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

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Relatives demand Sri Lankan government disclose info on relatives said abducted in civil war

Post World NewsThe Washington Post's world news 

( Eranga Jayawardena / Associated Press ) - Tears roll down the cheeks of a Sri Lankan ethnic Tamil woman as she holds a photograph of her “abducted” family member during a protest in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday, June 30, 2011. Hundreds of Sri Lankan Tamils protested Thursday demanding to know the whereabouts of their family members abducted by “white van squads” allegedly operated by the Sri Lankan government during the height of the country’s civil war.COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Hundreds of people protested Thursday demanding to know the whereabouts of their family members abducted by “white van squads” allegedly operated by the Sri Lankan government during the height of the country’s civil war.
The protesters said they have not heard from their sons or husbands since they were bundled into often white-colored vehicles or surrendered to the army over involvement with the now-defeated Tamil Tiger rebels.

( Eranga Jayawardena / Associated Press ) - A Sri Lankan ethnic Tamil woman stands before a photograph of President Mahinda Rajapakse put up earlier by his supporters as she holds a photograph of her “abducted” family members during a protest in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday, June 30, 2011. Hundreds of Sri Lankan Tamils protested Thursday demanding to know the whereabouts of their family members abducted by “white van squads” allegedly operated by the Sri Lankan government during the height of the country’s civil war.Ramakrishnan Lalitha held the photographs of her two sons, Prathapan and Jegarupan, who were taken away on the same day in 2008 by men who identified themselves as navy personnel in the eastern port town of Trincomalee.
“My sons were at home, and some men came in and showed their navy identity cards and took my sons away saying they needed to be questioned,” Lalitha said. She has not heard from her sons since.
Elarin Indrani said her son Mathew was taken away in 2007 by four masked men who arrived in a white van.
“They must identify the four men who took my son away. Only then we will know who gave the orders,” she said.
Parents and relatives say their complaints and appeals to security authorities and foreign governments have been futile.       Full Story>>>

On Sri Lanka, Ban Won't Push to Get UN Heyns In, Have Been Given Killing Fields, Will Watch if Has Time, Ranil on July 5?

Inner City Press
By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, June 30 -- Despite UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's statements that he is “checking every day” to see if the government of Mahinda Rajapaksa in Sri Lanka has deigned to respond to the UN Panel of Experts report documenting war crimes, there is very little follow-through.
  On June 30 Inner City Press asked Ban's acting deputy spokesman Farhan Haq if Ban has done anything about Sri Lanka blocking the visit requested by UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executing Christof Heyns, who has said “I have asked to visit Sri Lanka, but this has so far been denied.”
  Haq couldn't not say anything that Ban has done or even tried to do in this regard, instead “referring” the questions to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva.
  Heyns authenticated video used in the Killing Fields documentary, saying that the “video that I have examined in detail shows textbook examples of extrajudicial killings -- naked, blindfolded people whose hands are tied, are being shot through the head by people in military uniform. They speak Sinhalese. This clearly raises major concerns that cannot be ignored by someone tasked to investigate arbitrary executions.”
  For more than two weeks Inner City Press has asked Ban's spokespeople if he has taken the time to see the Killing Fields video.                                          Full Story>>>


  • Sunday 26 June 2011
By Namini Wijedasa

The UN chief on extra judicial killings has warned that Sri Lankan leaders and officials with dual nationalities could be tried by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged war crimes.
In an exclusive interview with LAKBIMAnEWS, Christof Heyns, UN  Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions said: “Over the last few years the doctrine of universal jurisdiction has been used in new and, in some cases, extended ways. People with dual nationalities may be under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.”
Prof. Heyns also said there is enough reason to investigate Sri Lanka’s last phase of war in full where there was systematic targeting of civilians.
He however added that despite the evidence to the contrary, the official response continues to be a blanket denial of any wrongdoings, which is ‘difficult to accept in view of the evidence.’
He said the stronger involvement by the international community in Libya has demanded a greater international involvement in Sri Lanka.
When asked about the legality of the killing of Osama bin Laden by the US Navy Seals, the UN rapporteur replied that there is considerable controversy about fact and applicable legal principles.
However, he was quick to add: “There is no controversy about shooting blindfolded, naked prisoners with their hands tied behind their backs in the head; it cannot be justified under any conceivable circumstances.”
He said he has asked to visit Sri Lanka, but his request has so far been denied. But, Sri Lankan officials whom he met in Geneva, explained to him the “agony” due to the allegations that are being made.

