Britain firm on Lanka probe into war crimes

Prince Charles Sri Lanka war criminals

Britain firm on Lanka probe into war crimes[ IANS ][ Nov 27 10:58 GMT ]

British Prime Minister David Cameron has reiterated his demand for an independent inquiry into the alleged mass killing of Sri Lankan Tamils during the final days of the civil war in 2009. The British prime minister also appealed to both the Tamil and Sinhala communities to work together for a bright future of Sri Lanka.”There needs to be a genuine reconciliation between communities,” Cameron stated. “It’s now over a week since I returned from Jaffna and the images still both haunt and inspire me,” the British prime minister added. [ full story |

Sri-Lanka Murali’s spin on Human Rights is chucking this time[ TamilCanadian ][ Nov 25 21:20 GMT ]

No one disputes Muttiah Muralitharan’s (Murali’s) slow spin balls in his international cricket matches except of course umpire Mr Hair and Ross Emerson of Australia. Unfortunately his political spin to discredit the Tamils victims of the genocide to Hon David Cameron, Prime Minister of our beloved UK is bad chucking of a political ‘gundoo’ (an explosive ball). His “Foundation of Goodness” charity’s much admirable work with the Tsunami affected children of the Sinhala South is praiseworthy. [ full story |

LCA condemns Sri Lanka’s worsening rule of law[ Lawyers Weekly ][ Nov 27 13:18 GMT ]

“An independent legal profession and judiciary is an essential component of the rule of law,” LCA president Michael Colbran QC said. “Reprisals against judicial actors and legal professionals are a kind of attack to their institutional and functional independence,” One of the speakers whose visa was revoked, Gabriela Knaul, UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers added. Colbran has called on the Australian Government to continue to address these matters with the government of Sri Lanka. [ full story |

Sri Lanka Faces a Human Rights Curveball from China[ Diplomat ][ Nov 27 10:55 GMT ]

China came out last week and called on Sri Lanka to “make efforts to protect and promote human rights.” Qin Gang, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, told reporters that “This is an issue within the Commonwealth, but at the same time I believe that on the human rights issue, dialogue and communication should be enhanced among countries.” This rhetoric from the Chinese is a fundamental departure from their earlier support for Rajapaksa’s government. [ full story |

Rights, realism and duplicity: the two faces of Rajapaksa [ Al Jazeera ][ Nov 25 19:16 GMT ]

With an international war crimes inquiry dangerously close, Sri Lanka’s president takes on big powers. When Sri Lanka’s former President J R Jayewardene was accused of showing scant respect for human rights in the early days of the country’s separatist war, he said in the 1980s, “All is fair in love and war.” Quoting the 16th century English poet John Lyly, the erudite president was able to silence some of his critics. But President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who last week assumed the title of Commonwealth chairperson-in-office, has no such excuses. He is being cornered. [ full story |

Sri Lanka military to probe blocking of foreign media[ AFP ][ Nov 25 21:22 GMT ]

Sri Lanka’s military promised on Friday to investigate why AFP journalists were prevented from working in the country’s former war zone this week by soldiers who said they were under orders to restrict the media. An Agence France-Presse (AFP) video journalist and a photographer were obstructed in the Northern province by local military officials on Monday who said they were following directions from their commanders. The problems followed a summit of leaders from Commonwealth countries last weekend that was overshadowed by the country’s human rights record. [ full story |

Nearly 250,000 of you stood up against human rights abuses in Sri Lanka[ Amnesty International ][ Nov 25 16:50 GMT ]

“Does anyone specifically have a question that’s not on Sri Lanka or human rights?” This was how an exasperated Commonwealth spokesperson unwittingly summed up the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) at a press conference in Sri Lanka last weekend. The meeting, which ran from 15-17 November in Colombo, was the subject of heated media debate, fuelled largely by Amnesty’s campaign which exposed Sri Lanka’s appalling human rights record and called on Commonwealth government leaders to strip it of the organization’s chairmanship. [ full story |

