Peace for the World

Peace for the World
First democratic leader of Justice the Godfather of the Sri Lankan Tamil Struggle: Honourable Samuel James Veluppillai Chelvanayakam

Friday, July 30, 2010

UN war-crimes advisory panel on Sri Lanka meets in New York

Inner City Press
Sri Lanka Panel Holds 1st Meeting in NYC, "Doesn't Need UN Permission" for Colombo Visit, of Darusman Fees and Sea Bass
By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, July 19 -- The UN Panel on Accountability in Sri Lanka began to meet on July 19, Inner City Press can report. This starts the four month time line for them to produce a report, at least on the compliance of Sri Lanka's “Lessons Learnt” panel with international standards for inquiries into war crimes.
At 1:30 pm on July 19, panel members Marzuki Darusman, Yasmin Sooka and Steven Ratner met in the UN's North Lawn building. At that moment, at latest, the four month clock began.
Along with chit chatting about what hotels they are staying in and where to go to dinner, Ratner noted that since UN Spokesman Martin Nesirky said it would be up to the panel whether to seek to visit Sri Lanka, “we don't have to ask the UN's permission.”
The Rajapaksa government has already said it will deny visas, which Darusman called “unfortunate.”
As Inner City Press has previously reported, and has now further confirmed with colleagues in Colombo, Sri Lankan government sources are pitching the tale of Darusman bickering about fees for his prior position on a Sri Lankan panel when it disbanded.
While the motives of such pitches are clear, less clear is why the Ban Ki-moon administration or one of its advisers would have given the Rajapaksas such an easy issue to work with. We will have more on this.
On July 19, Darusman said he was just in from Jakarta. Ratner, in from Ann Arbor, Michigan, noted that the UN listed hotels, that the UN will pay for, don't in fact have a UN rate. The Bentley, he said, is still not too expensive.
There was a discussion of the more expensive Millennium Hotel, and of meeting over dinner in the Italian restaurant across the street.

UN's Ban, Nambiar and Haysom, permission to travel to Sri Lanka not shown

It is Padre Figlio; inquiry by Inner City Press mid-day Monday found $86 Porterhouse steak on the menu. (In fairness, it is for two. A single portion of Chilean sea bass costs $32).
Having met with the Department of Political Affairs of Lynn Pascoe, the panel was set to meet with Nicholas “Fink” Haysom at 2 pm. They were then observed, at 3:17 p.m., leaving the UN campus and entering the DC-1 building, with the Millennium Hotel, at 3:20 pm. The four month time clock, and expense accounts, have begun. Expect a restaurant review.
* * *

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Twenty years on - riots that led to war.Black July '83 -

Twenty years on - riots that led to war

By Frances Harrison
BBC correspondent in Colombo  

Twenty years ago, this week, saw the outbreak of anti-Tamil riots in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo that changed the course of the nation's history
The riots, triggered by the killing of a group of soldiers in the Tamil north of the island, led directly to the outbreak of civil war.
Burnt out car on a Colombo street
The riots targeted Colombo's Tamil citizens

"In the lane there were about 50 to 75 people in a mob carrying all kinds of sticks and clubs and knives," recounts Shanthi Sachithanandam.
"They were shouting; it was like the sound of an ocean, a chilling sound" she says.
Shanthi got away in the nick of time while the mob banged on the car.
"Is there a Tamil inside? " they shouted.
Her husband Manoranjan spent the beginning of the riot discussing politics in an air-conditioned coffee shop blissfully unaware of the burning outside.
He tried to get home but the road was blocked by burning cars, so he sheltered with a Sinhalese friend who saved his life.
With a knife to his throat, the friend swore to the mob that there were no Tamils in his house.

