Monthly Archives: April 2016

Sri Lankan Protest Demands New Probe of Journalist’s Killing

By Bharatha Mallawarachi | AP in ‘The Washington Post,’ April 29, 2016 COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Hundreds of journalists and media rights activists protested on Friday to demand Sri Lanka’s new government start a fresh investigation into the abduction and killing of a prominent ethnic Tamil journalist 11 years ago, during the country’s civil war.Those demonstrating in front of… Read more »

The Return of the White Van

by Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice, London, April 28, 2016 The Tamil Guardian today reported two “white van abductions”; incidents in which unidentified persons driving a “Dolphin” van snatched individuals off the streets. This follows three similar incidents in recent weeks: former LTTE commander, Kanathippillai Sivamoorthy (also known as Nagulan), was reportedly abducted in Jaffna… Read more »

Amb. Power Remarks

Ambassador Samantha Power U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations U.S. Mission to the United Nations New York City April 28, 2016 AS DELIVERED There were two reasons that I flew down from New York at the crack of dawn this morning to join you. The first is that I fell in love with Sri… Read more »

PEARL: Release Sivakaran and Other Tamils Held under the PTA

Sri Lanka must immediately release Sivakaran and Other Tamils held under the PTA  by People of Equality and Relief in Lanka, USA, Posted on April 27, 2016 Recent spate of arrests and abductions raise further doubt about Sri Lanka’s reform efforts (Washington, DC; April 27, 2016) PEARL is deeply concerned by Sri Lanka’s latest arrest… Read more »

Poetry after Libricide and Genocide

by Cheran Rudramoorthy, ‘Indialogs,’ Barcelona, Spain, January 2016 Cheran Poetry after Libricide & Genocide Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings – Heinrich Heine Healing the Forest To heal a still smoldering land, we went; no bird in sight. An empty sky above the sparrow-flying earth. An ash-covered landless… Read more »

MGR Remembered – Part 35

by Sachi Sri Kantha, April 26, 2016 Part 34 For reasons known only to him, MGR had never described in his autobiography, written between 1970 and 1972, what happened at his Ramawaram Gardens residence on January 12, 1967. It turned out to be one of the most eventful days of his life. Many political commentators… Read more »

An Ode to My Village

by N. Ethirveerasingam, August 15, 2000…originally posted in TamilNation at  Originally written in 1969 for a class at Cornell University. From the mango tree I can see the people going to the St Anthony’s church. In an hour or two I have to be ready with enough mangos to sell for that day. We have… Read more »

Buddhist Heritage of Tamil Nadu and its Links with Lanka

By Dr. Nirmala Chandrahasan, ‘The Island,’ Colombo, Novermber 12, 2013 The cultural affinities between Tamil Nadu our closest neighbour and Sri Lanka are many but little is known of the religious ties which bound the two countries between the early years of the Christian era and the 14th century AD, during which time Buddhism was… Read more »

China, India Tussle for Influence as Sri Lanka Seeks Investment

by Gauri Bhatia, CNBC, New York, April 25, 2016 Situated almost in the middle of the Indian Ocean, there is no escaping Sri Lanka’s centrality. The country lies just a few nautical miles away from the super-busy east-west shipping route, through which an estimated 60,000 ships pass every year, carrying two-thirds of the world’s oil… Read more »

The Inconvenient Truth about Sri Lanka’s North and East

by Taylor Dibbert, ‘Huffington Post,’ Los Angeles, April 25, 2016 People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL) has recently published a timely report. The document is based upon field research that was conducted in January 2016 and will be of interest to anyone trying to make sense of the new government’s performance since Maithripala… Read more »

Questions of Haste, Urgency and Consultations in Transitional Justice

by Niran Anketell, ‘Groundviews,’ Colombo, April 20, 2016 On a recent visit to the United States, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera made a revealing series of comments in response to a question at a forum organized by the United States Institute of Peace. When asked about the government’s timeline to introduce what the government calls “reconciliation… Read more »