Human rights and foreign policy[ Indian Express ][ Nov 24 22:43 GMT ]

Human rights has always been a contested issue in foreign policy matters. Strategic experts advise that human rights should play no role in foreign policy. They believe that states have only interests and power has no ethics. This is patently wrong. Apart from interests, the power of the state has to have norms if it has to have any legitimacy. For this, a state has to believe in rights. Recently, India has taken a somewhat different stand with the prime minister pressured not to attend the Commonwealth Heads of State Meeting in Sri Lanka on account of human rights violation. [ full story |

Sri Lanka: Making Sense beyond theatricals[ SAAG ][ Nov 24 22:42 GMT ]

Sri Lanka President Rajapaksa had spent around SL Rs 14.8 billion (as stated in parliament by Opposition), imported 54 Mercedes Benz cars for guests use, lot of time and energy to make a success of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meet (CHOGM) 2013 hosted in Colombo. The 2013 Summit had all the razzmatazz that goes with such occasions. The main summit was held at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall gifted by China. The leaders’ retreat was organised at Waters Edge in the Sri Jayawardanapura Kotte in Colombo. Other venues included Hambantota and Hikkaduwa. Colombo was spruced up; Commonwealth Business Forum met and an international trade fair ‘Reflections’ was organized on the occasion. [ full story |

Details emerge of Sri Lanka’s post CHOGM crackdown on dissent[ JDS Lanka ][ Nov 24 11:30 GMT ]

There are reports that the Sri Lankan security forces have been detaining and questioning Tamils who gave interviews to the British media covering the Commonwealth meeting in the island last week. In other cases family members of those who gave interviews or helped the media have been threatened and intimidated. The victims do not want publicity for their individual cases for fear of further retaliation but the intimidation has involved threatening phone calls, security forces turning up at people’s homes, as well as visits to children’s schools, work places and detention for hours of questioning. [ full story |

Former CBI official says he did not record Perarivalan’s confession verbatim[ The Hindu ][ Nov 24 11:16 GMT ]

A documentary released by the People’s Movement Against Death Penalty (PMADP) here on Saturday claimed that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had failed to record verbatim the confessional statement of A.G. Perarivalan alias Arivu, the convict facing death penalty in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. The shocking but delayed revelation was based on the interview of a former Superintendent of Police of the CBI who admitted that he failed to record verbatim the confessional statement of Perarivalan. [ full story |

Reinvestigate Rajiv Gandhi assassination case[ Weekend Leader ][ Nov 27 14:55 GMT ]

The time has come to order a fresh investigation into the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu on 21 May, 1991. The Special Investigation Team appointed by the government of India was headed by DR Karthikeyan who managed to round up 26 people, some not even remotely connected with the crime, got them all convicted and sentenced to death by the trial court under the notorious Terrorists and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act though none was charged for any terrorist offence. [ full story |

India would be better off engaging with Sri Lanka[ Canberra Times ][ Nov 24 22:40 GMT ]

Who would have thought a neophyte Australian foreign minister could get policy right on Sri Lanka while India’s prime minister scores yet another foreign policy own goal in his backyard? Julie Bishop rejected calls for Australia to boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo on November 15, insisting that Sri Lanka’s human rights record is better advanced by engagement than isolation. Prime Minister Tony Abbott duly attended. [ full story |

Sampanthan at odds with Sritharan [ Daily Mirror ][ Nov 28 13:49 GMT ]

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday distanced itself from the statement made by its MP S. Sritharan eulogising the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and its leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. Party leader R. Sampanthan told Daily Mirror that this was certainly not the position of the party. MP Sritharan had told Parliament, in a statement, that Prabhakaran was a freedom fighter who died a heroic death on behalf of Tamil people. His speech was scorned by the members of both the Government and the main Opposition United National Party (UNP). [ full story |

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