Monthly Archives: December 2013

Message from 55 Tamil Organizations

With our diverse backgrounds we are united in working for our people who have been oppressed by the successive Sri Lankan regimes since “independence” in 1948, and pledge to work against the continuing oppression of the Tamil Nation…and fully commit ourselves to mobilize the International Community to establish an independent international investigation by the United Nations to investigate war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide against the Tamils.

Who are Sri Lanka’s Disappeared?

Sri Lanka’s civil war is officially over, but people are still being “disappeared” – vanishing without a trace, often, allegedly, in the state’s unmarked white vans. Video at After Iraq, Sri Lanka has the highest number of enforced disappearances in the world, the United Nations has said. The latest report from the UN’s working group on enforced… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 13

by Sachi Sri Kantha, December 22, 2013 Part 12 Thoughts of Three Readers I provide the thoughts of three readers of this series, and my responses to them. In an email that I received on Nov.8, a reader Manickam Miller from Chennai wrote the following: “Your details and non-traditional perception of things interested me. I… Read more »

An Open Letter to DBS Jeyaraj

Re your article ‘Tussle in North between Governor and Chief Minister’ In your 10 page essay you have given copious criticisms of the elected Tamil Justice Wigneswaran, but none for the ex military Singhalese  governor. Don’t you think Chandrasri and Rajapakse also  need your  wisdom?  You seem to presume that Chandrsri and  Rajapakse are infallible and can do no wrong,… Read more »

2006 Report by SLHRC Special Rapporteur on Conflict-Related HR Violations

Sri Lanka HRC 2006 report A report written by Sri Lanka’s Human Rights Commission’s Special Rapporteur on Conflict-Related Human Rights Violations that was never publicly released.  The report covers 1.) Abduction of TRO staff 2.) Killing of 5 students at Trincomalee 3.) Rape and murder of Elayathamby Tharsini 4.) Killing of Kattankudy Divisional Secretary 5.)… Read more »

Towards Reconciliation and Rebuilding of our Nation

Catholic Bishops Conference Sri Lanka Pastoral-Letter Dec 2013 Sri Lanka is at the cross roads of a possible new beginning after a disastrous 30 year conflict which did bring much suffering and pain to all our people of every race and religion, the effects of which are sƟll being felt and causes the emergence of… Read more »

Tamil Tragedy

by Bhekuzulu Khumalo, ‘Washington Times’ Communities blog, December 12, 2013 WASHINGTON, December 12, 2013 — Congress recently created the Congressional Caucus on Ethnic and Religious Freedom in Sri Lanka. The Caucus was initiated by efforts of Congressmen Bill Johnson (R-OH) and Danny Davis (D-IL). The objective of the Caucus is to bring the attention of the… Read more »

Indictment of Sri Lanka War Criminals and Violations of Human Rights

Incriminating evidence of serious war crimes and violations of human rights against Tamils minority by the Sri Lankan (read Singhalese) government and individuals is inexorably piling up.  Gothabaya Rajapakse, unelected Defense Secretary and brother of President Rajapakse is the number one war criminal to be prosecuted. His brothers President Mahinda Rajapakse, Basil Rajapakse, Chamal Rajapakse,… Read more »

“Constructing a Development Based Strategy for Durable Solutions

Key issues to address include protection of the physical integrity and bodily autonomy of women and girls and their reproductive rights, of children, feasible access to land, and a proportionate balance between justifiable military concerns of national security and freedom of movement and choice of place for IDPs seeking to return to their original places of residence. Transparent information on plans to release land currently under military control and withdrawal of the military from all civilian functions would help to find durable solutions for people in conflict-affected areas. While significant numbers of IDPs secured their residential plots of land, some still need access to their original farmland or fishing areas to sustain their livelihood. Displaced and resettled communities seem to remain vulnerable to recurrent shocks. Their situation is exacerbated by growing food-insecurity and indebtedness in the Northern Province, partly due to the lack of sustainable livelihood opportunities. “The situation of single female headed households and of orphan girls is particularly preoccupying. While some received assistance to rebuild their houses, others live in extreme poverty, without adequate access to services and livelihood,” added Mr Beyani.

