Amid Reports of Sri Lanka Cover Up & Executions

Amid Reports of Sri Lanka Cover Up & Executions, UN Tells ICP, Probe[ Inner City Press ][ Feb 07 04:54 GMT ]

In the wake of a detailed report that Sri Lanka forces concealed mass graves and executed surrenderees as in the White Flag cases, Inner City Press on February 6 asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq if the Secretariat was aware of the new report, and when should happen next. Haq replied, video here and embedded below, that there should be investigation to find all the facts of what happened in the final stages of the conflict. Inner City Press asked, International investigation? In Geneva? Haq said that would be up to “different member states.” [ full story |

War crime claims re-emerge in Sri Lanka[ Al-Jazeera ][ Feb 07 20:07 GMT ]

In March 2009, in a small town in the north of the island, hundreds of Sri Lankan Tamils had formed a queue to collect kanji , a boiled rice-porridge dish, which was being distributed by a charity later found to have ties with armed groups. Then the explosions began. “I remember that one shell fell adjacent to the food distribution line, and when it exploded the shrapnel hit many civilians who were standing in line,” said one eyewitness. [ full story |

Surveillance and survival[ Frontline ][ Feb 05 22:04 GMT ]

In post-war Sri Lanka, Sinhala cinema is all about triumphal cultural nationalism. What options does a Tamil film-maker have, faced with the twin threats of a surveillance state and a populist mainstream cinema from Tamil Nadu that dominates popular imagination? By SIVAMOHAN SUMATHY “FOR the motherland” was the final call made to the audience at the close of the film Aba as the young hero—historically, the would-be Pandukabaya—holds high majestically a “sacred” sword standing atop a hill, framed dramatically by towering mountain peaks. [ full story |

Comment: Renewed pressure on Sri Lanka over war crime allegations[ SBS ][ Feb 08 14:12 GMT ]

There is growing international consensus regarding the need for an independent and international investigation of alleged war crimes during Sri Lanka’s civil conflict, writes Mark Riboldi. Next month the United Nations Human Rights Council will vote on a resolution on Sri Lanka. It relates to accusations of war crimes and crimes against humanity by both sides during the final stages of the island nation’s bitter civil conflict, and ongoing reports of systemic abuse of Tamils by the government since the end of the war in 2009. Driven perhaps by internal asylum seeker politics, successive Australian governments have continuously sided with the Rajapaksa regime. There is, however, growing international consensus regarding the need for an independent and international investigation of the claims. [ full story |

Sri Lankan army destroyed mass graves to hide evidence of large-scale civilian deaths, report alleges[ National Post ][ Feb 05 22:14 GMT ]

Mass graves may have been “systematically destroyed” by Sri Lankan security forces at the end of the island’s separatist conflict to hide evidence of large-scale civilian deaths, a new report says. The Public Interest Advocacy Centre said the demolition of burial sites containing thousands of war dead was one of many apparent “grave violations” that called out for international investigation. Prepared by a panel that included a former chief United Nations war crimes investigator and the UN’s former spokesman in Sri Lanka, the report pointed the finger at senior government and military officials. [ full story |

Appeasement is no answer to war crimes[ Editorial – The Age ][ Feb 06 01:34 GMT ]

In 1946, the International Military Tribunal sitting in Nuremberg was challenged to consider whether serving officers who had authorised and committed crimes during war had in fact breached international law. The court’s response became an important marker: ”Crimes against international law are committed by men, not by abstract entities, and only by punishing individuals who commit such crimes can the provisions of international law be enforced.” When war crimes are committed but not punished because a ruling government ignores or, in the case of Sri Lanka, flatly denies that they occurred, the duty falls to the international community to act. [ full story |

Sri Lanka rejects fresh war crimes allegations[ SBS ][ Feb 06 11:48 GMT ]

Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Australia says his country’s civil war has nothing to do with the rest of the world and there’s no need for an independent investigation into allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Sri Lanka is under pressure from countries including Britain and Canada to hold such an inquiry and the United Nations Human Rights Council is due to consider a new resolution on the issue next month. Greg Dyett reports. [ full story |

Why Sri Lankan children in north drop out [ IRIN ][ Feb 07 13:58 GMT ]

Sri Lankan authorities have expressed concern over an increasing number of reports that children are dropping out of school in the conflict-affected north, where economic pressure and poor prospects are creating conditions that could have negative consequences for the future development of the region. Most of the dropouts are from poor families who find it difficult to make ends meet as humanitarian assistance dries up almost five years after decades of civil war ended. This situation is being aggravated by an acute lack of job opportunities and a rising cost of living. “It’s a vicious cycle,” said Sivalingam Sathyaseelan, Secretary to the provincial Ministry of Education. [ full story |

Defending human rights in Sri Lanka: Canada doesn’t pander to terrorists[ Whig ][ Feb 07 14:52 GMT ]

“If on one hand the Canadian government is alleging that they are concerned with the human rights of everybody in Sri Lanka, Tamils included, why then are they adamant about sending all sorts of Tamils back to Sri Lanka?” … the Harper government and human rights defenders should ignore the Sri Lankan regime’s outrageous statements and continue to speak out on behalf of the voiceless. [ full story |

Report makes legal case for war crimes charges against Sri Lanka [ The Telegraph ]

The Sri Lankan Army and the Tamil Tigers murdered civilians, including pregnant women and medical workers, during the last months of their conflict, according to the most detailed report to date by war crimes experts and former United Nations investigators. The report, by the International Crimes Evidence Project, is a legal assessment of reported human rights abuses and fresh allegations which could form the basis of a new UN war crimes investigation following its Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva next month. [ Full Report ]