War ends, IDPs suffer
Mangala Samaraweera, SLFP (M) leader and Matara district MP
Nearly 300,000 people were uprooted and displaced from the conflict zone and four months after the government officially announced the defeat of the LTTE, more than 280,000 persons are held in closed camps is one of the most serious human rights crises in 21st century Asia.
The only crime these unfortunate persons have committed is to have been born in an area, which was under LTTE control for nearly two decades. Previously, they suffered under the brutal and tyrannical rule of the Tigers and today they continue to suffer untold hardships and humiliations under their own government which promised them ‘liberation’ after the LTTE was defeated.
There are also allegations that 30-40 people disappear daily from these camps and according to District Secretary of Killinochchi, more than 10,000 people have gone missing since these camps were established.
“Let us go home.” That is their only request at the moment. The President must recognize the right to return of the people and the people must be allowed to go to their original place or the place of their choice. The resettlement must start immediately and it must be done under the supervision of an all-party committee of Parliament.
In response the government says that they cannot be allowed to do so until the areas are cleared of land mines. Of course, many respond by saying that they have been living with land mines for many years but if the presence of civilians can obstruct the de mining operations, most people have relatives, with whom they could live with until the areas are cleared.
onsdag 30. september 2009
More than 280,000 Tamils are held in Prison camps: One of the Most Serious Human Rights Crimes in 21st century Asia...!!!
Why a condition cannot be imposed tying the HR issue to aid. If this government is going to deprive the people of their HR, I will go to Geneva.!!!
Ranil resurrects Rajapaksa rhetoric
Highlights of key speeches made in Parliament this week
Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament
It was not the UNP that went abroad and complained against the country. It was the present President Mahinda Rajapaksa who in 1990 went and complained against the UNP government.
This is what Mr. Rajapaksa said at that time. I am quoting him: “We have asked that the United Nations Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances and Amnesty International be allowed into the country.
I appeal to you to allow these organisations to come into the country and inquire into matters here. We did not ask other countries to stop assistance to Sri Lankan but what we asked is why a condition cannot be imposed tying the human rights issue to aid. If this government is going to deprive the people of their human rights, I will not only go to Geneva but even to hell to work against the government.”
These were the words of the President then. But we did not call him a traitor. We went and explained what the government’s position was. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva was also there. We went and watched a cabaret together and had a good time.
Sinhala Regime under intense pressure from HR gps & other Countries to Free Tamils confined in Death Camps more than 4 months after the end of War.!!!
UN in Tamil 'bitterness' warning
By Anbarasan Ethirajan
The UN is concerned about conditions during the monsoon
The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has warned that Sri Lanka risks creating "bitterness" if it fails to rapidly resettle Tamil refugees.
He conveyed this during talks with Sri Lankan Prime minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake at the UN in New York.
Mr Ban said further suffering under harsh conditions in the camps could lead to growing discontent in the government-run camps in the north.
More than 250,000 Tamil civilians have been confined in these camps.
The civilians fled the northern region in the final stages of fighting between Sri Lankan security forces and Tamil Tiger rebels.
The Sri Lankan military declared victory over Tamil Tiger rebels in May after the army wiped out their entire leadership.
A UN news release, quoting Mr Ban, said he also underscored the need to resettle people rapidly because of the fast approaching monsoon season.
Mr Kaelin criticised the 'slow screening of people' in the camps
The government says it intends to resettle most of them by the end of this year. It also says it needs time to weed out Tamil Tiger rebels from refugee camps in the north.
The warning by Mr Ban came days after a violent incident in the refugee camps in which two civilians received injuries when soldiers fired on a group the military said was trying to escape from a camp near the northern town of Vavuniya.
A military spokesman said the soldiers fired in self-defence to disperse a stone-throwing crowd. He alleged one of the protesters had a hand grenade.
Nineteen people were taken into custody following the clash.
But a Tamil political leader has disputed the army's version of events saying the refugees were only trying to move from one camp to another to fetch firewood for cooking.
Another senior UN official, who visited the refugee camps last week, said the incident highlighted growing tensions and human rights abuses.
The incident "underscores how interning people in large and overcrowded camps not built for prolonged stays is itself a factor detrimental to security" Walter Kaelin, the secretary-general's representative for refugee rights, said in a statement after a recent visit to Sri Lanka.
Mr Kaelin said "the use of firearms to control a group of internally displaced persons" raised serious human rights issues.
He criticised the "slow screening of people" in the camps for suspected Tamil Tigers.
The Sri Lankan government has come under intense pressure from human rights groups and other countries to free civilians confined in these camps more than four months after the end of the conflict.
søndag 27. september 2009
Life as a Sri Lankan war refugee
By Charles Haviland
BBC News, Trincomalee
Refugee Tirumagal: "We moved from place to place"
Tirumagal is sweeping the yard. The yard of an ordinary house in the palm trees.
She, her husband and their three-year-old daughter are back home in Trincomalee from their war-time suffering and from Menik Farm.
The largest and most controversial of Sri Lanka's refugee camps, Menik Farm holds about a quarter of a million Tamils who fled the war zone in the final weeks as the government finally vanquished the Tamil Tigers or LTTE.
No-one is automatically allowed to leave the camp. But Tirumagal's family were among the first few hundred sent home by the authorities in early August to four districts in the east and north.
Like others at Menik, they had earlier been caught in the Tiger-held zone during the war's final spasms - a shrinking sliver of land between a lagoon and the sea.
Life in the zone of hostilities was a nightmare.
"One day I was getting ready to get some high-nutrition food for my daughter," she told me.
"Then I changed my mind and didn't go that day. But I saw people queuing up to get it from the clinic, several hundred of them.
"They were shelled. Just in that shelling 75 people were killed and many more injured. I only escaped because I'd changed my mind."
For many Tamil people, the past few months have been highly traumatic
The UN says that the Tigers forcibly stopped people from leaving and that the army shelled civilian areas.
The dignified young woman says she does not know who did what. She did, however, hear stories of the Tigers shooting people and of a hospital being shelled.
She looks calm throughout our interview but her voice constantly breaks with emotion, betraying her trauma.
"Because of the fighting and shelling we moved into the no-fire zone. But we got shelled there.
"People got killed and injured. We wanted to get back to the place we'd come from. We just moved from place to place, taking nothing but the tent and a few utensils and some rice to cook, if possible.
"We started digging bunkers. But where the sand was too soft we couldn't."
Out on the beach near Trincomalee, Tamil fishermen prepare their nets for the day's outing, the sun's rays fierce even at 7am.
Their colourful boat is heaved into the water.
It is a reassuring everyday scene, not very far down the coast from the former war zone where catastrophe reigned until May this year.
We meet another refugee who also left Menik Farm last month, 61-year-old Sadasivam.
He and his wife were trapped in Tiger-held land while visiting their children there back in 2006. As the war restarted, the rebels would not give the family a pass to leave.
We all lived under their [the Tamil Tiger] regime, you couldn't avoid having some kind of participation in their activities
"Life there was terrible," he recalls. "We had no idea what would happen."
From January onwards, constant shelling forced them to move their shelter five times.
"Wherever we dug bunkers, there was the smell of dead bodies."
In April their injured grandson and his mother were evacuated in a ship by the International Committee of the Red Cross. Then, on 9 May, Sadasivam was wounded.
"A shell landed. There was fire. My son-in-law's auto-rickshaw was parked and it caught fire.
"Then I saw the blood on my thighs. I was injured.
"I managed to come to the place called Mullivaikkal with the help of others. We started digging another L-shaped bunker and we put up a tent and stayed there.
"As we were putting up our tent, I saw dead bodies lying around. I saw the wounded people being loaded into a tractor and taken somewhere to be treated."
In mid-May the army arrived. It evacuated them in the endgame of the war.
Hundreds of thousands of people are still living in makeshift camps
Tirumagal had left a month earlier when the armed forces breached a Tiger rampart.
The extraordinary exodus of thousands across the lagoon was captured by cameras on unmanned air force planes, the images beamed around the world.
On the ground, outlandish rumours were swirling around, says Tirumagal.
"There was one story that men and women would have to walk naked for one kilometre before they got into the hands of the military. Hearing all this we were scared to cross over.
"But on 20 April we heard an announcement: 'Come to our area.' We weren't sure who was saying it but we decided to leave.
"There had been continuous shelling for two days. I wondered whether we would be able to cross the lagoon and get to the government area alive. We were lucky. Three of us managed to leave and cross the lagoon."
At the house in the coconut grove, Tirumagal's kindly elderly relatives - who themselves were war refugees earlier - give us tea.
Life is getting more normal. She tells the BBC about Menik Farm, the vast complex of camps to which she, Sadasivam and countless other Tamil refugees were taken.
"When we came to Menik Farm there was no water. Then my daughter had diarrhoea and she and I both had flu for six weeks.
Trincomalee was once at the centre of the Tamil Tiger insurgency
"I used to stand in the queue every day but there were thousands of people queuing up for the hospitals. I couldn't get a number for a doctor."
