eelamview

March 14, 2013

It was not only Balachandran ‘New Video Evidence’ unearthed

srilanka killing fields new

NEW VIDEO

New photo and video evidence has emerged today of war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan forces during the final stages of the war. Global Tamil Forum has released video footage further corroborating the summary executions depicted in the ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’ documentary.

This new evidence clearly identifies the victims in the photo squatting with hands tied their backs, including a young boy possibly aged between 10 to 13 years old, before they are shot dead.

The new video footage, which will be aired in Tamil Nadu on Puthiya Thalaimurai (PT) TV at 6pm Indian time, shows some of these men/boys being shot at close range. You can see amongst the dead bodies, this young boy with a distinct bandage on his left arm being shot dead, bleeding from his head. You can also identify at least another two from the photo (when they were alive) and then in the video being shot or already shot dead.

Although some parts of this extended video were in the Channel 4 documentary, even that didn’t show people who can be identified clearly alive, like the way we can in this photo, and then their dead bodies lying in a ‘killing field’.

This new evidence raises further concern that not only men and women, but even young children were not spared, in spite of surrendering or being captured. As reported last month, the evidence of Balachandran (LTTE Leader’s 12-year old son), who was in Sri Lankan Army custody and then summarily executed, was brought to light in the latest ‘Killing Fields’ documentary “No Fire Zone”. This new evidence indicates that this was not an isolated incident of child fatality. It highlights the severe breaches of international laws and conventions during the war and will re-open questions regarding who was in-charge and gave these orders.

Lee Scott MP, Chairman of the UK Parliament’s All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils (APPG-T) and Siobhain McDonagh MP, Vice Chair of the APPG-T, as well as Suren Surendiran, GTF Spokesperson, have given extensive interviews to Puthiya Thalaimurai (PT) TV, which will also be broadcast along with the video.

With the 22nd Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in progress and a spotlight on Sri Lanka with another resolution from the United States, this evidence will add to pressure for Sri Lanka to address accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity during the final stages of the war in 2009 and will intensify the calls for an international, independent investigation.

Details regarding the attachments:

Photo – A group of men and boys squatting with no shirt and hands tied behind their back. The boy at the back row at the right extreme with a blue band tied on his left arm.

Now please watch the attached video, particularly between 2.26 mins to 2.28 and 3.00 mins to 3.02. At these particular points of the video you will see the dead body of the same boy, it seems. If you also pause at 3.01 minute of the video, you will see the boy’s left arm where the blue band being still there.

In the same photo, notice at the back row the man at the left extreme with a band on his head, wearing a banyan. now watch the video between 4.49 mins to 4.51. The dead body with a similar banyan with stripes appears to be the same man on the photo.

The same goes to the chap in the front row left extreme with a beard and slightly baled. it appears in the video the last person who is being shot at looks like him.

Although some parts of this extended video was in the Channel 4 documentary, even that didn’t show clearly people who can be identified being alive as the way we can through this photo and then their dead bodies in a ‘killing field’.

On all counts this incident needs to be independently investigated for

(1) – Why these men and boys were killed after capture or after surrender?
(2) – Who gave the orders?
(3) – Why is government of Sri Lanka refusing to let an independent investigation?
(4) – Which international laws and conventions were breached?
(5) – If we don’t serve justice to these victims and their living loved ones, what makes us believe the same will not be repeated in Sri Lanka and/or the in any other country?

These killings go to show it was not just Balachandran who was just shot but even other children and young men were not spared, whether they surrendered or captured.

Please acknowledge in your report that these evidence were sourced from the Global Tamil Forum (GTF).

February 25, 2013

An Exclusive Preview Of ‘No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields Of Sri Lanka’

Callum Macrae Trailer

Exclusive Preview

In Tamil

NO FIRE ZONE: A film of record and a call to action: The true story of war crimes committed at the end of the Sri Lankan civil war in 2009

no fire zone

Carefully evidenced and powerfully measured, ‘No Fire Zone’ is a feature length film about the final awful months of the 26 year long Sri Lankan civil war told by the people who lived through it. It is a meticulous and chilling expose of some of the worst war crimes and crimes against humanity of recent times – told through the extraordinary personal stories of a small group of characters and also through some of the most dramatic and disturbing video evidence ever recorded.

This footage allows us to document the day to day horror of this war in a way almost never done before: Footage recorded by both the victims and perpetrators on mobile phones and small cameras – viscerally powerful actuality from the battlefield, from inside the crudely dug civilian bunkers and over-crowded makeshift hospitals.

Footage which is nothing less than direct evidence of war crimes, summary execution, torture and sexual violence.

This was supposed to be a war conducted in secret. The Government excluded the international press, forced the UN to leave the war zone and ruthlessly silenced the Sri Lankan media – literally dozens of media workers were killed, exiled or disappeared. While the world looked away in the first few months of 2009 around 40,000 to 70,000 civilians were massacred – mostly by Sri Lankan government shelling, though the Tamil Tigers also stand accused of war crimes.

The film starts in September 2008. An air of deep foreboding hung over Kilinochchi– the de facto capital of the Tamil homelands of Northern Sri Lanka. The armed forces of the ultra-nationalist Sinhalese government of Sri Lanka were on the move, and the brutal secessionist army of the Tamil Tigers was on the retreat. After a twenty-six year revolt – the scene was set for the final awful endgame.

We have looked at and translated hours of raw footage which captures the day-to-day life of the people who lived and in many cases died – during the 138 days of hell which form the central narrative of our film. This footage is an incredibly intimate account of human suffering.

