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March 24, 2012

Mar 25 - Mar 31

tweets of the day: Media battle heats up in Sri Lanka, again

AlJazeera: Listening Post – Media battle heats up in Sri Lanka, again [TC]

India’s Headlines Today Journalist wins award for Sri Lanka Report 

Headlines Today correspondent Priyamvatha has won the award ‘best Investigative report’ for ‘Inside Lanka’s Killing Fields’ at the ’5th News Television (NT) Awards 2012′ on March 28th in New Delhi. ‘Headlines Today’ is a member of ‘India Today’, media group [TC]

Belligerence shows Colombo’s mutinous response to international ‘meddling’ will remain constant 

by Namini Wijedasa

A stubby man in an open-necked shirt stands against the backdrop of a Buddhist temple in Kelaniya, on the outskirts of the Sri Lankan capital Colombo, waving a thick forefinger threateningly in the air. Mervyn Silva, the minister of public relations, growls that traitors should be executed as in the times of ancient kings. [TC]

Geneva fiasco due to our failure to maintain pragmatic International Relations 

by Shanie | NOTEBOOK OF A NOBODY

A cartoon this week in one of our newspapers said it all. A tall gaunt man with his head held erect walks into a room in Geneva saying, ‘I think we can, I think we can.’ The same man is then seen coming out of the door in Geneva, head bent down with a distraught face and almost bent in two, saying, ’I thought we could, I thought we could.’ [TC]

‘Benign conspiracy’ in Geneva by India and USA to make Sri Lanka move towards a political solution 

By Izeth Hussain

We have to face up to the fact that the Sri Lankan Government suffered a serious set-back at Geneva. We can of course argue that adding the abstentions to the votes against the US Resolution shows that we lost only by one vote. [TC]

Tamara Kunanayakam: Fighting for Lanka in Geneva 

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Many Sri Lankans watching live proceedings of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on the fateful Thursday of March 22nd 2012 were puzzled by the composition of our representatives when the spotlight was on Sri Lanka in Geneva. [DBSJ]

Video ~ Backing Sri Lanka Resolution: Does this mark a shift in India’s regional foreign policy?

Sadanand Dhume of the American Enterprise Institute discusses pressures on New Delhi to support democracy abroad. [TC]

‘We Opposed the Resolution Because of Our Respect for the UN HRC’-Rajiva Wijesinha 

by Ayesha Zuhair

In an interview with Ayesha Zuhair for the Daily Mirror, Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha, MP, Presidential Advisor on Reconciliation, discusses the resolution against Sri Lanka adopted at the 19th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). [DBSJ]

People’s SAARC concerned about safety of human rights defenders, journalists and political activists in Sri Lanka

We, the representatives of civil society, from all the South Asian countries are seriously concerned about the personal safety and political freedom of human rights defenders, journalists and political activists in Sri Lanka in the back drop of increasing international concern on the situation in Sri Lanka especially vis-àvis the resolution on accountability for war crimes adopted by the recent 19th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. [TC]

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

by 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. [TC]

USA and India have ingeniously divided their task regarding Sri Lanka 

by Gunadasa Amarasekera

On 2nd March 1815, we ceded our sovereignty to the – greatest empire at the time-The British Empire- of which it was said ‘the sun never set’.

On 22nd March 2012 we were intimidated into taking the first step to cede our sovereignty to the most powerful empire of today—the US. [TC]

‘American Exceptionalism’ means USA should be regarded above international law norms 

By Harith de Mel

Thursday the 22nd of March was a day Sri Lanka was given a lesson in International Law.

This is not to suggest we are inadequate in our understanding of this fascinating subject but events preceding suggest that we have either not comprehended the reality of ‘International Law’ or have been ignorant of it in the wake of International relations. [TC]

Ensure the security of Fishers Union Leaders Herman Kumara and Anura Roshantha 

We, the undersigned civil society organisations and activists, are deeply disturbed by the threats faced by Mr. Herman Kumara of the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (NAFSO) and Mr. Aruna Roshantha Fernando of All Ceylon Fisher Folk Federation (ACFFF) and condemn these attempts to stifle democratic rights and silence these leaders. [TC]

Sri Lanka should take UNHRC Resolution seriously and improve human rights record like Myanmar says Dayan Jayatilleka

Sri Lanka could learn from Myanmar which has radically changed bringing democratic reforms in the country says Sri Lanka Ambassador to France, Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka. [DBSJ]

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

By 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. [DBSJ]

Govt must present road map for implementing recommendations in LLRC Report 

by Jayantha Dhanapala and Prof. Savitri Goonesekere

The Friday Forum welcomed the setting up of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission and co-operated constructively by making representations before it. [DBSJ]

Post – conflict Sri Lanka needs Canadian R2P 

by Kubes Navaratnam

In the wake of the world’s inaction to intervene and stop the grave human rights abuses in Rwanda and Srebrenica, and following the controversial intervention in Kosovo, the Responsibility to Protect doctrine emerged [TC]

USA adopts carrot and stick policy towards Sri Lanka to curtail Chinese influence

By K. Ratnayake

On March 22 the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) meeting in Geneva passed a US-sponsored resolution on human rights violations in Sri Lanka. The toothless, non-binding resolution has nothing to do with addressing abuses in Sri Lanka but is aimed at advancing US interests in the South Asian region. [TC]

This is a struggle between powerful pro-mega development folks and powerless pro-sustainable development masses 

by S.P. Udayakumar

Dear Friends:

Greetings! Pushparayan, the other 12 friends and I have become weaker and tired; but we are still able to sit up and talk to people. Today is the seventh day of the indefinite hunger strike. [DBSJ]

The rise of populism: A comparative perspective from South Asia 

by Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha M.P.