Tirumagal says that for the last two days in the war zone there was nothing to eat. At the camp, the army fed them but food remained in short supply at first.
"But later on we were given cooked food, then vegetables and rations to cook. So things improved."
Sadasivam agrees that is true, but only from a starting point where there were no basic facilities.
There have been uncorroborated accounts of some refugees being "disappeared" or abducted from the camps by shadowy paramilitaries. But he says he has not heard of any such thing happening.
I asked him about the screening process. The government says it has weeded out 10,000 former rebels and is still working on the exercise.
"When we all came to the big camp they made announcements, saying that if anyone had connections with the LTTE we should be separated and queue up separately," the elderly man says.
"They wanted to register those people and gave them numbers. They got separated."
Since July the Red Cross has had no access to these people, or indeed to Menik Farm. It is not clear how many of those detained are alleged fighters or those who, in the government's words, are simply "mentally" connected with them.
Tirumagal says it is a fact that many were entangled with the Tigers - but not necessarily through choice. For instance, her own husband was severely injured years ago in an LTTE bomb.
"So he's disabled. But we also had to pay money to the Tigers saying we couldn't take up arms or be part of their operations because he's disabled.
"When we all lived under their regime, you couldn't avoid having some kind of participation in their activities."
As screening continues, hundreds of thousands remain inside Menik Farm.
Many of those who have left still have close relatives inside and are not sure when they'll get out. They live in hope.
After years and months of indignity and trauma, Sadasivam and the other returned refugees display dignity above anything else.
They have returned to their homes in a still volatile corner of an unstable island.
At least the war is over, and they are no longer fugitives.
Goods brought on Captain Ali gathering taxes: SLRCS
By Gandhya Senanayake
The 27 aid containers containing 884 tons of essential food items, medicine and equipment meant for the IDPs sent in the ship named “Captain Ali” by well wishers from abroad, has been held up for over almost four months in the port with no signs yet of reaching its intended recipients, the IDP’s.
Mr. Surein Peiris, Deputy Director General of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) speaking to Daily Mirror Online told that his Chairman had written to the government pointing out that if these delays continue and taxes and continued demurrages continue to mount they would be forced to wash its hands off the aid brought for the IDPs and hand it over to the government.
He said that although they received a written waiver of port charges from the Ministry of Ports last week other government taxes still have to be paid. The request for the waiver of the taxes has not had a positive response he added. The Valued Added Tax (VAT) and the Nation Building Tax (NBT) for the period July to September 22 for the now forgotten cargo is estimated at Rs. 2 million.
Sinhala Army (SLA) opened fire and injured six civilians including two women and 3 children in Cheddiku'lam FDP Camp!! UNPF OR NATO SHD COME/HELP NOW!
SLA shoots 6 including women, children in Cheddiku'lam camp
[TamilNet, Saturday, 26 September 2009, 12:36 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) on Saturday around 6:00 p.m. opened fire and injured six civilians including two women and three children in Cheddiku'lam internment camp, according to initial reports reaching from Vavuniyaa. One 8-year-old child, seriously wounded in the episode, was transferred to Anuradhapura hospital from Vavuniyaa hospital, medical sources in Vavuniyaa said.
The unfortunate group of six is said to have gone for collecting firewood in the surroundings of the camp.
World Food Programme (WFP) has stopped supplying cooked meals from 17 September. The inmates are dependent on dry rations (rice, sugar and dahl), but they lack proper facilities to cook the meals.
Civilians inside the camps are forced to get other materials, firewood, salt, tamarind etc., from external sources.
The civilians who tried to cross over the camps to get firewood were shot by the SLA.
Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan military officials in Colombo said the SLA opened fire when civilians who tried to 'escape' started to stone the SLA soldiers when they were blocked from leaving the camp. The military officials put the number of wounded civilians at three.
TamilNet URL: http://www.tamilnet.com email: email@example.com
lørdag 26. september 2009
Unless IC takes direct responsibility and removes Sinhala occupying army, peace and justice is a mirage in the island..!!!
‘Paranoid Colombo machinates IDP human shield’
[TamilNet, Saturday, 26 September 2009, 13:43 GMT]
A whole world is duped in what Colombo is machinating in the name of resettlement of IDPs, Tamil circles in Jaffna commented, citing Sri Lanka Navy’s new internment camps around its installations in the island sector of Jaffna. Colombo’s aim is threefold: a human shield of civilians for its occupying forces, prevention of rightful owners reoccupying houses and lands around its military installations and eventually confiscating those lands in strategic areas for its expansion and other demographic conspiracies in the very heart of Tamil homeland, pointed out Tamil circles adding that a paranoid Sri Lankan state can never deliver justice to Tamils. The core truth is that the barbed-wire camps came up because the world powers wanted it. But some powers by not directly taking responsibility and some others like India by sitting on international action continue injustice, Jaffna circles said.
The SLN ‘resettled’ nearly 2000 civilians brought from the internment camps of Vavuniyaa in new internment camps created by using abandoned houses around its naval installations in Kaarainakar and in Kayts, this week.
For nearly two decades now, Colombo’s armed forces are occupying vast tracts of potential civilian land along the northern coast of the peninsula in the name of High Security Zone. A so-called ‘development model’ for Jaffna that is now being circulated shows that this tract is not going to be returned to people, but is going to be used for resource exploitation and a new city for the occupiers, with harbour, airport and military installations, as a joint venture of Colombo and New Delhi. Reviving the cement factory in Kaankeasanthurai is the biggest environmental crime that is going to affect hundreds of thousands of civilians, discouraging them from inhabiting the northern part of the peninsula, academic circles in Jaffna said.
Meanwhile, the SLA installed landmine blast that seriously injured three recently resettled civilians in the Ariyaalai tract is alleged to be another trick of Colombo to discourage the call for expediting resettlement. Unless the international community takes direct responsibility and removes Colombo’s occupying armed forces, peace and ‘reconciliation’ is a mirage in the island, opined a veteran Tamil politician in Jaffna.
TamilNet URL: http://www.tamilnet.com email: firstname.lastname@example.org
torsdag 24. september 2009
AI: Tamil detainees held Incommunicado/ No access to Family or Legal counsel or Court! STOP CRUEL SINHALA Torture, Killings and Disappearances NOW!!!
Sri Lankan army clashes with detainees
24 September 2009
A detainee was seriously injured and had to be hospitalized as a clash broke out between the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) and detainees being held at a school in Vavuniya in north-eastern Sri Lanka on Tuesday.
The detainee, Sri Chandramorgan from Kanahapuram, Kilinochchi, was initially reported to have been killed by the army when he tried to escape from the Poonthotham Teachers Training College, which serves as an unofficial detention centre. The rumour sparked unrest in the camp and the road to the facility was closed by authorities.
“The danger of serious human rights violations, including torture, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings increases substantially when detainees are held in locations that are not officially acknowledged places of detention and lack proper legal procedures and safeguards”, said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International's Asia Director.
Detention centres such as the Poonthotham Teachers Training College are irregular places of detention. Since May 2009, an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 individuals suspected of ties to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE or Tamil Tigers) have been detained in irregular detention facilities operated by the Sri Lankan security forces and affiliated paramilitary groups.
Several such groups are active in Vavuniya and have been implicated in human rights violations, including People’s Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE), Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO), Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) and both factions of the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP).
On 25 May, just a week after the Sri Lankan government declared victory over the Tamil Tigers, Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka announced that 9,000 Tamil Tigers cadres had surrendered to the army.
Since then, there have been regular reports of arrests. Some have been officially acknowledged and reported in the Sri Lankan press and others reported by relatives of detainees in displacement camps.
Many of these detainees are being held incommunicado, meaning they have not had access to family members or legal counsel and have not appeared in court.
Amnesty International has confirmed the location of at least 10 such facilities in school buildings and hostels originally designated as displacement camps in the north. There have also been frequent reports of other unofficial places of detention elsewhere in the country.
The International Committee of the Red Cross has no access to these detainees and there is no transparency about their registration and treatment.
Incommunicado detention of suspects in irregular places of detention (i.e. places other than police stations, officially designated detention centres or prisons) has been a persistent practice in Sri Lanka associated with torture, killings and enforced disappearances.
Amnesty International has called on the Sri Lankan government to ensure that the screening process for suspected combatants is carried out in ways that guarantee the human rights and dignity of all those involved.
Arrangements should be made for independent monitoring of screening processes. Tamil Tigers suspects must be held only in recognised places of detention and be brought before a judicial authority without delay after being taken into custody.
Sri Lanka's displaced face uncertain future as government begins to unlock the camps (News, 11 September)
Counting the human cost of Sri Lanka's conflict (Feature, 11 September 2009)
Unlock the camps in Sri Lanka (News, 7 August 2009)
Torture And Ill-treatment, Extrajudicial Executions And Other Unlawful Killings, Disappearances And Abductions, Detention, Armed Conflict, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka's displaced face uncertain future as government begins ...
11 September 2009
Sri Lanka jails journalist for 20 years for exercising his right ...
1 September 2009
Sri Lanka: attacks on free media put displaced civilians at risk ...
