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

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sri Lanka: In The Eye Of The Storm

By Ana Pararajasingham

When Sri Lanka’s brutal civil war ended last year it was noteworthy in several ways — including a rare if not unique example of a government defeating a long running insurgency and the related issue of China openly taking sides in a distant internal conflict. In fact it was China’s policy — which emerged in full light in 2008 — to back the government in its 25 year struggle with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) that enabled victory two years later.
After a US decision to stop selling arms to Sri Lanka  in 2007, Beijing quickly stepped into the breach, not only supplying arms and equipment but also invaluable diplomatic support. But this assistance, not surprisingly, has come at a price.
Colombo’s decision to boycott the Nobel Prize ceremony in Oslo is as political as the decision by Norway to award the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese dissident in the first place.  It was inevitable that Sri Lanka should be drawn into this contest given the crucial role played by China in helping Colombo annihilate the Tamil rebels.   Full Story>>> 

A government’s arrogance and a country’s plight

By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene
It appears to have gone unnoticed that the annexures to the report of the Advisory Panel to the United Nations Secretary General (UNSG) show that the engagement of the Sri Lanka Government with the Panel had gone far beyond the surreptitious visit of toplevel government officials to New York.
As must be recalled, this visit was first disclosed in this newspaper and denied until it was conceded much later by the Minister of External Affairs. Possibly this concession may have been prompted by the realization that this fact would have anyway come to light through the publication of the Panel report which could not have been prevented by threat, inducement or promise.
Unbelievable arrogance of government officials
But quite apart from this secretive visit, the annexures to the Panel report disclose lengthy submissions annexed under the covering letter of the Minister of External Affairs setting out the Government position. This is the same Panel which the Minister now condemns as being ‘legally, morally and substantially flawed’. If (hypothetically) the Panel had absolved the Government of all wrong doing, would the Minister have welcomed the report as being legally, morally and substantially correct? The answer to this hypothetical question is all too obvious.
So the truth is that the Government assumed that the UNSG, (quite possibly the most indecisive and faltering head of the United Nations that we have had in history), even if he had been bludgeoned into appointing the Panel, would not go so far as to publicly release the Panel report. It also assumed in an unbelievably arrogant manner, that the Panel itself would uncritically accept the Government’s ‘reconciliation’ and ‘restorative’ process.
 Full Story>>>

Diplomats, NGO talk on report Saturday, 30 April 2011 02:30 
Diplomats, representatives of diplomatic missions and Non-Governmental Organization representatives in Colombo met at the United States Ambassador’s residence to discuss the United Nations Secretary General’s Panel Report.
The meeting was reported to have been held at the invitation of US Ambassador Patricia A. Butenis on Thursday but the US Embassy refused to deny or confirm the meeting.
“As a matter of policy we don’t comment on the Ambassador’s meetings or what is discussed at these meetings,” a US Embassy Official told Daily Mirror.
National Peace Council Executive Director Jehan Perera confirmed that such a meeting had taken place on the invitation of Ms. Butenis.
“We discussed the Panel Report and how to make use of it as a constructive instrument for reconciliation instead of one of division and polarization,” he said.
Dr. Perera those who attended included Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu (Centre for Policy Alternatives), Sherine Xavier (Home for Human Rights), J.C. Weliamuna (Transparency International), Sudarshana Gunawardena (Rights Now) and Sunila Abeysekera
The diplomats were from India, Britain, the European Union, the Netherlands, France, Canada, Australia, UN Officials, Japan, Norway, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland and Italy.  (Dianne Silva) 
    Sri Lanka: Last Phase of Civil War at Mullivaikal: What happened really?
Guest Column- By Sivanendran
(There have been enquiries from friends as to why South Asia Analysis Group is focussing on the Sri Lankan War and the UN Report.  The answer is simple.  We need to know the truth and why the massacre of civilians in the last days of the war was allowed to happen. This is not to absolve the LTTE who were equally ruthless and unmindful of civilian casualties.  But we want to know why the world was a mute witness to this event?  What was the role of UN-the Security Council and -above all India? These are legitimate questions.)   Director
The events at Mullivaikal mark the climax of the civil war in Sri Lanka, the most vicious of the battles where the lives of poor civilians were totally ignored.
That the innocent civilians  got massacred in large numbers is not in doubt, but the orthodox story omits entirely the context in which this occurred.
What is most important to keep in mind is that Mullivaikal today has sadly become largely a political tool, an excuse for ethno-nationalists on all sides to let loose their most radical sentiments and score points with their supporters. In the 2009 massacre in reports, the background and responsibilities for the disaster in Mullivaikal were absent. Preferred was the simple explanation: a black and white event in which the Tamils the terrorists were solely to blame.
"Truth and reason are eternal," Thomas Jefferson wrote to Rev. Samuel Knox in 1810. "They have prevailed.  And they will eternally prevail . . ."   Full Story>>>

