Posts Categorized: Politics

What Options For Jaffna Economic Revival?

by Kumar David, ‘Colombo Telegraph,’ July 17, 2016 Industrial and agricultural development prospects seem bleak: What options for Jaffna economic revival? Sometimes countries rise phoenix like from the ashes of devastation and war; the best known are Germany and Japan after WW2. Others like post-crisis Central African basket-cases remain depressed basket-cases. The Northern Province, unlike the… Read more »

US Asst Secretaries of State Biswal & Malinowski Visit

US Officials Insist Sustainable Peace Must Include Peace Dividend by Dharsha Bastians, ‘Daily Financial Times,’ Colombo, July 15, 2016 Visiting State Department officials insisted that accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka continues to be a key focus for the US Government, but defended their apparent focus on economic growth and investment on a two-day visit… Read more »

Engaging Sinhalese Buddhist Majoritarianism

by Neil DeVotta, ‘The Review of Faith & International Affairs,’ Summer 2016 Engaging Sinhalese Buddhist Majoritarianism and Countering Religious Animus in Sri Lanka Recommendations for the Incoming U S Administration This essay, consequently, discusses the Sinhalese Buddhist-Muslim dynamic in the country as part of its focus on religion and public life in Sri Lanka. The… Read more »

Bipartisan Group of 24 Lawmakers Calls on Secretary Kerry

2010 letter to Sec. Clinton on Sri Lanka FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 27, 2016 CONTACT: Abraham White 202-308-8430   Bipartisan Group of 24 Lawmakers Calls on Secretary Kerry to Strengthen Peace and Human Rights in Sri Lanka for War Victims     WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressmen Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Bill Johnson (R-OH) led… Read more »

Sri Lanka Must Stay the Course

‘The Hindu’ editorial, Chennai, July 2, 2016 The frequent human rights updates in Geneva provide an occasion for the world to discuss Sri Lanka’s post-war situation, especially the progress made in investigating the excesses during the last phase of the civil war that ended in 2009. Until last year, the country considered the process hostile… Read more »

Is Sri Lanka on the Path to Reconciliation?

by Al Jazeera, Qatar, July 3, 2016 Video at http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidestory/2016/07/sri-lanka-reconciliation-160703174125765.html President Sirisena is under pressure to fulfill his post-cvil war promises of accountability and justice. It’s been seven years since the civil war in Sri Lanka ended. The 30-year conflict fell largely along ethnic lines. President Maithripala Sirisena has said reconciliation is one of his top… Read more »

USTPAC Welcomes High Commissioner Zeid’s Call for Sustained International Engagement on Sri Lanka

WASHINGTON, June 30, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) member states responded yesterday in Geneva to High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein’s midterm report on the government of Sri Lanka’s implementation of Resolution 30/1. USTPAC welcomes High Commissioner Zeid’s report and statements from member states and other countries for more… Read more »

UNHCHR: Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka

by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva, June 28, 2016 Advance copy of UNHCHR oral report on Sri Lanka’s compliance with UNHRC Resolution 30/1  A_HRC_32_CRP_4_EN This oral update is presented pursuant to Human Rights Council Resolution 30/1 on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka, which was adopted by consensus with the… Read more »

Bipartisan Group of 24 Lawmakers Calls on Secretary Kerry

McGovern Johnson letter to Sec Kerry with signatures Jun 27, 2016 Press Release WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressmen Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Bill Johnson (R-OH) led a bipartisan group of 24 House lawmakers calling on Secretary John Kerry to continue U.S. efforts to strengthen human rights in Sri Lanka following a 26-year civil war between… Read more »

U.N. Urges Sri Lanka to Rein in Military, Prosecute War Crimes

by Stephanie Nebehay, Reuters, London, June 28, 2016 Sri Lanka must rein in its military forces, prosecute war crimes committed during the long civil war with Tamil rebels and win the confidence of the Tamil minority, the United Nations said on Tuesday. Witnesses must be protected under an effective transitional justice mechanism that should include… Read more »