14 August 2009
Sri Lanka: Médicos aún en peligro en Sri Lanka.
12 August 2009
Unlock the camps in Sri Lanka | Amnesty International
7 August 2009
mandag 21. september 2009
GOSL: Involved in conspiracy to allow IC to intervene by keeping Tamil IDPs in camps giving lame excuses such as blaming the delay on mines is a HOAX!
Government involved in int’l conspiracy: PNC
By Yohan Perera
The Patriotic National Centre (PNC) charged yesterday that the government was involved in a conspiracy to allow international community to intervene by keeping the displaced persons in the camps giving lame excuses such as blaming the delay on the de-mining which is a hoax.
PNC President Ven. Dambara Amila Thera told a press conference that it wasthe government that had created an environment for the international community to go against the country. “It is the government which is keeping the IDPs in the camps giving lame excuses such as stating the North was full of mines,” he said.
The Thera asked how the people in the war affected areas came to government controlled areas during the battle without losing their limbs if mines were found in the area.
He said the government had also created a conducive environment for foreign intervention by not allowing the opposition to visit the IDP camps and suppressing the media personnel also who played a role in creating this environment. The Ven. Thera said one could also conclude that the government is also involved in this conspiracy as it delays resettlement of IDPs, not allowing the opposition to visit them and continue to harass media personnel knowing very well that these would damage the reputation of the country.
He said some sections in the opposition led by opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was also behind this conspiracy. Beside that, he said; it is the government that had allowed the UN envoys and other international officials to visit the IDP camps. “These envoys talk against Sri Lanka after visiting the camps and there is no issue in them speaking against the government but what matters is that they damage the reputation of the country,” he said.
Resettlement of Tamil IDPs, Rehabilitation of Ex-combatants, the Disappeared & the Detainees: 4 major Human Rights issues that concerned the Tamils!!!
mano against amnesty for senior LTTE cadres
Says judicial bail to a selected few is not acceptable
By Yohan Perera
Democratic People’s Front Leader Mano Ganeshan MP, yesterday, criticised the granting of amnesty to senior LTTE cadres while suspected LTTE cadres were still being held in detention camps despite many years of incarceration.
He was referring to the release of Daya Master and George Master by the government recently. “Discriminatory policies of the government in providing amnesty and judicial bail to a selected few is not acceptable as it has been done while suspected primary members of the LTTE suffer in detention,” he said..
He said the Opposition would support the rehabilitation programmes with active support from Britain and the US: “The long held convicted prisoners were linked to political violence, some have been held for 16 long years. They insist that they be included in these programmes,” he said.
Welcoming the government’s statement on the national framework for the ex-combatants, he stressed the need for enhancing it further on the ground.
Stating that resettlement of the IDPs, rehabilitation of ex-combatants, the disappeared and the detainees were four major human rights issues that concerned the Tamils of the country today, he said the Opposition parties in Parliament were prepared for constructive engagement with the government on these matters.
However he regretted that the national engagement was not taking place because the government considered that the whole issue should be handled only by it: “The resettlement of IDPs in their traditional villages is very dear to the Tamil people today, and it should be expedited,” he said.
søndag 20. september 2009
Relocated IDPs yet to reach home: UN report
Aid workers say people transferred from one closed camp to another
Rehabilitation Ministry says it’s the responsibility of Government Agents
By Satarupa Bhattacharjya
In its latest situation report from districts in northern and eastern Sri Lanka, the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), said, a section of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) who had been sent out of post-war camps in Vavuniya to resettle in their places of origin, are yet to make it home.
Internally displaced people leaving Manik Farm in Vavuniya
The UN agency which has been assisting the Sri Lankan government to relocate a few hundred IDPs back to their homes in the north and east, said, in its joint humanitarian update based on “reports by government agents” in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Mannar, Vavuniya and Trincomalee, that as of September 15, over 2,000 IDPs who had been taken out of transit camps in Vavuniya to be relocated in their home districts have been placed under “movement restrictions” in these places.
“On 11 September, 568 IDPs were moved from IDP transit sites in Vavuniya district to Jaffna district. They are accommodated at the Kaithady University hostel IDP camp. Movement restrictions have been imposed on these IDPs,” the UNOCHA report said. According to the report which is also available on the internet, another “1,706 IDPs transferred from the Vavuniya camps to Ampara, Batticaloa, Jaffna and Trincomalee districts on 11 September, have not been able to return to their homes. They are temporarily accommodated in transit sites, where they have no freedom of movement.”
“We sent the IDPs back to their homes. We don’t know more about the process because our responsibility was to hand them over to the government agents in the northern and eastern districts,” U. L. M. Halaldeen told the Sunday Times when asked about the 2,000 plus IDPs who according to the UNOCHA report are still being kept in temporary camps. Mr. Halaldeen is the secretary in the ministry of resettlement and disaster relief services in Colombo.
While government agents in the northern districts were either too busy over the weekend to answer questions from the newspaper or said they were not fully aware about details of the resettlement process, sources among aid workers in the region hinted at the possibility of “further screening” of the IDPs who according to them, “have been transferred from one closed camp to another.” According to the sources, aid organisations have limited access to the camps in which the IDPs in transit have been housed.
Governor of the northern province, major general G. A. Chandrasiri declined to comment on the issue when the Sunday Times approached him with the question of the transit IDPs. Attempts to reach Basil Rajapaksa, chairperson of the government’s task force on resettlement, also failed in the weekend.
The UNOCHA estimated that 264,583 IDPs were still living inside camps and hospitals in the north and east. As many as 6,615 people from temporary camps have been “released” into host families and elders’ homes as of 9 September 2009, the report said adding that the majority of those taken out of the post-war camps are the elderly and other vulnerable groups.
The ICC has opened an initial inquiry into SL rights-abuse cases.!! USA, EU, Japan, Norway — co-chairs of SL shd coordinate their policy on SL NOW.!!!
Saturday, Sept. 19, 2009
Colombo risks squandering Sri Lanka's hard-won peace
By BRAHMA CHELLANEY
If Sri Lanka is to become a tropical paradise again, it must build enduring peace. This will only occur through genuine interethnic equality, and a transition from being a unitary state to being a federation that grants provincial and local autonomy.
Yet even in victory the Sri Lankan government seems unable to define peace or outline a political solution to the long-standing cultural and political grievances of the Tamil minority, which makes up 12 percent of the 21.3-million population. A process of national reconciliation anchored in federalism and multiculturalism can succeed only if human-rights abuses by all parties are independently investigated. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has acknowledged that civilian casualties were "unacceptably high," especially as the war built to a bloody crescendo.
The continuing air of martial triumph in Sri Lanka, though, is making it difficult to heal the wounds of war through three essential "Rs": relief, recovery and reconciliation. In fact, the military victory bears a distinct family imprint: President Mahinda Rajapaksa was guided by two of his brothers, Gotabaya, the defense secretary who authored the war plan, and Basil, the presidential special adviser who formulated the political strategy. Yet another brother, Chamal, is the ports minister who awarded China a contract to build the billion-dollar Hambantotta port, on Sri Lanka's southeast.
In return, Beijing provided Colombo not only the weapon systems that decisively tilted the military balance in its favor, but also the diplomatic cover to prosecute the war in defiance of international calls to cease offensive operations to help stanch rising civilian casualties. Through such support, China has succeeded in extending its strategic reach to a critically located country in India's backyard that sits astride vital sea-lanes of communication in the Indian Ocean region.
Sinhalese nationalists now portray Rajapaksa as a modern-day Dutugemunu, a Sinhalese ruler who, according to legend, vanquished an invading Tamil army led by Kind Elara more than 2,000 years ago. But four months after the Tamil Tigers were crushed, it is clear the demands of peace extend far beyond the battlefield. What is needed is a fundamental shift in the government's policies to help create greater interethnic equality, regional autonomy and a reversal of the state-driven militarization of society.
But Rajapaksa, despite promising to address the root causes of conflict, has declared: "Federalism is out of the question." How elusive the peace dividend remains can be seen from Colombo's decision to press ahead with a further expansion of the military. Not content with increasing the military's size five-fold since the late 1980s to more than 200,000 troops today, Colombo is raising the strength further to 300,000, in the name of "eternal vigilance." Soon after the May victory, the government, for example, announced a drive to recruit 50,000 new troops to help manage the northern areas captured from the rebels.
The Sri Lankan military already has more troops than that of Britain or Israel. The planned further expansion would make the military in tiny Sri Lanka larger than the militaries of major powers like France, Japan and Germany. By citing a continuing danger of guerrilla remnants reviving the insurgency, Rajapaksa, in fact, seems determined to keep a hyper-militarized Sri Lanka on something of a war footing. Yet another issue of concern is the manner the nearly 300,000 Tamil civilians still held by the government in camps where, in the recent words of U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, the "internally displaced persons are effectively detained under conditions of internment."
Such detention risks causing more resentment among the Tamils and sowing the seeds of future unrest. The internment was intended to help weed out rebels, many of whom already have been identified and transferred to military sites. Those in the evacuee camps are the victims and survivors of the deadly war. To confine them in the camps against their will is to further victimize and traumatize them.