But the film is also built around compelling personal stories. There is Vany – a young British Tamil who was visiting relatives in Sri Lanka who became trapped along with hundreds of thousands of other men, women and children, desperately fleeing the government onslaught. She had trained as a medical technician in the UK, now she found herself helping in a makeshift hospital while doctors tried to treat hundreds of desperately injured people, in some cases performing major surgery without general anaesthetic.

Other people who tell their stories include two of the last UN workers – Peter Mackay and Benjamin Dix – forced to leave on the orders of the UN which, they feel, was betraying its fundamental duty to protect.

Inevitably too, this film is the personal story of some who didn’t make it.

‘No Fire Zone’ also brings the story up to date. The Sri Lankan government still denies this all happened in what thy describe as an “humanitarian rescue”. The repression and ethnic restructuring of the Tamil homelands in the north of Sri Lanka continues – journalists and government critics are still disappearing. The government will tolerate no opposition and have even turned on their own judiciary, impeaching the Chief Justice of the country when she found they had acted unconstitutionally.

Without truth there can be no justice in Sri Lanka. And without justice there can be no peace. We hope our film can be part of that truth-telling.

We offer this film, not just as the definitive film of record, but also in the hope it will jolt the international community and audience to call for action.

no fire zone.org

February 24, 2013

Sri Lanka’s War on Eelam Tamils

by Nadesan Satyendra in TamilNation archives, last updated 2009

INDICTMENT AGAINST SRI LANKA

Ethnic Cleansing: Sri Lanka

 இனம் ஒன்று அழிவதா,  இதை நாம் பொறுப்பதா…

“…. suffering in common unifies more than joy does. Where national memories are concerned, griefs are of more value than triumphs, for they impose duties, and require a common effort. A nation is therefore a large-scale solidarity, constituted by the feeling of the sacrifices that one has made in the past and of those that one is prepared to make in the future…”  What is a nation? – Ernest Renan, 1882

Nadesan Satyendra

Ethnic cleansing is about assimilating a people. It is about destroying the identity of a people, as a people. And it often occurs in stages. The preferred route of a conqueror is to achieve his objective without resort to violence – peacefully and stealthily. But when that fails, the would be conqueror turns to murderous violence and genocide to progress his assimilative agenda.

In the island of Sri Lanka, the record shows that during the past fifty years and more, the intent and goal of all Sinhala governments (without exception) has been to secure the island as a Sinhala Buddhist Deepa. Rule by a permanent ethnic majority within the confines of a single state is the dark side of democracy. The Sinhala Buddhist nation masquerading as a multi ethnic ‘civic’ ‘Sri Lankan’ nationset about its task of assimilation and ‘cleansing’ the island of  the Tamils, as a people, by

– depriving a section of Eelam Tamils of their citizenship,
– declaring the Sinhala flag as the national flag,
– colonising parts of the Tamil homeland with Sinhala people,
– imposing Sinhala as the official language,
– discriminating against Tamils students seeking University admission,
– depriving Tamil language speakers of employment in the public sector,
– dishonouring agreements entered into with the Tamil parliamentary  political leadership,
– refusing to recognise constititutional safeguards against discrimination,
– later removing these constitutional safeguards altogether,
– giving to themselves an authocthonous Constitution with a foremost place for Buddhism,
– and changing the name of the island itself to the Sinhala Buddhist name of Sri Lanka – appropriately enough, on  the ‘tenth day of the waxing moon in the month of Vesak in the year two thousand five hundred and fifteen of the Buddhist Era’.

When these attempts at ethnic cleansing were resisted by the Tamil people by non violent means and parliamentary struggle, Sinhala governments resorted to violence in 1956, in 1958, in 1961 and again in 1977 – a murderous violence directed to terrorise the Tamils into submission.

The inevitable rise of Tamil armed resistance to State terror was then met with enactment of laws which were an ‘ugly blot on statute book of any civilised country’, with arbitrary arrest and detentiontortureextra judicial killings and massacresindiscriminate aerial bombardment and artillery shellingwanton rape, and genocide – together with press censorship, disinformation and murder of journalists. And the impunity granted to Sinhala armed forces, para military groupsgoondas and Sinhala thugs, exposed the encouragement, support and direction given by successive Sri Lanka governments for the crimes committed against the Tamil people.

Today, (in 2006) the President Rajapakse government seeks to pursue the Sinhala assimilative agenda by reneging on the 2002 Oslo Declaration, by refusing to recognise the existence of the Tamil homeland, and by  perpetuating a Sri Lankan state structure within which the Tamil people may continue to be ruled by a permanent Sinhala majority. At the same time the genocidal intent of the President Rajapakse government is reflected in the war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan armed forces under the President’s command and by the Sri Lanka para military. In the shadow of a ceasefire, they have raped, murdered Tamil ParliamentariansTamil journalistsexecuted Tamil students with impunity, arbitrarily arrested and detained Tamil civilians,  abducted Tamil refugee workers,orchestrated attacks on Tamil civilians and Tamil shopsbombed Tamil civilian population centres and displaced thousands of Tamils from their homes.

The gross, consistent, and continuing violations of the rights of the Tamil people, by the Sri Lankan government and its agencies during the past several decades, include grave breaches of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Genocide Convention, and the Geneva Conventions relating to the humanitarian law of armed conflict.

These violations by Sri Lanka have been well documented by several human rights organisations and independent observers as well as by eye witnesses – and have been the subject of hundreds of statements and interventions at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.  This publication brings together extracts from some of these reports – including those that cover Genocide ’58,  Genocide’83 , the Genocidal War ’95/’01,  Sri Lanka’s Continuing War  – in the Shadow of a Ceasefire.

The Record Speaks...

