Posts Categorized: International

China, India Tussle for Influence as Sri Lanka Seeks Investment

by Gauri Bhatia, CNBC, New York, April 25, 2016 Situated almost in the middle of the Indian Ocean, there is no escaping Sri Lanka’s centrality. The country lies just a few nautical miles away from the super-busy east-west shipping route, through which an estimated 60,000 ships pass every year, carrying two-thirds of the world’s oil… Read more »

Syria: War Crimes and the Pursuit of Justice

AS DELIVERED                                                                April 14, 2016   Remarks by Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, at an Informal Meeting on “Syria: War Crimes and the Pursuit of Justice,” April 14, 2016 Thank you all for your powerful presentations. Thank you, Ambassador al-Thani, for organizing this event and thanks to all of the… Read more »

Capturing the Secret Documents

In hundreds of witness interviews, the CIJA found consistent patterns in interrogation practices across all branches of the security agencies. People were detained following the Crisis Cell’s policy. Besides identifying “new targets,” the results of these interrogations were shared among the agencies. Detainees were routinely kept in inhumane conditions for months or years without entering the judicial system…

Hamada’s account of atrocities at Hospital 601 was later corroborated by approximately fifty-five thousand photographs, smuggled out of Syria by a military-police officer known by the name Caesar, an alias. Before the war, Caesar and his colleagues had documented crime scenes and traffic accidents involving military personnel in Damascus. He uploaded pictures to government computers, then printed them and stapled them to official death reports. Beginning in 2011, however, the bodies were those of detainees, collected each day from security branches and delivered to military hospitals…

Between Caesar’s photographs and the CIJA’s case, Stephen Rapp told me, “when the day of justice arrives, we’ll have much better evidence than we’ve had anywhere since Nuremberg.”…

Last year, when Assad was asked about the Caesar photographs during an interview with Foreign Affairs, he said, “Who said this is done by the government, not by the rebels? Who said this is a Syrian victim, not someone else?”

The American Hug

Fundamental military alignments with US, taking place without open debate, may foreclose India’s options.

Getting US Messaging Right

Getting US Messaging about Sri Lanka’s ‘Democratic Transition’ Right by Taylor Dibbert, ‘The Diplomat,’ Tokyo, March 31, 2016 Nisha Biswal, the U.S. State Department’s assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs, spoke at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, on Monday. Her prepared remarks were… Read more »

U.S. Policies and Priorities for 2016

Sri Lanka, which is rebalancing its own foreign and economic policy as it emerges from its self-imposed isolation, will benefit from its strategic location as a maritime gateway to some of the largest markets in Asia.

Remarks of Senator Patrick Leahy at USIP

The Leahy Law makes clear that the United States will not tolerate or support foreign partners who violate the personal integrity, dignity, or due process of their citizens. People who order, commit, or cover up such crimes should be prosecuted and punished.

The law also makes clear that those who use torture or shoot prisoners for reasons of political expediency, or because justice systems are slow or inefficient, will not receive U.S. support.

That is what the law requires when a foreign government rejects the need for accountability.

MCC: New Threshold Programs with Sri Lanka

MCC Board Selects Five Countries for MCC Partnerships New Compacts with Cote d’Ivoire, Kosovo and Senegal, and New Threshold Programs with Sri Lanka and Togo December 17, 2015 kellyrm /A_T/ mcc /D_O_T/ gov 202-521-3880 WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 17 — The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Board of Directors held its quarterly meeting on Dec. 16, 2015…. Read more »

Time to Rethink Protection as Syrian Mistakes Echo Sri Lanka

Residents of the Syrian town of Madaya are again reported to be near starvation. The United Nations is said to have underestimated the number suffering under blockades enforced by Bashar al-Assad’s government, adding to earlier accusations that the UN deliberately failed to highlight the problem. The revelations show much more needs to be done to implement Secretary-General Ban… Read more »

Sri Lanka Monitoring and Accountability Panel Open Letter to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights: ‘Sri Lankan Victims Deserve Real Justice’ Posted on February 4, 2016 by mapuser The MAP notes with concern the recent statement made by President Maithripala Sirisena (BBC interview, 21 January 2016) that he will “never agree to international involvement” in the special war crimes court. This statement… Read more »

FfT: What Does Success Look Like?

