Posts Categorized: Human Rights

Bipartisan Group of 24 Lawmakers Calls on Secretary Kerry

McGovern Johnson letter to Sec Kerry with signatures Jun 27, 2016 Press Release WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressmen Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Bill Johnson (R-OH) led a bipartisan group of 24 House lawmakers calling on Secretary John Kerry to continue U.S. efforts to strengthen human rights in Sri Lanka following a 26-year civil war between… Read more »

U.N. Urges Sri Lanka to Rein in Military, Prosecute War Crimes

by Stephanie Nebehay, Reuters, London, June 28, 2016 Sri Lanka must rein in its military forces, prosecute war crimes committed during the long civil war with Tamil rebels and win the confidence of the Tamil minority, the United Nations said on Tuesday. Witnesses must be protected under an effective transitional justice mechanism that should include… Read more »

Sri Lanka Wants the World to Forget about Justice for War Victims

by Nirmanusan Balasundaram, ‘The Guardian,’ UK, June 27, 2016 With the Sri Lankan government winding back commitments to reconciliation and justice measures, it’s up to the international community to hold them to account  In October 2015 the government of Sri Lanka co-sponsored, along with the US, a resolution on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights… Read more »

Oral Statements at UNHRC

Monday, June 13, 2016 – Oral Statement by Pasumai Thaayagam UN Web TV link: http://webtv.un.org/meetings-events/human-rights-council/watch/item2-general-debate-contd-4th-meeting-32nd-regular-session-of-human-rights-council/4940474281001 No. 58, Time: 2:06:00 ———– —————– ————– Tuesday, June 21, 2016 – Oral statement by Pasumai Thayagam UN Web TV link: http://webtv.un.org/watch/item3-general-debate-cont-20th-meeting-32nd-regular-session-of-human-rights-council/4962898189001 No. 48, Time: 06:30 ———– —————– ————– Thursday, June 23, 2016 – Oral statement by Pasumai Thayagam UN Web TV link: http://webtv.un.org/meetings-events/watch/item4-general-debate-contd-27th-meeting-32nd-regular-session-of-human-rights-council/4973022505001… Read more »

GTF: International Community Must Continue to Exert Pressure on Sri Lanka

International Community must continue to exert pressure on Sri Lanka to facilitate faithful implementation of all aspects of the UNHRC resolution – Global Tamil Forum Wednesday, June 22, 2016 As the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) meets in Geneva this month and the High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein prepares his… Read more »

Status of Confidence-Building Measures

by US Tamil Political Action Council Confidence-Building Measures Implementation_Chart This chart is to be read with the October 2015 Confidence Building Measures It has been 18 months since President Sirisena was elected and 9 months since the government of Sri Lanka co-sponsored HRC Resolution 30/1. While the government has implemented some notable measures to build… Read more »

Defence Ministry Refuses to Provide List of Surrendered Persons

by  ‘Sri Lanka Briefs, June 18, 2016 from an article by Ruwan Laknath Jayakody and Arthur Wamanan, ‘The Nation,’ June 18,2016 The Commission to Investigate into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons informed last week that it had reached a bottleneck as the Ministry of Defence had not complied with a request made by the Commission asking… Read more »

Civil Society Statement on Accountability

Civil Society Statement on Accountability and Timing TJ – 22nd June 2016 We, the undersigned Sri Lankan civil society activists and organisations, note with deep concern the lack of tangible progress in ending impunity in Sri Lanka, more than seventeen months since the change of government in January 2015. We believe that no mechanism for… Read more »

Broken Promises Again at the UN?

by JS Tissainayagam, ‘Asian Correspondent,’ June 21, 2016 THE United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions now underway in Geneva gives another opportunity to Sri Lanka to trumpet the progress it is making on transitional justice. However, there is scant evidence of ‘progress’ on the ground because the government has either gone back, or done… Read more »

Cluster Bombs Used in Sri Lanka’s Civil War

by Emanuel Stoakes, ‘The Guardian,’ UK, June 20, 2016 Exclusive: images appear to confirm use of the indiscriminate weapon in a conflict which cost the lives of at least 100,000 Remnants of what appears to be an RBK-500 AO-2.5RT cluster bomb uncovered near Chalai, Sri Lanka. Photograph: Source Images that appear to confirm the use… Read more »

