Feb 26 - Mar 3:
by Zacki Jabbar
The government was creating a big rumpus about the US resolution calling for the implementation of the LLRC recommendations, to distract the masses from the high cost of living and impending price hikes on essential goods and services during the forthcoming Sinhala and Tamil New Year, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday. [TC]
by P K Balachandran | Express News Service
In a move that should help Sri Lanka out at the 19th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, India has said it is against “country specific” resolutions because they may weaken the constructive dialogue and cooperative approach of the UNHRC.
The United States was expected to move a resolution at the UNHRC session, censuring Sri Lanka over alleged war crimes against Tamils during the civil war. [TC]
Statement made by H.E Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam
We have taken note of the comments made by the High Commissioner on the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission and while unreservedly dissenting with the observations of the High Commissioner on its domestic process vis a vis the UN Secretary General’s Panel, we would like to highlight, at the expense of repetition, that the LLRC report reflects the emblematic parameters of rule of law strategies, which have been earnestly taken note of by the Government for speedy implementation. [TC]
Revisiting Sri Lanka’s Bloody War
By Marzuki Darusman, Steven Ratner and Yasmin Sooka
Even as attention is riveted on the bloodshed in Syria, another conflict, far more deadly, is belatedly attracting the notice it deserves. [TC]
Action now in UNHRC will sow the seeds of lasting peace in Sri Lanka-Maria Otero, U.S. Under Secretary of State
Statement by Maria Otero, U.S. Under Secretary of State, Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights
19th Session of the Human Rights Council, Geneva, Switzerland | March 2, 2012
'We know from experience that there can be no lasting peace without reconciliation and accountability, but the United States is concerned that, in Sri Lanka, time is slipping away.' [TC]
By Charitha Ratwatte
A recent article by Charitha Ratwatte in the daily “Financial Times”published by Wijeya newspapers provides interesting reading about Corporatism and State Capitalism. It also focuses on various aspects of the current Chinese Corporatist model [DBSJ]
In this interview published in India on February 6 and reproduced in the Sri Lankan media, Sri Lankan secretary of defense M. Gotabaya Rapjapaksa is purported to have said that MSF-France teams were present in the battle zone during the fighting. [TC]
In early Dec 2011, I had the opportunity to visit Sri Lanka and for see myself the good work being carried out by Cord. [MJ]
Moves initiated by the USA to present a resolution on Sri Lanka at the 19th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva has aroused much controversy. [DBSJ]
by A Special Correspondent
Shocked by reports that India is set to strongly back Sri Lanka in case a United States-backed resolution is taken up in the ongoing session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva seeking an inquiry into allegations of war crimes in the last stage of the civil war, leaders from Tamil Nadu on Wednesday appealed to the Centre not to bail out the island nation. [TC]
The 19th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) has commenced in Geneva from February 27th. It is very likely that Sri Lanka would figure as item 10 on the agenda during the concluding stages of the conclave in the days between March 21st to 23rd.
With high level officials from the US state department having announced that a resolution on Sri Lanka would be presented in Geneva there is much concern and anxiety in the country about its outcome [Click here to read in full ~ on dbsjeyaraj.com: The high stakes in Geneva in 2009 and 2012: Dayan Jayatilleka recalls]
TNA Leader Sampanthan writes to 47 member states of UNHRC urging support for Resolution on Sri Lanka
(In a letter dated 27th February 2012, Tamil National Alliance leader Rajavarothayam Sampanthan has written to all 47 member states of the United Nations Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva urging support for the envisaged resolution on Sri Lanka. The full text of the letter is as follows)
I write to you as the leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the principal elected representative of the Tamil people in the North and East of Sri Lanka, to extend my gratitude for your sustained commitment to peace, justice and substantive democracy in our country. [TC]
by Dr.M. A. Mohammed Saleem and Arjuna Hulugalle
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) national list Parliamentarian M.A.Sumanthiran wrote an opinion piece on the issue of devolving land powers that was carried in my blog on February 25th under the heading”Principal reasons for TNA position on devolution of Land powers”. Mr.Sumanthiran with direct experience in land issues as a lawyer,litigant and land owner outlined the TNA rationale in arguing for land powers to the unit of devolution.
