Posts Categorized: Military

Is Terrorism an Existential Threat?

by Scott Stewart, ‘MarketWatch, The Wall Street Journal,’ February 5, 2015 President Barack Obama has said terrorism can’t upset the world order, and he is mostly correct. In an interview aired on CNN on Feb. 1, Fareed Zakaria asked U.S. President Barack Obama to respond to charges that he is downplaying the threat of terrorism to… Read more »

Pirapaharan at Sixty

by Karthik RM, November 21, 2014 Is Pirapaharan dead? Ten years back, TamilNet senior editor and military analyst Taraki Sivaram wrote a brilliant piece on the political legacy of Pirapaharan at fifty.  Come 26 November this year, the founder-leader of the LTTE and one of the most brilliant military minds of South Asia will turn… Read more »

A Garrison State?

The Sri Lankan military is Sri Lankan in name only. In actuality, it is predominantly Sinhalese and Buddhist in composition, and Sinhala-Buddhist supremacist in ethos. How will the militarisation of an ethno-religiously pluralist society by such a monolithic military impact on inter-communal relations and on the rights and security of minorities?

Traditionally, Sinhala-Buddhist supremacists strongly advocated the state-aided internal colonisation of Tamil-majority areas. They realised that the consequent demographic changes would cause a drastic electoral disempowerment of Tamils. State-aided colonisation schemes implemented by successive Lankan governments contributed to the worsening of Sinhala-Tamil relations.

In the post-war period, this project has been embraced by the Rajapaksas for their own purposes. Having decisively lost the 2013 provisional election in the Tamil-majority Northern Province, the Rajapaksas desire to change Northern demographics for electoral reasons just as much as Sinhala-Buddhist supremacists yearn to do so for ideological reasons. The military has become the willing executioner of this joint Rajapaksa-Sinhala/Buddhist supremacist project to render Tamils thinner on the northern ground.

Military Presence in the North of Sri Lanka

Five years since the end of the war, a significant military presence still remains in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. This despite repeated assurances by the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) that the military presence is, and will be phased out in order to pave way for post-war reconciliation efforts. In a context of… Read more »

BBC: Bishop Swamipillai Interview re 1990 Massacre

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p025ynjz Sri Lanka Massacre Duration:  10 minutes On September 9, 1990, 184 Tamil refugees were killed by the Sri Lankan army at Batticaloa in the east of the island during the civil war between the Sinhala majority and the Tamil minority. Farhana Haider has been speaking to the Bishop of Batticaloa, Kingsley Swampillai, who was… Read more »

Monitoring Change in Sri Lanka’s Valikamam High Security Zone:

by Geospatial Technologies & Human Rights Project, American Academy for the Advancement of Science, Washington, August 2014 Full report http://www.aaas.org/sites/default/files/AAAS_Sri_Lanka_2014.pdf or AAAS_Sri_Lanka_2014 Between 2011 and 2014, large numbers of structures were added to the study area in a manner indicating that they were residential in nature. Left Image: DigitalGlobe | Right image: Airbus Defense and Space |… Read more »

Sri Lanka: Picturing Genocide and War Crimes

Sri Lanka may have given evidence against itself in the larger context of the “genocide” of Tamils in 2009, a widely accepted phrase in the legal community for what happened when the Sri Lankan Armed Forces bombed a “No Fire Zone” killing up to 75,000 Tamil civilians including children, women, and the elderly in just… Read more »

Sri Lanka’s Intransigence

Sri Lanka’s president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, said Tuesday that his government would not cooperate with the United Nations investigation begun last month into suspected human rights abuses, including possible war crimes, committed during Sri Lanka’s civil war. Mr. Rajapaksa’s intransigence puts Sri Lanka in the company of North Korea and Syria, two countries that also barred… Read more »

Livelihoods Lost while Military has Land says NPC Member

Northern Provincial Council member Thurairasa Ravikaran said Tamils in Mullaitivu have lost their livelihoods without access to their land, which remains under Sri Lankan military control. The people of Mullaitivu have faced continuous difficulties in temporary settlements, despite Sri Lankan government claims that they were resettled 4 years ago, the Uthayan reported him as saying. Without the… Read more »

On Illegal Possession Of Land By The Military And Demographic Change In North & East

Sir, land is the most complex problem in the North and the East and this relates to both private land and state land. The provisions of this Bill will of course relate to private land. But our problems in regard to state land are very many… I would like to use this Debate to identify some of those problems…

