Posts Categorized: Human Rights

Is Assad’s Use of Torture Paying Off?

This is a guest post by Lionel Beehner, who is a PhD Candidate at Yale University and was formerly a senior writer at the Council on Foreign Relations. He also regularly blogs at the excellent Political Violence at a Glance. A new trove of photographs provides evidence of alleged torture of some 11,000 people in Syrian prison cells. Other… Read more »

U.S. Envoy to Visit Sri Lanka as Pressure Builds for War Crimes Inquiry

“There is no way he can allow an investigation because an international probe that asks chain-of-command type of questions will lead directly to the Rajapaksas themselves,” Mr. Saravanamuttu said in an interview. “Literally and figuratively, President Rajapaksa must live and die in power.”

Whether the country’s restive north will remain peaceful without further reconciliation efforts is a crucial question. The army continues to occupy thousands of homes and administer its own farms, factories and resorts on appropriated land, for which the government has paid little or no compensation.

Text of NPC Resolution

Deliberation of the Northern Provincial Council – https://soundcloud.com/tamilnet/tamil-deliberations-in-npc-on *** The following resolution was proposed by the Council Member Hon Mahalingam Kanagalingam Shivajilingam and adopted by the Northern Provincial Council on January 27, 2014:   1.      We bring to the notice of the International Community that the Tamil Nation has been, and continued to be subjected to ethnic cleansing… Read more »

Tamil Leaders Vow to Prove ‘Genocide’ in Civil War

JAFFNA, Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka’s ethnic Tamil-run provincial administration said Monday it wants to prove that the central government carried out an operation “akin to genocide” to win a long civil war against Tamil rebels. The Northern Provincial Council wants to conduct its own internationally supervised count of the dead and missing civilians to… Read more »

Verdict of Permanent People’s Tribunal

PPT judgement upholds Eelam Tamil identity and nomenclature The full report of the judgement of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal on Sri Lanka (Bremen Session), released on Wednesday, came out with a discussion on the choice of nomenclature to identify the victims of genocide and has decided on the use of the term “Eelam Tamils as… Read more »

HRW Annual Report: Sri Lanka

“The Sri Lankan government makes a lot of claims about pursuing accountability for wartime abuses, but the world is still waiting to see some results,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “It’s clearer than ever that an independent international investigation is needed to make genuine progress in providing justice for victims.”

Does Diplomacy Stand a Chance in Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka’s civil war ended in 2009, but the cessation of war has not resulted in the peace that many had hoped for. Notwithstanding some notable progress when it comes to reconstruction and development, authoritarianism, ethnic tension, and majoritarian triumphalism are on the rise. These trends will come under increased scrutiny at the 25th session… Read more »

The Sentinel Project for Genocide Prevention’s Report

Almost five years later, the risk of mass atrocities in Sri Lanka remains high. This report addresses some of the underlying sources of the risk of mass atrocities that represent a threat to human security in Sri Lanka.

Enforced Disappearances in Sri Lanka: 2006-2013

2 Comments This is a summary of a longer report. Please download it as a PDF here or read it online here. All photos taken and provided by the author.Introduction According to Article 7, paragraph 2(i) of the Rome Statute[1], an Enforced disappearance is defined as “…the arrest, detention or abduction of persons by, or with the authorization, support… Read more »

Fury in Sri Lanka at U.S. Embassy Tweet on Killing of Tamils

The Sri Lankan Ministry of Defense expressed shock and anger on Friday atwhat it called a “baseless allegation” against the nation’s military in a photo caption posted on the official Twitter feed of the United States Embassy the day before. The photograph showed the American ambassador to Sri Lanka, Michele J. Sison, and Stephen J. Rapp, the United… Read more »

Colonization Schemes

by Hon.R.Sampanthan-MP, TNAPolitics.org, December 15, 2013 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… Read more »

A List of Commissions and Committees Appointed by GoSL (2006- 2013)

by Centre for Policy Alternatives, Colombo 9 January 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka: The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) has produced a table that contains basic information pertaining to Commissions of Inquiry (CoI) and committees appointed by the Government since coming into power in November 2005. Section I of the table examines the CoI and Section… Read more »

26 Victims Exhumed in Mannar

by TamilNet, January 6, 2013 Some of the victims slain in the mass grave at Thirukkeathessvaram in Mannaar have been shot after being ordered to stand up straight inside the bunkers, according to those who witnessed the excavation of the mass grave in Mannaar. Of the four more skeletons recovered on Friday, one skull was found… Read more »

Tamil Council to Count Sri Lanka War Casualties

COLOMBO, December 26, 2013 (AFP) – The provincial government in Sri Lanka’s main Tamil region said Thursday it would compile its own death toll from the country’s ethnic war, saying an ongoing census would play down the number of casualties. Tamil officials said the census ordered by President Mahinda Rajapakse last month would give a… Read more »

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 http://bcove.me/lfeljkyh 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 »

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 »

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 »