Posts Categorized: Human Rights

Addressing “Blocked Grief” in Jaffna

Six years after the end of the war the population in the North of Sri Lanka remains passive, ensnared in wartime mentality because they haven’t been able to express and deal with their sorrow and trauma. Professors from Jaffna University talk of a young generation incapable of envisioning a better future. While they demonstrated courage… Read more »

TAPI: Reports Document Missing Persons, Military Occupation, Land Grabs

Oakland Institute Details Sri Lanka’s Human Rights ViolationsReports Document Missing Persons, Military Occupation, Land Grabs WASHINGTON, DC (May 28, 2015) – The Oakland Institute, an independent policy think tank, today released two reports that call on the international community to play a larger role in Sri Lanka to ensure that “the culture of impunity is… Read more »

Systematic Colonization of the Northern and Eastern Provinces

by Veluppillai, Thangavelu,, December 13, 2012 Even before Sri Lanka (then Ceylon ) gained independence from British,  the Sinhalese dominated Sri Lankan government had a long-term plan to sponsor state aided colonisation to settle Sinhalese people from the south in  regions traditionally considered to be the homeland in the northern or eastern parts of… Read more »

UN: Sexual Violence a ‘Tactic of War’

The report, by the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, on ‘Conflict-related sexual violence’, urged the UN Security Council to take action to prevent and ensure accountability for sexual violence in conflict. It examined ongoing concerns of sexual violence since 2014 in 19 countries, including Sri Lanka.
“One of the major unaddressed issues is impunity for conflict-related sexual violence,” the report said on Sri Lanka.
It further noted:
“There are indications that abduction, arbitrary detention, torture, rape and other forms of sexual violence have increased in the post-war period. Notably, Tamil women and girls have reported sexual abuse in the context of the ongoing militarization of their areas of residence.”
“Allegations of sexual violence by the Sri Lankan security forces against members of the Tamil community in the closing months of the war and in the post-conflict period have been extensively documented, but rarely addressed.”
“Testimony of women released from detention in 2014 indicates that acts of sexual torture were accompanied by racial insults and specifically directed against individuals perceived as having been linked to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.”
In his recommendations, Mr Moon said:
“I call upon the newly elected Government of Sri Lanka to investigate allegations of sexual violence, including against national armed and security forces, and to provide multi-sectoral services for survivors, including reparations and economic empowerment programmes for women at risk, including war widows and female heads of household.”

Accountability, Reconciliation and Sinhala Buddhism

If instead it continues on its current course of pledging accountability, political reform and an inclusive multi-ethnic order to international audiences whilst pandering to the Sinhala Buddhist majoritarianism of domestic ones, this current set of pledges will simply be washed away by the next tide of Sinhala nationalist mobilisation as have all previous ones.

US Statement at 2014 Panel on Role of Prevention

by Sarah Pierson, US Mission to the UNHRC, Geneva, September 18, 2014 US Intervention at UNHRC side event panel Sept. 18 2014 A most troubling aspect of recent atrocities is the concern that they could have been prevented if the international community had acted earlier and more appropriately. Tens of thousands of lives could have been… Read more »

Why No Gazette Notification on Release of Lands?

by TamilNet, Wednesday, 06 May 2015, 23:18 GMT It’s not merely enough to allow the people to resettle in the lands that were seized from them by the previous regime, which applied the proviso to 38(A) of the Land Acquisition Act (LAA) under the guise of ‘public use’ in permanently converting the lands for the… Read more »

Start of a US-Sri Lanka ‘Reset’?

