Saturday, April 30, 2011

CPI (M): probe war crimes by Sri Lankan armed forces

Demonstrations in first week of May demanding detailed enquiry

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) will organise demonstrations in major cities of the State, demanding an enquiry into “war crimes” committed by the Sri Lankan armed forces in the final phase of the civil war.

In a statement, CPI (M) State secretary G. Ramakrishnan said the report of a United Nations committee has indicted the Sri Lankan armed forces for killing thousands of civilians in the armed struggle with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and of other human rights violations. The party's state executive committee has already passed a resolution seeking punishment against the war criminals.

UN report: Lanka officials 'can be arrested' -

Senior Sri Lanka officials may be arrested and tried abroad as a result of the UN expert panel report on Sri Lanka, a legal expert said.

Wijedasa Rajapakshe, an opposition MP, said it is possible for interested parties abroad to seek a warrant to arrest visiting dignitaries as a result of the UN report.

Diplomats, NGO talk on report

30 April 2011

Diplomats, representatives of diplomatic missions and Non-Governmental Organization representatives in Colombo met at the United States Ambassador’s residence to discuss the United Nations Secretary General’s Panel Report.

China Urges International Community Not to Complicate Sri Lanka Issue

   2011-04-30 17:33:42
China said Saturday that it believes the Sri Lankan government and people will handle properly problems conerning its civil war and urged the international community not to complicate the issue.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei made the remarks when asked to comment on a panel report on armed conflicts in Sri Lanka published by the United Nations on Monday.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Nationalistic fury is good for the government, terrible for Sri Lanka - THE ECONOMIST

IN RECENT years the default mode for Sri Lankan diplomats has been a posture of affronted national dignity beneath a mask of outraged, sanctimonious innocence.
This week, after the publication of a report by a panel of experts for the United Nations on the final stages of Sri Lanka’s 26-year civil war, some were recalled to Colombo for “consultations”. Maybe they are brushing up their indignant-repudiation skills.

Erik Solheim speaks on the panel report

‘Solheim transforms from peace facilitator to facilitator of war crimes indictment escape’ - Tamil Net
 Friday, 29 April 2011,
Norway’s former peace facilitator to the island of Sri Lanka, Mr. Erik Solheim, speaking to Norwegian state owned media NRK (Dagsnytt 18) on Wednesday, argued against any immediate international investigation on the war crimes in the island and said that it is only correct and fair to expect the Sri Lankan authorities to domestically investigate the UN panel material.


In the wake of grossly misleading reports in the national media as to who the members of the Advisory Panel of the United Nations, appointed by United Nations Secretary General Mr Ban Ki Moon are, based on their uncritical acceptance of abuse by government politicians, the Sri Lanka Guardian publishes an authoritative sketch of their backgrounds. We do this in the interests of encouraging balanced commentary on the contents of the Advisory Panel Report and regret the inflammatory tone adopted by much of the mainstream media in this respect.

The following sketches have been compiled and sent to us by patriotic Sri Lankans - both senior and junor - who have expressed their deep dissatisfaction at the inability of sections of the national media to maintain a balanced perspective in their commentary.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

War Crimes Accountability In Sri Lanka: Is There A Liberal Democratic Alternative To International Action?

"It seems therefore that sound strategy would oblige the democratic opposition, Tamil political parties and civil society in Sri Lanka to regain lost legitimacy among the populace by drawing the line at international intervention as well as immediate criminal accountability. This entails neither an abdication of Sri Lanka’s international obligations nor a renunciation of the possibility that accountability might be revisited when it is politically feasible."

Wall Street Journal calls on 'leaders abroad to tread carefully' on SG's Panel report on Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is at a critical moment as it emerges from a decades-long war and rebuilds its politics and economy. There are worrying signs the Rajapaksa government already is heading in the wrong direction. That makes it even more important for leaders abroad to tread carefully, lest they inadvertently push the country back into sectarian strife
    Focus on fixing the democracy before investigating the past, as "there's a real danger that an international war-crimes investigation would do more harm than good", Wall Street Journal says in an Editorial, April 27, 2011:

Accountability needed before lasting reconciliation possible - UK

28 April 2011.
Britain Wednesday welcomed the UN Panel of Experts report on the war crimes in Sri Lanka’s war and expressed support for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s decision to commission the study. Calling on Sri Lanka to respond positively to the expert panel’s report, the UK said accountability for war crimes must be resolved before lasting reconciliation could be achieved in Sri Lanka. But, the British Foreign Office was not specific whether it means an international investigation or a fresh local investigation by Colombo.

Colombo’s crimes grotesque – The Times

28 April 2011.
The Times newspaper (London) said Wednesday that the UN expert panel’s report on Sri Lanka’s war crimes confirms the newspaper’s reporting in May 2009 that the “Sri Lankan Government was party to the mass murder of civilians. Referring especially to mass bombardment of civilians in so-called no-fire zones, the paper demanded that “perpetrators of this war crime should be pursued and targeted with sanctions by the UN and other international organisations.” Dismissing Colombo’s claim that the UN panel’s conclusions would inflict “irrevocable damage” on postwar efforts of reconciliation as “disingenuous”, the paper singled out India especially to act over Sri Lanka’s war crimes.

New evidence leads to war crime committed on LTTE's Col Ramesh

TamilNet,27 April 2011,

The wife of slain Batticaloa Commander of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), on Thursday verified that the dead body shown in the photo released on Wednesday was that of her husband, Col. Ramesh. On Wednesday, a former member of the LTTE identified a photo leaked in recent days by the soldiers of the SLA as that of showing the dead body of Col. Ramesh, who had come to SLA controlled territory with civilians during the final hours of Vanni war in May 2009.

A Second Chance to Confront War Crimes in Sri Lanka

By Armin Rosen
Apr 28 2011,

The world failed to stop the government's killing of thousands of civilians in the civil war that ended in 2009, but a new UN report could finally bring a reckoning.
In early 2009, Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa faced an opportunity, and possibly a moral quandary.

G.L says no protests

28 April 2011
The Government’s has no intention to create any “mass protests” and agitation relating to the Darusman Report, Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris told the diplomatic community in Colombo today.
“ We are not instigating hysteria nor violence or embarrassment to the UN community and to foreign Missions.  Such allegations have been levelled by those with political agendas to blacken the image of the country at this sensitive moment,” the External Affairs Ministry quoted the Minister as telling diplomats today.

UN report:India should exert diplomatic pressure on Lanka:CPIM

'The Indian government must act. It should exert diplomatic pressure on the Sri Lankan government and ensure action in this matter,
PTI | ,Apr 28,2011

Chennai, Apr 28 (PTI): The CPI(M) state unit today urged the Indian government to exert 'diplomatic pressure' on Sri Lanka to ensure punishment for those responsible for alleged war crimes, as indicted by a UN panel.

Those responsible for Lanka war crimes must face action: DMK

The DMK, a key ally of Congress-led UPA at the Centre, on Wednesday appealed to the Union government to make all efforts to ensure that those responsible for alleged warcrimes in Sri Lanka faced action.

Referring to a UN report on 'tens of thousands' civilian casualties in the final stages of war between Lankan armed forces and LTTE, the party's high-level committee said it will consult its coalition partners - Congress, PMK and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, among others, on further course of action.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

GOSL response to panel report


The Government of Sri Lanka refers to the release by the UN Secretary-General of the “Darusman Report” on accountability in Sri Lanka.  The Government of Sri Lanka reiterates its position that the “Darusman Report” is fundamentally flawed in many respects and that among other deficiencies, the Report is based on biased material, which is presented without any verification. 

Confront UN panel by implementing 17th amendment – Former CJ

27 April 2011

The report presented by Ban Ki-moon’s ‘Panel of Experts’ could be answered by implementing the 17th amendment says former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva.

Speaking at the inaugural convention of the Colombo District branch of the National Intellectuals and Professionals Organization (NIPO) held yesterday (26th) the former Chief Justice said, “Had the 17th amendment been implemented appropriately this kind of situation would never have arisen.

A lasting political solution through power sharing

by M A Sumanthiran
(text of SJV Chelvanayakam Memorial lecture 2011)

I consider it a great honour to have been asked to deliver the Thanthai Chelva memorial oration this year. Last year too I had the honour of delivering the key-note address at the annual commemoration ceremony held in Jaffna on the 26th of April. Today, I am doubly delighted since Thanthai Chelva’s true disciple Mr Sampanthan presides over this event. I am truly humbled by this singular honour bestowed on me.

UN must act now on Sri Lanka war crimes report - Amnesty International

26 April 2011

The report, which was made public today, concluded that tens of thousands of civilians were killed in northern Sri Lanka from January to May 2009 and that the Sri Lankan Government knowingly shelled areas where it had encouraged civilians to gather.

The report gives credibility to allegations that both the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) committed serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.

India ready to engage Lanka on UN report

Apr 27, 2011,

NEW DELHI: Reacting to the report by a UNSG-appointed panel of experts, which has accused Colombo of committing war crimes, India said it was willing to engage Sri Lanka on the contents of the report. India is having to walk a tightrope over the issue because of its concerns over the still incomplete rehabilitation of Tamils in the island nation, as also because of strategic compulsions arising out of China's unflinching support to Colombo.