Websites banned to protect children and culture - Minister
Sunday 26 June 2011
Websites banned to protect children and culture - Minister

Websites may be publishing lies, yet Lanka violates signed treaties!

By Jayashika Padmasiri

The United Nations (UN) recently released a report declaring that disconnecting the internet from the public is a human rights violation. Sri Lanka is a country that has seen the banning of several media websites in the recent past. The two websites: Tamil Net, and LankaeNews are good examples. LAKBIMAnEWS conducted an investigation to ascertain the truth in this regard: 11-1
As the first step LAKBIMAnEWS contacted Minister of Technology and Research Pavithra Wanniarachchi --- and while discussing the UN report questioned her about the banned news websites in Sri Lanka. To our amazement the minister made the following statement: “By stating that violations of human rights are taking place, I don’t believe that we should let the people in this country, especially the children, access everything through the internet and be exposed to harmful information. Other countries might be different. But Sri Lanka is a country that has a rich culture and a heritage. We should help to protect this. So I don’t think that everything that takes place in the world should take place in our country.”
Speaking further about the banned websites Wanniarachchi concluded, “too much freedom is unnecessary.” 
                                                           Full Story>>>

Sri Lanka’s Diplomatic Offensive Won’t Make Killing Fields Disappear groundviews journalism For citizens

 30 Jun, 2011

Screen grab from Channel 4′s Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields
(New York) – The Sri Lankan government continues its diplomatic offensive, denying and dismissing the growing evidence of war crimes during the final bloody battles between the Sri Lankan armed forces and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) that ended in May 2009.
Last week, at a panel presentation of the Channel 4 film, the ‘Killing Fields of Sri Lanka’, Sri Lanka’s United Nations Ambassador Palitha Kohona said, “To suggest that the Sri Lankan military was so foolhardy as to deliberately target the civilians, I think is a blatant lie… We had no intention of creating martyrs, we had no intention of creating more volunteers for the LTTE.”
If the killings of civilians were not deliberate, the Sri Lankan army attacks were clearly indiscriminate, which is no less a war crime. The recent findings of the panel of experts set up to advise UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon concluded that up to 40,000 civilians were killed in the final stages of the conflict, many as the result of indiscriminate shelling by government forces. The report also concluded that both government forces and the Tigers conducted military operations “with flagrant disregard for the protection, rights, welfare and lives of civilians and failed to respect the norms of international law.”             Continue reading »  
==================================== groundviews journalism For citizens 

 30 Jun, 2011

Two years after the end of the war in Sri Lanka

30 Jun, 2011 War Crimes
Photo courtesy Deshan Tennekoon, Groundviews
The UN panel report or the Darusman report was condemned and rejected. The stand taken by the government was that “not a single civilian was killed during the last stages of the war. If some of those dead were found to be in civilian clothes, they were Tigers in disguise, even if they happened to be children or elderly women. No one can say we committed war crimes because no one saw what happened during the last stages of the war. Therefore we don’t have to answer any questions raised by UN or the international community.” In a way this is true – no one saw what happened at Mullivaikal, Pudukudiyiruppu and Nandikadal in May 2009. There were no witnesses. The UN and the international community actually abandoned those 300,000 civilians, who were left alone to face the LTTE on the one hand and the Sri Lankan army on the other, and God knows who killed more civilians, the army or the LTTE. We are only told that about 40,000 to 60,000 people died during the last stages of the war.     Continue reading »  

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Grievances of tamils in Sri Lanka legitiamte: PM Wednesday, Jun 29, 2011, 20:29 IST
Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI
Terming the grievances of tamils in Sri Lanka as "legitimate", Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said India's efforts was to persuade the Sri Lankan government to ensure that all are treated as equal citizens as what is happening there has a domestic dimension.
During an interaction with a group of Editors, Singh said he has discussed the issue with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, who has "good cooperation" and was conscious of the complexity of the issue.The Prime Minister also talked about India's "good" relations with Bangladesh, saying the government there has helped in apprehending anti-India insurgents. Singh said he would like to visit that country.
External Affairs Minister SM Krishna is going to visit Dhaka next week during which he will discuss important bilateral and regional issues with the Bangladeshi leadership.

India, Lanka hold first Army-to-Army staff talks

The Times of India
NEW DELHI: India and Sri Lanka began their first Army-to-Army staff talks on Wednesday to bolster bilateral military cooperation with joint exercises and training programmes. 

