Accountability is a necessary precursor to reconciliation and a stable democracy in Sri Lanka. It is clear to us that the LLRC process is mired in bias and delays, and only an independent, international investigation will achieve real accountability.
Monthly Archives: January 2013
Thousands of civilians died in the final months of the war when the Sri Lankan military launched a decisive offensive against ethnic Tamil rebels. Sri Lanka set up a commission to investigate alleged abuses, but rights groups say the military is not being held to account.
The Obama administration has called for steps toward accountability but has not called for an international investigation.
Ground zero is Kotkai, which sits amid barren saffron and chocolate colored hillsides above a snaking river cutting through South Waziristan. The town was one of the first targets of the 2009 strike and now is at the heart of the military’s rehabilitation zone…
But the government has given little to help individuals rebuild homes that were damaged or destroyed during the offensive…
Some residents of South Waziristan remain wary of their own military, which is sometimes seen as the heavy hand of the nation’s dominant Punjab class used against the country’s Pashtun population, a large ethnic group from which the Taliban draws most of its fighters.
[Sound familiar? Editor]
The government has withdrawn over Rs 560 million worth of funds ear marked for development in the TNA controlled Northern Province, reports the Sunday Times. According to Jaffna’s Local Government Assistant Commissioner S Jeyaharan, the directive to withdraw the funds came from the Ministry of Local Government. M K Sivajilingam said: “They do not want us… Read more »
As the group delved in to the deeper meaning of this particular interaction, the dilemmas faced by the welfare oriented NGOs working in the war affected regions became more and more apparent. On the one hand they are forced to work with the rhetoric of “peoples participation” and “empowerment”. They have to accede to the demands made by the donors in this respect. But on the other they have to work within a system that is unmerciful and relentless in its grip on centralized political power. Even the civil administration in those areas has changed a great deal. The transformation is to the extent that the language hitherto spoken only by the military hierarchy, such as “ granting permission” and “ban on activities”, is used now by the civil administration in their day-to-day interactions with NGOs. A single wrong move on their part may mean end of the road for the NGOs. It is in working with the most marginalized of the war-affected community that these vulnerabilities of the NGOs get to be exposed thoroughly.
“One day in the make-up room when we were alone, MGR told the following. ‘Everyone believes that I’m a true Malayalee. I’m telling this to you. That’s wrong! There isn’t anything inferior in identifying oneself as a Malayalee. But, as for me, it is not true. My ancestors belonged to Kongu Nadu region and were from Mandradiar group. Their ancestral town was Pollachi. During the period of Haider Ali who ruled Mysore, he passed an edict that Hindus should convert themselves to Muslims. Scared by this edict, many Hindu families turned into Muslims. Those who were not willing to turn into Muslims, left their ancestral town Pollachi and passed Koimbatore and via Palakkadu valley, settled in the villages around that region. Among those who settled like this, my father’s ancestors was one.’
Speaking at a ceremony of Sri Lanka’s National Chamber of Commerce held at Hotel Hilton in Colombo, the SL Defence Secretary and presidential sibling, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was cited saying, “The biggest threat the US can pose to Sri Lanka’s military is to take away their defence scholarships”
“We can send our soldiers to China for training,” Gotabhaya added.
“The casualty figure issue is just one factor – which we have highlighted to emphasise our point. Various other factors – such as an examination of the historical background which had laid the basis to the events that led to the military operations in 2009, as well as, whether or not the continuing issues that the Tamil people in the area concerned are facing at the moment are related to this history, needs to be carried out properly to deal with the overall reality.
“Due to the fact that substantial, quantitative and qualitative new evidence has become available, we believe that there are compelling reasons to organize a follow up to the ‘People’s Tribunal on Sri Lanka’ to examine the case of Genocide against the Tamil people.”
This follow up session will be held in Germany.
“The fisheries sector is the third most important contributor to economic growth in Sri Lanka. It is second only to agriculture and tourism. That is the main reason the President wanted to kick off this project. According to the ongoing investment and development projects in the industry in post- terrorism Sri Lanka, the fisheries industry will become the main contributor to the economy within the next few years. I hope to provide a 50 percent contribution to Sri Lanka’s economy at the end of this year by doubling fish exports” Minister Senaratne said.
But many of the province’s political commentators see the flag dispute as a token of something more profound and ultimately more threatening to the hopes for a permanent peace here.
They say the council’s decision on the flag, made possible by the fact that nationalists now hold 24 seats on the council, compared with 21 for the unionists, reflects the rapid growth of the Catholic population in the years since the Good Friday agreement, unsettling the long-held assumption among unionists that Protestants would constitute a permanent majority in the province.
Indeed, the two issues – this assault on the independence of the judiciary and the accusations of war crimes – are interlinked and must be seen as such. The Sri Lankan government’s insistence that Sri Lanka should be left to investigate and remedy its own shortcomings with regard to the latter looks increasingly (if more evidence were required) implausible as one of the last remaining independent institutions – the court – is so openly dismantled.
Subject: Memorandum given by the Jaffna diocesan clergy to the CBCSL The Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Sri Lanka made an official good will visit to the North of Sri Lanka. They limited their visit to the Vanni regions. A meeting was organized with the Jaffna diocesan clergy at Kilinochchi. A memorandum was handed over to the CBCSL… Read more »
These ultimate sacrifices by Tibetans inside Tibet are conscious decisions made with unwavering determinations solely dedicated towards a nation’s independence and for its people’s freedom. The Tibetan Youth Congress will out rightly reject any interpretation that reduces these heroic sacrifices as merely acts of desperations or helplessness.
Parliament observed a moment of silence, in the midst of the Impeachment Debate, as a mark of respect for Rizana. It is high time some action is taken to show the world that Sri Lanka means business in the fight for women’s rights.
USTPAC condemns the Saudi Arabian government for beheading young Sri Lankan maid who was a child when the alleged offence took place, and blames the Sri Lankan government for failure to rise above ethnic considerations to adequately intervene to stop the slaughter. Press Release: United States Tamil Political Action Council – 2 hrs 35 mins ago WASHINGTON,… Read more »
The sixth death anniversary of humorist Art Buchwald (1925-2007) falls on January 17th. And for this occasion, I also release the 4th consecutive list of news-making 16 humans and one evolutionary relative of humans (a toque monkey) who are natives to South Asia region, for 2012. To repeat the three conditions that I have instituted… Read more »
by ‘The Sunday Times,’ Colombo, January 6, 2013 The life and times of the people of Kepapilavu should make for a study in endless suffering. After witnessing the war at its cruellest, experiencing multiple displacements and spending the longest interval of time confined in Menik Farm, one would expect that life can hardly get any… Read more »
Sambol in Jaffna is very important. There are a variety of sambols and I get to indulge in four types at Aliyaa — katta, seeni, pol and karupillay. Katta is similar to our sambal belacan but is prepared using spicy Maldavian fish while seeni is made of sweetened onions. My favourite is pol. Made with coconut, it has the right amount of spiciness and sourness. Karupillay, which is made with curry leaves, is moderately nice albeit a bit bitter.