I must begin by thanking the Secretariat of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats for putting together an excellent concept paper, which presents us with a very balanced view of the topic of our general assembly this year. [DBSJ]

Koodankulam protestors call off indefinite hunger strike but continue with relay fasts 

The anti-Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) protesters called off their nine-day-long indefinite fast on Tuesday evening, following talks with the district administration, led by Collector R. Selvaraj [TC]

Liberals present Ontario Budget with strong action plan 

by Dwight Duncan

Today, I presented our plan to balance the budget by 2017-18, while protecting the results we’ve achieved in health care and education. It’s all about making the right choices for Ontario families. [TC]

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. [DBSJ]

‘We speak two noble languages (Sinhala and Tamil) but with one voice (Sri Lankan)’ 

By Dr.Devanesan Nesiah

Some countries are predominantly monolingual. Perhaps England, Japan, France, Germany and Thailand could, subject to some qualifications, be placed in this category. [DBSJ]

Dr. Indra De Soysa takes over as 18th Warden of St. Thomas College, Mt. Lavinia 

By Ishara Jayawardane 

Established in 1851, S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia is one of the oldest and one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the country. Now the reins of control of this great institution have passed into the hands of its 18th Warden, Dr. Indra de Soysa [DBSJ]

Plight of journalists in Sri Lanka worsens after Geneva UNHRC Resolution-CPJ 

By Bob Dietz

The sorry situation faced by Journalists in Sri Lanka has seemingly worsened after the US sponsored resolution was passed by 24 to 15 at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 22nd. [DBSJ]

Accountability is paramount for any sustainable political solution in Sri Lanka-APPGT 

APPGT welcome the United Nations Human Rights Council on successfully adopting a resolution on Sri Lanka. We see this as a first step towards an international effort to bring sustainable peace in the Island. [TC]

Sinhala Language Graffiti in Colombo Says Hillary Clinton and Obama are ‘Naked’-Economist

HILLARY CLINTON is naked! Obama is naked!” shriek the Sinhala-language graffiti across a wall in Colombo.[TC]

Memories of Yesteryears: Kristhava Keethankal

By Saba-Thambi

I cherish my childhood memories of listening to the “kristhava keethangal” (Christian songs) segment, broadcast on Sunday mornings in the nineteen sixties and seventies. [TC]

Tamil Nadu peoples protest against the Koodankulam nuclear power project 

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Fifteen persons comprising eight men and seven women have been on an indefinite hunger strike for eight days now at a place called Idinthakarai adjacent to Koodankulam in Tirunelvely district of the Southern state of Tamil Nadu in India. [DBSJ]

India not supporting us did considerable damage to the Sri Lankan position at UNHRC 

Prof. G.L. Peiris Interviewed by Dianne Silva

Question: Why was Sri Lanka unable to obtain enough support to defeat the United States sponsored resolution?

Answer: I think the public should know that one matter that the international community and the delegation were distressed about was the manner in which the UNHRC is functioning today. [DBSJ]

Can the UNHRC effectively monitor Sri Lankan progress in implementing LLRC Report recommendation? 

By J.S. Tissainayagam

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. [TC]

Resentment in Sri Lanka over Indian failure to stand by this neighbor and friend 

by Salman Haidar

A sense of outrage pervades Sri Lanka after the passing of a resolution in the UN Human Rights Council critical of that country. The chief mover of the resolution was the USA, which has become the main target of public indignation. Street demonstrations have taken place and calls made for the boycott of US goods. [TC]

Crucial difference between Geneva 2009 and Geneva 2012 is erosion of moral high ground 

by Dayan Jayatilleka

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’? [TC]

No conflict between myself and Minister Samarasinghe–G.L. Peiris 

By Dianne Silva

Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L Peries yesterday stated that he could not condone the statements made by a government Minister that who claimed that he would clamp down on journalists and human rights activities, who had travelled to Geneva. [TC]

UNHRC Resolution is good for the whole country and will help all our people regardless of ethnicity 

by B. Kolappan

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. [TC]

Jayalalithaa announces slew of welfare measures for Sri Lankan refugees in Tamil Nadu camps 

by B.Kolappan

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Saturday announced a slew of welfare measures for Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, including financial assistance for self-help groups (SHGs) in camps, and extension of Chief Minister’s comprehensive insurance scheme to the refugees. [TC]

Impact of UNHRC Resolution on India-Sri Lanka relations 

By Col R Hariharan

India was among the 24 countries that voted for the U.S. draft resolution on Sri Lanka’s accountability in respect of human rights violations which was passed at the 19th meeting of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) at Geneva. Fifteen member countries opposed it while eight abstained. [DBSJ]

After Geneva vote New Delhi finds itself in a precarious position in Colombo vis a vis Beijing 

by N.Sathiya Moorthy

History will remember two dates this week as the defining moment in the India-Sri Lanka relationship. Rather, by extension, they were landmarks in re-defining India’s evolving the 21st century equations in the South Asian neighbourhood — and by extension, in the larger geo-strategic milieu. [DBSJ]

We talk about victory and defeat but who really won or lost in Geneva? 

by 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. [DBSJ]

Full text of Indian Prime Minister’s letter to the Sri Lankan President 

Press Information Bureau, Government of India

The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has written to President Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka on the resolution in the UN Human Rights Council. [DBSJ]

US may have extended its footprint to Sri Lanka and expanded it to cover all of South Asia 

By N Sathiya Moorthy

It was not victory at Geneva for Sri Lanka, yes. Thankfully, it is not thumbing of the chest either, in Colombo. Instead, it should be shake-up time for the Government and polity. [TC]

UN and INGO personnel who served in Sri Lanka during war can help counter allegations in Channel 4 TV film-Gotabhaya Rajapaksa 

By Shamindra Ferdinando

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. [TC]

Now that the Geneva deed is done, India should begin the damage control process 

by M. L. Wickremasinghe

India lost the moral high ground in Geneva on March 22. Exactly a week after the ides of March, thousands of years after the back-stabbing in Rome, India became the only country in Asia to have voted against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC, prompting Sri Lankans to ask “You too India?” [TC]

2,200-year-old Tamil-Brahmi inscription found on Samanamalai near Madurai in Tamil Nadu

by T.S. Subramanian

A Tamil-Brahmi inscription that pushes back the association of Samanamalai (“Jaina Hill”), 15 km from Madurai, with Jainism to 2,200 years, has been discovered on the hill. [TC]

Storifying: ‘Militarisation of North Sri Lanka’ 

Alan Keenan, Crisis Group’s Senior Analyst and Sri Lanka Project Director, examines how de facto military rule and various forms of government-sponsored “Sinhalisation” of the Tamil-majority region are impeding international humanitarian efforts, reigniting a sense of grievance among Tamils, and weakening chances for a real political settlement to devolve power in Sri Lanka: [TC]

New Delhi must step up pressure on Mahinda Rajapaksa to evolve a new political system 

by Prof. V. Suryanarayan

Human Rights organizations and Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora have valid reasons to be jubilant about the outcome of the 19th Session of Human Rights Council held in Geneva on March 22, 2012. [DBSJ]