The three-day talks, led by Sri Lankan military secretary Major-General HCP Goonetilleke and Indian Army's additional director general (international cooperation) Major-General I P Singh, will chalk out the programmes to be undertaken by the two armies over the next one year.

"Such interactions will result in a more robust and pragmatic defence cooperation," said an official. India over the last several years has trained thousands of Sri Lankan personnel at its military institutions ranging from Counter-Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School at Vairengte (Mizoram) to School of Artillery at Devlali (Maharashtra), apart from providing specialized naval courses in gunnery, navigation, communication and anti-submarine warfare.

The importance of the talks can be gauged from the fact that India has similar staff talks with only nine other countries, namely US, UK, Israel, France, Japan, Australia, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Singapore.

European Conservative bloc calls for maximum autonomy for Tamil areas, justice for war crimes

TamilNet[TamilNet, Wednesday, 29 June 2011, 03:36 GMT]
A center-right bloc of Conservative parliamentarians in the European Parliament Tuesday expressed support for “a just and peaceful solution for the Tamil community of Sri Lanka” and for “a negotiated political solution which can achieve maximum autonomy and regional devolution to Tamil majority areas within a single Sri Lankan state”, as well as “justice for all alleged war crimes committed by both sides during the conflict.” In a statement, the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) Group and British Conservative MEPs said whilst they support the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka, they also support the “peaceful and democratic pursuit of all political goals.”

The influential ECR Group of MEPs, formed in 2009, consists of a core of 56 MEPs from nine countries and is the fourth largest group in the European Parliament.

The full text of the statement follows:

The ECR Group and British Conservative MEPs support a just and peaceful solution for the Tamil community of Sri Lanka by for instance supporting calls for a negotiated political solution which can achieve maximum autonomy and regional devolution to Tamil majority areas within a single Sri Lankan state, as well as justice for all alleged war crimes committed by both sides during the conflict.

We support the territorial integrity and unity of Sri Lanka and hope all communities can find a way to live together in future, but we also support the peaceful and democratic pursuit of all political goals. We totally oppose the pursuit of political goals by violence.

We condemn any climate of impunity anywhere and strongly insist that any alleged war crimes or other reported atrocities be fully investigated and, if proven, the perpetrators punished. The EU listed the LTTE as a terrorist group in 2006, a decision we support absolutely, but we also demand that Sri Lankan government forces also be held accountable for possible violations of the rules of war.

We are horrified by the events detailed in the Channel 4 documentary, and note that footage of summary execution of prisoners has been deemed authentic by the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings.

We call on the Sri Lankan government to respond positively to the UN Panel of Expert’s and to consider including a foreign component to the LLRC and to fully implement its findings. If the LLRC by the end of this year has not delivered on a full impartial investigation into the credible allegations of atrocities at the close of the civil war in 2009 then an international commission of enquiry is something the UK Government and the EU member states may wish to consider given the atrocious scale and horrendous nature of the credible allegations made.

The EU currently has suspended GSP+ trade concessions. Under the terms of the suspension they will not be extended to Sri Lanka, until Sri Lanka meets its international human rights obligations, which should include action on the issue of war crimes.

Khmer Rouge and Killing Fields: Pol Pot on the docks and it’s Mahinda Inc. next
If Mohamed cannot go the mountain, the mountain will have to come to Mohamed.
by Pearl Thevanayagam
(June 28, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) Thirty years on, Khmer Rouge’s Pol Pot mass murderers (the ruling regime at the time) are standing trial in one of the most expensive and prolonged tribunals convened by the UN and democratic West against war crimes in Cambodia today.
An estimated 1.7 million Cambodians, almost a quarter of Cambodia & apos’s population were wiped out under in The Killing Fields revolution the ultra Maoist Pol Pot regime through torture, execution, starvation and exhaustion between 1975 and 1979. Practically every Cambodian alive today lost family members and the tribunal should give answers.                  Read More   

Sri Lanka: Accountability for Alleged Violations of International Human Rights Law (Taken Question) Question

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC

Question Taken at the June 27, 2011 Daily Press Briefing
June 28, 2011
Question: What is the U.S. view regarding accountability in Sri Lanka?
Answer: As we have stated before, the United States supports a full, credible, and independent investigation of alleged violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law and accountability for such violations. While domestic authorities have primary responsibility to ensure that those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law are held accountable, international accountability mechanisms can become appropriate in circumstances in which a state is unable or unwilling to meet its obligations. We continue to urge the Government of Sri Lanka to quickly demonstrate that it is able and willing to meet these obligations as it seeks reconciliation. We hope the Sri Lankans will themselves do this, but if they do not, there will be growing pressure from the international community to examine other options.