UN feared for staff amid Sri Lanka conflict: Ban

Tue Apr 26,
UNITED NATIONS (AFP) – The United Nations feared for its staff in Sri Lanka as government troops crushed a Tamil separatist uprising in 2009, UN chief Ban Ki-moon has said defending the actions of UN agencies.

As pressure grew for an international investigation into the killing of "tens of thousands" in the conflict's brutal finale, Ban was asked why the United Nations had played down casualty figures at the time.

Sri Lanka: No-inquiry zone

Truth and accountability are not divisible, and a single failure of international justice is also a collective one

When Richard Goldstone, the judge who headed a UN fact-finding mission to Gaza, partially recanted last month – an act that was disowned by fellow members of the mission – the saga was used as Exhibit A in the case against the UN. The organisation, it was claimed, was so inherently biased against Israel that it lacked the moral authority to investigate it. Where was the Goldstone report about Sri Lanka, some asked?

UN human rights chief welcomes Sri Lanka report, urges further investigation into conduct of final stages of the war

“The eyewitness accounts and credible information contained in this report demand a full, impartial, independent and transparent investigation,” the High Commissioner said. “Unless there is a sea-change in the Government’s response, which has so far been one of total denial and blanket impunity, a full-fledged international inquiry will clearly be needed.”

GENEVA (26 April 2011) -- The High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Tuesday welcomed the public release of the report of the Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on accountability issues related to the final stages of the conflict in Sri Lanka, and supported the report’s call for further international investigation.*

Law Student Goes Underground

By Raisa Wickrematunge

Law student Thushara Jayaratne fears for his life. In order to contact him, The Sunday Leader was required to create a special Skype account. Speaking from an undisclosed location, Jayaratne said that though he had asked numerous people for help, no one had assisted him.

Jayaratne’s story was splashed all over the newspapers and was taken up by the Asian Human Rights Commission. Jayaratne claimed that one of the law exam papers was leaked, and that preferential treatment was provided to fellow law student, President’s son, Namal Rajapaksa.


“In Sri Lanka there are funds collected by employees after working for 30 or 40 years. This is an attempt by the government to collect the money in the ETF and EPF, put it into one account to invest and fall into trouble.” said the Secretary Trade Union Federation, Saman Rathnapriya.

April 26, 2011 : The United Federation of Labour (UFL), which consists of 26 Trade Unions, assembled in Colombo today, to object the proposed pension fund for the private sector.

V. Anandasangaree on penal report

 No one can deny that there were several thousands of causalities during the war. Very many factors contributed for this situation. How or why did this happen?. All these must come to light. You are aware that I am neither a flatterer nor a stooge of the Government or of the LTTE

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

UN panel report oversteps by rejecting homeland of Eezham Tamils

Rather than coming out with such an unqualified statement, why can’t the panel recommend a Sudan-model referendum among Eezham Tamils in the island, to see whether they are divided or united on the question of independence?
TamilNet, Tuesday, 26 April 2011.

Eezham Tamils hoodwinked by war crimes indictments that are doubtful of materialising into actions, should carefully note that the UN panel report has said nothing on the burning question of colonization of the Tamil country by Colombo in listing obstacles to ‘sustainable peace and reconciliation’.

Peace process and accountability issues: UN report out, await Norwegian evaluation

April 25, 2011, 10:13 pm

By Shamindra Ferdinando

In the wake of a simmering controversy over UNSG Ban Ki-moon’s dubious ‘war crimes’ report dealing with Sri Lanka’s successful war against the LTTE, Norway will  release a comprehensive evaluation of Norwegian peace efforts in Sri Lanka.

Christian Michelsen Institute (CMI) conducted the evaluation of four separate peace efforts by Norway from 1997 to 2009. It would have been better, if Oslo hadn’t picked a major recipient of Norwegian funding to evaluate their peace efforts.

Sri Lanka: UN Chief Should Establish International Inquiry Russia and China Should Stop Blocking Justice for Victims

April 25, 2011

   The Expert Panel’s finding that the government and Tamil Tigers committed abuses and that the government has failed to hold its forces accountable shows the need for an international investigation. Russia and China should stop blocking efforts to find justice for victims in Sri Lanka and support the panel’s recommendations.
-    Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch

(New York) - United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon should act on a UN Panel of Experts' recommendations to establish an international independent investigation into abuses during Sri Lanka's armed conflict that ended in May 2009, Human Rights Watch said today. Ban's statement on April 25, 2011, indicating the need for Sri Lankan government consent or action by an intergovernmental body should not place an unnecessary obstacle to establishing a justice mechanism, Human Rights Watch said.

Is the report of the UNSG’s panel of experts a conspiracy and obstacle to reconciliation?

Many such stories have been shared by Vanni people, particularly families of those directly affected, during hearings of the government appointed Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) in the North. Such stories are also reflected in the submissions to the LLRC by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Sri Lanka and Church of Ceylon and Church leaders from the North such as the Catholic Bishop of Mannar and the Jaffna Diocesan Laity Council.

Group of concerned Christians/25th April 2011

In the past weeks, we as Christians have been reflecting on the torture, killing of Jesus by the rulers of that time, with complicity of high priests of the time, due to Jesus’s efforts to stand by the poor and oppressed and bring them good news of liberation. Our reflections had been taking into account the situation in our country today and we had noted the controversy surrounding the report of the panel of experts of the UN Secretary General related to the war in Sri Lanka.

Mass deaths in Sri Lanka may be 'war crimes': UN

Mon Apr 25,

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) – The Sri Lankan army killed most of the tens of thousands of civilian victims of a final offensive against Tamil separatists in 2009 but both sides may be guilty of war crimes, a UN panel said Monday.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he could not order an international investigation into the deaths. But the UN will hold an inquiry into its actions in the final months of the war following criticism by the panel that more could have been done to save lives.

MEP condemns advisory document

The Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP) issuing a press release yesterday condemned the advisory document of the UN General Secretary’s expert panel.

The release said: “The Mahajana Eksath Peramuna is of the view that the advisory document of the so called expert panel comprising three persons is entirely a result of personal exercise on the part of United Nations’ General Secretary Ban Ki-moon.

Gallup poll says 95% of Sri Lankans struggling and suffering!

April 26, 2011 

    * Influential polling firm’s global wellbeing surveys in 2010 claims only 5% in Sri Lanka are thriving
    * Says high wellbeing eludes the masses in most countries as majorities in 19 out of 124 countries “thriving,” mostly in Europe and the Americas

Despite the end of the war, doubling of per capita income and high 8% growth believe it or not as per world renowned Gallup, 95% of Sri Lankans are both struggling and suffering.

CP tells SL Tamils: Don’t be deceived by Western powers

April 25, 2011, 9:01 pm

Urges govt to meet legitimate grievances, rights and aspirations of Tamils

The Communist Party of Sri Lanka says UNSG Ban Ki-moon’s move, at the behest of a section of the international community, is motivated and dictated by their global strategies and geo-political interests and not by humanitarian considerations or through compassion or love for the Tamil speaking people.

BJP says India should not bail out Lanka

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

The BJP has said that India should not bail out the Sri Lankan government from being implicated in the report of the UN panel of experts for violation of human rights during the final stages of the war with the LTTE, ‘The Hindu’ reports.

BJP national executive member L. Ganesan has said that there had been charges that India supported, financed and armed the Sri Lankan government in its war against Tamils.
Now there are allegations that India is attempting to protect Sri Lanka from being implicated of war crimes in the report.

“India should not subject itself again to be charged as supporting genocide by Sri Lanka.”
Sri Lanka Mirror

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on public release of Panel of Experts' report on Sri Lanka

New York, 25 April 2011

The United Nations has today made public the advisory report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on accountability with respect to the final stages of the decades-long armed conflict in Sri Lanka, which was submitted to him on 12 April 2011. The decision to release the report was made as a matter of transparency and in the broader public interest.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The losing of collective sanity on an advisory report

If the Government says that it is flawed as it has been quick to do, surely would not the simplest option have been to issue a sober and calm denunciation of its contents and findings without all this unseemly hysteria?

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

Could anything have betrayed our desperation more clearly than the shrill caterwauling that we hear from the Government on the possible (formal) emergence of the report on Sri Lanka by the Advisory Panel of the United Nations Secretary General (UNSG)? If the Government says that it is flawed as it has been quick to do, surely would not the simplest option have been to issue a sober and calm denunciation of its contents and findings without all this unseemly hysteria?

UN 'could have prevented' civilian deaths

Gorden Weiss says the UN should have exerted pressure on the Sri Lankan government to stop attacks on civilians
The United Nations should have done more to prevent civilian casualties at the last stage of the war in Sri Lanka, a former UN spokesman said.

Gorden Weiss, the UN spokesman in Colombo during the peak of the conflict, said the UN should have exerted pressure on the Sri Lankan government to stop attacks on civilians.

Tamil detainees should be released - CJ

By Saroj Pathirana

The Attorney General (AG) and the police have been ordered to release all Tamils in custody for longer periods without charges says Sri Lanka's Chief Justice (CJ).

CJ Asoka de Silva said he has taken measures to provide relief to the Tamil detainees during his two-year tenure in the office.

Politics ruined independent bodies - CJ

By Saroj Pathirana

Efforts to reduce the sweeping powers of the executive president failed due to the actions of Sri Lanka’s opposition, says the chief justice.