Manmohan Singh writes letter to Mahinda Rajapaksa clarifying Indian position 

Moving quickly to pre-empt any diplomatic damage that India’s vote against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council on Thursday may cause, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has written to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, highlighting the “element of balance” that was introduced in the resolution because of Indian efforts. [TC]

Sinhala unhappiness is unlikely to turn into bitterness and hatred against India 

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. [TC]

Al Jazeera Video: Sri Lanka’s first census in 30 years 

Sri Lanka is in the final process of completing its first nationwide census in more than 30 years. [TC]

Storifying: Sri Lanka visit of Rick Dykstra MP, Member of Parliament for the City of St. Catharines

 

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is sending three representatives, MPs Rick Dykstra and Chris Alexander – a former ambassador to Afghanistan – and new senator Vern White: [TC]

Huge credibility issue of Rajapaksa presidency is that no one believes them anymore 

by Dushy Ranetunge

Since 1983, the Sri Lankan state struggled to defeat the Tamil insurrection, because India and most of the Western democracies were sympathetic to the Tamil cause, and the Sinhalese were always perceived as the oppressors from the days of Sinhala only. [DBSJ]

We can defuse UNHRC Resolution simply by taking steps to implement our own LLRC Report recommendations – Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu

By Dinouk Colombage

Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanmuttu, political analyst and head of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, spoke to The Sunday Leader about the recently passed US backed Resolution and what it will mean to the country. He expressed his hope that this will see Sri Lanka move forward from ‘post-war to post-conflict’ [DBSJ]

‘In the Face of such Overwhelming Pressures it is still Impressive that we Secured 15 votes’

By Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha

I was first asked by the External Affairs Ministry to go to Geneva , after a lapse of a couple of years, the night the US tabled its Resolution. [DBSJ]

Samarasinghe’s statement broke the normally Phlegmatic Indian Camel’s back

By Tisaranee Gunasekara 

The Geneva Resolution was not inimical to Sri Lanka or Sri Lankans. Its adoption is not a defeat for Sri Lanka or Sri Lankans.

But for the Rajapaksas, the Geneva vote is a defeat; a defeat as needless as the battle itself. [TC]

India supported Sri Lanka by voting for US Resolution in the UNHRC says New Delhi envoy to UN in Geneva

In the wake of India voting against Sri Lanka and supporting the US resolution, India’s envoy to the United Nations Dilip Sinha says that India sees itself as amongst those who supported Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva, as the resolution is “supportive of Sri Lanka rather than against it. [TC]

India has mutually beneficial partnership with USA built on ‘Principles and Pragmatism’

by Nirupama Rao

Thank you for asking me to speak to you on the challenges and opportunities that face India’s foreign policy today. It is an honour to speak to such a distinguished group [DBSJ]

Wimal wants ban on American goods but does not want US Defence Pact revoked

by Dr.Vickramabahu Karunaratne

The third VV – Vipaksaye Virodhaya – the protest of the opposition took place in Hatton town on 14 March. Thousands turned up, shouting slogans and braving the rain. [TC]

Determined effort to make Prof. G.L. Peiris the scapegoat for foreign policy failures

by Gamini Weerakoon

Now is the time to come to the aid of the country is the rallying call today in this internationally besieged island. We too are all for it but being cynics we do so with reservations. [TC]

Vigorous U.S. Engagement Helped Spur Series of Important Actions at 19th Session of HRC

The United Nations Human Rights Council’s 19th Regular Session helped spur action on a series of important human rights situations around the world, in part due to vigorous U.S. engagement. [TC]

March 18, 2012

Mar 18 - Mar 24:

Navi Pillay urges Sri Lankan govt to uphold citizens’ right to freely engage in international debate 

The High Commissioner for Human Rights is today warning 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. [TC]

‘Rajapaksa Rottweiler’ Mervyn Silva threatens to break limbs and bones of journalists and human rights defenders in public 

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Running dog of the Rajapaksa regime,Mervyn Silva has threatened to break in public the bones and limbs of Journalists and Human Rights Defenders who had allegedly worked against the Country at the United Nations Human Rights Council(UNHRC) in Geneva. [DBSJ]

Indian Govt did what it did under pressure from the DMK and AIADMK 

By Smita Gupta

Pressure exerted by the United Progressive Alliance government’s southern comrade, the Dravida Munnetra Kazagham, forced India to vote in favour of the U.S.-sponsored censure motion against Sri Lanka on Thursday in the 47-member U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, urging that country to probe rights abuses in the war against the Tamil Tigers. [DBSJ]

US resolution against Sri Lanka is a negative precedent challenging core values of UNHRC 

by Tamara Kunanayakam 

Before proceeding, Sri Lanka seeks clarification on allegations made by certain countries of threats to, and intimidation of, human rights defenders by members of its delegation. We treat such allegations with utmost seriousness and do not condone such violations. [TC]

TNA Welcomes passage of Resolution on Sri Lanka at UNHRC in Geneva 

The Tamil National Alliance welcomes the passage of the Resolution “Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka” at the Human Rights Council. [TC]

India’s Vote in UN Against Sri Lanka Draws Mixed Reactions 

by Kurt Achin | New Delhi
Voice of America News

Sri Lanka’s government is expressing disappointment over India’s backing of a United Nations resolution calling on Sri Lanka to further investigate allegations of war crimes during its civil war. [TC]

When victims of mass abuse are ignored they are twice victimized 

Why Canada is calling Sri Lanka to account

By Brian Stewart

Human rights violations are too big to ignore, Canada and the UN now say When victims of mass abuse are ignored they are twice victimized: first by their oppressors, secondly by the world’s indifference. [TC]

UNHRC vote could rouse Sinhala rage and weaken India’s hand 

by Venky Vembu

For all the bluster and hectoring around the UNHRC vote against Sri Lanka, the skies haven’t fallen on Colombo just because the Council voted on the US-sponsored resolution. [DBSJ]

Karunanidhi’s ‘Eelam dream’ is a curse on Lanka Tamils

by Venky Vembu

Among politicians in Tamil Nadu, there is now a headlong scramble to claim credit for the Indian government’s vote against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council proceedings in Geneva on Thursday. [DBSJ]

India Should Send a Strong Message to Sri Lanka by voting for motion on Sri Lanka 

by Venky Vembu

Among politicians in Tamil Nadu, there is now a headlong scramble to claim credit for the Indian government’s vote against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council proceedings in Geneva on Thursday. [DBSJ]