Friday, April 29, 2011

Sri Lanka plans criminal show of ‘reconciliation’ in Colombo, Jaffna on May 1

[TamilNet, Friday, 29 April 2011, 20:51 GMT]
In a cruel show of ‘reconciliation,’ Sri Lanka’s occupying military in full swing has gone to the houses of released LTTE cadres, family members of the captives and ‘resettled’ Eezham Tamils living in open prisons in north and east and intimidated them to participate in Mahinda Rajapaksa’s demonstration show in Colombo on 1 May, to oppose any international justice coming to the crimes committed against them. A fleet of buses are organized to herd the people from Vanni and Jaffna to Colombo, after warning them of dire consequences if they don’t come. Meanwhile, a group of thugs has been brought from the south for violent demonstrations in the locality of UN offices in Jaffna city on May 1.
In the first stage, a group of Tamil youth and their family members will be taken from Ki’linochchi to Colombo by the SLA in a fleet of 20 buses on Saturday.   The released Tamil youth are severely intimidated that they will be arrested again if they don’t come                Full story >>.

Sri Lanka war-crime alleged over killing of TECH Director

Weather Monitoring CenterSuhunan meeting the mayor of Lørenskog
Mr. Suhunan, lighting the traditional lamp at the opening ceremony of Tamil Eelam Weather Monitoring Centre in November 2005 in Ki'linochchi
Mr. Suhunan meeting the mayor of Lørenskog in Norway in 2005 [Photo: TECH Norway]
[Sat, 30 Apr 2011, 00:08 GMT]
Emerging evidence on Sri Lanka military targeting civilian leadership of Eezham Tamil development organizations at the end of Vanni war further reinforces the credible allegation that Sri Lanka's war crimes and crimes against humanity had genocidal intentions. C. Sivalingam Suhunan, alias Thilak, the executive director of TECH (The Economic Consultancy House), the flagship development NGO of the de-facto state of Tamil Eelam and a registered NGO in Sri Lanka, was one of the victims, according to a Senior official of TECH, who has identified Thilak's body in a recently leaked photograph taken by Sri Lankan soldiers. Mr. Suhunan had phoned his family last on 18 May, 2009 at 6:15 a.m. local time, informing that he was among a group of persons in civil clothes, going into Sri Lanka Army (SLA) controlled territory in Mullaiththeevu. Full story >>

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sivaram Dharmeratnam: A Journalist’s life

[TamilNet, Friday, 29 April 2005, 21:11 GMT]
Mark Whitaker, an associate professor of anthropology at the University of South Carolina, Aiken, U.S.A, is completing an intellectual biography of Dharmeratnam Sivaram’s life and work in a book entitled “Learning Politics from Sivaram.” Prof. Whitaker summarizes Sivaram’s life and work in this feature.

Sivaram Dharmeratnam, the well-known and controversial political analyst and a senior editor for, was born on August 11, 1959 in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka to Puvirajkirtha Dharmeratnam and Mahesvariammal. His was a prominent family with significant land holdings near Akkaraipattu, though his immediate family later lost much of their inherited wealth. Nicknamed “Kunchie” as a child, Sivaram was educated at St. Michael’s College in Batticaloa, and later at Pembroke and Aquinas Colleges in Colombo. He was accepted into the University of Peradeniya in 1982 but soon dropped out due to tensions associated with the first phases of Sri Lanka’s civil war         Related Story >>.

