Posts Categorized: International

Establish a Syrian War Crimes Tribunal

Smith: Switch gears, Mr. President. Fight to establish Syrian war crimes court &hold both Assad and the rebels who commit egregious crimes accountable There is a non-lethal way to help ensure that Bashar al-Assad and other perpetrators of atrocities in Syria are held to account not someday far in the future but beginning now. The… Read more »

A Visual History of Guerrilla Warfare From 1775 to 2012

The Invisible Armies Insurgency Tracker presents a database of insurgencies from 1775 to 2012. It supplements the comprehensive historical narrative in Invisible Armies: An Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare from Ancient Times to the Present, by CFR Senior Fellow Max Boot. ‘Invisible Armies’ Insurgencies Tracker map & graphic         —————————————  … Read more »

Bad History Mars Indian Movie On Rajiv Gandhi’s Assassination

Divyakant Solanki/European Pressphoto AgencyDemonstrators in Mumbai, Maharashtra, demanding a ban on the film “Madras Cafe” on Aug. 22. The movie “Madras Cafe,” which opened in India and elsewhere in the world recently, seeks to chronicle the Sri Lankan civil war through the events leading up to the assassination in 1991 of former Prime Minister Rajiv… Read more »

Bloody Footprints on Sri Lanka

The bloody episode is cited as the latest example of violent repression that threatens to overshadow the Commonwealth leaders’ summit in Colombo in November.

Today Navi Pillay, the United Nations human rights commissioner, arrives in Sri Lanka, amid hopes she will address allegations that President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s regime has intimidated its opponents in the four years since the showdown with Tamil rebels that ended the civil war.

Sencholai Massacre – 7 Years On

by ‘Tamil Guardian,’ London, August 13, 2013 On 14th August 2006, four Sri Lankan Air Force jets flew over the Vanni, dropping sixteen bombs over the Sencholai children’s home in Vallipunam for orphaned girls. Fifty-three Tamil school girls and 3 staff members were killed, and over 150 injured. In a macabre warning of the attacks… Read more »

The Other Two-State Solution

However, while it may seem at times that Israel-Palestine are slipping down the same road, for example even during the Oslo Peace Process the Israelis doubled the number of settlers in Palestine and even expanded the total number of settlements, Israel/Palestine has something Sri Lanka never had during its 56 years: international awareness and pressure for peace.

The Resurgence of the Kurds

The fortunes of the Kurds started to look up as a result of events beyond their control…

One of the most surprising aspects of this success is the change it has brought about in Turkey’s attitude toward the Iraqi Kurds…

The Turks seem to be backing away from Iraq’s federal government, looking to the Kurds to provide a buffer between them and the Iran-dominated Shia zone. State-backed Turkish energy companies are competing for a stake in Iraqi Kurdistan’s big oil and gas fields and there are plans for a pipeline that would pump oil to Turkey without passing through Iraqi federal government territory. That would demonstrate Iraqi Kurdistan’s growing detachment from Baghdad—and the short distance between the Kurds and outright independence.

Mr. Martin Collacott is Appalled…

The reader who sent this article in remembrance of Black July noted “Satyendra’s response to an article by a former Canadian High Commissioner is a timely reminder to the TNA especially Justice Wigneswaran. Justice Wigneswaran and the TNA to on reflect Satyendra’s thoughts that eloquently summarises the thoughts of the Tamil voters that the present government is moving forward with the plans of colonization developed by former Pres. JR Jayawardene.”

Freedom of the Press 2013 Freedom of the Press 2013 Report Sri Lanka Sri Lanka In Sri Lanka the “score moved from 72 to 74 to reflect an increase in verbal threats and intimidation against journalists by government officials, as well as the sale of the Sunday Leader, formerly one of the island’s most independent newspapers, to an owner… Read more »

The Tyranny of the Majority

Culture matters; and so do rules. In Patterns of Democracy, political scientist Arend Lijphart argues that democratic governments come in two basic models: majoritarian, like the British, with strong single-party cabinets dominating decision-making, or “consensual,” with power exercised through coalitions. Lijphart observes that while in homogeneous societies all citizens can feel reasonably represented in a majoritarian system, the same model in nations deeply divided by class or identity “spells majoritarian dictatorship and civil strife.” He argues for electoral rules which guarantee a measure of proportional representation, coalition governments, an empowered and truly bicameral legislature, decentralization. Lijphart claims that the consensual model maximizes democratic legitimacy without sacrificing effectiveness.