Witnes of Sri Lanka Govt Warcrimes

Photo Evidence

Why the media silence on Sri Lanka's descent into dictatorship?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Family Consultant Nurses demand investigation into killing of fellow nurse in Veala’nai

[Tue, 13 Jul 2010, 13:10 GMT]

Protest by nurses in JaffnaHundreds of family consultant nurses, public health officers, midwives and other health service employees picketed Jaffna Public Health Service (PHS) office from Tuesday early morning and agitated demanding immediate investigation into the killing of Tharsika, a family consultant nurse, found hung inside Veala’nai government hospital Saturday morning. The agitators further demanded the immediate arrest of the Sinhala doctor alleged of killing Tharsika. Police was forced to arrest the Sinhala doctor who was transferred on the instruction of the Sri Lanka Army officials. The doctor, who was kept in the safety in Regional Health Service Director’s office in Jaffna, was produced in Oorkaavattu’rai courts Tuesday. Full story >>

Family Consultant Nurses demand investigation into killing of fellow nurse in Veala’nai

[TamilNet, Monday, 12 July 2010, 15:04 GMT]
More than a hundred Family Consultant Nurses employed in Jaffna peninsula participating in the funeral procession of fellow nurse alleged killed by a Sinhalese doctor in Veal’ani government hospital in the islets of Jaffna Saturday staged a protest demonstration at Kaithadi junction Monday for an hour demanding immediate inquiry into the killing of Saravanai Tharsika who was found hung with a rope inside the hospital, sources Jaffna said. The Judicial Medical Officer’s report rules out suicide in the above case and the Family Consultant Nurses have decided to abstain from duties from 7:00 a.m Tuesday until their demand is met, the sources added.

Family Consultant Nurses demand investigation

Meanwhile, the Sinhalese doctor alleged of killing Tharsika transferred to Changkaanai hospital to save him from being attacked by enraged Veala’nai people was again transferred to Manthikai government hospital in Point Pedro.

But he had to be taken to a secret place in Jafna town as the Family Consultant Nurses in Manthikai hospital had demonstrated against his posting.

Top government persons actively trying to protect the Sinhalese doctor are trying to get him transferred to Colombo, sources in Jaffna said.

The nurses had first paid their respects to the remains of Tharsika Monday at her residence in Kaithadi and later demonstrated at Kaithadi junction for an hour shouting slogans.

Family Consultant Nurses demand investigation

‘Arrest the suspect! Conduct immediate inquiry into the killing of Tharsika! Pay compensation to Tharsika’s family! Ensure security of Family Consultant Nurses!’ were some of the demands raised in the demonstration.

The nurses who had worked wearing black bands until noon Monday took off duty to pay their last respects to Tharsika’s remains in Kaithadi.

The nurses said that they will abstain from duties from 7:00 a.m Tuesday until their demands are met.

Family Consultant Nurses demand investigation


Sri Lankan minister ends UN hunger strike protes

Sri Lanka protesters lay siege to UN compound
The Star

Bharatha Mallawarachi July 06, 2010

Published On Tue Jul 06 2010

Sri Lankan protesters wave their national flags and burn an effigy  of U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon outside the U.N. office in  Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, July 6, 2010.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Protesters demand end to UN human rights investigation

Protesters demand end to UN human rights investigation

Protesters outside the UN headquarters in Sri Lanka are demanding the UN end investigations into alleged war crimes. The leader of the government-supported protests is staging a hunger-strike, saying he will fast until the UN changes its mind on Sri Lankan human rights.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon recalls Sri Lanka envoy
NEW 5 hours ago | South Asia
The UN secretary-general has recalled his envoy to Sri Lanka and is closing an office in Colombo because of "unruly protests"

U.N. recalling envoy, closing office in Sri Lanka.(CNN NEWS)

U.N. recalling envoy, closing office in Sri Lanka
By Iqbal Athas, CNN
July 8, 2010 1:22 p.m. EDTJuly 8, 2010 1:22 p.m. EDT