There has been an informed response to Mr.Sumanthiran’s article from Dr.M. A. Mohammed Saleem and Mr.Arjuna Hulugalle representing the Mahatma Gandhi Centre that advocated grass roots power sharing and democracy. [Click here to read in full ~ on dbsjeyaraj.com: Peoples control of land will be more effective through Village Peoples Councils]
Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished
Last year Channel 4 broadcast Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields, a critically-acclaimed and RTS Award winning forensic investigation into the events of the last few weeks of the decades-long war between the government of Sri Lanka and the rebel forces of the Tamil Tigers (LTTE), presented by Jon Snow. [TC]
By Amantha Perera
COLOMBO, Feb 29, 2012 (IPS) – Strung across the main road leading away from the international airport is a banner that has an intriguing message: ‘USA, Pls Do Not Support Terrorism’. [TC]
The Boston Globe | Editorial
IT’S BEEN nearly three years since the Sri Lankan government ended a long war by crushing the Tamil rebel army, killing thousands of civilians – perhaps tens of thousands. [TC]
By Kamaya Jayatissa
Paradoxical as it may seem, I have in the past often referred to Sri Lanka as both an Island nation and archipelago of communities
Given the raucous cacophony of strident cries of race and religion it does seem unlikely that these polyphony of voices can ever be blended into a harmonious symphony [DBSJ]
by H.R. Gunasekera
Director, Department of Census and Statistics
Population and Housing Census is the largest statistical undertaking of a country. It is vital for providing information about the population in order to present a full and reliable picture of the population in the country in terms of its size and spatial distribution, its demographic, social and economic characteristics, as well as its housing conditions, The Census is the only reliable source for detailed information on the population at the level of small administrative areas. [TC]
By V. Venkatesan
Hello FriendsThere is an on going controversy in India about corruption on a massive scale as manifested in the 2-G Spectrum scandal. Some elements of the political class have displayed very negative attributes by betraying public confidence and allegedly indulging in colossal corruption. [DBSJ]
27 February 2012 | by Crisis Group
Nearly three years since the end of the war, there’s a growing need for an accounting of – and for – those killed and missing in the final months of fighting in northern Sri Lanka in 2009. Members of the UN Human Rights Council, opening its 19th session in Geneva today, should be ready to press the Sri Lankan government for real answers. [TC]
By Mahinda Samarasinghe at UNHRC, Geneva
I am honoured and privileged to be able to once again share with this august body, Sri Lanka ’s experience in promoting and protecting the human rights of its people, in accordance with universally accepted standards. [TC]
By Mano Ganesan
TNA leader Sampanthan has shown the political gesture towards the govt by deciding against the proposal of going to Geneva. Now, the Tamils and all peace loving people of this country look forward to reciprocative action by the government based on certain LLRC recommendations says DPF leader Mano Ganesan. [TC]
Protest campaigns against US and western nations are being held across several locations over the anticipated resolution over Sri Lanka, in the 19th Sessions of UNHRC currently underway in Geneva. [TC]
Press Release issued by Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN in New York [TC]
A week long awareness rally in support of “Independent International Investigation into the Vanni massacre and to enlist the support of the US Government for a such a move in the upcoming UNHRC” commenced near US State Department, Washington, DC on Feb 24th, 2012. [TC]
It is not just Sri Lanka’s people that the UNHRC must serve this week, but the cause of international law
by Desmond Tutu and Mary Robinson
This week the UN Human Rights Council has an opportunity and a duty to help Sri Lanka advance its own efforts on accountability and reconciliation. Both are essential if a lasting peace is to be achieved. In doing so, the council will not only be serving Sri Lanka, but those worldwide who believe there are universal rights and international legal obligations we all share. [TC]
Lankan Tamil issue can’t be held hostage to just one assassination: Rudrakumaran Viswanathan speaks to India’s Economic Times
The voices of the Sri Lankan Tamils, demoralised by a brutal military crackdown following LTTE’s defeat, still remain unheard, especially in Sinhalese-majority Sri Lanka.
But away from home, they are making efforts to regroup. Elections were held among Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora in 12 countries in 2010 to create the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) and elect Rudrakumaran Viswanathan its prime minister. [TC]
The present active art scene in Sri Lanka is a result of perpetual growth of art practices that started in the 90’s with the watershed exhibition “Anxiety” by Jagath Weerasinghe. Now 12 years on from my last article on this subject – ‘ Breaking the limits’ – I wish to make some cursory remarks about the state of art and art practices of this day.
If Jagath’s exhibition was the start of what has come to be known as the 90’s trend, the Theertha International Artists Collective’s ‘Lunuganga Performace Workshop’ of year 2001 could be regarded as the start of the early 2000 trend. [TC]
Will India Support, Oppose or Abstain if and when UNHRC Resolution against Sri Lanka comes up in Geneva?
by D.B.S. Jeyaraj
Geneva is the name of the game as Sri Lanka prepares to face and possibly overcome the threat posed in the form of a resolution initated by the USA at the 19th sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) scheduled to commence on Monday February 27th 2012.
The important question on the minds of those concerned is whether Sri Lanka would be able to muster enough votes to defeat such a resolution if put to the vote in the 47 member UN Human Rights Council. [DBSJ]
I wrote last week in these columns about how the meeting between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Tamil National Alliance(TNA) leader and Trincomalee district MP Rajavarothayam Sampanthan at “Temple Trees” aimed at breaking the deadlock in Govt-TNA talks ended inconclusively and abruptly. [DBSJ]
by Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka
A prophet spoke at the UNESCO in Paris this week, though he joked that having lived for 90 years, he had written thirty pages and found he had been turned into ‘a rock star’.
