Posts Categorized: International

Shed Obsession with 13th Amendment

by Meera Srinivasan, ‘The Hindu,’ April 12, 2013 The obsession with the 13th amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution will hardly help the Tamils, politicians and activists in northern Srilanka told the Indian parliamentary delegation, which wound up its visit to Sri Lanka on Thursday. While members of the Indian delegation were rather reluctant to… Read more »

R2P and Sri Lanka

by Henrietta Briscoe, Tamils Against Genocide, April 2013 for Responsibility to Protect Conference, Faculty of Law, Ljubljana, Slovenia, April 11 – 12, 2013 R2P Poster Slovenia Conference TAG April 2013 ————————- Henrietta Briscoe interview in Delhi, March 2013 ————————- Tamil Genocide Framework Highlighted in Slovenia Conference [TamilNet, Thursday, 11 April 2013, 11:14 GMT] The framework… Read more »

US Policy Towards and Continuing Engagement with Sri Lanka

The 2012 resolution, passed by a majority of countries on the Human Rights Council, sent a clear message that the international community shared the United States’ concerns regarding the lack of progress on reconciliation and accountability. The 2012 resolution simply asked the government of Sri Lanka to fulfill its own commitments to its people from its Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission report, and to meet its own international obligations.

The China Card

Many among the Eelam Tamils continue to fall for the “China card” claims of Sri Lanka.  These claims serve, however, as a smokescreen for the realpolitik of the region vis-a-vis Sri Lanka.  A critical analysis of this is helpful for Eelam Tamils to develop a more nuanced approach. China is of no help to Sri… Read more »

Find and Prosecute Those Responsible for the Massacre of 17 ACF Aid Workers

“It’s great that the international community got together to pass this resolution, but it’s really not enough because the terms of the resolution are not strong enough and it doesn’t force Sri Lanka to do something concrete,” said Chetcuti.

“What we are calling for is an international, credible investigation into war crimes. Asking Sri Lanka to do its own inquiry is ironic as its own army is accused of being behind some of these human rights violations.”

Tamil Nadu Assembly Passes Resolution on Sri Lanka

The Tamil Nadu Assembly has adopted a resolution asking the Centre to stop treating Sri Lanka as a friendly country. It also calls for a referendum on a separate Eelam among Tamils in Sri Lanka and Lankan Tamils abroad. The Tamil Nadu Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution urging the Centre to slap economic embargo on Colombo till the “suppression” of Tamils was stopped and those responsible for “genocide and war crimes” faced an international probe.

Geneva Resolution: Not A Victory For Tamils, But A Defeat For Sri Lanka

Geneva Resolution: Not a Victory for Tamils, but a Defeat for Sri Lanka PM – TGTE – Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran The resolution proposed by America at the Human Rights Council related to Sri Lanka was passed by a majority of 13 votes. Out of the Human Rights Council comprising of 47 member states, 26 voted for the resolution, 13 against… Read more »

Amnesty: Sri Lanka’s UPR Review

On 15 March, the UN Human Rights Council adopted the Working Group report of Sri Lanka’s second Universal Periodic Review. Amnesty International delegates attended the session with Dr Manoharan, father of Ragihar Manoharan, one of five young men killed by Sri Lankan security forces in 2006. Dr Manoharan delivered a powerful statement on Sri Lanka’s… Read more »

India’s ‘Rotten Diplomacy’

Both the Sinhalese and the Tamils now consider the various political parties of Tamil Nadu to be goading Sri Lanka’s ethnic strife from a safe distance so that they may milk it for electoral capital; this, too, is ineluctable…

It might be possible to argue – although this isn’t the place for it – that India’s foreign policy toward Sri Lanka has been the most disastrous such sustained policy it has ever run. Admittedly, these were, and are, deep and complicated waters. But India repeatedly made the cynical mistake of presuming that it could have it all. It resembled the gambler who backs every single horse in the race, and while that may minimize harm at the Kentucky Derby, it doesn’t quite work the same way in geopolitics.

A Lanka Lost?

