Friday, March 30, 2012

Beware the Wounded tigers

The three-decade conflict between successive governments and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) climaxed, trapping thousands of Tamil civilians between the Indian Ocean to the north and the Sri Lankan Army in all other directions. Within these bounds they were held captive by the LTTE, who were trying their best to prompt a humanitarian crisis to compel the international community to intervene. The international community stayed away, but the LTTE did succeed in inducing a humanitarian calamity.

Committed to working with Lankan govt. for lasting peace – US

The United States says it is committed to working with the Sri Lankan government to help realize the goal of lasting peace through real reconciliation and accountability.  The remark came in a fact sheet issued by the office of the spokesperson of the US State Department on the key US outcomes at the UNHRC 19th session in Geneva.

Govt. makes official stand on UNHRC .

Making an official statement of the Government, with regard to the UNHRC resolution  Minister of External Affairs Prof.G.L.Peiris said that said Sri Lanka would not allow any foreign intervention at any time. Speaking in Parliament today, he said Sri Lanka’s stand on the issue was consistent right throughout.

White van abductions are under the directions of President and Gota as confirmed by Sagara the victim

The exposures time and again by Lanka e news that the white Van and its criminal operations are being carried out under the control and directives of the President and defense Secretary Gotabaya were confirmed when Sagara Senaratne ,the brother in law of Mnister Jeewan Kumaranatunge fell victim to the white Van abduction recently , and was later released .

Minister Maithripala Sirisena’s allegations against ‘CARITAS-SEDEC’ are baseless and untrue

Rev. Dr. Harold Anthony Perera
In a news item telecast over ITN at 9.30 pm on 23rd March 2012, Hon Maithripala Sirisena, Minister of Health accused Caritas SEDEC Sri Lanka as an NGO of being responsible for instigating farmers to protest. He also claimed that Caritas SEDEC Sri Lanka had a presence in Geneva where the UN Human Rights Council had its 19th Sessions recently.

FR petition against website blockade put off for 3rd time

The Supreme Court has put off until May 19 a fundamental rights petition against the blockade of certain websites.
The Free Media Movement has filed the petition.
At a hearing yesterday (Mar. 29), representatives of citizens groups propagating the right to information were present at the court. A panel of lawyers led by J.C. Weliamuna is appearing on behalf of the FMM

Sushma Swaraj to lead all-party team to Sri Lanka next month

The Indian government is planning to send an all-party delegation, led by Lok Sabha opposition leader Sushma Swaraj, to Sri Lanka next month.  According to PTI, the aim of their tour is to press for stopping all atrocities against Lankan Tamils and also look into their living conditions after the end of the LTTE.

Sri Lanka: Stop threats and incitement of violence against human rights defenders who engaged at the UN Human Rights Council

Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) received information regarding threats, harassment, intimidation, vilification and incitement to violence against Sri Lankan human rights defenders in connection with their views on accountability issues in Sri Lanka.

Mervyn’s comments are a matter for the police, says Govt.

The government said yesterday that Public Relations Minister Mervyn Silva’s recent statement that he was responsible for chasing former Free Media Movement Convenor Poddala Jayantha out of the country was a matter for the police to deal with.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Govt yet to react to UNHCR resolution says Cabinet spokesman

Sri Lanka government has not officially announced its response to the resolution passed by the United Nations’ Human Rights Council (UNHCR) in Geneva, says the acting Media Minister and cabinet spokesman, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena.“Government may give its official reaction in the future”, he said answering to a question from a journalist on Thursday.

Tamil expats issued death threats

Several expatriate Tamils in various cities in Switzerland described as ‘anti Sri Lankan’ have been issued with death threats, according to a Swiss newspaper called ’20 Minuten’.

Sri lanka: Land grabbing and development-induced displacement

Written statement submitted by the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development to 19th session on HRC
The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), in association with three Sri Lankan non-governmental organisations1, draws the attention of the United Nations Human Rights Council to the alarming trend violations of the rights to adequate housing, land and property in post-war Sri Lanka.

‘Shape karala ganna puluwan’ (Can fix it) plan of Govt failed in Geneva

Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu
The reaction of the Rajapaksa regime to the successful US resolution at the Human Rights Council makes out the resolution to be, in effect, the first defeat suffered by the regime, its feeble efforts at damage limitation notwithstanding. Needless to say it should not have come to this.

Country has fallen from ‘Safe Zone’ into ‘Endangered Zone’ due to Indo-American Resolution

Gomin Dayasri
There is a time to criticize and a time to be constructive. Country is being systematically throttled with a lasso thrown around its neck by an alien fist. Reconstruct is the proper term. Let’s stand firm and heave the wretched curse of the albatross stuck around our neck and breathe again like a free nation.

Sinhala land-grabbers trigger abduction of Tamil youth in Batticaloa

Armed men of allegedly Sri Lanka Army operated white-van squad Wednesday night have abducted a 20-year-old Tamil youth, Kishore Ramachandran, while the youth was at sleep at his house at mid-night.

Headline Today's “I witnessed Genocide” wins journalism award in New Delhi

Indian television Headlines Today journalist Priyamvatha's investigative reports from Vanni last year titled "I Witnessed Genocide: Inside Sri Lanka's killing fields," has won the prestigious "Best Investigative Report" award at the 2012 News Television Award in New Delhi, media sources in Chennai said.

Interrogated European couple to leave country

Belgian independent film-maker Guilhem de Crombrugghe and his French girlfriend Marie Ferdinand entered Sri Lanka on January 5. The couple was on holiday, and on tourist visas.  However, they were not here to ‘sit on the beaches and enjoy five star hotels’, as they put it. They wanted to experience a different side to Sri Lanka, and research on how tourism development was affecting the country.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sri Lanka's Sinhala Buddhist party wants India sidelined

Sri Lanka government coalition party Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) says it is preparing to present a set of proposals to the government in order to overcome the national and international challenges arisen following the resolution passed against Sri Lanka at Geneva.

Sri Lanka to expose India

In what seems like a major development, Sri Lanka has expressed its commitment to raise India’s human rights violations in the occupied Kashmir at the UN. Although the Sri Lankan government stated that this was a tit for tat because New Delhi had voted in favour of a US sponsored resolution

Post-war Northern Province: Some facts and fallacies

By Dr.Rajasingham Narendran
 I have been concerned by the claims of some politicians, journalists, NGOs and INGOs about post-war developments of an adverse nature relating to purported settlement of Sinhalese in the Northern Province, contrary to what I could see and gather from the people living within the province.

After Geneva: Avoiding the trap

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka
“If we do not learn how to understand, we shall never learn how to survive.”
– Fidel Castro, Reflections, March 21, 2012
 After Geneva, do we Sri Lankans understand? Do we know how to understand? Do we understand that understanding does not come easily or automatically; that one has to ‘learn how to understand’, as Fidel clearly indicates in his latest article entitled ‘Roads to Disaster’?

UNP insists on LLRC report implementation

The Working Committee of the United National Party (UNP) yesterday adopted a resolution to push the government for the full implementation of LLRC recommendations.  The resolution, which was presented to the UNP Working Committee, was drafted by Lakshman Kiriella, Joseph Michael Perera and Mangala Samaraweera, party sources told Ceylon Today.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Prageeth’s wife claims irrelevant cross-examination at court hearing

The wife of the missing cartoonist Pradeep Ekneligoda says she was cross-examined at the Homagama courts over totally irrelevant matters in a petition she has filed citing former attorney general Mohan Peiris as the respondent.

