Posts Categorized: Human Rights

Sri Lanka’s War on Eelam Tamils

INDICTMENT AGAINST SRI LANKA  இனம் ஒன்று அழிவதா,  இதை நாம் பொறுப்பதா… “…. suffering in common unifies more than joy does. Where national memories are concerned, griefs are of more value than triumphs, for they impose duties, and require a common effort. A nation is therefore a large-scale solidarity, constituted by the feeling of the sacrifices that one has… Read more »

1987 UNHRC Resolution on Sri Lanka

http://tamilnation.co/unitednations/uncom87.htm UN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS 43RD SESSIONS: FEBRUARY 1987 Resolution by UN Commission on Human Rights – 12 March 1987 Original Revised Draft Resolution Statement by Mr.Virendra, leader of the Indian delegation – 2 March 1987 “…In the beginning of February, the Government’s security forces carried out several operations, especially in the eastern province, ostensibly… Read more »

Photos from Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields

Frances Harrison recently wrote for the Times of India about how the Government of Sri Lanka is turning the site of the final battles of the civil war, where tens of thousands of civillians were killed, into a tourist attraction. The article unfortunately did not include the many pictures provided which evidenced the piece, and so we are… Read more »

Tamil Villages Names Changed

Letter from DMK Chief Karunanidhi to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh detailing 89 Tamil villages renamed with Sinhala names in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.  The letter gives the location of the villages on a map and by district, and lists the Tamil heritage names of the villages and the new Sinhala names.  In addition,… Read more »

Human Rights Failings Detailed

by Human Rights Watch, New York, February 1, 2013 RELATED MATERIALS: World Report 2013: Sri Lanka JANUARY, 2013 The Sri Lankan government needs to address the many problems that undermine basic rights for people in the war-torn North and East. Justice and accountability for abuses, an end to torture in detention, and ending constraints on… Read more »

Casey, Leahy Call for International Investigation

Accountability is a necessary precursor to reconciliation and a stable democracy in Sri Lanka. It is clear to us that the LLRC process is mired in bias and delays, and only an independent, international investigation will achieve real accountability.

Senators Urge War Crimes Probe

Thousands of civilians died in the final months of the war when the Sri Lankan military launched a decisive offensive against ethnic Tamil rebels. Sri Lanka set up a commission to investigate alleged abuses, but rights groups say the military is not being held to account.

The Obama administration has called for steps toward accountability but has not called for an international investigation.

China Card Becomes ‘License’ for Genocidal Order

Speaking at a ceremony of Sri Lanka’s National Chamber of Commerce held at Hotel Hilton in Colombo, the SL Defence Secretary and presidential sibling, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was cited saying, “The biggest threat the US can pose to Sri Lanka’s military is to take away their defence scholarships”

“We can send our soldiers to China for training,” Gotabhaya added.

Sri Lanka to be Tried for Genocide

“The casualty figure issue is just one factor – which we have highlighted to emphasise our point. Various other factors – such as an examination of the historical background which had laid the basis to the events that led to the military operations in 2009, as well as, whether or not the continuing issues that the Tamil people in the area concerned are facing at the moment are related to this history, needs to be carried out properly to deal with the overall reality.

“Due to the fact that substantial, quantitative and qualitative new evidence has become available, we believe that there are compelling reasons to organize a follow up to the ‘People’s Tribunal on Sri Lanka’ to examine the case of Genocide against the Tamil people.”

This follow up session will be held in Germany.

Impeachment of the Sri Lankan Chief Justice

Indeed, the two issues – this assault on the independence of the judiciary and the accusations of war crimes – are interlinked and must be seen as such. The Sri Lankan government’s insistence that Sri Lanka should be left to investigate and remedy its own shortcomings with regard to the latter looks increasingly (if more evidence were required) implausible as one of the last remaining independent institutions – the court – is so openly dismantled.

