EU terror ban on LTTE challenged

SriLanka bloody hands*

EU terror ban on LTTE challenged[TamilNet]

The European Union’s ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) hangs in the balance today after a hearing at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg exposed serious flaws in the original evidence used to proscribe the movement in 2006. Judges expressed concern at the European Council’s use of an Indian anti-terror law as a suitable precedent for banning the LTTE, saying there was no evidence that the Council checked if terror suspects had access to a fair trial in India. The court was also dismayed by the Council’s use of Wikipedia as a credible source for keeping a terrorism ban on the LTTE. Lawyers for the LTTE left the court in a positive mood, expecting a judgement within the next six months. Full story >>

EU made big mistake in banning LTTE: Henricsson, former head of SLMM[Tamilnet]

It was a big mistake for the EU to ban the LTTE. There was pressure from the USA and the Sri Lankan government, said Major General Ulf Henricsson, who was heading the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) in 2006. “I would say that was a big mistake, because it stopped the possibility to get a peaceful solution and negotiation,” Henricsson told TamilNet in an interview in Sweden on Saturday. Acting on solutions now, compared to Bosnia, he cited lack of interest in the West. He was stressing on the importance of India in acting on the question, but said that India is not interested in getting engaged. China and India and other countries are not interested in having the international community on that territory, he added. Full story >>

Peer suggests government has broken promise on Sri Lanka[ BBC ][ Feb 27 11:22 GMT ]

Conservative peer Lord Naseby has suggested the government is not abiding by David Cameron’s promised timetable for co-operating with the UN to set up an independent inquiry into claims the Sri Lankan government carried out war crimes. “Conclusive evidence” had emerged, Lord Naseby asserted, that so-called witnesses to alleged war crimes in a documentary by Channel 4 were “fully paid-up members of the Tamil Tigers”. He also called for the publication of the UK military attache in Colombo’s dispatches about the final stages of the 26-year civil war, during his contribution at question time on 26 February 2014. [ full story |

Sri Lanka: UN Rights Chief Backs International Inquiry[ HRW ][ Feb 27 02:34 GMT ]

The United Nations Human Rights Council should adopt the recommendation of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay to create an independent international inquiry into war crimes and other serious abuses committed during Sri Lanka’s armed conflict. The Human Rights Council will discuss the report during its March 2014 session. Pillay’s report, issued on February 24, concluded the Sri Lankan government has taken no significant steps to implement the recommendations on accountability of its own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission. [ full story |

Tensions Rise Between the United States and Sri Lanka Over Human Rights[ Huffington Post ][ Feb 27 02:33 GMT ]

A major diplomatic rift has emerged between the United States and Sri Lanka over the island nation’s human rights record. The dispute focuses on possible war crimes that occurred during the final phase of Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war against the Liberation Tamil Tigers Elam (“LTTE”) in 2009. Citing Colombo’s lack of progress in addressing the charges, Washington is preparing to sponsor a third UN Human Rights Council (“UNHRC”) resolution in Geneva pressing Sri Lanka to commission a credible investigation into the alleged wartime atrocities. Colombo has denied any wrongdoing and has rejected calls for an international inquiry. [ full story |

Reevaluating Sri Lanka’s LLRC Progress: Part One[ Social Architects ][ Feb 26 18:23 GMT ]

The report provided extensive information about the Government of Sri Lanka’s (GoSL) progress in implementing the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) recommendations. Again, TSA’s partners undertook a similar survey this year. Using the data obtained last year as a baseline, TSA will be releasing two companion reports reevaluating Sri Lanka’s LLRC progress. This is the first. [ full story |

Rise of extremist Buddhism in Sri Lanka[ Weekend Leader ][ Feb 26 16:59 GMT ]

Suddenly, a group of monks, with heads clean shaven and wearing saffron & red robes, emerge out of nowhere on a dark street in Colombo. Armed with machettes, stones and other weapons, and their faces deformed by the messages of hatred that they hurl, they head towards the Grandpass Mosque and start stoning it. As windows shatter, the devotees inside the mosque are caught by surprise and try to escape. But some of them are captured by the Buddhist monks, who then beat them savagely. [ full story |

80 skeletal remains found in mass grave in former LTTE stronghold in Sril Lanka[ PTI ][ Feb 26 16:59 GMT ]

Eighty skeletal remains have been dug out of a mass grave in a former LTTE stronghold in Sri Lanka, fuelling speculation that the bodies are of Tamil civilians who disappeared during the war with the rebels. “We have collected some 80 skeletal remains and removed them for safe keeping,” said Dhananjaya Waidyaratne, a judicial medical officer. [ full story |

Sri Lanka’s TNA backs UN report calling for international probe[ PTI ][ Feb 26 16:57 GMT ]

Sri Lanka’s main Tamil party on Wednesday backed a damning UN report which has called for an international probe into allegations of war crimes during the final battle with the LTTE. The Tamil National Alliance, in a statement, backed the report ahead of the next UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session next month where a resolution against Sri Lanka is to be taken up. In the report, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navy Pillay asked for setting up of an independent probe and said Sri Lanka had “consistently failed to establish the truth”. [ full story |

Sri Lanka: Briefing exposes how activists brave retaliation before UN human rights session[ Amnesty International ][ Feb 26 04:12 GMT ]

The Sri Lankan government’s targeting of critics persists at alarming levels, with more surveillance and harassment reported ahead of next month’s UN Human Rights Council (HRC) session, Amnesty International said in a new briefing today. Suppressing calls for justice, examines the Sri Lankan authorities’ intolerance of dissent and its attacks on critics over the past six months, either directly or through proxies that range from security forces to supporters of Buddhist-nationalist groups and even immigration officials. [ full story |

UK citizen Visvalingam Gobithas dies in Sri Lanka jail[ BBC ][ Feb 25 20:21 GMT ]

A British citizen has died in prison in Sri Lanka seven years after being detained while visiting the country. Visvalingam Gobithas – of Sri Lankan Tamil origin – was convicted in 2012 of helping the Tamil Tiger militants, a charge he denied. Officials say he died of heart failure although some members of his family say they believe his death is suspicious. The BBC’s Charles Haviland in Colombo says Gobithas was shortly due for release, according to reports. [ full story |