Sri Lanka Continues Genocide, Thumbing Nose at UN and World June 29, 2011
Jun-29-2011 00:47printcomments

Sri Lanka Continues Genocide, Thumbing Nose at UN and World

Video shows man hanged by neck; executed without a trial on the side of the road.
Tamil man hanging by neck
Tamil man hanging by neck; this video was posted 3 days ago.

(SALEM, Ore.) - Even though Sri Lanka's government is suspect in a massive Genocide two years ago that left possibly one hundred thousand Tamil civilians dead, reports indicate that in spite of statements from the Rajapaksa regime to the contrary, war crimes still continue in small scale.
We're being told ex-Tamil rebels who were were previously in custody and then released, are eventually ending up raped or murdered by "unknown" men.
Who are these unknown men in a land which is occupied by Sri Lankan savages?
Could they be the same who drove the notorious 'white vans' that were used to disappear people like Tamil friendly journalists, for a period of time preceding the final push?
Sri Lankan intelligence has two goals to achieve ...
1) Tell the world that military presence is needed to avoid such massacres.
2) To threaten the local Tamils who know the truth.
As we reported many times in the past, the journalists were killed or simply disappeared without a trace, and the handful of United Nations observers in Tamil country; northern Sri Lanka, were told to leave for their own safety.
The only group that ever implied they were in danger was the Sri Lankan government itself. Their departure marked a nightmarish journey for hundreds of thousands of Tamils who have as much right to Sri Lanka as the majority Sinhalese Buddhists.
That is the back story, the current story is that Sri Lanka's president and his cadres are thumbing their nose at the world, continuing to commit crimes they deny. So they deny them, what war criminal does not?
As always, anyone who has additional information should contact our newsroom.  Full Story>>>

Sri Lanka's Killing Fields shame exposed in major documentary

| June 29, 2011
Read More

Tamils remember victims of Genocide in Sri Lanka 29, 2011 By Guest Writer Raj Palanisamy.
Chennai, Jun 29 (TruthDive): June 26th was a day to remember for all Tamils of the world and also this day has been declared by the United Nations as an International day for victims of torture. A Candle light vigil organized at Marina beach in remembrance of the victims of Tamil genocide in Sri Lanka had a huge attendance from the people of the state and neighboring region.
The event was organized by “May 17 movement” and was backed by number of Tamil organisations, activists, common people and politicians of Tamil Nadu. The organisers managed to spread the news about the event via social network media. Majority of the people were in their twenties and thirties. In this respect this is considered as first such event in the history of Tamil Nadu and shows that in future lakhs of people can assemble at places at no time.
More than 50,000 people attended this mega event and most of them came along with their friends, children and family. Many came from distance cities like Bangalore, Madurai & Coimbatore to Chennai exclusively to participate in this candle light vigil for the Tamils brutally killed by the Sri Lankan government in the final stages of Eelam war 4.                      Read More       

Sri Lanka: Effects of the global economic wobble


Guest Column by Dr. Kumar David 
The impact of the global economy on small countries can be severe and we are passing through a phase when stocktaking is timely. First, a few paragraphs regarding the beast itself – the world economy, which, mainly, is the advanced capitalist world. A recession is called V-shaped if recovery is steep and U-shaped if recuperation is slow. When stuck at the bottom for a long time (Japan’s lost decade) the appropriate shape is an L, a double-dip or W is when a second recession follows before recovery from the first. However, none of these terms provide a pictorial handle of the Great Recession (GR) that started in Q3-2008. 
At the time I developed a model, the Wobble-U, to deal with the difference and illustrate a hypothesis. The Wobble-U is more complex than a double-dip which lay at the heart of the Great Depression (GD) of the 1930s. It is a seesaw of ups and downs, small recoveries and flops and slumps, depicting a long-duration limping economy. (My case, based on fundamental reasoning, is in Essays on the Global Economic Crisis, published by the Ecumenical Institute, Sri Lanka). In fact it is a depression in its own way, and anyone expecting the next depression to manifest the same symptoms as GD is awaiting the wrong Godot. Capitalism is different now, more globalised with new strategies. A depression manifests itself with different symptoms, the Wobble-U. The new strategies are: a) new tools developed by policy economists, and b) global state-capitalism, that is the coordinated responses of world political leaders and central bankers.

