“In Sri Lanka, a climate of intolerance and fear continues to sweep the island as the government’s stranglehold on the population grows ever tighter.”
Posts Categorized: Human Rights
No Fire Zone – Impact Distribution http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/599171067/no-fire-zone-impact-distribution 3,800 British pounds raised to date. Need 20,000 pounds by May 30 to get any funds according to Kickstarter rules. This was supposed to be a war conducted in secret. The Government excluded the international press, forced the UN to leave the war zone and ruthlessly silenced the… Read more »
“Azad Sally’s arrest, and the harassment he has faced over the past weeks, is indicative of the climate of fear government critics in Sri Lanka are forced to live under. He must be released immediately or charged with an internationally recognisable criminal offence,” said Polly Truscott, Amnesty International’s Deputy Asia Pacific Director.
“He has been campaigning to end oppressive practices against minorities in Sri Lanka, in particular Muslims and Tamils, for which he has faced the ire of the Sri Lankan government.
While in Mullaitheevu (and in Vavuniya too) tension over land between Muslims and Tamil returnees are building up to the point of burning down poor returnees’ temporary huts in Mulliyawallai and blaming each other, in Weli Oya (Mullaitheevu) and Thalapogaswewa (in Vavuniya) Sinhala settlers are being brought by the government in bus loads for colonization. To date there have been about 4800 Sinhala families brought to Weli Oya and about 2000 families to Thalabogaswewa.
Sivaram had succeeded in bringing the Tamil struggle into the light in a world dominated by big media. This was a sensational achievement in a world dominated by media spin, where the voice of the oppressed had no chance of being heard.
UNHCR Overview 2012: People internally displaced by conflict and violence – Sri Lanka Publisher Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) Publication Date 29 April 2013 Cite as Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), Global Overview 2012: People internally displaced by conflict and violence – Sri Lanka, 29 April 2013, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/517fb0516.html [accessed 30 April 2013] Disclaimer This is… Read more »
Whither Sri Lankan Tamils 26 04 2013 Retired SC Judge C V Wigneswaran Courtesy TamilNet.com
Tamil Refugee Council Australia Statement on Kumar torture April 25 2013 The Evil Ways of Sri Lankan Regime Exposed on One Man’s Back by Tamil Refugee Council, Australia, April 25, 2013 Torture Claims Emerge from Sri Lanka by Heather Ewart, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, April 24, 2013
Burma: End ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ of Rohingya Muslims by Human Rights Watch, New York, April 22, 2013 (Bangkok) – Burmese authorities and members of Arakanese groups have committed crimes against humanity in a campaign of ethnic cleansing against Rohingya Muslims in Arakan State since June 2012, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. The 153-page… Read more »
The law is sound in theory, but in practice the real impact on curbing human rights abuses is often tempered by the desire of the United States to advance its own security interests, even if at times it requires overlooking questionable human rights records.
by K. Sivapalan, ‘Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka,’ France, April 20, 2013 Rev.Fr. Mariampillai Xavier Karunaratnam (1951-2008), or ‘Kili’ Father as he was known affectionately was assassinated on 20th April, 2008 by a deep penetration unit of the Sri Lanka Army. We lost two other members of NESOHR previously.Chandra Nehru Ariyanayagam was killed in cold blood by… Read more »
Former Tamil MP Ponnambalam puts it simply: “I think it’s dangerous for us to think about what is possible. If we start thinking about that, it only means assimilation. We must stop talking Tamil, we must give up our religion. We must be Sinhalese and Buddhist.”
OVER AND above the geopolitics and domestic Tamil politics that directly affects India, the Sri Lankan Tamils’ story raises a disturbing question. Can the desperate and continuing plight of a people be explained away by terrorism alone? For now, more than 22 lakh Tamils within Sri Lanka and an estimated 10 lakh in the diaspora, are asking this universally perplexing question. As their story also serves as a warning to other displaced people without a nation — while the world and the UN plays a double game, your idea of nationhood could be the next to disappear.