“Another critical element is creating conditions for IDPs and returnees to get back to normalcy after 30 years of conflict. Peace- building alongside post conflict reconstruction, national reconciliation and healing, making available information on missing relatives, empowering local elected authorities, and ensuring that law enforcement activities are carried out by specially trained police services, are particularly vital to anchoring durable solutions in the long term,” said Mr. Beyani. “Similarly, civil society should be allowed to operate in accordance with international norms, namely without undue restrictions and interference from the authorities including in terms of monitoring and reporting.

Sampanthan Speech on Land Issues

I am happy to follow the Minister, the Hon. Janaka Bandara Tennakoon, who, I think, in the course of his statement referred to the multifarious problems that exist in the North and the East pertaining to State land. I will be dealing with some of these issues in the course of my speech. Lands, Sir,… Read more »

CPA: Land Acquisition in NE

CPA Land Acquisition North and East Nov 2013 [PDF] The Centre for Policy Brief (CPA) in its most recent policy brief titled ‘Politics, Policies and Practices with Land Acquisitions and Related Issues in the North and East of Sri Lanka’ issued today draws attention to several disturbing trends of land acquisition and related issues in the… Read more »

Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal’s 2nd Session on Sri Lanka

The Peoples’ Tribunal on Sri Lanka ‐ Session II 7th ‐ 10th December 2013 Bremen, Germany Panel of Judges presents verdict finding Sri Lanka guilty of the crime of genocide against the Eelam Tamil people; the UK and USA were found to be guilty of complicity, while the Judges withheld their decision on India’s complicity… Read more »

British Commonwealth and the Sovereignty Claim of the Tamil Nation

In 1796, according to the Armenian Treaty, the British East India Company became the ruler of the Maritime Provinces of Ceylon which were ruled by the Dutch who ruled the Tamil and Sinhala territories separately. At the time of this change, there were two independent native kingdoms namely Vanni and Kandy which existed in the island of Ceylon. British administration considered that these native kingdoms, which were ruled, respectively by Panadra Vanniyan and Kirthi Sri Rajasinghe were obstacles for the expansion of their rule to the rest of the territory. These original kingdoms and their rulers were conquered in 1804 and 1815 respectively.

President Obama’s Eulogy to Nelson Mandela

by Sachi Sri Kantha, December 11, 2013 Mandela- Partisan and Peacemaker, Negotiation Journal (July 2003) President Barack Obama delivered a eulogy on December 10th to Nelson Mandela’s memorial service held at the First National Bank Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa. I composed this short commentary, based on the material provided by the Office of the Press… Read more »

India Won’t Rest till Implementation of 13th Amendment P Chidambaram

“None can deny that there was genocide. We will continue to exert pressure on the Sri Lankan government for an elaborate probe. I call upon the people of India, including Tamils here to support the government’s efforts to protect the 13th amendment, while Lankan government is trying to not implement it,” he said.

Book Review: The Moon in the Water

by Ameena Hussein So there is this hangup of mine. I don’t like reading books that everyone is raving about at the time it comes out. So despite many people telling me I must read this book, I took my time and I am glad I did or else I might feel I was influenced… Read more »

Book Review: KM De Silva

In examining the seeds of separatism in this part, Prof de Silva builds a well-argued case against Tamil’s three basic grievances — university admissions policy, language policy and state sector employment — to conclude they are based on false premises. But the analysis of ‘false premises’ misses the history’s glaring footnote — the kernel of truth in the Tamil argument — that enabled Tamil insurgency to hold out against Sri Lanka’s might for over 25 years. The growth of LTTE was the logical consequence of Sinhala polity’s failure to convince the Tamils of the rationale of its actions. Though his analysis is from a Sinhala rather than Sri Lankan perspective, it gives the majority Sinhala’s reasoning that influenced the country’s political responses to the ethnic question.

Book Review: Malaravan

by Charles Ponnuthurai Sarvan, South Asia Analysis Group, Delhi, September 3, 2013 Though some diaries are written with publication in mind, the tendency is to think of them as being private. Ben Bavinck wrote his Sri Lanka diary in Dutch: see, Sarvan, online edition of the Sunday Leader, Colombo, 6 November 2011. It is a dialogue… Read more »

Tribute to Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)

by Sachi Sri Kantha, December 5, 2013 [Thirukkurall Tribute to Nelson Mandela – Anjamai Allal Thirukurall Tribute – Katka Kasadara (some English translation)] Just now, I added my brief thoughts to the ‘Readers Comments’ section of New York Times news feature on the death Nelson Mandela. It reads as follows: “Crocodile tears will be shed… Read more »