 The Wobble-U shape (Very long duration)
(Any major economic indicator)
                            Full Story>>>

The war that confronts us: Looking at Sri Lanka’s official responses to Channel 4 video groundviews journalism For citizens

Image courtesy Channel 4
Channel 4’s Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields is anything but understated. It is designed to shock, even if you are the most hardened of viewers. Images of blood-soaked bodies assail you from every angle. As a cellphone camera jerks around, you see the bulging eyes of a man-turned-killing machine. He appears to be enjoying himself. You feel disoriented. When you think you cannot take it anymore, there it is: Another body eviscerated, another child screaming for her mother, another man’s eyes tied shut, another gunshot through the head, and still another naked body piled atop a truck laden with violated human flesh.
And then you are left with nothing but darkness. And silence.
That silence lingered as the lights went up on the UN Church Center, where NGO workers and UN staffers, reporters and diplomats attended a subdued screening of Channel 4’s controversial (and at times sensationalist) documentary, Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields. Though the screening was punctuated by two short breaks, few viewers dared to get up for a glass of water or a refill of their morning coffee during the screening.
The panel that followed was moderated by Jose Luis Diaz, Amnesty International’s Representative to the United Nations (who has since written an account of the event here, and featured speakers from Human Rights Watch, the International Crisis Group, Amnesty, and the director of the film, Callum McCrae.
McCrae said that he had very little to add to what the audience had just seen.
“As filmmakers, our job is to gather the evidence, to put together the film… it’s not our job to define what should happen next. In some sense, that’s your job,” he said.       Continue reading »  

War crimes and uncertain justice

The Daily StarWednesday, June 29, 2011
When Ratko Mladic was nabbed in Serbia recently and flown to The Hague to face charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, it was one more sign of justice drawing a little closer for the families of those he and his forces murdered in the mid 1990s. There is always that sense of satisfaction when criminality, localised or global, is hunted down and those who have destroyed the lives of innocent men, women and children eventually have their comeuppance.
It is just too bad that Slobodan Milosevic died before judgement could be delivered on his role in the Balkan wars. But that Mladic and Radovan Karadzic are in the net reinforces the argument somewhat that men who cause misery to other men have in the end really nowhere to hide, that civilised men always have a way of bringing them to justice.      Full Story>>>

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

India must get Sri Lanka to keep its promises intervention
June 28, 2011   11:05:33 PM

For long now India has enjoyed a high level of influence over Sri Lanka. Yet, despite its long-standing relationship with Colombo, New Delhi’s attempts to encourage its southern neighbour to address crucial post-war challenges and work towards sustainable peace has only met with limited success. Active political engagement and a generous financial assistance package have failed to convince President Mahinda Rajapaksa to bring about an equitable post-war settlement in the country. Consequently, Sri Lanka now runs the risk of an authoritarian Government and a dangerously powerful military. This does not bode well for India. Already saddled with a failed, terrorist state in its west and a young, floundering democracy in the north, India can do without a highly militarised autocratic neighbour in the south. To this extent, it is imperative that New Delhi work with Colombo to lay the foundation of a strong democratic state. Since the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in May 2009, India has focussed on providing humanitarian assistance to displaced Tamils located in the north and the east of Sri Lanka, while negotiating with that country’s Government to devolve power to the Tamils in areas where they are the majority so as to resolve the long-drawn ethnic conflict between them and the Sinhalese, who form the majority in the rest of the country. Additionally, India also supports several major development projects and is working to bring about greater economic integration. However, these policies and initiatives have fallen tragically short: In the face of widespread Sinhalisation, Sri Lankan Tamils continue to be politically marginalised while increased militarisation of the northern province has left them feeling more insecure than ever before. In the rest of the country, democratic institutions remain under constant threat especially as political power becomes concentrated in the hands of Mr Rajapaksa, his family and the military.

