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April 22, 2011

Apr 24 - 30:

NDP Statement on UN Panel Report on Accountability for War Crimes in Sri Lanka

On April 28, 2011, New Democratic Leader Jack Layton issued this statement on the United Nation’s report on Sri Lanka: [TC]

'Media's role and responsibility towards building a strong democratic nation'

The Free Media Movement will host a seminar titled ‘Media’s Role and Responsibility Towards Building a Strong Democratic Nation’ and launch the book ‘Martyrs of the Freedom of Expression’ in Sinhala, Tamil and English, compiled by Seetha Ranjanee on behalf of the Free Media Movement, to mark World Press Freedom Day. [TC]

Assistant Secretary of State Robert O. Blake, Jr. Travels to Maldives and Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, Assistant Secretary Blake will also visit USAID-supported programs and meet with local leaders in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu. [TC]

CPJ urges UN to intervene and investigate the apparent targeting of LankaeNews

Committee to Protect Journalists, NY, NY
cpj.org

A Pugoda magistrate's court ordered the country's Telecommunications Regulatory Commission to suspend Lanka eNews within Sri Lanka while it tries the site's detained journalist Shantha Wijeysooria for contempt of court, according to local and international news reports. [TC]

Nationalistic fury is good for the government, terrible for Sri Lanka

from 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 [TC]

Minister G.L. Peiris to diplomats: 'Government of Sri Lanka does not consider the Darusman Report as a UN document'

The Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris addressed the Colombo-based diplomatic corps at the Ministry of External Affairs in Colombo today to convey the response of the Government of Sri Lanka on the substantive aspects of the Darusman Report. The Minister stated that the Government of Sri Lanka was no longer constrained to comment substantively as the Report is now in the public domain. [TC]

"Darusman Report" is fundamentally flawed in many respects

Statement by Ministry of External Affairs, Sri Lanka

The Government of Sri Lanka refers to the release by the UN Secretary-General of the “Darusman Report” on accountability in Sri Lanka. [TC]

UK Foreign Office welcomes UN Panel of Experts report on Sri Lanka

The Foreign Office welcomed the UN Panel of Experts report on the alleged violations of international human rights and humanitarian law during the military conflict in Sri Lanka. [TC]

'One country's ability to bury the evidence of war crimes endangers how civilians are treated in all other conflicts' - Guardian UK

No-inquiry zone: Truth and accountability are not divisible, and a single failure of international justice is also a collective one

Guardian UK Editorial, Jun 27, 2011

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? [TC]

United States welcomes public release of the UN Panel of Experts’ report on Sri Lanka

The United States welcomes today’s public release of the UN Panel of Experts’ report on Sri Lanka. We appreciate the detailed and extensive work of the panel and believe it makes a valuable contribution to next steps that should be taken in support of justice, accountability, human rights, and reconciliation in Sri Lanka. We commend the Secretary General for his decision to release the report publicly. [TC]

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

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: [TC]

The Sri Lankan sapphire from Pelmadulla in Kate Middleton's engagement ring

By M.S.Shah Jahan

Super slim Kate-Catherine Elizabeth Middleton, 29, the princess-to-be has a worry over her engagement ring with Ratnapura sapphire. Kate has slimmed down so much that she had to shrink her famous engagement ring to fit her finger as the dazzling sapphire and diamond band is too big for her size H finger. Princess Diana too wore it on the same finger. [TC]

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. [TC]

Sri Lanka must be concerned how Russia and China let down Sudan at the UN

by Upul Joseph Fernando

UN Organization sources say that there are a number of similarities between the report of the panel appointed by Ban Ki-moon to investigate war crime charges in Sudan where there was a conflict, and that of the panel of experts on war crimes pertaining to Sri Lanka (SL) . [TC]

An international inquiry, especially into the violations committed by the LTTE, will greatly help process of reconciliation in Sri Lanka - Amnesty

UN must act now on war crimes report

Amnesty.org

A United Nations report on war crimes committed during the final stages of Sri Lanka’s civil war underscores the need for international accountability for those responsible, Amnesty International said today. [TC]