###

Further reading:

  1. Sri Lanka’s Genocidal War -’95 to ’01
  2. One Hundred Thousand Tamils Missing After Sri Lanka War
  3. Tamils: The Quest for Human Dignity

war-crime-videos

 

  1. Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields War Crimes Unpunished Video
  2. “No Fire Zone” Killing Fields of Srilanka – Channel 4 Trailer
  3. Yukio Takasu one of UN officials prevented Sri Lanka from being dragged into the UNSC
  4. UN Report on Sri Lanka Has Portions Blacked Out, No Nambiar, More Spin?
  5. UN failed Sri Lanka civilians UN report
  6. சிந்திய குருதி சந்ததிக்கானது- காணொளி
  7.  Short History of Sri Lanka State Terrorism Against Tamils:Videos
  8. Amnesty International’s Campaign on Justice in Sri Lanka
  9. Sri Lanka still unsafe:Video ABC Lateline
  10. Remembering the 2006 Sencholai Children massacre
  11. Video:India war crimes “Kashmir’s Torture Trail”-Channel 4 Documentary
  12. US Media’s Role in the Silent Death of Sri Lanka’s Tamils
  13. Sri Lanka war crime victim’s spirit seems restless over involuntary death pose.
  14. Sri Lanka Can’t Deny: Colombo Telegraph Revelation Turns Sri Lanka’s War Crime In To A New Chapter
  15. New War Crime Videos Surface from Sri Lanka Tamil Genocide
  16. Sri Lanka’s War Crimes:Leaked photos reveal fate of Tamil prisoners
  17. Sinhala srilanka`s Massacre of Eelam Tamils exposed by British Media
  18. As Its President Dines With The Queen, Sri Lanka’s Torture Of Its Tamils Is Revealed
  19. Burning Memories Documentary on Jaffna Library-Video
  20. Video: Media battle heats up in Sri Lanka again -Listening Post
  21. Video :Headline Today’s “I witnessed Genocide” wins journalism award in New Delhi

 

February 7, 2013

"No Fire Zone" Killing Fields of Srilanka – Channel 4 Trailer

Srilanka Evil Country on the planet

NO FIRE ZONE: A film of record and a call to action: The true story of war crimes committed at the end of the Sri Lankan civil war in 2009

Exclusive Preview

In Tamil

Carefully evidenced and powerfully measured, ‘No Fire Zone’ is a feature length film about the final awful months of the 26 year long Sri Lankan civil war told by the people who lived through it. It is a meticulous and chilling expose of some of the worst war crimes and crimes against humanity of recent times –  told through the extraordinary personal stories of a small group of characters and also through some of the most dramatic and disturbing video evidence ever recorded.

This footage allows us to document the day to day horror of this war in a way almost never done before: Footage recorded by both the victims and perpetrators on mobile phones and small cameras – viscerally powerful actuality from the battlefield, from inside the crudely dug civilian bunkers and over-crowded makeshift hospitals.

Footage which is nothing less than direct evidence of war crimes, summary execution, torture and sexual violence.

This was supposed to be a war conducted in secret.  The Government excluded the international press, forced the UN to leave the war zone and ruthlessly silenced the Sri Lankan media – literally dozens of media workers were killed, exiled or disappeared. While the world looked away in the first few months of 2009 around  40,000 to 70,000 civilians were massacred – mostly by Sri Lankan government shelling, though the Tamil Tigers also stand accused of war crimes.

The film starts in September 2008.  An air of deep foreboding hung over Kilinochchi– the de facto capital of the Tamil homelands of Northern Sri Lanka. The armed forces of the ultra-nationalist Sinhalese government of Sri Lanka were on the move, and the brutal secessionist army of the Tamil Tigers was on the retreat. After a twenty-six year revolt – the scene was set for the final awful endgame.

We have looked at and translated hours of raw footage which captures the day-to-day life of the people who lived and in many cases died – during the 138 days of hell which form the central narrative of our film.  This footage is an incredibly intimate account of human suffering.

But the film is also built around compelling personal stories.  There is Vany – a young British Tamil who was visiting relatives in Sri Lanka who became trapped along with hundreds of thousands of other men, women and children, desperately fleeing the government onslaught.  She had trained as a medical technician in the UK, now she found herself helping in a makeshift hospital while doctors tried to treat hundreds of desperately injured people, in some cases performing major surgery without general anaesthetic.

Other people who tell their stories include two of the last UN workers – Peter Mackay and Benjamin Dix – forced to leave on the orders of the UN which, they feel, was betraying its fundamental duty to protect.

Inevitably too, this film is the personal story of some who didn’t make it.

‘No Fire Zone’ also brings the story up to date.  The Sri Lankan government still denies this all happened in what thy describe as an “humanitarian rescue”.  The repression and ethnic restructuring of the Tamil homelands in the north of Sri Lanka continues – journalists and government critics are still disappearing. The government will tolerate no opposition and have even turned on their own judiciary, impeaching the Chief Justice of the country when she found they had acted unconstitutionally.

Without truth there can be no justice in Sri Lanka.  And without justice there can be no peace.   We hope our film can be part of that truth-telling.

We offer this film, not just as the definitive film of record, but also in the hope it will jolt the international community and audience to call for action.

[ more ] http://nofirezone.org/

srilanka

***

Director, Callum Macrae has been making films for 20 years in the UK and around the world, including Iraq, Japan (in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake), Haiti and several in Africa – covering wars and conflicts in Cote D’Ivoire, Uganda and Mali.

His films have ranged from observational documentaries to history documentaries, to current affairs investigations – some polemical, some light-hearted, but usually with a focus on the unheard and disenfranchised. His most recent major project was the two TV documentaries on the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka.