*JDSCelebrating Sivaram


Govt. 'covered up' Lasantha murder

The government did everything to cover up the murder of Lasantha Wickramatunge says the widow of the slain editor of Sunday Leader.
"I am satisfied that the government did everything possible to cover up his murder and prevent even a rudimentary police inquiry from proceeding," Sonali Samarasinghe Wickrematunge told BBC Sandeshaya 
Activists and journalists have been campaigning calling for investigations into Lasantha's murderFull Story>>>.  

*Journalists For Democracy in Sri Lanka

 Full Story>>>

Crime scene behind Sri Lanka Parliament
Mr. Sivaram's body was recovered in the high security zone behind the Sri Lankan parliament.

Murder sceneSivaram killedJournalist Sivaram murdered

[TamilNet, Friday, 29 April 2005, 02:37 GMT]
Sivaram killedThe body of abducted journalist Mr Dharmeratnam Sivaram was found with severe head injuries in Himbulala, a Sinhala suburb between Jayawardhenapura hospital and the Parliament building in Colombo Friday morning. The location is about 500 meters behind the parliamentary complex and lies inside a high security zone. Mr Sivaram, a senior editorial board member of TamilNet, was abducted Thursday evening around 10.30 PM by unidentified persons in front of the Bambalapitya Police Station in Colombo.                  Full Story   

Mr. Sivaram's body is being taken to hospital by the police


UN report: Lanka officials 'can be arrested' 29 April, 2011

 UN report: Lanka officials 'can be arrested'

Wijedasa Rajapakse, MP
Mr Rajapakse, PC, says the panel is illegal but the report carries strong authority
Senior Sri Lanka officials may be arrested and tried abroad as a result of the UN expert panel report on Sri Lanka, a legal expert said.
Wijedasa Rajapakshe, an opposition MP, said it is possible for interested parties abroad to seek a warrant to arrest visiting dignitaries as a result of the UN report.
Amnesty International said that Sri Lankan leaders can be charged while they are travelling abroad after the release of the report.
A number of senior Sri Lankan officials and ministers including Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa are citizens of the United States.
Government shelling
“Yes there is such a danger (of an arrest) but ultimately the action will be decided by diplomatic processes of those countires,” Mr Rajapakse, who was briefly a minister of the Rajapaksa administration, told BBC Sinhala service, Sandeshaya.
 Yes there is such a danger (of an arrest) but ultimately the action will be decided by diplomatic processes of those countires
Wijedasa Rajapakse, President’s Counsel
But he argues the appointment of the panel itself is illegal.
“Although it is illegal, it caries an authority as it was released by the UN Secretary General," said Mr Rajapakse, a President’s Counsel.
He says the UN secretary general has admitted that he has no authority to take any further action against Sri Lanka after he sent a detailed letter to Ban Ki-Moon.
“There can be no investigation into Sri Lanka without Sri Lanka's written consent as Sri Lanka is not party to the Rome Statute,” the United National Party MP said.
Gotabhaya Rajapaksa
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is a citizen of the United States
Tens of thousands of civilians died in the final phase of Sri Lanka's civil war - most of them killed in shelling by government forces, a UN panel says.
The panel also says Tamil Tiger rebels used civilians as human shields.
It wants an independent international investigation into "credible" reports of atrocities committed on both sides.
The secretary-general, said Mr Rajapakse, needs the approval of the Security Council if he needs to take any action against Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka's government has rejected the findings as 'flawed' and 'biased'. 