Hindu Council objects Buddhist Vihara replacing Saiva temple in Kokku'laay

The construction of a Buddhist Vihara in the site after the destruction of several decade old Pi'l'laiyaar temple at Kokku'laay in Mullaith-theevu district cannot be allowed, said C.Yogeswaran, Batticaloa district Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian in a memorandum to Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister D.M.Jayatrena

Hate speech writer Mahinda Abeysundara made Lake House consultant editor

‘Dinamina’ editor Mahinda Abeysundara has been appointed consultant editor for all publications of state-run Lake House Group with immediate effect.

Minister says Caritas wants anarchy

Accuses Church social arm of conspiring to undermine government
Caritas yesterday dismissed allegations from a senior cabinet minister accusing the Church’s social arm of involvement in a major conspiracy to create anarchy within the country.

Sri Lanka reacts to the UN: Nationalists doth protest

“HILLARY CLINTON is naked! Obama is naked!” shriek the Sinhala-language graffiti across a wall in Colombo. Following their government’s lead, many Sri Lankans are reacting angrily to the passage of an American-led initiative in the UN Human Rights Council which seeks reconciliation and accountability for war crimes that are alleged to have been committed at the end of their state’s civil war against the Tamil Tigers.

Avoid another resolution, urge Elders

A group of world leaders formed by Nelson Mandela has urged Sri Lanka to try and avoid another showdown in the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) by adhering to the recent resolution adopted by the body.

''I will break the limbs and No one can touch me as long as Rajapaksas are in power' -Minister Mervyn”

As long as Mahinda Rajapaksa is serving as the President and the family of D.A. Rajapaksa is in power, "no one can touch me,” Minister Mervyn Silva said today.

Sri Lanka - Human rights defenders threatened and subjected to a smear campaign for participating in the Human Rights Council

From 9 March to 23 March 2012, Dr Paikiasothy Saravunammutta, Ms Nimalka Fernando, Ms Sunila Abeysekera, and Mr Sunanada Deshapriya were targeted by government media and a Government Minister for their participation in the 19th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, where they had been lobbying to expose human rights violations in Sri Lanka.

Colombo changing tack on LLRC?

A mere four days after a resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council wanted Sri Lanka to implement the recommendations of a commission that went into issues of reconciliation, a senior Minister has said the commission had gone beyond its mandate.

Sri Lanka will not abide by UNHRC resolution: Peiris

Sri Lanka on Monday made it clear that it will not abide by the UNHRC resolution that censured it over its human rights record and said it would only implement feasible recommendations of its own panel that probed the three-decade-long bloody civil war.

Amid Sri Lankan denial, threats rise for journalists

 Bob Dietz/CPJ Asia Program Coordinator
In the wake of the U.N. Human Rights Council resolution calling for an investigation into Sri Lanka's alleged abuses of international humanitarian law during its war with Tamil separatists, the government has resorted to outright threats of violence against journalists who might dare to return home after taking part in the Geneva discussions.

Resolution will not affect SL’s international ties: Rankin (UK) .

British High Commissioner John Rankin said the passing of the US sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka in Geneva last week would not have an impact on the country’s ties with the UK, the rest of the EU, US or even India despite controversy regarding the matter. 

Geneva resolution: A step towards justice

''While these are good reasons for jubilation, it is important to remember that the current resolution is only a beginning and not nearly enough to actually realise justice in Sri Lanka. For this to be achieved, the international community has to be able to continue its scrutiny and judge Sri Lanka’s future actions towards accountability in accordance with international standards. ''

'We live in an inter-dependent world'- EU Ambassador

Europe does not conduct its foreign relations on the basis of emotions, said Ambassador Bernard Savage, head of delegation of the European Union in Sri Lanka, last week. He also said that calls for accountability will not go away but stressed that a war crimes tribunal was nowhere near being considered. Excerpts from the    interview:

LLRC centered resolution, an albatross around Tamils neck - Tamil Net

While the passage of the US-tabled LLRC-based resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC sessions has renewed expectation in some quarters of the Tamil diaspora that the resolution will be the first step towards exposing the culpability of Colombo in committing war-crimes, Tamil circles expressed the need to exercise caution, pointing out that the history of failed Commissions in Sri Lanka during the last 30 years,

Monday, March 26, 2012

Alarming Increase in Hostile Rhetoric, Threats of Reprisals against Journalists in Sri Lanka

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) strongly deplores the alarming escalation in hostile rhetoric and the barely concealed threats of reprisals that have been made against some of the country's leading journalists and human rights defenders by representatives of the Sri Lankan government and by state-owned media outlets.

UNHRC resolution anti-government, but pro-people, says Sri Lankan MP

Rejecting the notion that the Sinhalese community as a whole would harden its stand as a result of the resolution against Sri Lanka in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the country's Tamil Nationalist Alliance MP M.A. Sumanthiran on Sunday said that on the contrary, there was realisation that the resolution had come about because of the Sri Lankan Government's failure to do the right things at the right time.

Sri Lanka’s foreign policy triumphs

While ‘Might overruled right’ at the recently concluded sessions of the UNHRC, wherein a resolution against Sri Lanka was passed on so-called accountability issues by a wafer-thin one-vote majority, this final result should not be seen by this country in an entirely negative light.

Feasible LLRC recommendations will be implemented – Govt

No referendum, No role for Opp.
The government has decided to continue the process of implementing the recommendations made by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission without the participation of the Opposition or holding a referendum on it.

Geneva 2012

''We must certainly strive to countervail the mounting anti-Lankan opinion in Indian civil society and the media, militant opinion in Tamil Nadu and the lobbying of certain Western elements. We must secure Delhi’s support and swing Indian public and political opinion firmly over to Sri Lanka’s side. This cannot be done by purely verbal means but by policy reforms''.

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

Mervyns’ statement should be condemned: GL

External Affairs Minister G.L Peiris yesterday said he could not condone statements made by a government Minister who claimed that he would clamp down on journalists and human rights activists who had travelled to Geneva.   “It is wrong and there is no defense of it. I cannot condone a statement from anybody when they state they are going to resort to violence. It is clearly wrong; no right thinking person is going to defend it or justify it,” he said.

UN can prove C-4 wrong – Gota Recalls how UN inaction helped terrorists

The UN and INGOs deployed in Sri Lanka during Eelam war IV could help the international community to verify the validity of allegations contained in Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said.

Colombo censors BBC Tamil, Sinhala services

Sri Lankan state-run Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC), which relays BBC's Tamil and Sinhala services in the island, avoided airing Sandeshya, the BBC Sinhala service on Sunday. In the meantime, BBC's Tamil language service 'Thamizhoasai' was jammed on Friday and Saturday.

Resolution aimed at protecting US global interests - Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera

Acting Minister of External Affairs, Senior Minister D.E.W.Gunasekera, told the Sunday Observer that the US-backed resolution was aimed at protecting the geopolitical and global strategic interests of the US in the changing world economic order and had nothing to do with the protection of human rights.

Action on Resolution on Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka - HRC release

In a resolution (A/HRC/19/L.2/Rev1) regarding promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka, adopted by a vote of 24 in favour, 15 against and 8 abstentions as orally revised, the Council notes with concern that the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission of Sri Lanka does not adequately address serious allegations of violations of international law and calls upon the Government of Sri Lanka to implement the constructive recommendations made in the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission and

BT-RCB Poll: Govt. Ministers should try living on such an income ( Rs 2500 a month)

On Minister Gunawardene’s statement of Rs 7,500 per month for family of three
More than 90 % of respondents of a Business Times-Research Consultancy Bureau (BT-RCB) poll this week have disagreed with a government minister’s assertion that Rs 7,500 per month is enough as ‘living expenses’ for a family of three. Some respondents said this calculation is even less than the UN poverty index of the poor being defined as those living below US$1.25 (Rs 150) per day.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Geneva II debacle

Kalana Senaratne
The US-sponsored resolution at the UNHRC had to be defeated. It was not. 24 in favour, 15 against, 8 abstained. Hearts are broken, glasses are shattered, the ‘gods’ have ignored our prayers, there is madness surrounding us; 2012, we are now sure, is when the world comes to an end.