He’s a Bafta nominee and has won a large number of awards including two Royal Television Society awards, two One World awards, an Indie award, an Amnesty award and the Columbia DuPont Broadcast journalism award for his work in Japan after the Tsunami. As a writer he won the Campaigning Journalist Award.  This year he was named as number two in Broadcast’s 100 hottest Directors list and awarded a Scottish Bafta Special Achievement Award.

Producer, Zoe Sale is an award winning journalist and filmmaker. She worked on both previous UK TV documentaries about

Sri Lanka. For the last twelve years she has been making current affairs and factual programming for the BBC, ITV, ITN, C4, C5 and National Geographic. Before training as a journalist she worked as a political researcher and environmental lobbyist.

Editor, Michael Nollet began his career assisting in the cutting rooms of Michael Winterbottom (24-Hour Party People), Andrea

Arnold (Red Road, Fish Tank) and Ridley Scott (Kingdom of Heaven).  Since turning fully to editing he has cut BBC flagship projects from Horizon to Panorama; most notably “The Conspiracy Files: 9/11” (Shortlisted for a European Golden Link Award, Best Factual Production) and “Travels with Vasari” (Shortlisted for BAFTA Best Documentary Production).

His work editing feature-length documentary includes “100 Doors” (Nominated for Best Feature Documentary, British Independent

Film Awards), “Moving to Mars” (Worldwide Version), “9/11: Phone Calls from the Towers” (Darlow Smithson Productions) and “Windscale: A Nuclear Disaster” (BBC) (Nominated for Best Use of Archive Footage in a Factual Documentary, Focal International Awards).

December 28, 2012

Yukio Takasu one of UN officials prevented Sri Lanka from being dragged into the UNSC

untitled

Takasu, Tamils’ adversary in UN Security Council?
[TamilNet, Friday, 28 December 2012, 00:15 GMT]
Yukio Takasu, the 2009 President of the UN Security Council (UNSC) on the critical month of February, was one of the key UN officials who allegedly prevented Sri Lanka from being dragged into the UNSC for the unfolding mass scale killings in Mu’l’livaaykkaal, public statements made by UN officials during media stakes reveal. While some UN Security Council (UNSC) permanent members may have agreed with Takasu’a views, in a media stake out, Takasu lays out his “own” critical view of the “terrorist LTTE,” and the primacy of political and security need to “defeat” the Tigers over imminent large scale civilian casualties. Political observers believe that Japanese cultural views on refugees, asylum seekers may provide clues to Takasu’s approach and conduct in the UNSC that led to the disastrous outcome for the Tamil refugees trapped in Sri Lanka’s civil war.

Yukio Takasu was the President of the UNSC during February 2009 and later in 2010. He was also Japan’s Ambassador to the United Nations.

Yukio Takasu, President UN Security Council Feb, 2009

Yukio Takasu, President UN Security Council Feb, 2009

In the three media briefings on 9th, 20th and 27th February at the UN, Takasu, lays out the strategy adopted at the UNSC. Political observers commenting on the video pointed to the unmistakable hand of Takasu in adopting the chillingly cruel UN strategy to allow, in the name of security and politics, Colombo a free hand in the impending brutal massacre of nearly 80,000 civilians [Petrie Report: “an estimated 360,000 or more civilians were crowded into an ever smaller part of ‘the Wanni’ area of Northern Sri Lanka where many died as a result of sustained artillery shelling, illness and starvation. Almost 280,000 survivors were forcibly interned in military-run camps outside.”]

To watch the UN video

In articulating first the UN’s motivations, and then responding to probing questions from a few journalists, Takasu is seen drawing his decades of experience in being a UN bureaucrat, as he switches between his three roles, the President of the UNSC, the Ambassador and as a Japanese private citizen, to deliver his message: that LTTE is the problem, and needs to be taken out. As a private citizen he confesses that no one wants to see “damage” to civilian people, but it is unfortunate [that we should allow that to happen in this instance].”

The videos and the associated news coverage by Innercity Press’s Matthew Lee during the civilian carnage at Mu’l’livaaykkaal, establishes, with reasonable certainty, Takasu’s involvement in continuing to refuse to taking up the matter at the Security Council.

Yasushi Akashi, Former Japanese Envoy to the Tokyo Co-Chairs

Yasushi Akashi, Former Japanese Envoy to the Tokyo Co-Chairs

Tamil activists also accuse another Japanese, Yasushi Akashi, the former Special Envoy of the Tokyo Co-chair to the Peace Process, for allegedly supporting US South Asia’s Secretary Blake, in architecting the defeat of Tigers. The co-chairs assembled a coalition of countries to first proscribe, then to arrest activists in the US, Australia, Canada, and in several European cities in a well-coordinated action to blunt the support from the Tamil diaspora by inculcating fear. Political observers say the Blake-led action, supported by co-chairs provided a internationally muted, clear political space for Colombo to carry out the massacre.

On Akashi’s visit in August 2012, three years after the Mu’l’livaaykkaal massacre, a Jaffna social activist commented: “Architects of the genocidal war cannot be mere listeners. They are answerable to the affected people and to the world. There is no foreign establishment involved in the island that doesn’t really know what is happening. Therefore, the boldness with which the grass-root aspirations of the nation of Eezham Tamils has to be politically translated in a befitting way should never be compromised in the island and in the diaspora.”

Observers also point out that specific to Japan-Sri Lanka relationship, the role of common bond through religion [Buddhism] and sympathetic overtures offered by Sri Lanka towards Japan following the WWII defeat, reinforce the skewed position of Japan in speaking in favor of Sinhala-centric political goals in Sri Lanka.

