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, November 26, 2010

Democratic leader of Justice for Tamil Struggle: HonourableDr. Vickramabahu Karunarathne Right of self - determination of Ilankai (SriLanka)Tamils by

Right of self - determination of Ilankai (SriLanka)Tamils

by Dr. Vickramabahu Karunarathne

Right of self - determination of Ilankai Tamils

The right of self determination of Tamil speaking people is a foremost issue in modern Lankan society.

Though it is related to the Tamil vs. Sinhala conflicts narrated in various chronicles, the present form arises out of the inability to construct a democratic, plural, civil society. Though Sri Lanka (the Sinhala equivalent of Ilankai) is considered a nation by the United Nations Organization, Sri Lankan nationality is yet to be recognized by the masses here.

Full story

Monday, November 22, 2010

Bahu calls Tamils in remembrence day to join and fight together

Mahaveera Naal

(Speech by General Secretary of the Nava Sama Samaja Party (NSSP) Comrade Vickramabahu Karunaratne at the Tamil Remembrance Day 2010 in London)

Tamils were killed by successive Sinhala chauvinist governments and at last but not the least by the Mahinda regime.
Not only Tamils but also thousands of Sinhala youth who were sent for aggression in the Tamil home land.a They attacked Tamils died in an alien land.
The misery created among the Sinhalese will also be shown its reaction in future. It is an irony of history that Sarath Fonseka who was selected to carry out this butchery against Tamils is also suffering in jail with Tamil political prisoners.

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) which pushed, promoted and campaigned for Mahinda to carry out this war is now beaten up by the same regime that came to power with the aid of the JVP. They are harassed, beaten up and put in jail. They too are compelled to fight against the same regime they set up.
In this moment of sorrow let me mention some names.
Mahendran Nadesan was a member of my party for a long time and I was a witness to his marriage. Two days before being killed, he told me that he is not going to give up. He is no more.
Kumar Ponnampalam, whom I met when we were studying at Cambridge, came to my defence whenever I was hounded by the Sinhala governments. He also gave his life.
So was Raviraj. He campaigned with us in the south against the atrocities against Tamils.
Joseph Pararajasingham who stood for Tamils was with me in campaigns in Canada.
All their lives were taken by the state.

Twenty four members of my party including D.M.Chandawimala and A.K.Annamalai gave their life for self determination and autonomy. Over a 1000 Sinhala Socialists and Social Democrats were killed by the Sinhala chauvinist JVP.
This is a struggle for all of us. Not only for Tamils but also for Sinhalese who value democracy.
Yes, we have gone through defeat. Now, we have to get up and fight to overthrow this chauvinist militaristic regime to have democracy in the land.
Only then can we really bring justice to the country. Then only can we punish those who committed war crimes.
On behalf of the Social Democratic forces and the NSSP we have agreed to work with the British Tamil Forum (BTF) to bring democracy to our country.
In order to do that we are going to campaign to re establish civil administration and the civil society in the NorthEast, for the release of political prisoners and to find what happened to the disappeared.

Things are difficult at the moment but things are changing.
It is a military government in the North East at the moment. There is no civil society and no elected Tamil members of parliament are allowed there.
However, we have had a campaign for the disappeared and political prisoners in Vavunia where over 1000 participated. We definitely can build on that.

More and more are joining us and let us get together from today to fight for democracy and freedom in Lanka.

Nava Sama Samaja Party comes to an agreement with the British Tamil Forum

Bahu's London Tour - South Harrow meeting(Text of full speach given by comrade Vickramabahu Karunaratne in a public meeting held in South Harrow on the 25th of November organised by the British Tamil Forum.)

In the war Mahinda devastated the Vanni and killed over 70,000 people. In fact it could be 100,000.