FfT survivor_briefing-final Sri Lanka is at a crossroads in the quest for accountability for torture and other serious human rights abuses committed during the country’s civil war (2002-9) and its aftermath. This briefing addresses the question of “what success looks like” for the internationalised justice process promised by the Sri Lankan government, from the perspective… Read more »

Observations by the UN Special Rapporteur on Transitional Justice

While the commitment on the part of certain individuals and sectors of Government is plain to see, and plans for sign-off and deliberation mechanisms within the cabinet have been made, the articulation of even the outlines of a comprehensive transitional justice policy requires more capacities than have been available up to now.

ICG: Transitional Justice Agreement between the Colombian Government and FARC

The announcement is silent on the nomination and appointment process for these courts – which would be largely staffed by national judges, with a minority international presence – and the facilities where sentences would be served, as well as the question of reparation for victims. However, it indicates a balanced and wise approach is being taken to the difficult dilemmas posed by a conflict that has inflicted suffering on more than six million victims, according to official reports, and a peace process that requires legal and political certainties for the parties and for Colombian society. FARC have gone farther than ever before by accepting the requirement that those most responsible for serious crimes must face restrictions on their liberties for up to eight years. The government has accepted that the new mechanism will have jurisdiction over all who participated in the internal armed conflict – including state agents.

ICTJ: Challenges to Implementing Reparations in Colombia

Background: Demobilization of paramilitary groups, Justice and Peace Law, Victims’ Law, and peace talks with the FARC Colombia continues to endure the longest internal armed conflict in the Western hemisphere. The conflict involves many actors and interests, and is a product of political ambitions, social and economic tensions, and competition for resources. In their efforts… Read more »

Remarks by US State Dept. U/S Patrick Kennedy

Sri Lanka National Day  Remarks Patrick F. KennedyUnder Secretary for Management Organization of American States Washington, DC February 4, 2016 Thank you, Ambassador Kariyawasam, for that kind introduction, and the honor of your invitation. And I must say that I’m incredibly excited to visit your beautiful country later this month and see the progress already made… Read more »

Sri Lankan White Van Awareness Week  

US Ambassador to UN’s Remarks on Sri Lanka’s Disappeared

Remarks at the UN Security Council Arria-Formula Meeting on the Global Challenge of Accounting for Missing Persons Ambassador Samantha Power U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations U.S. Mission to the United Nations New York City January 27, 2016 AS DELIVERED Thank you, so much. Ambassador Rycroft, thank you for focusing the Council on this… Read more »

HRW: Fulfill Rights Council Call for Justice

by Human Rights Watch, January 25, 2015 (New York) – The Sri Lankan government should fulfill its commitments to the United Nations Human Rights Council by ensuring that foreign judges and prosecutors play a significant role in the mandated accountability mechanism for wartime abuses, Human Rights Watch said today. On January 21, 2016, President Maithripala Sirisena… Read more »

Myths, Realities and Options for Transitional Justice in Sri Lanka

by Bhavani Fonseka & Luwie Ganeshathasan, Centre for Policy Alternatives, Colombo, January 18, 2016 The 2015 political transition in Sri Lanka witnessed several promises for reform. One area in the reform agenda includes the processes and mechanisms for transitional justice. The resolution titled ‘Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka’ adopted at the… Read more »

Peace Process Would Have Benefitted from Greater Intl Effort

From left: Bharath Gopalaswamy, Director of the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center, moderates a discussion with Mark Salter, author of To End a Civil War; Erik Solheim, a former chief negotiator in the Sri Lankan peace process; and Richard L. Armitage, who has served as Deputy Secretary of State in the George W. Bush administration,… Read more »