In this context, New Delhi would do well to encourage Colombo to show better results. India’s unequivocal support to Mr Rajapaksa as his Government fought to defeat the much despised LTTE should have fetched India greater leverage but South Block has been reluctant to use that to press for more reforms and greater accountability. This must change: Not only because a politically stable and peaceful Sri Lanka is strategic to Indian interests but because China’s increasing influence in that country must also be contained. India has vast economic interests, as well as security interests in Sri Lanka, and China must not be allowed to threaten those. Mr Rajapaksa, who has been courting the Chinese while gladly accepting Indian assistance, should be asked to keep his promises.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

U.S. threatens action against Colombo for failure to redress Tamils
The United States on Tuesday hardened its stand against Sri Lanka government cautioning it to take necessary steps to book the perpetrators of alleged war-crimes in the country and to bring together the war-torn north and east with the rest of the country after 26 years of war.
The United States on Tuesday hardened its stand against Sri Lanka government cautioning it to take necessary steps to book the perpetrators of alleged war-crimes in the country and to bring together the war-torn north and east with the rest of the country after 26 years of war.
clearpxl In an email answer to a question from journalists regarding accountability in Sri Lanka, the State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, “While domestic authorities have primary responsibility to ensure that those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law are held accountable, international accountability mechanisms can become appropriate in circumstances in which a State is unable or unwilling to meet its obligations.”
Giving Colombo time to take action, Nuland said, “As we have stated before, the United States supports a full, credible, and independent investigation of alleged violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law and accountability for such violations.”
Urging the “Government of Sri Lanka to quickly demonstrate that it is able and willing to meet these obligations as it seeks reconciliation,” Nuland minced no words in warning Colombo of dire consequences, “We hope the Sri Lankans will themselves do this, but if they do not, there will be growing pressure from the international community to examine other options.”
The statement was a step forward in cautioning Colombo from just a week ago when the U.S. had failed to go beyond stating a few words about the atrocities committed in Sri Lanka against Tamils and other minorities during the war.
A week ago similar questions were raised at the daily U.S. State Department briefing after an event at a think-tank sponsored event in Washington D.C., where the current U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka spoke along with three of former incumbents of the post while there was also a screening of the film “Sri Lankan Killing Fields.”
Nuland then told journalists, “Let me say that U.S. personnel have seen the film. It includes some very disturbing images. As we’ve stated, we are deeply concerned about credible allegations of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights in Sri Lanka.”
According to reports, the film includes footage of apparent extra-judicial massacres of prisoners by Sri Lankan government forces, the aftermath of targeted shelling of civilian hospitals and the bodies of female Tamil fighters who appear to have been sexually assaulted.
Nuland had continued, “We support a full accounting of and accountability for those who engage in acts that violated international human rights in Sri Lanka,” adding, “Assistant Secretary Blake and other senior officials have regularly raised these concerns.”
The U.S. ambassadors attending the earlier mentioned event were Patricia A. Butenis, Ambassador to Sri Lanka from 2009 – Present, Ashley Wills, Ambassador to Sri Lanka from 2000-03, Shaun Donnelly, Ambassador to Sri Lanka from 1997-2000,and Teresita Schaffer, Ambassador to Sri Lanka from 1992-95.

Read more:

Mahinda Rajapakse's Russian junket is just a media hyperbole only -Blown out of proportion 28 of June 2011

 (Lanka-e-News -27.June.2011, 11.55P.M.) According to reports from Moscow, President Rajapakse’s tour of Russia to attend the International economic conference on the 18th of June at St. Petersburgh city , was as hollow as it was shallow. Though the State Media made a huge din and gave immense publicity blowing it out of proportion, the junket had been a flop.

The first ridiculous feature of this conference and his junket is , it is one where one had to participate after making a payment of US Dollars 3000/- per head. The SL President too has participated in this conference after getting an invitation paying US $ 3000/- . Nine out of the 81 who went with the President had purchased tickets for the conference after paying US $ 27000/- which in SL rupees is 30 lakhs. Despite all these expenditures and media trumpeting made in this junket ,the President has attended the conference on the first and last sessions only. The second striking feature is , the Hotel charges in Russia during this period are exorbitant- threefold more! Therefore the State leader is duty bound to reveal to the Parliament details of the expenditures and the purpose this junket served in the interests of the country – not the interests served by it to those 81 merry makers who accompanied him.