Although he claimed that it was a victory over the Tamil armed struggle, he concealed the conditions that gave rise to the rebellion
The armed struggle is not the beginning but the result of many years of oppression.
Government said 360,000 were living in the Vanni area at the start of the war. At the End of war 276,000 was encamped as refugees. Even a primary school child understands that nearly 100,000 were killed in between.
In addition 89,000 widows were found as war victims. It confirms the above figure.
Tamil tigers were ferocious. However, they constituted a movement for liberation.
A lie spread by government is that the LTTE never wanted a solution.
LTTE said that it agrees to internal self determination as a united solution. They produced the document Interim Self Government Authority (ISGA). In that they showed their willingness to come to a solution in a united country.
It is tragic that it was never translated by the Sri Lankan government to Sinhala. They dismissed it without any negotiations.
Next occasion was after the tsunami. LTTE proposed to work together and signed the proposal.
But Mahinda Rajapaksa went to courts. Courts ordered to make a small amendment to the legislation. But the government claimed that the courts made it illegal.
In this manner they found a reason to carry on a genocidal attack.
President Mahinda says there will be prosperity and government takes massive loans. As far as the north is concerned they are already aware that this type of development does not work. On the other hand the south has begun to understand what a folly they have committed by bringing him to power.
Global masters are demanding that they should be allowed to rob the resources and labour of the country. India is behind Mahinda. Mahinda declared that he is fighting India’s war. Mahinda is India’s puppet today.
He survives because of the support of India and other global powers.
He has carried out IMF directives and made massive cuts in welfare. Compared to the inflation the pay rise given by the budget is a drop in the ocean. Free education is axed. Students are protesting.
The governments’ plan to land sea planes in the Negombo lagoon was opposed and stopped by the masses. Workers, even those who supported Mahinda are protesting. Estate workers are in unrest due to the price of flour and due to the general misery.
Development projects are not going to help masses. Therefore the government is forced to attack those who rise up against these policies.
Military regime is continuing in the north eastern Tamil homeland. No civil administration in the north. Not even GA is allowed to act as a civil servant. He is under the military rule. Why cannot elected members be given responsibility if there is no LTTE?
In the South state terror is used against students, fisherman, monks, and of course workers who are against government’s bankrupt policy.
So it is clear that the Mahinda regime not powerful. It was powerful earlier due to mesmerising the masses by the victory against Tamils.
The General who was sent for organising the butchery has been declared the enemy of the regime.
During the war we were told that the tender procedure was not necessary. Now he is accused of not going according to procedure. He was convicted but It is not judicial and not an open court decision, it was an institutional decision.
In a Democracy court hearings should be made public. The JVP that pushed, promoted and directed Mahinda to war, is also being attacked.
The Sinhala Chauvinist state is collapsing not only economically but also ideologically. It is shaking.
TNA believes that India will persuade Lankan regime to give devolution; for an extended 13 amendment. If that is attempted the Mahinda’s chauvinist base will crack. They will go away. He can't do the bidding of the masters.
It is foolish think that a racist ruler will turn around to deliver devolution. On the other hand
in order to carry on with the global economic agenda he has to hold to the Sinhala chauvinisms.
One country one nation!
He is calling for Tamils with money to come and join him. What will happen to KP when the money is taken? He is a prisoner in golden shackles. Mahinda's Lanka has only place for plunderers, robbers and traitors. I don't think that anyone should be frightened as the government is in crisis. So we need to start fighting back.
UNP is in crisis as the government has taken up their agenda. After Mullivaikkal when many were killed, we were sad. There were deaths in the south too. But Ranil Wickremasinghe joined Mahinda for celebrations.
The genocidal war has overnight become a reason to celebrate for the UNP. Even in the formal sense it is not an occasion to celebrate. Did they do the same thing in the South when JVP was crushed? Then Mahinda was with us complaining world over. This shows an ethical and moral disaster.
Communist Party leaders are breaking away. Lanka Sama Samaja Party central committee members are breaking away. In the mean time, Sajith Premadasa wants to be a UNP Mahinda. Others who are opposed to this and want a social democracy are forming an alliance. The new social democratic alliance is built on two principals.
1. Against global capitalism
2. Voluntary National integration that includes autonomy
The Tamil diaspora should get involved in building the opposition. It is not the end of the world. The Tamil homeland can be reclaimed by fighting together. There are sections in the Sinhala society, particularly the workers who are prepared to fight together.
I came to an agreement with the British Tamil Forum (BTF) to fight together to for democracy.
We need a civil administration in the North to break down the military rule. The TNA is elected by the people. They should be allowed to participate in rehabilitation. Local government members, civil administrators should be empowered.
In addition we can work on disappearances and the release of political prisoners. Sinhala majority thinking is changing in respect of the Tamil national question. I appeal to unite with equality and autonomy while respecting right of self determination.
The enemy is dangerous with high tech military repressive set up. We need to have a strategy that does not sacrifice people.
War crimes are already proven. Once the monstrous regime is overthrown we can bring punishment through public court action. Appealing to global organizations is foolish. They are party to the crime.
Social democrats agree to investigation on war crimes. Israel committed war crimes. What has the UN done? I can't see justice from organizations run by global capital. Let us fight together for justice , democracy and liberation.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