CJ Asoka de Silva said the status quo of the 1978 constitution that authorised the executive president to make all senior appointments to the judiciary was re-established by the 18 amendment as a result.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

UN Panel report: Much at stake for Sri Lanka

    * Banging Ban Ki-moon as Bakamoona may not be the best course as diplomatic blunders contributed to this crisis
    * Russia and China will go thus far and no further for Lanka, while India may take neutral stand
By Our Political Editor

Ministers have been "grounded". A directive from President Mahinda Rajapaksa says they should all be in Sri Lanka on May Day.

'Manufacturers' are busy turning out scores of effigies of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Some are depicting him as a 'bakamoona' punning on his name. Placards decrying him and his organisation are coming off in hundreds at printing presses.

The Darusman (UN) Report was inevitable due to colossal failure by the Rajapaksas

The mysterious leaking in Colombo of the Darusman (UN) Report was accompanied by a carefully choreographed outbreak of patriotic-hysteria. The President, in a hyperbolic-excess, declared his willingness to brave the electric chair 

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“The illusion of destiny extracts a remarkably heavy price”. — Amartya Sen (Identity and Violence)

The mysterious leaking in Colombo of the Darusman (UN) Report was accompanied by a carefully choreographed outbreak of patriotic-hysteria. The President, in a hyperbolic-excess, declared his willingness to brave the electric chair (unaware that capital punishment is rejected by the International Criminal Court!). He also indicated his desire to turn the UPFA May Day demonstration into an anti-UN melee (does this explain the timing of the leak?).

Ban-Ki-moon is against us but the UN is with us – Vasudeva Nanayakkara

by Steve A. Morrell

The United Nations (UN) is being used by Western imperialist powers which have been acting in an acrimonious manner against Sri Lanka, National Languages and Social Integration Minister, Vasudeva Nanayakkara charged last week.
"They are scheming to put Sri Lanka and the Government into difficulty by making baseless war crimes allegations", he said.

Diplomatic Engagement -not street demos

This brings us to the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC). It is a pity that some organisations and individuals declined to give evidence before the LLRC. By doing so, they have made the same mistake that the Government made in not engaging with the UNSG’s panel. The composition of the LLRC includes some outstanding professionals. Nothing was to be gained by boycotting the LLRC.
 by Shanie

"We Sri Lankans are very happy when anyone praises us. However, when someone criticises us, we usually abuse the critic. We do not look at ourselves to see whether there might be some truth in such criticism but rush to attribute unfriendly motives to the critic."

'Allegations against LTTE Must also be investigated' - Fr.Emmanuel

Justice demands that. We must find the whole truth, not just one side. It is wrong for the government to react from the one side, they must think of the Tamil side too. The LTTE too must be investigated

(The Sunday Leader’s Faraz Shauketaly spoke to Head of the Global Tamil Forum, Father Emmanuel, asking him to comment on the UN Advisory Panel Report. Excerpts:)

TIME Magazine Axes MR

Sunday Leader that acting on instructions, votes for President Rajapaksa were polled a couple of hundred times from a single computer. This was then repeated from other computers too.
By Maryam Azwer

1) Rain, South Korean pop star, 2) Jay Chou, Taiwanese director, singer, songwriter, 3) Susan Boyle, British singer, 4) Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka, 5) Cheng Yen, Buddhist nun and philanthropist, 7) Chris Colfer, actor, 9) Bradley Manning, U.S. soldier, 10) Glenn Beck, Conservative pundit, media entrepreneur, 8) Christopher Hitchens, writer, atheist and 6) Beyoncé, singer


Even as Sri Lankans cry foul and engage in a finger-pointing, tongue wagging, mud-slinging exercise against UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, none of us, and that includes the entire local and foreign media in Sri Lanka were present in the hinterlands of the Wanni or anywhere near the Nandikadal lagoon as the war drew to its bloody close in May 2009. 
We can more than understand the emotions that bedevil Mahinda Rajapaksa following the advisory report on possible war crimes in Sri Lanka which was handed over to the UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon. But we must at this juncture point out a few salient facts to Sri Lanka’s moonstruck public – poised to raise a show of hands when ordered to do — all in the name of patriotism.

Let us be more explicit.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Sri Lanka says UN panel report has ingredients of LTTE remnants

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Sri Lanka says the UN panel of Expert report on Sri Lanka has the ingredients of the LTTE remnants and the Tamil Diaspora. Sri Lanka Government spokesman Media minister  Keheliya Rambukwella  said that skeletons of various statements and utterances made by the LTTE rumps and the Diaspora during the last stages of the war against the LTTE has found its way in the UN panel of expert report.

Sri Lanka financial professional writes to president to stop 'pension bill'

Apr 23, 2011 (LBO) - A much respected retired Sri Lankan business executive, financial professional, Chandra Jayaratne, has written President Mahinda Rajapaksa to stop state plans to build a controversial pension fund by dipping its hands into the salaries of private sector workers.
Jayarante has been actively campaigning to improve the liberties of all the people of Sri Lanka and rule of law in general.

The 'pension plan' comes at as time when the state already takes away 20 percent of a private sector workers' salary into state managed pension fund, whose management has come under increasing fire in recent years.

Press Statement of Selvi J JAYALALITHAA - Former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu


The killing of four more Indian fishermen during the last month by the Sri Lankan Navy is yet another gory reminder that things have not changed in Sri Lanka. In fact the evidence of torture on the decomposed bodies of the dead fishermen provides further proof, if proof was indeed necessary, of the sadistic attitude of the Sri Lankan authorities to Tamils in particular and Indians in general. 
 If this type of viciousness is a reflection of the feelings nursed by the Lankan authorities to Tamils from India, then one can well imagine the plight of the hapless Tamil population of the island republic at the hands of a repressive regime that is guilty of every type of human rights violation one can think of!

'Srebrenica moment'

Weiss says that with the release [leak] of UN report on Sri Lanka's war crimes, the parallel, with the mass execution of 8000 Muslim boys and men by the Bosnian Serb army and how the horror reached the world from David Rohde, an US reporter, who had hiked through front lines to reach the outskirts of the empty town, is apt, that Sri Lanka has reached its "Srebrenica Moment,"

TamilNet, Friday, 22 April 2011
In an article in "The Australian" news paper authored by Gordon Weiss, a former UN spokesperson who accused Sri Lankan Government earlier of killing 10,000 to 40,000 Tamil civilians by discriminate shelling during the final stages of war,

UN report on ‘war crimes' in Sri Lanka: Karunanidhi hopeful of action by Centre

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president and Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Friday expressed hope that the Centre would take appropriate steps without any delay after the United Nations report on alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka is officially released on April 25.

In a statement here, he rejected AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa's charge that his fast in April 2009, seeking a halt to military operations in Sri Lanka, was mere eyewash.

Jaya demands war crimes trial of Rajapaksa

AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa on Friday demanded that the government take 'immediate steps' to make Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa stand trial for alleged war crimes during the conflict between the Lankan armed forces and the LTTE following a UN report.

"The UN Panel report is very clear. It lists out the war crimes of the Sri Lankan government," Jayalalithaa said in a statement here.

SL occupation of hospitals, schools harm resettlement in Vanni - TNA MP

2 April 2011

Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian from Vanni, S. Sritharan, has blamed the occupying Sri Lanka Army in Vanni for continuing to occupy public buildings, including primary hospitals and schools, causing severe hardships to resettling civilians. The accusation by the TNA MP comes following District Development Committee (DDC) meeting held in Jaffna on Tuesday, when Medical Officers brought to the notice of the DDC that if the Poonakari primary hospital, now occupied by the Sri Lanka Army, is handed over to them, they would resume services to the resettled civilians.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Sri Lanka: Cry From The Graves? – Analysis

April 22, 2011/By Sivanendran

The end of the three decade old civil war that pitted the government against the LTTE and divided the population created a reasonable expectation that Sri Lanka would be able to reach reconciliation and healing, which would pave the way for rapid economic progress. But alas the country appears to be getting more divided and polarised than ever before.
Fifty years of ethnic cleansing have wiped out whole generations who knew any sort of peace, and have made cohabitation between the Tamils and the Sinhalese people in Sri Lanka virtually impossible. The Sinhala politicians have transformed the country into a counter-insurgency state like Columbia, in which repression, torture, imprisonment without trial and disappeared people are institutionally embedded. It appears that it is an extremely difficult task for the Sri Lankans to reverse this process.

UN Panel Report on final battle in Sri Lanka

: Acid Test for UN and International Community to Act Decisively
by Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

(April 21, Toronto, Sri Lanka Guardian) In the light of the UN Panel of Expert’s report, with a view to moving forward with its recommendations, a convergence of opinions from the international community, in support of an international independent mechanism, leading to prosecution of those responsible is critical. The acid test for the UN and for the international community is to act – act fast and decisively; this is the time for the international community to restore its lost credibility and bring justice for the victims.