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

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

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. [TC]

Unlawful attacks on civilians and civilian objects in the Wanni during the Govt-LTTE war

Extracts from the report on Sri Lanka by the advisory panel appointed by the UN secretary -general Ban Ki moon

2. Shelling of hospitals and humanitarian objects

(a) Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions

206. The credible allegations of attacks on hospitals and humanitarian objects discussed above, in spite of their distinctive emblems and locations known by the Government, would give rise to a violation of the duty to "provide care for the sick and the wounded", as enunciated in Common Article 3. [TC]

Asking the UN not publish the report was as silly as asking Ban-Ki-moon not to wear any underwear

By Gomin Dayasri

Sri Lanka can crush the Ban Kin moon-ies (includes Tamil Diaspora, International NGO community, remnants of the UN system, ‘white’ western nations and Sri Lanka’s elite civil society) comfortably but not by living in isolation like a Robinson Crusoe on an island. [TC]

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

Group of concerned Christians

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. [TC]

UN Chief Should Establish International Inquiry - HRW

Russia and China Should Stop Blocking Justice for Victims

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. [TC]

Report of the Secretary General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka

via UN News Centre

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. [TC]

Why the Ban Ki moon Advisory panel Report should not be Published - Prof.G.L.Peiris

by Ravi Ladduwahetty

The question of publishing the panel report authorized by the United Nations Secretary General does not arise since the UNSG, in appointing the panel, 'was motivated exclusively by a desire to gather information, and insights for his own views', External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris told the Daily News in an exclusive interview. [TC]

The Dramatic Return of Duleep Mendis

by Nirgunan Tiruchelvam

When Duleep Mendis was a boy in Moratuwa, his family employed a servant boy. The servant boy’s duties were not restricted to serving the drinks. He used to bowl to the podi mahathaya (little master) Duleep Mendis.

The servant boy was a fearsome fast bowler. He was known as the Andy Roberts of Moratuwa. Mendis’s reflexes were sharpened at a young age. [TC]

Credible allegations against Sri Lankan Armed Forces in conducting war against LTTE in Wanni

(Extracts from the report on Sri Lanka by the advisory panel appointed by UN secretary -General Ban Ki moon)

D. Alleged violations by the Government of Sri Lanka

192. Chapter III identified five categories of credible allegations concerning conduct by the Sri Lankan Government. This section lays out the Panel’s assessment of each category of allegation for the underlying legal violation. [TC]

As Sri Lankan citizens we must resolve the Tamil National question amicably

By Sumanasiri Liyanage

So many things have been written on the Report of the Expert Panel appointed by the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon. Should I litter the already crowded discourse space with another piece? [TC]

UNSG Panel-Report on Sri Lanka: Revisiting 'Accountability'

By Kalana Senaratne

Ensuring ‘accountability’ is important, but doing so is a complex task. Who is to ensure accountability, when, where, how? - are questions which have always aroused serious debate, and will do, in the future. While there may be no ‘independent/internal’ investigations, one need not be starry-eyed about ‘independent/international’ investigations [TC]

Instead of releasing officially Ban-Ki-moon got the help of Mahinda to leak the report

by Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne

Mahinda regime claims that the economy is expanding at a rate of 8%. In the context of economies world over struggling to keep even 1 % expansion, Lankan performance is considered to be a miracle. [TC]

President Rajapaksa is an authoritarian leader but not a dictatorial ruler

by Victor Ivan

The dispute that has arisen between the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) and the UNO over the alleged human rights violations presumed to have been committed during the military operations launched by the GoSL against the LTTE appears to be growing out of proportion. [TC]

Will our diplomatic guerillas like Weerawansa and Ranawaka stage death fasts opposite the UN?

by Gamini Weerakoon

World Cup hysteria is over and now the Moon hysteria is in full swing in our resplendent isle. [TC]

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

(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:)

Q: What is your reaction to the UN Advisory Panel’s report to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon?