This is a struggle for all of us: Vikramabahu tells Heroes Day congregation

[Sun, 28 Nov 2010, 12:57 GMT]
Tamils were killed by successive Sinhala chauvinistic governments and at last but not the least by the Mahinda regime. Not only Tamils but also thousands of Sinhala youth who were sent for aggression in the Tamil homeland and attack Tamils died in an alien land. The misery created among the Sinhalese will also show its reaction in future. This is a struggle for all of us. Yes, we have gone through defeat. Now we have to get up and fight to overthrow this chauvinistic military regime to have democracy in the land, said Dr. Vikramabahu Karunaratne, Secretary of the Nava Sama Samaja Party (NSSP), who was a star speaker at the Maaveerar (Heroes) Day gathering in London, Saturday. The event attended by more than 50, 000 diaspora Tamils paid homage to the heroes who laid down their lives fighting for the liberation of Tamil Eelam. Full story >>

'War criminal' gets a UN job

Last Updated: 11:42 AM, November 21, 2010

Posted: 1:25 AM, November 21, 2010

A suspected war criminal who allegedly played a key role in the slaughter of 40,000 civilians in Sri Lanka has landed a cushy job at the United Nations -- with full diplomatic immunity.

Human-rights groups are outraged that Shavendra Silva, 46, a top ex-military commander, was named Sri Lanka's deputy permanent UN representative in August, after which he moved to New York.

His arrival came a year after his troops defied international pleas and shelled a no-fire zone packed with women, children and elderly refugees, according to observers.

Silva also stands accused of mowing down a group of separatist political leaders who agreed to surrender and were waving white flags when they were shot.

DIPLOMANIAC: Ex-Sri Lanka commander Shavendra Silva is suspected of war atrocities, but a current UN gig gives him immunity.
AFP/Getty Images
DIPLOMANIAC: Ex-Sri Lanka commander Shavendra Silva is suspected of war atrocities, but a current UN gig gives him immunity.

"It's a slap in the face," said an investigator familiar with Silva, who last year oversaw the final months of a brutal 26-year civil war against Tamil separatists on the island nation off India's southeastern tip.

The war started in 1983 after the Tamils, a Hindu ethnic minority, were denied power by the ruling Sinhalese, Buddhists, and formed a violent resistance group, the Tamil Tigers.

"Thousands were killed or starved. There were massive human-rights violations and he's the No. 1 suspect," said the investigator, a human-rights group expert who asked not to be identified.

"And they send this guy here? There's no one other than him in the mission who was involved in this."

Silva claims 11,000 friends on Facebook. The barrel-chested former major general also maintains his own site,, filled with photos of himself in combat garb and a list of his battlefield successes.

He works from an office at the Sri Lankan mission on Third Avenue.

Read more:

Inner City Press

On Sri Lanka, UN Can't Confirm Will Talk to White Flag Silva, Or Report Will Be Public

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 22 -- Will the Sri Lanka accountability panel of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon even ask to interview General Shavendra Silva, now posted in New York as the country's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN?

Inner City Press put this question to Ban's acting Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq on November 22, the day after a widely circulated article “'War Criminal' Gets a UN Job.”

On Sri Lanka, UN Can't Confirm Will Talk to White Flag Silva, Or Report Will Be Public

UN post confers no absolute immunity from war crimes prosecution

[Fri, 26 Nov 2010, 00:04 GMT]
Shavendra Silva, alleged War Criminal holding UN post
Under the terms of the United Nations Charter, UN Officials only have “functional” immunity, immunity ratione materiae which confers immunities on those performing acts of state (duties). War crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide are not incidental to the duties of a UN accredited diplomat, and therefore, Shavendra Silva, Sri Lanka's official at the UN in New York, can be prosecuted under the 18 USC 2441 of US criminal code for allegedly committing war crimes outside the US. Legal sources also said that the UN Headquarters Agreement on UN officials' Privileges and Immunities concluded with respect to the UN Charter arguably confers functional immunity only as well. Full story >>

genocide 4

genocide 4: "Photos by ram, Apr 14, 2009"

Saturday, November 20, 2010

British Tamil journalist arrested in Sri Lanka

[TamilNet, Friday, 19 November 2010, 13:32 GMT]
TamilNetSri Lanka State Intelligence officers arrested a London based Tamil journalist Wednesday at the Colombo Airport, while the journalist was on his way to visit his family, Journalist for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS), a dissident exciled journalist group that first released the Channel-4 execution video said in an urgent alert.