Sri Lanka's interests would be better served through greater transparency. It should grant the U.N., International Red Cross and nongovernmental organizations at home and abroad full and unhindered access to care for and protect the civilians in these camps, allowing those who wish to leave the camps to do so and live with relatives and friends. Otherwise, it seriously risks breeding further resentment.
Then there is the issue of thousands of missing people, mostly Tamils. Given that many families are still searching for missing members, the government ought to publish a list of all those it is holding — in evacuee camps, prisons, military sites and other security centers. Even suspected rebels in state custody ought to be identified and not denied access to legal representation.
Authorities should disclose the names of those they know to be dead — civilians and insurgents — and the possible circumstances of their death. Also, the way to fill the power vacuum in the Tamil-dominated north is not by dispatching additional army troops in tens of thousands, but by setting up a credible local administration to keep the peace and initiate rehabilitation and reconstruction after more than 25 years of war.
Any government move to return to the old policy of settling Sinhalese in Tamil areas is certain to stir up fresh problems. More fundamentally, such have been the costs of victory that Sri Lankan civil society stands badly weakened and civil liberties curtailed. The wartime suppression of a free press and curtailment of fundamental rights continues in peacetime, undermining democratic freedoms and creating a fear psychosis.
Public meetings cannot be held without government permission. Sweeping emergency regulations also remain in place, arming the security forces with expansive powers of search, arrest, detention and seizure of property. Individuals can still be held in unacknowledged detention for up to 12 months. For the process of reconciliation to begin in earnest, it is essential the government shed its war-gained powers and accept, as Pillay says, "an independent and credible international investigation . . . to ascertain the occurrence, nature and scale of violations of international human-rights and international humanitarian law" by all parties during the conflict.
Pillay has gone on to say: "A new future for the country, the prospect of meaningful reconciliation and lasting peace, where respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms can become a reality for all, hinges upon such an in-depth and comprehensive approach."
Unfortunately, Colombo still seeks to hold back the truth. Those who speak up are labeled "traitors" (if they are Sinhalese) or accused of being on the payroll of the Tamil diaspora. Last year, a Sri Lankan minister accused the U.N. undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs, John Holmes, of being on the rebels' payroll after Holmes called Sri Lanka one of the world's most dangerous places for aid workers.
The media remains muzzled, and a host of journalists have been murdered or imprisoned. Lawyers who dare to take up sensitive cases face threats. Recently, a well-known astrologer who predicted the president's ouster from power was arrested. And this month, the U.N. Children's Fund communications chief was ordered to leave Sri Lanka after he discussed the plight of children caught up in the government's military campaign.
Rather than begin a political dialogue on regional autonomy and a more level-playing field for the Tamils in education and government jobs, the government has seen its space get constricted by the post-victory upsurge of Sinhalese chauvinism opposed to the devolution of powers to the minorities.
The hardline constituency argues that the Tamils shouldn't get in defeat what they couldn't secure through three decades of unrest and violence. Indeed, such chauvinism seeks to tar federalism as a potential forerunner to secession, although the Tamil insurgency sprang from the state's rejection of decentralization and power-sharing. The looming parliamentary and presidential elections also make devolution difficult, even though the opposition is splintered and Rajapaksa seems set to win a second term.
Reversing the militarization of society, ending the control of information as an instrument of state policy and promoting political and ethnic reconciliation are crucial to postconflict peace-building and to furthering the interests of all Sri Lankans — Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims. So also is the need to discard the almost mono-ethnic character of the security forces. Colombo has to stop dragging its feet on implementing the constitution's 13th amendment, which requires the ceding of some powers to the provincial or local level.
Sadly, there is little international pressure on Colombo, despite the leverage offered by the Sri Lankan economy's need for external credit. The U.S. can veto any decision of the International Monetary Fund, but it chose to abstain from the recent IMF vote to give Colombo a $2.8 billion loan. In the face of China's stonewalling at the U.N., Ban has been unable to appoint a special envoy on Sri Lanka. A U.N. special envoy can shine an international spotlight to help build pressure on a recalcitrant government. But on Sri Lanka, the best the U.N. has been able to do is to send a political official to Colombo this month for talks.
It is thus important for the democratic players, including the United States, the European Union, Japan and Norway — co-chairs of the so-called Friends of Sri Lanka — and India, to coordinate their policies on Sri Lanka. If Rajapaksa continues to shun true reconciliation, these countries should ratchet up pressure on Colombo by lending support to calls for an international investigation into the thousands of civilian deaths in the final weeks of the war.
The International Criminal Court has opened an initial inquiry into Sri Lankan rights-abuse cases that could turn into a full-blown investigation. Sri Lanka, however, is not an ICC signatory and thus would have to consent — or be referred by the U.N. Security Council — for the ICC to have jurisdiction over it. As world history attests, peace sought through the suppression and humiliation of an ethnic community proves to be elusive.
If Rajapaksa wants to earn a place in history as another Dutugemunu, he has to emulate that ancient king's post-victory action and make honorable peace with the Tamils before there is a recrudescence of violence. It will be a double tragedy for Sri Lanka if making peace proves more difficult than making war.
Brahma Chellaney, a professor of strategic studies at the independent, privately funded Center for Policy Research in New Delhi, is on the international advisory council of the Campaign for Peace and Justice in Sri Lanka.
tirsdag 15. september 2009
President Mahinda Rajapakse had to leave the State Literary Festival, after he suddenly fell from his chair at the event...!!!
Maharaja falls off chair at Literary Festival
2009-09-15 | 4.15 PM
President Mahinda Rajapakse had to leave the State Literary Festival that was held on Monday (14) at the presidential Secretariat without making a speech after he suddenly fell from his chair at the event.
The President had fallen off the chair after he made his way to his seat after lighting the traditional oil lamp. The Presidential Security Division (PSD) personnel have immediately lifted the President and placed him on another chair.
Soon after the incident, members from the Presidential Media Unit together with PSD officers had asked the cameramen covering the event to
delete all footage showing the President falling off the chair and have even taken over videocassettes of several electronic media institutions.
The officials from the Presidential Media Unit have also promised the media institutions to provide them with the necessary video footage of the event.
PSD chief blamed for President’s fall
2009-09-15 | 4.15 PM
Cultural Affairs Minister Piyasiri Wijenayake has blamed the Presidential Security Division (PSD) for the President’s fall at the State Literary Festival.
He said the PSD was in charge of checking the stage and other issues related to the Festival that was held at the Presidential Secretariat and that members from the Cultural Affairs Ministry and the committee on the Literary Festival had to only be at their seats at the given time.
Therefore, he said the Ministry could not take the responsibility for the President’s fall.
A special committee probing into the President’s fall has so far found the incident to been an accident. PSD officers had even sat on the chair several times before the President had sat on it.
Sources from Temple Trees say several close associates of the President have last evening tried their best to get astrological opinions behind the fall. Sources further said the fall had not had a massive impact on the President’s spine.
The Presidential Secretary and head of the sub committee on the Literary Festival, Buddhadasa Galappaththi had asked media institutions not to carry any details about the President’s fall.
Lanka News Web.com
søndag 13. september 2009
Sampur IDPs 'still in camps'
The government captured all areas held by the LTTE in the east in July 2007
Over 6000 internally displaced people (IDPs) from the east are still in camps, a latest study reveals.
Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) which carried out the study says these families are still living in transit camps in Batticaloa and Trincomalee districts.
The government announced capturing all areas held by the LTTE in the east in July 2007.
Meanwhile, a site in Sampur, Muttur east, is selected by the government for a coal power plant.
It has led to authorities establishing a high security zone (HSZ) in their ancestral lands, IDPs representatives say.
The Welfare Association for IDPs from Muttur East (WAIM) has expressed shock over government decision to establish the HSZ to protest a thermo power station to be built by India.
WAIM president, K Nageswaran, told BBC Sinhala service, Sandeshaya that over 1600 families were displaced from Sampur during the conflict.
“These people were cultivating over 3500 acres of paddy filed and there are over 600 acres of residential land in this area,” he said.
These people have lived here for over 2000 years. We have also raised this issue with the Indian government
Although the thermo power plant only requires 500 acres of land, Mr. Nageswaran said, a high security zone (HSZ) is established covering 9000 acres.
“We urge the authorities to give our land back at least in areas other than where designated for the power plant,” he said.
A parliamentarian representing the area said that nearly 7000 people have lost their ancestral lands as a result of government establishing the HSZ.
“These people have lived here for over 2000 years. We have also raised this issue with the Indian government,” K Thurairetnasingam, MP, told BBC Sandeshaya.
Minister for Power and Energy, John Senerviratne, admitted that some of their land will be given to the coal power plant.
Although not every IDP will be resettled in their original lands, he said, many remaining IDPs will soon be resettled.
However, the CPA points out that the government action amounts to relocating the IDPs according to UN definitions.
