Posts Categorized: Geopolitics

Sovereignty vs. Self-Rule

by Peter Barker, ‘The New York Times,’ March 8, 2014 WASHINGTON — They wanted to break away from a country they considered hostile. The central government cried foul, calling it a violation of international law. But with the help of a powerful foreign military, they succeeded in severing ties. The Kosovars’ secession from Serbia in… Read more »

Channel 4’s ‘No Fire Zone’

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/no-fire-zone/4od   ABOUT THE PROGRAMME The team behind the Nobel Peace Prize-nominated Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields tell the story of the 138-day-long final offensive in Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war Available for a limited time only at Channel 4 site. —————— Channel 4 Nov. 9 blog on interview with Isaipriya’s mother and sisters http://blogs.channel4.com/miller-on-foreign-affairs/sri-lanka-tamil-familys-distress-footage-daughter/430

Transnational Security and Postinsurgency Issues

From from “Issues for Engagement: Asian Perspectives in Transnational Security Challenges,” published by Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, 2010 Posted on Academia.org & only available for online reading at http://www.academia.edu/4740547/Sri_Lanka_Transnational_Security_and_Postinsurgency_Issues Key Findings • sri lanka’s quarter-century civil war may be over, but many of the underlying causes of the war continue to linger. • the international network of… Read more »

Sri Lanka: COIN or Civil War?

Ambassador (Ret.) Edward Marks, a veteran of 40 years in the Foreign Service and currently a Distinguished Senior Fellow at George Mason University, contacted Joint Force Quarterly with comments about “Understanding Sri Lanka’s Defeat of the Tamil Tigers” by Niel A. Smith, which appeared in issue 59 (4th Quarter, 2010). Ambassador Marks believes that MAJ Smith misreads the context… Read more »

A Violent Non-State Actors Reading List

About Daveed Gartenstein-Ross Visiting research fellow at the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT)–The Hague; senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies; Ph.D. candidate in world politics at the Catholic University of America; etc. In the introduction to her edited volume Violent Non-State Actors in World Politics, Klejda Mulaj notes that, while political science scholarship has… Read more »

Understanding Sri Lanka’s Defeat of the Tamil Tigers

After three decades of conflict, Sri Lanka’s government defeated the ethnic separatist insurgent group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), popularly known as the Tamil Tigers, in May 2009. The violence and brutality employed by both sides in the final years of the conflict drew significant interest from the global civilian and military communities, especially… Read more »

Collateral Damage

At the time of the crackdown in East Pakistan, President Nixon and his national security adviser, Henry Kissinger, were trying to establish relations with the People’s Republic of China…Yahya, its military leader, became Nixon’s secret liaison with the Chinese leader Zhou Enlai. Yahya helped lay the groundwork for the visits to China by Kissinger and then Nixon….

With the White House averting its eyes, the largely Muslim Pakistani Army killed at least 300,000 Bengalis, most of them Hindus, and forced 10 million to flee to India. Bass lays out his indictment of the White House: Nixon and Kissinger spurned the cables, written by their own diplomats in Dacca (the capital of East Pakistan), that said West Pakistan was guilty of carrying out widespread massacres. Archer Blood, the counsel general in Dacca, sent an angry cable that detailed the atrocities and used the word “genocide.” The men in the White House, however, not only refused to condemn Yahya — in public or private — but they also declined to withhold American arms, ammunition and spare parts that kept Pakistan’s military machine humming.

London Conference on Accountability for Genocide

The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) organised a conference on accountability for genocide against the Tamils on 28 & 29 September in London.  During the conference, many  speeches were delivered.   Four of those speeches on YouTube are below.  The speakers presented their views on whether Sri Lanka can be held accountable for committing  genocide. Geoffrey Robertson… Read more »

Establish a Syrian War Crimes Tribunal

Smith: Switch gears, Mr. President. Fight to establish Syrian war crimes court &hold both Assad and the rebels who commit egregious crimes accountable There is a non-lethal way to help ensure that Bashar al-Assad and other perpetrators of atrocities in Syria are held to account not someday far in the future but beginning now. The… Read more »

When Public Relations Meets Militarisation

The recent events in Weliweriya and Grandpass reveal more clearly than ever that what Sri Lanka needs is not more commissions, or even arrests. The country needs legal and institutional changes to the system of policing and justice designed to reverse the militarisation and concentration of power that has deepened so dangerously under the Rajapaksas.

