Posts Categorized: Military

Sri Lanka Accused of Allowing Continuing Human Rights Abuses

As Sri Lanka marks a year since the election on 8 January 2015 which brought President Sirisena to power, Freedom from Torture releases new details of recent torture cases and warns that the Government must place a higher priority on tackling torture by the country’s military, police and security services. The UK human rights charity’s… Read more »

What If the Tamil Tigers Weren’t Labelled as ‘Terrorists’?

How labeling a group influences the standards of civilian protection in wartime is a pertinent question. by Ambika Kaushik, ‘The Diplomat,’ Tokyo, July 24, 2015 The elections in Sri Lanka next month come just ahead of a much-anticipated report on the alleged war crimes by prime ministerial candidate and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government during… Read more »

Colombo’s Military Build-Up

What might explain the recent increase in defense spending? By Ana Pararajasingham, ‘The Diplomat,’ Tokyo, December 30, 2015 Contrary to expectations that with the end of the civil war, Sri Lanka would reduce its spending on defense, Colombo has in fact increased its defense expenditure. Defense spending in 2009, the year the civil war ended with… Read more »

Sinhalisation of the North-East About Since time immemorial the island of Sri Lanka has been largely divided into two linguistic regions, the Tamil North-East and the Sinhala south. The North-East region encompasses the districts of Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya, Mannar, Batticaloa and the littoral areas of Trincomalee and Amparai. It is a contiguous region that has traditionally been inhabited by Tamil speakers. This… Read more »

UN Working Group Finds Secret Torture Center in Trincomalee Naval Base

COLOMBO: The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (UNWGEID), which has just concluded its visit to Sri Lanka, had  discovered a “secret underground detention cum torture center” located in the Lankan naval base at Trincomalee in the Eastern Province. Giving details of the “successful discovery” at a press conference here on Wednesday, Ariel… Read more »

Tamil Political Prisoners Resume fast

Tamil political prisoners resumed their fast today in protest over the failure by the Government to keep its promise and release all of them. At least 29 Tamil detainees at the Anuradhapura prison were among those who resumed the fast today. The Government was to release 30 Tamil detainees today and another 32 by next week… Read more »

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.”