Sri Lanka war probe lost in translation, say activists

war in Sri Lanka*Sri Lanka war probe lost in translation, say activists[ AFP ][ Oct 03 09:42 GMT ]

Sri Lanka’s domestic probe into the disappearance of thousands of civilians during and after the island’s ethnic war is being undermined by serious translation errors, a group of activists said Thursday. Testimony before the presidential Commission of Inquiry was marred by glaring mistakes in translating questions from English-speaking investigators to ethnic Tamil witnesses, the Center for Policy Alternatives (CPA) said.“Lack of genuine steps at this juncture will severely undermine efforts to arrive at truth, justice, accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka,” the CPA said in a statement. [ full story |

Amnesty Briefing on Sri Lanka for ICCPR Review [Amnesty International, London, October 1, 2014]

Amnesty UN INT_CCPR_CSS_LKA_18252_E

Amnesty International has submitted a 40-page briefing on Sri Lanka to the U.N. Human Rights Committee in connection with the Committee’s review during this month of Sri Lanka’s fifth periodic report on its implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.  The briefing can be found at

News from Jaffna: A young reporter dares to cover press freedom in one of the world’s most dangerous places for journalists – Sri Lanka.[ Al Jazeera ][ Oct 01 21:01 GMT ]

Despite the dangers involved in working for the Tamil newspaper Uthayan in Jaffna, young journalists like Thadsa still join their ranks. Apart from the chief editor, Uthayan does not have a single news journalist over the age of 40. As they grow older, young journalists come under family pressure to find a safer job. Thadsa is passionate about reporting and wants to cover a story on a journalist who disappeared in 2007, and look into the ongoing restrictions to press freedoms in Sri Lanka today. [ full story |

Why Sri Lanka’s Detention of Mrs Balenderan Jayakumari Is So Sinister[ Huffington Post ][ Oct 01 20:49 GMT ]

Just over 200 days ago the Sri Lankan authorities arrested a Tamil mother, Balenderan Jeyakumari, and her teenage daughter. Mrs Jeyakumari had been campaigning to find out what had happened to her 15-year-old son, Mahindan, who disappeared after apparently being taken prisoner by the Sri Lankan authorities at the end of the war in 2009, accused of membership of the Tamil Tigers. Mrs Jeyakumari and her daughter were well known activists who had been among the crowds which mobbed British prime minister David Cameron when he visited the former war zone in Jaffna in November last year. [ full story |

“…softening in the U.S. position on Sri Lanka.Absolutely not.!” – Jen Psaki, Spokesperson[ US State Department ][ Oct 03 09:38 GMT ]

The Secretary did speak with the Sri Lankan president on the margins of the UN General Assembly. He did so with the express purpose of conveying that U.S. policy with regard to Sri Lanka has not changed and it certainly has not softened. And that’s why the Secretary, in no uncertain terms, made clear to the president that Sri Lanka needed to take meaningful steps to act like a country that is no longer at war and instead is now building a future that includes all of its citizens. So certainly it had the opposite purpose. [ full story |

Sri Lanka police stop online media workshop: rights groups

[ Sep 30, 2014 16:08:31 GMT ] [ Reuters ]

    Sri Lanka media rights groups said on Tuesday police had stopped an online journalists’ association from holding a workshop on ethics and digital security at the weekend, the fourth disruption of media gatherings since May. The Action Committee for Media Freedom, an umbrella organization of media rights groups, said police officers threatened the owner of the resort where the workshop was to be held in Negombo, a popular coastal town 38 km (24 miles) north of Colombo. [ Full Report ]

Media group says Sri Lanka sabotaging training – AP

Sri Lanka, police block a course for journalists: “They want to silence us”

[ Sep 30, 2014 16:05:54 GMT ] [ Asia News ]

     For the fourth time in three months, the government of Sri Lanka has “sabotaged” a training course for journalists. The complaint comes from Professional Web Journalist Association (Pwja), organizer of the seminar. According to the leaders of the Pwja, what happened is yet another act of intimidation ​​by the island’s authorities to silence independent media. [ Full Report ]

Sri Lanka police stop online media workshop: rights groups – Reuters

They stopped the boats, but at what cost?