Minister Mervyn in 'cover up of VVIP'

The senior journalist union leader who was forced to flee Sri Lanka after being brutally attacked has accused a controversial minister of making public statements in order to protect the real perpetrators.

Leave UN - UNP

Secretary of the UNP MP Tissa Atthanayake said that if the government is not willing to be bound by the UN it should resign as a member state. “ As a country that has been a part of the United Nations for decades and having accepted the Human Rights charter of the United Nations, if this government can’t abide by what the UN has called for, there is no point remaining within the UN” he said.

‘Sri Lanka must seek public vote over UN vote’

Colombo: Sri Lanka must put the question of the UN resolution against it before people, a constituent partner of the ruling coalition, United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) said on Sunday. Wimal Weerawansa the minister of housing and the leader of the nationalist National Freedom Front (NFF) told reporters that the government cannot face the problem alone.

The man - Weerawansa - is nuts; Dayasiri .

UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara responding to the call for a fresh mandate from the people by Minister Wimal Weerawansha said that the request was a very “foolish one and wouldn’t solve the mess we have got ourselves into”.

War displaced stopped from cultivating

The people in the former war-torn areas will not be able to enjoy the hard won freedom after decades of war if the government does not settle them back in their ancestral lands, says a provincial minister from the ruling party in Sri Lanka.

Rage in Colombo, post Geneva

By Ranga Jayasuriya
In Colombo, the air is thick with anger. Defeated in Geneva, at the Human Rights Council, the government is on the offensive. State controlled media have modelled themselves after notorious Rwandan hate radio, RTLM, that whipped up racial animosity,  prologue to the Rwandan genocide.

Why the UN acts to hold Sri Lanka accountable for war crimes

J.S. Tissainayagam
A few incidents that have led to commentators voicing doubts on the impartiality of the UN’s role in Sri Lanka
Unhrc sri lanka resolution war crimes protests. A resolution on Sri Lanka was passed in the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, Thursday. Human rights activists hailed the resolution as a hopeful first step by the international community in holding Sri Lanka accountable to war crimes.

SL rejects claim of Indian ‘helping hand’ in Geneva

By Shamindra Ferdinando
Sri Lanka yesterday strongly dismissed claims that India had intervened on behalf of the government  to thwart UN intervention by amending the US-sponsored United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution captioned ‘promoting reconciliation and accountability is Sri Lanka’, though it voted with the US-Norway grouping.

Ministry Rejects 50 Applications of web sites

The government has rejected the applications of 50 websites which had sought to register with the Media Ministry.
 Media Ministry Secretary W. B. Ganegala said that 100 applications had been received for registration but only 50 were approved.

Indepedent Poice Commission (former NPC) is now a toothless commission

While the National Police Commission (NPC) has been re-established as the Independent Police Commission (IPC), informed sources said that the IPC is not positioned to take any authoritative decisions in the course of its functions.

The Geneva debacle and lessons still unlearnt

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene 
Sri Lanka's humiliating defeat in the 'war' unsuccessfully fought in Geneva this week over the resolution brought by the United States is a textbook illustration of the combined effect of arrogance, bravado and ignorance. When such disastrous combinations determine the course of our foreign policy, should we be surprised at the consequences?

Moving Forward; India - Sri Lanka relations

by B.Raman
The unhappiness in Sri Lanka over the Indian vote in favour of the resolution in the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on the question of the human rights of the Sri Lankan Tamils ---action in respect of past violations during the counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations against the LTTE and to safeguard their human rights in future in the form of a political solution to the grievances and aspirations of the Tamils--- is understandable.

MInister Mervyn to break limbs of HRDs who went to Geneva

 Minister Mervyn threatens to break limbs of journos-- treacherous Journalists. Minister Mervyn Silva said 0:00 "

US resolution has set a very dangerous precedent - SL

Sri Lanka has, in a note prepared by Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam for the African group, as requested by External Affairs Minister G. L. Peiris, warned the UNHRC members of the dangers of the US resolution on Sri Lanka.

NGO conspiracy to create anarchy - Minister Sirisena

Health Minister and SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena yesterday exposed a major conspiracy involving Non Governmental Organisations to create anarchy in the country by launching a spate of strikes in the public sector during the 19th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

India amended the Trojan clause on technical assistance in Geneva resolution - The Hindu

Rajapaksa balances rhetoric with realities
In his first comments after a resolution against Sri Lanka was adopted at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, President Mahinda Rajapaksa balanced the need to play to the gallery with the compulsions of on-the-ground realities. While asserting that Sri Lanka would not tolerate any arbitrary interference, he refrained from singling out countries that had supported the resolution.

Provincial minister involved in day light plunder

The land belonging to Sri Lanka Postal Department where Mahiyangana Post Office is situated was seized on the 22nd by the Minister of Agriculture of Uva Provincial Council and leveled using bako machines states Lanka Postal Services Union.

India made all efforts to balance UN resolution on Sri Lanka war crimes: PM CNN-IBN

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday offered Sri Lanka an olive branch explaining India's vote against it at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). The PM in his letter said that Delhi made every effort to ensure the resolution was balanced.

Muddied waters : Sri Lanka may move closer to China as India sides with UNHRC resolution

For the past couple of weeks, offices of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka have been communicating intensely with each other. Rajapaksa sent his close aide Bandula Jayasekara to New Delhi, where he held discussions with National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon.

ICG reports detail the militarisation in Sri Lanka’s North

The Brussels-based think tank, the International Crisis Group (ICG), released two reports on March 16—Sri Lanka’s North 1: The Denial Of Minority Rights, and Sri Lanka’s North II Rebuilding Under The Military—that expose the extent of the permanent military occupation of the country’s Northern Province after the defeat of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May 2009.

'Sri Lanka should re-think economic ties with India'

A coalition partner in the Sri Lankan government said that Colombo should stop according any preferential trade treatment to New Delhi, two days after India voted in favour of a UNHRC resolution against it.

Missing Jaffna activist’s wife threatened by military

A group of military officers threatened the wife of missing Jaffna political activist Kugan Murugananthan yesterday (Mar. 23), alleges ‘We Are Sri Lankans.’  In a statement, the group says threats of this nature are very serious at a time when the military has been implicated in abductions in the North.

Sri Lanka rejects UN war resolution amid anger

COLOMBO — Sri Lanka Friday rejected a UN resolution urging it to seek external help in probing alleged war crimes committed during an onslaught against the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels nearly three years ago.

Sri Lanka's media brands India 'loser' following UN resolution vote

'India is a loser', the Sri Lankan media proclaimed in comments on Friday - a day after Colombo faced censure at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva - saying New Delhi had failed to carry other South Asian nations with it on the issue.

HRC Resolution Important Not Only for People of Sri Lanka, but for Human Rights in General- Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe, Ambassador

Ambassador Donahoe: My deepest wish is that this resolution and the result we just observed is an important step in a process of helping the Sri Lankan people move toward a lasting peace.

Gotabhaya does not care about US resolution

Defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says he is not bound to implement the resolution adopted at the UNHRC in Geneva.

CID holds Belgian filmmaker, his girlfriend under house arrest

The CID is holding a Belgian filmmaker and his French girlfriend under house-arrest at a Negombo Hotel, Ravaya reports.

Time to implement LLRC - Opposition

LLRC is a home grown solution and was not imported - Tissa Attanayake
Sri Lankan opposition parties have expressed mixed views on the resolution passed against Sri Lanka in Geneva Human Rights Council on Thursday.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Sri Lanka Unfazed by U.N. Rights Resolution

President Rajapksa has vowed not to allow outside interference in Sri Lanka's affairs.

