Posts Categorized: Military

Sri Lanka’s Icon of Colonial Rule rises from the Rubble

As an army of labourers churns out limestone bricks, archeologist Prashantha Mandawala reflects on the ambitious task of restoring Sri Lanka’s centuries-old Jaffna fort, destroyed by ethnic war. The project has so far included the dangerous task of clearing unexploded mines and shells from the seafront site and scouring the northern Jaffna peninsula for scarce… Read more »

HRW: Sri Lanka’s Army Plays by the Old Rules

  “Our ancestors lived here,” said the elderly woman. She and a dozen other Muslim inhabitants of the village of Kasankurni spoke to a Sri Lankan activist and me last week from outside makeshift homes where they have struggled to survive for four years. “The army started by taking our maize and other crops.  Then… Read more »

Pressuring Sri Lanka for Peace

Last Thursday, the United Nations Human Rights Council passed a resolution that seemed, once again, to promote postwar reconciliation and express a broad international consensus for ensuring those who committed serious human-rights violations during the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war are held accountable. The problem is the resolution’s overly diplomatic and, at times, vague… Read more »

Overcoming the Peace Versus Justice Divide in Colombia

New developments are advancing hopes that the Colombian government and the largest anti-government armed group in the country—the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC—will soon reach an agreement in their protracted peace talks to bring an end to the country’s even more protracted armed conflict. Last week, the Colombian government and FARC leaders agreed… Read more »

2015 UNHRC Resolution on Sri Lanka

 —– Archived webcast of discussion of OHCHR Report on Sri Lanka OHCHR Report on Sri Lanka – 37th Meeting, 30th Regular Session Human Rights Council OHCHR Report on Sri Lanka (Cont’d) – 38th Meeting, 30th Regular Session Human Rights Council  —— Resolution on Sri Lanka A/HRC/30/1 UNHRC Resolution 30/1 October 1 2015 Received from (main… Read more »

Report & Recommendations of UNHCHR to UNHRC on Sri Lanka

HCHR Report and Recommendations  A_HRC_30_61_ENG   A/HRC/30/61 Advance Unedited Version Distr.: General 16 September 2015   Original: English Human Rights Council Thirtieth session Agenda item 2 Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General Report of the Office of… Read more »

Countries to Pledge Troops to Bolster UN Peacekeepers

Other offers will be treated with caution by the UN. Sri Lanka has said it will commit troops but officials are wary because of the Sri Lankan military’s war crimes during the conflict with the Tamil Tigers.

Sri Lanka’s Watershed Moment

In the coming days, a United States-led core group at the United Nations Human Rights Council will put forward its resolution on accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka, responding in part to the OISL (Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Investigation into Sri Lanka) report released on Sept. 16. The resolution, which is… Read more »

A Reckoning on Sri Lanka War Crimes

The United Nations Human Rights Council released its report Wednesday on possible war crimes committed during the last years of the Sri Lankan civil war. As many as 40,000 Tamils were killed by the military during the final months of the conflict, which ended in 2009. Citing a “horrific level of violations and abuses” in… Read more »

FM’s Speech at UNHRC

Statement by Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, MP Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka General Debate of the 30th Session of the UN Human Rights Council Geneva, 14 September 2015 Mr. President High Commissioner for Human Rights Excellencies Distinguished delegates I would like to begin by thanking you, and the members of the Council for the… Read more »

Tamil Women in Post-War Sri Lanka

A white paper by Nimmi Gowrinathan and Kate Cronin-Furman, City University of New York Colin Powell School, August 28, 2015 Tamil Women in Post-War Sri Lanka Nimmi Gowrinathan Kate Cronin-Furman ABSTRACT In this report we document the negative impacts of 6 years of militarization on Tamil women’s lives in Sri Lanka. Based on over fifty… Read more »

Biswal in Colombo

“We fundamentally support efforts to create a credible domestic process for accountability and reconciliation,” Biswal noted…

The Assistant Secretary for Human Rights cautioned however that the Sri Lankan Government would be judged based on actions and not promises.
Both officials who also met with representatives of the Tamil National Alliance last morning acknowledged that the Government would have to build trust and confidence in the domestic process to investigate the alleged violations in war time, since domestic mechanisms had consistently failed or failed to take off.
“The failures of the past are very much on our minds,” Malinowski said, “which is why there is an emphasis on trust-building.”

Sirisena Visits Trincomalee Naval Base Amid Reports of Torture Sites

Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena on Sunday has visited the Trincomalee naval base, which has been widely and credibly accused to have housed secret torture camps, where hundreds of Tamils have been brutally tortured and raped during and after the war. According to President’s media unit, President Sirisena has made an “inspection tour” to the… Read more »

Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative

Ports & Power in the Indian Ocean How naval power, porting agreements, and access will shape the future of the Indian Ocean Map & more Colombo, Sri Lanka Today China has been involved in the construction of an artificial island near the Colombo South Harbor, to be known as Colombo Port City. After President Maithripala… Read more »

NPC Chief Minister Speeches in US & UK

Speech to Federation of Tamil Sangams in North America convention, San Jose, July 4, 2015 Transcript of speech in Tamil — CVWigneswaran-Speech-FeTNA-July042015 Transcript of speech in English — CVWigneswaran-Speech-FeTNA-July042015-TxEng   Speech in London hosted by International Association of Tamil Journalists, July 17, 2015

The American Stake in Myanmar and Sri Lanka

By Admiral Dennis C. Blair, ‘The Diplomat,’ Tokyo, July 14, 2015 Although many Americans would have a hard time finding Sri Lanka or Myanmar on a map, these two Asian countries are in the midst of major political transformations with important and uncertain outcomes. Sri Lanka’s parliamentary election on August 17 will determine whether the… Read more »

Tamil Women: Into Public Space

The political struggle of the Eelam Tamils began even before the end of colonialism in 1948. Over the following decades, this struggle gradually unified the Eelam Tamils who were fragmented until then. There is no evidence that women took part in this struggle until after the 1970’s. Another struggle took centre stage in the Tamil… Read more »