Posts Categorized: Politics

Facing a War Crimes Inquiry, Sri Lanka Continues to Vex the U.N.

UNITED NATIONS — What to do with Sri Lanka? The island nation, triumphant after nearly three decades of war against ethnic separatists, has vexed the United Nations. Five years after the war’s brutal ending, the world body has been unable to address grave human rights violations committed by the warring parties, making Sri Lanka something… Read more »

Why a UN Probe of Sri Lanka Would Spark New Hope for Reconciliation

Five years ago, Sri Lanka’s civil war reached a bloody conclusion on a stretch of beach in the island’s northeast, as government forces pummeled the remnants of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and thousands of Tamil civilians trapped near them. The government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, flush with triumphalist fever, insisted it had done… Read more »

The Forever War?

by International Crisis Group, Brussels, March 25, 2014 The heavy militarisation of Sri Lanka’s northern province after the civil war’s bloody end in 2009 has been the subject of growing domestic andinternational concern. The large numbers of military personnel in the north, and the deep involvement of the military in the province’s governance, endanger the re-establishment of… Read more »

The Lord Business

UN is no Tamil’s string of pearls. Let’s just be honest.  The current UN resolution as it stands will not bring impactful change to the Eelam Tamils. What it does though is to keep a door ajar.  It is a sensible beachhead strategy.  It is so because that is where the final act will play… Read more »

Sen. Menendez Letter to HCHR

Menendez Letter to UNHR High Commissioner for HR Pillay Re Sri Lanka R… FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 19, 2014 Contact: adam_sharon /A_T/ foreign.senate /D_O_T/ gov (Menendez) Chairman Menendez Expresses Support for an International Investigation into Sri Lankan War Crime Allegations WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Menendez wrote UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay to express… Read more »

Healing the Wounds of a Bitter War

It will be highly difficult for Sri Lanka to establish long-term peace without fixing accountability for the war crimes During the week of March 24, the U.N. Human Rights Council countries will be asked to show where they stand on a resolution on Sri Lanka. That resolution seeks to support the U.N. High Commissioner for… Read more »

U.N. Council Steps In Where Sri Lanka Has Failed to Act

There was a time, not so long ago, when Sri Lanka was known for the quality of its democracy. In 1975, when I was a Foreign Service officer at the U.S. Embassy there, the country was in economic straits but proud of its international reputation for an independent political culture, a feisty press, and a… Read more »

3 Activists Held in Sri Lanka, Raising Fears of Crackdown

NEW DELHI — Fears of a broad crackdown against rights activists in Sri Lanka have been heightened after the Sri Lankan police recently arrested two prominent human rights advocates and a woman who has made a public campaign of finding her missing son. The arrests took place just as the United Nations Human Rights Council… Read more »

MP Shivajilingam Statement

Shivajilingam_GenevaStatement_10March2014 SriLanka_NPC_Resolution_Jan2014_English Statement from Hon M.K.Shivajilingam, Member of Northern Provincial Council, Sri Lanka Presented to the UN Diplomats in Geneva, Switzerland on March 10, 2014 Your Excellencies, Honorable Members of the UN Human Rights Council, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am an elected Member of Northern Provincial Council in Sri Lanka, and I stand here today… Read more »

Accountability in Focus

Dr. Singh… once again brought up the most critical issue that affects the Tamils of Sri Lanka’s Northern Province: the Army’s brazen occupation of vast areas of civilian land. Dr. Singh asked Mr.Rajapaksa to pare the Army presence in the North. No doubt, the mellow mood in the Sri Lankan ruling establishment comes from the realisation that slowly but steadily the UN Human Rights Council, and, by implication, the international community, is becoming tougher on the issue. In the long run, there is no escape from a credible investigation that establishes accountability. And the question of the political rights of Tamils remains to be addressed with a measure of seriousness and urgency.

Statement by TNA Leaders on Draft Resolution

TNA Response to the Draft Resolution_March 2014 TNA Response to the Draft Resolution_March 2014 The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has given careful consideration to the draft resolution on Sri Lanka proposed at the 25th sessions of the Human Rights Council by the United States of America, the UnitedKingdom, Montenegro, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and… Read more »

Primacy of Accountability

Last week’s opening of the UN Human Rights Council’s 25th session gave rise to strong and welcome calls from key member states for an international inquiry into Sri Lanka’s mass atrocities. That Sri Lanka is not going to investigate the horrific crimes for which its leaders are responsible and that accountability depends entirely on an… Read more »

Interactive Dialogue with SASG on Prevention of Genocide [See also Chapter 15 by France Libertes: Fondation Danielle Mitterrand ] 25th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council Geneva March 7, 2014 Item 3 – Interactive Dialogue with SASG on Prevention of Genocide Organization: Pasumai Thaayagam Thank you Madam Vice President. On the 65th anniversary of the “Convention on the prevention of Genocide” we are… Read more »

Bring Up the Bodies

by ‘The Economist,’ London, March 8, 2014 DELHI | From the print edition EVIDENCE of past atrocities keeps turning up in Sri Lanka. Last year 154 bodies were unearthed from a mass grave behind a hospital in Matale, in the centre of the island—victims, in all likelihood, of an uprising by Marxist rebels in the 1980s. In… Read more »

Let the U.N. Unmask the Criminals of Sri Lanka’s War

BRUSSELS — IN early 2009, as many as 40,000 civilians were killed in the final days of Sri Lanka’s civil war, having been herded into an area about the size of Central Park and subjected to relentless shelling. No one has been held accountable for these crimes, and even now the government in Colombo remains… Read more »

ICG: UNHRC Action Remains Crucial

by International Crisis Group, Brussels, February 28, 2014 This briefing note draws on Crisis Group’s extensive reporting on post-war political developments in Sri Lanka, as well as recent interviews with a range of Sri Lankan stakeholders. Read all our published reports on Sri Lanka. Overview The government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) has failed to comply with two… Read more »

TNA Welcomes Pillay’s report

TNA welcomes Pillay’s report The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has welcomed the Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka to the 25th session of the Human Rights Council. The High Commissioner’s report contains a comprehensive and accurate depiction of the serious human rights issues… Read more »

Sri Lanka Denounces Push to Open War Inquiry

NEW DELHI — Sri Lanka’s government on Tuesday forcefully rejected a call for an international war crimes investigation into the country’s bloody civil war, adding to tensions with the United Nations’ human rights body. In its official response to a highly critical report released on Monday by the United Nations’ high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, the government… Read more »