'Released' IDPs still in camps
The IDPs are among those released from Vavuniya on Friday
Displaced Tamil people released from the camps in Vavuniya are still in camps, local political leaders say.
R Thurairatnam, a member of the eastern provincial council, told BBC Sandeshaya that 123 families released from Vavuniya camps are still kept in camps in Batticaloa.
360 people are currently kept in two schools, Sinhala Maha Vidyalaya and Kurukkalmadam Vidyalaya, in Batticaloa in early morning on Saturday.
Correspondents say the internally displaced people (IDPs) earlier released from Vavuniya camps were allowed to go home or visit their relatives.
'Over 9000 released'
Nearly 300,000 IDPs are held in government run camps in Vavuniya. The government has recently released some of them, elderly and children are mainly among them.
On Friday, nearly 2,000 or so people were allowed to leave the Menik Farm camp.
Among those released were 6838 to Jaffna, 2170 to Trincomalee, 683 to Batticaloa and 274 to Ampara
Ministry of Defence
The government said 9900 IDPs were released.
“Among those released were 6838 to Jaffna, 2170 to Trincomalee, 683 to Batticaloa and 274 to Ampara,” a statement by the Defence Ministry website said.
Mr. Thurairatnam, a member of the EPRLF, was told by officials providing security at the Batticaloa camps that the IDPs will be released within next few days after registration process is over.
However, no reason was given for their continued detention, he said.
BBC Sandeshaya could not contact Resettlement Minister Risath Badiuddeen, despite repeated attempts.
Tamils Against Genocide : Working on obtaining indictments against US citizen & SL- DS Gotabaya Rajapaksa, US GC Holder & fmr AC/SLA Sarath Fonseka!!
US group to use satellite images to prosecute officials for alleged war crimes
By Munza Mushtaq
A US based non-profit organisation is gathering war pictures taken via satellite in an attempt to prosecute Sri Lankan authorities for allegedly committing war crimes against Tamil civilians.
Tamils Against Genocide (TAG) who are currently working on obtaining indictments against US citizen and Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse and US Green Card Holder and former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka has announced that it will be using several images of the war area acquired from a satellite image vendor at different dates prior to and after May 18, when Sri Lanka’s war officially ended, and will be processing the data to collect evidence of the alleged massacre by Sri Lanka.
“Times UK has alleged from aerial photos and using expert analysis that the number killed is close to 20,000 civilians. TAG has assembled a group of experts and volunteers to do the work, and have sought help from image analysis departments in two premier educational institutions for assistance,” the group said.
TAG noted that as part of the effort, the team will attempt to correlate the documented attacks on hospitals in Puthukkudiyiruppu and those located inside the Safe Zone, using these images. Evidence will also show attacks allegedly carried out by the army on hospitals outside the Safe Zone.
“TAG will document evidence from January to May/June this year, including satellite based analysis that covers several weeks prior to, and after, May 18. TAG believes that the evidence collected in this satellite project, and the evidence currently available from TAG’s previous work can be used in totality to file civil claims in the US, as well as courts in several other countries that have statutes allowing universal jurisdiction for alleged war crimes against these highly placed Sri Lankan government officials,” the group added.
The US criminal code punishes genocide, torture, or war crimes perpetrated by United States nationals and non-nationals. Extra-judicial killings may also be sanctioned in US courts under the Torture Victims Protection Act.
Rs 16,895 million: Maintaining MR-jumbo Cabinet..!!! Mihin Air loss : Rs 100 million several years back! Now:500 million!!!
Rs. 16,895 million spent on maintaining jumbo Cabinet – Shiral
2009-09-11 | 12.05 PM
Corruption Watch member Shiral Lakthileka said that each minister in the present government had six secretaries with a sum of Rs. 100,000 spent on each of them on a monthly basis.
He said that each of these secretaries were entitled to a salary of Rs. 25,000, a telephone allowance of Rs. 5,000, fuel allowance of Rs. 15,000 and an official aid at a cost of Rs. 10,000.
He also noted the monthly expenditure to maintain the jumbo cabinet appointed in 2007 costs Rs. 545 million and that the government has so far spent an amount of Rs. 16,895 million on the Cabinet.
Referring to Mihin Air, Shiral said the losses that amounted to Rs. 100 million several years back has now seen an almost five fold increase and that Rs. 100 million is being spent on the airline’s administration.
Shiral made this statement at a press conference held on Thursday (10/09/09).
Lanka News Web.COM
Opposition Leaders decide to delay naming common candidate for Presidential election
2009-09-12 | 1.10 PM
The opposition leader who met under the leadership of Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday (10) decided not to name the common candidate of the opposition at the next presidential election until the respective election was announced.
Rauf Hakeem’s SLMC, Mano Ganeshan’s DPF, Mangala Samaraweera’s SLFP (M) Wing and several UNP members attended this meeting.
An agreement was reached at the meeting on the amended policies and the programmes that would be adopted by the opposition alliance that is to be formed.
The alliance is to be officially formed after the UNP Working Committee approves the policies and programme at its next meeting.
It was also agreed to launch an island wide organizing campaign once the alliance was formed to prepare for any election that would be held in the near future regardless of it being a Presidential or a general election.
The official signing of the memorandum of understanding of the new opposition alliance is to be held at a grand event scheduled towards the end of the month and UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake and SLFP (M) Wing Leader Mangala Samaraweera have been put in charge of making the necessary arrangements for it.
Lanka News Web.com
C.S Baskaran ...Boycott in Chicago – in front of Gap, Victoria secret and Macys.
The Michigan street was so crowded. People were all over due to the nice weather. We were walking up and down from Macy’s to Victoria secret and to Gap around 4 blocks.
We were there from 10 AM to 2 PM. We distributed over 3000 flyers. More than twenty five volunteers were there including children. Macy’s didn’t bother. Gap told us not to distribute the flyers inside the stores but they told us to distribute outside the stores. Victoria Secret asked us not to gather in front of the store and other shop owners came and told us that they don’t sell Sri Lankan products. Shoppers were very anxious to know about the boycott and our issues. Some of them took time to understand the whole problem. Many of them told us that they are not going to buy any more products from Sri Lanka and also tell their friends about it. Over all the boycott was very successful and we are ready for the next project.
Think Positive,Talk Positive, Do Positive and be Positive.
fredag 11. september 2009
From: Charles Sarvan
Subject: Sri Lanka: the camps
Date: Friday, 11 September, 2009, 10:21 PM
BBC (world service) had a programme on the camps yesterday, 11th September. It made the point that people come to a refugee camp for shelter, and are free to leave whenever they wish.
The camps in the Paradise Isle are prisons, concentration camps. Their "crime" is to belong to a minority ethnic group. The suffering of those who suffered most during the war is made to continue. Thousands and thousands are incarcerated - the rains have set in and, with that, disease - in order to identify a few LTTE cadres.
It is a strange way of winning hearts and minds, one that will not be forgotten, much less forgiven.
The Sinhala people of the South are intelligent enough...!!! They are sure going to teach this Govt. a lesson..!!!
Facts exposed on the arrests of Journalists to cover up Supremo’s brother in law’s palace murky doings
(Lanka-e-News, Sep.08, 2009, 5.50PM) UNP M.P. Sagala Ratnayake speaking to the media today (8) , said under the guise of developing the country it is the Rajapakse family that is developing in the South. The brother in law of the Supremo has purchased a Tea Estate worth Rs. 40 million. From where did he get all this money ? he asked. To pave the road leading to the Estate with concrete , Rs. 95 lakhs had been collected from the people.. 3 kilometers of Govt. land has been acquired to make another road to this Estate which has been carpeted while there exists a road already. In order to build this road , all pipelines of residents had been damaged .Owing to this ,570 families in these areas are without water. Even Temple residents have to travel miles to collect water. According to residents , the B I L ‘s palace Building is being erected employing the workers attachéd to the Highways Authority .
The three Journalists arrested recently for terrorist activities was on a false premise. It is because these Journalists were taking pictures of this Palace to write on the murky activities raging in and around the palace. It is in order to suppress the exposures that the Govt. took these Journalists into custody. The Journalists have a right to take pictures of concrete roads constructed out of people’s funds, he noted.
These Journalists were detained at the Deniyaya Police for two days without even a ‘B’ report . Although they are detained for conspiring to assassinate the President , these Journalists don’t even have a picture of the Palace of President’s Brother in law.
Don’t these Journalists have a right to take pictures to expose the misdeeds and swindles in this country. ? Cant they report on waste of people’s monies to build private palaces?. When the residents were questione d as to why they are scared to speak out , they replied, if this Govt. can murder a high profile Journalist like Lasantha Wickremetunge , ‘ we are like flies if they wish to kill’ , he related.
Though the Govt. is bragging about the Southern development , talk is cheap . Even the sympathizers of the SLFP area openly criticizing the Govt. The Southerners are complaining of how the Govt. has now made cut backs on the allowances paid to the Soldiers., and how the Govt . has forgotten them. The maimed and deformed soldiers are not being provided with the necessary treatment , they lamented. Now, ‘it is only the flourishing and nourishing the Rajapakse Govt. we see around’, people say , he observed.
