The war against the LTTE, waged by the Mahinda Rajapakse government, may have restored peace in Sri Lanka. But thousands of Tamils paid the price for the so-called victory with their lives, journalist Frances Harrison tells Vicky Nanjappa.
Posts Categorized: Politics
Former BBC Correspondent to Sri Lanka, and the author of ‘Still Counting The Dead’, Frances Harrison, interviewed by Palaka’ni, TamilNet.
Julian Vigo: I got involved because I was working on child trafficking projects in Haiti and was approached by two different members of the UN who asked me to make a report about what they witnessed in Sri Lanka that resembled much of what they were seeing in Haiti.
Racism in areas of language, education and employment is pervasive and deeply ingrained in Sri Lanka’s social, economic and political structures.
For these reasons and more we request the Special Rapporteur on Racism to make an official visit to Sri Lanka to make an assessment of the underlying structural inequalities and escalating intolerance there…
The persecution of the Igbos didn’t end with the Biafran conflict. Until the nation faces up to this, its mediocrity will continue.
Power is the aim of any political party and Muslim politics think that the strategy of the past still holds good. But sadly the cooperation this time is not winning any substantial concessions for Moors with respect to security, land and autonomy. It is based only on political portfolios, the academic commented adding that he would be happy “if the SLMC would demand for the devolution of Land and Police powers to the Provincial Councils.”
In the six months since the Human Rights Council’s March 2012 resolution on “Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka”, the government of Sri Lanka has taken no meaningful steps to implement the resolution’s core requirements or otherwise address the country’s culture of impunity and deepening crisis of the rule of law. The publication of a “national action plan” to implement the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) does nothing the change this…
“We respectfully urge you and your colleagues to purposefully and dynamically engage with the government of Sri Lanka in advancing reconciliation and accountability and a return to peaceful stability.”
Now, though, we appear on the brink of yet another nation-state baby boom… If anything, they are linked by a single, undeniable fact: history chews up borders with the same purposeless determination that geology does…
“..The Tamils are the pawns in a political game. It does not matter to anybody how we suffer, how we feel, so long as in this game one Sinhala party is the victor and the other Sinhala party is the vanquished. That is all. That is why I ask you not to make us pawns in your game. … We are willing to go. Every Tamil man, woman and child is willing to go…We do not want language rights from you. Please have Sinhalese only. We only want the right to live in our areas. We want the right to be able to walk the streets without being molested. Those are the rights we want. We will look after our language… The elementary duty of a Government is to afford protection to its subjects, and the duty of the citizens is to be loyal to that Government. The moment that Government fails to afford that protection, it forfeits its right to that loyalty and affection. This Government has forfeited that right. “
“…While no doubt in a democratic state the will of the majority should prevail, the principle of majority rule can operate fully only in those states which have a homogenous population. In multinational states, this principle cannot apply in determining matters relating to the rights of national minorities. If this principle is applied to such questions then it would amount to the rule of the national minorities by the national majority. The minorities will thus be denied their ordinary human rights of self-expression and self-determination and will he subject to the tyranny of an impersonal majority….if the Tamils as a result of a plebiscite in the Tamil areas opt for a federal constitution, they will be exercising their right of self-determination and it is not for somebody else to say “nay”…”
22nd August, 2012 [2.17 p.m.] ගරු ආර්. සම්පන්දන් මහතා (மாண்புமிகு ஆர். சம்பந்தன்) (The Hon. R. Sampanthan) Thank you Mr. Deputy Chairman of Committees. I move, “Whereas more than three years have lapsed since the conclusion of the war on 19th May 2009 during the course of which grave violations of international human rights laws… Read more »
Statement made by Mr. Sampanthan, MP leader of the Tamil National Alliance following his meeting with Sri Lanka’s President Rajapaksa on September 18 2012
In this connection there was a lot of agitation and Mr.Bandaranaike thereafter clarified his position and issued a statement on 16th August 1957. This is the policy which he laid down, and I am sure that it is a policy which all fair-minded people will accept as just:
‘The instrument of colonization should not be used to convert the Northern and Eastern Provinces into Sinhalese majority areas or in any other manner to the detriment of the Tamil-speaking people of those areas.’
That is the policy which he adopted and accepted, and I should say in fairness to him that thereafter, during his tenure of office between 1957 and 1959 this planned colonization ceased for a time.
‘G.G. Ponnambalam The Marathon Crusade for 50-50 (Balanced Representation) in the State Council 1939′ is a booklet published Chennai, 2001 with an introduction and background political sketch.
The third attempt was an initiative made by the Leader of the Opposition in May 2012. The Leader of the Oppossition and other UNP leaders met with the President and several Ministers at which they were told that there had never been any TNA- Government talks and that it was TNA-SLFP talks! Apart from the original letter from the Presidential Secretariat, the joint statement issued after every round of talks clearly identified the delegation as Government delegation…
The text of that agenda was agreed upon after several drafts were exchanged… It had been agreed that the Government would endorse the agenda suggested by the Leader of the Opposition. But sadly again, no such endorsement was made on the floor of the House!…
Despite this the Government continues with its misinformation campaign blaming the TNA for its inability to evolve a political solution.
It even has the temerity to ask the TNA to forget all of this and start afresh by walking into the PSC empty handed. That is not a bona fide invitation. That is a ruse to cheat the TNA and the Tamil People yet again. The TNA is not about to make such a historic blunder.
Link to the PDF
“To become a truly democratic union with a spirit of the union, equal rights and mutual respect, I urge all members of parliament to discuss the enactment of the laws needed to protect equal rights of ethnicities,” she said, in support of a motion by a ruling party MP…
“The high poverty rates in ethnic states clearly indicate that development in ethnic regions is not satisfactory and ethnic conflicts in these regions have not ceased,” she said during her brief speech.
Not only the TNA, even India, the United States and other countries have called for immediate elections in the North as a first step towards giving self-determination to the Tamil-speaking people. The TNA has warned that if self-determination is not given by peaceful means, the international Tamil diaspora might push for a separate state. Instead of making claims on 5 Rs or 4 Rs, the Rajapaksa Government needs to take immediate and urgent steps to find a just and fair political solution to the national crisis.