Sri Lanka’s forces accused of massacring aid workers

17 of its aid workers in 2006Sri Lanka’s forces accused of massacring aid workers[ BBC ][ Dec 03 17:16 GMT ]

A French charity has accused Sri Lanka’s security forces of killing 17 of its aid workers in 2006, and demanded an international inquiry. Action Against Hunger (ACF) said it had been awaiting the outcome of Sri Lanka’s own inquiries but they had turned into a “farce”. The workers were found shot dead at their office in the town of Muttur. A Sri Lankan military spokesman rejected ACF’s allegations, suggesting the charity had withheld evidence. [ full story |

US warns Sri Lanka over failure to investigate war crimes[ The Telegraph ][ Dec 04 15:37 GMT ]

World is losing patience with Sri Lanka over its refusal to investigate war crimes, US warns, as new report details alleged massacre of 17 French aid workers. The international community is losing patience with Sri Lanka over its failure to investigate war crimes allegations, the United States has warned after new details emerged of atrocities. Washington’s leading diplomat for South Asia, Nisha Biswal, said she hoped Sri Lanka would soon start its own investigation into United Nations claims that 40,000 civilians were killed in the last few months of the country’s long civil war in 2009. [ full story |

Hijacked justice? Truth and reconciliation in Sri Lanka[ openDemocracy ][ Dec 03 18:26 GMT ]

As the dust settles on the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Colombo, the press has reported that Sri Lanka may be considering the establishment of a South Africa style Truth and Reconciliation Commission with the assistance of the Commonwealth and South African government. The South African TRC (SA TRC) continues to possess an enduring appeal for Colombo-based, as opposed to North and East based, civil society NGOs. Very few, if any, conversations on reconciliation and transitional justice within Colombo civil society networks conclude without references to the SA TRC as the paradigmatic case of the ideal transitional justice model. [ full story |

Sri Lanka: Tamil Struggle Continues[ The Diplomat ][ Dec 02 20:28 GMT ]

Just over two months ago, the Tamils went to the polls for Sri Lanka’s Northern Provincial Council elections with defiance, yet with a cautious sense of festivity. Military harassment of voters and party candidates had been thorough and brutally innovative throughout the campaigning; in addition to the typical battering of election monitors, cash-for-votes and widespread intimidation, government supporters had even printed a fake newspaper. The night of Election Day, one retired man from Jaffna would not dare predict the polling results. If the Tamil National Alliance won, there might be retribution, he said; destroyed cars, people beaten up and houses set on fire. Yet, if they lost, the military violence already in place might never end. [ full story |

Dramatic Failure of the Government of Sri Lanka to peruse Meaningful Reconciliation, Human rights[ TamilCanadian ][ Dec 03 17:07 GMT ]

Hon. Deepak Obhrai, Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Human Rights, met recently the members of the Tamil community and gave an update to the Media on his recent trip to Sri Lanka representing Canada at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. Canadian Prime Minister has clearly indicated in advance that he would not participate in light of the continuation of Human Rights violations and disregard for Rule of Law in Sri Lanka. [ full story |

A divine time in Sri Lanka[ The West Australian ][ Dec 03 17:11 GMT ]

It is a performance that would impress a professional mime artist. The platform guide for Sri Lanka Railways at the maniacally busy Colombo Fort station cuts through all language barriers with a skill he has held all his life. He is deaf and mute. His technique is simple. As soon as he sees a puzzled look on the face of a tourist wandering through the entrance, he plants himself in front of them. His facial impression conveys sympathy, then he will gesture for your ticket. Ding! A smile will be followed by traffic signals and a rapid escort to the part of the platform required, then instructions on how many trains will arrive before yours. [ full story |

Parliament should debate death penalty, says Kaarthikeyan[ The Hindu ][ Dec 02 19:44 GMT ]

Former Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation D.R. Kaarthikeyan has called for a special session of Parliament to debate whether India should abolish death penalty or retain it. In a message to the People’s Movement Against Death Penalty (PMADP) headed by the former Supreme Court Judge, V.R. Krishna Iyer, he said the best acceptable and pragmatic solution was for Parliament to take a firm decision unanimously or by an overwhelming majority, reflecting the general mood of the nation. [ full story |

Sri Lanka’s twin challenges[ openDemocracy ][ Dec 02 19:47 GMT ]

Many in Sri Lanka had hoped that the arrival of world leaders for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo recently would have signalled the triumphant re-emergence of Sri Lanka on the world stage, having cast off doubts about war crimes committed at the end of its 25-year-long civil war and concerns about the increasingly authoritarian nature of its government. Instead, the summit ended up being a political disaster for the Sri Lankan administration. Prominent leaders—of Canada, India and Mauritius—boycotted the event, only half of the Commonwealth’s 53 member states sent an actual head of government(the others were represented at a more junior level)and those leaders who did turn up insisted on asking questions publicly about accountability for war crimes allegedly committed at the end of the civil war. [ full story |