The Resurgence of the Kurds

The fortunes of the Kurds started to look up as a result of events beyond their control…

One of the most surprising aspects of this success is the change it has brought about in Turkey’s attitude toward the Iraqi Kurds…

The Turks seem to be backing away from Iraq’s federal government, looking to the Kurds to provide a buffer between them and the Iran-dominated Shia zone. State-backed Turkish energy companies are competing for a stake in Iraqi Kurdistan’s big oil and gas fields and there are plans for a pipeline that would pump oil to Turkey without passing through Iraqi federal government territory. That would demonstrate Iraqi Kurdistan’s growing detachment from Baghdad—and the short distance between the Kurds and outright independence.

Getting Off the Sri Lankan Grid

The looming “great game” that will be played out in the in the Indian Ocean holds an important lesson for the Tamils of Eelam and TamilNadu. As I mentioned in the previous post, at the heart of the global and regional policy framework on the Indian Ocean is the stable, economic growth.  It is essential that the Tamils… Read more »

Burma [not so random] Connection

The similarities of the Myanmar and the Sri Lankan states are obvious. Majority of the people in both countries practice Theravada Buddhism. And both countries are plagued by ethnic conflicts.

R2P and Sri Lanka

by Henrietta Briscoe, Tamils Against Genocide, April 2013 for Responsibility to Protect Conference, Faculty of Law, Ljubljana, Slovenia, April 11 – 12, 2013 http://www.r2pconference.com/ R2P Poster Slovenia Conference TAG April 2013 ————————- Henrietta Briscoe interview in Delhi, March 2013 ————————- Tamil Genocide Framework Highlighted in Slovenia Conference [TamilNet, Thursday, 11 April 2013, 11:14 GMT] The framework… Read more »

The China Card

Many among the Eelam Tamils continue to fall for the “China card” claims of Sri Lanka.  These claims serve, however, as a smokescreen for the realpolitik of the region vis-a-vis Sri Lanka.  A critical analysis of this is helpful for Eelam Tamils to develop a more nuanced approach. China is of no help to Sri… Read more »

For Sri Lanka, More Empty Words

The government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa greeted last year’s vote with complaints that it was being persecuted by the international community — and used that as a pretext to obstruct even more thoroughly the work of journalists, lawyers and activists. As Mohan Peiris, a former attorney general who is now Sri Lanka’s chief justice,said last March: “It won’t change anything. We will just forge ahead as planned.”

In May 2009, the Tamil Tigers, a merciless guerrilla group, lost the fight to carve out a separate state for the island’s Tamil minority. The war ended in a blaze of blood, with roughly 40,000 Tamil civilians killed, according to a United Nations estimate.

Four years later, the government has not investigated numerous charges that the army committed atrocities during the waning years of the conflict. Straining the fragile peace yet more, Tamils in the country’s north and east continue to live under the close watch of the Sri Lankan military.

DMK Pullout FAQ

The draft resolution can be technically amended right up to the moment of adoption which could be as late as Friday afternoon this week. However, amendments need to be politically acceptable to all co-sponsors and the challenge would be to get the necessary political acceptance, including instruction from the capital city for many or most delegations…

We have long insisted that what Sri Lanka needs is an independent international investigation into the war crimes, and crimes against humanity, that both sides participated in in the final stages of Sri Lanka’s civil war. This resolution falls short of delivering that.

Nevertheless, this resolution is a positive step: it builds on the resolution that was passed at last year’s Human Rights Council but uses stronger language and gives an enhanced mandate to UN experts (known as Special Rapporteurs and Special Procedure Mandate Holders) to hold the Government of Sri Lanka to account over human rights violations – and it’s an important step on the road towards the international investigation we need. It is very important that the resolution not be abandoned as a result of this controversy.