By Taylor Dibbert, ‘The Diplomat,’ May 04, 2015 U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry recently visited Sri Lanka. He was accompanied by Nisha Biswal, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs. Kerry and company were welcomed with open arms by the Sirisena administration and this high-level visit is the latest (and most prominent)… Read more »

Minority Rights in Sri Lanka: Progress or Blind Spot?

sri_lanka_report_100days Minority Rights in Sri Lanka Progress or Blind Spot Many problems exist “regarding human rights of the minorities,” in Sri Lanka, concluded the Society for Threatened peoples (STP.) A report on the new regime’s 100 day reform plan, released on Thursday, noted several issues including those of intimidation of Tamil journalists, inadequate resettlement, excessive… Read more »

Tamil Families Want to Know Where Their Loved Ones Are by Shashank Bengali, ‘Los Angeles Times,’ May 3, 2015  Kuhendran Manoranjithamalar and her husband trudged into the army checkpoint on the last day of the Sri Lankan civil war, clutching their three children and some jewelry. They had lost everything else. Then, as they sought refuge in government territory, they lost each other. Soldiers… Read more »

CPA: The Need for Reparations

CPA The-Need-for-a-Comprehensive-Reparations-Policy-and-Package Discussion Paper: The Need for a Comprehensive Reparations Policy and Package 27 April 2015, Colombo, Sri Lanka: For any post war society grappling with the consequences of past violence and engaged in exploring modalities for transitional justice, reparations is an important tool. Reparations, if designed and implemented in an inclusive manner that factors in… Read more »

Armenian Groups Are Increasingly Focused on Reparations for Genocide

Behind the Turkish government’s denials of the century-old Armenian genocide lurks the possibility that survivors and their descendants could be deemed legally entitled someday to financial reparations, perhaps worth tens of billions of dollars or more. The Turkish authorities take the position that there is nothing that needs to be repaid. Moreover, no judicial mechanism… Read more »

For Whose Desire that Chemmani Mass Grave Case was Closed

The Ghosts of Chemmani Investigations revealed that 18-year-old Krishanthi Coomeraswamy, a student of Chundikuly Girls’ High School, was abducted at the Kaithadi military checkpoint on 07 September 1996, gangraped and murdered. The suspects in this crime were several officers and a soldier of the Army. However, the entire blame was placed on the shoulders of… Read more »

Sri Lankan President Assures Completion of Country’s Largest Irrigation Project on Schedule

[T]he President said it is a fulfillment of an expectation of the people in North-Central Province. He assured that when the project is successfully completed the water required for the farmers in North-Central Province for their farming activities will be provided from the Moragahakanda irrigation system. Recalling that he laid the foundation for the project in 2007 as the Minister of Mahaweli Development, he said funds for the project were not given for a period of five and half years.

He also held discussion with the project engineers, officials and all other resource personnel at the site. The Chinese Ambassador also joined the occasion.

The largest reservoir project under the Mahaweli River Development Program was launched to provide a domestic and industrial water supply to Anuradhapura, Trincomalee, and Polonnaruwa and Matale districts for the development of agriculture in the north, east, and northwestern provinces.

UNSG’s Report on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence

UNSG’s_Report_on_Conflict-related_Sexual_Violence The report, by the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, on ‘Conflicted related sexual violence’, urged the UN Security Council to take action to prevent and ensure accountability for sexual violence in conflict. It examined ongoing concerns of sexual violence since 2014 in 19 countries, including Sri Lanka. “One of the major unaddressed issues… Read more »

Observations by the Special Rapporteur by UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva/Colombo, 11 April 2015 I would like to thank the Government of Sri Lanka for the invitation extended to undertake a visit to the country from 30 March to 3 April 2015. In the course of the visit, I was able to meet with… Read more »

Relatives of “Disappeared” Tamils Protest

by S. Jayantha,, April 13, 2015 Several dozen relatives of Tamils who were arrested or abducted during the communal war conducted by successive governments in the country’s north and east joined a picket in Colombo last Tuesday. Most of the protesters were mothers and wives. Many travelled overnight from the northern Mannar district. Holding… Read more »

The End of the Rainbow Nation Myth

If you ask South Africans of my generation to name the most important political event of their lives, many will cite the assassination of Chris Hani. Mr. Hani was revered for his bravery in fighting against the apartheid government and for his internal dissent within the liberation movement. In 1990, after Nelson Mandela was released… Read more »