But even in the aftermath of the terror and genocide, the Tamil idea of nationhood has not disappeared. If India does not want another cycle of violence at its doorstep, it cannot afford to be indifferent to the voices of the Lankan Tamils.
“If you attack a journalist, you are likely going to get away with it – that’s the message,” said Fred Carver, director of Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice, a London-based rights group.
“While there is little outright censorship, there’s a real climate of fear that makes it very difficult to be critical of the government,” added Mr. Carver, who says the Tamil press has been especially targeted.
Discrimination against the ethnic Tamil minority continued, and a disproportionate number of victims of human rights violations were Tamils.
To escape this climate of fear, it appears that an increasing number of Tamils are fleeing Sri Lanka, boarding barely seaworthy vessels, bound for an uncertain future as asylum seekers. This is despite the government’s official effort to reconstruct the war-torn north of the country. “You have a significant number of people leaving postwar, at a point at which the government is assuring that economic development is prioritized and reconciliation is being effected in earnest,” says the CPA’s Saravanamuttu. The fact that so many people are choosing to go “seems to suggest people in the north don’t feel that way. They are voting with their feet, so to speak, and they are paying fairly large sums of money and risking life and limb to do it.” Saravanamuttu says that official numbers of the number of people leaving are unavailable, but to give just one example, over 6,000 Tamils arrived in Australia in 2012, some 30 times higher than the 2011 figure.
Despite disturbing video footage released by Channel 4 supported by compelling eyewitness accounts that civilians compressed into a tiny area were repeatedly shelled and bombed, Rajapaksa asserted, “No, but we never fired like how they do in bombing Afghanistan. We never did that.” He also denied that hospitals were shelled – which Human Rights Watch reported on in detail — insisting “it was a complete propaganda,” and that he had seen pictures to the contrary. And despite the 2011 report of a United Nations Panel of Experts that found credible allegations of war crimes and said that up to 40,000 civilians were killed in the final months of the war primarily by indiscriminate shelling from government forces, the president declared: “LTTE shot some of them when they tried to escape. Other than that I don’t think any civilians were killed.” So how many? asked interviewer Shekhar Gupta. The president responded: “I would say less than 100.”
Vittachi concludes the book with a question. “Have the Sinhalese and the Tamils reached the parting of the ways?” The question was asked in 1958. It was definitively answered, 25 years later, in 1983. Another 26 years later, in 2009, we were reminded of the answer.
55 years after Vittachi first asked the question, who in the Sinhala community is willing to openly ask the question,
The newspaper owner, who is also an opposition Tamil National Alliance (TNA) legislator, said it was the second strike on the publication this month and added the assailants had to be from “either the government or para-militaries.
“Who else can carry firearms freely in Jaffna?” he asked.
Sri Lanka lifted emergency rule in 2011 after the military crushed Tamil separatists two years earlier following a decades-long ethnic civil war in the island nation of 20 million people.
But troops are still deployed in Jaffna, 400 kilometres (250 miles) north of Colombo, and other parts of the country to support the police…
Uthayan’s owner said five of his employees had died in attacks on the paper in the last eight years.
by Henrietta Briscoe, Tamils Against Genocide, April 2013 for Responsibility to Protect Conference, Faculty of Law, Ljubljana, Slovenia, April 11 – 12, 2013 http://www.r2pconference.com/ R2P Poster Slovenia Conference TAG April 2013 ————————- Henrietta Briscoe interview in Delhi, March 2013 ————————- Tamil Genocide Framework Highlighted in Slovenia Conference [TamilNet, Thursday, 11 April 2013, 11:14 GMT] The framework… Read more »
by Yasmin Sooka, ‘GroundViews.org,’ Colombo, April 11, 2013 Image courtesy RNW Colombo’s contempt for the international community seems to be increasing. The recent media release on the findings of the Military Court of Inquiry stretch credibility. While I have not had access to the full report and to the evidence presented to the Military Court… Read more »