There are not just a few people. There are tens of thousands of Tamil families in this position…Lands have been taken over on various pretexts: security, development, occupation, cultivation, tourism and recreation. This is all for the benefit of the majority community. At the expense of tens of thousands of Tamil families, persons of the majority community are being settled on these lands. Who are the members of the armed forces? The armed forces are almost exclusively Sinhalese. When they come into possession of these lands and when the Tamil civilians are permanently kept out, what will happen? These Armed forces will continue to occupy these lands, they will cultivate these lands, they will derive their livelihood from these lands and they will continue to live in the North and the East. Is this not yet another way of settling the majority community people on lands which have belonged to Tamil civilians for generations and centuries on which they have lived, on which they have farmed, which they have cultivated, and making these lands available to the majority community?…

All this is being done because you want to change the demographic composition of the North and the East and you want to change the cultural and linguistic identity of the districts in the North and the East. These things are being done with a definite purpose, the purpose being to change the demographic composition of the Northern and Eastern Provinces and the cultural and linguistic identity of the Northern and Eastern Provinces so as to make a political resolution, a political solution irrelevant and unnecessary. That is the objective with which you are pursuing this agenda. This is not good for the country…

All these actions of the Government and persons who are working with the Government are concentrated largely in Mullaitivu and Trincomalee because you want to break the linguistic contiguity of the Northern and the Eastern Provinces. That clearly shows that you are pursuing a definite sinister objective which cannot be permitted and this is why I say that these actions of yours have geopolitical and geo-strategic dimensions and there can be consequences which will not be to the benefit of this country. As a Sri Lankan, I have a right to ask that this country be not placed in jeopardy by reason of such actions…

The Tamil Members of Parliament, except for those few who are with the Government, were given Rs. 5 million each under the Decentralized Budget. All the other Members of Parliament have been given Rs. 30 million – Rs. 5 million plus another Rs. 25 million… You are mere trustees of Government money; you are mere trustees of Government property having been elected by the voters. We also have been elected by the voters. Are our people not sovereign? Are our people not equal? Are our people second-class citizens?

Apart from that, Sir, persons of the majority community are being settled in various areas in the North and the East. This is particularly intensive in the Trincomalee District, the northernmost district in the Eastern Province and in the Mullaitivu District, the southernmost district of the Northern Province. Around 4,000 to 5,000 new voters of the majority community have been registered in the Mullaitivu District since 2009.

Losing Battles but Winning Wars

by Fred Carver, Independent Policy Digest, Washington, August 9, 2014 Jean-Marc Ferré/UN Photo To many external observers the Government of Sri Lanka appeared to lose the plot somewhat during the recent UN Human Rights Council (HRC) session. A series of overt and heavy handed attempts to silence dissent, even as the session was discussing a… Read more »

Britain’s Dirty War Against the Tamil People 1979-2009

Britain’s_Dirty_War by Phil Miller This document, published by the International Human Rights Association Bremen, is an updated version of the evidence Phil gave to the Peoples’ Tribunal on Sri Lanka… 1. Introduction When Prime Minister David Cameron travelled to Sri Lanka in November 2013, his visit to the northern city of Jaffna was widely seen as British… Read more »

Proxy War Can Have Dangerous Consequences

In fact, notwithstanding states’ incredible material and power advantage relative to their proxy allies, states have often found themselves unable to control their proxies or drawn into unwanted conflict escalation. Rajiv Gandhi’s administration in India had to intervene in the civil war in Sri Lanka to forcibly suppress its proxy, the Tamil Tigers, because the latter had become too powerful and refused to accept Indian attempts to achieve a negotiated settlement to the conflict.

Civilians as Human Shields? Gaza War Revives Debate

GAZA CITY — Militant rockets can be seen launching from crowded neighborhoods, near apartment buildings, schools and hotels. Hamas fighters have set traps for Israeli soldiers in civilian homes and stored weapons in mosques and schools. Tunnels have been dug beneath private property. With international condemnation rising over the death toll in Gaza exceeding 650… Read more »

Written Evidence to FASC

  Written evidence from Global Tamil Forum (GTF) (HRS0020)   Introduction Global Tamil Forum (GTF) was established in 2009 by a number of grass-roots Tamil groups, following the end of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka. It is the largest Tamil diaspora organisation with members drawn from across five continents. GTF is committed to non-violence and… Read more »

Military Presence in Sri Lanka’s North is Worrisome

by Meena Srinivasan, ‘The Hindu,’ Chennai, June 12, 2014 File photo of Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Northern Provincial Council C.V. Wigneswaran. The Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Northern Provincial Council tells The Hindu that he has not been able to do much even after six months after the historic elections More than six months… Read more »

Nigeria Mulling Sri Lankan Example to Fight Terror

Abuja (AFP) – Nigeria’s military indicated on Thursday that it could follow the example of Sri Lanka in fighting terror, to bring an end to an increasingly deadly insurgency by Boko Haram militants. Related Stories Nigeria military studies Sri Lankan tactics for use against Boko Haram Reuters A high-ranking military delegation from the South Asian island… Read more »