Sri Lanka – UN Inquiry Just the Start of a Long Road to Justice

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Sri Lanka – UN Inquiry Just the Start of a Long Road to Justice[ Huffington Post ][ Apr 14 14:48 GMT ]

Sri Lankan human rights activists campaigned hard for an independent international commission of inquiry into war crimes during the end of the conflict in 2009. Last month members of the UN Human Rights Council did finally vote to set up an inquiry. To many governments it looks as if the issue of accountability is now being dealt with by the UN and they can put their minds at rest and move on. That couldn’t be more wrong. The UN inquiry is just the start – not the end – of a long process of justice. It would be disastrous if the world stopped paying attention now. [ full story |

Inducing fear [ Tamil Guardian ][ Apr 14 14:44 GMT ]

The killings of three Tamil men last week, who the Sri Lankan military claims were attempting to revive the LTTE, was intended to terrorise the Tamil population. The culmination of weeks of heightened military presence in the North-East, mass arrests, interrogations and widespread house to house search operations, the killings serve as a collective warning and reminder to the Tamil people of the state’s response, capability and preparedness to curtail Tamil resistance. As public executions do else where, the killings seek to enforce control through violence and fear. Under the guise of counter terrorism measures, the Sri Lankan state is terrorising the Tamil population, on a scale not seen since the end of the armed conflict. [ full story |

Controversial MP trip to Sri Lanka cancelled at 11th hour[ Channel 4 News ][ Apr 11 12:57 GMT ]

An all-expenses-paid trip by five UK MPs and their partners, including business-class travel to and from Sri Lanka, is cancelled amid cross-party recriminations – hours before departure. The timing of the trip was controversial – coming just two weeks after the United Nations launched an investigation into alleged war crimes and continued human rights abuse in Sri Lanka. This week, Sri Lanka said it would refuse to cooperate with the UN inquiry. The trip, and all its costs, would have been borne by the Sri Lanka-based charity “Foundation of Goodness,” founded by legendary spin-bowler Muttiah Muralitharan. He is an ethnic Tamil, who has been criticised for his support for the government. [ full story |

MPs pull out of Sri Lanka trip over UN inquiry[ Sunderland Echo ][ Apr 14 05:26 GMT ]

MP Sharon Hodgson has spoken about her decision to withdraw from a controversial trip to Sri Lanka. The representative for Washington and Sunderland West was due to travel to the country on an all-costs-covered visit, supported by the Foundation of Goodness, founded by cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan. The bowler is an ethnic Tamil and has come under fire for his support of the Sri Lankan Government, which last week said it would refuse to co-operate with a United Nations inquiry into alleged war crimes and continued human rights abuse. [ full story |

Sri Lanka – Straining the Commonwealth[ Huntington News ][ Apr 13 02:01 GMT ]

The Commonwealth of 53 nations is facing yet another ordeal because of the government of Sri Lanka. This time the Sri Lankan government is refusing to co-operate with a UN-mandated investigation. On March 21 the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) adopted a resolution requesting the UN Human Rights Commissioner to undertake “a comprehensive investigation into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka”. The “both parties” to which the resolution refers are the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (the so-called Tamil Tigers) who fought a bloody war that finally ended in May 2009 after 26 years. [ full story |

Britain lists Sri Lanka as ‘country of concern’ in annual human rights report[ PTI ][ Apr 11 14:58 GMT ]

Britain has listed Sri Lanka as a ” country of concern” in its latest annual human rights report, released days after it co-sponsored a US-backed resolution against the country at the UNHRC. The British foreign office’s 2013 annual report has noted that the human rights situation in Sri Lanka was of serious concern. Britain was one of the co-sponsors of the US-backed resolution passed last month at the UN Human Rights Council on Sri Lanka’s human rights accountability and reconcili .. [ full story |

Tamil asylum seeker fighting for his life[ SMH ][ Apr 10 15:00 GMT ]

A Sri Lankan asylum seeker on a bridging visa is fighting for his life after dousing himself in petrol following a decision by the Australian immigration department to deport him back to Sri Lanka. A report by the Human Rights Law Centre last month showed many asylum seekers who are sent back to the country face the threat of torture from the very authorities they had fled. Late last month the United Nations Human Rights Council ordered an international investigation into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka. Australia did not co-sponsor the bill. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said it was a “deeply distressing incident.” [ full story |

Sri Lanka inquiry: a Tamil asylum-seeker speaks[ Open Democracy ][ Apr 09 16:20 GMT ]

“With all my heart I want this International inquiry to be heard, mainly to restore justice against all the human-rights abuses made by both parties during the last civil war and the ongoing disappearances and violence against innocent individuals and human-rights defenders.”…”The profound truth is that there cannot be a credible inquiry in Sri Lanka by its own government, which has effectively destroyed the independent judicial system.” [ full story |