Posts Categorized: Human Rights

How Assad Made Truth a Casualty of War

by Muhammad Idrees Ahmad, ‘The New York Review of Books,’ September 7, 2018 Was Colvin’s sacrifice worthwhile? It is tempting to say no—that in an indifferent world, no story is worth dying for. But Colvin’s life is itself a rebuke to such pragmatism: she had risked her life before and saved many other lives as… Read more »

Sri Lanka Core Group Statement

by UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, September 11, 2018 This UK statement was delivered at the 39th session of the Human Rights Council during the Sri Lanka Core Group Statement This statement is delivered on behalf of Germany, Macedonia, Montenegro and the UK as members of the Sri Lanka core group. We welcome further recent… Read more »

In Idlib, Final Offensive in Syrian War May Come at Horrific Cost

by Margaret Coker, Hwaida Saad and Carlotta Gall, ‘The New York Times,’ September 2, 2018 BAGHDAD — On land, Syria’s government is mustering thousands of conscripts to bolster its depleted forces. At sea, a Russian naval flotilla is just offshore, ready to intervene with formidable firepower. In Idlib Province, millions of civilians are dreading what… Read more »

Myanmar Generals Should Face Genocide Charges Over Rohingya, U.N. Says

by Nick Cummings-Bruce, ‘The New York Times,’ August 27, 2019 GENEVA — Myanmar’s army commander and other top generals should face trial in an international court for genocide against Rohingya Muslims and for crimes against humanity targeting other ethnic minorities, United Nations experts said on Monday after a yearlong investigation. Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing,… Read more »

Grassroots Leaders Provide the Best Hope to a Troubled World

Amid cruelty and suffering, there are heroes, says Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, who steps down on September 1st The apparent powerlessness of those who suffer was also brought home to me in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, where Tamil communities dispossessed of their land by the military decades ago still… Read more »

BBC: Dozens of Skeletons Found in Mannar

Sri Lanka mass grave by Anbarasan Ethirajan, BBC, August 27, 2018 Experts in northern Sri Lanka are trying to identify the remains of dozens of bodies in a mass grave in the country’s former war zone. So far the skeletal remains of more than 90 people have been unearthed in the north-western town of Mannar…. Read more »

CPJ: Mahaweli Land Grabbing & Related Issues

edby Commission for Justice and Peace of Catholic Diocese of Jaffna, August 30, 2018 Mahaveli Development 180830 Condemnation of the Land grabbing by the Mahaveli-Development Authority and some other related issues The Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Diocese of Jaffna strongly condemn all the measures taken by the Mahaveli-Development Authority to acquire the… Read more »

Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on its isit to Sri Lanka

by Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, July 23, 2018 http://ap.ohchr.org/documents/dpage_e.aspx?si=A/HRC/39/45/Add.2 [Statement at end of Working Group visit] VI. Conclusions 73. The Working Group appreciates the willingness of the Government to submit itself to scrutiny through the visit, and considers that the findings in the present report offer an opportunity to support the Government in addressing… Read more »

Behind the Skeletal Excavations in Mannar

Grave secrets by Indunil Usgoda Arachchi & Vimukthi Fernando, ‘The Sunday Observer,’ Colombo, August 19, 2018 Sunday Observer journalists visit a grave excavation in Mannar, where forensic investigators are hard at work, painstakingly unearthing human skeleton after skeleton, determined that this time, the investigation into the suspected mass grave site will not be compromised- politically… Read more »

What Do ‘Human Rights’ Mean for Politicians in the South…?

By S. V. KIRUPAharan, France, ‘LankaENews,’ August 21, 2018 (Lanka e News – 20.Aug.2018, 5.45AM) ‘Human rights’ may be a new phenomenon for many Sinhala Buddhists – SB and for some Tamils including a few members of the diaspora. I have seen many participants in UN human rights forums in Geneva without any basic knowledge… Read more »

UN SR Ben Emmerson’s Report on Sri Lanka

by UN Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson, July 24, 2018 Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism on his mission to Sri Lanka Sri_LankaReportJuly2018.PDF A. Conclusions 59. In 2015, Sri Lanka seemed to have turned a corner. New elections brought to power a coalition government and with it the… Read more »

Tackling Sri Lanka’s ‘Torturers’

From Point Pedro to Dondra Head by [no author noted], ‘The Sunday Times,’ Colombo, July 29, 2018 There is little doubt that the findings of United Nations Special Rapportuer on Countering Terrorism, Ben Emmerson on the sorry fate of Sri Lanka’s justice system, particularly in regard to the continuance of a ‘culture of impunity’ are… Read more »

Protecting or Facilitating?

A review of the humanitarian response to IDP detention in Sri Lanka, 2009 All too often however, humanitarian organisations were poorly equipped with the time, skills and attitudes to address a situation where the state was not representing the interests of the population. In these cases, supporting the vulnerable means contesting state agendas, even where… Read more »

“In 1983, As Our Ship Left Colombo Port, I Saw Pettah Burning”

by Dimuthu Attanayake, ‘The Sunday Observer,’ Colombo, July 22, 2018 TNA Legislator M.A. Sumanthiran, recalls being 19 years old when communal violence rocked the capital city in July 1983. Packed off to Jaffna where the Government thought Tamil families residing in Colombo and other parts of the south would be safer, he recalls an arduous… Read more »

Sri Lanka Military Caught Red Handed While Misleading Public Inquiry

by Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka, July 18, 2018 Military authorities in Sri Lanka have been providing incorrect information about sexual abuse by its soldiers and officers while on a UN peacekeeping mission. A joint press release issued on Tuesday (17) by the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) and Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) has… Read more »

Sri Lankan ‘War Criminals’ Deployed as UN Peacekeepers

by Mark Townsend, ‘The Guardian,’ Manchester, July 21, 2018 The UN has been sending alleged war criminals to act as peacekeepers in conflict zones, a confidential report claims. The document, seen by the Observer, and sent to the UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations last month, claims that senior Sri Lankan officers accused of war crimes have… Read more »

The Office for Reparations

An empty shell? by South Asian Centre for Legal Studies, Colombo, July 4, 2018 A few days ago, the Office for Reparations Bill was gazetted. According to the Bill, the Office is expected to play a role in the formulation and implementation of reparations policies for violations of human rights and humanitarian law that have… Read more »

The Chronic and the Entrenched

Ethno-Religious Violence in Sri Lanka by Gehan Gunatilleke, International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Colombo, 2018 http://ices.lk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/The-Chronic-and-the-Entrenched-Mr.-Gihan-Book-FINAL-WEB-PDF.pdf …This study set out to establish the hypothesis that ethno-religious violence in Sri Lanka is ‘entrenched’ within cultural, socio-political and state structures, and requires radical interventions to overcome. It first reflected on the nature of communal violence in Sri… Read more »

A Lingering Nightmare of the Past

and Perpetuation of Human Rights Abuses in a Post-Civil War Sri Lanka by DoYun Kim, Amnesty International USA Asia Advocacy and Government Relations Intern, ‘The Medium,’ July 5, 2018 On June 20, 2018, the House Foreign Affairs Global Human Rights Subcommittee hosted a hearing titled“Human Rights Concerns in Sri Lanka.” After the hearing, it is evident that… Read more »

Over 60,000 People Disappeared

Here Are the Families Trying to Find Them by Whitney Kimball, ‘Jezebel’ The Slot, New York, NY, July 1, 2018 If you pass a protest for “the Disappeared” today, it’s probably not referencing the migrant families separated by Trump’s zero-tolerance policy, but another massive population of people separated from their families whom we don’t hear… Read more »