Research indicates that the Japanese society abhors refugees and asylum seekers to maintain a homogeneous population, and activists argue that this cultural instinct may have played a role in the Japanese officials’ mindset to allow humanitarian issues take a secondary role, and a factor behind the perceived insensitivity of the Japanese officials to the plight of Tamil civilians as hundreds of thousands were made refugees in their own homeland by deliberation action of the State. Takasu charaterizes the “impending crime-of-the-century” as “damage” to the “civilian people.”

Japan also remained the biggest donor nation to Sri Lanka for many decades as the state sponsored discrimination of Tamils and pogroms against Tamils plagued the Island- another Japanese, Colombo affiliation that may have likely played in the Takasu-Akashi involvement in the war which led to disastrous consequences to the Tamil civilians, political observes point out.

Takasu’s UN briefings, news reports on Sri Lanka, IDPs and War
Date of Briefings, News Reports Video, News Report Link [Start Time] Key Points made
February-09-2009 1. UN-Takasu Feb 09 2009 Video
2. Innercity Press Report
The 2009 President of the UN Security Council, and the Japanese Ambassador to the UN, Takasu, conducts the mediation to take up Sri Lanka for discussions in the UNSC: (First minute of the video only)
– Mexico requested discussions. Takasu says he is engaged in consultations.
– When pressed for details, says different members have different views of the conflict. Some concerned about the humanitarian aspect, some feel the war is an internal matter. Takasu says there is no UNSC agenda yet on the matter.
– British Ambassador remarked, “[t]he Tamil Tigers are a proscribed organization and the government of Sri Lanka has long been blighted by the activities of the Tamil Tigers. We want these to be brought to an end.”
Feb-20-2009 UN-Takasu Feb- 20-2009 Video [12:20]Yukio Takasu, reveals behind-the scene thinking of member countries of UN Security Council on Sri Lanka.
– Sri Lanka situation is not “just” a humanitarian issue, but involves politics and security
– LTTE is a terrorist organization that has broken several CeaseFire agreements
– LTTE is well organized, and uses CeaseFires to advance its military strategy
– LTTE uses civilians as “human shields”
Feb-27-2009 1. UN-Takasu Feb 27 2009 Video2. Innercity Press Report Important video from Takasu (Starting @00:00:35), points out the “Convergence of Views” indicating that UN will not impede in GoSL’s military action:
– Takasu says the Sri Lanka conflict will not be a Council agenda item going forward. (Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, even before the meeting began, called the briefing by UN humanitarian chief John Holmes a “one-time” event.)
– Takasu lays the blame for the catastrophe mainly on the LTTE and defends the Government while expressing serious concern on the humanitarian situation.
– Brings up terrorist LTTE exploting the IDPs for military advantage. Members have pointed out the terrorist list from US, EU. Escaping IDPs being shot by the LTTE, recruitment of child soldiers. THis is an important message from the Security Council.
– GoSL is taking precautions, and UN hopes GoSL exercises maximum restraint
– Convergence of views expect LTTE to lay down arms and participate in discussions in a political process towards “devolution” or “self-rule”…”whatever you call it”
– Says, action of the UNSC on Sudan is consistent with the UNSC refusing to take up Sri Lanka for discussions.
April-22-2009
1. ICP: Sri lanka discussions in UN Basement
2. ICP: Takasu praises his meeting innovations
– Security Council deliberation carried out off the record, came to be known as “basement briefings, as in the Innercity press report: “As the UN’s envoy to Sri Lanka Vijay Nambiar gave a begrudging basement briefing to the UN Security Council, France flexed up its humanitarian muscles while China offered unequivocal support to the government’s military crackdown in the north.”
– Takasu thinks this was an innovation: Reflecting on the changes Takasu architected to the procedures and “working methods” of the Security Council, Takasu says, “transparency to non Council members is the goal, and noted that the informal meetings on Sri Lanka, for example, were an innovation.”
Japan’s history on hostility to asylum seekers/immigrants
1. UNHCR article on Japan’s Immigration Policy
2. Japan’s policy of exclusion I
3. Japan’s policy of exclusion II
4. Waseda Research: Defying Convention
5. TamilNet: Akashi comes to ‘listen’ to people in Jaffna
Yukio Takasu and Yasushi Akashi, both UN diplomats, horned their diplomatic skills growing up in an environment that was hostile to refugees and immigrants. Popular images of refugees in Japan are dominated by media portrayals of precarious refugee camps in Africa, leading to misplaced biases that a refugee is, “poor, dirty and having a weak existence without the right of protection under international laws”:
– Japan joined the UN in 1956, it did not become party to the Refugee convention until 1981.
– Japan did accept White Russian refugees after WWI and Jewish refugees during WWII. However, those accepted tended to be the wealthy or intellectual elite.
– Japan’s restrictive immigration policy, reveals the cruel treatment Kurdish and Afghani asylum seekers received at the hands of the Ministry of Justice as they applied for refugee status.
– Japan which saw itself as ethnically, culturally and linguistically homogeneous the prospect of a mass immigration of refugees was alarming to the populace and the negative reaction of the Japanese Government reflected that concern.

Source: UN video archives, Wikileaks, ICP Reports

Chronology:

28.12.12  Takasu, Tamils’ adversary in UN Security Council?
19.12.12  Holmes, UN’s smokescreen to Mu’l’livaaykkaal killi..
17.12.12  Tamil Nadu protest calls for investigation on 3 UN..