Sri Lanka Wants the World to Forget about Justice for War Victims

by Nirmanusan Balasundaram, ‘The Guardian,’ UK, June 27, 2016 With the Sri Lankan government winding back commitments to reconciliation and justice measures, it’s up to the international community to hold them to account  In October 2015 the government of Sri Lanka co-sponsored, along with the US, a resolution on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights… Read more »

Oral Statements at UNHRC

Monday, June 13, 2016 – Oral Statement by Pasumai Thaayagam UN Web TV link: http://webtv.un.org/meetings-events/human-rights-council/watch/item2-general-debate-contd-4th-meeting-32nd-regular-session-of-human-rights-council/4940474281001 No. 58, Time: 2:06:00 ———– —————– ————– Tuesday, June 21, 2016 – Oral statement by Pasumai Thayagam UN Web TV link: http://webtv.un.org/watch/item3-general-debate-cont-20th-meeting-32nd-regular-session-of-human-rights-council/4962898189001 No. 48, Time: 06:30 ———– —————– ————– Thursday, June 23, 2016 – Oral statement by Pasumai Thayagam UN Web TV link: http://webtv.un.org/meetings-events/watch/item4-general-debate-contd-27th-meeting-32nd-regular-session-of-human-rights-council/4973022505001… Read more »

GTF: International Community Must Continue to Exert Pressure on Sri Lanka

International Community must continue to exert pressure on Sri Lanka to facilitate faithful implementation of all aspects of the UNHRC resolution – Global Tamil Forum Wednesday, June 22, 2016 As the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) meets in Geneva this month and the High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein prepares his… Read more »

Status of Confidence-Building Measures

by US Tamil Political Action Council Confidence-Building Measures Implementation_Chart This chart is to be read with the October 2015 Confidence Building Measures It has been 18 months since President Sirisena was elected and 9 months since the government of Sri Lanka co-sponsored HRC Resolution 30/1. While the government has implemented some notable measures to build… Read more »

Civil Society Statement on Accountability

Civil Society Statement on Accountability and Timing TJ – 22nd June 2016 We, the undersigned Sri Lankan civil society activists and organisations, note with deep concern the lack of tangible progress in ending impunity in Sri Lanka, more than seventeen months since the change of government in January 2015. We believe that no mechanism for… Read more »

Broken Promises Again at the UN?

by JS Tissainayagam, ‘Asian Correspondent,’ June 21, 2016 THE United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions now underway in Geneva gives another opportunity to Sri Lanka to trumpet the progress it is making on transitional justice. However, there is scant evidence of ‘progress’ on the ground because the government has either gone back, or done… Read more »

Cluster Bombs Used in Sri Lanka’s Civil War

by Emanuel Stoakes, ‘The Guardian,’ UK, June 20, 2016 Exclusive: images appear to confirm use of the indiscriminate weapon in a conflict which cost the lives of at least 100,000 Remnants of what appears to be an RBK-500 AO-2.5RT cluster bomb uncovered near Chalai, Sri Lanka. Photograph: Source Images that appear to confirm the use… Read more »

Tough Pressure for Genuine Accountability Required in Sri Lanka

by Tamil Guardian, London, June 12, 2016 Tough supportive pressure is needed for genuine accountability amid allegations of genocide in Sri Lanka, said former US Ambassador at Large for War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide. Mr Rapp spoke on a panel in the Royal Institute of Great Britain at the launch of the  International… Read more »

Mr R. Sampanthan’s Adjournment Motion in Parliament

[full speech at end courtesy Colombo Telegraph, June 13, 2016] by Laksiri Fernando ( June 17, 2016, Sydney, Sri Lanka Guardian)  The leader of the TNA, R. Sampanthan, has moved an important motion in Parliament (10 June 2016), on behalf of the Tamil people in the North and the East. Perhaps as he has moved… Read more »

Thoughts On Sri Lanka’s Progress In This Transitional Phase

by M.A. Sumanthiran, MP, ‘Colombo Telegraph, June 16, 2016 The process has started and is moving fairly swiftly but it has certain knotty issues and I want to highlight one or two of those. Sri Lanka has been ruled by a simple majoritarian rule. That is the system of government. And when you have permanent… Read more »