A: We have seen a leaked report. We are at the first stage. It is an opportunity to find out the truth and to start a process of true reconciliation. [TC]

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

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!). [TC]

UN SG appointed panel call for a reversal if the 2009 Geneva resolution is in bad faith

By Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha

Perhaps the most startling revelation of bad faith in the report of the Panel appointed by the UN Secretary General is its repeated call for a reversal of the motion regarding Sri Lanka carried at the Human Rights Council in May 2009. [TC]

Human rights violations in IDP camps after conflict ended

Extracts from report on Sri Lanka by advisory panel appointed by Ban Ki moon

2. Violations in the IDP Camps

(a) Arbitrary detention of IDPs in closed camps

154. Civilians emerging from the conflicts zone were initially housed in a network of 21 IDP sites spread across Jaffna, Mannar, Trincomalee and Vavuniya districts. [TC]

The “See-Saw” battle between the UN SG and the SL Govt

Report on Sri Lanka by the Ban-Ki-moon advisory Panel – 2

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Continued from last week

A diplomatic tussle is going on at present between the United Nations Secretary –General (UNSG) and the Government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa over the release of the report compiled by the three-member advisory panel appointed by Ban Ki moon. This is not a fresh development but only an extension of the “cold war” that has been continuing ever since Ban Ki moon visited Sri Lanka in May 2009 after the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was concluded.

 [dbsj]

April 15, 2011

Apr 17 - 23:

Report release put on hold pending discussion between Ban-Ki-moon and G.L. Peiris scheduled for April 23rd

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

A one to one discussion has been scheduled for Saturday April 23rd between United Nations Secretary – General(UN SG) Ban KI moon and Sri Lankan External affairs minister Prof.Gamini Lakshman Peiris. [DBSJ]

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. [TC]

Let us challenge reactionary Mahinda regime on May Day

By Dr.Vickramabahu Karunaratne

We are happy to see that this May Day has become a day to challenge the Oppression of Mahinda state. Many strong trade unions have come together to challenge the chauvinist pro global capitalist government. [TC]

Rape, execution, detention and disappearances in the Wanni during the Govt - LTTE war

Extracts from the report on Sri Lanka by the advisory panel appointed by Ban Ki moon

F. Credible allegations relating to events outside the conflict zone and in the aftermath

138. The plight of civilians who had survived the conflict in the Vanni did not end when they entered Government-controlled areas. [TC]

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. [TC]

Sri Lankan Government requests UN not to release the panel of experts report

Department of Government Information, Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan Government has requested the UN not to make its panel of experts report public as it is wrong and unacceptable, External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris told the media in Colombo today. [TC]

AlJazeera Video ~ People & Power: 'Both the government and Tamil Tigers are to blame'

A UN panel has found that the allegations against both sides - the Govt of Sri Lanka & LTTE are credible saying they may have committed serious violations of humanitarian law.

As Juliana Ruhfus and Dom Rotheroe have been finding out, unless and until the truth is established, a final reconciliation in Sri Lanka may prove impossible. [TC]

The charge against the Govt of reducing number of Wanni civilians in estimates

Extracts from report on Sri Lanka by advisory panel appointed by Ban Ki moon

D. Disputing IDP figures as a basis to deny humanitarian assistance

124. Throughout the final stages of the armed conflict, particularly from January to May 2009, the Government downplayed the number of civilians present in the LTTE controlled area, using the low estimates to restrict the amount of humanitarian assistance that could be provided, especially food and medicine. [TC]

India must take position on Lanka's war crimes: HRW

"India will have to take a public position," Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director of Human Rights Watch, told PTI. Ganguly added that if India wanted to emerge as a leader on the global stage then the country's leadership would have to show its intention of "protecting the rights of people over government." [TC]

Easter and its traditions

By Saba-Thambi

An egg painted red given at the end of a Sunday school session was my first ever memory of Easter Sunday. I was highly excited and vividly remember taking extreme care of this possession on the half -hour walk back home. [TC]

UN "Expert" report is an illegal one based on fudged assumptions

by Dr.Susantha Goonatilake

Wars are messy and bloody, especially long-lasting wars for national sovereignty. [TC]

