Several years after the end of the war in Sri Lanka — during which both sides committed gross human rights abuses, including deliberate and indiscriminate attacks against civilians, torture and the use of child soldiers — hundreds of people are languishing in prison without charge or trial under Sri Lanka’s repressive anti-terrorism laws.
Posts Categorized: Human Rights
by ‘The Economist’s’ Banyan blog, June 22, 2013 OFTEN, when Sri Lanka’s ethnic-Sinhalese-dominated government appears to be offering a hand in friendship to the Tamil minority, it turns out to be a slap in the face. For example, in 2010 it appointed a Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission to investigate the final phase of the… Read more »
On 21st March 2013, the United States introduced a resolution on war crimes and crimes against humanity aimed at Sri Lanka for its role in the prosecution of war against the Liberation of Tamil Tigers of Elam (LTTE) in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). An earlier resolution sponsored by the United States in… Read more »
Maaveerar Day attacks on Jaffna University students and NESOHR re-launch The North East Secretariat for Human Rights (NESOHR) was born in the northern part of the island of Sri Lanka in July 2004 during an internationally sanctioned ceasefire and it was destroyed in January 2009 in the genocidal war. Some of NESOHR founding members, who… Read more »
By Ana Pararajasingham, ‘Colombo Telegraph,’ June 6, 203 Preamble: Sri Lanka’s history since its independence from 1948 clearly demonstrates that all Sri Lankan governments were driven by the intent to destroy the distinct identity of the Tamils as a nation. As these actions were underpinned by intent, they clearly fall within the definition of genocide as stipulated… Read more »
If you own land in the north of Sri Lanka, or know anybody that does, please take a moment to look at this map and forward it on, the more people who are aware of what is taking place the better.
If you think you might be affected by any of these land seizures, or if you have any more precise information about the location of the land, photographs of the land, or who might own the land then please get in touch.
More land notices are being issued all the time and we will update the map as we get them. If you know of any more land seizures please do get in touch and pass on the details. If you can send us a copy of the notice (in any language) so much the better.
There are numerous reasons to be concerned about this survey. The timing of the survey – and the military’s heavy involvement – suggests that this was (and remains) an obvious effort to deflect international pressure at the HRC and other international fora. When and why did the DCS begin to work so closely with the Defence Ministry?
On the anniversary of the 26-year civil war, the Sri Lankan state celebrates its 2009 victory while Tamils mark the bloody nadir of the campaign to systematically dismantle the Tamil nation – one which continues today. In May 2009 as the armed conflict between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the government of… Read more »
by Human Rights Watch, New York, May 20, 2013 (Colombo) – Respect for basic rights and liberties has declined in Sri Lanka in the four years since the government defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). This week marks the fourth anniversary of the brutal civil war’s end. Since the end of the 26-year-long… Read more »
In further contrast to its neighbors, Guatemalan society was (and remains) profoundly racist, fearful of the indigenous majority that it has continually dehumanized. That racism let the elite-military alliance use anticommunist counterinsurgency principles to justify the extermination of Mayan peoples and communities.
“Why do you ask why Indians were killed?’’ a member of the oligarchy once asked me. “A better question is why didn’t we kill more Indians?”
Certainly the Sinhala-Buddhist Sri Lanka and its predecessor-in-law Ceylon have committed genocide against the Hindu/Christian Tamils that actually started on or about 1948 and has continued apace until today in violation of Genocide Convention Articles II(a), (b), and (c)….
Since 1983 the Sinhala-Buddhist Ceylon/ Sri Lanka have exterminated approximately 300,000 Hindu/Christian Tamils….
In other words, in order to find Sri Lanka guilty of genocide against the Tamils, it is not required to prove that Sri Lanka has the intention to exterminate all Tamils. Rather, all that is necessary is to establish that Sri Lanka intended to destroy a “substantial part” of the Tamils living on Sri Lanka.
This May 18th, as the Tamil nation remembers on genocide past and present, and looks towards the 5th year of ‘peace’, the need for security is only more apparent; and the Tamil nation’s determination in achieving it, more profound.
However, as many as 5,000 families are about to begin a legal battle for their land rights, said S. Sugirthan, chairman of the Valli North Pradeshiya Sabha — the local body — in Kankesanthurai, Jaffna…
According to official sources, as many as 83, 618 persons from 23,351 families in Jaffna were displaced in 1990. Most of them are in IDP camps, while a few stay with host families. A few others have migrated abroad and some are in Rameswaram.