Related Articles:
18.11.12   UN culpable under “complicity clause,” says Professor Boyle
24.09.12   UN complicit in Mu’l’livaaykaal killings, say UN humanitaria..
08.10.11   Japan’s defiance to adhere to UN Convention, leaves Tamil Re..
10.05.09   2,000 civilians feared slaughtered in a single night

External Links:

ICP: On Sri Lanka at UN, Mere “Remarks to the Press,” UK Says IMF Loan Not Relevant
JF: Open the Door– Japan ’s Policy of Exclusion of Refugees (Part 1)
ICP: To Visit Sri Lanka, Ban Ki-moon Called “Too Busy” by UN Sources, Despite Japanese Urging and Invitation
AUGov: The Problem with the 1951 Refugee Convention
ICP: Amid Death in Sri Lanka, UN Wedding in New York, Ban’s Visit Delay Questioned
ICP: UN’s and Ban’s Backing-Down to Sri Lanka Questioned by NGOs, IMF Delay Praised
Inner City Press: At UN, Sri Lanka Accused of Shelling Civilians, “Friendly Censure,” LTTE Condemned
ICP: At Sri Lanka Dialogue of UN Council, Photos on Wall, Press in the Hall
ICP: Sri Lanka Set for Security Council Dialogue in UN Basement, Beslan Analogy
ICP: In Sri Lanka 13,130 Missing IDPs Reported But Downplayed By UN
ICP: Sri Lanka Damage Satellite Photos Withheld by UNITAR
ICP: On Sri Lanka, UN Speak of Siege, Calls Cease-Fire Unrealistic, Only Private Diplomacy
Waseda: Defying Convention: Japan, National Identity and the Illegalisation of Asylum
ICP: In UN Council, Japan Works on Sri Lanka Issue
IPC: UN Still Withholds Casualty Numbers, Funds Detention Camps
Inner City Press: UN Meeting Called One-Off, UK Makes No Proposals, Holmes Differs from Ban
ICP: Mexico Invokes Responsibility to Protect, Rebukes Colombo’s “Inaccuracies”
ICP: On Sri Lanka, France Pitches Hospital Not IMF or Genocide
ICP: In N. Sri Lanka, 2,683 Civilian Killings This Year, UN Leaked Documents Show
ICP: UN’s Ban Declines To Call for Cease-Fire, Double Standard Unexplained
ICP: On Sri Lanka, UN’s Holmes Tells Council to Speak with One Voice, Envoy Request
ICP: On Sri Lanka in UN Basement, Rice of US Speaks, Libya Offers Money, and China Support
ICP: On Sri Lanka, UN Official Describes “Nightmare Scenario,” Treaty Official “Knows Better”
ICP: US’ Rice Joins Call for UN Council Briefing
JF: Open the Door– Japan ’s Policy of Exclusion of Refugees (Part 1)

 

November 14, 2012

UN Report on Sri Lanka Has Portions Blacked Out, No Nambiar, More Spin?

No mention of Nambiar in UN report: ICP

“It is not at all clear that this long delayed Petrie report represents any more serious approach by Ban’s UN on the ongoing issues in Sri Lanka,” opined Inner City Press (ICP) on Wednesday after the UN released the Petrie report in which portions were blacked-out or redacted. The ICP said it did a fast word search and found that while the name of John Holmes – who defended his and the UN’s actions on Tuesday – appeared in the report, UN envoy Vijay Nambiar did not.

When the ICP questioned the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman Martin Nesirky, he did not explain the redactions, a news report by the ICP said.

There was no answer from the UN spokesman to the question by ICP whether Mr Nambiar would be part of Ban’s new senior advisory team.

“After being excluded from a UN memorial service Wednesday morning after the Petrie photo op, Inner City Press spotted Nambiar leaving that closed session,” the ICP report further observed.

TamilNet

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“several USG participants and the RC did not stand by the casualty numbers, saying that the data were ‘not verified’. Participants in the meeting questioned an OHCHR proposal to release a public statement referencing the numbers and possible crimes.” says  UN  internal report into failures in Sri Lanka.

UN today released their internal report into failures in Sri Lanka.

Following are excerpts from the UN report;

Page 11

several USG participants and the RC did not stand by the casualty numbers, saying that the data were ‘not verified’. Participants in the meeting questioned an OHCHR proposal to release a public statement referencing the numbers and possible crimes.

Page 15

Several participants noted the limited support from Member States at the Human Rights Council and suggested the UN advocate instead for a domestic mechanism, although it was recognized that past domestic mechanisms in Sri Lanka had not led to genuine accountability. One participant said that “[i]t was important to maintain pressure on the Government with respect to recovery, reconciliation and returns and not to undermine this focus through unwavering calls for accountability …”

pages 66 and 67

The Policy Committee met two days later, on 12 March, to discuss Sri Lanka. Participants noted variously that “this crisis was being somewhat overlooked by the international community”, the policy “of coordinating a series of high level visits seemed to have produced some positive results”, and that the possible involvement of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide (SAPG) would not indicate a suspicion of genocide but may add to overcrowding of UN actors involved. Participants acknowledged the apparent need for a Special Envoy but noted this “did not seem politically feasible”. It was suggested that “the Secretary General’s [public] statements may have appeared a bit soft compared with recent statements on other conflict areas [and it] was suggested [he] cite the estimated number of casualty figures ….”. OHCHR said it would be issuing a “strong” statement which would include indicative casualty figures and raise the issue of possible crimes under international law by both sides.

Several participants questioned whether it was the right time for such a statement, asked to see  the draft before release and suggested it be reviewed by OLA. There was a discussion on “balancing” the High Commissioner’s mandate with other UN action in situations requiring the UN to play several different roles. The meeting led to the adoption by the Secretary-General, through the Policy Committee, of several decisions, including: continued engagement on “the immediate humanitarian, human rights and political aspects of the situation”; “system-wide advocacy” to press the LTTE to allow safe passage for civilians and UN staff; pressing the Government on protection and assistance to IDPs; inter-ethnic accommodation and
reconciliation; political advice to Sri Lanka; child protection; transitional justice; demining; reconstruction; disarmament, demobilization and rehabilitation; political solutions to the underlying causes of the conflict; and renewed efforts to establish an OHCHR field office.

