Monthly Archives: November 2015

Tribute to Dr. Ananthan Satchi

Satchi Memorial Final Dear Tamil Americans, On Friday November 27th we lost one of our founding members, Dr. Ananthan Satchi. Born in 1939 and raised in Malaysia, he received his medical degree from the University of Colombo. He moved to the United States in 1971 and worked as an Anesthesiologist until his retirement. Since forming the… Read more »

Genuine Move or Red Herring?

by JS Tissainayagam , ‘Asian Correspondent,’ London, November 28, 2015 SRI LANKA’S Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera met with civil society organisations (CSOs) on October 29 to discuss public consultations for setting up a transitional justice project to deal with the mass atrocities committed during the country’s civil war. Despite this seemingly democratic practice, questions remain as to… Read more »

UN Expert Group Urges Sri Lanka to Seize the Moment to Fulfil the Rights of the Families of the Disappeared COLOMBO / GENEVA (18 November 2015) – “Sri Lanka has the opportunity to once and for all meet the rights and legitimate expectations of thousands of families of disappeared,” a delegation of the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances said today. “Families have waited too long – the time for action… Read more »

UN Working Group Finds Secret Torture Center in Trincomalee Naval Base

COLOMBO: The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (UNWGEID), which has just concluded its visit to Sri Lanka, had  discovered a “secret underground detention cum torture center” located in the Lankan naval base at Trincomalee in the Eastern Province. Giving details of the “successful discovery” at a press conference here on Wednesday, Ariel… Read more »

From Sachi’s Files – Chapter 5

Front Note by Sachi: I provide this essay of little over 1,600 words by John Colmey which appeared in the In These Times (Chicago) fortnightly, 25 years ago. The individuals quoted in this essay were, Ranjan Wijeratne (then No. 2 honcho in President Premadasa’s cabinet), Gen. Cyril Ranatunge (then, Secretary to the Ministry of Defense),… Read more »

Clarifying Sri Lanka’s Transitional Justice Commitments

With the recent passage of yet another UN Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka — dealing broadly with human rights, accountability and reconciliation — now is an opportune time to clarify and explain how Sri Lanka’s new government has said it will approach transitional justice. The interpretation of the resolution remains a source of… Read more »

What’s the Deal With Sri Lanka’s Tamil Political Prisoners?

Due to October, hunger strikes in prisons across the country (with prisoners demanding amnesty), President Maithripala Sirisena had given assurances that he would take a decision on this matter by November 7. Some have suggested that this meant prisoners would be released, but the next steps had always been somewhat unclear. There were subsequent reports… Read more »

CPA: The Long Search for Sri Lanka’s ‘Disappeared’

by Centre for Policy Alternatives, Colombo, November 13, 2015 13 November, Colombo, Sri Lanka:  A new visual story produced by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) looks into the issue of disappearances in Sri Lanka, featuring some haunting personal narratives from families of the disappeared.   The Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons (the Commission)… Read more »

Colombia: Agreement on Disappearances Moving Forward

The Commission has stepped up to the plate. It created an inter-agency working group to assist in fulfilling its charge. It will review and compare existing data bases on the disappeared; seek ways to improve procedures for finding, identifying and exhuming remains; and coordinate its work with victims’ groups and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). It will also hold four regional forums and one national forum to collect proposals from academics, victims, and human rights organizations that will help inform their recommendations to the negotiators. Such forums have proven invaluable in earlier efforts to engage civil society in developing and sharing their proposals in relation to the particular items of the peace agenda.

Yemen’s Imposed Federal Boundaries

Rather than a rejection of federalism per se, the Houthis’ refusal of the six-region division is as much grounded in the lack of a genuinely inclusive decision-making process as in the specific parameters that undermine their interests. While none of this background serves to justify the Houthis’ recourse to arms, it does highlight the need for a new transition process based on equitable power sharing and sincere ownership across Yemen’s diverse political and geographic landscape as the only way out of the crisis.

Tamil Political Prisoners Resume fast

Tamil political prisoners resumed their fast today in protest over the failure by the Government to keep its promise and release all of them. At least 29 Tamil detainees at the Anuradhapura prison were among those who resumed the fast today. The Government was to release 30 Tamil detainees today and another 32 by next week… Read more »

Sri Lanka Homecoming

“More than others, the Tamils know the trauma of war,” Sri Lanka’s new president, Maithripala Sirisena, told those gathered at a resettlement ceremony in August in Sampur, in the country’s northeast. In 2006 more than 800 ethnic Tamil families here were forced to flee fighting between the secessionist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and government forces…. Read more »

1990 Planned Genocidal Attack on Tamils in the East

Contents Planned genocidal attack in the East Carefully planned strategy Sri Lanka ignored ICJ recommendations Concerns of UK Parliamentary Human Rights Group Tamils driven out from Pottuvil to Thenmaravadi Several reports of large scale killings Refugees in Iruthayapuram Camp compelled to act as “human mine detectors” Attack on the Tamils clearly genocidal in intent “..The… Read more »

Sri Lanka’s Icon of Colonial Rule rises from the Rubble

As an army of labourers churns out limestone bricks, archeologist Prashantha Mandawala reflects on the ambitious task of restoring Sri Lanka’s centuries-old Jaffna fort, destroyed by ethnic war. The project has so far included the dangerous task of clearing unexploded mines and shells from the seafront site and scouring the northern Jaffna peninsula for scarce… Read more »

Tamil Grassroots Organizations Seek Clarity from Sri Lanka on UN Probe

A collective of Tamil organisations representing the war affected in Sri Lanka’s north has expressed doubts about the governments stance on its understanding and approach to the war crimes probe proposed by the United Nations. In a meeting with Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera on 29 October in Colombo, the Tamil Civil Society Forum (TCSF) has… Read more »

How can Sri Lanka Demonstrate its Commitment to Peace?

As Sri Lanka deals with its violent past, incremental moves taken right now could lay the groundwork for the genuine peace. Recently, senior figures in the Obama administration have championed another ‘democratic success story’; this time we’re talking about Sri Lanka. This small, strategically important island nation is recovering from a brutal civil war that… Read more »