Delhi now sees the sweet talk for what it is — classic Rajapakse doublespeak. It’s the method he employed to use India’s help to destroy the Tigers, knowing that once he had the LTTE out of the way, India would have no card left to play, no leverage to push for the 13th Amendment and the rehabilitation of the moderate Tamils, whom India want back in the political mainstream.

Sri Lanka Accused of Ongoing Torture

He said he had his toenails extracted and was then electrocuted, rendering him unconscious for three days. Now convicted, he has been sent to prison in the central city of Kandy, far from his home in the north. He has barely been permitted contact with his wife or son, who was born just months after his arrest.

The report also criticises a government rehabilitation programme for former Tamil Tiger soldiers that, it says, is also blighted by violence and, despite officially being classed as voluntary, is frequently used as a tool to prolong detention without trial.

For Sri Lanka, More Empty Words

The government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa greeted last year’s vote with complaints that it was being persecuted by the international community — and used that as a pretext to obstruct even more thoroughly the work of journalists, lawyers and activists. As Mohan Peiris, a former attorney general who is now Sri Lanka’s chief justice,said last March: “It won’t change anything. We will just forge ahead as planned.”

In May 2009, the Tamil Tigers, a merciless guerrilla group, lost the fight to carve out a separate state for the island’s Tamil minority. The war ended in a blaze of blood, with roughly 40,000 Tamil civilians killed, according to a United Nations estimate.

Four years later, the government has not investigated numerous charges that the army committed atrocities during the waning years of the conflict. Straining the fragile peace yet more, Tamils in the country’s north and east continue to live under the close watch of the Sri Lankan military.

UNHRC Resolution on Sri Lanka

Introduction to Voting on Resolution by the US US Introduction to Voting on Resolution on Sri Lanka March 2013 [PDF] Vote Count on Resolution Revised – Gabon voted YES late Voting on Sri Lanka Resolution at UNHRC March 2013 [PDF] For = 26 Abstain = 8 Against = 13 Tamil version of resolution 22/1 [PDF] Co-sponsors of the… Read more »

Sri Lanka ‘War’ a Genocide

Why Tamil Nadu is Right to Call Sri Lanka ‘War’ a Genocide A part of the national debate on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue in the wake of the second US resolution at the UNHRC in another two days is increasingly disturbing because it’s not only dismissive of the tenets of human rights, but is… Read more »

Oral Interventions at UNHRC

Your report outlines the litany past and present violations of human Rights in Sri Lanka, however, we wish to stress the urgent need to address the imminent loss of democratic space, and franchise for the Tamil people in the North and East of the island.

The North and East of Sri Lanka are traditional Tamil territory with a unique language and culture. Sri Lanka has undertaken a campaign against the Tamil people to systematically mute their voice, and agency over a 65 year period. This campaign has progressively curtailed the democratic franchise of Tamils in the East.

The same ruthless program is now undertaken in the North. Increased militarization, land grab, and the establishment of new Sinhalese settlements in traditional Tamil areas are exasperating the Sinhalization and Budhization of the North, This is no longer an armed conflict – but a demographic one – one that is based on artificially changing the population that would assimilate Tamils as one monolithic group within the island.

Pasumai Thaayagam UNHRC Statement

Written Statement submitted by Pasumai Thaayagam, Chennai to the UN Human Rights Council, February 11, 2013 Written Statement Pasumai Thaayagam UNHRC Feb 2013

Sri Lanka Resolution Hardly ‘Watered Down’

“Expressing concern at the continuing reports of violations of human rights in Sri Lanka, including enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, torture, and violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, as well as intimidation of and reprisals against human rights defenders, members of civil society and journalists, and threats to judicial independence and the rule of law, and discrimination on the basis of religion or belief.”

India’s Government Loses Key Ally

India’s government loses key ally over UN resolution against Sri Lanka  Arun Sankar K./AP – Indian Tamil activists burn a Sri Lankan flag during a protest against Sri Lanka’s alleged wartime abuses, in Chennai, India on March 19, 2013. A key ethnic Tamil political party withdrew from the Indian government over its unmet demands that India… Read more »