As the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) voted in, Thursday, a resolution asking Colombo to act on recommendations made by its own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), Buddhist prayers reverberated through the Sri Lankan capital.

A wake up call for Colombo

The passage of the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka is proof that the international community disapproves of the manner in which the Rajapaksa government is addressing the fallout of its Armageddon moment of mid-May 2009.

Media should exercise self censorship- Lakshman Yapa

Acting Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said yesterday media in Sri Lanka should exercise self censorship, with regard to matters pertaining to the country.

Pillay warns Sri Lanka over reprisals

The High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay today warned that there must be no reprisals against Sri Lankan human rights defenders in the aftermath of yesterday’s adoption by the Human Rights Council of a resolution on Sri Lanka.

welcomes key Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka - ICJ

Geneva, Switzerland – The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) welcomes the resolution of the Human Rights Council adopted today on promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka Not to Change Policies Despite Outcome in Geneva

Whatever the outcome in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session in Geneva is, Sri Lanka will not change its policies and ongoing projects, a government spokesman said on Thursday.Acting Cabinet spokesman Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena on Thursday said that the conduct of the government would not be changed depending on Thursday's decision in Geneva.

Should not Sri Lanka be given time and space to continue process of implementation and reconciliation without undue interference?

by Maihnda Samarasinghe
 Madam President,

Thank you for this opportunity, as the country concerned, to outline our position in respect of the draft resolution before the Council.

Landmark vote on Sri Lanka at Human Rights Council

By Yolanda Foster, Sri Lanka team, Amnesty International

Today, the Human Rights Council has made good on its mandate and voted for a resolution that will ensure a future for human rights protection in Sri Lanka.

Baird Welcomes Support for Canadian Co-sponsored UN Resolution on Sri Lank

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today welcomed the adoption of a resolution, co-sponsored by Canada, to promote reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka:“I am very pleased by the response of members of the UN Human Rights Council to the resolution on Sri Lanka.

UN resolution draws mixed reaction in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Nationalist Sri Lankan groups called Friday for a boycott of American goods to punish the U.S. for backing a U.N. resolution urging the South Asian nation to investigate possible war crimes during the final months of its civil war.

Mervyn threatens to break limbs of journos .

Minister of Public Relations Mervyn Silva warned that he will break the limbs of some journalists, who have gone abroad and made various statements against the country, if they dare to set foot in the country.

UN Rights Council Backs U.S. Demand for New Sri Lanka War Probe

The United Nations Human Rights Council voted in favor of a U.S.-sponsored resolution calling on Sri Lanka to again investigate alleged abuses during its 26-year civil war, stepping up pressure on the government in Colombo.

Sri Lanka should punish civil war crimes -UN forum

(Reuters) - Sri Lanka should ensure government troops who committed war crimes towards the end of its war against Tamil rebels are brought to justice, the U.N. Human Rights Council said on Thursday.

US eases restrictions on defense sales to Sri Lanka to include maritime surveillance

WASHINGTON — The U.S. has eased restrictions on defense sales to Sri Lanka to allow exports of equipment for aerial and maritime surveillance.The State Department enacted the changes Thursday, just as the U.N. Human Rights Council urged Sri Lanka to investigate allegations of war crimes during its civil conflict that ended in 2009.

U.N. body urges Sri Lanka to probe alleged war crimes

(CNN) -- The United Nations Human Rights Council urged Sri Lanka Thursday to thoroughly investigate allegations of atrocities committed during the island nation's long and brutal civil war.

Sri Lanka should punish civil war crimes: U.N. forum

(Reuters) - Sri Lanka should ensure government troops who committed war crimes during the final stages of its war against Tamil rebels are brought to justice, the U.N. Human Rights Council said on Thursday.

UN Rights Body Presses Sri Lanka War Crime Probes (AP)

The U.N.'s top human rights body urged Sri Lanka on Thursday to properly investigate alleged war crimes committed by both sides during the country's quarter-century conflict with the Tamil Tiger rebels.

Landmark vote on Sri Lanka at Human Rights Council

By Yolanda Foster, Sri Lanka team, Amnesty International
Today, the Human Rights Council has made good on its mandate and voted for a resolution that will ensure a future for human rights protection in Sri Lanka.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

President Rajapaksa has Brought Geneva Resolution Upon Himself -The Hindu

The passage of the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka is proof that the international community disapproves of the manner in which the Rajapaksa government is addressing the fallout of its Armageddon moment of mid-May 2009.

SL responds to adoption of resolution

External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris today commenting on the resolution against Sri Lanka being adopted stated that voting at the Human Rights Council is now not determined by the merits of a particular issue but by strategic alliances.

Sri Lanka: Human Rights Council vote a step in the right direction - AI

The UN Human Rights Council resolution calling on Sri Lanka to end longstanding impunity for human rights abuses is a vital step forward for the country and for international justice, Amnesty International said.

The International Commission of Jurists welcomes key Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka

Geneva, Switzerland – The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) welcomes the resolution of the Human Rights Council adopted today on promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka.

strong signal to Sri Lanka - Hillary Clinton

Today’s action by the UN Human Rights Council encourages the Government of Sri Lanka to continue on the path toward reconciliation following 27 years of civil war. The United States, together with the international community, sent a strong signal that Sri Lanka will only achieve lasting peace through real reconciliation and accountability, and the international community stands ready to help.

UN Rights Council: Sri Lanka Vote a Strong Message for Justice - HRW

Broad International Support for Resolution Seeking Accountability
(Geneva, March 22, 2012) - The United Nations Human Rights Council’s adoption of a resolution on Sri Lanka demonstrates strong international support for accountability for abuses committed in Sri Lanka’s armed conflict, Human Rights Watch said today.  The resolution passed the council by a vote of 24 to 15, with 8 abstentions.  Member countries voting for the resolution included India, Nigeria and the United States.

INDIA: Explanation of vote at the UNHRC on Promotion,Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka

March 22, 2012
India believes that the primary responsibility for the promotion and protection of human rights lies with the States. Consequently resolutions of this nature should fully respect the sovereign rights of states and contribute to Sri Lanka’s own efforts in this regard.

Civil society urges government to stop hate campaigns and protect human rights defenders

21 March 2012,
In the backdrop of the resolution on Sri Lanka being discussed in Geneva and the expected vote on the resolution this week, the Sri Lanka Government and its propaganda teams have intensified an extremely malicious hate campaign against human rights defenders who express their views on accountability and governance issues in Sri Lanka.

UN Rights Council: Sri Lanka Vote a Strong Message for Justice

Broad International Support for Resolution Seeking Accountability
(Geneva, March 22, 2012) - The United Nations Human Rights Council’s adoption of a resolution on Sri Lanka demonstrates strong international support for accountability for abuses committed in Sri Lanka’s armed conflict, Human Rights Watch said today.  The resolution passed the council by a vote of 24 to 15, with 8 abstentions.  Member countries voting for the resolution included India, Nigeria and the United States.

Sri Lanka: Awakening Call from the International Community

UN Human Rights Council Adopts Resolution on Accountability and Reconciliation in Sri Lanka

(22 March 2012, Geneva/Bangkok) – The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), a regional human rights group with 49 member organisations in 17 countries across Asia, has welcomed the resolution on “promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka”, which was adopted by the UN Human Rights Council (Council) today with 24 States voting in favor, 8 abstentions and 15 voting against[1].

Police intelligence names 50 LG politicians as drug traffickers

Police intelligence has prepared a list of more than 50 local government politicians involved in drug trafficking, with the support of several deputy ministers of the governemnt.

Indian stand, a game-changer at Geneva?

R. K. Radhakrishnan
As the deadline approaches for a possible vote on the U.S.-backed resolution against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, diplomats following the developments concede that Sri Lanka was putting up a tough fight.