   Full Story

Rajapaksa Denies Indian Pressure Over Tamil Issue

  Jun 28, 2011 
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today denied that he had come under pressure from India to offer the minority Tamils a political solution, saying that any settlement to the matter will have to be approved by the parliament.
"There was no pressure from India on the thirteenth amendment of thirteen plus," Rajapaksa told reporters.
Responding to a query on the visit by Indian National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar, he said the Indians had only discussed with him routine bilateral issues.
The Indian officials visited Colombo early this month in the backdrop of a call by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to impose economic sanctions on Sri Lanka.
Rajapaksa said Menon had indicated to him the proposal made by his own Cabinet minister Douglas Devananda on the need for Sri Lankan parliament to thrash out the question of a political solution to the island's ethnic question.
He said appointing a parliamentary select committee on the ethnic question was not a delaying tactic.
"Any solution that comes up will have to be approved in parliament," the president said. "I will back any solution approved by parliament".
"While having talks with political parties (with Tamil National Alliance) we can have PSC talks at the same time. If we wait for political party talks to end and then have PSC discussions, this will cause delays," he said.
The president said the election for the northern provincial council will be held "next year".
He wanted the parties to start preparing for the polls which will be the first ever for the council since separated from the east in the supreme court ordered demerger of 2007.
On the present international campaign against Sri Lanka by the UN and other western nations, he said it was to be countered by submitting two separate reports.
They will deal with the humanitarian nature of the government’s military campaign that ended in May 2009 and the military aspects of it.
External Affairs Minister G L Peiris, who was also present, said that not all countries were opposed to Sri Lanka despite the UN special panel report which accused Colombo of war crimes.
Filed On: Jun 28, 2011 14:57 IST

Monday, June 27, 2011

Statement by the Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Spokesperson on Sri Lanka
23 June 2011
In response to queries received, the Spokesperson stated the following on 23 June 2011:
The Commonwealth membership is united in its longstanding commitment to human dignity, equality, human rights, and the rule of law – to which access to justice and an independent judiciary are fundamental. Commonwealth Heads of Government have as recently as November 2009 solemnly reiterated their commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and also to the values of tolerance, respect and understanding.
The Commonwealth recognises that respect for the dignity of all human beings is critical to promoting peace and prosperity.
The Commonwealth has long supported the peaceful resolution of the civil war in Sri Lanka, and recognises that genuine and sustainable reconciliation must include investigation of alleged war crimes and accountability of those responsible, and the promotion of justice.
The Commonwealth Secretariat has received expressions of concern about the contents of a recent television programme concerning the civil war in Sri Lanka.
There is understandable widespread abhorrence at what the programme purports to show. These concerns have been conveyed to the Sri Lankan government, and the Secretariat has been informed that the video footage will be given the attention that it obviously merits by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission.
The Commonwealth Secretariat recalls that the Government of Sri Lanka has conveyed in a statement of the Ministry of External Affairs that if the allegations levelled in the television programme are found to be genuine, the LLRC will take due note and remedial measures will be taken by way of legal sanctions.
The Secretariat welcomes this undertaking to establish the facts of the situation, and to complete a full, credible, and thorough investigation that reflects Commonwealth values and principles to which all members subscribe.

Moves to issue death certificates for missing June, 2011
Moves to issue death certificates for missing
Relatives of the disappeared in a protest (file photo)
It is extremely difficult, and time consuming to get a death certificate issued for those missing in Sri Lanka

The Sri Lanka government and the United Nations have launched a pilot project in eastern Sri Lanka to issue death certificates for those missing for a long period.
The ministry of National Languages and Integration together with the UNDP is currently conducting a mobile service in Chenkalady, Batticaloa.
UNDP project officer in charge of the initiative, ARM Sulphi, told BBC Sinhala service that the relatives of those missing for over a year can submit an application at the mobile services that are held until 28 June.
The applications will be then published at local government offices for a month, he said, for anybody to file objections if any.
He added that free legal advice will be offered to them requested the relatives to bring along all available documents to the mobile services.
Lengthy process
Authorities plan to hold a mobile service along with the Registrar General to issue death certificates if no objections are filed.
 My husband was abducted by a group in January 2009. I was then pregnant with our second child. Husband is missing since then
A woman came to the mobile service
It is extremely difficult, and time consuming to get a death certificate issued for those missing in Sri Lanka.
Under normal circumstances, the relatives of the disappeared are required to lodge a complaint with the police.
Six months after the complaint, a death inquiry will be conducted through court order before issuing the death certificate.
Many relatives who came to the service said they faced many difficulties without death certificates for their lost ones.
A mother of a missing 12-year old told BBC Sandeshaya that her son went missing after he left to school in 1995.
Some relatives said accused the paramilitaries linked with the government of abducting their relatives.
They approached those concerned, said the relatives, but was never given a satisfactory answer.
However, many still believe that their loved ones are yet to be found.