  ‘Solheim transforms from peace facilitator to facilitator of war crimes indictment escape’

Erik Solheim[TamilNet, Friday, 29 April 2011, 06:50 GMT]
Norway’s former peace facilitator to the island of Sri Lanka, Mr. Erik Solheim, speaking to Norwegian state owned media NRK (Dagsnytt 18) on Wednesday, argued against any immediate international investigation on the war crimes in the island and said that it is only correct and fair to expect the Sri Lankan authorities to domestically investigate the UN panel material. According to him, this is what the ‘broader international community’ including nearly all the Western countries want. Solheim defended Ban Ki Moon, as his situation is difficult, accused the Tigers for not listening to his surrender call since five months before the end of the war, and suggested a new principle for international law that since Tiger leaders are now eliminated, domestic handling should be given a chance than ‘one-sided’ international indictment of Sri Lankan state.

Erik Solheim speaking to NRK on Wednesday
Responding, the diaspora Tamil circles said that they were not surprised at such opinion and even practical course of action, as long as Ban Ki Moon and Vijay Nambiar of the UN, Robert Blake of the US State Department, Shiv Shankar Menon of the Indian establishment and Erik Solheim of Norway who were a party to all what had happened continue to deal with the outcome.

The diaspora Tamil circles also pointed out to a British Foreign Office statement Wednesday that had said nothing on international investigation but had vaguely called for independent and credible investigation without specifying who should conduct it.    Full Story...

Sri Lankan authorities ban Lanka eNews

New York, April 28, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned today Belarus's information ministry attempts to close down the opposition newspaper Narodnaya Volya and the independent newspaper Nasha Niva, and called on the ministry to stop its harassment of both publications

Full Story>>>


A Second Chance to Confront War Crimes in Sri Lanka

The Atlantic

The world failed to stop the government's killing of thousands of civilians, but a new UN report could finally bring a reckoning 

This week's report offers a second chance for the UN to uphold its own vaunted standards of accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka


*Sri Lanka website LankaeNews is suspended 

Shantha WijesooriyaA magistrate's court in Sri Lanka has suspended the operation of the pro-opposition LankaeNews website.
The court ordered the closure because a contempt case was still pending against journalist Shantha Wijesooriya, who has been remanded in custody until 12 May.
The case relates to an article about a magistrate, which was regarded as slanderous.
The court ordered Sri Lanka's telecoms regulator to suspend the website until court proceedings are over.
The website published three apologies before Mr Wijesooriya was arrested on Monday.                        Full Story>>>
On Sri Lanka, Ban Has Not Asked UN GA to Act, Web Shutdown Ignored Inner City Press  Full Story>>>   

The Report of the UN Panel of Experts Supports the Case for Genocide in Sri Lanka

Genocide started decades ago: Review, International Commission of Jurists, December 1983: ‘’The impact of the communal violence on the Tamils was shattering. ...
Anonymous | 29Apr11 | More

Security and justice units of the US government to question the Defence Secretary

The US Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice are to question Defence Secretary Nandasena Gotabhaya Rajapaksa who is currently visiting the US, diplomatic sources told Lanka News Web.

Sources said he would be questioned on the allegations leveled against him by the panel of experts appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on war crimes supposed to have been committed in the country.

Nandasena Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, who is a US citizen, has visited the US this time on his American passport.

Sources also said that human rights organizations in the US are planning on

instituting legal action against US citizen Gotabhaya Rajapaksa for allegedly committing war crimes in Sri Lanka.

Soon after our website published the story that Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was visiting the US, he got a story planted in the website of the Derana network owned by one of his friends, Dilith Jayaweera that the Defence Secretary was visiting Uzbekistan.

However, it is learnt that the Defence Secretary has traveled to the US to visit his relatives in the country. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s son’s wedding is to take place in Colombo in June. It is learnt that the Defence Secretary has already made the necessary arrangements to hold the wedding on a grand scale with the patronage of the armed forces.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

UN urges further investigation of war crimes;

Apr-27-2011 02:29

Tamil Genocide in Sri Lanka Emerges Into Public View

UN urges further investigation of war crimes; Warning- Genocidal death photos beyond graphic.
Sri Lankan government forces drag corpses of Tamil Tigers.
Sri Lankan government forces drag corpses of Tamil Tigers.