A British passport holder, Karthigesu Thirulogasundar, 37, was arrested by the officers attached to Sri Lankan state intelligence agency and currently being held in an undisclosed location. Thirulogasundar was previously attached to London based popular TV channels Deepam TV and GTV.

He is currently working as a full time journalist for London based radio station, IBC, the news alert said.

Thirulogasundar was visiting Sri Lanka, hoping to see his aging mother who is seriously ill.

Colombo censors Tamil Nadu magazines, articles

[TamilNet, Sunday, 21 November 2010, 08:12 GMT]
Sri Lanka government continues to censor articles related to the Eezham Tamil national cause or the State terrorism in Sri Lanka appearing in magazines, books and other written literature coming into the island from foreign countries, particularly the Tamil Nadu state of India. Both Tamil and English works are subjected to the censorship. An article written by the news reporter of Anantha Vikadan, a Tamil weekly magazine published in Tamil Nadu, in its last issue had been torn off from all the imported copies and the title of the article on the cover rendered illegible.

Colombo censors Tamil Nadu magazines
The traders dealing books and magazines complain that they have been forced to sell the censored copies to the public.

Anantha Vikadan has more than a million readers in the island.

In the meantime, a UK based Tamil journalist, Karthigesu Thirulogasundar, 37, who was visiting his seriously ill mother, was arrested by Sri Lankan intelligence last Wednesday. . Full story >>

Related Articles:
19.11.10 British Tamil journalist arrested in Sri Lanka

UN must produce a Congo-type war crimes report on Sri Lanka, says Prof. Boyle

[Fri, 19 Nov 2010, 05:12 GMT]

TamilNetReviewing the recently released 550-page United Nations Report of the Mapping Exercise Documenting the Most Serious Violations of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Committed Within the Territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), an artilce in the American Society of International Law (ASIL) said, "[t]he 550-page report detailing killings, rapes, destruction, and other violent attacks is alarming, not least because similar crimes continue to be committed in the DRC, where impunity still reigns large." Professor Boyle of Illinois College of Law, an expert in international law, commenting on the UN report said, "Tamils worldwide must demand the same “UN Mapping Report” of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed by the Government of Sri Lanka against the Tamils." Full story >>

Quiet diplomacy’ does not work with Sri Lanka – Tissainayagam

US Senators call for Independent International Investigations

[Thu, 18 Nov 2010, 03:01 GMT]
Economic aid should be linked to press freedom in Sri Lanka, veteran Tamil journalist J. S. Tissainayagam, who was released from government custody by international pressure earlier this year, said Wednesday. In his first interview since his release, Mr. Tissainayagam rejected arguments that ‘quiet diplomacy’ would achieve better conduct from President Mahinda Rajapakse regime, and said “the more pressure that is put publicly, the more the government is willing to act”. He linked his own release directly to the government’s then efforts to retain the EU’s GSP+ trade concessions. Tissainayagam is currently a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University Journalism School in Boston. Full story >>

Tissainayagam speaks at 2010 Mackler Award ceremony

Tissainayagam speaks at 2010 Mackler Award ceremony

[TamilNet, Saturday, 23 October 2010, 02:31 GMT]
2009 recipient of the prestigious Peter Mackler Award, Tamil journalist J.S. Tissainayagma, who was incarcerated in Sri Lanka prison for his writing, and was unable to receive the award in 2009, spoke at the 2010 Award ceremony held Friday at 6:00 p.m. at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. Tissainayagam was announced as the Award's first recipient on August 31, 2009, the same day he was convicted on terrorism charges relating to his work as a journalist. 2010 Mackler award winner is a 24-year old Russian, Ilya Barabanov, the deputy editor of the New Times, an opposition magazine in Russia.

J.S. Tissainayagam
J.S. Tissainayagam
Tissainayagam and his wife Ronnate arrived in the U.S. in August 2010, and Tissainayagam is currently a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University Journalism School in Boston.

Tissainayagam praised Barabanov's work in Russia, and said that while Russia and Sri Lanka are countries with different culture and people, the threats journalists face in both countries are similar. He added that fellow journalists in countries outside authoritarian regimes are the main hope to keep the pressure on these governments spotlighting the dangers journalists face in those countries.