Petitions, complaints, warnings from Sri Lanka ahead of UN war crimes report

Sri Lanka’s government has launched a petition campaign against the UN making public an expert panel’s report on war crimes committed during the final months of the island’s war. The campaign, launched Thursday by Sri Lanka’s Minister of Private Transport Services, C. B. Ratnayaka, aims to collect one million signatures. It comes two days after President Mahinda Rajapaksa called for annual May Day rallies to be directed against the UN report. Also on Thursday, Sri Lanka’s foreign minister G.L. Peiris claimed releasing the report will damage the UN, while Mass Media minister Keheliya Rambukwella claimed the experts had written the report in just two weeks. The UN said earlier it will be releasing the much anticipated report on Friday.
Time omits Mahinda    

Friday, 22 April 2011

altPresident Mahinda Rajapaksa has been omitted from the final list of Time magazines 100 most influential people in the world, which was announced today, despite being selected in the online poll. While the President was ranked fourth at the time online voting in the poll closed yesterday, the final 100 selected by the Editors of the prestigious magazine saw him being dropped.

However President Rajapaksa was not the only one omitted from the final list selected by the Editors of Time magazine as several others, including some who were in the top 10 with the President when polling was underway, were also omitted. Internet activist Wael Ghonim was selected as the most influential person in the world as his work led to the revolution in the Middle East which saw Egyptians removing Hosni Mubarak and his regime. (News

By V Suresh

Will a UN report lie? Will an Expert Panel specially set up by the UN Secretary General to examine allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity be biased, partisan, project half truths and deliberately malign a state?

The questions may be startling to many of us; but to the Government of Sri Lanka, the UN is their current enemy. Just the talk of any of the UN agencies examining allegations of military excesses or war crimes committed by the Lankan army during its war against the LTTE is enough to elicit angry outbursts from Sri Lankan leaders against the world body.

The three stooges of Ban-Ki-moon and character certificate by the Tamil National Alliance

By S.L. Gunasekara
IF Mahinda Rajapaksa had heeded the ‘demands’ (couched as requests) made by Moon, Clinton, Miliband and Kouchner etc and declared a ceasefire while we were on the point of victory, the terrorist Prabhakaran would still have been alive and terrorism would have thrived in the country.

IF Mahinda Rajapaksa had heeded those demands:-

Act with restraint in responding to UN SG advisory panel report - Friday Forum

Former Ambassador Jayantha Dhanapala on behalf of 'Friday Forum', a collective of concerned citizens calls upon all parties to act with restraint in responding to the Secretary General of the United Nations over the UN advisory committee report.

Full text of the statement:

The Friday Forum is deeply concerned over the initial reactions to the leaked sections of the report of UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s Panel of Experts on Sri Lanka both within Sri Lanka and abroad.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

SLFP expresses disapproval of penal report

Suraj A Bandara

Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) expressed its disapproval on the allegations made against the Government in the three-member experts panel report of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on civilian casualties during the last stages of the humanitarian offensive against the LTTE.

SLFP General Secretary Minister Susil Premajayantha rejected the findings of the expert panel report saying it was biased. The Government safeguarded human rights and even served food and drinks to the enemy at the war front. The Security Forces were fully committed to protect human rights even in the battlefield, he said.

Female Secretary of Mannar district sexually molested: Minister turns hooligan forcibly removes the suspects from police custody

After the Mannar Headquarters police took into custody three youths as suspects on a complaint made to the police by a female District Secretary that she was sexually molested, the Minister for Industries and trade, Rishard Badurdeen and his supporters had raided the police station and forcibly removed the three suspects in police custody and gone away.

New university entrants to undergo leadership training at military camps

by Dasun Edirisinghe

Students who qualify for university education will have to undergo leadership training at a military establishment, Higher Education Ministry Secretary Dr. Sunil Jayaratne said.

The new scheme would come into effect from May 23 for the next academic year and it would be compulsory for all students, he said. The training programme would be conducted by the military under the supervision of university authorities.

Debating numbers, killing lives: UN and Government differences emerge

The Island newspaper continues to publish leaks from the report produced by the Panel appointed by the UN Secretary General to look into post-war accountability in Sri Lanka. Groundviews has covered in detail the Executive Summary and Parts 1, 2 and 3 of the leaks.

The Island published today Part 4, which focusses on the significant discrepancies between the United Nations and the Government on estimating the number of civilians trapped in the Vanni during the final stages of the war, and how this numbers debate resulted in horrific ground conditions.

USA, UK behind KI-MOON'S terror panel against Lanka, says JHU

The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) said that the report compiled by the panel of experts appointed by the UN Secretary General, is his personal diplomatic terrorist operation. The JHU expressed this view at a media briefing convened yesterday.

“The opinions voiced against Sri Lanka were defeated at the United Nations General Assembly. At such a time, all Sri Lankans irrespective of party or colour, must stand up against Ban Ki Moon's personal terrorist operation,” said Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thera, Leader of JHU.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Members of the UN Expert Panel were bribed - SL minister

The report on Sri Lanka which was submitted by the UN Expert Panel appointed by the General Secretary Ban Ki Moon was prepared under the influence of bribes by LTTE sympathizers according to the National Freedom Front Leader, Minister Wimal Weerawansa.

 He claimed that according to information that has been received, the LTTE supporting Tamil Diaspora had bribed the members of the panel using LTTE funds.

The Minister added that the UN had anticipated that President Mahinda Rajapaksa would lose in the recently concluded local government election and had delayed the presentation of the report while he questioned whether the report was trying to suggest that LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran was not a war criminal.


UN Report Was Ready March 31 But Was Delayed for Sri Lanka, Kohona Says Don't Release, Silva Lobbies

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 19 -- The scanned portion of the UN Panel of Experts report on Sri Lanka war crimes leaked, presumptively by the government, to The Island newspaper has been obtained by Inner City Press and is being put online here.

It shows that the Panel's three members signed off on the report on March 31, 2011. Why was it only on April 12 that it was handed to Ban Ki-moon, who on April 13 gave it to Sri Lankan Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN General Shavendra Silva?

Theatre of the absurd that passes for governance in Sri Lanka

Finally, who ever has heard of Rain, the South Korean songster who takes precedence over our great leader in the Time Poll of the 100 most influential personalities in the world? An official government release on this stresses that the president is the leading politician in the poll. Now at number 2, he has seen off another songster – this time from Taiwan.
By Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu

The Secretary General’s Advisory Panel Report on Allegations of War Crimes by the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE in the last phase of the war has been handed over to the Government of Sri Lanka. The Ministry of External Affairs has declared that the Report is fundamentally flawed and that it contains baseless accusations. A leaked version of the executive summary has appeared in the local media and the UN is on record regretting the leak. The UN has also announced that it will make public the full report along with the full response of the Government of Sri Lanka. There is speculation that in any event the UN will make the full report public in the course of this week.

SRI LANKA: Development and law -- noon-day darkness in the country

Basil Fernando
Can there be development in the modern context without law? This is a relevant question in today’s context where is lot of talk of development on one hand but where there is lawlessness in the country. Can development and lawlessness co-exist?

In answering this question it is better to have a glance at the 19th Century, as the modern economy and law both started during this time. Sri Lanka’s modernization began during this century when it was a British colony.

Implement panel recommendations:UNP

The UNP said today that the government should turn the UN report into a  favorable one by implementing some of the recommendations made by the panel  in their report.

UNP Deputy Chairman Lakshman Kiriella told a news conference today that  the government should follow Israel which adopted a similar approach when  they were charged of war crimes after the conflict with the Hamas group.

Appeal to reconstitute a fuller APRC for serious political response on Ban's panel report

The handing over on 12 April, 2011, of the report on presumptive war crimes in Sri Lanka during the last phase of the war in the Vanni, by the 03 member advisory panel of the United Nation's Secretary General (UNSG) Ban Ki-moon, with no official public disclosures, compels us as the Centre for Social Democracy (CSD) to pay attention to all issues that is being mishandled by political interests, for petty, short term advantage here in Sri Lanka.

TGTE to Counter Sri Lanka's Anti-UN Activities

Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) announced that it will take steps to counter Sri Lankan government's plans to organize several activities against the UN Panel Report on Sri Lanka. TGTE will create an Expert Panel to counter Sri Lanka's anti-UN report and will meet different governments to counter Sri Lanka's propaganda against UN report.
New York, NY
Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) announced that it will take steps to counter Sri Lankan government's plans to organize several activities against the UN Panel Report on Sri Lanka. The leaked report was published in the news paper The Island.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Report Finds Sri Lanka Attacked Civilians - NYT


 A United Nations panel investigating allegations of war crimes by Sri Lankan troops at the end of the bloody battle against Tamil rebels in May 2009 found credible evidence that government soldiers made civilians a target, shelled hospitals and attacked aid workers, according to an unauthorized copy of the panel’s report.

Sri Lankan ethnic Tamil victims of a shell attack waited outside a makeshift hospital in a Tiger-controlled area in 2009.

Migrant who had Returned to Motherland Abducted and Killed by Burning

A person believed to be a migrant to a foreign country and who had returned to his mother country has been abducted and brutally murdered, according to the GTN reporter.

The body of this person has been recovered from a tobacco plot at the border of the high security zone in Punnalaikattuvan North.

The body was found in a partially burnt state around 8 PM on Sunday (17-04-11)

Complaints on Missing Persons in Jaffna on the increase

The numbers of complaints in regard to missing persons in Jaffna have increased. During the month of March alone more than 50 such complaints have been made.

The numbers of complaints in regard to missing persons in Jaffna have increased. During the month of March alone more than 50 such complaints have been made. 5 of these complaints are regarding those missing in the Jaffna town itself.