Stephane Hessel, born in Germany in the year of the Russian revolution, is 95 years old. [TC]
by Dr. Arjuna Sivananthan
With recent hikes in the price of distillates and resultant protests, a pertinent question to ask is who is affected most by them. Athula Naranpanawa and Jayathileka S Bandara of the University of Griffith in Australia, in a recently published discussion paper, suggest that low income households followed by low income rural households are most affected. And, those energy intensive sectors such as manufacturing also suffer. [TC]
by Shanika Sriyananda
If not for their knowledge and hard work, the modern three-storied building complex would still be under construction. Thanking the soldiers for constructing the building within eight-months, the Principal of Mahajana College, Kunaratnam Velsivanandan said people in Jaffna co-exist with soldiers. [TC]
Sri Lanka has progressively already adopted a broad range of measures to facilitate reconciliation after the May 2009 end of its conflict against terrorism, Sri Lankan Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya told a gathering of the Serendipity Group of retired U.S. diplomats, and international pressure might make it difficult to enact the LLRC’s recent recommendations. [TC]
By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene
The argument is put forward by some that if the current administration had taken steps to put its democratic record to right, post war, perhaps the scrutiny that we see now in regard to what is loosely defined as accountability, would not have been evidenced in all its intensity. [TC]
By Manjula Fernando
Minister of Plantation Industries and President’s Special Envoy on Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe, in an exclusive interview with the Sunday Observer before he led the Sri Lankan delegation to the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) Sessions in Geneva, said Sri Lanka has progressed far better than many other countries which were battered by prolonged, brutal terrorism and the international community should recognise this positive fact. [TC]
The familiar patriotic rhetoric was in abeyance in previous weeks, as the regime busied itself with unleashing a price-hike tsunami on the Lankan masses. Having got itself into a financial bind (through a combination of profligacy and idiocy), the regime tried to escape by heaping economic burdens on the people. [TC]
By Surendra Ajit Rupasinghe
In the mid nineteen eighties, the Philippines was rocked by a sustained people’s resistance movement that finally deposed of the hated and corrupt dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, who had to flee the country in a US Air Force helicopter. The Catholic Church, representing the majority of the people, played a critical role in this dramatic change.
The people’s uprising was catalysed by the defection of two key military officers- Enrile and Ramos, who occupied the office of the Defense Secretary [TC]
By Namini Wijedasa
Sri Lankans are not undergoing economic hardship and are spending more than ever, says Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal.
Excerpts from the interview.
How would you respond to public anger against fuel and electricity price hikes?
In the last 36 months, inflation has been in single digits. We have never (in history) had a period where inflation was in single digits for as long as 36 months. [TC]
by Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne
Agitation against fuel price hikes, the falling rupee against the dollar,
and the removal of subsidies and welfare has created a new situation. We predicted that the policies of the government dictated by the global powers will create this situation.
Genocidal wars designed and promoted by them, was very costly and it devastated the Vanni area. [TC]
By Tisaranee Gunasekara
Stratospheric defence costs constitute Lankan economy’s deadliest ticking time-bomb.
Militarization is menacing Southern (and Lankan) economic wellbeing as much as it is impeding Northern democracy. The fundamentally weak Lankan economy can ill afford the huge amounts of money spent annually on maintaining a mammoth military, purchasing/upgrading military hardware and setting up new military camps/cantonments. [TC]
Ban Ki moon Must Enforce UN’s Own Recommendations for Accountability Over War Crimes in Sri Lanka–USTPAC
The United States Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC) and 10 other Tamil groups from around the world call on the UN Secretary-General to continue his principled stand on accountability for war crimes in Sri Lanka at the upcoming UN Human Rights Council meetings in a letter released today.
“The United Nations Secretary-General must stand by his own Panel of Experts’ Report and continue his principled stand in support for accountability for both sides for the events in Sri Lanka during the final stages of the war,” said Dr. Elias Jeyarajah, the President of USTPAC. [TC]
Statement issued by the Tamil National Alliance
The Sri Lankan Question will figure prominently at the above sessions.
Two Reports – the report of the Experts Panel appointed by the Secretary General of the United Nations and the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission appointed by the Government of Sri Lanka – have addressed issues of grave violations of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Laws, the causes of the conflict, the need to evolve an acceptable Political Solution as the means to achieving genuine reconciliation, demilitarisation, the need to curb paramilitary groups, the need to strengthen civilian administration, access to information, media freedom, transparency in regard to detention and access to detainees and other issues. [TC]