Jaffna’s unabated killing spree -earlier ‘lamp post’ killings in Jaffna is now replaced by ‘goal post’ killings ! -26.June.2011, 11.55P.M.) A youth of Puttur district Jaffna had been murdered after being assaulted . His body was later discovered this morning hanged at a public place.

This body was found hanging from a goal post in a playground of Warawatta School , Puttur , Jaffna. The name of the deceased is 20 year old Balachandran Satgunaraja. Investigations into the murder had revealed that after the victim had been assaulted and murdered , his body had been hanged . However motive of looting or robbery has been ruled out on this murder as his motor bike had been found near the place where his body was hanged.

It is something interesting to note that during the LTTE period , Jaffna was well known for lamp post killings with bodies tied to lamp posts after killing . But now , it is the army that is administering Jaffna. According to our LeN reporters , the residents of the area are questioning with shock as to how these killings are raging and bodies are being exhibited so openly , when there are almost as many soldiers as there are civilians in those areas. This has also triggered widespread unrest and tension among the people of the areas.

Atchuvely police is conducting investigations . So far no suspect had been taken into custody .

‘goal post’ killings !

The law is closing in on Mahinda Rajapaksa from all directions
 By V Suresh
27 Jun 2011
V SureshPosted 24-Jun-2011
Vol 2 Issue 25
The year 2011 has been an eventful ‘legal’ year for Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa. Even as he belligerently launched diplomatic counter-moves to neutralize the damning indictment by the UN Secretary General’s Expert Panel of Sri Lankan security forces that has been accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity, a new legal action has surfaced, raising the question: How long can Rajapakse escape culpability for the killings of thousands of unarmed, non-combatant, innocent Tamils?
Visual evidence: Channel 4’s footage of cold blooded killings of Tamils by Sri Lankan security forces has further exposed Rajapaksa       

For the first time in SL’s history the police Force is being run without an officially appointed IGP ! -26.June.2011, 11.55P.M.) According to reports reaching LeN , this is the first time in Sri Lanka , the police Force is being run without an IGP having been officially appointed. The reason for this is , after the resignation of former IGP Balasooriya , the acting IGP N K Ilangakoon has still not been appointed officially as the IGP . If Ilangakoon is to be officially appointed , the Cabinet approval is necessary , but so far , the necessary Cabinet power in this regard has still not been presented to the Cabinet.        Full story >>  

President MR is overtly and loudly campaigning for against heroin (mathata thitha) but is covertly and silently working affinity for heroin (mathata hitha)
(Lanka-e-N ews -25.June.2011, 11.55PM) Police anti Narcotics unit Director SP . K U P Jayasinghe who arrested the millionaire kudu (heroin ) distributor for Colombo kudu Lalithra along with Rs. 40 million worth kudu in his possession and kudu Ruwan alias Ruwan Chamila ,(a close aide of Duminda Silva , MP and defense Ministry monitor in charge) who was arrested in Chilaw while smuggling kudu from India , had been transferred from the unit immediately.

Jayasinhe has been transferred as a personal assistant to DIG Sabaragamuwa where he will wield no important tasks.

Might we recall that LeN reported that after the arrest of Lalithra , the Colombo kudu distributor along with his Rs. 40 million worth heroin , by SP Jayasinghe and Police officer Rangajeewa who conducted the raid , they received death threats , and on two occasions Duminda Silva had phoned Jayasinghe and exerted pressure to release those arrested. We also reported that the Prado vehicle No. 7046 belonged to Duminda Silva which fled and escaped from being taken into custody when heroin was being transported at Chilaw .                  Full story >>       

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Who, Us, What?

A documentary collates the horrors from the final war against the LTTE
Satarupa Bhattacharjya

Video grabs from Channel 4’s documentary ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’. Shown here are images of blindfolded LTTE men being shot dead in cold blood by, presumably, Lankan soldiers.
“Are you still afraid to kill a terrorist?” asks a man, most likely a soldier, in Sinhala to the one standing next to him, with his gun pointed at three blindfolded people, their hands bound, naked and kneeling on the ground. Gunshots are heard, the three prisoners flop to the ground, their heads drenched in blood. Gruesome images emerge in quick succession—naked and possibly sexually abused dead women being dumped into a trunk, heaps of dead bodies of child soldiers of the LTTE, streams of blood flowing out of hospitals located in no-fire zones which the Sri Lankan government forces allegedly shelled, repeatedly and deliberately, killing countless civilians. To this carnage the LTTE too contributed, its suicide bombers detonating amidst civilian crowds or maniacally shooting at people trying to escape its control.