United stand required if Moon report infringes on Lanka’s sovereignty – UNP

by Zacki Jabbar

A united stand was required if the UN report, on the conduct of Sri Lanka’s security forces during the war against the LTTE, affected the country’s sovereignty, the UNP said yesterday.

Harin Fernando MP, addressing a news conference in Colombo said that the UNP was yet to make a detailed study of the UN statement, but if it infringed on the country’s sovereignty all Sri Lankans should speak in one voice.

New leaks of UN war crimes report: Shelling civilians, horrifying medical conditions and failure of the UN system in Sri Lanka?

The Island newspaper continues to publish leaks from the report produced by the Panel appointed by the UN Secretary General to look into allegations of war crimes in Sri Lanka. Groundviews flagged key points and placed in context what is widely acknowledged to be the executive summary of the report, published in The Island newspaper on Saturday. On the 17th and 19th of April, the newspaper published two more excerpts from the body text of the report. Going by the newspaper’s introduction to Part 1, we can expect much more content in the future, which begs the question as to why the UN itself hasn’t yet officially released the report into the public domain. 

Interpreting War Crimes

"On that basis, the UN report may be important to global level investors in the issues of racial equality and war crimes which are naturally connected in the case of Sri Lanka. It is the duty of such Global participants to ensure that it does not cause further damage to the little that is left at the root level."

by Gaja Lakshmi Paramasivam

(April 19, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) I read much about the UN’s report on the last stages of the battle against the LTTE in 2009. To me much of it is about ‘what happened’. To my mind, there are three levels at which we receive experiences. At the surface level it is like majority vote – the summary of ‘what happened’. On its own they are just the body of the experience.

As UN Security Council Hears of Sri Lanka Report, Russia Objects, Ban Ki-moon to Moscow, Sacrifice for 2d Term?

"Just as Russia opposed any Council discussion of Sri Lanka during the final, bloody stages of the conflict in 2009, on April 18, 2011 in the Council Russia raised a number of “procedural” objections, sources told Inner City Press afterward."

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 19 -- Sri Lanka and the UN Panel of Experts' report were listed in advance as topics of the Security Council briefing on the afternoon of April 18 by UN Department of Political Affairs chief Lynn Pascoe. Click here for that exclusive Inner City Press report.

Sri Lanka -Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

18 April 2011

Question:  A couple of questions.  Number one, on this Sri Lankan report, this report is now available all over in Sri Lanka by the Sri Lankan newspapers, who are reporting it.  The Secretary-General had made a position that he will wait for the reply from the Sri Lankan Government on the report before releasing it to the press over here.  But now, since it is all over, will he now release it before he receives the reply from the Sri Lankan Government?

Who leaked UN report?

by Rajasingham Jayadevan

Why ‘The Island’ newspaper best source to leak?

The report was published with typographical errors causing embarrassment for the UN panel and the UN media Inner City Press has highlighted these errors in its news. Some of them are so material, distorting the very meaning of the comments.
In a country where leaking of information is damaging to the ruling class and is considered anti-national activity , leaking of the UN expert panel report handed over to the government for its comments has not come under critical comments from the state so far.

Monday, April 18, 2011

On Sri Lanka, UN Withholds Report Which Was Leaked "Shortly After" Gov't Got it For Review by Adviser Nambiar

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 18 -- Three full days after portions of the Sri Lanka war crimes report was leaked, presumptively by the government of Mahinda Rajapaksa, to The Island newspaper, the UN still at its Monday noon briefing did not release the full report.

Inner City Press asked acting Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq why the report was not being released, whether the Panel of Experts would take questions as took place for example on connection with the UN's report on the murder of Benazhir Bhutto of Pakistan, and for the UN's view of Rajaksa's call for a mass protest of the report on May 1.

Sri Lanka's conduct of war "serious challenge to International Order"

In an interview with Radio Australia, Gordon Weiss, a former UN spokesperson who accused Sri Lankan Government earlier of killing 10,000 to 40,000 Tamil civilians by discriminate shelling during the final stages of war, said that the real impact of the UN-panel's report "really in its absolute clarity that grave crimes were committed and that there must be an international judicial inquiry into it," and adds that he believes these "investigations will lead to a war crimes process."

Full text of ABC interview follows:

PDF IconAudio: Weiss interview with ABC 

TNA urges GoSL not to miss the opportunity to engage in equality process

R. Sampanthan, the parliamentary group leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), in his response to the leaked recommendations of the UN Panel, on Monday said that the TNA urged the Rajapaksa regime not to miss the opportunity to "constructively engage in a process which would result in all the Peoples of Sri Lanka being the beneficiaries of genuine democracy, equality and justice."

“The TNA on its part has always been committed and continues to be committed towards achieving a genuine political solution that recognizes Sri Lanka's ethnic diversity and a full and inclusive citizenship of all its Peoples, including Tamils as a foundation for permanent peace and stability in the country,” Mr. Sampanthan said in his response.

Full text of the statement by Mr. R. Sampanthan follows:

Sri Lankan Tamil party hails UN war crimes report

Sri Lanka's main Tamil political party on Monday hailed a leaked UN report which called for an international war crimes probe into the island's political and military leadership.

The moderate Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said the report, commissioned by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, amounted to "irrefutable confirmation" of atrocities during the final stages of fighting in 2009.

"We welcome the recommendations made by the panel and trust that they will be honestly implemented," the alliance said in a statement.

CH 4: 'It will be very difficult for any of the great powers to ignore now what went on in Sri Lanka'

The former UN spokesman in Sri Lanka Gordon Weiss tells Channel 4 News that a leaked UN report into "credible allegations" of war crimes represent Sri Lanka's "Srebrenica moment"

Weiss told Channel 4 News they were at the "hard edge of humanitarian work" and were prevented from reaching the area by the Sri Lankan government. There "no foreign observers there to observe what was happening", Weiss said.
See the video here 

Country needs genuine democracy to defeat imperialist agenda – JVP

The report of the ‘Panel of Experts’ of the Secretary General is an attempt to intervene in internal affairs of Sri Lanka for various political interests states the JVP and emphasizes that the imperialist intervention against Sri Lanka should be defeated. In a communiqué issued by its Political Bureau the JVP further states the anti-social and undemocratic role of the present regime has paved the way for such interventions and this too should be defeated.

The JVP statement in full:

A genuine democracy should be established in the country to defeat imperialist interventions.

UN completes Sri Lanka war crimes report

Julia Zebley at 7:49 AM ET

Photo source or description
[JURIST] The UN announced on Tuesday the completion of a report on allegations of war crimes in Sri Lanka, but Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official website] said the report would not be released until President Mahinda Rajapaksa [official website] has time to review it. This has prompted criticism from Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International (AI), which demanded the report be made public [HRW press release; AI press release]. The report, based on the work of a three-member panel, evaluated [UN News Centre report] "the modalities, applicable international standards and comparative experience with regard to accountability processes." Earlier this week, Sri Lankan Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa [official website] stated that the government was not concerned with the report [Sunday Observer report]. The Sri Lankan Ministry of External Affairs [official website] announced in October that a UN war crimes panel would be allowed to visit [JURIST report] the island to look into the final stages of the conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam [JURIST news archive].

Face UN censure taking Tamil people on your side - Mano Ganesan tells government

Government should face UN and international community taking the Tamil people on its side. Choosing the line of triumphalism based on the victory against LTTE to counter UN censure on accountability will be a political error. It is time to leave the war victory to history and start addressing the political aspirations of the Tamil speaking people. It is the only way to win Tamils to the government side says DPF leader Mano Ganesan.  Ganesan said further in the brief statement issued by DPF media office,

UN Panel gives Colombo a lesson on "Theory of Justice"

The three-member UN panel rejected Sri Lanka's two-pronged notion of accountability that focussed on the responsibility of past Governments and of the LTTE, saying that the approach "does not envisage a serious examination of the Government’s decisions and conduct in prosecuting the final stages of the war or the aftermath, nor of the violations of law that may have occurred as a result." International standards mandate that any approach to accountability should "place the rights and dignity of the victims of the conflict at the centre," the panel said, and explained to Colombo that "[a]ccountability for serious violations of international humanitarian or human rights law is not a matter of choice or policy; it is a duty under domestic and international law." 

Aristotle (384-322BC) - At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst.

The leaked UN war crimes report: Key points and context


The Island newspaper published today sections of what appears to be a large excerpt from the report of the UN Panel of Experts looking into allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sri Lanka.

Inner City Press followed up with a report suggesting that the text was authentic, and that the UN deeply regretted the leak to the mainstream media. It also noted that the UN would publish the report in full next week, along with a response from the Sri Lankan government.

Groundviews flags below some highlights of this damning report, and places it alongside some other news article for context. Follow our tweets on this breaking story here. Our Facebook fan page will also carry highlights, and features discussions amongst the 6,000+ people already on it.

Some key highlights from the leaked report as published in The Island:

Boyle reacts to UN report: "Creating Tamil Eelam, the only remedy"

Reacting to the contents of the UN expert panel's report on Sri Lanka's war-crimes, Professor Boyle, expert in International Law, and Professor at the University of Illinois College of Law, told TamilNet, "there is absolutely no way the GOSL [Government of Sri L anka] is going to implement any of them [panel's recommendations], and the GOSL has already rejected all of them, according to published reports. Therefore, under these circumstances of longstanding and ongoing genocide against them [the Tamils], the only effective remedy the Tamil People now have is to create the State of Tamil Eelam and move to have the International Community recognize it."