The Death Of Colonel Ramesh

By Gordon Weiss
New evidence of the murder of one man is key to revealing a conspiracy behind mass murder. This evidence, shown and told in The Global Mail’s story, is graphic and confronting. The issue is now being debated by the United Nations.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

TNA faults both govt. and LTTE

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) says that both the security forces and the LTTE were responsible for civilian casualties during the final phase of the war.

‘Implement LLRC proposals speedily’

Eastern provincial council Opposition leader Daya Gamage, who is also the national organizer of the UNP, has proposed that the recommendations of the president-appointed LLRC should be implemented as soon as possible with the support of other countries, which exactly is the request contained in the US-led resolution on Sri Lanka.

Indian PM, an American agent – PNM

Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh is an American agent, who is an accomplice to the plot against Sri Lanka, alleges the Patriotic National Movement.

Believe it or not ! Wellampitiya white Van murderers are from the PSD !! – two are related brothers

The four criminals (murderers) associated with the white Van who were captured at Wellampitiya recently , are those attached to a paramilitary force coming under the Presidential security division (PSD), and not directly responsible to the Army Commander, according to information reaching Lanka e news confirming this.

TNA faults both govt. and LTTE

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) says that both the security forces and the LTTE were responsible for civilian casualties during the final phase of the war.

Sri Lanka's Killing Fields: The Time for Accountability Has Come

Sri Lanka's civil war was one of the most bloody internal conflicts in history. Fought between the Sri Lankan state and the separatist militia known as the "Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam" (LTTE), the internecine struggle is estimated have led to 100,000 deaths since its outbreak in 1983.

Professionals call govt to respect accountability

A group of professionals said in Colombo that the call for an independent monitoring of the human rights record of Sri Lanka is not only welcome but also justified. “In this modern age the President of Sri Lanka can’t rule the country as if a kingdom “ said prominent writer Gamini Viyangoda.

Resolution of the Sri Lanka conflict

At the 19th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva a US-led resolution is being debated, which seeks to help resolve the outstanding issues of accountability and reconciliation resulting from the end of Sri Lanka's long and bloody civil conflict in 2009.

Best to abstain , But if India decides to support the resolution, it must first talk to Sri Lanka

Varatharaja Perumal
With the annihilation of the LTTE leadership, the Sri Lankan government and the Sinhala nationalists may have thought that the 80-year-old ethnic conflict in the country has been settled, fully and finally. But now the basic issues of the conflict have been resurrected in international fora, with allegations of war crimes and violations of human rights.

Sri Lanka government threatens peace with minority group: rights group

[JURIST] The Sri Lankan government is threatening peace with the minority Tamils in the Northern Province, the International Crisis Group [advocacy website] reported [text, PDF] Friday. The report states that the Sinhala majority is encroaching on Tamil land, and the government maintains an excessive military presence in the province.

UNP warns govt. to be cautious when countering US resolution

With the 47-member United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) now set to take a decision on the US-resolution targeting Sri Lanka at the current sessions on Thursday (22), the UNP urged the government to be cautious in its counter offensive.

‘Resolution first and necessary step towards ensuring peace, justice and reconciliation in Sri Lanka’-TNA

Sri Lanka ethnic groups divided over UN resolution
The Sri Lankan government’s campaign to stave off any U.N. call to investigate its wartime conduct is hampering efforts to heal long-simmering ethnic tensions, according to Tamil politicians, rights activists and clergy members.

Canada to send Three-Member Delegation to Sri Lanka on Fact Finding Mission

The Harper government is dispatching a delegation to Sri Lanka as it presses the country to launch a post-war reconciliation with its Tamil minority.  Sending the delegation to Sri Lanka, which has sometimes restricted access for foreign officials, is intended to underline Ottawa’s keen interest, which includes lobbying other nations to back a United Nations resolution calling on the country to act on human rights.

Centre for Peace and Reconciliation attacked in Jaffna

Four armed personnel, allegedly from the occupying Sri Lankan military's Intelligence, on Saturday attacked Tamil civilians who had gathered at the Centre for Peace and Reconciliation (CPR) at Grousseault Road in Jaffna City to receive free legal assistance in their effort to locate their kith and kin whose whereabouts are not known following the undeclared arrests, abductions during the mass incarceration and white-van abductions in Jaffna peninsula and Vanni.

Lawyers condemn ITN’s media usage

 Lawyers for Democracy accuses the state-run ITN of branding journalists and civil society representatives as terrorists and traitors for their participation at the UNHRC session in Geneva.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sri Lankan civil groups welcome Indian decision on Geneva

Sri Lankan civil groups have welcomed the announcement by the Prime Minister that India is inclined to vote for the US sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Convention currently underway in Geneva.

DMK turns screws on Centre over Lanka row

The DMK has stepped up the pressure on the Centre by convening a high-level meeting on Tuesday to discuss its strategy if the Centre failed to support the US-backed resolution against Sri Lanka.

Lanka: All solution in works

Under pressure from political parties in Tamil Nadu, which want India to support a US resolution at United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva seeking accountability for war crimes in the last phase of the Eelam war in Sri Lanka, New Delhi is quietly working on a solution that will ensure Tamil sentiment is not hurt while maintaining healthy relations with the neighbour.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sri Lanka’s Post-War Economic Miracle Sours

Colombo. Sri Lanka’s president began his second term vowing an economic miracle after decades of conflict, but the post-war boom is already fraying, putting his record on economic management to the test.

Muthuhettigama back in action .

Government MP Nishantha Muthuhettigama, well known for controversy had allegedly stopped the election which was held to select the board of directors of the Ehala Lellwala Cooperative society in Badegama today.

TN Congress members want to support US resolution

With pressure from Dravidian parties to back a US-sponsored resolution in UNHRC against Sri Lanka for alleged war crimes, the Centre today slammed the "campaign by some parties and Tamil outfits" against Congress and UPA on the issue.

Rajapaksa Govt. faces uphill battle in Geneva

Vital need to review country's foreign policy, top professionals must be called in to avoid more debacles
India's position double-edged, vote against Lanka will weaken its position and give walkover to China
A week that will be a milestone in Sri Lanka's contemporary history begins tomorrow. On Thursday, the UN Human Rights Council will take for voting a United States-backed resolution, described as "non-condemnatory," on Sri Lanka. Among its co-sponsors are France, Norway, Nigeria and Cameroon.

The storm in a Geneva teacup: World divided over conflicted Sri Lanka

Rajan Philips
The Sri Lankan issue cannot be more than a storm in a teacup in Geneva. Everywhere in the UN, the topical notoriety belongs to the murderous Syrian regime and the untenable vetoes of Russia and China. But Geneva and UNHRC are hot topics in Sri Lanka and are getting hotter in Tamil Nadu.

Thank heavens for foreign pressure

Dr. Kumar Davit
For three years political and non governmental entities have been pressurizing, pressing and pleading for action on post-war issues. The government has been telling them to go stuff it. Thousands are said to have been “rehabilitated” but they have been rehabilitated only in name; no homes, no facilities, and no livelihood; it’s a charade.

Tamil civil society warned US officials on LLRC danger prior to Geneva

“The [Sri Lankan] Government’s current activities in the North and East are challenging the very existence of the Tamil people and more time to the GOSL to implement the LLRC’s recommendations will only mean further time for the Government to play havoc in the North and East and subjugate the interests and aspirations of the Tamil people,” said leading Eezham Tamil civil society members in the island,

Saturday, March 17, 2012

DMK's high-level committee meet to discuss Lanka resolution

With India under pressure from Dravidian parties in Tamil Nadu to support a US-sponsored resolution in the UNHRC against Sri Lanka for alleged war crimes, UPA's key constituent DMK today announced convening of its high-level committee on March 20 to discuss the issue.