How Ban-Ki-moon trapped Mahendra Percival Rajapaksa

by Upul Joseph Fernando

Some foreign media were of the view that the Sri Lanka (SL) Government had trapped Ban Ki moon in relation to the UN war crime panel. [TC]

Instances of hospitals in the Wanni being shelled during the Govt – LTTE war

Shelling hospitals

The following are extracts from the Ban Ki Moon report pertaining to instances where hospitals were allegedly shelled: [TC]

Tamils: What Price the Moral High Ground?

by Dravidan

“He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her” - John 8: 7

Christians all over the world are observing holy week of the lent season. The holy season will end with the Good Friday and Easter Celebrations. One of the more famous stories in the Holy Bible relates to the woman who had been caught in adultery. The Scribes and the Pharisees brought the woman and made her stand before Jesus Christ. They said to him, 'Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery.

LSTC419.jpg [TC]

GTF President Fr. Emmanuel wants peace, truth and justice in Sri Lanka

by Paul Dobbyn

EMINENT Tamil theologian and academic Father S.J. Emmanuel can count five bishops among those he has educated in his distinguished career - but he is much prouder of five special priests who attended his lectures in Kandy, Sri Lanka. [TC]

Video ~ Syracuse University Event: Removing Barriers to Peace and Reconciliation in Sri Lanka

By Dr. Karunyan Arulanantham
Director Tamil American Peace Initiative
Member USTPAC [TC]

Theatre of the absurd that passes for governance in Sri Lanka

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 [TC]

Shelling of civilian targets and hindering humanitarian assistance of ICRC

Extracts from the Ban Ki Moon advisory panel report on Sri Lanka

6. SLA shelling in the second No Fire Zone

100. From as early as 6 February 2009, the SLA continuously shelled within the area that become the second NFZ, from all directions, including land, air and sea. [TC]

Civilian deaths and injuries in the Govt-LTTE conflict in the Wanni

Extracts from the report on Sri Lanka by the advisory panel appointed by Ban Ki Moon

E.The Number of Civilian Deaths

132. There is no authoritative figure for civilian deaths or injuries in the Vanni in the final phases of the war. [TC]

The Chinese movie “Detective Dee” and the Ban-Ki-moon advisory panel report

by Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

The most ubiquitous and striking poster along the boulevards of Paris these Spring days is of a movie called ‘Detective Dee’, the full title of which is ‘Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame’. [TC]

US Gov urged to influence the implementation of UN panel recommendations

The Tamil American Peace Initiative (TAPI) welcomes the recommendations laid out in the executive summary of the panel of experts report commissioned by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. [TC]

TNA statement on UNSG Advisory Panel Report

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), as the democratically elected representatives of the Tamil People of the North East, who have been the worst affected victims of the recently concluded war, we consider it our duty to respond to same, while reserving a fuller response to the full Report after it becomes available to us. [TC]

Govt must face UN and international community by having Tamil people on its side - Mano Ganesan

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. [TC]

Political objective of UN Secretary – General to interfere in internal affairs of Sri Lanka should be rejected  - JVP

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has issued a statement on the report on Sri Lanka by the advisory panel appointed by UN Secretary - General Ban Ki Moon. The text of JVP statement is as follows - [TC]

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". [TC]

Malicious muckraking is killing Sri Lankan cricket by rumour

by Prof Michael Roberts

Many Sri Lankan fans expected the cricket team to win the World Cup and even stocked up with firecrackers to mark the celebratory moment. The disappointment has been commensurate with this high expectation. It has generated immense disappointment in many minds. [TC]

Ch 4 Video: Despite the UN Panel's tough words, will anyone be held to account? 