Wimal Weerawansa addresses the media amid calls for the    abolishment of the U.N. panel in Colombo on Wednesday.
Wimal Weerawansa addresses the media amid calls for the abolishment of the U.N. panel in Colombo on Wednesday.
  • NEW: Secretary-general issues a rare rebuke of a member state over protests
  • NEW: Ban Ki-moon denounces the protests as "unacceptable"
  • Construction minister launched a "fast unto death" to demand an end to the probe
Colombo, Sri Lanka (CNN) -- The U.N. secretary-general is recalling an envoy from Sri Lanka and closing a U.N. office there because authorities in that country "failed to prevent" protests disrupting the "normal functioning" of the world body's offices in Colombo, the nation's capital.
The move is a rare rebuke of a member U.N. state by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who on Thursday called the "unruly" demonstrations organized and led by a Cabinet minister "unacceptable."
Ban recalled U.N. Resident Coordinator Neil Buhne to New York for consultations and decided that the United Nations Development Program Regional Center in Colombo will be closed.
"The Secretary-General calls upon the government of Sri Lanka to live up to its responsibilities towards the United Nations as host country, so as to ensure continuation of the vital work of the organization to assist the people of Sri Lanka without any further hindrance," the United Nations said in a statement.
Wimal Weerawansa, the construction minister, began a "fast unto death" outside the United Nations compound in Colombo Thursday to demand that the organization stop its investigation into alleged war crimes.
He told reporters he would fast until Ban dissolves a panel made up of an Indonesian, a South African and an American.
Ban appointed the three-member panel to advise him on violation of human rights and related issues when Tamil Tiger rebels were militarily defeated in May last year. The move is prelude to a war crimes inquiry.
The United Nations has been concerned about accountability issues related to the rebels' defeat, including alleged war crimes by troops and rebels -- allegations that both parties deny.
"Ban's move is intended to bring President Mahinda Rajapaksa before a war crimes tribunal. We will not allow that to happen," Weerawansa told a news conference earlier in the week.
Nearly 100 Weerawansa supporters gathered Thursday morning outside the U.N. compound. The entrance to the complex was open, however, as some staff went about their work.
In New York, U.N. associate spokesman Farhan Haq said Ban's chief of staff, Vijay Nambiar, met with Sri Lanka's ambassador to the United Nations, Palitha Kohona, who gave "full and clear" assurances of U.N. staff safety and security.
He added that Weerawansa said U.N. staff would be allowed to move in and out of the compound.
"We trust that the government of Sri Lanka will honor the commitments made in ensuring the safety and security of our staff so that they can continue the vital work being carried out by the United Nations each day to help the people of Sri Lanka," Haq told reporters in New York.
The U.N. Country Team (UNCT) confirmed that essential staff will return to normal work starting Friday.
"However, as there are some indications of demonstrators remaining outside the compound, the UNCT will assess whether all staff could return soon," Haq said.
Opposition leader Ranil Wickremasing urged the government to make a statement on how a minister ended up staging demonstrations.
"Today, Sri Lanka is on the verge of being labelled as an international fugitive facing the risk of being hauled up before the International Criminal Court," Rajapaksa's one time foreign minister and now an opposition MP, Mangala Samaraweera, told parliament.
The two English morning national newspapers also criticized the move.
The Daily Mirror said in an editorial "after all this drama the government issued one of its silliest statements ever" justifying the siege as a "peaceful demonstration."
The Island newspaper said Weerawansa and his supporters "must be condemned unreservedly for their abortive bid to hold U.N. staff incommunicado."

U.N. appoints human rights panel for Sri Lanka

U.N. appoints human rights panel for Sri Lanka
By the CNN Wire Staff
June 22, 2010 1:50 p.m. EDTJune 22, 2010 1:50 p.m. EDTJune 22, 2010 1:50 p.m. EDT

(CNN) -- The United Nations secretary-general has appointed a panel of experts to probe human rights violations "during the final stages" of last year's civil war in Sri Lanka.
The three-member panel will advise Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the advancements of a commitment made by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa last year on human rights accountability in the country, a spokesperson for the secretary-general said.
The panel will study the international standards to human rights and apply them to accountability processes that can be used in Sri Lanka.
"It will be available as a resource to Sri Lankan authorities should they wish to avail themselves of its expertise in implementing the commitment," the spokesperson said in a statement.
A decades-long civil conflict in Sri Lanka ended last year.
The war, which pitted government forces against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE or Tamil Tigers) -- who were seeking an independent homeland in the country's north and east -- ended last May. More than 65,000 people died in the strife.
The U.N. has been concerned about accountability issues related to the military defeat of the rebels, including alleged "war crimes" by troops and rebels -- allegations both the government and the rebels deny.
"The secretary-general remains convinced that accountability is an essential foundation for durable peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka," the spokesperson said. "Through the panel the secretary-general expects to enable the United Nations to make a constructive contribution in this regard."
The members of the panel are Marzuki Darusman of Indonesia, Yasmin Sooka of South Africa and Steven Ratner of the United States.