Sri Lanka: Rajapaksa Legacy of Abuse

President Mahinda Rajapakse familySri Lanka: Rajapaksa Legacy of Abuse[ HRW ][ Jan 29 16:24 GMT ]

The Sri Lankan government stepped up pressure in 2014 on human rights activists and journalists, particularly those urging justice for past war crimes, Human Rights Watch said in its World Report 2015 released today. A new government, elected in January 2015, should order investigations into arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, and killings since the final military operations in 2009. In the 656-page world report, its 25th edition, Human Rights Watch reviews human rights practices in more than 90 countries. In his introductory essay, Executive Director Kenneth Roth urges governments to recognize that human rights offer an effective moral guide in turbulent times, and that violating rights can spark or aggravate serious security challenges. [ full story |


Revisiting Sampur: How Long Will it Take to Return Home?[ GV ][ Jan 29 14:13 GMT ]

The election of a new President has unleashed high expectations of change for the better. Although for some the expectations relate to macro issues of constitutional reform and good governance, for others their hopes are more basic: that of survival, of returning to their own homes and rebuilding their lives. A key stumbling block to these expectations being met was the claim by the previous government that Sri Lanka no longer had any internally displaced persons (IDPs). Ground realities though are starkly different with thousands in the North and East of Sri Lanka unable to return home due to land occupation, [ full story |


Sri Lanka: Main Tamil Political Party (TNA) Reiterates Its Call For An International Investigation For Tamil Killings[ EIN News ][ Jan 29 13:59 GMT ]

Mr. Premachandran categorically opposed any domestic investigation, saying that Tamil have no faith or trust in a domestic investigation, citing numerous domestic Commissions set up by several previous governments for the repeated mass killing of Tamils over the years. He also urged that UN High Commissioner for human rights to table the report on Sri Lanka as scheduled in the UN Human Rights Council Session in March this year. UN Human Rights Council passed a Resolution in its March 2014 Session urging UN High Commissioner for human rights to submit a report on violations of humanitarian law that took place during the war with Tamil rebels called Tamil Tigers. [ full story |


Erik Solheim: Shock and Joy in Sri Lanka[ Huffington Post ][ Jan 30 09:45 GMT ]

The election shock on Sri Lanka has been called a model for how reformist elites and a fed up people can get rid of increasingly authoritarian leaders. To become a true role model, the reincarnated Sri Lankan democracy must in the next years deliver political reform, inclusive development and devolved power to minorities. There were few people outside of this beautiful island who thought the unknown Maithripala Sirisena could beat the increasingly authoritarian president Mahinda Rajapaksa. Rajapaksa put the entire state apparatus behind his election campaign. [ full story |


A Chance for Justice in Sri Lanka?[ Huffington Post ][ Jan 30 09:39 GMT ]

Mahinda Rajapaksa’s defeat in Sri Lanka’s 2015 presidential election evoked, for me, some harrowing images and a glimpse at a path to justice. An estimated 40,000 civilians died in the final weeks of Sri Lanka’s 26-year civil war, as government forces battled the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, commonly known as the Tamil Tigers. While no court has held a formal investigation, it is alleged that government forces committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. In 2010, London’s Channel 4 News produced an extraordinary investigative documentary into the killings, and asked me to comment on the international legal implications of the footage. [ full story |