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". [TC]

"If UN wont protect us then we will have to seek protection from countries like Russia and China" - Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

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. [TC]

Ruling family's determination to have a "Rajapaksa security state" is costing Sri Lanka dear

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

To take the wrong road is to arrive at snow” — Federico Garcia Lorca (Little Infinite Poem)

They had to stand in a sweltering-queue, in the baking-hot April sun, for hours, they who, ensconced in their public-funded air-conditioned offices and mansions, rarely experience the gruelling tropical heat. [TC]

Sri Lanka’s relations with United Nations still remain warm despite Ban Ki moon report

By Nihal Rodrigo

On June 22 2010, the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon appointed a three-member Panel of Experts to examine, and advise him of “the modalities, applicable international standards, and comparative experiences with regard to accountability processes” that related to any alleged violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, during “the final stages” of the conflict in Sri Lanka. [TC]

Govt must show more sincerity and purpose in t alks - Sumanthiran

By Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema

The issues faced by the Tamil community and finding a political settlement will have to be done through discussions, says TNA Parliamentarian and Attorney at Law, M.A. Sumanthiran. [TC]

Muralitharan slams SLC for calling back players from IPL 

Retired spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan on Friday slammed Sri Lankan Cricket Board for asking its players to return home midway through the Indian Premier League for a tour to England, saying the No Objection Certificate had permitted them to play till May 20. [TC]

Executive Summary: Report of the Advisory panel of experts on accountability in Sri Lanka [TC]

Report on Sri Lanka by the Ban-Ki-moon Advisory panel

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The three-member panel appointed by UN secretary –general Ban Ki moon to advise him on alleged human rights violations and accountability issues in Sri Lanka during the last phase of the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam organization handed over its report on April 12th. It is expected that the UN Secy –Gen will publicise the contents in due course. At the time of this article being written the report was yet to be made public. [DBSJ]

April 11, 2011

Apr 10 - 16:

In Pictures: "Kara" New Year dawns with Chariot Festival in Thaavady, Jaffna

 [HA]

"Sri Lanka’s progress on demining activities should be welcomed" – British High Commissioner

The British High Commissioner made this remarks on the occasion of the International Day for Mine Awareness. [TC]

Sri Lanka gov finds UNSG Panel report 'fundamentally flawed in many respects'

Full Text of Statement by Ministry of External Affairs, Sri Lanka [TC]

SL bracing for showdown with cricket powerhouse India

Sri Lankan sports ministry's decision to call back its cricketers from the IPL could lead to "a potentially explosive situation" as far as the board's ties with the BCCI - world cricket's financial powerhouse - is concerned, a leading newspaper said. [TC]

UN Sec Gen Ban-Ki-moon shares panel report with Sri Lanka govt 'prior to making it public'

UN chief receives report of panel of experts on Sri Lanka human rights issues

Via UN News Centre

The panel of experts set up to advise Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on accountability issues with respect to the conflict in Sri Lanka today delivered its report to the United Nations chief, who is sharing a copy with the Government prior to making it public. [TC]

'Ban-Ki-moon must stick to his word' - Amnesty Int'l

'Ban-Ki-moon must stick to his word - accounting for violations committed in the recent conflict is first step to future reconciliation' - Amnesty Int'l

Amnesty International Media Release

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

(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. [TC]

Secretary-General Should Use Findings to Press for Justice - HRW

HRW Media Release

(New York) - 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. [TC]

"Attacked for Words", Journalist Poddala Jayantha at Iowa State University

First Amendment Day 2011 of The Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication at Iowa State University was held on April 7, 2011 featuring a presentation by journalist Poddala Jayantha: "Attacked for Words: A Terror Campaign Against Sri Lankan Journalists."

The following is a report of the event, appearing on the student run the Iowa State Daily. The newspaper was first established in 1890. [TC]

Our old enemies the secessionists seek to resume the struggle by other means and win

by Dayan Jayatilleka

Having made much the same point in the Sri Lankan press prior to events in Libya, I was gratified to hear such expert scholarly confirmation. [TC]

Without accountability there cannot be reconciliation: Is the argument correct?

by Dayan Jayatilleka

One must re-scrutinise the emphatic assertion that post-war accountability, democracy, good governance and post-conflict reconciliation are integral parts of a single package or located on a continuum. It is argued that greater democratisation and fuller accountability regarding the war are indispensable complementarities. [TC]