UN panel admits international failure in Vanni war, calls for investigations

"During the final stages of the war, the United Nations political organs and bodies failed to take actions that might have protected civilians," said the United Nations Panel on Sri Lanka in its final report to Secretary General Ban-ki Moon. The report has also admitted that the UN system knowingly failed to release the casualty figures of the civilians. Although the report didn't touch the hot topic of serious allegations against the role the UN officials and certain responsible personalities associated with world powers, it said: The Secretary-General should conduct a comprehensive review of actions by the United Nations system during the war in Sri Lanka and the aftermath, regarding the implementation of its humanitarian and protection mandates.

Sri Lanka leader urges protests against UN report

Sri Lanka's president has called for mass protests against a UN report which urged a probe into alleged war crimes committed during the fight against Tamil Tiger rebels, his office said Sunday.

President Mahinda Rajapakse said in an address to officials of his Sri Lanka Freedom Party that this year's May Day rally should be turned into a "show of our strength" against international calls for war crimes investigations

"All these days we did not demonstrate our strength, but now on May Day we will show our strength," the president said on Saturday. An audio tape of the speech was released by his office.

Forced to seek protection from Russia, China: Gota

Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday lashed out at the UN experts panel report on the conduct of the Sri Lanka government and armed forces during the last stages of the war against the LTTE in 2009, saying there was an agenda behind the report and if the United Nations cannot protect one of its member states, Sri Lanka will be forced to look for protection from Russia and China.

He said the UN seemed to have been "hi-jacked by some countries" and that Sri Lanka as a member-state of the UN needs its protection. "This will push us to other countries to protect us. The UN should not be a pawn of some countries,” he added.

In Sri Lanka, UN Allowed Sabotage of its Report, Which Chides Ban Ki-moon for Withholding Casualty Figures

By Matthew Russell Lee

WASHINGTON -  When the UN gave a copy of its long delayed Panel of Experts' report on war crimes in Sri Lanka to the government of Mahinda Rajapaksa while withholding it from the press and public, the next steps were foreseeable.
First, the government criticized the report as “flawed” and “baseless” while no one else could see it.

Then portions of the report appeared in The Island in Sri Lanka, with more than a half dozen misspellings, for example “facilities” for “facilitate” and even words repeated (“excluded excluded”) which called and call into question its authenticity.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

UN report: Govt. launches major counter-offensive

Teams to visit Non-Aligned countries; White paper to explain justification for use of force to end terrorism
By Our Diplomatic Editor

Sri Lanka will launch a diplomatic offensive in "neutral" countries to meet the allegations made against the government in the report of the three-member experts’ panel that advised the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on civilian casualties during the last stages of the military offensive against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in early 2009.

Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa told the Sunday Times that the government would take the report "seriously" and send teams to India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, the other Non-Aligned countries including those in Africa and Latin America to explain why Sri Lanka had no option but to use military force to liquidate the LTTE's military capabilities.

TNA irked by failure to get detainee list

By Arthur Wamanan

The failure of the government to divulge the list of Tamil detainees for the second time has irked the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).

The TNA yesterday expressed its anger and frustration at the government for calling off a scheduled visit to the Terrorism Investigations Department office in Vavuniya at the eleventh hour.

Report of the UNSG’s panel of experts on accountability in Sri Lanka - Executive Summary

Allegations found credible by the UN Panel

The Panel’s determination of credible allegations reveals a very different version of the final stages of the war than that maintained to this day by the Government of Sri Lanka. The Government says it pursued a "humanitarian rescue operation" with a policy of "zero civilian casualties". In stark contrast, the Panel found credible allegations, which if proven, indicate that a wide range of serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law were committed both by the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE, some of which would amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. Indeed, the conduct of the war represented a grave assault on the entire regime of international law designed to protect individual dignity during both war and peace.

UN leak points to 'crimes against humanity' in Sri Lanka war

Saturday 16 April 2011
A leaked United Nations report indicates "credible allegations" of Sri Lanka war crimes. Video first broadcast by Channel 4 News, showing alleged Tamil executions, formed a key part of the evidence.

A leaked version of the long-awaited report by the United Nations Secretary General (UNSG) panel reveals "credible allegations" of war crimes which - if proven - suggest a "grave assault on the entire regime of international law".

Friday, April 15, 2011

Thonda’s On Stage Complaint To Basil

 CWC Leader and Minister Arumugam Thondaman recently complained to Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa about the non-inclusion of a Tamil description in documents handed over by the government.

Interestingly, Thondaman decided to express his displeasure when on stage before commencing his speech at a function organised by Rajapaksa’s Ministry.
Rajapaksa visited the Nuwara Eliya District on March 30 to promote the Divi Neguma programme commenced by his Ministry. Thondaman and several other governing party members attended the ceremony.

Law Without Rule Of Law

The politics of habeas corpus and the marginal role of the Sri Lankan courts under the 1978 constitution

The protection of the freedoms of individuals and the functioning of public institutions are therefore deeply linked. The public institutions, if they are managed for the achievement of various goals of the government, such as development, national security and the like, should at all times protect the freedoms of individuals. Therefore there are two factors to consider in the management of public institutions.
by Basil Fernando
"LIBERTY RIGHTS AT STAKE: THE VIRTUAL ECLIPSE OF THE HABEAS CORPUS REMEDY IN RESPECT OF ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES IN SRI LANKA" is a study of 880 judgments of various courts of Sri Lanka on habeas corpus applications from pre-independence times up to the present period by Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena and Jayantha de Almeida Guneratne. The effort examines an impressive number of judgments on habeas corpus during this period.1 This preview of this forthcoming publication is based on their findings.

US Urges Sri Lanka to “Use” in a “Process of Accountability” the UN Panel Report - Which Ban Ki-moon Still Withholds

By Matthew Russell Lee

WASHINGTON DC, April 14 -- On Sri Lanka, the Obama administration would like the Mahinda Rajapaksa government to “use” the Panel of Experts report on presumptive war crimes in the final stages of the conflict, State Department spokesman Mark Toner told Inner City Press on Thursday.

Toner said the US has “encouraged the Sri Lankan government to engage in a process of accountability” and to “use the Panel of Experts and its expertise to address that.” Video Here

58 Tamils languish in Magazine prison for more than 12 years

Information smuggled out of the notorious Magazine Prison in Borella, Colombo, reveal that 58 Tamil prisoners, 44 of them with no charges filed or charged without any viable court case or witnesses to prove guilt, are being held under the Island's Emergency Regulations in the prison for more than 12 years. One of the inmates told TamilNet that except two of the Tamil inmates who have relatives visiting them, most of the others have no visitor and are inflicted with illnesses arising from torture.

Keep quiet and carry on

A crackdown precedes a new report on the end of the civil war

SRI LANKA’S government has got its retaliation in first. On April 12th a panel of experts delivered a report to the UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, assessing whether war crimes were committed when the nation’s army bloodily won a long-running civil war against Tamil Tiger rebels early in 2009. The report has not yet been made public, but the government is furious that an independent inquiry took place at all. The report, it says, is “fundamentally flawed” and biased.

In recent weeks Sri Lanka’s rulers have vented their anger, most obviously by cracking down at home, intimidating those they blame for spurring the launch of the UN inquiry in the first place. At the sharp end are Western-funded education and advocacy groups, notably those keen on post-war reconciliation or those that point out flaws in the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Facing the most intense scrutiny are groups which have complained about repression, a muzzled press and a lack of civil liberties.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

US Congressman GRIMM submitted new and strong resolution on Sri Lanka, focusing on human rights and US foreign policy.

H.Res.177 -
Expressing support for internal rebuilding, resettlement, and reconciliation within Sri Lanka that are necessary to ensure a lasting peace. US Congressman GRIMM submitted new and strong resolution on Sri Lanka, focusing on human rights and US foreign policy. With the US State Dept. HR report, and UN Panel report on alledged war crimes by the Sri Lankan military headed by US permanent residents and US citizens, President Obama and UNSG

Canadian immigration orders deportation of Mrs Pararajasingam, to demonstrate conservatives Anti immigration policy before Parliamentary elections.


In one of the most callous and wanton decisions made by the Canadian immigration services, with utter disregard to the 72 year old wife of former Tamil TNA Parliamentarian, late Joseph Pararajasingam, issued DEPORTATION orders on her last week.

Tamils worldwide, and  Toronto, Canada in particular feel the Conservative Minister’s action, cruel, and heartless. Without showing the magnanimity of Canada, where Mrs. Pararajasingam seeked safety  and security after her husband, a Tamil member of Parliament was assassinated by paramilitary, quisling forces connected to the RAJAPAKSE government, and former LTTE breakaways, current appointed MP Karuna, and Chief Minister Pillaiyan, immigration services ordered the deportation.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sri Lanka rejects secret UN war report as 'flawed'

By Charles Haviland BBC News, Colombo

The Sri Lankan government has rejected a report commissioned by the UN on alleged human rights violations at the end of the country's war two years ago.

The report, by a panel of rights experts, has just been submitted to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and to the government in Colombo.

Human rights groups are demanding that the report be made public.

Unions alarmed over pension scheme

President to meet trade union representatives

By Yohan Perera

As several trade unions are gearing up to launch a protest against the proposed private sector pension scheme, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to hold discussions on the matter with all trade union representatives on April 25.