India Should Send a Strong Message to Sri Lanka by voting for motion on Sri Lanka

by Col.R.Hariharan

Clearly Indian government is trying to find its famous “middle path” to make up its mind. And ‘middle path’ as per its standard operative procedure is to buy time. [DBSJ]

“Our Work To Defend Human Rights In Sri Lanka Must And Will Go On” 

by Sunila Abeysekara, Nimalka Fernando and Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu

As the three Sri Lankan human rights defenders who have come most under attack by the state media in Sri Lanka in the past week, because of our active involvement with the on-going session of the UN Human rights Council in Geneva, we feel compelled to issue this statement of clarification. [TC]

Storify Update: Resolution adopted- HRC19 Debate and Voting in Genva

Live Update -5:30 AM-7:00 AM EST ~ UNHRC vote on ‘Sri Lanka war crimes’ commences: [TC]

Geneva Resolution should lead to serious soul searching by Rajapaksa regime

by Mangala Samaraweera

The resolution in Geneva must be understood in the spirit in which it was presented. [DBSJ]

Sri Lanka in Geneva: Theoretical assertions of sovereign equality have no practical validity

by Ayesha Zuhair

When the Sri Lankan military defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May 2009 ending nearly three decades of brutal terror, I – alongside millions of my fellow citizens – was elated. [DBSJ]

Chennai forces India to split from Asia, censure Sri Lanka

by Indrani Bagchi

Sri Lanka became the lastest victim of the UPA government’s coalition compulsions, as India voted against one of its closest neighbors at the UN Human Rights Council today on alleged human rights violations in a development that may have larger implications. [TC]

Safeguard Sri Lankan sovereignty through diplomatic defiance of Geneva Resolution

by Gomin Dayasri

Losing in Geneva partly caused by our own undoing makes it imperative now to stand firm in safeguarding our sovereignty and protecting Sri Lanka from foreign interventions. [TC]

Sri Lanka Failed to Note Implications of India Factor

by Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka

Strategic foresight’ is what it is termed in English, though the French who invented it in the ’50s, call it ‘strategic prospective’. Strategic analysis and anticipation – not to be confused with ‘security’– are major aspects of it. [TC]

ABC News Video: ‘How minorities are treated, an indicator of the level of democracy’

from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Sri Lanka has seen greater security since the end of the bloody civil war with the Tamil Tigers, but dissenters are routinely threatened and 32 activists have disappeared in the past six months. [TC]

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 [TC]

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

By Mahinda 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. [TC]

If India had been with Sri Lanka the vote in Geneva may have been Different

By Ameen Izzaddeen | in Geneva

The final scorecard on the giant screen at the United Nations Human Rights Coucnil read 24 yes votes and 15 no votes. Eight countries abstained. Thus came to an end weeks of Sri Lanka’ diplomatic efforts in Geneva, Colombo and other world capitals. But the battle has not ended yet. [DBSJ]

23 Out of 47 Member UN Human Rights Council did not support Resolution on Sri Lanka

Statement by Professor G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs

It is a matter of great satisfaction to us that 15 countries voted with Sri Lanka, despite the intensity of pressure, in a variety of forms, exerted on them all. We convey to them our warm thanks and deep appreciation.

We also thank sincerely the 8 countries which, by abstaining, declined to support the Resolution.  [TC]

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

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.

HRC Resolution Important Not Only for People of Sri Lanka, but for Human Rights in General

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. [TC]

Statement by Secretary Clinton on the UN Human Rights Council Vote on Sri Lanka Reconciliation

UN Human Rights Council Vote on Sri Lanka Reconciliation

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. [TC]

Text of Resolution L.2 Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka

19/… Promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka

The Human Rights Council,

Guided by the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights and other relevant instruments, [TC]

The 40 Co-sponsors of the Resolution on Sri Lanka

Promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka

List of sponsoring HRC member states and observers: [TC]

U.S. Introduces HRC Resolution Promoting Reconciliation and Accountablity in Sri Lanka

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
Introduction of Draft Resolution L.2 on Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka

Delivered by Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe

The United States is pleased to introduce draft resolution L.2, on Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka for consideration and approval by this Council. This resolution enjoys the broad support of 40 co-sponsors. A copy of the text, including slight revisions, is being circulated in the room today. [TC]

Prayers and protest held against the US sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka 

United for Mother Lanka”~ the theme against US sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka at UNHRC in Geneva. [TC]

The Geneva Glider ~ Storifying News, tweets & Social Media on proposed Sri Lanka Resolution 

Digest of news & tweets relating to the proposed Sri Lanka Resolution at the 19th Sessions of UNHRC, Geneva.

Click here for Continually updated Sri Lanka related News and tweets throughout the UNHRC 19th Session – Feb 27 – Mar 24, 2012

Washington needs to broaden its dialogue with Sri Lanka beyond human rights 

by Teresita C. Schaffer

At the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, the Sri Lankan and U.S. governments are facing off this week over a resolution that the U.S. has proposed but neither side wanted. [TC]

Channel 4 TV and its false testimonies 

by Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha M.P

Perhaps the most telling perversions in the latest Channel 4 film come with regard to what is termed its first case study. This ‘begins on the 23rd of January when UN personnel from the last overland food convoy into the war zone became trapped in the fighting’. [TC]

Why India is now inclined to vote in support of US sponsored Resolution on Sri Lanka at UNHRC

By Sumanasiri Liyanage

As The Hindu Newspaper has reported, the Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has informed the Lok Sabha that India is “inclined to” vote in favour of a resolution on Sri Lanka [submitted by the United States of America] if it meets ‘our objectives’ with regard to the future of ethnic Tamils. [TC]

US sponsored Resolution on Sri Lanka at UNHRC in Geneva is a Trojan horse

By Bandu de Silva

Jehan Perera in his article of March 12th seems to propose a conciliatory attitude towards the amended US Draft Resolution (D/R) now before the UNHRC [TC]

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

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. [TC]

Lanka adopts principled position as D-Day draws near at UNHRC in Geneva

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Even as D-day for the vote on a US sponsored resolution regarding Sri Lanka at the 19th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council(UNHRC) drew near in Geneva the Island nation continued to adopt what may be described as a “principled position” as its key strategy in dealing with the diplomatic might of the worlds sole super power [DBSJ]

Catholic Church in Sri Lanka is deeply divided on the proposed Resolution at the UNHRC

By Kshama Ranawana

Schism and doubt are the great enemies Bishops are expected to combat, and at all times try to avoid among the clergy and the flock. [DBSJ]

Attempts to suppress Koodankulam anti-nuclear struggle through deployment of armed police results in death fast by Udayakumar – PNAME

We hope you have been following the Koodankulam Anti – Nuclear Struggle from its inception.