The people of the South are intelligent enough . They are sure going to teach this Govt. a lesson , he concluded.
lankaenews.com E-Mail: email@example.com
LABELING SINHALA YOUTH AS A TIGER..!!! THE SAME TECHNIQUE THEY USED TO INNOCENT TAMILS TO TRAP THEM...!!!
Conspiracy to kill Ruwan Ferdinandsz by labeling him as a Tiger
– Corruption Watch
2009-09-11 | 12.05 PM
National Organizer of Corruption Watch, Provincial Councilor Rohana Gamage said that Mangala Samaraweera’s Private Secretary, Ruwan Ferdinandsz was labeled as a traitor in the Silumina newspaper in order to create the necessary environment to ensure that he too would undergo the fate that befell Lasantha Wickrematunge at the hands of terrorist groups sponsored by Mahinda, Gotabhaya and Basil.
He made this statement at a combine press conference organized by the Corruption Watch and the Development Watch on Thursday (10).
Member of the Development Watch, Attorney Nanda Muruththettuwa said the government is in the habit of the digging the grave before the actual killing and that the grave digging task has been undertaken by the state media.
He said 20 journalists have been killed under this government and that many others have been compelled to leave the country.
Nanda also said that Ruwan Ferdinandsz played a key role in bringing Mahinda in to office and was now using the Silumina journalists to create the environment to kill him. He then questioned if the Silumina journalist who has written the story opposes the government at some point whether Mahinda would treat him in the same manner.
Convener of the Corruption Watch, Shiral Lakthileka said the media is being suppressed to eliminate chances of building a broad consensus and therefore a shield has to be put in place with the help of people in order to form a broad alliance.
Shiral said that his friend Ruwan Ferdinandsz has received death threats from the government and that motor cycles similar to those used to assassinate Lasantha Wickrematunge have been used for the purpose. He also said that the motorcycles had crossed the vehicle Ruwan’s wife was traveling in to look for him although he was not in the vehicle at the time.
Speaking at the press briefing Asanga Mahagedaragamage said that Mahinda, Basil and Gotabhaya would have to take the responsibility for any threat on Ruwan.
Asanga questioned as to why the President who has wasted no time in taking credit for the military victories by putting out cut outs and posters had not come forward to take credit for Nipuna being assaulted by Vaas Gunwardena and the killing of two youth in Angulana by his police friend since his days as Fisheries Minister, Newton.
Member of the Corruption Watch, Ravi Jayawardena said the next few weeks would be very decisive for the government as important documents related to fraud and corruption in the present administration would be released to the media.
He added that these issues were far worse than the hedging deal.
Lanka News Web.COM
torsdag 10. september 2009
UN would open an investigation to determine whether Sinhala soldiers did in fact summarily execute Tamils, which would be a violation of Intl law!!!
UN chief criticizes Govt. over Elder’s expulsion
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon criticized Sri Lanka yesterday for revoking the work visa of a spokesman for the U.N. children's foundation UNICEF, whom Colombo accuses of spreading rebel propaganda.
"The secretary-general strongly regrets the decision of the Sri Lankan government to expel Mr. James Elder, spokesman for UNICEF in Sri Lanka," U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters. He said Ban would raise the issue with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa "at the earliest opportunity."
Sri Lanka's Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona said on Monday that Elder's visa had been revoked because he had spread Tamil Tiger propaganda. UNICEF denied the allegation.
Last week U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice voiced "grave concern" about video footage aired by Britain's Channel 4 television showing what appeared to be the summary execution of unarmed, naked and blindfolded men in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka also said on Monday that it had analyzed the Channel 4 footage and determined it was faked in a way that was typical of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the rebels the Government defeated in May after a 25-year war.
It was not immediately clear if there was any connection between the issue of the video footage, which has angered the Sri Lankan government, and the decision to force out Elder.
Philip Alston, U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, said last week that he hoped the United Nations would open an investigation to determine whether Sri Lankan soldiers did in fact summarily execute Tamils, which would be a violation of international law.
Ban has not called for a separate U.N. investigation of the Channel 4 video footage, though he did raise the issue with Sri Lanka's Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe.
Sri Lanka has repeatedly denied that it committed multiple human rights violations during the final months of its war against the LTTE, who had retreated to a narrow strip of coast in northeastern Sri Lanka along with hundreds of thousands of civilians. Western and U.N. officials said the Sri Lankan Army was using heavy artillery to shell the LTTE, even though it knew the rebels were using the innocent civilians trapped in the area as human shields. The Army rejected the charge.
U.N. officials say that thousands of civilians were killed during the last months of the war.
Exe.Secy of NGO, National Christian Board who attempted to smuggle out perfidy CDs carrying Tamil massacre-news to the IC...!!!
Court overrules bail application of Executive Secretary, NCB
By T. Farook Thajudeen
Colombo Additional Magistrate Ayesha Abdeen overruled the bail application filed on behalf of the Executive Secretary of the NGO, National Christian Board who had allegedly attempted to smuggle out perfidy CDs carrying news to the international community of an alleged large scale massacre of innocent Tamil civilians by President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government and the suspect was further remanded till September 23.
The Magistrate while delivering her decision on the application made on behalf of the suspect Yanthrawaduge Jayampathy Shantha Nihal Seneviratne of N.J.V. Fernando Mawatha, Moratuwa overruled the suspect’s application seeking bail since the suspect was remanded under Emergency Regulations and for which the Magistrate’s Court did not have jurisdiction to grant bail and ordered to further remand him till September 23.
The suspect was arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport and remanded by the magistrate pending investigations.The TID had recovered the CDs containing perfidy visuals and news clips against President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary from the custody of the suspect while attempting to smuggle out from the country to circulate them in India and other countries to build up unfavourable opinion in those countries and among the global community against the Sri Lanka Government.
It was alleged that the suspect had violated the rules and regulations of the Emergency Gazette notification and the Anti-Terrorism Act.
The TID had arrested the suspect on March 29, 2009 and had been investigated under detention orders from the Defence Secretary.
It was alleged that the suspect had prepared news to the Tamil Net and other Web sites to tarnish the name of the government and the armed forces.
President’s Counsel Rienzie Arsekularatne with Thejitha Koralage appeared for the suspect.
onsdag 9. september 2009
Sinhala MR Regime had reduced all people to beggars, after having mortgaged the nation to various international banks...!!!
Road to MR’s relative’s house 570 families lose water – UNP
.......by Zacki Jabbar
The community water service to 570 families in Nathagala, Deniyaya, has been disrupted due to a three-kilometre road being constructed to a house of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s brother in law, the UNP alleged yesterday.
Matara District UNP MP Sagala Ratnayake, addressing a news conference in Colombo, said that to construct the road, land belonging to Mathurata Plantations had also been acquired by the State.
"The Road Development Authority is supervising the construction of the road leading to Beverly Estate, where the luxury house is coming up, at an estimated cost of over Rs. 40 million," said Ratnayake.
He said the public had a right to know when State resources were abused, but the three journalists from the Lanka newspaper, who investigated the construction of the road to the luxury house had been arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
Health Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva had spoken of the government’s "victorious trend" but all that would come to an end in the South, because the masses were sick and tired of continuously being asked to tighten their belts, while ruling party politicians lived in the lap of luxury, Ratnayake said.
The UNP had, he said, developed the country without making the masses panhandle. In contrast, the UPFA government had reduced people to beggars, after having mortgaged the nation to various international banks.
TNA urged the govt to resettle the IDPs within its stipulated pd of 180 days. The govt had assured that this task would be substantially accomplished!
Displaced families: Govt. makes new offer
By Kelum Bandara and Gihan de Chickera
The government has decided to release displaced families to relatives willing to accommodate them in their places of residence, Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said yesterday.
The Minister said Grama Seva Niladharis, Divisional Secretaries and the Police must first confirm the identities of persons willing to get their family members released from welfare villages and camps. He said the IDPs would be released only if they had a mutual agreement with their relatives to live with them.
“We can release them only if there is a mutual agreement between them and their relatives. The military will also screen persons asking for the release of their relatives from the camps,” he said.
TNA leader R. Sampanthan also told Daily Mirror that his party brought up this matter at the meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday, and accordingly relatives could apply if they wished to accommodate their family members.
Mr. Sampanthan said that his party urged the government to resettle the IDPs within its stipulated period of 180 days. The government had assured that this task would be substantially accomplished.
“We wanted the government to minimize the difficulties of the IDPs. The government assured that de-mining work will be accelerated to enable the early resettlement of IDPs,” he said.
He said that the government responded positively to the TNA’s request to allow them to visit the welfare camps and villages.
“The President said that the government would get back to the TNA in this regard,” Mr. Sampanthan said.
Meanwhile, the Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services Ministry presented a supplementary estimate seeking Rs.350 million to provide welfare facilities to the displaced civilians now sheltered in camps in villages in Vavuniya, Jaffna, Mannar and Trincomalee. This money is sought to provide basic needs of the IDPs such as food, drinking water and sanitation. There are 288,938 IDPs displaced in the fight against terrorism.
