a slur on Sri Lanka’s reputation when it is being lumped together with big time human rights violators such as Israel, Syria and North Korea, with member-state after member-state taking the floor to act like prosecutor, the jury and the judge.  They do so as though they have not done any sins.There is no motto to adore the UNHRC’s dove and olive branch logo, which, together with…

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UNHRC sessions: What Lanka should have done

In 2009, Amnesty International published a book titled “Twenty Years of Make-Believe – Sri Lanka’s Commissions of Inquiry” which was highly critical of the incumbent and past governments of the country for their handling of human rights. And as the very title of the book suggests the Amnesty International decried the intention of past governments of Sri Lanka in appointing commissions.  http://www.dailymirror.lk/opinion/Commission-report-Back-to-square-one/172-206647

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SL has Human Rights standard of China

China has commended the government of Sri Lanka for its efforts to actively promote and protect human rights, advance sustainable economic and social development, improve people’s living standard, protect the rights of the vulnerable groups, advance national reconciliation and combat terrorism. Chinese Permanent Representative in Geneva Ambassador CHEN Xu extended China’s strong support to Sri Lanka in his official statement in the Interactive Dialogue on the OHCHR Report on Sri Lanka during the 46th Session of the Human Rights Council.  The full text of the statement: http://www.dailymirror.lk/breaking_news/China-commends-SL-for-promoting-and-protecting-human-rights/108-206663

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