The entire populace in and around Koodankulam have rallied under the leadership of People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy against the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant and have successfully with-stalled its implementation for the past 218 days. [DBSJ]

Tamil Nadu Govt increases Police deployment at Koodankulam in readiness for crackdown

by S.P. Udayakumar

The Tamil Nadu State government is increasing the police strength in front of the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP). Heavy police force has been posted in a few major junctions around Koodankulam. [DBSJ]

“In My Mothers House” by Sharika Thiranagama Tells Tales of Exodus and Eviction in Sri Lanka’s civil war

by Nirupama Subramanian

Key to understanding the Sri Lankan conflict, and the reasons that it remains unresolved even to this day, is an understanding of the impact of displacement [DBSJ]

The truth behind India’s dilemma with UN Resolution On Lanka 

by Sam Rajappa

Sri Lankan war crimes and India’s refusal to support the US-sponsored watered down resolution censoring Colombo at the UN Human Rights Commission meeting in Geneva in spite of the majority of members cutting across party line supporting it rocked both the Houses of Parliament as the 2012 budget session began. [TC]

UNHRC Resolution: India Needs Forward-Looking Policy On Sri Lanka

By N Manoharan

India again faces dilemma over Sri Lanka on the US-sponsored resolution at the 19th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) moved on 06 March 2012 which comes up for voting on 23 March 2012. [TC]

Video: US supported Resolution not looking to condemn Sri Lanka-Robert O. Blake

US Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert O. Blake speaks to Sri Lanka’s Debrief News about the resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC. [TC]

Human Rights in Sri Lanka can best be protected by Sri Lankans themselves

by National Peace Council

A vote on the US-sponsored resolution aimed at promoting reconciliation in Sri Lanka is scheduled to take place later this week at the conclusion of the 19th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. [TC]

‘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 [TC]

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

by Campbell Clark

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. [TC]

Language rights in Sri Lanka: Display of bus route boards in all three languages

20 March 2012, Colombo, Sri Lanka:

That signboards are in Tamil on most buses plying in the North and East, and in Sinhala on those outside of these two provinces, was the basis of four submissions to the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka made by Lionel Guruge on behalf of the Centre for Policy Alternatives. [TC]

Sri Lanka wants dawn of Palestinian State in the near future

BY Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam

Madam President,

My delegation, at the outset, associates itself with the statement delivered by Egypt on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement. [TC]

Tragic if Sri Lanka ends up as a test case for UN sanctions than as a model of post-war reconciliation 

by Jehan Perera

The presentation of the US-sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka at the ongoing session of the UN Human Rights Council appears inevitable. [TC]

Geneva circus: Today it is Sri Lanka, who will it be tomorrow?

By S L Gunasekara

The Country was agog, not long ago, with the news that an alleged dignitary of the State Department of the United States of America named Blake had said that the United States of America would support a resolution against Sri Lanka that would be moved by some European States in the Human Rights Council. [TC]

Ruling Rajapaksa dynasty must be held accountable for the atrocities they are responsible for

 By Viresh Fernando

An Open Letter to Sinhala Canadians

Dear Fellow Sinhala Canadians:

It is time that we express our immeasurable gratitude to Sri Lanka for our early education, facility in language, social skills, leadership qualities and all other factors that have led to our many successes in Canada. We can best do so by asserting the founding principles of the country of which we are now residents and citizens – peace, order and good government and helping Sri Lankans residents to wrest back our common homeland from an increasingly despotic family dynasty. [DBSJ]

India likely to back UN resolution if it meets its objectives-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh 

Amidst mounting pressure from ally DMK and other parties, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said India was “inclined to” vote in favour of a resolution on Sri Lanka at the UN which meets “our objectives” with regard to the future of ethnic Tamils. [TC]

‘I don’t understand why champions of Tamil Eelam are supporting US Resolution on Sri Lanka at UNHRC’- ‘Thuglak’ Editor ‘Cho’ 

by R. Bhagwan Singh

Cho S. Ramaswamy, the redoubtable editor of the Tamil weekly Thuglak, and a former Rajya Sabha member, tells R. Bhagwan Singh that the hue and cry in Tamil Nadu in support of a US resolution on human rights against Sri Lanka is uncalled for [DBSJ]

The West is manipulating the UN system to undermine Sri Lankan govt 

by G.L. Peiris

External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L Peiris said last week that it was not a question of who won or who lost at the current session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). [TC]

Channel 4 Film is UK media neo-colonialist bid to ‘divide and rule’ – Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka 

By Arthur Wamanan and Sandun Jayawardana

The documentary “Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished”, was aired by Britain’s Channel 4 on Wednesday (14).

The documentary is a follow-up to last year’s controversial documentary “Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields”. The new documentary, made by the same team reiterates accusations on “War Crimes” during the latter stages of the conflict. [DBSJ]

LLRC Report does not identify the EPDP as an armed group – EPDP 

TNA in its statement dated 14th March 2012 titled ‘Broken Promises’, signed by Mr. R. Sampanthan, has inter-alia stated as follows:

“Despite the LLRC identifying the EPDP as an illegal armed group and recommending that armed paramilitary groups be investigated and disarmed, Minister Douglas Devananda (Leader of the EPDP) – whose attitude was condemned by the LLRC as being inimical to the rule of law – continues to function as the Cabinet Minister for Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development. [TC]

Capitalism: A Ghost Story 

by Arundhathi Roy

Is it a house or a home? A temple to the new India, or a warehouse for its ghosts?

Ever since Antilla arrived on Altamont Road in Mumbai, exuding mystery and quiet menace, things have not been the same. “Here we are,” the friend who took me there said, “Pay your respects to our new Ruler.”

Antilla belongs to India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani. I had read about this most expensive dwelling ever built, the twenty-seven floors, three helipads, nine lifts, hanging gardens, ballrooms, weather rooms, gymnasiums, six floors of parking, and the six hundred servants. [DBSJ]

Wimal Weerawansas American boycott should start with Gotabaya and Basil renouncing their US citizenship 

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

The latest Channel 4 documentary (like its predecessor) is efficacious because it happens in a vacuum created by the myopic obduracy of the Rajapaksa regime. [TC]

Is the 2009 May war victory, a licence for Rajapaksa Presidency to plunder the Country? 