Why are we not looking at these war crimes?

Despite overwhelming evidence of torture, India is shying away from supporting a US-sponsored resolution to take the Mahinda Rajapaksa government to task, says Sai Manish

A Realistic Look at the Draft Resolution by the US on Sri Lanka at the UN HRC

The US recently tabled a draft resolution against Sri Lanka is so incredibly weak that President Mahinda Rajapaksa must be breathing a sigh of relief. It is no wonder that the US feels confident that it has the votes in needs. Besides, it is possible that the resolution will be watered down even more in the coming days—making this exercise seem that much more formulaic and pointless.

Please help to identify these criminals

In the above photographs are the faces of the criminals involved in the infamous white Van abductions who were captured by the public and handed over to the Wellampitiya police on the 10th, but released unlawfully by the MaRa regime. These criminals are of attached to the Army. They are :

‘35 abductions, disappearances within 5 months’

There have been 35 incidents of abductions and disappearances in the period from October 2011 to February 2012, said committee member of the Collective Against Abductions and Disappearances Surendra Ajith Rupasinghe.

Sri Lanka’s North: Recipe for Renewed Conflict

International Crisis Group,
The Sri Lankan military’s control over the political and economic life of the Northern Province is deepening the alienation and anger of northern Tamils and threatening sustainable peace.

Sri Lanka: Acts of intimidation and harassment against Mr. Asela Bandara Ihagama

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about acts of intimidation and harassment against Mr. Asela Bandara Ihagama, a human rights defender who works at the Commission for Justice, Peace, Human Development, Human Rights Secretariat in Kandy, (also known as SETIK-Caritas Kandy).

The attacks on human rights defenders is a rejection of the recommendations of the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission

About the security of Sunila, Saravanamuttu and Nimalka
PRESS RELEASE/14.03.2012
The Free Media Movement condemns, without hesitation, the provocative and hate-filled attacks being carried on by the state media, targeting three prominent Sri Lankan human rights defenders.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Full and honest acknowledgement of the past required in Sri Lanka - UK

UK Foreign Office Minister for North America and the Middle East & North Africa, Alistair Burt has stated that to achieve lasting peace Sri Lanka requires a full and honest acknowledgement of the past and it requires processes, in which all parties take part, to ensure justice, reconciliation and political progress. 

Never got foreign support to end war-MR .

President Mahinda Rajapaksa today said that Sri Lanka never sought foreign advice, deployed foreign forces or obtained the services of mercenaries in its fight against terrorism.

Why Sri Lanka Remains Defiant Against New Allegations of War Crimes Read more:

They didn’t believe that anyone in the international community was willing to stop them, and they were right.” That is the lucid explanation offered by John Holmes, the British diplomat and former chief of the U.N.’s humanitarian operations, as to why, in 2009, the Sri Lankan government was willing to risk international condemnation and accusations of war crimes in its all-out final push to end its 26-year-long war against the Tamil Tigers.

‘Sri Lanka ready to face any situation’

“President Mahinda Rajapaksa told the Cabinet of ministers that no matter what happens in Geneva, we have to speedily solve problems of the Tamil people and upgrade their living standards. Sri Lanka is ready to face any situation arising in the future,” Economic Development Deputy Minister and acting Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said.

Group: Sri Lanka postwar policies threaten peace

An international human rights group on Friday warned that the militarization of Sri Lanka's former war zone and discrimination against minority ethnic Tamils threaten to lead the island back into violence.

Sri Lanka media restrictions come amid rise in abductions

On March 9, Sri Lanka's military authorities told all news and media organizations that they would have to get prior approval before releasing text or SMS news alerts containing any news about the military or police.

Dealing with Sri Lanka

India faces a crucial decision-making moment at the United Nations Human Rights Council on the U.S.-sponsored resolution that urges Sri Lanka to address rights violations alleged against its army in the final phase of the war against the LTTE in 2009.

US resolution criticises, surges beyond LLRC

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka
It is almost a crime to lie to the people and mislead them on a matter of vital national interest. When it is committed by politicians it is an act of unconscionable opportunism. When it is perpetrated by so-called intellectuals belonging to civil society, it is a counterfeiting of the currency of the intellect and the function of the educated, which is to educate the public.

India’s Communist Party rejects apology by Lankan envoy

The Communist Party of India today (Mar. 15) rejected an apology rendered by Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam on his remarks about alleged connection between some Tamil parliamentarians and the LTTE and demanded he be withdrawn by his government immediately.

Lankan envoy apologises to Indian MPs

New Delhi: The government on Thursday summoned Sri Lanka's envoy to India for a meeting during which he apologised to Indian MPs for his comments that sought to link those questioning Colombo's human rights record with the Tamil Tigers.

Lankan envoy should be recalled: CPI

New Delhi: CPI on Thursday rejected the apology rendered by Sri Lanka's High Commissioner to India on his remarks about alleged connection between some Tamil parliamentarians and LTTE and demanded he be withdrawn by his government immediately.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Boycott U.S. products - Wimal

Minister Wimal Weerawansa hit headlines in international media yesterday when he urged the nation to boycott American products such as gmail, google, McDonalds, KFC and beverages to show Sri Lanka’s resistance to the impending US resolution on Sri Lanka which is to be presented at the 19th session of the UNHRC in Geneva.

DMK threatens to pull out over Lanka resolution

AIADMK tears SMK stand on SLHardening his demand that India should support the US resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC session, DMK president M. Karunanidhi on Wednesday warned that his party executive might be summoned to decide on whether to continue support for the UPA government if it went against Tamil sentiments.

All abductions, disappearances and murders are carried out according to the needs of the government – Tissa Attanayake

UNP General Secretary Parliamentarian Tissa Attanayake stated that although the government tries to frame various stories to cover up the recent attempt to abduct the Chairman of the Kolonnawa Urban Council, in a white van in broad daylight, the incident clearly shows that the white van culture is still prevalent in the country. Speaking at yesterday’s media briefing he also had this to say.

Karunanidhi, Jayalalithaa step up pressure on Sri Lanka issue

Leaders from Tamil Nadu continued to pressure the Union government to vote against Sri Lanka when a U.S.-sponsored resolution on the island nation's alleged war crimes came up before the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

BROKEN PROMISES: TNA response to the position of the Government of Sri Lanka at the 19th session of the UN Human Rights Council

Full statement release by TNA below:
14 March 2012
1.0 The Government of Sri Lanka has serious issues with regard to telling the truth and keeping its promises

Sri Lanka's sinister white van abductions

Ramasamy Prabagaran's wife and daughter have had no news of his fate

Almost three years after the end of the civil war, Sri Lanka is still dogged by allegations of human rights violations. Amid fresh moves in the UN's Human Rights Council to hold Sri Lanka to account, the BBC's Charles Haviland in Colombo reports on a rise in sinister abductions by anonymous squads in white vans.

Jayalalithaa's MPs tear up Indian FMs statement on SL UNHRC resolution .

There were more dramatic scenes in the upper House of India’s Parliament today with parties from Tamil Nadu demanding that the government commit to voting against Sri Lanka for its alleged war crimes at a United National Human Rights Council session in Geneva.

Lawyers Call for an Immediate Halt to Ongoing Abductions

13th March 2012
‘Lawyers for Democracy’ (LfD) is gravely concerned with the breakdown of law and order and the rising cases of abductions in Sri Lanka. On 11th March 2012 media reported of the failed incident of a ‘white van’ abduction in Kolonnawa/ Wellampitiya where the suspects were subsequently handed to the police by the public.

Censorship Imposed on News Alerts by Sri Lanka’s Military Authorities

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins affiliates in Sri Lanka in sharply denouncing the latest move towards news censorship in by the country’s authorities.