Tough Pressure for Genuine Accountability Required in Sri Lanka

by Tamil Guardian, London, June 12, 2016 Tough supportive pressure is needed for genuine accountability amid allegations of genocide in Sri Lanka, said former US Ambassador at Large for War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide. Mr Rapp spoke on a panel in the Royal Institute of Great Britain at the launch of the  International… Read more »

STP: Dark Clouds Report

by Society for Threatened Peoples, Switzerland, February 2015 STP Dark Clouds tourism report In spite of this poor human rights record, the Sri Lankan government promotes a country that has returned to normality. This image of a peaceful and prosperous holiday destination is marketed aggressively in Western Europe. However, this report clearly shows the sobering… Read more »

UNHRC: Pasumai Thaayagam Oral Statement

UN Web TV link: http://webtv.un.org/meetings-events/human-rights-council/watch/item2-general-debate-contd-4th-meeting-32nd-regular-session-of-human-rights-council/4940474281001  No. 58, Time: 2:06:00  Oral Statement by Pasumai Thaayagam on Accountability, Justice and Reconciliation in Sri Lanka 32nd Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, June 14, 2016  Geneva Pasumai Thaayagam congratulates and appreciates the UNHRC for a decade of upholding human rights within its member states. We, on behalf… Read more »

NECC: Obligations of the GoSL & UN

by North East Coordinating Committee, June 13, 2016.  Courtesy of Groundviews.org We call upon His Excellency High Commissioner of Human Rights and the Representatives of the Member States of the Human Rights Council, 32nd Session, June, 2016 OBLIGATIONS OF THE GOVERNMENT OF SRI LANKA AND THE UNITED NATIONS IN SRI LANKA’S TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE PROCESS. 1…. Read more »

ITJP-SL: Forgotten

by International Truth & Justice Project: Sri Lanka, South Africa, June 10, 2016 Exiled Tamil victims of war crimes and torture say they would testify by video to a special court in Sri Lanka only if international judges were involved and their identities protected, says a new study. ITJP Forgotten press release ITJP Forgotten report… Read more »

Amnesty: Right to Truth; the Right to Justice, Reparation and Non-Recurrence

by Amnesty International, London, May 30, 2016 Amnesty Right to Truth June 2016 ASA 37/4146/2016 The Government must not squander the good will of Sri Lankans who have waited decades for their human rights demands to be addressed. It must increase the pace, transparency and visibility of reform efforts ensuring these are undertaken with genuine… Read more »

Waiting to Return Home

by Oakland Institute, California, May 31, 2016 http://www.oaklandinstitute.org/sites/oaklandinstitute.org/files/SriLanka_Return_Home_final_web.pdf Press release Introduction Sri Lanka’s 26-year-long civil war officially ended in 2009 with the defeat of Tamil separatists, led by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), through a bloody military offensive that led to widespread destruction, the killing of tens of thousands of civilians by government… Read more »

A Comment on the Proposed Office of Missing Persons

by Basil Fernando, ‘Colombo Telegraph,’ May 30, 2016 Basil Fernando It seems no progress can be made in Sri Lanka on the attitude to murder. Murder is now regarded as normal and therefore not something to worry much about. And, this is exactly what should worry everyone. But hardly anyone seems to worry about it…. Read more »

HRW: Consultations Lacking on Missing Persons’ Office

by Human Rights Watch, New York, May 27, 2016 (New York) – The Sri Lankan government ratified the Convention against Enforced Disappearance but in the same week created an Office of Missing Persons without promised consultations with families of the “disappeared,” Human Rights Watch said today. The government should honor its pledge to hold meaningful… Read more »

Diaspora Participation in the Transitional Justice Process

by Public Interest Advocacy Centre, ‘Groundviews.org,’ Colombo, May 17, 2016 ‘I gave my statement not only for what I hoped to achieve, but on behalf of the hundreds of people at home who could not raise these issues … I wanted the truth to be known to the UN and the powerful international community so… Read more »