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

There is a fundamental fallacy in believing that the fortunes of Sri Lanka will rise or fall solely on the outcome of the US draft resolution due to be taken up before the 19th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva this coming week. [TC]

Ensure patriotic-chickens accustomed to violence, brutality and abuse do not come home to roost 

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“Kill them out of the way… And let me hear their everlasting grunts and whines no more!” – Shelley (Oedipus Tyrannus; Or, Swellfoot The Tyrant)

Abductions in the South continue unabated, even as the Resolution on Sri Lanka awaits a vote in Geneva.

Can there be a more damning measure of Rajapaksa-addiction to abuse and impunity? [TC]

God Save America, several ‘Americans’ are today rulers of our own country

by Namini Wijedasa

Dear God,

These are terrible times. They say someone at the Central Bank mucked up the economy. There is a balance of payments crisis. Investment hasn’t taken off. We are heavily indebted. If the rupee sinks any lower, God, we will have to ask the Chinese to do something about it. After all, the Chinese are pretty much the only ones doing anything about our problems. [TC]

March 11, 2012

Mar 11 - Mar 17:

If India Wants to Help Tamils in the Island it Cannot Vote for the US Resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC 

by N Sathiya Moorthy

Not since the ‘anti-Tamil pogrom’ has Sri Lanka rocked the Indian Parliament as of now on the upcoming UNHRC vote. [DBSJ] 

Dutthagamani vanquishing Tamils and Rajapaksa defeating Tigers 

by Charles P. Sarvan

“Even though [Sri Lanka] has all the four world-religions, it is unfortunate that political chauvinism and religious fundamentalism have often overtaken religious values such as respect for human life and human rights.” [DBSJ]

Sachin Tendulkar reaches long awaited century of centuries 

By Vijay Lokapally

The 100th century was nothing but a number for him. He never chased it but some of his critics did, using it as a platform to question his credibility and commitment, forgetting the longevity factor that marks his cricket journey. [DBSJ]

Is UNHRC 19th Session Resolution on Sri Lanka be a Replay of 17th Session Resolution on Belarus? 

By S. V. Kirubaharan in Geneva

The United States draft resolution (A/HRC/19/L.2) on Sri Lanka was tabled at the 19th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on 8 March 2012. Once again Sri Lanka has become the talking point at the UN in Geneva. [TC]

Sri Lanka’s North: Recipe for Renewed Conflict 

International Crisis Group, Colombo/Brussels | 16 Mar 2012

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. [TC]

Channel 4 Film on Sri Lankan war causes war of tweets between singer MIA and journalist Anderson Cooper 

By Claudine Zap

Take one CNN journalist. Mix in M.I.A., the Tamil Tigers, and the Super Bowl middle finger incident, and you’ve got yourself a good old-fashioned Twitter feud. Let us explain. [DBSJ]

Abstain or vote against Resolution towards effective hard-edged diplomacy 

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. [TC]

India talks of Reconciliation in Borrowed Voice while West Talks of Accountability in Sri Lanka 

by G Pramod Kumar

In the last two days, the entire Tamil Nadu block of MPs in the Indian Parliament was up on their feet asking India to take a stand against Sri Lanka for their alleged human rights violations and war crimes. [TC]

The US Resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva is neither innocuous nor unobjectionable 

by 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. [DBSJ]

I raised the question “Was Prabakaran and his entire family executed?” As the War Ended 

by Dushy Ranetunge

The present crisis facing Sri Lanka is not an exception, it is one that has been played out repeatedly across the world.

In South America, Africa, Middle East, South Asia and South East Asia powerful nations, primarily the United States has over the last century armed and trained local militaries as a bulwark against their perceived Great Satan. For most of last century the great Satan was communism, and after 9/11 it was replaced by terrorism. [DBSJ]

India in dilemma over Sri Lanka due to inability and unwillingness to talk and act tough when the time for it has come 

by B. Raman

1.We have seen how the human rights violation issue is often used by terrorist and insurgent organisations and their supporters to demoralise the security forces. [DBSJ]

Video: Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields 2 – Unpunished War Crimes

In 2011 Channel 4 exposed damning evidence of atrocities committed in the war in Sri Lanka. Jon Snow presents this powerful follow-up film, revealing new video evidence as well as contemporaneous documents, eye-witness accounts, photographic stills and videos relating to how exactly events unfolded during the final days of the civil war. [TC]

India’s Stance at Voting Time will be Bottom Line in Future Indo-Sri Lanka Relations

By M K Bhadrakumar

Deep-rooted contradictions are surging to the surface in India’s Sri Lanka policy.

The deep bonds of ethnicity, culture, geography and history make India and Sri Lanka inseparable.

Yet this is also a tragic story of the imperatives of geopolitics and the compulsions of domestic politics crisscrossing plain human dignity and compassion – especially for the land that gave birth to Mahatma Gandhi. [DBSJ]

Long trail of broken promises by Sri Lankan govt on political solution

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

By Rajavarothayam Sampanthan

1. The Government of Sri Lanka has serious issues with regard to telling the truth and keeping its promises

1.1. In response to Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe’s statement to the 18th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council [UNHRC] on 12 September 2011, the Tamil National Alliance [TNA] issued a statement the very next day correcting the record and urging the Sri Lankan government “to be more forthright and honest in its representation of the situation in Sri Lanka to the international community.” Unfortunately, the government
continues to mislead the international community at the ongoing 19th Session of the UNHRC sessions as well. [TC]

Role of education in building a harmonious society: Challenges and opportunities

By: Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

The key words in the title are harmony, education, challenges and opportunities. The main theme is however reconciliation to achieve national harmony and the role education plays in this process [DBSJ]

Be it Mannar, Matara or Mutur, no politician must control a policeman

By Gamini Gunawardane

Devolution of Police Powers: A response to Mr.MA Sumanthiran MP

This response is in reference to the article by Mr. M.A. Sumanthiran MP. It is indeed a good thing that this vexed issue is opened for discussion in the public domain. We must be thankful to him for expressing his views as it enables public scrutiny of these ideas. [DBSJ]

Sri Lanka’s sinister white van abductions

BBC News

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.

At a small shrine in her home, Shiromani lights a candle and rings a bell, offering prayers to the Hindu deities. She has few consolations now. [TC]

What is the Government’s correct official position on the LLRC report?

Just days ago, people took the law into their own hands and set fire to the house of a ruling party supporter in Kahawatte. [TC]

Are the DMK and AIADMK serious about the Sri Lankan issue this time?