In Jaffna District in a place called Valikamam North, more than 10,000 acres of land which belong to people are now controlled by the Army. They are not allowing the people to go back to their land. Now the Government is trying to acquire the land for the purpose of putting up new military camps. These are fertile lands. People who own these lands want their land back. This is only one example. Likewise, there are several hundreds and thousands of people in Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi, Vavuniya and Mannar whose land has been forcibly occupied by the military. We feel that the military is going to permanently keep these lands for themselves…
In Sri Lanka there are 200,000 Army personnel and 150,000 are stationed in the Northern Province. That is unnecessary.
This visit demonstrated yet again the persistence of land problems, recently compounded by policy directives that may lead to the dispossession of land of thousands. CPA calls upon the Government to take urgent steps to address this situation and to institute processes that are transparent, participatory and just. CPA also calls upon Government and military officials to adhere to promises and pledges made including the release of private lands and to ensure people’s fundamental freedoms are respected.
The most likely rationale for the government’s takeover of the land in the North and East is to ensure national security. But there is a lack of clarity with regard to the need for such a large extent of land at such great cost to the affected population. The government’s actions create the very problem it is meant to address.
It is TSA’s contention that the recent problems in Kanthi Kiramam are directly related to the fact that community members raised concerns about the building of the checkpoint. …
Whether these recent developments portend a new era of mystery men – a return of the Grease Yaka – remains to be seen. Nevertheless, it looks like these acts of violence are now being used to justify the checkpoint, as the military now seems to be citing security concerns as justification for continued state surveillance.
While state police forces and right-wing media in India, the local partner in the genocide, keep hailing the ‘Sri Lanka solution’ as appropriate to deal with the Maoist insurgency, influential military thinkers in the US appear to be doing a professional, scientific study of the Sri Lankan model and its applicability to other contexts….
He argues that Sri Lanka’s victory “has led some people in the counterinsurgency community to question the basic precepts of classical counterinsurgency as understood in the West which advocates protecting the population and focusing on political primacy as a means to win over the population and isolate the insurgent and forge a lasting peace.”
Further, “Sri Lanka in this case shows a different path, somewhat in contradiction to these prescriptions and produced both quick and decisive results. Firstly, counterinsurgency is at its heart – a counter adaptation level – a struggle to develop and apply new techniques in a fast moving high threat environment against an enemy that’s continually updating and developing. Counterinsurgency isn’t defined by a single, specific set of techniques rather a combination of techniques used for a particular insurgency under particular circumstances. Sri Lanka’s approach embodied that principle.”
Most ironically, in his book ‘Counterinsurgency’ published in 2010, Dr. Kilcullen had advocated that “Scrupulously moral conduct, alongside political legitimacy and respect for the rule of law, are thus operational imperatives: they enable victory, and in their absence no amount of killing—not even genocidal brutality, as in the case of Nazi antipartisan warfare, described below—can avert defeat.”…
But yet, when influential COIN and military experts in the establishments like Kilcullen and Hashim praise the successes of Sri Lanka’s war on the Tamil people, overlooking the genocide and the concomitant political fallout in Tamil Nadu and the diaspora, and while the various HR reports produced by those NGOs and State Departments in the same establishments only engage in counting the trees without addressing the question of genocide, nationhood, and sovereignty of the Eezham Tamil nation, it is hard not to think that they are two sides of the same coin.
Who are the real beneficiaries of this construction work? Certainly not Tamils. It is all for Sinhalese businessmen and contractors who employ Sinhala workers. Under military occupation, most of the people who have been devastated by war are living in poverty in the North and East.
In reality, those who have been so-called ‘rehabilitated’ and others have been placed under constant monitoring by military intelligence. The number of ex-combatants released is exaggerated. The government does not have the actual figures….
Enough is enough. The HRC resolution is actively endorsed, guaranteed, by the international community. Let’s concentrate on the positive side of this resolution, rather than, in effect, joining hands with the Rajapaksa’s government by rejecting it.
The provisions of the PTA fly in the face of almost every conceivable human rights norm pertaining to the liberty of the person, including most prominently, detention without charge for extended periods of time at irregular places of detention, the broad denial of detainees’ rights, admissibility of confessions in judicial proceedings subject only to the most tenuous of safeguards, the shifting of the evidential burden of proof to the defendant, and disproportionate penalties. The unchecked detention powers, special trial procedures and absence of meaningful judicial review in the PTA facilitate arbitrary and capricious official conduct, including torture. The PTA also makes serious incursions into the freedom of expression and the media by requiring in certain circumstances governmental approval for printing, publishing and distributing publications and newspapers. For these reasons, the PTA represents an aberration of the rule of law upon which the constitutional order of Sri Lanka is ostensibly based, and has been the gateway to systematic abuse of human rights, giving rise especially to gross ethnic discrimination in its implementation.