Tissainayagam added that the decreasing emphasis in investigative journalism in the U.S. and in other western countries due to the shortage of funds and support resources is a major concern for journalists. He cautioned that with focus mainly on countries where there is on-going war with the US, coverage of events in remote parts of the world will not receive the attention they deserve to the detriment of journalists living and working in these countries.

Barabanov addressed the gathering in Russian with a live English translator.

Ilya Barabanov is deputy editor of Novoye Vremya (New Times) which has been the target of an attempted illegal search and a lawsuit by the Russian government. Barabanov, 24, has decried the aborted search & seizure of The New Times editorial offices. He charged that the search, carried out in connection with a case filed against the news weekly by the Russian interior minister’s OMON security forces, violated Articles 41 and 49 of the Russian Media Law.Full story >>

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

BBC HARD talk - Democracy Sri Lankan-Style: June 2010 2 of 3

Friday, November 19, 2010

Burma must 'take more positive measures'

Genocide History Repeating NOW in Sri Lanka by the Government against Tamil civilians

Submissions and debates on 18th Amendment

Submissions and debates on 18th Amendment from Centre for Policy Alternatives on Vimeo.

by Centre for Policy Alternatives

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Rajapaksa’s new powers are unnecessary and dangerous, says Economist

Sri Lanka's constitutional amendment

Eighteenth time unlucky

Mahinda Rajapaksa’s new powers are unnecessary and dangerous

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A majestic moment for an ever more powerful ruler

Beating the drum

A majestic moment for an ever more powerful ruler

Quite the reverse. Earlier plans for more regional power have been scrapped and the government seems to be using the army to help shift more Sinhalese people into Tamil-dominated regions. Tamils are too fearful to resist. Neither they nor outsiders such as the United Nations are able to force a proper inquiry into growing evidence that in the last days of the war the army killed perhaps tens of thousands of Tamil soldiers and civilians. This week the government dismissed video footage of massacres, broadcast by Al Jazeera, as fake.
The president’s urbane brother, Basil Rajapaksa, is unabashed in claiming that in Sri Lanka an era of “ruler kings” has begun. Western ideas of transparency, he claims, along with limits on presidential power and accountability, are not relevant to “Asian culture”. Sri Lanka will keep its long-running state of emergency, and reforms to the voting system will make it harder for smaller parties.
As a thunderstorm unleashes an early monsoon downpour, the brother suggests that a ruler’s worth should be judged by a traditional standard. “When the king is good,” he says, “in time the rains come.”Among his many presents, the president should really have received a crown.
A majestic moment for an ever more powerful ruler

Attotage Prema Jayantha: Investigative Journalist - Sri Lanka

Honouring the unsung heroes of the fight against corruption

Integrity Awards winners 2010

Attotage Prema Jayantha: Investigative Journalist - Sri Lanka
Attotage Prema Jayantha is better known to Sri Lankans as Poddala Jayantha, his pen name during two decades of courageous investigative journalism.
Refusing to turn a blind eye to corruption, Jayantha dedicated his career to fearlessly exposing injustice in Sri Lanka’s health, education and transport sectors. One of his reports uncovered what some officials have called Sri Lanka’s biggest ever tax scam, involving the alleged misappropriation of RS 3.6 billion (US $37 million) in Value Added Tax.
Following numerous threats on his life, Jayantha was abducted by unidentified assailants in June 2009 and brutally beaten. He was left permanently disabled and now lives in exile. No arrests have been made and the case has since been dropped.Jayantha’s pursuit of the truth resonates with journalists in many parts of the world who encounter such challenges to their work.
Following numerous threats on his life, Jayantha was abducted by unidentified assailants in June 2009 and brutally beaten. He was left permanently disabled and now lives in exile. No arrests have been made and the case has since been dropped.Jayantha’s pursuit of the truth resonates with journalists in many parts of the world who encounter such challenges to their work.


Saturday, November 13, 2010 

groundviews is a Sri Lankan citizen journalism initiative

Excellence in exile

Battered and bleeding, journalist Poddala Jayantha lay on his hospital bed when we visited him on June 2, 2009. He was lucky to be alive after being brutally assaulted by a group of unidentified assailants just the previous day

Excellence in exile.