CPJ Letter to Bishops Conference

Subject: Memorandum given by the Jaffna diocesan clergy to the CBCSL The Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Sri Lanka made an official good will visit to the North of  Sri Lanka. They limited their visit to the Vanni regions. A meeting was organized with the Jaffna diocesan clergy at Kilinochchi. A memorandum was handed over to the CBCSL… Read more »

The Story of the People of Kepapilavu

by ‘The Sunday Times,’ Colombo, January 6, 2013 The life and times of the people of Kepapilavu should make for a study in endless suffering. After witnessing the war at its cruellest, experiencing multiple displacements and spending the longest interval of time confined in Menik Farm, one would expect that life can hardly get any… Read more »

Resettled

Many of those displaced during the war are now gradually being resettled at their original residences by the Vanni  security forces headquarters. Residents are pictured acclimatizing themselves to their old abodes and environment after a lapse of several years. Pix by Romesh Madushanka

Do Less Harm

Nonetheless, in modern warfare, the need to protect civilians is in constant tension with the desire to destroy the enemy. Getting that balance right has been a rocky process, with one mistake after another jolting U.S. policymakers into improving the way the military deals with civilian harm…

If American leaders abandon the war-fighting model they ultimately adopted in Afghanistan and Iraq, they may find it harder to counter a more brutal and cynical narrative about the best way to win a war — one that treats civilians as irrelevant.

In 2009, the Sri Lankan military cornered an estimated 5,000 or more Tamil Tiger insurgents on a narrow strip of land, alongside hundreds of thousands of uprooted civilians. By shelling the area indiscriminately and summarily executing the group’s escaping leaders, the government wiped out the insurgents — and killed tens of thousands of civilians in the process. Just like Russia’s brutal war in Chechnya during the first decade of this century, Sri Lanka’s campaign proved that if a government is willing to expel aid groups and journalists and employ indiscriminate force, it can defeat insurgents.

To make matters worse, Sri Lanka has been actively promoting its model abroad: since 1999, its leaders have been traveling to other countries facing domestic insurgencies, including Myanmar (also called Burma), Pakistan, and the Philippines, to share the lessons of their victory. They have staged annual defense seminars attended by military officers from across the world. Sri Lanka’s lethal counterinsurgency strategy requires having a strong stomach for civilian bloodshed and turning a blind eye to international criticism. But there are countries willing to go this route, because it can work. As one of the world’s leading exporters of military ethos, aid, and training, the United States can and should provide a counterweight.

Tamils: The Quest for Human Dignity

  Tamils of Sri Lanka: The Quest for Human Dignity [PDF]   “The crimes committed by the Sri Lankan state against the Tamil minority – against its physical security, citizenship rights, and political representation – are of growing gravity for the international community. Other countries across the world which have had to shelter the thousands… Read more »

The International Crime of Genocide

The International Crime of Genocide: The Case of the Tamil People in Sri Lanka by Lutz Oette, Tamil Information Centre, London, March 1998 Dr. Lutz Oette is today Counsel at REDRESS, a human rights organisation that helps torture survivors obtain justice, www.redress.org and Lecturer in Law at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)… Read more »

Go After the Terrorists!

Eventually, the guerrillas sued for a ceasefire that was turned down, after which they were completely wiped out. This is how living nations deal with armed insurgencies on their soil.

In sharp contrast, the insurgents in Pakistan have been treated with kid gloves during the last decades. Since they professed to be religious, they’ve acquired many admirers and supporters. Perhaps, that is one of the reasons why a national consensus on defeating the militants could not emerge.

No Husband, No Home and No Future for Their Children

Women-headed families: no husband, no home and no future for their children In the Eastern Province, some women head their household all alone without a job, sometimes without a home, or without doors and sanitary facilities, unable to send their children to school. Their husbands died in war or disappeared into the hands of police…. Read more »

Briefing: Sri Lanka’s Ethnic Problem

While moderate lawmakers from both ethnic groups express willingness to reconcile, they are far outnumbered by hardliners, who enjoy strong support outside of cities, especially the rural south, which is the president’s home area. Criticism of the ruling party’s human rights record and lack of progress on ethnic reconciliation has been limited to educated urbanites in Colombo, a scant percentage of the country.

Sri Lanka’s Genocidal War -’95 to ’01

“…Against partisans backed by the entire population, colonial armies are helpless. They have only one way of escaping from the harassment which demoralizes them …. This is to eliminate the civilian population. As it is the unity of a whole people that is containing the conventional army, the only anti-guerrilla strategy which will be effective is the destruction of that people, in other words, the civilians, women and children…” Jean Paul Sartre’s Statement ‘On Genocide’