Several trade unions including the Ceylon Mercantile Union (CMU), Ceylon Bank Employees Union, Free Trade Zone Workers Union, National Workers Congress and Health Sector Alliance are to meet on April 18 to decide on the action they would take to protest against the private sector pension scheme. A joint statement by 12 trade unions alleged that the proposed scheme was to be established using funds collected from the workers alone.

UN leader under pressure over Sri Lanka war report

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) – UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is studying an expert report into thousands of deaths during Sri Lanka's 2009 military drive against Tamil rebels, as calls grow for an international probe.

Ban has given himself just days to decide on recommendations made by a panel of experts which handed its report on alleged war crimes to the UN leader on Tuesday.

A copy was sent to the Sri Lankan government which immediately rejected the document as "flawed" and "biased."

The United Nations said the report will be published and, according to diplomats, major behind-the-scenes lobbying has begun over what steps might then be taken.

United Nations Report on Sri Lanka Conflict Must be Made Public, Says Amnesty International

 Amnesty International Media Release

(Washington, D.C.) A United Nations (U.N.) report on accountability for war crimes committed in the Sri Lankan armed conflict must be made public, Amnesty International said today as a panel of experts submits their findings to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

"Sri Lankans must be allowed to see the panel’s findings. The report concerns a critical period in their recent history and they deserve to read it in full," said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific director. "Ban Ki-moon said that 'accountability is an essential foundation for durable peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka.' He must stick to his word - accounting for violations committed in the recent conflict is the first step to future reconciliation."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sri Lanka: UN Experts Submit Report

Secretary-General Should Use Findings to Press for Justice

(New York, April 12, 2011) – The report by a panel of experts to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on April 12, 2011, about laws-of-war violations in Sri Lanka should be used to pave the way for justice, Human Rights Watch said today. Ban commissioned the report in May 2010 after the Sri Lankan government failed to investigate violations committed in the final months of its decades-long conflict with the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Ban’s office said today that he will make the report public after he shares it with the Sri Lankan government.

Photos of the LTTE leaders killed after surrendering with white flags revealed

Photos of the dead bodies with gunshot wounds of LTTE political wing leader B.Nadesan and S. Pulithevan who were killed by the military after surrendering with white flags at the last stage of the war have been published by the Tamil websites worldwide.

The Sri Lankan government has repeatedly said that no LTTE leader who surrendered with the white flags was killed by the military. But the human rights organisations are of the opinion that the Sri Lankan government will be forced not to repeat that statement after this revelation.

A former UN co-coordinator has told Tamilnet website that the UN Colombo representatives were fully aware of all the details of those killed in a similar manner by the security forces. The spokesman has further stated that the LTTE leaders decided to surrender to the Sri Lankan forces after a pledge made to them by the United Nations.

All these photographs have already been submitted to the advisory panel appointed by UN secretary General Ban Ki Moon. The panel is to submit its report within the next few days.
for Photos please see LNW

Mervyn’s secretary, 2 cops, remanded for extortion

Three senior police officers transferred
Suspect left minister’s staff on Thursday – Press Secy

By Lal Gunasekera

Three top police officials have been transferred with immediate effect over their failure to take action against extortionists.

Officers of the Colombo Crime Division on Sunday arrested Public Relations Minister Mervyn Silva’s Parliament Affairs Secretary Jayasena Mudiyanselage Buddhi and three others, including two policemen, for an alleged attempt to extort money from a Tamil businessmen to the tune of five million rupees in Grandpass.

Int’l pressure on SL due to absence of internal HR violation inquiries – UNP

by Zacki Jabbar

Sri Lanka was under various international pressures because the Mahinda Rajapaksa government had failed to hold a proper inquiry into serious human rights violations against its citizens, Senior Vice President of the UNP Lakshman Kiriella MP, said yesterday.

He told The Island that the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission did not have a mandate to inquire into human rights abuses.

The LLRC had been established to ascertain why the Ceasefire Agreement with the LTTE had failed, but the reason was obvious to all. It had crumbled because the Chandrika Kumaratunga regime ably assisted by the JVP saw to its demise. There was no need for a Commission to ascertain that, he said.

Sinhala colonization threatens coastal areas of Mannaar

Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapakse led United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government has been implementing a planned scheme to settle Sinhalese persons in the southern coastal areas of Mu'l'lik-ku'lam, Thampapa'l'li in Ko'ndaichchi and areas along Madu road in the Mannaar district. Lands belonging to Tamil villagers in these areas are being grabbed to settle Sinhalese from the south, said Mr.Selvam Adaikalanathan, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Vanni district parliamentarian in a statement to media.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Where's the Goldstone report into Sri Lanka, Congo, Darfur – or Britain?

The Arab spring proves that Israel is not even the biggest issue in the Middle East – yet it gets all the attention

If you want a glimpse of the anger and heartache caused by the Goldstone report into the Gaza conflict of 2008-9, you could do worse than take a trip to the National Theatre. There a new and absorbing play, The Holy Rosenbergs, imagines the rift in a British Jewish family sparked by the daughter's work as a lawyer for a Goldstone-like inquiry into Israeli conduct in Gaza. It is the eve of her brother's funeral, and the local rabbi urges her to stay away: if she attends, pro-Israel activists will demonstrate at the cemetery.

Post-Conflict Sri Lanka Confronts Challenge of Peace Building

H. M. G. S. Palihakkara, LLRC,

When domestic processes fail to find solutions to internal problems, external forces find space to advocate or even impose solutions for their own political or strategic convenience. Sri Lanka is no exception. Leadership failures since independence by all governments and mainstream political parties contributed to externalizing the conflict from which Sri Lanka emerged in May 2009.

The instruments of externalization included a large and vocal expatriate community (or Diaspora as it calls itself) in a number of Western countries, as well as principals in the so-called "peace process" whose collapse eventually led to the military activity that eliminated the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, also known as "the Tigers"). Norway was the facilitator of the peace process, with a group of Western donor countries serving as "co-chairs" in an oversight role.

Sri Lanka: Crisis Of Credibility – Analysis

By Srideep Biswas

On the model of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, at the end of three decades of civil war, appointed a Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) on May 15, 2010, to examine the events covering the period between February 21, 2002, and May 19, 2009, and their attendant concerns and issues, and to recommend measures to ensure that there would be no recurrence of such strife.

The mandate of the eight member Commission, headed by former Attorney General C. R. De Silva as Chairman, was to inquire and report on the following matters over the period defined:

Can the state law office deny the right to justice?

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

Very few thinking people in Sri Lanka will assert in all good conscience that the office of the Attorney General has been free from political controversy as a matter of historical fact. That last rider is important lest it should be thought by a misguided few that all the evil began (and therefore would end, logically speaking) with the current administration.

Public perception of the office of the Attorney General at its lowest ebb.The reality is, of course, far more complex than simplistically attributing the present decline of the country’s premier state law office to a greedy grasp for power and more power on the part of present-day politicians. True, it was the actions of the present that resulted in the office of the Attorney General being moved out from the Ministry of Justice to the direct control of the Presidential Secretariat. In the period since then, we have seen increasing reports of unseemly attempts to withdraw charges by the Attorney General in criminal cases involving prominent politicians and other public figures.

Every grandiose noun and flowery adjective in Sinhala will be used to describe the Rajapaksas and their exploits in the “new” Mahavamsa

by Tisaranee Gunasekara

"Though everyone bowed down before you,
Saying virtue and wisdom lit your way,
Striking gold medals in your honour,
Glad to have survived another day,
Do not feel safe…” Czeslaw Milosz (You who Wronged)

Another emergency debate brought forth another apocryphal tale, to justify the unjustifiable. During the previous Emergency debate, the Prime Minister perorated portentously about Tiger training camps in Tamil Nadu, only to retract his words ignominiously, 24 hours later, in the face of strong Indian protests and denials. His colleagues, with barely concealed sniggers, indicated that the Prime Minister’s pronouncements need not be taken all that seriously!

Sri Lanka castigated in US country report on human rights

The 2010 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices issued by the US State Department includes serious violations of human rights in Sri Lanka.

 It states despite Lanka being a constitutional, multiparty republic President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and his family; two of the president's brothers hold key executive branch posts as defense secretary and minister of economic development, while a third brother is the speaker of parliament, dominate the affairs of eh country. Independent observers generally characterized the presidential and parliamentary elections as problematic. Both elections were fraught with violations of the election law by all major parties and were influenced by the governing coalition's massive use of state resources. There were instances in which elements of the security forces acted independently of civilian control.

Reveal names of detainees in the North – JVP member’s motion adopted in Eastern PC

A motion presented by the JVP Member Wimal Piyatissa demanding the government to reveal names and places of detention of those persons detained on charges of taking part in LTTE activities during the war period and several other issues confronted by the people in the North was passed in the Eastern Provincial Councils on Wednesday.

The motion states the government has failed to establish economic stability, national unity or democracy despite two years have passed since the end of the war. As such, the Eastern Provincial Council, taking this situation into account, demands the government to implement the following proposals.