By G. Pramod Kumar

Chennai: The DMK was seemingly upset yesterday when the President’s address to the Parliament failed to mention anything about the plight of the Sri Lankan Tamils, much less the ongoing discussions on the alleged human rights violations in the island nation

‘Voice to the voiceless’: Tamil Americans render tribute to Marie Colvin 

Tamil Americans rendered tribute to Marie Colvin at a Memorial Mass held on Monday, March 12, 2012 at St. Dominic RC Church, Oyster Bay, NY.

Hundreds of mourners attended the funeral.

A poem written by Tamil Americans was also delivered at the Service. [TC]

Video ~ UN Vote Against Sri Lanka: India’s Moral dilemma? 

With the DMK mounting pressure on the govt, which way will India go at the United Nations session in Geneva?, asks Barkha Dutt on NDTV current affairs program ‘The Buck Stops Here (TBSH).

The panelists on the show are Sri Lanka’s envoy in New Delhi, High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam, Minister in the Indian Prime Minister’s Office V.Narayansamy, Subramanian Swamy, leader of Janata Party, D. Rajah, Senior leader of The Communist party of India (CPI), G. Parthasarathy, senior Diplomat (rtd), Meenakshi Ganguly, Human Rights Watch (HRW) South Asia Director, Meena Kandaswamy, an activist and writer based in Chennai and Callum Macrae, Director of Channel 4′s Killing Fields. [TC]

Resolution would not be weakened further – Robert Blake 

by Matthew Pennington | Associated Press

WASHINGTON March 13, 2012 (AP)

The United States said Tuesday that unless Sri Lanka’s government reconciles with minority Tamils and addresses allegations of war crimes it risks renewed conflict. [TC]

New Channel 4 Documentary on Sri Lanka Raises Political Pitch in Tamil Nadu 

By G.Pramod Kumar

Chennai: Even as Sri Lanka’s jumbo delegation continues its heavy lobbying in Geneva ahead of a US resolution against the country at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) this week, a new footage showing the summary execution of the 12-year-old son of slain LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran is likely to bring fresh pressure on the island nation.

The footage is part of a new Channel 4 documentary titled Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpublished to be aired this Wednesday. It will provide additional evidence of alleged human rights violations, including summary executions, by the Sri Lankan army during the final phase of its war against the LTTE. [TC]

President Rajapaksa invites Tamil Nadu MPs to visit Sri Lanka and see the situation

By Ayeshea Perera

In its first official reaction to the uproar in India over whether or not it should support a US backed resolution against Sri Lanka, Presidential spokesman Bandula Jayasekera said that they expected India to vote against the resolution. The resolution seeks to draw attention to Sri Lanka’s absence of accountability in the aftermath of the war against the LTTE.

“India is like our relation. Our President has constantly said that. We know India understands us and our relationship has always been excellent”, he told the Times Now channel. [TC]

India’s Sri Lanka Policy under Fire

By Tom Wright

Allegations in a British documentary that Sri Lankan forces summarily executed Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and his 12-year-old son at the end of the country’s 26-year civil war in 2009 are testing India’s policy of neutrality toward its neighbor.

The documentary, which is set to air Wednesday on Britain’s Channel 4, purports to contain video footage showing multiple bullet wounds in the bodies of the deceased, suggesting execution at close range. [TC]

Security detainees: Shameful record on detention without trial

Hundreds of people languish in arbitrary, illegal and often incommunicado detention in Sri Lanka, vulnerable to torture and extrajudicial execution, despite the end of the country’s long conflict, Amnesty International said in a new report.

Locked away: Sri Lanka’s security detainees reveals that arbitrary and illegal detention and enforced disappearances remain routine in Sri Lanka, where human rights abuses of all types go uninvestigated and unpunished. [TC]

Christian clergy and laity from South write to UNHRC in support of earlier letter by Northern clergy 

To: The President and all members of the United Nations Human Rights Council

We the undersigned, endorse the concerns and calls made in the letter of 1st of March 2012 to the President and Members of the UN Human Rights Council by 31 Catholic clergy from Northern Sri Lanka, including the Bishop of Mannar. [TC]

Culprit Seeks to Elude the Indictment 

by Chanakyan

Mysterious are the ways in which the UN system moves. Pitiable is the fate of those who deserve justice. The culprit gets around leaving the victim to waste away.

“The US is concerned that in Sri Lanka, time is slipping away”, said Mario Otero. Tamils say that it is the rogue state that is wriggling out and that too with consummate skill. [TC]

‘Going to Geneva’: TNA in the eye of a political storm 

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The Tamil National Alliance(TNA) regarded as the premier political representative organization of the Sri Lankan Tamils has been in the eye of a political storm for the past few weeks.

The TNA which contested the 2010 Parliamentary polls under the House symbol of the “Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi” (ITAK) has been mired in controversy over its recent decision of not going to Geneva in Switzerland where the 19th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has been in progress since February 27th [DBSJ]

Voices of people’s plight, dud diplomacy and colonial control rise on US backed Resolution 

Sadun Jayawardane and Arthur Wamanan of The Nation compile the voices and views on the Resolution on Sri Lanka tabled by the United States at the UNHRC:

Plight of the people more important – Sangaree

Leader of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), V. Anandasangaree said the need of the hour was to address the needs of the people who had suffered during the war and after resettlement.

Speaking to The Nation, Anandasangaree said very little had been done for the welfare of the affected people. [TC]

Three Deaths,
Another Disappeared

by Indran Amirthanayagam

Risks reporters take,
crossing the border
from Turkey, up
a mountain path
on a horse sparking
his allergy, Shadid
entering Syria [TC]

Portrait of Marie Colvin painted by Sri Lankan artist at Funeral Home 

by Candace Amos | The New York Post

Friends, kin pay tribute to slain war reporter Colvin

Relatives, friends and admirers by the dozen gathered in Oyster Bay last night at a wake for war correspondent and Long Island native Marie Colvin. [TC]

West alone cannot impose its will on UN bodies-British HC John Rankin

By Namini Wijedasa

British High Commissioner John Rankin speaks to Namini Wijedasa on the situation surrounding proposed Sri Lanka resolution at UNHRC:

Excerpts:

There is much anti-British sentiment in Sri Lanka now. All kinds of people are lined up against the UK, including politicians, clergy and the public. Where do you think this animosity is coming from? [TC]

Rajapaksas continue to abuse power and victimise innocents, in North and South 

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

Last week Sri Lanka’s august legislature granted another three month leave-of- absence to parliamentarian Duminda Silva.