(SALEM, Ore.) - Our report on Sri Lanka's genocide of the Tamil people and war crimes against Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE), came at a time when the wagons of the Sri Lankan government are tilting over on their sides. The response to that story has been almost overwhelming as evidenced by the associated comments. (see: World Ignores Genocide of Sri Lanka's Tamil Population)
The response tells us what we feared; that these events of wanton slaughter were on the verge of sliding out of sight forever. When the story was published, it soared to the top of the lineup on Google under Sri Lanka Genocide where it remains at the time of this writing.
It is time for other news agencies to increase the tempo with regard to genocidal events and bring them into world view. There is no other way. The images are horrific but they are real and moving and must be seen.
The brand new United Nations report is leading to serious issues for Sri Lanka, as detailed in the UN release in the sidebar below.
                                                                       Full Story>>>

Foreign Office welcomes UN Panel of Experts report on Sri Lanka

27 April 2011
The Foreign Office welcomed the UN Panel of Experts report on the alleged violations of international human rights and humanitarian law during the military conflict in Sri Lanka.
King Charles Street building 
The UK has consistently called for an independent and credible investigation to address these allegations which is why we fully supported the decision of the Secretary-General to establish the Panel of Experts.
Full Story>>>


Sri Lanka calls UN report on war crimes allegations 'unacceptable'

CNN World
By the CNN Wire Staff
April 26, 2011 10:22 a.m. EDTUnited Nations (CNN) --

United Nations (CNN) -- The Sri Lanka an government cried foul Tuesday after a U.N. panel said it has found credible allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by both sides during the final stages of the country's civil war.
A government spokesman called the panel's report "unacceptable," while Sri Lanka's External Affairs Ministry said the report is "fundamentally flawed" and based on "patently biased material."
The Tamil National Alliance, the main Tamil opposition party in parliament, once dubbed as a "proxy" to Tamil Tiger rebels during the conflict, said it concurs with the findings.
In the U.N. report released Monday, the three-member panel recommends the government of Sri Lanka immediately conduct an investigation into the alleged violations of international law and take other measures to "advance accountability."    Full Story>>>

UN human rights chief welcomes Sri Lanka report, urges further investigation into conduct of final stages of the war
High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay
The High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Tuesday welcomed the public release of the report of the Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on accountability issues related to the final stages of the conflict in Sri Lanka, and supported the report’s call for further international investigation.*   “The way this conflict was conducted, under the guise of fighting terrorism, challenged the very foundations of the rules of war and cost the lives of tens of thousands of civilians,” the High Commissioner said. “I hope the disturbing new information contained in this report will shock the conscience of the international community into finally taking serious action. As the report itself says, addressing violations of international humanitarian or human rights law is not a matter of choice or policy; it is a duty under domestic and international law,” she added.                      Full Story>>>

UN: Sri Lankan Bloodbath Much Worse Than Government Admits

Evelyn LeopoldEvelyn Leopold 
As many as 40,000 civilians may have perished in the last phase of Sri Lanka's offensive against the insurgent Tamil Tigers, with government forces blamed for "large-scale and widespread shelling," according to a new report from a UN panel established by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
The Sri Lankan government, which received an advance copy of the 195-page report, had leaked sections to national newspapers, evidently to minimize the impact by denouncing it immediately. It said the report was flawed and would exacerbate any reconciliation in the island nation of 21 million people, 18 miles off the coast of India.
Sri Lanka refused to file a written rebuttal before the secretary-general's office released the full report, which said in part:

‘All Sides Must Be Investigated For Real Reconciliation To Begin’

Wednesday, April 27, 2011         Father S.J. Emmanual.
The Sunday Leader’s Faraz Shauketaly spoke to Head of the Global Tamil Forum, Father Emmanuel, asking him to comment on the UN Advisory Panel Report. Excerpts:
Q:  What is your reaction to the UN Advisory Panel’s report

