Posts Categorized: Military

Waiting to Return Home

by Oakland Institute, California, May 31, 2016 http://www.oaklandinstitute.org/sites/oaklandinstitute.org/files/SriLanka_Return_Home_final_web.pdf Press release Introduction Sri Lanka’s 26-year-long civil war officially ended in 2009 with the defeat of Tamil separatists, led by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), through a bloody military offensive that led to widespread destruction, the killing of tens of thousands of civilians by government… Read more »

Ex-LTTE ‘Doctor’ Reveals Horrifying Last Two Days in Mulliwaikkal

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan, ‘Ceylon Today,’ May 8, 2016 The 30-year war and the gory events of it ended on 18 May 2009 but they are unforgettable and unforgivable. The Tamils who fled the island, the like-minded civil societies and the human rights activists started documenting each event in phases and tabled them at the… Read more »

2nd Tamil Studies Symposium May 6-7

Full program http://ycar.apps01.yorku.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Tamil-Studies-Symposium-Program.pdf The 2nd Tamil Studies Symposium Bearing Witness: Unspeakable Crimes, Invisible Atrocities 6-7 May 2016 at York University The most challenging paradox of the 21st Century may well be the saturation of our media with news of atrocities, even as many conflicts around the world are described as ‘wars without witnesses’. While news reports… Read more »

Sri Lankan Lawmakers Brawl in Parliament over Bombing Claim

by ‘Daily Mail,’ UK, May 3, 2016 Sri Lanka’s parliament erupted in brawls between rival lawmakers Tuesday, after a former army chief said a bomb blast apparently targeting ex-president Mahinda Rajapakse’s brother 10 years ago was an “inside job”. Legislators from Sri Lanka’s ruling party traded blows with those loyal to Rajapakse who became enraged… Read more »

The Return of the White Van

by Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice, London, April 28, 2016 The Tamil Guardian today reported two “white van abductions”; incidents in which unidentified persons driving a “Dolphin” van snatched individuals off the streets. This follows three similar incidents in recent weeks: former LTTE commander, Kanathippillai Sivamoorthy (also known as Nagulan), was reportedly abducted in Jaffna… Read more »

The Inconvenient Truth about Sri Lanka’s North and East

by Taylor Dibbert, ‘Huffington Post,’ Los Angeles, April 25, 2016 People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL) has recently published a timely report. The document is based upon field research that was conducted in January 2016 and will be of interest to anyone trying to make sense of the new government’s performance since Maithripala… Read more »

Land Occupation in the Northern Province

Land is a key issue for reconciliation in Sri Lanka. Reparations including the restitution of land, if implemented in the correct manner, can contribute to long-term peace building efforts and prevent further marginalisation of people who were affected by the war. With promises by the government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) to initiate reforms including with… Read more »

Silawathurei Large-scale Cashew Plantations

The Civil Security Force has appropriated land for cashew plantations at the boundary of Wilpattu National Park, affecting local environment, already under pressure by human settlements of returnees from the civil war.

Sampur: Documentary Trailer

Thousands of individuals from across Sri Lanka have been displaced for years, some multiple times.  For over a decade, the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) has documented issues related to displacement and returns, advocating reform and litigating on unjust and arbitrary practices. Two cases CPA has followed closely for years, supporting litigation and advocating land… Read more »

Sri Lanka Admits Having a Record of Tamil Rebels Surrendered

Sri Lanka that denied Tamil Tigers handed themselves over to the military in the last days of the civil war, acknowledged the existence of a record that contains names of rebels who surrendered to security forces. A military division accused of committing war crimes is in possession of a list of those who handed themselves… Read more »

Problems Continue to Plague Sri Lanka’s Northern Province

In spite of the country’s recent democratic gains, problems continue to plague Sri Lanka’s Tamil-dominated Northern Province…

[W]hen it comes to a range of core Tamil issues, Sri Lanka’s current president doesn’t appear to be that much better than the previous one.

Remarks of Senator Patrick Leahy at USIP

The Leahy Law makes clear that the United States will not tolerate or support foreign partners who violate the personal integrity, dignity, or due process of their citizens. People who order, commit, or cover up such crimes should be prosecuted and punished.

The law also makes clear that those who use torture or shoot prisoners for reasons of political expediency, or because justice systems are slow or inefficient, will not receive U.S. support.

That is what the law requires when a foreign government rejects the need for accountability.

HRW: Investigate, Not Promote, Ex-Army Chief

The Sri Lankan government’s appointment to parliament of the former army chief whose forces were implicated in widespread abuses contradicts pledges to investigate alleged war crimes, Human Rights Watch said today. On February 9, 2016, the United National Party of Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe appointed Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka to parliament as a national list… Read more »

ICG: Transitional Justice Agreement between the Colombian Government and FARC

The announcement is silent on the nomination and appointment process for these courts – which would be largely staffed by national judges, with a minority international presence – and the facilities where sentences would be served, as well as the question of reparation for victims. However, it indicates a balanced and wise approach is being taken to the difficult dilemmas posed by a conflict that has inflicted suffering on more than six million victims, according to official reports, and a peace process that requires legal and political certainties for the parties and for Colombian society. FARC have gone farther than ever before by accepting the requirement that those most responsible for serious crimes must face restrictions on their liberties for up to eight years. The government has accepted that the new mechanism will have jurisdiction over all who participated in the internal armed conflict – including state agents.

ICTJ: Challenges to Implementing Reparations in Colombia

Background: Demobilization of paramilitary groups, Justice and Peace Law, Victims’ Law, and peace talks with the FARC Colombia continues to endure the longest internal armed conflict in the Western hemisphere. The conflict involves many actors and interests, and is a product of political ambitions, social and economic tensions, and competition for resources. In their efforts… Read more »

Militarization in Sri Lanka Continues

During a recent visit to Sri Lanka, I (unsurprisingly) saw a lot of military personnel. Many times they were riding around in vehicles. On other occasions the interaction was a bit more personal. In Jaffna, as I was purchasing a new SIM card, a pair of Sri Lanka Army members entered the shop. In Trincomalee,… Read more »

Vetting Our Way to Trust

The conversation on Transitional Justice in Sri Lanka has hitherto focused almost exclusively on the government’s stated commitments to establish an Office of Missing Persons, a judicial mechanism with a special prosecutor, a Truth Commission and a Office for Reparations. Unfortunately, this conversation does not address the question of security sector reform, which is a… Read more »

De-mining Sri Lanka

by Smriti Daniel, Al Jazeera, January 12, 2016 Meet those clearing the large number of landmines left behind by the army and the Tamil Tigers after Sri Lanka’s war. Muhamalai, Sri Lanka – Not so long ago Shanmukam Thankamuththu had 25 goats; now she has only five. The other 20 have been sold, each animal… Read more »

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 »