It’s more than two months since the Acting Magistrate of Colombo, Prasanna Alwis, issued an order to arrest parliamentarian Duminda Silva in connection with the Kollonnawa quadruple-murder. [TC]

‘Trophy video’ showing executed body of Balachandran Prabhakaran, 12, to air on Channel 4

by Callum Macrae

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 short clip dates from the final hours of the bloody 26-year civil war between the Sri Lankan government and the secessionist rebels of the Tamil Tigers, the LTTE. [TC]

India should not support resolution-Subramanian Swamy

New Delhi | Mar 10

Janata Party leader today said India should not join human rights groups at a UN meeting tomorrow in passing a “one sided” resolution condemning Sri Lanka for alleged human rights violations during its war against LTTE.

India’s participation in the resolution would make it vulnerable to similar resolutions over Kashmir or Manipur, Swamy said and suggested that it should urge Sri Lanka to devolve power so as to meet the legitimate aspirations of Lankan Tamils. [TC]

US backed Resolution does not urge Sri Lanka to implement Darusman Report

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

The Rajapaksas are the prime architects of Sri Lanka’s Geneva malaise.

The US-backed Resolution on Sri Lanka does not urge Colombo to implement the Darusman Report (or recommendations by some international human rights group). The Resolution merely urges the Rajapaksa administration to make a time-bound (as distinct from an eternally open-ended) commitment to implement the recommendations of its own LLRC. [TC]

EU recommends reversal of 2009 UNHRC Resolution praising Sri Lanka

UN Watch, a non-governmental organization based in Geneva has reported that the EU has made recommendation to reverse the 2009 UNHRC Resolution that praised Sri Lanka’s conduct of the war.

The report also states that Sri Lankan Attorney-General challenged the premise and necessity of the draft, during the informal consultation chaired by US Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe last week. [TC]

Acts against Sri Lankans by handful of self-righteous individuals risk Tamil Nadu reputation for peace and hospitality 

It takes only a few people to give a whole State and country a bad name.

Tamil chauvinist outfits working on the fringes of the political mainstream in Tamil Nadu have been organising protests and carrying out attacks against visiting Sri Lankan officials and academics in the guise of drawing attention to the Sri Lankan government’s failure to ensure the rights of its Tamil citizens. [TC]

March 04, 2012

Mar 4 - 10:

Fighting the good fight for Feminism 

By Thulasi Muttulingam

Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai is a well known blogger who specializes in covering Tamil events and issues. Coming from a supportive family who made her believe she could do anything she set out to do, she was in for a rude surprise when she plunged into her first job as a journalist in a Tamil newspaper. [TC]

International Women’s Day, March 8, 2012 ~ Feature Presentation

SHAKTHI ~ The ultimate feminine power

SHAKTHI ~ Woman, SHE is an energetic child, dear sister, loving wife and caring mother

by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

The word SHAKTHI means divine energy, force or power. SHAKTHI is a metaphor for womanhood. An embodiment of creative feminine force. As a force unifies most actively manifests through female embodiment, creativity and fertility. In males it is present in its unmanifest form. SHAKTHI is the great divine mother. [TC]

Eighth of March – International Women’s Day 

By Saba-Thambi

International Women’ Day (IWD) is celebrated worldwide on the 8th of March. IWD symbolises the economic, political and social achievements of the women past, present and the future. [TC]

Not too late for President Rajapaksa to take remedial action

President Rajapaksa’s Moment of Truth

by Col R Hariharan

President Mahinda Rajapaksa confronted his moment of truth at Geneva on February 27 when the 19th meeting of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) started discussing Sri Lanka. [TC]

US tables Draft Resolution promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka 

Draft Resolution tabled by US at UNHRC

Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka (3/6/12)

Guided by the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights, and other relevant instruments, [TC]

Sri Lankan human rights groups and victims of abuses decided not to attend UNHRC out of fear-HRW 

In her statement, the High Commissioner noted that the report of the Sri Lanka Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission falls short of the comprehensive accountability process recommended by the Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts and encouraged the Council to consider the matter. [TC]

Sri Lanka has a Zero tolerance policy on torture

by Mohan Peiris 

Let me congratulate both Special Rapporteurs for dealing with a difficult mandate with prudence. Sri Lanka has had the· benefit of the knowledge and experience of several of your predecessors who helped in a very constructive manner to fine tuning our criminal jurisprudence. [TC]

Location separating Sri Lanka and India too strategically important to allow oil exploration from other nations 

India urging Sri Lanka to allocate oil exploration blocks

by Sandeep Dikshit

India is persuading Sri Lanka to allocate oil exploration blocks in the waters that separate them as it considers the location too strategically important to allow companies from other nations to base themselves in this area. [TC]

UNHRC debate opportunity for Sri Lanka to reflect on why it finds itself at such a difficult pass 

Success or failure of a resolution at UNHRC depends not so much on the merit of the issue

Sri Lanka is engaged in an all-out effort to stave off a resolution against it at the ongoing session of the United Nations Human Rights Council at Geneva.

The United States, the prime backer of the resolution, has circulated a draft among the Council’s 47 members calling on Colombo to do nothing more than implement the recommendations of its own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, as well as to initiate credible investigations into violations of international human rights laws not addressed adequately by the LLRC. [TC] 

Letter signed by clergies urge decisive action by UNHRC towards genuine reconciliation in Sri Lanka

To: The President and all members of the United Nations Human Rights
Council

We are writing to you as a group of concerned Christian clergy in North Sri Lanka who have been directly affected by war and have been working to ensure rights of people in our region before, during and after the war, while being concerned and committed to broader issues of human rights, democratization and rule of law in Sri Lanka. [TC]

Rajapaksas are willing to commit any crime to strengthen and perpetuate their rule over Sri Lanka

By Tisaranee Gunasekara
Creating incredible illusions to conceal insupportable realities is the Rajapaksa way.

In this dystopian world, zero equals 8,000+; when prices go up, inflation comes down and people just love political deprivation and economic pain. [TC]

TNA unanimously resolves to monitor all developments at UNHRC meeting 

The Tamil National Alliance on February 25th issued a statement that ‘TNA won’t exacerbate tensions by attending UNHRC 19th sessions in Geneva’. Few days later the TNA also released the letter written by its leader R. Sampanthan to 47 member states of UNHRC urging support for Resolution on Sri Lanka. [TC]