Over the last 4 years 91 suspects died in police custody
Over the last four years 91 suspects had died while in police custody, Government Minister Dinesh Gunawardena informed Parliament today. Of those who had died between 205-2009 the Minister said that 32 had died this year alone. (KB & YP)
Did you mean Suspects die,criminals run?
Posted By: R.F.Maria Dineshan-Jaffna
Wonder how many outside their custody but still under their purview ?
Posted By: SOME
This alone shows how the HR are proyected in this country. Unfortunatley the suspects have a bad habit of inviting the Police to show them the arms and ammunition after 1,00 am in jungles and try to escape. So police have no choice they have to shoot at them once they take arms from hidden places with having hand cuffs in their hands.Onlything ours is a country make many world and guinnies World records in many firlds. Why not Police look for same as all these suspects carries Guns from Jungle's having hand cuffs intheir hands. Don't you think it's something to brake records?
Posted By: mahinda
If police handle suspect very soft hand he could not speak the truth if police handle hardly suspect May died in the police custody this is very sensitive issues. M.Ismail-Riyadh
Posted By: Mohamed ismail
I guess the figure is much higher. If not all the people who died when the tried to herl a grenade is not included.
Posted By: lankaputha
A culture of impunity persists and gathers momentum if there are no safeguards and checks and balances in place on the power of the police. This is not a police state. It is time that the police understood this. The people are the core of a democracy. Such thuggery against the people is unacceptable, and a travesty of everything a buddhist nation stands for.
Posted By: Dr.Sangeetha
Mohammed Ismail, what exactly is so sensitive about this. Any person arrested is INNOCENT until PROVEN GUILTY. This is the basis of every civilised society. You cant go around killing and beating people up. The Angulana incident is a good example of why the RULE OF LAW should be followed regardless of who the person is. If the police only have a 4% conviction rate it is because of sloppy police work gathering evidence and presenting a case. It's as simple as that.
Posted By: Alistaire
This is a terrible situation. Where are the Human Rights Organizations? Not a single person, not one person should have died when in Police custody. What does Police Custody mean? A suspect is taken in by the Police & Protected until the appearance in Court, not bumped off. This is an utter disgrace. A person is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law & not the other way around. What does the GOSL intend to do to rectify this disgraceful situation? The IGP is incompetent, he should resign, if he cannot control the people under him. How many of those that died were completely innocent. We know what most of the S/L Police are like - a gang of hoodlums in uniform.
Posted By: Faqi
Sinhala President, employing evasive and sidetracking techniques, did not consider the requests on Tamil IDPs' release favourably...!!!
TNA's meeting with Rajapaksa fails to resolve IDP crisis
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 08 September 2009, 12:24 GMT]
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians who held talks with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his ministers Monday evening at Temple Trees on the issue of resettling Vanni IDPs in their own places, said that the talks ended in failure as Mr. Rajapaksa evaded the main issue by saying resettlement of Vanni IDPs is not immediately possible as demining in Vanni has to be completed before resettlement. The urgent request to resettle the Vanni IDPs in Vavuniyaa internment camps before the monsoon rains was not given any due consideration by Rajapaksa and his ministers, TNA parliamentarians said.
R. Smapantharn, Mavai Senathirajah, Suresh Premachandran, Raseen Mohamed Imam, Sri Kantha, K. Thangkeswari and Sivasakthi Ananthan were the TNA parliamentarians who took part in the talks with the Sri Lankan President Monday from 4:30 p.m to 7:30 p.m.
Rajapaksa was accompanied by his brother and senior advisor, Basil Rajapaksa, his secretary, Lalith Weeratunge, Vavuniyaa SLA Commander, ministers Rizard Badudeen and Susil Premajayantha and Northern Province Governor, former SLA Jaffna Commander, G. A. Chandrasiri.
On being asked as to Rajapaksa's public assurance that the Vanni IDPs will be resettled within 180 days he responded by claiming that his government had completed resettlement of IDPs in the East and that the 'same wonder' may perhaps happen in Vanni too.
The Sri Lankan president dismissed immediate resettlement, saying that his government lacked necessary funds to engage the 600 Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers who were trained in de-mining and ready to do the job as funds for de-mining were not available from the international countries. He was telling the TNA to move matters with the EU in getting the necessary funds for de-mining from the member countries of the EU. There was no mention of engaging independent actors such as NGOs or foreign agencies in de-mining, a TNA parliamentarian who attended the meeting said.
"Mr. Rajapaksa further claimed that around 19,000 IDPs had been already released from the Vavuniyaa camps but we pointed out that this number is only 8% percent while 92% of the IDPs suffer being detained in the internment camps."
The President said that action is underway to release IDPs from Vavuniyaa, Mannaar and Jaffna after confirming that neither they nor their relatives or friends who are ready to take care of them are linked to terrorists. We told the President that this cumbersome process would indefinitely delay the release of the IDPs.
We also asked the President to consider our requests in the issue of resettling IDPs evacuated by the SLA from the High Security Zones (HSZs) in Jaffna peninsula besides the lifting of restriction on fishing and travel but the President and his ministers effectively brushed aside the requests repeatedly stressing on the need for demining, the TNA parliamentarians said.
Though we had some hopes of our requests being heeded the President, employing evasive and sidetracking techniques, did not consider the requests favourably, the TNA parliamentarians said.
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søndag 6. september 2009
Even a child knows what Tamil armed groups of SL are demanding. They are asking for devolution of power. The Govt. must necessarily understand this!!!
This Govt. under the guise of elevating Gen. Fonseka has toppled him- S.B. Dissanayake
(Lanka-e-News, Sep.06, 2009, 10.05AM) UNP PC opposition leader S.B. Dissanayake at an interview with the Lakbima Sunday Edition said , this Govt. toppled Army General Sarath Fonseka under the guise of elevating him.
Even a child knows what the six armed groups of SL are demanding. They are asking for devolution of power. The Govt. must necessarily understand this. Just talking of North’s development and by cutting drains and building bridges the Govt. cannot pull the wool over the eyes of the people. President Rajapakse says he is for implementation of the 13th amendment , but when he is with those who oppose it , he takes their side . He is like a weather cock which changes direction with the prevailing wind.
The Govt. has no solution to those who had been carrying on an armed struggle for 30 years.. Those of the Govt. are only there to fawn on the President trying to call him a ‘King’ ,or a ‘Dictator ‘. It has only a self glorification program.
Will such a program solve the problems of the North. Rajapakse has been elected for a period , and he is therefore a servant of the people. Therefore what I can perceive is that the Govt. is not heading towards construction , but rather towards destruction.
If Ranil Wickremesinghe of the UNP does not contest for the Presidential election , and if Karu Jayasooriya also does not contest , he has faith that he can be a suitable candidate and he can win it ,as he is confident that he can meet the challenges, S.B. Dissanayake observed.
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Suppression & Oppression faced by the Media because of Govt.’s maniacal fear obsession.!!! The country is heading fast towards fascism and anarchy.!!!
Soon the Govt. will arrest Journalists who take aerial pictures alleging it is a threat to President's helicopter travel -JVP
(Lanka-e-News 06.Sep.2009 5.00PM) At a press briefing today (06), the JVP speaking on the suppression and oppression faced by the media because of Govt.’s maniacal fear obsession, said the country is heading fast towards fascism and anarchy.
Recounting the recent harassments inflicted on and arrests made of Journalists, JVP M.P. and front liner Anura Dissanayake said, it is a widespread truth that there has been raging corruption, fraud and large scale irregularities in regard to the Peliyagoda flyover . If a journalist is to write on it, and he visits the overhead bridge to take pictures, going by the present persecution directed against them ,he could be arrested on the suspicion that he is a threat to the President’s life on the ground that the latter always travels over the bridge; and the Journalist is therefore conspiring by taking pictures to kill him
Similarly, if a Journalist for pleasure, to adorn his article looks up and takes aerial pictures, he could be arrested because the President takes the aerial route when he travels by helicopter.
The Govt. is making a determined and concerted effort to gag the Journalists who write the truth and against the Govt. by direct, veiled and atrocious measures. But those Journalists who pander to Govt.’s interests are allowed to write all the lies.
Is the Govt. trying to demonstrate that only Journalists who fawn on the Govt. and fabricate stories in favor of the Govt. can survive? he asked.
It is high time Journalists and political parties unite against the Govt.’s fascist, dastardly and despotic trends, Mr. Dissanayake emphasized.
Is the Govt. trying to underscore its fascist trends or become a laughing stock in the eyes of all?
lankaenews.com E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Destroying all constructions of Tamil cultural values in Kilinochchi Dt & replacing them with Buddhist temples,statues/monuments for Sinhala soldiers!
Government destroying Tamil culture in Kilinochchi – Suresh Premachandran
2009-09-06 | 12.05 PM
Jaffna District parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran says the Mahinda Rajapakse government after claiming the displaced people in the north and east could not be resettled in their hometown due to landmine threats is in the process of destroying all constructions with Tamil cultural value in the Kilinochchi District and replacing them with Buddhist temples, statues and monuments for dead soldiers.