Extremism Rises Among Myanmar Buddhists

“Myanmar monks are quite isolated and have a thin relationship with Buddhists in other parts of the world,” Phra Paisal said. One exception is Sri Lanka, another country historically bedeviled by ethnic strife. Burmese monks have been inspired by the assertive political role played by monks from Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese majority.

The Uphill Road

by ‘The Economist’s’ Banyan blog, June 22, 2013  OFTEN, when Sri Lanka’s ethnic-Sinhalese-dominated government appears to be offering a hand in friendship to the Tamil minority, it turns out to be a slap in the face. For example, in 2010 it appointed a Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission to investigate the final phase of the… Read more »

Lights, Camera, Election

by ‘The Economist,’ London, June 8, 2013 WHEN the film “Parasakthi” was released in Tamil Nadu in October 1952, it played for over 100 days to rapt audiences… During the past 50 years, five of Tamil Nadu’s eight chief ministers have been film stars or scriptwriters. To this day, power still ricochets between Mr Karunanidhi’s… Read more »

Burma [not so random] Connection

The similarities of the Myanmar and the Sri Lankan states are obvious. Majority of the people in both countries practice Theravada Buddhism. And both countries are plagued by ethnic conflicts.

Genocide in Guatemala

In further contrast to its neighbors, Guatemalan society was (and remains) profoundly racist, fearful of the indigenous majority that it has continually dehumanized. That racism let the elite-military alliance use anticommunist counterinsurgency principles to justify the extermination of Mayan peoples and communities.

“Why do you ask why Indians were killed?’’ a member of the oligarchy once asked me. “A better question is why didn’t we kill more Indians?”

COIN & Sri Lanka

While state police forces and right-wing media in India, the local partner in the genocide, keep hailing the ‘Sri Lanka solution’ as appropriate to deal with the Maoist insurgency, influential military thinkers in the US appear to be doing a professional, scientific study of the Sri Lankan model and its applicability to other contexts….

He argues that Sri Lanka’s victory “has led some people in the counterinsurgency community to question the basic precepts of classical counterinsurgency as understood in the West which advocates protecting the population and focusing on political primacy as a means to win over the population and isolate the insurgent and forge a lasting peace.”

Further, “Sri Lanka in this case shows a different path, somewhat in contradiction to these prescriptions and produced both quick and decisive results. Firstly, counterinsurgency is at its heart – a counter adaptation level – a struggle to develop and apply new techniques in a fast moving high threat environment against an enemy that’s continually updating and developing. Counterinsurgency isn’t defined by a single, specific set of techniques rather a combination of techniques used for a particular insurgency under particular circumstances. Sri Lanka’s approach embodied that principle.”

Most ironically, in his book ‘Counterinsurgency’ published in 2010, Dr. Kilcullen had advocated that “Scrupulously moral conduct, alongside political legitimacy and respect for the rule of law, are thus operational imperatives: they enable victory, and in their absence no amount of killing—not even genocidal brutality, as in the case of Nazi antipartisan warfare, described below—can avert defeat.”…

But yet, when influential COIN and military experts in the establishments like Kilcullen and Hashim praise the successes of Sri Lanka’s war on the Tamil people, overlooking the genocide and the concomitant political fallout in Tamil Nadu and the diaspora, and while the various HR reports produced by those NGOs and State Departments in the same establishments only engage in counting the trees without addressing the question of genocide, nationhood, and sovereignty of the Eezham Tamil nation, it is hard not to think that they are two sides of the same coin.

UNHCHR Can Now Visit Sri Lanka With Authority

Who are the real beneficiaries of this construction work? Certainly not Tamils. It is all for Sinhalese businessmen and contractors who employ Sinhala workers. Under military occupation, most of the people who have been devastated by war are living in poverty in the North and East.

In reality, those who have been so-called ‘rehabilitated’ and others have been placed under constant monitoring by military intelligence. The number of ex-combatants released is exaggerated. The government does not have the actual figures….

Enough is enough. The HRC resolution is actively endorsed, guaranteed, by the international community. Let’s concentrate on the positive side of this resolution, rather than, in effect, joining hands with the Rajapaksa’s government by rejecting it.

HRW: Burma, Ethnic Cleansing

Burma: End ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ of Rohingya Muslims by Human Rights Watch, New York, April 22, 2013 (Bangkok) – Burmese authorities and members of Arakanese groups have committed crimes against humanity in a campaign of ethnic cleansing against Rohingya Muslims in Arakan State since June 2012, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. The 153-page… Read more »

Country Report: Human Rights 2012

Discrimination against the ethnic Tamil minority continued, and a disproportionate number of victims of human rights violations were Tamils.