By Colombo Telegraph –

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External Links:Inner City Press

UN Report on Sri Lanka Has Portions Blacked Out, No Nambiar, More Spin?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 14 — The UN said it would make the Petrie report into its actions and inactions in Sri Lanka public.

But when it put the report online at noon on Wednesday, portions had been blacked-out or redacted. Click here to view, for example Paragraphs 83 and 84 in the Narrative in Annex III.

Inner City Press did a fast word search and found that while “John Holmes” — who defends his and the UN’s actions on Tuesday — appeared in the report, UN envoy Vijay Nambiar did not.

Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman Martin Nesirky who made the decision to black out portions of the report and whether Nambiar, who played a role in the White Flag Killings of surrendering Tamil Tiger leaders, would be part of Ban’s new senior advisory team.

Nesirky did not explain the redactions, repeating twice that some yet-unnamed senior UN officials will brief the press tomorrow. He did not answer on Mr. Nambiar.

Inner City Press reported and exclusively pursued that Ban accepted as a Senior Adviser on Peacekeeping Operations one of the Generals most associated with the killings in Sri Lanka in 2009, Shavendra Silva. If he accepted Silva, how not Nambiar?

Silva appeared with Kohona at a film screening in the UN’s Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium, fallout written up by the SLC, here.

After being excluded from a UN memorial service Wednesday morning after the Petrie photo op, Inner City Press spotted Nambiar leaving that closed session. So he was at the UN.

In what remained of Wednesday’s noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Nesirky if Ban has any comment on the impeachment of Sri Lanka’s chief justice by the Rajapaksa government. He does not, apparently.

Analysis: it is not at all clear that this long delayed Petrie report represents any more serious approach by Ban’s UN on the ongoing issues in Sri Lanka. Some call it a belated attempt at cover up, or covering something. But we will see, continuing to cover it.

November 13, 2012

UN failed Sri Lanka civilians UN report

The United Nations failed in its mandate to protect civilians in the last months of Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war, a leaked draft of a highly critical internal UN report says.
“Events in Sri Lanka mark a grave failure of the UN,” it concludes.

The government and Tamil rebels are accused of war crimes in the brutal conflict which ended in May 2009.

The UN does not comment on leaked reports and says it will publish the final version.

The 26-year war left at least 100,000 people dead. There are still no confirmed figures for tens of thousands of civilian deaths in the last months of battle. An earlier UN investigation said it was possible up to 40,000 people had been killed in the final five months alone. Others suggest the number of deaths could be even higher.

Former senior UN official Charles Petrie, who headed the internal review panel, told the BBC the “penultimate” draft the BBC has seen “very much reflects the findings of the panel”. He is now in New York to present the report to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Sources say a brief executive summary, which sets out the panel’s conclusions in stark terms, has been removed in a final report which will number about 30 pages, with additional detailed annexes.

UN spokesman Martin Nesirky told the BBC the UN does not comment on leaked reports. He said a final version would be published once the secretary general had received and read it.

Senior UN sources say Ban Ki-moon is determined to act on its wide-ranging recommendations in order to “learn lessons” and respond more effectively to major new crises such as Syria now confronting the international community.

‘Systemic failure’

The UN’s investigation into its own conduct during the last months of the conflict says the organisation should in future “be able to meet a much higher standard in fulfilling its protection and humanitarian responsibilities”.

It points to a “systemic failure”.

The panel questions decisions such as the withdrawal of UN staff from the war zone in September 2008 after the Sri Lankan government warned it could no longer guarantee their safety.

Benjamin Dix, who was part of the UN team that left, says he disagreed with the pullout.

“I believe we should have gone further north, not evacuate south, and basically abandon the civilian population with no protection or witness,” Mr Dix told the BBC.

“As a humanitarian worker, questions were running through my mind ‘what is this all about? Isn’t this what we signed up to do?’”

Hundreds of thousands of Tamil civilians remained in the war zone, exploited by both sides: forcibly recruited by Tamil Tigers or used as human shields; or under indiscriminate government fire.

“We begged them, we pleaded with them not to leave the area. They did not listen to us,” said a Tamil school teacher now seeking asylum in Britain, who did not want to be named. “If they had stayed there, and listened to us, many more people would be alive today.”

The 26-year war left at least 100,000 people dead (This report was first broadcast in May 2009)

Despite a “catastrophic” situation on the ground, this report bluntly points out that in the capital Colombo “many senior UN staff did not perceive the prevention of killing of civilians as their responsibility – and agency and department heads at UNHQ were not instructing them otherwise”.

It says there was “a sustained and institutionalised reluctance” among UN personnel in Sri Lanka “to stand up for the rights of people they were mandated to assist”.

‘Culture of trade-offs’

Citing detailed records of meetings and reports, the review highlights how the UN did not publish mounting civilian casualty figures even though a detailed annex makes clear there was a “rigorous methodology.”

Under intense pressure from the Sri Lankan government, it also did not make public that “a large majority” of deaths were caused by government shelling. The government repeatedly denied it shelled civilian areas.

How did the UN failure happen? The report explores at length how senior staff in Colombo “had insufficient political expertise and experience in armed conflicts and in human rights… to deal with the challenge that Sri Lanka presented”, and were not given “sufficient policy and political support” from headquarters. It also points to the Sri Lankan government’s “stratagem of intimidation”, including “control of visas to sanction staff critical of the state”.

The result was a UN system dominated by “a culture of trade-offs” – UN staff chose not to speak out against the government in an effort to try to improve humanitarian access.

