Victims the real heroes at London sexual violence summit

Rape as a Weapon of WarVictims the real heroes at London sexual violence summit[ Asiancorrespondent][ Frances Harrison ]

I had the unusual experience of attending last week’s preventing sexual violence summit in London with a survivor of rape I know. I bumped into him at a play called Unlocked, which is based on the testimony of three survivors of male rape – Congolese, Bosnian and Sri Lankan Tamil.

It was an incredibly brave thing for the young Tamil man, who needs to remain anonymous, to think he would be able to sit in the audience and listen to his own story recounted by an actor. He lasted about five minutes before he signalled to me that he had to leave. [ full story |

Selective genocidal rape in arsenal of ‘international community’ imperialism[Tamilnet]

The so-called Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict is a clear demonstration on the acceptance of genocidal rape as a weapon in selective cases, where the deployment of it through agent States is needed for imperialistic engineering. Omission is more powerful than inclusion in sending messages. If the Summit has risked its credibility by the omission of the ‘very special case Sri Lanka’ that always relished in seeing Tamils naked, then the global importance of the ‘Sri Lanka paradigm’ to today’s ‘international community imperialism’ has to be understood without any doubt. While William Hague and Angelina Jolie are just managers of the main show, the imperialism behind them was ingenious in choreographing sideshows too, to diffuse any uprising. Full story >>

Celebrities Join the Fight to Stop Rape as a Weapon of War[ Newsweek ][ Jun 18 17:31 GMT ]

Raj, a 25-year-old Tamil student, is watching a play, “Unlocked,” about three young male victims of rape. One of the actors is playing a character based on him. Even though he is in London, thousands of miles away from the barren prison cell in Sri Lanka where he was raped several years ago, Raj is still thrown headlong into searing memories. One of the actors reads the words Raj—whose real name has been changed—has spoken: [ full story |

General Assembly confirms Jordan’s Prince Zeid as new UN human rights chief[ UN News Centre ][ Jun 17 19:15 GMT ]

The United Nations General Assembly today unanimously approved Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein of Jordan as the new High Commissioner for Human Rights, succeeding Navi Pillay of South Africa. “I am going to be the first High Commissioner from the Asian continent and from the Muslim and Arab worlds,” Prince Zeid said after the 193-member body approved his appointment by consensus. “Needless to say this reflects the commitment of the international community towards this important dossier and its commitment to push it forward in this continent as well as in other regions of the world,” he added. [ full story |

Who is behind Sri Lanka’s religious violence?[ Al Jazeera ][ Jun 18 03:21 GMT ]

The Sri Lankan government has imposed an indefinite curfew in a popular tourist area after a group of Buddhists killed three muslims and injured dozens of others. President Mahinda Rajapakse’s government is accused of doing little to prevent this latest violence. It is said to have encouraged the rise of the Bodu Bana Sena, the group at the heart of the latest crisis. Rajapakse has denied any link to the group. The latest unrest came weeks after Muslim legislators asked President Rajapakse to protect their minority community from what they described as Buddhist extremist elements, blamed for a recent spate of attacks. So, will further violence be averted? Or could Sri Lanka slip into another civil war? [ full story |

Tamil asylum seeker who set himself on fire, Leo Seemanpillai, remembered at funeral in Geelong[ Yahoo News ][ Jun 18 06:33 GMT ]

Leo Seemanpillai had been living in Geelong on a bridging visa for about a year when he set himself on fire last month. He died in hospital after suffering burns to 90 per cent of his body. Mr Seemanpillai’s friend Robert was with him when he arrived in Australia by boat. “He created very meaningful friendships in this country,” Robert said. “We pray through his peace of soul.” Mr Seemanpillai’s family were denied a visa to attend his funeral because the Government said there were doubts they “genuinely” intended to stay temporarily. The service was streamed live to the refugee camp in India where they live, and many people took photos and videos to share with friends and relatives who were not there. It was given in both English and Tamil. [ full story |