Posts Categorized: Human Rights

The Forever War?

by International Crisis Group, Brussels, March 25, 2014 The heavy militarisation of Sri Lanka’s northern province after the civil war’s bloody end in 2009 has been the subject of growing domestic andinternational concern. The large numbers of military personnel in the north, and the deep involvement of the military in the province’s governance, endanger the re-establishment of… Read more »

Spreadsheets and Global Mayhem

Using machine-learning tools to draw inferences about the effects of each piece of information they analyzed, the researchers compiled a list of 15 countries facing the highest risk of genocide between 2011 and 2015. Central African Republic, which had been on no one’s radar at the time, came out at the top, followed by the Democratic Republic of Congo and Chad. Also on the list were some obvious contenders with continuing strife: Somalia, Afghanistan and Syria. They didn’t get everything right: Sri Lanka was on the list, but has witnessed no outbreaks of mass violence since 2011 — not yet, anyway.

An Unfinished War

The report’s authors say its evidence must urgently be referred to an International Criminal Court or an international tribunal. They call on the United Nations Secretary General to establish an international inquiry to investigate and prosecute violations by Sri Lankan security force members.

Sen. Menendez Letter to HCHR

Menendez Letter to UNHR High Commissioner for HR Pillay Re Sri Lanka R… FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 19, 2014 Contact: adam_sharon /A_T/ foreign.senate /D_O_T/ gov (Menendez) Chairman Menendez Expresses Support for an International Investigation into Sri Lankan War Crime Allegations WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Menendez wrote UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay to express… Read more »

Healing the Wounds of a Bitter War

It will be highly difficult for Sri Lanka to establish long-term peace without fixing accountability for the war crimes During the week of March 24, the U.N. Human Rights Council countries will be asked to show where they stand on a resolution on Sri Lanka. That resolution seeks to support the U.N. High Commissioner for… Read more »

U.N. Council Steps In Where Sri Lanka Has Failed to Act

There was a time, not so long ago, when Sri Lanka was known for the quality of its democracy. In 1975, when I was a Foreign Service officer at the U.S. Embassy there, the country was in economic straits but proud of its international reputation for an independent political culture, a feisty press, and a… Read more »

CPA: Statement on Arbitrary Detention of Human Rights Defenders

CPA has repeatedly called on the Government to repeal, if not amend the PTA so as to bring its provisions in line with Sri Lanka’s own constitutional standards of fundamental rights as well as its international obligations, especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The PTA gives wide discretionary powers to law enforcement authorities on matters relating to detention and admission of confessions, providing little or no safeguards against abuses of power. It also provides for vague and loosely defined offences with heavy penalties that are inconsistent with general principles of criminal liability. The Act was initially conceived as a temporary measure to respond to extraordinary security challenges faced by the State in 1979. However, the draconian provisions of the Act have been regularised over time and have often been used to punish perceived opponents of the Government in power. Furthermore, the PTA’s continued existence in post-war Sri Lanka runs contrary to the narrative of peace and stability the Government projects both within and outside Sri Lanka.

HRW Dispatches: Silencing Sri Lanka’s Rights Advocates

Unlike many activists who are ground down by the challenges of taking on a powerful state, Ruki Fernando has never lost the ability to laugh out loud at the sheer absurdity of the Sri Lankan government’s graceless efforts to dodge accountability for abuses.  That includes its public campaign to deny any responsibility for war crimes… Read more »

3 Activists Held in Sri Lanka, Raising Fears of Crackdown

NEW DELHI — Fears of a broad crackdown against rights activists in Sri Lanka have been heightened after the Sri Lankan police recently arrested two prominent human rights advocates and a woman who has made a public campaign of finding her missing son. The arrests took place just as the United Nations Human Rights Council… Read more »

MP Shivajilingam Statement

Shivajilingam_GenevaStatement_10March2014 SriLanka_NPC_Resolution_Jan2014_English Statement from Hon M.K.Shivajilingam, Member of Northern Provincial Council, Sri Lanka Presented to the UN Diplomats in Geneva, Switzerland on March 10, 2014 Your Excellencies, Honorable Members of the UN Human Rights Council, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am an elected Member of Northern Provincial Council in Sri Lanka, and I stand here today… Read more »

Accountability in Focus

Dr. Singh… once again brought up the most critical issue that affects the Tamils of Sri Lanka’s Northern Province: the Army’s brazen occupation of vast areas of civilian land. Dr. Singh asked Mr.Rajapaksa to pare the Army presence in the North. No doubt, the mellow mood in the Sri Lankan ruling establishment comes from the realisation that slowly but steadily the UN Human Rights Council, and, by implication, the international community, is becoming tougher on the issue. In the long run, there is no escape from a credible investigation that establishes accountability. And the question of the political rights of Tamils remains to be addressed with a measure of seriousness and urgency.

Statement by TNA Leaders on Draft Resolution

TNA Response to the Draft Resolution_March 2014 TNA Response to the Draft Resolution_March 2014 The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has given careful consideration to the draft resolution on Sri Lanka proposed at the 25th sessions of the Human Rights Council by the United States of America, the UnitedKingdom, Montenegro, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and… Read more »

Primacy of Accountability

Last week’s opening of the UN Human Rights Council’s 25th session gave rise to strong and welcome calls from key member states for an international inquiry into Sri Lanka’s mass atrocities. That Sri Lanka is not going to investigate the horrific crimes for which its leaders are responsible and that accountability depends entirely on an… Read more »

Interactive Dialogue with SASG on Prevention of Genocide [See also Chapter 15 by France Libertes: Fondation Danielle Mitterrand ] 25th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council Geneva March 7, 2014 Item 3 – Interactive Dialogue with SASG on Prevention of Genocide Organization: Pasumai Thaayagam Thank you Madam Vice President. On the 65th anniversary of the “Convention on the prevention of Genocide” we are… Read more »

Bring Up the Bodies

by ‘The Economist,’ London, March 8, 2014 DELHI | From the print edition EVIDENCE of past atrocities keeps turning up in Sri Lanka. Last year 154 bodies were unearthed from a mass grave behind a hospital in Matale, in the centre of the island—victims, in all likelihood, of an uprising by Marxist rebels in the 1980s. In… Read more »

Crimes Against Humanity in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province

by Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace & Justice, London, March 4, 2014 Crimes-against-humanity-in-sri-lanka-s-northern-province EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This Report is the first of its kind to map the facts of well-documented, post-war human rights violations in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province to the legal elements of crimes against humanity. Amidst growing calls that the UNHRC mandate an international… Read more »

Let the U.N. Unmask the Criminals of Sri Lanka’s War

BRUSSELS — IN early 2009, as many as 40,000 civilians were killed in the final days of Sri Lanka’s civil war, having been herded into an area about the size of Central Park and subjected to relentless shelling. No one has been held accountable for these crimes, and even now the government in Colombo remains… Read more »

ICG: UNHRC Action Remains Crucial

by International Crisis Group, Brussels, February 28, 2014 This briefing note draws on Crisis Group’s extensive reporting on post-war political developments in Sri Lanka, as well as recent interviews with a range of Sri Lankan stakeholders. Read all our published reports on Sri Lanka. Overview The government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) has failed to comply with two… Read more »

US State: 2013 Report on Human Rights

The government prosecuted a very small number of government and military officials implicated in human rights abuses and had yet to hold anyone accountable for alleged violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law that occurred during the conflict that ended in 2009.