Sexual Violence in Conflict: Sri Lanka – systematic, deliberate and intended to destroy

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Sexual Violence in Conflict: Sri Lanka – systematic, deliberate and intended to destroy [ Tamil Guardian ][ 05 June 2014 ]

Next week, the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict is due to take place in London, co-hosted by the UK’s Foreign Secretary, William Hague and the Special Envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Angelina Jolie.

In the run up to the ESVC summit, we revisit the mounting evidence which documents the widespread, systematic and on-going use of sexual violence by Sri Lanka’s military against Tamils, that occurs with absolute impunity.

[ full story | Tamil Guardian ]


SRI LANKA: The Island of mass graves [ AHRC ][ Jun 03 13:06 GMT ]

Sri Lanka is once again on the edge of a political crucible in terms of its international relations as well as in its domestic politics. The country is ignoring calls for an independent and credible investigation into alleged wartime atrocities while at the same time carrying out atrocities against its own people. None of the elected or appointed officials have been able to fulfil even the basic requirements of their offices, but instead put all their efforts into finding loopholes to escape the situation and to justify what they have done. [ full story |


Sri Lanka again rejects devolving police powers to ease tension with Tamils[ Reuters ][ Jun 04 15:57 GMT ]

Sri Lanka on Wednesday again rejected devolving police powers to the provinces as requested by new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and required by the constitution as a means to ease tension with minority Tamils. Sri Lanka agreed with India in 1987 to devolve powers, including over police and land, to a regional level as a means to improve relations between Tamils and majority Sinhalese. A war between the military and Tamil rebels, seeking a homeland in the north and northeast, lasted a quarter of a century and killed more than 100,000 people before it ended in 2009. [ full story |


Sri Lanka offers lessons on how not to manage water[ IRIN ][ Jun 04 15:57 GMT ]

Angry paddy farmers blocked major roads in the Minneriya and Girithale areas in Sri Lanka’s North Eastern Polonnaruwa region last month, complaining the government had not released enough water for their rice to grow; they claimed they had lost 50,000 hectares of crops, or 1.75 million kg. Ananda Edirisuriya, who took part in the protests, accused the Irrigation Department of failing to notify farmers of impending water shortages. “We need to know in advance if there is going to be a drought and how wide the impact is. Right now what we get is that when the drought is at its worst, the officials come and tell us that there is no water,” he told IRIN. “By then it is too late, we have already planted our crops.” [ full story |


Asylum seeker who set himself on fire spent 18 months in limbo[ The Guardian ][ Jun 02 03:27 GMT ]

A 29-year-old asylum seeker who died after setting himself on fire has been named as Leo Seemanpillai, a Tamil man who lived in Geelong, Victoria. Seemanpillai died of his injuries after burns to 90% of his body and is the second Sri Lankan asylum seeker to have self-immolated in Australia this year. The Tamil Refugee Council said Seemanpillai had set himself alight on Saturday evening and died on Sunday morning at Alfred Hospital. [ full story |


Tamil asylum seeker on bridging visa dies from burns to 90% of his body[ The Guardian ][ Jun 01 14:19 GMT ]

A Sri Lankan asylum seeker on a bridging visa has died from burns in an apparent self-harm incident. The 29-year-old Tamil man arrived in Darwin by boat in January 2013 and has been on a bridging visa since May 2013, living in Geelong. The man suffered burns to 90% of his body, apparently in a self-harm incident which occurred early on Saturday. He died on Sunday morning at Melbourne’s Alfred hospital. The immigration minister, Scott Morrison, confirmed on Sunday that “an illegal maritime arrival of Sri Lankan nationality suffered serious burns in an incident … I understand he died of his injuries overnight.” [ full story |


Scott Morrison denies Tamil asylum seeker had been showing suicidal tendencies[ SMH ][ Jun 03 18:32 GMT ]

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said a Tamil asylum seeker on a bridging visa had been showing no suicidal tendencies before dousing himself in petrol in Geelong. Mr Morrison said 29-year-old Leo Seemanpillai had not been showing any signs he may try to take his own life on Friday when he was visited by a departmental case worker. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said a Tamil asylum seeker on a bridging visa had been showing no suicidal tendencies before dousing himself in petrol in Geelong. Mr Morrison said 29-year-old Leo Seemanpillai had not been showing any signs he may try to take his own life on Friday when he was visited by a departmental case worker. [ full story |


India should bring a UN resolution against Sri Lanka on genocide: J Jayalalithaa to PM Narendra Modi[ PTI ][ Jun 03 18:31 GMT ]

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and demanded that India should sponsor a resolution in the United Nations condemning the genocide in Sri Lanka. “I request that India should sponsor a resolution in the United Nations condemning the genocide in Sri Lanka and to hold to account all those responsible for the genocide and thereby render justice to Tamils in Sri Lanka,” the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister has said in the memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister. [ full story |


Sri Lanka State identity needs denouncement, as mass-grave polity is congenital[TamilNet]

“Sri Lanka: The Island of mass graves,” says editorial of Asian Human Rights Commission’s journal for Feb–April 2014. The editorial by Nilantha Ilangamuwa traces the ‘mass grave’ statecraft of ‘Sri Lanka’ since early 1970s. Generalisation of the mass graves and equating them with labels such as JVP and LTTE, is fundamentally misleading, and would not resolve the issue of State in the island, as the former was state terrorism’s response to a political question and the latter was naked genocide to respond to a national question, to which even the JVP was a party. The Tamil graves are largely not LTTE graves, but graves of ordinary members of a nation. If there is anything common that all in the island have to denounce, that is the very ‘Sri Lanka’ state identity, commented Tamil activists for alternative politics. Full story >>

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