Posts Categorized: Human Rights

Failing the Victims

An Expert Assessment of the Sri Lankan Government’s Transitional Justice Effort https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFwZAcItEfE&feature=youtu.be [discussion starts at ~4 minutes]

US State Dept. Human Rights Report 2016

Sri Lanka EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   Sri Lanka is a constitutional, multiparty republic with a freely elected government. In January 2015, voters elected President Maithripala Sirisena to a five-year term. The Parliament shares power with the president. August 2015 parliamentary elections resulted in a coalition government between the two major political parties. Both elections were free and… Read more »

Report of the Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues

Report of the Special-Rapporteur on minority issues on her mission to Sri Lanka Feb 2017               Contents I. Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 3 II. Minority rights: legal, political and institutional framework………………………………………………… 4 III. Overall challenges for minorities …………………………………………………………………………………….. 6 A. Governance and political participation ……………………………………………………………………… 6 B. Linguistic rights …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 6… Read more »

Shortfalls in the Implementation of Sri Lanka’s Official Languages Policy

by Amalini de Sayrah, ‘Groundviews,’ Colombo, February 20, 2017 The Official Language Act of 1956 replaced English as the official language of then-Ceylon with Sinhala, failing to give recognition to the Tamil language. It was only three decades later, in the 1987 13th Amendment to Article 18 of the Constitution, that both Sinhala and Tamil… Read more »

CRS: Background, Reform, Reconciliation, and Geopolitical Context

by US Congressional Research Service, Washington, DC, January 4, 2017 CRS Sri Lanka Background Reform Reconciliation and Geopolitical Context Jan 2017 Summary Sri Lanka is a nation of geopolitical importance despite its relatively small size. Strategically positioned near key maritime sea lanes that transit the Indian Ocean and link Asia with Europe and Africa, Sri… Read more »

UN Told of Sri Lanka Military Operating “Rape Camps”

by Kithsiri Wijesinghe, Journalists for a Democratic Society, Germany, February 20, 2017 “A senior officer came into the room and was asked to take his pick, like we were meat in a meat market.  He looked around and chose me.  He took me to another room and raped me” Shocking details of the Sri Lanka… Read more »

CPJ – Keppapulavu Report

by Commission for Justice & Peace of the Diocese of Jaffna, February 18, 2017 CJP Keppapulam & Puthukudiyruppu Report   Includes detailed information on the population whose lands have been occupied.

Immediately Release Land of the People of Keppapilavu

Statement by Civil Society Feb 17 Civil Society Statement re Keppapilavu – Final We, the undersigned civil society organizations, write this statement to express solidarity with protestors of Keppapilavu and condemn the Government’s lack of appropriate and timely response or action towards releasing their land from military occupation. 1 For over two weeks, villagers from… Read more »

UN Rights Envoy Calls for Inquiry into Abuses of Rohingya in Myanmar

Two questions loom large: Will one of the 47 member states in the human rights council put forward a resolution to form a commission of inquiry? And, if so, will Myanmar cooperate?… However, the military would be under intense pressure to cooperate with a UN-backed commission of inquiry. Refusal by the government and military to cooperate… Read more »

Sri Lanka & March 2017 UNHRC Session

Will Justice for Tamils be Delayed for Denial? by Thambu Kanagasabai, LLM, February 11, 2017 The UNHRC’S session in March 2017 is going to be crucial for the Tamils concerning the following matters:- 1. Fate of its Resolution passed on October 01, 2015 sponsored and endorsed by USA & Sri Lanka. 2. Sri Lanka’s track… Read more »

Putting the Wolf to Guard the Sheep

Sri Lanka’s Witness Protection Authority by International Truth & Justice Project, South Africa, February 13, 2017 ITJP Sri-Lanka-Witness-Protection-Report Executive Summary The new body set up in Sri Lanka to protect witnesses and victims of crimes, the “National Authority” includes three appointments made by the Government of President Maithripala Sirisena that give rise to grave concerns… Read more »

Justice Denied to Survivors of the Kumarapuram Massacre

“His name is Kamaleswaran” by Marisa de Silva, ‘Groundviews,’ Colombo, February 11, 2017 [more information at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumarapuram_massacre] “Shoot me but, please don’t kill my children,” pleaded Kanthappoody Kamaladevi with her arms outstretched over her head, just before she was shot dead outside her home in Kumarapuram, Killiveddy, by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA). L-R (first row):… Read more »

On Keppapulavu

by Groundviews, Colombo, February 9, 2017 Residents of Keppapulavu, in Mullaitivu, have been protesting, demanding the return of their land, which is currently occupied by the Air Force. The families have now been protesting outside the airforce camp for 9 days. The struggle for the return of their land however has been ongoing for years…. Read more »

Sri Lanka to Ask UN for More Time to Probe War Crimes

by AP on Voice of America, February 7, 2017 COLOMBO, SRI LANKA — Sri Lanka says it needs more time to fulfill promises given to the U.N. human rights body to investigate war crime allegations from the nation’s long civil war, which ended nearly eight years ago. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told foreign correspondents late… Read more »

Draconian Law Cripples Sri Lanka’s Reconciliation Hopes

by Ruki Fernando, on his blog, February 7, 2017 “The country’s leadership needs to act on commitment to repeal Prevention of Terrorism Act” First published at http://www.ucanews.com/news/draconian-law-cripples-sri-lankas-reconciliation-hopes/78188 on 3rd Feb. 2017 In March 2014, my colleague, Father Praveen and I were arrested and detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act by the Terrorist Investigation Department,… Read more »

Co-Existence

by Mano Ganesan, via Twitter, February 8, 2017 Tamils demand #Coexistence & not mere #integration and #reconciliation ‘Tamasha'[theatrical show]. I told few DPL & int’l friends @ my ministry today. Minister of National Dialogue President, Democratic Workers’ Congress Convenor, Civil Monitoring Commission on Extra-Judicial Killings and Disappearance

War Crimes Swept Under the Carpet

The Sri Lankan war crimes swept under the carpet  by Bruce Haigh, ‘The Age,’ February 6, 2017 According to successive Sri Lankan governments the only war crimes committed during the country’s long civil war, from July 1983 to May 2009, were those perpetrated by the Tamils; aggressive denial has defined their response. The alienation of… Read more »

Reconciliation Accomplished

by Sanjana Hattotuwa, ‘The Sunday Island,’ Colombo, February 5, 2017 In 2003, aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier, the then US President George W. Bush delivered an infamous address proclaiming an end to large scale combat operations in Iraq. “Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States… Read more »

Sri Lanka’s Transition to Nowhere

Time may be running out for meaningful reforms, and transitional justice remains just out of reach. by Alan Keenan, ‘The Diplomat,’ Tokyo, February 1, 2017 Sri Lanka’s Transition to Nowhere – Alan Keenan – Diplomat – Feb 2017 The momentum of the early months soon slowed, as deep political dysfunctions reasserted themselves in the face… Read more »

The Travel Ban and an Authoritarian ‘Ladder of Violence’

by Amanda Taub, ‘The New York Times,’ February 2, 2017  WASHINGTON — History is full of examples of leaders using “us versus them” politics to paint a particular minority group as a threat to the majority’s safety, morals or culture. That history has scholars of authoritarianism unnerved by President Trump’s order to halt immigration from… Read more »