Seine-net beaches in Mullaiththeevu distributed to Sinhala fishermen

Traditional seine-net beaches (Karaivalai-paadu) of Eezham Tamils in the coastal tracts of Mullaiththeevu district are grabbed and distributed among Sinhala fishermen from the south by a team of SL fisheries officials from the south. The excuse is that the local Tamil fishermen in the LTTE controlled areas did not register their seine-net stretches with the SL fisheries ministry. 12 stretches in A’lampil, 8 stretches in Thoo’ndaavil and 5 stretches in Chemmalai are thus grabbed and given to the Sinhalese. The Mullaiththeevu Government Agent as well as the district fisheries director had no knowledge of what the Sinhala officials from the south were doing. Meanwhile, Sinhala fishermen in Kalpiddi in the south, after seeing Tamil Nadu trawlers in their waters, are meeting on Monday to mobilise ‘Jaffna-Sinhala’ corporation against ‘Indian poaching.’

No action, talk only, says Suresh

    * TNA is not interested in separatism
    * Proper devolution is healthy for Sri Lanka

The UPFA government and the TNA are now put to face each other and both teams are engrossed in talks to find a solution to the day to day problems faced by the Tamils of North-East. Already four rounds of talks have been held between these parties. However on April 29 the all important talks will commence and that will be on the political solution to the ethnic crisis.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has already promised to offer the Tamils what he himself has described as ‘13th amendment plus’ while India, Sri Lanka’s giant neighbour has suggested a ‘13th amendment plus plus’. The contentious issue however seems to be in devolving police powers to the periphery. On this issue both the TNA and the government are sharply divided. The TNA last week submitted its proposals to the government outlining details of the degree of powers that had to be devolved to the periphery.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Lands for MPs to split us - TNA

By Rathindra Kuruwita

The government has allocated close to 1000 acres of land to several young United Peoples' Freedom Alliance (UPFA) MPs to carry out various programmes, said Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP A Vinayagamoorthy.

This has been done in a bid to artificially create an alternative leadership to the TNA among the Tamils, he asserts.

“UNP crossover Sri Ranga and several other MPs have been given these lands to carry out projects to win over the people.

President's family 'dominates' Sri Lanka

The US annual report on human rights says that the government of Sri Lanka, a multi-party democracy, is dominated by the president’s family.

“Two of the brothers hold key executive branch posts as defense secretary and minister of economic development, while a third brother is the speaker of parliament,” says the report.

The elections in which President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his coalition came into power in 2010 are described as “problematic” by the report quoting independent observers.

The US has also accused the Sri Lanka government “and its agents” of serious human rights violations.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

TNA says HSZs not necessary now

By Sandun A. Jayasekera

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said yesterday it had told the government that considering the present security situation in the North and the recent Supreme Court ruling there was no longer a necessity for High Security Zones (HSZ).

A TNA delegation comprising party leader R. Sampanthan, Mavai Senathirajah and Suresh Premchandran met a government delegation comprising House Leader and Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva and Sajin Vas Gunawardena.

Sri Lanka Government and agents continued to be serious human rights violators in 2010 - US State Dept Report

2010 Human Rights Report: Sri Lanka
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
2010 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

April 8, 2011

Sri Lanka is a constitutional, multiparty republic with a population estimated at 21 million. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was reelected to a second six-year term in January, and the parliament, which was elected in April, share constitutional power. The government is dominated by the president's family; two of the president's brothers hold key executive branch posts as defense secretary and minister of economic development, while a third brother is the speaker of parliament. Independent observers generally characterized the presidential and parliamentary elections as problematic. Both elections were fraught with violations of the election law by all major parties and were influenced by the governing coalition's massive use of state resources. There were instances in which elements of the security forces acted independently of civilian control.

Attorney General 'cannot withdraw charges' - Former CJ Sarath Silva

'If there was no evidence why did the AG file the charges?'
The former Chief Justice (CJ) of Sri Lanka has questioned the legality of Attorney General's (AG) withdrawal of murder and rape charges filed against government politicians.

Sarath Nanda Silva, the former CJ who held the position for over ten years said that the withdrawal of the charges “undermines judiciary and judicial independence.”

“The AG is the only person who can file criminal charges at the High Court. But even the AG does not have an authority to withdraw the charges after the proceedings have begun,” he told BBC Sinhala service, Sandeshaya.

Bakground Note: Sri Lanka

The latest version of the Country's Background issued by the State Department, USA,
on 06 April,2011

Official Name
: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka


Area: 65,610 sq. km. (25,332 sq. mi.); about the size of West Virginia.
Cities: Capital--Colombo (pop. est. 1.3 million--urban area). Sri Jayewardenepura-Kotte is the officially designated capital and is the site of Parliament. Other cities--Kandy (150,000), Galle (110,000), Jaffna (100,000).
Terrain: Coastal plains in the northern third of country; hills and mountains in south-central Sri Lanka rise to more than 2,133 meters (7,000 ft.).
Climate: Tropical. Rainy seasons--light in northeast, fall and winter, with average rainfall of 50 in.; heavy in southwest, summer and fall, with average rainfall of 200 in.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Sri Lanka: Account for Wartime Disappearances; More Than 20 People Last Seen in Army Custody Remain Missing

(New York, April 7, 2011) – The Sri Lankan government should account for everyone who was taken into custody at the end of Sri Lanka’s 26-year-long armed conflict in May 2009 and are feared to have been “disappeared,” Human Rights Watch said today. Despite numerous requests from families for information about their relatives, the authorities do not appear to have conducted any serious investigations, Human Rights Watch said.

Human Rights Watch said unresolved enforced disappearances should be part of the mandate of a proposed United Nations investigation into laws-of-war violations by both government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). A Panel of Experts appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to advise him on steps for ensuring accountability for laws-of-war violations in Sri Lanka is expected to hand over its report later in April 2011.

Hack Attack!

Dr. P. Saravanamutthu

Over the last so many weeks and still continuing, there have been a number of critical reports on the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA)- the election monitoring body of which CPA serves as the Secretariat, the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (MEV), in particular - the National Peace Council (NPC), and Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL).  There have also been personal attacks on me. Consequently, I am taking the liberty to clarify and comment on a number of aspects of this reportage and personal attacks.

Corruption hinders constructions: Dulles

By Sandun A. Jayasekera

Minister of Youth Affairs and Skills Development Dulles Alahapperuma said it was regrettable and a matter of shame that the development of the construction industry has been stunted due to corruption and quality failure while other countries have shown tremendous progress in this sector.

Addressing a ceremony held after laying the foundation stone to start work on the construction of a swimming pool at the Dikwella Vijitha Maha Vidyalaya, Minister Alahapperuma went on to say that no public construction could be carried out in Sri Lanka without greasing the palms of several officials at various stages.
“This has become the norm in the construction industry in the third world and Sri Lanka in particular, weakening a highly important sector that holds the potential to contribute to economic progress in a big way. If Sri Lanka’s industrial sector was not able to get rid of this negative and distressing trend, the construction industry in the country was doomed to failure,” the Minister said.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

‘SL forces want Emergency extended for colonizing East’

Tamil National Alliance MP for Batticaloa, Pakiaselvam Ariyanethiran, Tuesday night told media that Sri Lankan forces were staging search operations in the three districts of Eastern Province to justify Colombo's “need” to extend the Emergency in the island. The Sri Lanka Army with the SL Police on Tuesday launched major cordon and search operation simultaneously in all the three districts of the Eastern province for the first time since the end of Vanni war. Meanwhile, Tamil residents of border villages in the East said the SLA had put up new road blocks and had issued warnings asking for details of those who were protesting against Sinhalese being settled along the border villages.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

US: Rights concerns hold back Sri Lanka ties

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States said Tuesday that future cooperation with Sri Lanka depended on improvements in its human rights record and an accounting of the bloodshed at the end of the island's civil war.

With its strategic location and contributions to global peacekeeping, Sri Lanka "is poised to be a capable and willing partner to effectively combat violent extremism, trafficking and piracy," said Robert Blake, the assistant secretary of state for South Asia.

UNP to institute legal action against proposed CMCC

Devolution promised for N&E, disenfranchising South – Tissa Attanayake
by Zacki Jabbar

The UNP is to institute legal action against a government move to convert five local bodies in Colombo into a Corporation.General Secretary of the UNP Tissa Attanayake told a news conference in Colombo yesterday, that they will move Court to ensure that the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime does not usurp the people’s civic rights.

The Colombo, Dehiwala – Mt. Lavinia and Sri Jayawardenapura-Kotte Municipal Councils, the Kolonawa Urban Council and Kotikawatte – Mulleriya Pradeshiya Sabha, which the government proposes to combine into the Colombo Metropolitan City Corporation, were largely UNP strongholds, he said.

SRI LANKA: April 5th events and the 1978 constitution

April 5th has significance to Sri Lanka due to the JVP uprising of 1971. The word uprising has been used for this event by way of an exaggeration. The exaggeration came mainly from the then-government and its propaganda machinery, supported also by UNP, who were the main opposition party, in unleashing unrestrained repression to suppress whatever that was taking place. It is this massive suppression that is being justified by the use of the word ‘uprising' for what happened in 1971.

The events of 1971 do not compare in significance in any way with the 1953 hartal, which was in fact a mass uprising in which most of the population directly or indirectly participated. That uprising came as a result of a call by several political parties, led mainly by the Lanka Samasamaja Party, as a protest against the increase of the price of rationed rice by the UNP government, whose Minister of Finance was JR Jayawardene.