Al Jazeera spotlights Sri Lanka's alleged War Crimes

Photos allege S Lanka war massacre


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Al Jazeera spotlights Sri Lanka's alleged War Crimes

[Thu, 11 Nov 2010, 00:43 GMT]
Al Jazeera, the international news network headquartered in Qatar, published photographs Wednesday "showing graphic scenes, with dead bodies blindfolded, hands bound [and] shot through the head," that appear to provide further believable evidence of alleged massacre of Tamils during final stages of Sri Lanka's civil war. One of the photos shows a line of bodies, including what is believed to be the body of the son of Velupillai Prabhakaran, the leader of the rebel group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or Tamil Tigers, that was defeated in the civil war, the news network said. Full story >>

Sri Lanka: Crisis Group Refuses to Appear Before Flawed Commission

New York/London/Brussels | 14 Oct 2010

In a joint letter, the International Crisis Group, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have declined the invitation of Sri Lanka's Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) to appear before it. The Sri Lankan government is promoting the Commission as an independent mechanism for reconciliation and restorative justice after its decades-long civil war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), yet the Commission fails to meet basic standards and is fatally flawed in structure and practice.
Critically, there is no requirement that the Commission investigate the many credible allegations that both the government security forces and the LTTE committed war crimes during the final months of conflict last year, as detailed in Crisis Group's May 2010 report War Crimes in Sri Lanka.
In its two months of hearings to date, the Commission's members, many of them retired senior government employees, have made no attempt to question the government's version of events and have instead offered current officials a platform for continued misrepresentations of the facts.
These failings are reinforced by the absence of any provisions for the protection of witnesses to alleged crimes - a particularly crippling factor given that government officials have labeled as "traitors" Sri Lankans who have made claims or provided evidence of violations of international humanitarian law by government forces.
Appearing before Sri Lanka's LLRC under current circumstances could put witnesses at risk and lend legitimacy to a process that is neither a credible investigation nor an adequate or genuine process to address the decades of violence that Sri Lankans from all regions and communities have suffered. The growing authoritarianism of the government since the end of the war - exhibited most recently by the removal of presidential term limits and any remaining independence of commissions on human rights, police and elections - would make it difficult for even the best-intentioned commission of inquiry to make a meaningful contribution to political reconciliation or accountability now.
Crisis Group continues to call for an independent international inquiry as the only credible means to examine allegations of war crimes by government forces and the LTTE and urges the government of Sri Lanka to cooperate fully with the panel of experts appointed to advise the United Nations Secretary-General on issues of post-war accountability in Sri Lanka.
The full text of the joint letter follows.

Sri Lanka bishop accuses forces over missing priests

By Charles Haviland BBC News, Colombo

Tamil civilians in Kilinochchi (July 2010) during a visit by President Rajapaksa Many Tamils say their relatives are also missing
At least two Roman Catholic priests have gone missing in Sri Lanka in the past four years, the church says.
Kingsley Swampillai, the bishop of Trincomalee and Batticaloa, said one of the priests vanished after security forces took him in for questioning.
Bishop Swampillai and his colleagues were testifying before a commission looking into the country's civil war.

Amnesty International: Sri Lankan government must act now to protect 300,000 displaced

No development in Jaffna worthy of mention – German delegation

[TamilNet, Friday, 05 November 2010, 05:44 GMT]
TamilNetA delegation of German MPs led by Ms. Petra Ernstberger visited Jaffna accompanied by German Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Mr. Jens Ploetner and Mr. Guido Baumann, officer in charge of press affairs. Mr. Guido Bauman, at the end of the visit Thursday, told local press that the delegation saw no development worthy of mention in Jaffna. He added that the main intention of the delegation was to find out how the German tax payers’ money given as donation is being used in Jaffna peninsula. Mr. Holger Ortel, Mr. Jurgen Kilmke and Dr. Birgit Reinemund were the three German other parliamentarians besides Ms. Petra Ernstberger visiting Jaffna.

Rwandan genocide survivor helps rape victims in DR Congo

Women in the Democratic Republic of Congo protest against rape

Women in the Democratic Republic of Congo protest against mass rapes
Leah Chishugi is a survivor of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, who now works with victims of rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo, described by the UN as the "rape capital of the world".
She has just written an autobiography called A Long Way from Paradise.
First broadcast 4 November 2010

Witnes of Sri Lanka Govt Warcrimes

Photo Evidence

Sri Lanka prez calls off Britain trip fearing arrest/Rajapaksa fears arrest in UK: Times of India

LONDON: In an embarrassing turn of events, Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse has been forced to cancel his proposed visit to Britain following fears that he might be arrested for alleged war crimes under British law. Rajapakse's provisional engagements included an address to the Oxford Union, and it's learnt that certain Sri Lankan Tamil organisations were planning to move court for his arrest.