LLRC Recommendations should be implemented to establish Law and Order in this chaotic society - “Citizens' Rights”

The Resolution that is proposed to be taken up at the 19 Session of the UNHRC in Geneva on war crimes allegations and accountability issues since the war concluded in May 2009, wants the Sri Lankan government to provide an assurance it would implement all recommendations made by the LLRC appointed by the President as per his powers vested in the Constitution.

Sri Lanka's point unlikely to find takers in U.N.

Sri Lanka's argument at the United Nations Human Rights Council is unlikely to win it many friends since it insists that for the purpose of fixing accountability, the clock started ticking only on December 16, 2011 — the day a committee that probed the root causes of the ethnic problem submitted its report to Parliament.

Pakiasothy, Sunila and Nimalka working with LTTE rump

Pakiasothy Sarawanamuttu, Sunila Abeysekara and Nimalka Fernando continue to work with the LTTE terrorist rump and betray Sri Lanka in Geneva. On Friday, at the anti- Sri Lankan Human Rights Watch event in Geneva, Pakiasothy, issued a statement saying that there was a culture of impunity in |Sri Lanka and spoke against President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Bid to censure Lanka at UN puts India in a fix

NEW DELHI: India finds itself in a political bind over a UN Human Rights Council's (UNHRC) move to censure Sri Lanka for alleged rights violations during the last weeks of the war against the terror group, LTTE. Although the vote is still a few days away, it is now embroiled in domestic political compulsions of a weak UPA government since its ally DMK has openly asked the Centre to vote against Sri Lanka at the HR Council.

Will work on Lanka, won’t back UN vote: Govt to DMK, ADMK

Even as Tamil Nadu arch-rivals DMK and AIADMK joined hands to disrupt Parliament on Tuesday, demanding that New Delhi vote in support of a resolution against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wrote to the leaders of the two parties clearly indicating that such a course was unlikely.

US defends resolution on Sri Lanka, says without reconciliation the island risks conflict

The U.S. warned Tuesday that Sri Lanka risks renewed conflict unless it addresses war crimes allegations, while rights groups said that abuses by security forces continue, three years after fighting against Tamil rebels ended.

India under pressure to reduce support for Sri Lanka

 The Indian government came under more pressure on Tuesday to lessen the diplomatic protection it gives to Sri Lanka, which is accused of human rights violations in the last days of the decades-long civil war against Tamil Tiger separatists that ended in 2009.

Credible probe into war crimes in Sri Lanka needed: CPI(M)

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Tuesday stressed the need for a “credible and independent investigation” into the allegations of human rights violations and killings during the last phase of the war in Sri Lanka against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

India changes tack, treads cautiously on UN resolution

In the past, India has never supported country-specific resolutions at the United Nations Human Rights Commission. But this time, it is changing tack and is in wait- and- weigh-the-options mode as the UN resolution seeking to put Sri Lanka in a spot for alleged war crimes is likely to come up for
vote by March 23.

Sri Lanka gov't minister urges boycott of US goods

 A government minister urged Sri Lankans on Tuesday to boycott American products because U.S. support of a U.N. human rights resolution would encourage separatism in the island nation.

Rights group details claim of Sri Lanka detention abuses

Keith Herting

Sri Lanka is employing "unlawful detentions" against many of its citizens, Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] reported Tuesday. The report [text, PDF] claims that detainees are subject to torture and even extrajudicial executions, often under laws designed to combat terrorism.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hundreds detained illegally in Sri Lanka: Amnesty

Sri Lanka is illegally holding hundreds of detainees who are vulnerable to torture and execution
COLOMBO — Sri Lanka is illegally holding hundreds of detainees who are vulnerable to torture and execution, Amnesty International said Tuesday in a report urging UN support for a probe into alleged war crimes.

Govt. Graduates complain Human Rights Commission on ‘Programme Circular’

Graduates in Government service have made a complaint at the Human Rights Commission today against the service circular which deprives several rights including promotion criteria. General Secretary Graduates’ Union Mr Chandana Suriarachchi a Circular has been gazetted on 4th February 2012 which affects nearly 60000 graduates in MN 04 service at present and the future graduate recruits.

Sajith defies Ranil, attacks US resolution

In the wake of UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s decision to remain noncommittal on the current United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions in Geneva, where the government is battling a US-led resolution, UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa says that there is absolutely no basis for Western efforts to confront Sri Lanka over alleged accountability issues.

No evidence of war crimes found so far: Sri Lankan army

An army inquiry into alleged human rights abuses by Sri Lankan troops during the final stages of the war against Tamil Tiger rebels has so far found no evidence to back such claims, the Sri Lankan army said in a statement posted on its official website on Tuesday.

Sri Lanka limits news texts about military, police

The Ministry of Defense hand-delivered an order to news organizations Monday.
Media rights activists hold up posters of missing Sri Lankan cartoonist Prageeth Eknaligoda during a protest rally in Colombo on January 24, 2012. Eknaligoda disappeared on January 24, 2010, just hours before the presidential election. Rights groups have repeatedly accused the government of stifling media freedoms.

Indian parliament rocked by Sri Lanka war crimes issue

Alleged atrocities by Sri Lankan armed forces created an uproar in both Houses of Indian parliament on the second day of the budget session today (Mar. 13).  MPs created a ruckus in Parliament and showed newspapers carrying reports of a video threatening to expose alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka in Parliament, reports.

Monday, March 12, 2012

White van abduction foiled; Kolonnawa UC Chairman holds army responsible

Kolonnawa Urban Council Chairman, Ravindra Udayashantha, who survived an alleged white van abduction Saturday evening, held the Sri Lanka army responsible for the act.  The abduction was foiled by supporters of the UC Chairman, who after a scuffle apprehended the driver of the white van and four others. This is the first time a white van abduction has been foiled in the recent past.

DMK wants India to vote against Sri Lanka for alleged war crimes

Chennai/New Delhi:  The DMK, a senior partner in the UPA, has said that India must vote against Sri Lanka next week in Geneva at a session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. The resolution has been moved by the US and India had hinted that it would support its neighbour. The DMK wants both Houses of Parliament to discuss this today and commit to a vote against Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka censors SMS

'Any news related to national security and security forces, the police should get prior approval'
The government of Sri Lanka has imposed a censorship on short text messages (SMS) related to security forces.
The defence ministry has instructed media outlets that send SMS news alerts that all news related to national security, security forces and the police need to get prior approval from the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS).

Northern catholic clergy’s concerns, calls to UNHRC endorsed

A group of catholic clergy, laymen, and laywomen has endorsed the concerns and calls made in a letter to the president and members of the UN Human Rights Council by 31 Catholic clergy from Northern Sri Lanka, including the Bishop of Mannar.

Sri Lanka to censor news alerts about military, police

Sri Lanka's Defense Ministry on Monday ordered news outlets to get prior approval before sending mobile phone alerts about the military or police, a move press freedom groups decried as another step towards greater censorship.

LLRC: 100 days after –forward or backward?

On 15th May 2010, the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) was established by the President of Sri Lanka. On 13th September 2010, the LLRC issued interim recommendations. On 15th November 2011, the LLRC submitted its’ final report to the President.

‘Maalu Priyantha’ abducted by armed men in white van

A 34-year-old man identified as ‘Maalu Priyantha’ has been kidnapped in Borella by armed men in a white van.
According to his relatives, he was abducted at 34-watte last night (Mar. 11).

Sajith hits out at US-resolution

The US- resolution on Sri Lanka filed at the UN Human Rights Council is a violation of the UN charter and an infringement of internal affairs of a country, UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa said yesterday.

hampika warns: After Sri Lanka, target could be India

Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said yesterday that India should stand together with China and Russia with regard to the Us-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the 19th session of the United Nations Human Rights CounCIL(UNHRC) as otherwise they could be the next target over the Kashmir issue.