Conference: The Politics of Life & Death

at Columbia University, New York, Center for Palestine Studies, April 21, 2016 ABSTRACT by Rudhramoorthy Cheran, University of Windsor; Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology Title: No Closure for Tamils: Bearing Witness and Writing Apocalypse Abstract: In his work, “I was not there”, Raul Hilberg (1988), writes about the dilemma facing… Read more »

New Report Raises Concern Sri Lanka’s Window for Reconciliation is Closing

(Washington, DC; April 20, 2016) A new report by People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL) provides details of ongoing militarization and harassment amongst the Tamil population of the North-East of Sri Lanka, over one year after the change in presidency and seven months after the election of the United National Party-led national government…. Read more »

Repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA)

by Asian Commission for Human Rights, Hong Kong, date unknown There is no longer any reason for the Prevention of Terrorism Act in Sri Lanka; on the contrary, there are many compelling reasons as to why it should immediately be repealed. It was the existence of the LTTE and its ruthless violence that the government… Read more »

The Tiger Lawyer

by Sarah Stodder, ‘Souciant,’ April 12, 2016 When I step out of the rain and into the restaurant, Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran is already waiting for me. Though I’m seven minutes early, I arrive to find the exiled Sri Lankan lawyer, known to his compatriots as Rudra, sitting at a corner table and peacefully watching the deluge outside…. Read more »

Will Sri Lanka Follow The Example Of Nepal?

by Veluppillai Thangavelu, ‘Colombo Telegraph,’ April 18, 2016 Veluppillai Thangavelu The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has consistently called for power sharing arrangements in a merged Northern and Eastern Provinces based on a Federal structure in a manner acceptable to the Tamil Speaking Muslim people. In all the elections held since May, 2009 voters have given a clear  mandate… Read more »

Syria: War Crimes and the Pursuit of Justice

AS DELIVERED                                                                April 14, 2016   Remarks by Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, at an Informal Meeting on “Syria: War Crimes and the Pursuit of Justice,” April 14, 2016 Thank you all for your powerful presentations. Thank you, Ambassador al-Thani, for organizing this event and thanks to all of the… Read more »

Capturing the Secret Documents

In hundreds of witness interviews, the CIJA found consistent patterns in interrogation practices across all branches of the security agencies. People were detained following the Crisis Cell’s policy. Besides identifying “new targets,” the results of these interrogations were shared among the agencies. Detainees were routinely kept in inhumane conditions for months or years without entering the judicial system…

Hamada’s account of atrocities at Hospital 601 was later corroborated by approximately fifty-five thousand photographs, smuggled out of Syria by a military-police officer known by the name Caesar, an alias. Before the war, Caesar and his colleagues had documented crime scenes and traffic accidents involving military personnel in Damascus. He uploaded pictures to government computers, then printed them and stapled them to official death reports. Beginning in 2011, however, the bodies were those of detainees, collected each day from security branches and delivered to military hospitals…

Between Caesar’s photographs and the CIJA’s case, Stephen Rapp told me, “when the day of justice arrives, we’ll have much better evidence than we’ve had anywhere since Nuremberg.”…

Last year, when Assad was asked about the Caesar photographs during an interview with Foreign Affairs, he said, “Who said this is done by the government, not by the rebels? Who said this is a Syrian victim, not someone else?”

US Report on Human Rights Practices 2015 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Sri Lanka is a constitutional, multiparty republic with a freely elected government. Rejecting the re-election bid of Mahinda Rajapaksa, in January voters elected President Maithripala Sirisena to a five-year term. Parliament, elected in August, shares constitutional power with the president. The EU Election Observation Mission characterized the August parliamentary elections as the… Read more »

‘Hundred Hindu Temples of Sri Lanka’

by Sachi Sri Kantha, April 4, 2016 Book Review: Hundred Hindu Temples of Sri Lanka – Ancient, Medieval and Modern, by Sanmugam Arumugam (edited by Thirumugam Arumugam), Ohm Books, UK, 2014, 238 pages. ISBN 978-0-9575023-4-5. This book is a combined edition of two books, published previously in 1980 and 1991 by civil engineer and Hindu… Read more »