Premachandran said that all constructions on the 150 yard stretch between Omanthai and Palali on the A9 have been destroyed by the government and that a massive Buddhist temple is being built in Elephant Pass to indicate the invasion of Buddhism in the area.
The cultural hall, the Hindu Council building, the Palmyra handicraft shop and several other buildings of Tamil cultural importance in Kilinochchi have been destroyed by the government.
The parliamentarian also said that since the Tamil people would rise against the destruction of their culture if resettled in these areas, the government is considering the non resettlement of the displaced people in their hometowns.
He said the area between the Ponnambalam Hospital where the Kandasamy kovil is situated and Karadipottu has been marked as a military complex and a high security zone.
The parliamentarian further observed that landmines have not posed a problem to the government in taking these steps although it has been used as a convenient excuse as the reason for not resettling the displaced people in their hometowns.
......... Lanka News Web.com
Tamil IDP's Lands of EP that have been cleared of landmines by the UNDP have been given to those affiliated to Sinhala Govt for business purposes!!
De-mined lands given to those affiliated to government – Mano Ganeshan
2009-09-06 | 3.15 PM
Parliamentarian Mano Ganeshan says the lands in the Batticaloa District in the East that have been cleared of landmines by the United Nations Development Programme have been given to those affiliated to the government for business purposes.
According to the UN, lands de-mined under the organization’s programme cannot be used for any other purpose other than to resettle the displaced people. The UN has said that by mid 2009, it had completed de-mining in a land mass of 375 square kilometers.
Mano Ganeshan said that since the government cannot be engaged in a mass scale land grab in the north and east if the displaced people were resettled in those areas, it was not interested in resettling the displaced.
fredag 4. september 2009
IF GOD IS FOR US, WHO CAN BE AGAINST US? DEDICATE 1st SUNDAY OF EVERY MONTH WITH ALL DAY PRAYERS AND 24 HR FASTING FOR OUR OPPRESSED PEOPLE..!!!
Rajes Yasmin William
கடவுள் இருக்கின்றார், தமிழன் கண்ணுக்கு தெரிகின்றதா?
Kadavul irukindraar, athu Thamilan, kannuku theiriekindretha?
A GLIMPSE OF OUR CREATOR!
God is from everlasting to everlasting. Another way to say it
'From the vanishing point To the vanishing point'.
The three tenses, yesterday, today and tomorrow refer to our time.
Like we wait for the sun to move from east to west,
the relation of 'after' to 'before' is what gives us our idea of time.
But God is not compelled so to wait.
For Him every thing that will happen has already happened.
He has already lived all our tomorrows as He has lived all our yesterdays.
That God appears at time's beginning is not too difficult to comprehend.
But that He appears at the beginning and end of time simultaneously,
is not so easy to grasp. Yet it is true!
Everything beyond creation and towards infinity,
every thing is one view for GOD.
GOD sees the end and beginning in one view. Isaiah 46:9-10
இறைவனுக்கு எல்லாம் ஒரு காட்சி!
FOR GOD, TIME DOES NOT PASS, IT REMAINS.
GOD NEVER HURRIES.
THERE ARE NO DEADLINES AGAINST WHICH HE MUST WORK.
DEADLINES ARE FOR US
61 YEARS AGO WHEN OUR OPPRESSION YEARS STARTED,
IT ENDED SIMULTANEOUSLY IN HEAVEN.
THAT IS TO SAY,
GOD ALREADY KNOWS THE DAY OF OUR DELIVERANCE!
OUR DELIVERANCE DAY IS ALREADY SET IN HEAVEN!
THE DYNAMITE FASTING PRAYERS WE PLACE ALL OVER CEYLON,
IS / WAS THE DECIDING FACTOR.
அனைத்துலக ஒருங்கிணைந்த தமிழ் நெஞ்சங்களே!
Dearest United Tamil Nation!
WE HEARD TAMIL IN 'THE OSCARS' THIS YEAR,
AND THAT WAS NONE OTHER THAN,
"எல்லா புகழும் இறைவனுக்கே!"
Ella puhelum Iraiwanukkei.
TODAY, GOD IS CLOSE TO THE TAMILS!
LET US GRAB HIM WHILE HE IS NEAR Isaiah 55:6
THE WHOLE WORLD MIGHT BE AGAINST US NOW.
BE ASSURED, GOD IS WITH US!
AND IF GOD IS FOR US, WHO CAN BE AGAINST US? Romans 8:31
THE 1st SUNDAY OF EVERY MONTH
WITH ALL DAY PRAYERS AND 24 HR FASTING
FOR THE DELIVERANCE OF OUR OPPRESSED PEOPLE.
Next: This Sunday the 6th of September 2009
Please refrain from taking food and beverages except water for 24 hours.
Please consider the need of the hour and avoid
all unnecessary and lavish celebrations,
till our oppressed people see the break of dawn. PLEASE!.
For unto whomsoever much is given,
of him much more will be asked. Luke 12:48
In Melbourne – An Ecumenical service. At St Paul's Missionary College.
No 9 Nortans Lane, Wantirna South. Melway 72 A3. All day fasting
prayer from 8am to 6pm including Jesus Novena for the deliverance of
all Tamils in Ceylon, with lasting peace and prosperous life.
onsdag 2. september 2009
U.S. voices "grave concern" about controversial video
UNITED NATIONS, Sept 2 (Reuters) - The United States voiced grave concern on Wednesday about video footage that a Sri Lankan group says shows government soldiers summarily executing Tamil rebels in violation of international law.
"These reports are very disturbing, they are of grave concern," U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice told reporters. "We'd like more information as we formulate our own national response."
Rice was reacting to video footage aired last week on British television which, according to a Sri Lankan advocacy group, shows government forces executing unarmed, naked, bound and blindfolded Tamils during the army's final assault to smash Tamil Tiger rebels earlier this year.
The Sri Lankan government has dismissed the video as fake.
Rice, who holds the rotating presidency of the U.N. Security Council during the month of September, said it was not yet clear whether the council would take up the issue.
"I'm not aware of a council member proposing that this be discussed on the council agenda but obviously these reports are very fresh and that could change," she said.
Previous attempts to formally raise the issue of Sri Lanka's conduct during the final months of its 25-year war against the Tamil Tiger rebels met resistance from Russia and China, who opposed official council discussion of an issue they said was an internal matter for the Sri Lankan government.
tirsdag 1. september 2009
REPUTATION OF MR & SRILANKA IS AT STAKE! Sinhala Buddhist majority now stand in the dock of international public opinion accused of heinous crimes.!!!
"THE REPUTATION OF OUR COUNTRY IS AT STAKE"
– A Statement by the Former Foreing Minister Mangala Samaraweera
2009-09-01 | 12.45 PM
The battered international image of our country has been dealt another severe blow with the airing by Channel 4 in the UK of a video clip implicating the Sri Lankan government of extra judicial executions. Subsequently, this horrendous video clip was picked up by other mainstream international channels and many other leading international newspapers also gave this shameful news item extensive coverage.
The accusations raised against the Sri Lankan Government over the last several months of “human rights violations, war crimes and crimes against humanity” are all at play in this single video clip. and the demand for an independent international investigation has again gathered momentum as a result.
The UN Special Rappoteur on Extra- Judicial, Summary and Arbitrary Executions, Mr. Philip Alston has already said that it is the government’s responsibility to set up an independent investigation to probe into the authenticity of this video clip.
Under these circumstances, when the reputation of Sri Lanka is at stake, it is imperative that the government acts in a credible and mature manner in meeting the serious allegations. Instead, the Sri Lankan High Commissioner in London says that the video clip is “doctored” while the Foreign Secretary along with the state run media has attacked everyone who raised their concerns about this gruesome video clip and are as usual talking about an international conspiracy to tarnish the image of our country. If this is so, an opportunity has arisen for the government to prove to the whole world the veracity of its conspiracy theory.
It is a well-known fact that video clips can be doctored using sophisticated digital
equipment. However there are Forensic Video Tape Experts who can issue an authenticity certificate of videotapes, which are recognized in civil, and criminal litigation cases internationally. These forensic experts can also provide tape-tampering analysis of suspect video clips. Armed with such certificates, the Sri Lankan Government must then proceed to initiate legal action against Channel 4 and the other media institutions for airing a video clip that by proxy has damaged the image of the Sri Lankan people.
This is the time for the government to take the “bull by the horns” and prove its credibility to the world once and for all. It is not only the credibility of the Rajapakse regime, which is at stake, but the very reputation of our country is also at stake. Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans (especially the Sinhala Buddhist majority) now stand in the dock of international public opinion accused of heinous crimes. If we miss this opportunity, we will providing ample grounds for further suspicion and accusation on “human rights violations, war crimes and crimes against humanity” will be taken more seriously than ever before.
Tape authentication and initiating legal action in international courts may be a costly exercise but whatever money the government spends on clearing the name of our noble “dhammadeepa” will be money well spent.
Lanka News Web.com