Govt. trying to create a rift within TNA; Sampanthan .

Tamil National Alliance's leader R. Sampanthan said that the government has continuously tried to create a rift within the TNA.“This has been happening for a long time. The Government has continuously tried to create a rift among us. They stole the only Sinhalese member who was a member of our party.

Sri Lankan government ‘executed civilians during war with Tamil Tigers’

By Claudia Joseph
A documentary showing graphic new footage of executed civilians in Sri Lanka, including the son of the leader of the Tamil Tigers, hopes to provide conclusive evidence of war crimes by its government. A year after screening Jon Snow’s award-winning documentary Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields about the dying days of the civil war – Channel 4 has returned to the island to uncover more evidence of alleged abuse.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

National Police Commission, a big hoax, says its member

The National Police Commission, now stripped of its powers, has become a big hoax, charges Ven. Elle Gunawansa Thera, a member of the commission.  The NPC previously was empowered to make appointments, promotions and transfers as well as conduct disciplinary inquiries in the Police Department, he notes.

Judiciary humiliated by certain judges – ex-judge

Former high court judge W.T.M.P.B. Warawewa accuses certain judges of having failed to maintain the dignity of their profession and having no self-strength.  He was speaking in Colombo at a felicitation organized in his honour by the young lawyers association.

Kolonnawa UC chairman wants protection, as OIC is transferred

Chairman of Kolonnawa Urban Council Ravindra Udaya Shantha has requested authorities to provide him with protection, claiming that there is a plot to kill him.  His allegation came as the OIC of the Wellampitiya Police has been transferred with immediate effect.

Criminal white van record of Rajapakses exposed: culprits released unlawfully –hereunder are the startling facts

-Murderous Rajapakses try to kill their own Mayor Idi Amin style using the Army para group
(Lanka-e-News-11.March.2012, ) It has now come to light that the Rajapakse regime criminals with the white van who were for the first time caught by the people and handed over to the Wellampitiya police comprised two Captains, a Lieutenant and a Corporal.

No request to re-open investigations ( Trinco 5 case)

 Solicitor General Palitha Fernando has said the Attorney General (AG) has not received any official communication to reopen investigations into the killing of five students in Trincomalee in 2006.

Sri Lanka: A child is summarily executed

Footage of atrocity committed at the end of the government's war with the Tamil Tigers is revealed
It is a chilling piece of footage that represents yet another blow for the beleaguered Sri Lankan government in its attempts to head off a critical resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva this week.

THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL RESOLUTION ON SRILANKA - Letter to Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Kit Siang, Hj Abdul hadi Awang

Dear Wise Leaders,
Good Day to you all.
It is coming close to 3 years since the bloody civil war in SriLanka ended. I am sure you are aware - that war was a colossal humanitarian disaster. Several tens of thousand innocent human lives were lost. Attempts are being made by the International community to encourage the Government of SriLanka to facilitate speedy reparation and restoration of the human conditions so that the minority.

The West has an ulterior motive - Tissa Vitharan, LSSP

 Uditha Kumarasinghe
Senior Minister for Scientific Affairs Prof. Tissa Vitarana said many of Sri Lanka’s friends in the international community have spoken against the US-sponsored resolution. The Minister in an interview with the Sunday Observer said more and more World Leaders as well as the public realise that the West has an ulterior motive and this is not a friendly or conducive agenda with regard to our people or our economy.

American resolution and blunders of the FM G.L. Peiris

There was a significant development in this regard in Sri Lanka this week. It was a breakfast meeting President Mahinda Rajapaksa had with the United States Ambassador Patricia Butenis. It was at the President's House in Kandy. The Sunday Times learnt that the meeting has been lined up on the "strict understanding" that the US-backed resolution would not be a subject of discussion.

SL must learn right lessons from Geneva

US presents milder amended draft; but UNHRC supervision if vote is passed . HR affairs on three-track mess: Hardline by GL, softline by Samarasinghe and demos by government .
The SOS message arrived after Sri Lanka's 52-member delegation -- which was a heavy burden on the country's purse  returned to Colombo early this week from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions in Geneva.

The lies need to stop, at least now

Kishali Pinto Jayawardene 
The continued shrill beating of the nationalist drum in regard to the resolution tabled this week before the United Nations Human Rights Council by the United States of America, calling on Sri Lanka to set a time frame for the implementation of the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), is stupendously counterproductive.

Sweeping reforms, including Senate, for reconciliation

A proposed National Policy on Reconciliation calls for an amendment to the Constitution to create a Senate. Legislation in particular areas should require the consent of two thirds of the Senate in addition to two thirds of Parliament or the First Chamber.

TNA not to participate in PSC

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has reiterated that its original stance not to participate in the proposed Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) remains unchanged.  TNA spokesman and parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran said there was no change of mind with regard to the party’s decision not to take part in the proposed PSC.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

3 captured after foiled attempt to kidnap Kolonnawa UC chairman

Supporters of Kolonnawa Urban Council chairman Ravindra Udaya Shantha alias Suda clashed with an armed group that had tried to abduct him, reports said.  The men who had come in a white van were foiled in the attempt by the UC chairman’s supporters.

'What Sri Lanka is...': acknowledging the ethnic conflict in post-war reconciliation

Ambika Satkunanathan,  
The term 'local reconciliation' may seem benign, but recent research amongst Tamils in the north of the country highlights the damaging silence hanging over the survivors of the conflict, and a determination to reach justice through transparency over past and present wrongs.

Sri-Lankan Envoy advances Machiavellian Logic in the UNHRC to save War Criminal President Rajapakse .

Mahinda Samarasinghe, Sri-Lankan government’s special envoy to the UNHRC while addressing the High Level Segment of 19th Session of the UNHRC at Geneva on 27th February 2012 made a Machiavellian request from the audience.

Are we not friends? Mohan Peiris asks US

Speaking at a consultative side event organized by the US mission on draft submitted by them, Sri Lanka’s former attorney general and legal advisor to the cabinet Mohan Peiris said , “I ask US – we are with you for promotion and  protection  of human rights  but we are only saying, by all means, help us. Aren’t we friends? Do friends resolve against each other?  Is this resolution necessary? Why this indecent hurry?  We ask for help not intrusions.”

‘American hand in persecution of Lanka’

Prof Rajiva Wijesinha is a Sri Lankan member of parliament, and former secretary-general of the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP) in that country. He has served as secretary to the Lankan ministry of disaster management and human rights and has been appointed as adviser on reconciliation to the President of Sri Lanka. I

Action by HRC Can Help Promote Reconciliation and Lasting Peace in Sri Lanka

Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe
Yesterday, after consultation with partners including those who will join us as co-sponsors, we tabled a draft resolution on Sri Lanka for consideration by the Human Rights Council (HRC) at its 19th Session.
We have taken this step upon careful reflection and after extensive dialogue and bilateral engagement at the highest levels of the U.S. government.

US-resolution inadequate, India should seize opportunity: New Delhi-based CHRI

“The proposed resolution does not go far enough. It will not immediately call for direly needed international investigations — a bitter disappointment. In this context, the proposed resolution must not preclude future UNHRC efforts that demand justice, accountability and international investigations in Sri Lanka.

South Africa and Sri Lanka discuss Peace and Sustainable Political Settlement in Sri Lanka

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, hosted her counterpart from Sri Lanka, Professor Gamini Lakshman Peiris, Minister of External Affairs, for bilateral discussions on 05 March 2012.

Draft resolution on Sri Lanka tabled

The draft resolution on Sri Lanka tabled by the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva has been prepared after “careful reflection and after extensive dialogue and bilateral engagement at the highest levels of the U.S. government,” the U.S. has said.