Father S.J. Emmanual
to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon?
We have seen a leaked report. We are at the first stage. It is an opportunity to find out the truth and to start a process of true reconciliation. The Report advises that an enquiry be held to hold both the Sri Lankan Government and the Tigers accountable. There has been a lot of emotional reaction from both sides – the Sri Lanka government and the Tamils. We Tamils of course welcome the report as being an objective one. It is an attempt to find out and bring out the truth so that justice can be done and a true reconciliation process can begin

The United Nations and Divided Sri Lanka

The Wall Street Journal   APRIL 28, 2011
           Full Story>>>

Leading article: Sri Lankan war crimes must be prosecuted
Wednesday, 27 April 2011
The Government of Sri Lanka is contesting a report by the United Nations which reveals that tens of thousands of civilians died in its final offensive to end the country's civil war two years ago. Most of them were killed by government shelling which targeted hospitals and UN and Red Cross centres, a UN panel of experts has found. The acts were war crimes, the report says. It is not a one-sided document. It also says that the Tamil Tiger rebels used 330,000 civilians as human shields, and shot those who tried to escape. But both sides contest its findings. The government insists it can prove it never targeted civilians. The rebels claim that the last-minute truce the government offered was not long enough to allow civilians to safely leave the conflict zone.  Full Story>>>
UN Panel report: Much at stake for Sri Lanka
By Our Political Editor
Ministers have been "grounded". A directive from President Mahinda Rajapaksa says they should all be in Sri Lanka on May Day.
'Manufacturers' are busy turning out scores of effigies of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Some are depicting him as a 'bakamoona' punning on his name. Placards decrying him and his organisation are coming off in hundreds at printing presses. Floats depicting the UN headquarters are being built. Provincial Councils and local authorities have been asked to adopt resolutions. Pro-government groups are busy collecting signatures to mass petitions.               Full story>>>

India ready to engage Lanka on UN report

NEW DELHI: Reacting to the report by a UNSG-appointed panel of experts, which has accused Colombo of committing war crimes, India said it was willing to engage Sri Lanka on the contents of the report. India is having to walk a tightrope over the issue because of its concerns over the still incomplete rehabilitation of Tamils in the island nation, as also because of strategic compulsions arising out of China's unflinching support to Colombo.

The report was released on Tuesday. "The government has seen the report of the panel of experts appointed by the UN Secretary General to advise him on accountability-related issues in the context of the end of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka in May 2009. The issues raised in the report need to be studied carefully. As a first step, we intend to engage with the government of Sri Lanka on the issues contained in the report," the foreign ministry said in a guarded response.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa had spoken to PM Manmohan Singh earlier after going through the report. Colombo is likely to go on a diplomatic offensive to garner support for itself. In all likelihood, it will look at Russia, China and India to bail itself out of the situation. The UN report has said killing of tens of thousands of people in the final stages of the Sri Lankan civil strife could amount to "war crimes".

The panel of experts also called on the UN Secretary General to immediately set up "an independent international mechanism" to investigate "credible" allegations that both Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tigers committed serious human rights violations, including some that could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, in the months before the decades old civil war ended in 2009. 

US welcomes report while India studies
Susan Rice
Us says it supports 'an effective, transparent post-conflict reconciliation process' in Sri Lanka
Welcoming the report issued by the UN expert panel on Sri Lanka, the US says it highlights the need for an independent and full inquiry on alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka.
Susan Rice, the US Permanent Representative to the UN said the report is “a valuable contribution” towards establishing justice, accountability, human rights, and reconciliation in the post-war Sri Lanka.
Ms Rice has commended UN secretary general for making the report public.
“We strongly support the Secretary General’s call for the Sri Lankan authorities to respond constructively to the report and underscore our belief that accountability and reconciliation are inextricably linked,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, the Indian government said it is “carefully studying” the report made published by Ban Ki-moon on Monday.
“The issues raised in the Report need to be studied carefully.
As a first step, we intend to engage with the Government of Sri Lanka on the issues contained in the report,” the spokesman of Indian Ministry of External Affairs Vishnu Prakash has said.