[ Sep 30, 2014 15:28:46 GMT ] [ SBS Dateline ]

The investigation was carried out by asylum seeker expert and Go Back To Where You Came From presenter Dr David Corlett, and here he gives his opinion on what he found and Australia’s asylum seeker policy in general… The government has all but claimed victory in stopping asylum seeker boats. [ Full Report ]

Australia’s major political parties are coddling Sri Lanka’s dictators & torturers by returning refugees – HRLC
Nauru asylum seekers reportedly sewing lips shut over visa denial – SBS

Asylum seekers say they were raped and tortured after Australia sent them back to Sri Lanka

[ Sep 30, 2014 15:25:55 GMT ] [ The Age ]

Asylum seekers returned from Australia to Sri Lanka say they have since been raped and tortured in their homeland. A number of asylum seekers spoke to SBS reporter Dr David Corlett about their experiences since the Australian government rejected their refugee claims and sent them back to Sri Lanka. They said they were asked whether they were members of the Tamil Tigers, which lost a civil war with the Sri Lankan government that ended in 2009. [ Full Report ]

‘Unthinkable sexual abuse and torture’: Sri Lankan asylum seekers say they have been victims of harrowing brutality after being sent home by Australia

[ Sep 30, 2014 15:00:23 GMT ] [ Daily Mail ]

Despite enduring unthinkable daily brutality and sexual abuse over accusations of links to the Tamil Tigers, these Sri Lankans will not give up on fleeing the persecution they are experiencing in their country – regardless of the cost. Dr David Corlett went undercover in Sri Lanka under the guise of a tourist for a week last month to find out what became of some of the failed asylum seekers who were sent back to their country by Australia. Those accused of being associated with the defeated Tamil Tigers spoke of the living hell they have suffered since returning to their homeland as they retold the horror of being abducted and continuously tortured by Sri Lankan security forces until their family paid a bribe for their freedom [ Full Report ]

Hardline Myanmar Buddhist monk Wirathu to battle ‘jihad threat’ with Sri Lanka monks

[ Sep 30, 2014 14:50:48 GMT ] [ AFP ]

A controversial Buddhist cleric from Myanmar announced Sunday he is linking up with hardline monks in Sri Lanka, alleging that their religion is under threat from Islamic jihadists. The Mandalay-based monk Wirathu, addressing a convention in Colombo of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) or Buddhist Force, said they would work together to protect their common religion. The BBS has been accused of instigating hate attacks against minority Muslims and Christians in mainly Buddhist Sri Lanka. [ Full Report ]

Myanmar and Sri Lankan hard-liners ink agreement – AP

OIC chief to visit Sri Lanka

[ Sep 30, 2014 10:27:26 GMT ] [ Arab News ]

The head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will visit Sri Lanka on an invitation from Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, according to a senior official from the Sri Lankan Embassy. Iyad Madani, OIC secretary-general, is due to visit the country shortly. “This is the first time such a visit is being made to Sri Lanka and we are really proud of it,” the official said, pointing out that an advance team will go to Colombo shortly to make preparatory arrangements for Madani’s visit. [ Full Report ]

Sri Lanka’s propaganda finds a home in Washington

[ Sep 30, 2014 10:21:35 GMT ] [ Asian Correspondent ]

    Irrespective of how this article came to be published, it’s important to understand that this is a dangerous piece of state-sponsored propaganda. It’s also important to note that this is not the first time that PRISM has been used as a propaganda platform for the Sri Lankan government. The regime in Colombo may now be using more sophisticated tactics to try to influence Western policymakers and the broader international community. Let’s hope that Colombo’s target audience knows how to read between the lines. [ Full Report ]
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