Edward Mortimer, a former senior UN official who now chairs the Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice, says UN staff left when the population needed them more than ever.

“I fear this report will show the UN has not lived up to the standards we expect of it and has not behaved as the moral conscience of the world,” Mr Mortimer said.

“There was a responsibility to protect in Sri Lanka but unfortunately it didn’t get publicity like in Libya. The north of Sri Lanka was destroyed field by field, street by street, hospital by hospital but we didn’t get that kind of reaction – Sri Lanka doesn’t have much oil and isn’t situated on the Mediterranean.”

The executive summary of the draft highlights how “the UN struggled to exert influence on the government which, with the effective acquiescence of a post 9/11 world order, was determined to defeat militarily an organisation designated as terrorist”. The separatist Tamil Tigers, or LTTE, are a proscribed terrorist organisation in many capitals.

UN ‘chose silence’

There were no UN peacekeepers in Sri Lanka but this report says the UN should have told the world what was happening, and done more to try to stop it.

In New York, “engagement with member states regarding Sri Lanka was heavily influenced by what it perceived member states wanted to hear, rather than by what member states needed to know if they were to respond”.

During the last months of war, there was not a single formal meeting of the Security Council or other top UN bodies.

Frances Harrison, author of the book Still Counting the Dead on the last months of the war, told the BBC “the only way now for Ban Ki-moon to restore the UN’s tattered credibility on Sri Lanka is to call an independent international investigation into the slaughter of tens of thousands of civilians in 2009″.

“The UN chose to remain silent about potential war crimes,” says the former BBC Sri Lanka correspondent.

A former UN official said the establishment of a panel, headed by Mr Petrie who is known for his outspoken views, is a sign “at least part of the UN is very serious about dealing with its failure in Sri Lanka”.

Analysis

image of Charles Haviland Charles Haviland BBC News, Colombo

The final months of the war saw hundreds of thousands of Tamil civilians – 330,000, according to the UN Panel of Experts (PoE) report of 2011 – trapped in the territory held by the Tamil Tigers (LTTE).

As the LTTE retreated from the government advance, they forced the civilians to come with them. According to the PoE most, though by no means all, of the civilian deaths were caused by government shelling. The Tigers shot people trying to escape and continued forcible conscription. The government rejected the report.

The only international organisation left in the shrinking rebel zone was the International Committee of the Red Cross. Four days before the war ended the ICRC spoke of an “unimaginable humanitarian catastrophe”.

Most of the media were completely excluded from the north. Five doctors in the rebel area who reported the casualty situation to the media were imprisoned by the government and in July 2009 paraded before the media and mysteriously recanted, saying fewer than 700 civilians died from January to May – a figure much lower than that the government this year admitted to.

(BBC)

November 6, 2012

சிந்திய குருதி சந்ததிக்கானது- காணொளி

November 5, 2012

Short History of Sri Lanka State Terrorism Against Tamils:Videos

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Short History of Tamil’s Democratic and Arm Struggle in Sri Lanka

October 27, 2012

Amnesty International's Campaign on Justice in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka was locked in armed conflict for nearly three decades, a conflict that culminated in the government’s decisive victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or Tamil Tigers, in 2009. The war claimed thousands of lives, and left more than 3 lakh people displaced and confined to refugee camps. 12,000 Sri Lankans suspected of links to the Tamil Tigers were detained separately without access to legal counsel, communication with their families, or a trial. Hundreds are still detained in Sri Lanka for suspected links to the LTTE as of April 2012, in violation of international human rights law.

During the armed conflict, both the LTTE and government military forces are accused of committing gross human rights violations and crimes of war according to the United Nations. However, human rights abuses have continued although the fighting has ceased, and crimes committed during the war have not adequately been investigated and their perpetrators brought to justice. The Sri Lankan police and Sri Lankan government have continued their legacy of committing human rights violations in the pursuit of capturing and prosecuting those linked to the LTTE. In 2012, there have been a number of reports of enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrest and detention, torture and other mistreatment of those held in captivity, and a record of government pressure on political activists critical of the state, intimidation and smear campaigns that target human rights defenders and journalists in Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan authorities have routinely circumvented or blatantly ignored the lawful protections built into the criminal justice system in Sri Lanka. They often disregard the laws protecting civilians and suspects, and even more often, they invoke laws such as the Prevention of Terrorism Act, laws which violate international human rights standards, to arrest suspects without evidence or warrants and hold them without charge for long periods of time.

Sri Lanka came before the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2008, while the conflict at home was still raging. It made a voluntary commitment to strengthen national human rights mechanisms and procedures by launching a National Plan of Action on human rights with targets to be achieved between 2009 and 2014.

It is 2012 and Sri Lanka has made very little progress on any of the objectives it promised to achieve in 2008. In fact, Sri Lanka made specific commitments to prevent torture, enforced disappearances, and extrajudicial killings, and to investigate, prosecute and punish perpetrators of human rights violations. Within months, Sri Lanka had broken those promises.
In October 2012, Sri Lanka will appear before the UN Human Rights Council again to make a report on its progress on the human rights situation in the country. India is one of the three countries who will oversee Sri Lanka’s progress report. Amnesty International makes several recommendations on how Sri Lanka should improve human rights at a policy, institutional and ground level. Amnesty International in India also believes that India, as a country with close ties to Sri Lanka, pressure the Sri Lankan government to implement the recommendations made to them by the UN Human Rights Council and human rights organizations such as Amnesty International.

This summary was prepared from the Amnesty International Submission to the UN Universal Periodic and a public statement by Amnesty International made on 13 June 2012.

@Amnesty International

 

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