Improprieties in the Sri Lanka section of US State Dept report

By Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha

The 2010 Human Rights Report on Sri Lanka issued by the BUREAU OF DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS, AND LABOR of the US Department of State is potentially a useful document for Sri Lanka, since it brings together several cases which need to be pursued. [TC]

LankaeNews editor freed on bail, authorities still have him in their sights

by RSF.org

Bennet Rupesinghe, one of the editors of the Colombo-based online newspaper LankaeNews, was released on bail today after a week in pre-trial detention for allegedly making threats. [TC]

Rajapaksas are adept at using an amalgam of sticks and carrots

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

A new volume is to be added to the Mahavamsa covering the period of 1978-2010. According to the Ministry of Cultural Affairs three of its chapters will be dedicated to the four years of Rajapaksa-rule (his predecessors will get two chapters or less) because the President’s “achievement in ending the island’s 30-year separatist war has no parallels in the chronicle” (PTI – 6.4.2011). [TC]

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

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. [TC]

International hypocrisy and double standards over Sri Lanka in 2009 and Libya in 2011

By S. V. Kirubaharan
France

Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of American President Franklin Roosevelt once said, “Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both [TC]

Ban Ki-moon supports regine change in Libya and Ivory Coast

By Colum Lynch

At U.N. headquarters, regime change has long been viewed as a toxic phrase. [TC]

Mavilaru Today: The shadows of war

By Amantha Perera

It was a name-board that caught my eye. Hanging at the entrance, it read ‘Mavilaru Cafe’. The cafe was clean and the food was all right, but not really anything to write home about. [TC]

April 02, 2011

Apr 3 - 9:

The Businesses Boosted by Cricket World Cup

By M.S.Shah Jahan

Betting

No doubt the 10th Cricket World Cup gave financial gains not only to the cricketers and those associated with it, but also to various in business sectors. [TC]

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 [TC]

Sri Lanka has not violated international law - Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa [TC]

Sri Lankan government should account for everyone taken into custody at the end of conflict in May 2009 - HRW

Account for War time Disappearances
More than 20 people last seen in Army custody remain missing

By Human Rights Watch

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. [TC]

Journalist Bennett Rupasinghe released on bail

BBC News

A court in Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka has granted bail to the editor of a news website critical of the government who was arrested last month. [TC]

Cricket in Sri Lanka is increasingly a political affair

By Namini Wijedasa

The Sri Lankan team lost the 2011 Cricket World Cup to India but were welcomed home like winners. Was this politics or the true Sri Lankan spirit of embracing losers as equally as they would victors? [TC]

Motley group of toxic hacks destroying journalism in Sri Lanka

by Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu

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). [TC]

Sport has historically offered a profound avenue to rally and serve as the arena for reconciliation

by Amarnath Amarasingam

On social networking sites, such as Facebook, debates about the usefulness of the boycott were pervasive. Some members of the diaspora argued that supporting the Sri Lankan cricket team against India in the finals could foster a sense of unity in the country following a highly divisive ethnic conflict. [TC]

Why I'm glad we didn't win the World Cup

(This piece posted on facbook by a Sri Lankan youth and is reproduced here)

First: It was a great game and India were the better team at the final, and during the tournament. I mean to take nothing away from such an epic victory, which I believe is something the entire subcontinent can be proud of. My gladness for Sri Lanka’s loss stems not from anything to do with India or their win. [TC]

Sri Lanka govt conduct during final months of conflict hamper US ability to fully engage - Asst. Sec. Robert O. Blake, Jr

Testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia - Apr 5, 2011 [TC]

India wants equal rights and equl status for Sri Lankan Tamils says Sonia Gandhi in Chennai

by G.Sathyamoorthi

Chennai: India is pressing Sri Lanka to amend the Constitution to “guarantee and ensure equal rights and equal status” to Sri Lankan Tamils, Congress president and United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi said here on Tuesday. [TC]

AI Urgent action: Law student D.M. Thushara Jayaratne fears for safety after death threats

