Posts Categorized: Military

Minority Rights in Sri Lanka: Progress or Blind Spot?

sri_lanka_report_100days Minority Rights in Sri Lanka Progress or Blind Spot 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, excessive… 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 »

Sri Lanka: Picturing Genocide and War Crimes

Sri Lanka may have given evidence against itself in the larger context of the “genocide” of Tamils in 2009, a widely accepted phrase in the legal community for what happened when the Sri Lankan Armed Forces bombed a “No Fire Zone” killing up to 75,000 Tamil civilians including children, women, and the elderly in just… Read more »

Sri Lanka’s Intransigence

Sri Lanka’s president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, said Tuesday that his government would not cooperate with the United Nations investigation begun last month into suspected human rights abuses, including possible war crimes, committed during Sri Lanka’s civil war. Mr. Rajapaksa’s intransigence puts Sri Lanka in the company of North Korea and Syria, two countries that also barred… Read more »

Livelihoods Lost while Military has Land says NPC Member

Northern Provincial Council member Thurairasa Ravikaran said Tamils in Mullaitivu have lost their livelihoods without access to their land, which remains under Sri Lankan military control. The people of Mullaitivu have faced continuous difficulties in temporary settlements, despite Sri Lankan government claims that they were resettled 4 years ago, the Uthayan reported him as saying. Without the… Read more »

On Illegal Possession Of Land By The Military And Demographic Change In North & East

Sir, land is the most complex problem in the North and the East and this relates to both private land and state land. The provisions of this Bill will of course relate to private land. But our problems in regard to state land are very many… I would like to use this Debate to identify some of those problems…

There are not just a few people. There are tens of thousands of Tamil families in this position…Lands have been taken over on various pretexts: security, development, occupation, cultivation, tourism and recreation. This is all for the benefit of the majority community. At the expense of tens of thousands of Tamil families, persons of the majority community are being settled on these lands. Who are the members of the armed forces? The armed forces are almost exclusively Sinhalese. When they come into possession of these lands and when the Tamil civilians are permanently kept out, what will happen? These Armed forces will continue to occupy these lands, they will cultivate these lands, they will derive their livelihood from these lands and they will continue to live in the North and the East. Is this not yet another way of settling the majority community people on lands which have belonged to Tamil civilians for generations and centuries on which they have lived, on which they have farmed, which they have cultivated, and making these lands available to the majority community?…

All this is being done because you want to change the demographic composition of the North and the East and you want to change the cultural and linguistic identity of the districts in the North and the East. These things are being done with a definite purpose, the purpose being to change the demographic composition of the Northern and Eastern Provinces and the cultural and linguistic identity of the Northern and Eastern Provinces so as to make a political resolution, a political solution irrelevant and unnecessary. That is the objective with which you are pursuing this agenda. This is not good for the country…

All these actions of the Government and persons who are working with the Government are concentrated largely in Mullaitivu and Trincomalee because you want to break the linguistic contiguity of the Northern and the Eastern Provinces. That clearly shows that you are pursuing a definite sinister objective which cannot be permitted and this is why I say that these actions of yours have geopolitical and geo-strategic dimensions and there can be consequences which will not be to the benefit of this country. As a Sri Lankan, I have a right to ask that this country be not placed in jeopardy by reason of such actions…

The Tamil Members of Parliament, except for those few who are with the Government, were given Rs. 5 million each under the Decentralized Budget. All the other Members of Parliament have been given Rs. 30 million – Rs. 5 million plus another Rs. 25 million… You are mere trustees of Government money; you are mere trustees of Government property having been elected by the voters. We also have been elected by the voters. Are our people not sovereign? Are our people not equal? Are our people second-class citizens?

Apart from that, Sir, persons of the majority community are being settled in various areas in the North and the East. This is particularly intensive in the Trincomalee District, the northernmost district in the Eastern Province and in the Mullaitivu District, the southernmost district of the Northern Province. Around 4,000 to 5,000 new voters of the majority community have been registered in the Mullaitivu District since 2009.

Losing Battles but Winning Wars

by Fred Carver, Independent Policy Digest, Washington, August 9, 2014 Jean-Marc Ferré/UN Photo To many external observers the Government of Sri Lanka appeared to lose the plot somewhat during the recent UN Human Rights Council (HRC) session. A series of overt and heavy handed attempts to silence dissent, even as the session was discussing a… Read more »

Britain’s Dirty War Against the Tamil People 1979-2009

Britain’s_Dirty_War by Phil Miller This document, published by the International Human Rights Association Bremen, is an updated version of the evidence Phil gave to the Peoples’ Tribunal on Sri Lanka… 1. Introduction When Prime Minister David Cameron travelled to Sri Lanka in November 2013, his visit to the northern city of Jaffna was widely seen as British… Read more »