Asked to comment on the cancellation, the British foreign office said, "The president's plans have changed." Several phone calls to the Sri Lankan high commission fetched only silence.

Under the principle of universal jurisdiction, war crimes and crimes against humanity can be prosecuted in Britain even if they were not committed in the UK. The Global Tamil Forum has been at the forefront of the anti-Rajapakse campaign here.

In October 1998, Scotland Yard had arrested former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in London for atrocities against Spanish citizens during his 17-year rule. Rajapakse's cancellation of his tour could well send out a message to Gujarat CM Narendra Modi, who has been targeted by human rights groups for allegedly violating religious freedom, a ground on which the US had denied him visa in August 2008. The revocation was slammed by New Delhi as "lacking in courtesy". Modi has been to UK post-Gujarat riots, in August 2003, but the British home office was criticised for allowing him visa.

Recently, human rights activists here obtained warrants to detain Israel's foreign, defence and intelligence ministers if they stepped on UK soil. Hearing this, they either abandoned their trip or landed at the city's Heathrow airport, but took the next flight back.

Sri Lankan foreign minister G L Peiris was despatched to reconnoitre last month. He was met with protests outside the International Institute of Strategic Studies, where he delivered a lecture. Tamil demonstrators displayed pictures of torture on LTTE cadres by the Sri Lankan army. Peiris claimed the photos were doctored.

When Peiris called on his British counterpart, William Hague, the Sri Lankan government was asked to carry out a credible and independent investigation into reported war crimes during its extended civil war with Tamil separatists, which ended last year. He was also advised that the Rajapakse government must demonstrate its unconditional commitment to democracy, human rights and media freedom.

Besides, the British foreign office is unhappy about what a source said was the controversial background of Prasanna Silva, a Sri Lankan army officer who is now the defence attache at the Sri Lankan high commission here.

Read more: Sri Lanka prez calls off Britain trip fearing arrest - The Times of India

Sri Lankan president opts out of UK visit after threat of arrest

Posted by Thavam
By Kim Sengupta and Andrew Buncombe
Saturday, 6 November 2010
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse was to have addressed the Oxford Union
The president of Sri Lanka has called off a visit to Britain after exiled Tamil groups announced that they would attempt to have him arrested over alleged war crimes.
The trip by Mahinda Rajapakse, which would have included an address to the Oxford Union, was aborted at short notice after Tamil activists said they would seek a warrant under the principle of universal jurisdiction which allows prosecution in this country for alleged human rights abuses committed abroad.
The Sri Lankan government maintained there had been a change of plan due to Mr Rajapakse's busy schedule and the Foreign Office in London said in a statement it "had no indication" that fears over being detained was the reason behind the cancellation.