A Sri Lankan student who complained that his law school's final exams were being managed unfairly was abducted, interrogated and threatened with death before being released. [TC]

Defence Secretary reveals details of Colombo City development plan

About 70,000 families identified as shanty or slum dwellers in the city of Colombo would be relocated within the next two years in high-rise community housing units that are to be developed for them within the city, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said. [TC]

72 Hour feast of music, song and dance at Jaffna festival

by Marisa de Silva

Three days and three nights of flamboyant colour, exhilarating music and pulsating dance, showcased by an array of multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, national and international folk artistes and performers made the Jaffna Music Festival (JMF) last weekend everything it was billed to be.

No two groups were similar in sound or performance, but all were entertaining to varied degrees [TC]

Papparavaaham pomp: Berry Videos from Jaffna Music Festival

by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

ப்பரவாஹம் கூத்து ~ Papparavaaham troupe from Chulipuram performs at Jaffna Music festival. This troupe performs after two decades on stage [HA]

Democratic verdicts of Tamil people should be recognised in a country which claims to function on democratic governance - R. Sampanthan MP

The Tamil people do not want a return to violence in any form.

Continuous and callous disrespect and disregard of the democratic verdicts of the Tamil people, would only demonstrate that the Tamil people continue to be governed without their consent, and against their free will, and without being granted any access to powers of governance, in an authoritarian and dictatorial manner. [TC]

'Mob attacked Tamils of Indian origin in Hatton after India beat Sri Lanka to the cricket world cup' - Minister Thondaman

BBC Sandeshaya

Police in Sri Lanka say that they have arrested four people suspected on an attack following a the protest threat by a cabinet minister. [TC]

'Sangakkara was right when he said, "Both Sri Lanka and India can be very proud."'

Cricket may be, as the sociologist Ashis Nandy wrote in 1983, “an Indian game accidentally discovered by the English,” but India took a long time to take control of it.

by Huw Richards

For Sachin Tendulkar, it was “the proudest moment of my life.” For his India teammates, it was a chance to pay back the sport’s living legend for all the other times he has had to carry his team. [TC]

'Government officials unable to recall President Rajapaksa advising the country's cricket team on strategy or other aspects of the game'

Ranatunga's comments not in game's spirit

by R. K. Radhakrishnan

Cricket lovers, ranging from senior bureaucrats to local ‘tuk-tuk' drivers, are not amused over former Sri Lankan cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga's off-the-cuff remark that he does not advise the cricket team any longer because President Mahinda Rajapaksa has taken up that job. [TC]

Colombo Metropolitan Corporation is an archetypal Rajapaksa-solution to the problem that is the Colombo Municipal Council

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

The campaign to replace popular sovereignty with Rajapaksa sovereignty swung into top-gear last week. The regime announced that the Colombo Municipal Council and four other local authorities will be placed under the control of a new, unelected, entity: the Colombo Metropolitan Corporation. [TC]

Mannar Bishop donates land to families displaced after Sri Lankan navy takes possession of village "for security reasons"

by Melani Manel Perera

Mullikkulam village has been transformed into a Navy outpost. In exchange families have been offered the Kayakuli area in the middle of the jungle. But for its deforestation, all borne by the population, no help has come from government and non-profit organizations. [TC]

Cricket diplomacy of inviting New Zealand PM and not Pak leaders, David Cameron and flying to Mumbai to watch Lanka’s heroes

by Gamini Weerkoon

Bumpy sprinted up the gangway and just made it to his seat in the special charter flight carrying the Colombo Fifty to Mumbai. [TC]

Rajapaksas free rein acceptable, so long as family prosperity is shared

by Eric Ellis

The country seems like a construction zone, with ports, highways and airports sprouting and former rebel strongholds blossoming [TC]

In Pictures: Sri Lanka Vs India, World Cup 2011 Final

Cricket and rising prices: A man carrying a cylinder of gas passes by a group of youth watching yesterday’s World Cup final on a television set. Gas and fuel prices were increased on Friday while the country was gripped by cricket fever ahead of yesterday’s final. [TC]