Posts Categorized: Military

With Just 273 Political Prisoners in Custody, How Many Have Disappeared?

The recent revelation that only 300 prisoners remain in Government custody only confirms that the crimes committed by the Government are even more heinous than previously imagined. As such, no Sri Lanka government is going to facilitate the legal, administrative and political changes that domestic judicial institutions need to meet ‘international standards.’ The only way is for international justice to be dispensed by international courts.

Can Reconciliation Heal Sri Lankan War Wounds?

In the six years since the Sri Lankan army defeated the rebels, a measure of stability has returned…But Tamil leaders are not convinced that these efforts will be enough to unify the Tamil and Hindu north and east with the majority Sinhalese Buddhist south. They say that they are concerned that Sirisena’s moves are symbolic and don’t address issues such as the Tamils’ desire for greater autonomy and the withdrawal of troops.

The Blight of Militarisation

Maithripala Sirisena’s victory over Mahinda Rajapaksa in the Sri Lankan presidential elections in January 2015 was enabled by massive support from minorities in the country — the Tamils and Muslims. Clearly, the mandate was not just for a more accountable and democratic government that would reverse the creeping authoritarianism and family rule heralded by Mr…. Read more »

Only a Democratic South can Democratise the North

“Gotabhaya’s security state gradually expanded its tentacles to the South. He turned us into an unhappy and insecure people, who live in fear of the arbitrary powers of our own elected government. Our concerns were more intimate to us than the grievances of the North. However, they are an extension of a strategy that he experimented and later entrenched in the North.”

Why No Gazette Notification on Release of Lands?

by TamilNet, Wednesday, 06 May 2015, 23:18 GMT It’s not merely enough to allow the people to resettle in the lands that were seized from them by the previous regime, which applied the proviso to 38(A) of the Land Acquisition Act (LAA) under the guise of ‘public use’ in permanently converting the lands for the… Read more »

Minority Rights in Sri Lanka: Progress or Blind Spot?

sri_lanka_report_100days Minority Rights in Sri Lanka Progress or Blind Spot http://assets.gfbv.ch/downloads/sri_lanka_report_100days.pdf Many problems exist “regarding human rights of the minorities,” in Sri Lanka, concluded the Society for Threatened peoples (STP.) A report on the new regime’s 100 day reform plan, released on Thursday, noted several issues including those of intimidation of Tamil journalists, inadequate resettlement,… Read more »

Military and Poverty

by Dr. S. Santhirasegaram, Developing Country Studies, 2013 Santhirasegaram Military and Poverty 2013 5. Conclusion Military forces employed by 97 percent of majority Singhalese has been getting more economic benefits from expansion of security forces. Social welfare expenditure from independent to 1980s in Sri Lanka biased to majority and made political unrest and violent which… Read more »

For Whose Desire that Chemmani Mass Grave Case was Closed

The Ghosts of Chemmani Investigations revealed that 18-year-old Krishanthi Coomeraswamy, a student of Chundikuly Girls’ High School, was abducted at the Kaithadi military checkpoint on 07 September 1996, gangraped and murdered. The suspects in this crime were several officers and a soldier of the Army. However, the entire blame was placed on the shoulders of… Read more »

Sri Lanka’s Tamil Minority Grows Impatient With Just Promises

JAFFNA, Sri Lanka — There may be no place more beautiful on the breathtaking tropical island of Sri Lanka than the white sand beaches along the Palka Strait, which is why building a luxury resort here made sense. Still, there are drawbacks to staying at Thalsevana Holiday Resort. Arrive without a reservation, and you could… Read more »

An Institutional History of the LTTE

LKA-geschichte-ltte-e [PDF in English] or https://www.bfm.admin.ch/dam/data/bfm/internationales/herkunftslaender/asien-nahost/lka/LKA-geschichte-ltte-e.pdf Preface Episodes of armed violence are often followed by countering claims and divergent accounts of past experiences. The Sri Lankan civil war is no exception. After 26 years of military operations and the official defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009, controversies over the conflict and… Read more »

Is Terrorism an Existential Threat?

by Scott Stewart, ‘MarketWatch, The Wall Street Journal,’ February 5, 2015 President Barack Obama has said terrorism can’t upset the world order, and he is mostly correct. In an interview aired on CNN on Feb. 1, Fareed Zakaria asked U.S. President Barack Obama to respond to charges that he is downplaying the threat of terrorism to… Read more »

Pirapaharan at Sixty

by Karthik RM, November 21, 2014 Is Pirapaharan dead? Ten years back, TamilNet senior editor and military analyst Taraki Sivaram wrote a brilliant piece on the political legacy of Pirapaharan at fifty.  Come 26 November this year, the founder-leader of the LTTE and one of the most brilliant military minds of South Asia will turn… Read more »

A Garrison State?

The Sri Lankan military is Sri Lankan in name only. In actuality, it is predominantly Sinhalese and Buddhist in composition, and Sinhala-Buddhist supremacist in ethos. How will the militarisation of an ethno-religiously pluralist society by such a monolithic military impact on inter-communal relations and on the rights and security of minorities?

Traditionally, Sinhala-Buddhist supremacists strongly advocated the state-aided internal colonisation of Tamil-majority areas. They realised that the consequent demographic changes would cause a drastic electoral disempowerment of Tamils. State-aided colonisation schemes implemented by successive Lankan governments contributed to the worsening of Sinhala-Tamil relations.

In the post-war period, this project has been embraced by the Rajapaksas for their own purposes. Having decisively lost the 2013 provisional election in the Tamil-majority Northern Province, the Rajapaksas desire to change Northern demographics for electoral reasons just as much as Sinhala-Buddhist supremacists yearn to do so for ideological reasons. The military has become the willing executioner of this joint Rajapaksa-Sinhala/Buddhist supremacist project to render Tamils thinner on the northern ground.

Military Presence in the North of Sri Lanka

Five years since the end of the war, a significant military presence still remains in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. This despite repeated assurances by the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) that the military presence is, and will be phased out in order to pave way for post-war reconciliation efforts. In a context of… Read more »

BBC: Bishop Swamipillai Interview re 1990 Massacre

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p025ynjz Sri Lanka Massacre Duration:  10 minutes On September 9, 1990, 184 Tamil refugees were killed by the Sri Lankan army at Batticaloa in the east of the island during the civil war between the Sinhala majority and the Tamil minority. Farhana Haider has been speaking to the Bishop of Batticaloa, Kingsley Swampillai, who was… Read more »

Monitoring Change in Sri Lanka’s Valikamam High Security Zone:

by Geospatial Technologies & Human Rights Project, American Academy for the Advancement of Science, Washington, August 2014 Full report http://www.aaas.org/sites/default/files/AAAS_Sri_Lanka_2014.pdf or AAAS_Sri_Lanka_2014 Between 2011 and 2014, large numbers of structures were added to the study area in a manner indicating that they were residential in nature. Left Image: DigitalGlobe | Right image: Airbus Defense and Space |… Read more »