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The foreign ministry in Colombo insisted that the visit has been "postponed" to a later date. This, in effect, would avert the embarrassment of an attempted arrest, as the British government is in the process of amending the universal jurisdiction law which had led to a number of foreign governments expressing concern.
The Israeli government announced, on the eve of a visit by British foreign secretary William Hague, that it was breaking off "strategic dialogue" with London after Israeli deputy prime minister Dan Meridor became the latest senior figure from the country to scrap plans to come to England because of concerns of legal action.
In the most high-profile case of universal jurisdiction, the former Chilean dictator, Augusto Pinochet, was arrested by Scotland Yard during a visit to the UK in 1998 over tortures and murder committed by his military junta when he was in power.
After a lengthy series of court cases, during which Baroness Thatcher and a number of former Tory ministers campaigned on behalf of Mr Pinochet, he was eventually freed by then Home Secretary, Jack Straw, on health grounds. Under the current law it is relatively easy for individuals and pressure groups to obtain an arrest warrant from a magistrates' court for war crimes suspects.
Under the changes being proposed by the government the Director of Public Prosecutions would become involved in the procedure to avoid "frivolous cases" being brought.
Universal jurisdiction, as it stands, precludes heads of state and current holders of office, from being charged. However this immunity is only active if the person allegedly responsible for these offences, is in this country on an official capacity and not on a private trip like the one that President Rajapakse was due to make. Mr Meridor's visit was cancelled for the same reason, but there is apprehension among some abroad that one may be vulnerable even during official visits because the law is not sufficiently clear.
Ariel Sharon, as Israeli premier, is said to have refused an invitation from Tony Blair in 2005 to visit the UK after an Israeli general, Doran Almog, stayed on board an El-Al plane at Heathrow rather than face arrest on an warrant obtained by Palestinian campaigners.
Mr Sharon is reported to have said: "The trouble is that I, like Major General Almog, also served [in the Israeli military] for many years. I, too, am a general. I have heard that the prisons in Britain are very tough. I wouldn't like to find myself in one."
The Sri Lankan government has expressed irritation at continuing criticism of the conduct of its forces during the final stages of the civil war when, according to the United Nations, more than 10,000 civilians were killed.
David Cameron has said that the Colombo government should allow an independent investigation into the deaths and this was repeated by Mr Hague to his Sri Lankan counterpart, GL Peiris, during a recent meeting in London.
Mr Rajapaksa, who was re-elected in the aftermath of the Tigers' defeat and whose party recently succeeded in passing legislation to lift terms limits that would have stopped him serving again, has always rejected calls for an independent inquiry.
He instead established his own inquiry, a move that was condemned by some activists and criticised by the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner, Navi Pillay.
Last night, Suren Surendiran, who is a London-based member of the Global Tamil Forum, said: "Until we get justice to our people living and perished under inhumane circumstances we shall not rest. Rajapaksa, his brothers and his cronies must go to bed every day worrying about their future whilst in power and beyond. There is a Tamil saying – 'King punishes immediately, God punishes eventually'."Posted by Thavam

Tamil identity and aspirations


Tamil identity and aspirations

Alfred Jeyaratnam Wilson with A. Joseph Chandrakanthan (August 1998)

Two nations, one island — the immanent dichotomy

Constructed for the administrative convenience of British colonial rulers, a unified Ceylon first came into being in 1833. Given that Tamils would always be the minority in such a state, there was a risk that their long-standing political and cultural autonomy could become threatened and undermined. Nevertheless, as the 19th century progressed, Tamils proved especially responsive to the educational opportunities provided by Christian missionaries from Britain and elsewhere. Combining as they did educational advantage with entrepreneurial flair, Tamils moved en masse not only into the colonial administration, but also into property and commercial enterprise in Colombo and the Western Province


Sri Lanka’s “Free” Medi

  • Media bosses who are nothing but political stooges dominate the “independent” press
The Sri Lankan media such as it is represented by The Editors Guild of Sri Lanka, The Newspaper Publishers Society and the Sri Lanka Press Institute, is so captive that they continue to be held – nay, to be servile and subservient to a government that has effectively wiped its feet on the so called independent press.
Oct 31 2010 / Comments Off / Read More »

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Demand US to provide war crimes evidence to UN Panel, urges Boyle

Demand US to provide war crimes evidence to UN Panel, urges Boyle

[Sat, 13 Nov 2010, 20:45 GMT]
Professor Francis A. Boyle, University of Illinois College of Law

Acting U.S. Secretary of State Larry Eagleburger publicly condemns Radovan Karadzic

Pointing to the recent news stories on UN Sri Lanka Advisory Panel's willingness to review incriminating photographic evidence of graphic scenes with dead bodies blindfolded, hands bound and shot through the head, exposing alleged war crimes of Sri Lanka soldiers, Professor Boyle of University of Illinois, College of Law, said: "there is some precedent here in what happened to Milosevic. The Americans have all the intelligence the Tamils need. Tamil activists have to figure out a strategy to get the US Government to act." Full story >>

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Argentina: a possible forum to prosecute war criminals

[Fri, 29 Oct 2010, 22:18 GMT]

Argentinian Judge, Maria Servini
In a notable reversal of roles Judge María Servini is taking steps, to litigate in Argentina's Courts, cases of torture, murder and disappearance of Franco's political opponents during Spain’s Civil War between 1936 and 1939. Such probes supported by universal jurisdiction, have long been exercised in Spain by the mercurial Judge Baltasar Garzón, whose case against Chilean General Augusto Pinochet in 1998 helped lead to the undoing of amnesties that had protected dictators. With Spain's judicial system imposing constraints on filing such cases, Argentina might become a suitable forum to bring charges against alleged war criminals in other parts of the world hiding behind the cover of diplomatic immunity, or by keeping UN silent using the support of other rights violator nations. Full story >>