Monthly Archives: July 2014

Sri Lanka’s NGO Clampdown

The shrinking space for NGOs can be viewed as a microcosm of broader trends on the island. Peoples’ freedom of movement and freedom of association are consistently curtailed, especially in the north. A restrictive media environment illustrates the fact that the freedom of expression is limited. The government’s unwillingness to promote human rights, reconciliation, or accountability has made a complex post-war environment even more unsustainable. And continued (and unnecessary) militarization has only made things worse. The regime’s recent crackdown on NGOs is another example of the government’s relentless effort to further centralize power and stifle dissent.

7 Ideas for Pro-Eelam Groups to Ponder On

  Round 1 has gone to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the fight for justice for Eelam Tamils, as fresh battle lines were drawn after Narendra Modi came to power in India. Pro-Eelam groups have not been able to convince New Delhi to give up its pro-Colombo policy and look with favor on the… Read more »

Britain’s Dirty War Against the Tamil People 1979-2009

Britain’s_Dirty_War by Phil Miller This document, published by the International Human Rights Association Bremen, is an updated version of the evidence Phil gave to the Peoples’ Tribunal on Sri Lanka… 1. Introduction When Prime Minister David Cameron travelled to Sri Lanka in November 2013, his visit to the northern city of Jaffna was widely seen as British… Read more »

Give Me Permission, Our Country

‘Vidai Kodu Naade’ by Jessica on the Super Singer Junior TV program in Chennai from the film 2002 “Kannathil Muthamittal” with music written by A.R. Rahman This is a song sung by an Eelam Tamil teenager Jessica living with her parents in Tamil Nadu for her grandmother, who is currently living in Canada. Jessica’s song… Read more »

Rebutting the Baloney of Subramanian Swamy

“Last year, even the prestigious New York Times in its editorial entitled, ‘Preventing Genocide in Liberia (Sept.13, 1990) referred to the current situation in Sri Lanka as follows, without naming the culprits: ‘From Sri Lanka to the Balkans, political opportunists have exploited ethnic rivalries in the quest for short-term advantage. Too often, their efforts have drowned their countries in blood.’ ”

Re-check the date of this particular New York Times editorial. It was before Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination. Who were the political opportunists, who have exploited ethnic rivalries in the quest for short-term advantage? In Sri Lanka, the tradition was started by SLFP’s founder S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike. And how about, Rajiv Gandhi in 1987? He was also a political opportunist exploiting Sinhalese-Tamil ethnic rivalry for short-term electoral advantage.

Proxy War Can Have Dangerous Consequences

In fact, notwithstanding states’ incredible material and power advantage relative to their proxy allies, states have often found themselves unable to control their proxies or drawn into unwanted conflict escalation. Rajiv Gandhi’s administration in India had to intervene in the civil war in Sri Lanka to forcibly suppress its proxy, the Tamil Tigers, because the latter had become too powerful and refused to accept Indian attempts to achieve a negotiated settlement to the conflict.

Civilians as Human Shields? Gaza War Revives Debate

GAZA CITY — Militant rockets can be seen launching from crowded neighborhoods, near apartment buildings, schools and hotels. Hamas fighters have set traps for Israeli soldiers in civilian homes and stored weapons in mosques and schools. Tunnels have been dug beneath private property. With international condemnation rising over the death toll in Gaza exceeding 650… Read more »

Sri Lanka: Was It a Genocide

“The credible allegations support the finding of the crime against humanity in so far as the conditions imposed on civilians in the final months in the NFZ’s (No Fire Zones) were calculated to bring about the destruction of a significant part of the civilian population.”…

Whether the victims can expect any “remedial justice” might be speculative at this stage but it is clear from the facts given to us by the U.N. and relevant international laws that the government of Sri Lanka can be found guilty of genocide and war crimes.

Black July After 31 Years

by Velupillai Thangavelu, ‘Colombo Telegraph,’ July 19, 2014 Thirty one (31) years ago on July 24, 1983 Sinhalese mobs executed an orgy of violence that surpassed all other previous pogroms executed in 1956, 1958, 1977, 1979 and 1981. The events of July 1983 are poignant for the entire Thamil population around the world. Between July 24 and 29, Thamils… Read more »

Northern Education System Review Report 2014

NPEduReviewReportEng 2014 NPEduReviewReporttamil Provincial Dept. of Education – Northern Province Executive Summary The Northern Education System Review (NESR) was conceived by the newly elected Hon. Minister of Education, Cultural Affairs, Sports and Youth Affairs Mr. Thambirajah Gurukularajah soon after the election of the first Provincial Government of the North. He invited all the senior members… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 19

by Sachi Sri Kantha, July 17, 2014 Part 18 One merit in writing to the electronic medium is the availability of immediate opportunity to amend and revise previous errors. In Part 17, when I reviewed MGR’s two autobiography volumes, I had stated that Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi (a pal turned political foe) had published 4 volumes… Read more »

Sri Lanka’s Downward Spiral

The government continues to use international pressure to rally its Sinhalese base (Sinhalese people are the overwhelming ethnic majority in Sri Lanka), and the recent rise in repression in the country’s Northern Province, coupled with baseless claims that the LTTE is regrouping within Sri Lanka, are designed to serve those ends.

Sri Lanka Moves to Silence NGOs, Press Groups

The Sri Lankan government has taken yet another step to silence critical media coverage, banning non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from holding press conferences and issuing press releases, as well as running workshops or training sessions. The action, announced Sunday by Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Defense, left the country’s many press groups wondering whether they are even… Read more »

Written Evidence to FASC

  Written evidence from Global Tamil Forum (GTF) (HRS0020)   Introduction Global Tamil Forum (GTF) was established in 2009 by a number of grass-roots Tamil groups, following the end of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka. It is the largest Tamil diaspora organisation with members drawn from across five continents. GTF is committed to non-violence and… Read more »

UN’s Chase of Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka’s Search for an Escape Route

On March 27th, the Human Rights Council passed a US-UK originated resolution against Sri Lanka: Various opinions and concerns have been expressed by organizations and countries like US, UK, India, China, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, including Tamil groups and members. The contents of the resolution including the powers of the Human Rights Council and the… Read more »