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

Monday, April 30, 2012

The British government has an international legal obligation not to deport people who have a credible fear of torture upon return. Convincing reports of arbitrary arrests and torture demand that the UK government suspend returns of rejected Tamil asylum seekers to Sri Lanka until it can fairly and thoroughly assess their individual claims based on up-to-date human rights information on Sri Lanka.
Brad Adams, Asia director
HRW(New York) – The United Kingdom should suspend deportations of ethnic Tamil asylum seekers to Sri Lanka and immediately review its policies and information about the country’s rights situation used to assess their claims, Human Rights Watch said today. Research by Human Rights Watch has found that some returned Tamil asylum seekers from the United Kingdom have been subjected to arbitrary arrest and torture upon their return to Sri Lanka.
In recent months the British government has sent Tamil asylum seekers back to Sri Lanka on charter flights. Human Rights Watch expressed particular concern about the next scheduled deportation from the United Kingdom of about 100 Tamil asylum seekers, scheduled for February 28, 2012.     Full Story>>>
The white Van criminals identified with photos proving MaRa is the Godfather

(Lanka-e-News-30.April.2012, 11.50PM) Lanka e news is in receipt of photographs which bear testimony that the white van criminal operations are personally conducted by President Mahinda Rajapakse.

On the 20th of March , Lanka e news reported that the four criminals of the white Van that came to kill the Kolonnawa local body Mayor , if not abduct him on the 10th of March at Wellampitiya , are of the President’s security division (PSD) - a paramilitary group and are not directly under the control of the Army Commander . Now there are photographs available to substantiate our report.

On the left side of this photograph , within the red circle is the face of the leader of the group that came to kill or abduct the Mayor , whose name is Jayasena Saluge Sampath Pushpa Kumara , a Captain.( based on the ID card which was in his possession on the day of the attempted abduction). He was in the Army SF and absorbed into the PSD paramilitary team.
This same Captain Pushpa Kumara is within the red circle on the right side of the photograph , when he was performing duties as PSD officer. This right side photograph was taken prior to the attempted Kolonnawa crime incident.

Hence , these photographs clearly confirm without any trace of doubt that under the President Mahinda Rajapakse (Idi Mahin – Idi Amin’s replica), a murderous group of criminals are on the rampage under his personal directions – need there be any more evidence than these to corroborate this ?
UK Human Rights Report 2011: Sri Lanka named as a country of concern

Sri Lanka was named as a country of concern in the UK Foreign Office Human Rights Report for 2011. The report was launched by the UK Foreign Secretary, William Hague.

The report covers thematic issues, highlighting the UK’s global human rights priorities and countries of concern. It also features case studies, designed to highlight particular FCO activity or issues of concern in certain countries which do not overall meet the threshold for inclusion among the 28 ‘countries of concern’.  There are also new chapters to reflect events of the Arab Spring and to set out the FCO’s priorities on human rights.

The section on Sri Lanka, which is a country of concern, focuses on accountability for alleged war crimes, respect for human rights – freedom of expression, minority rights, women’s rights – a political settlement in a post-conflict era and abductions and disappearances, among other themes.

On the issue of allegations in the media of returning migrants and refugees being abused, the report states that “All such allegations in respect of returnees from the UK were investigated by our High Commission and no evidence was found to substantiate them.” 

Returnees were encouraged to contact the British High Commission if they required assistance, the UK Government states.

In the foreword to the report, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said, “The promotion and protection of human rights is at the heart of UK foreign policy. We are determined to pursue every opportunity to promote human rights and political and economic freedom around the world. Individual demands for a better life can only truly be satisfied in open and democratic societies.”

Excerpt from the report on Sri Lanka;         MORE..

Bowen challenged on human rights

May 1, 2012
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA- MARCH 11, 2011 : Photo of  Chris Bowen MP, Minister for Migration and Citizenship taking part at the 2011 CPD Immigration Law conference in Melbourne on Friday March 11, 2011. AFR /  LUIS ENRIQUE ASCUI
Immigration Minister Chris Bowen.Photo: Luis Enrique Ascui
HUMAN rights monitors have challenged Immigration Minister Chris Bowen to tackle Sri Lanka's government over practices of torture and arbitrary detention during a visit to the country.
Mr Bowen will hold talks in Colombo this week and has praised Sri Lanka ahead of the trip for co-operation with Australia against people smuggling.
But the US-based Human Rights Watch has called on Australia to raise concerns over abuses by the authorities.
''Australian government officials will say they do so privately but should do so publicly as well,'' said Elaine Pearson, Human Rights Watch deputy director for Asia.
Ms Pearson told The Age that despite the end of the country's civil war in 2009, security forces were continuing to commit human rights abuses. Ms Pearson said her organisation had testimony of people deported from Britain then beaten with battens and burnt by cigarettes.
''Three years later we've still seen an absolute failure by the government to have any sort of accountability,'' she said.
Sri Lankan High Commissioner in Canberra Thisara Samarasinghe said there was no agenda to discuss human rights concerns with Mr Bowen and the visit was to strengthen co-operation against illicit migration.

Read more:

May Day message of the JVP

Tuesday, 01 May 2012
Today is May Day. Its history is the bitter struggle carried out by the working people sacrificing their lives, shedding their blood and sweat and making boundless sacrifices to win an eight hour working day.
On May Day, the day commemorating the heroes and heroines who made the supreme sacrifice in the struggle, the masses all over the world amasses their strength. The working people in Sri Lanka with the leadership of the JVP clasp their hands with the people all over the world who commemorate May Day today.
Sri Lanka, at present, under the leadership of pro-imperialist, capitalist Mahinda Rajapaksa regime is confronted with a number of massive social, economic and political crises. The country is going through a colossal foreign exchange shortage. As such, the country is trapped in a foreign debt snare. The government that depends on loans by imperialist institutions such as the IMF has fallen to the level of begging more loans to pay the interest of loans already obtained. As a condition for such loans Sri Lanka rupee has been depreciated against foreign currency including the US dollar. Meanwhile, local industries, businesses, agriculture and services breakdown rapidly. Under these circumstances the government raises its income by levying heavy taxes and imposing heavy fines that are unbearable for the masses. The government also prints money in billions.
The masses have reached a state that they no longer could bear the rapidly increasing cost of living. Today 53% of the population earns a petty income only enough for a single meal a day.
Mahinda Rajapaksa regime, that has failed to protect sovereignty and dignity of Sri Lanka, has belittled the country before US imperialism and Indian hegemony; Imperialists have been given a leeway to interfere in the internal affairs of the country. This has created a risk of Sri Lanka becoming a prey for the imperialists.
Mahinda Rajapaksa regime that wrests democratic and human rights of the masses is suppressing the country and masses under the dictatorship of the Rajapaksa family.
The government that failed to fulfill basic needs of masses in the North and the East and establish national unity, equality and reconciliation is laying out an environment to strengthen communalism and separatism.
Social issues have escalated and crime has increased as Rajapaksa regime is unable to provide the basic needs of the masses such as food, water, shelter, clothes, medicine, education employment etc.
Unable to create an environment for the masses to live without fear or mistrust, Rajapaksa regime has failed to prevent crime and has dragged the country towards an abyss of immorality.
It is certain that UPFA led by pro-imperialist SLFP that has teamed up with IMF and other imperialist institutions to make the country bankrupt economically, politically socially and ethically and the two factions of the UNP would never be able to set the country free from the precipice it has been pushed to. Sri Lanka could be liberated from the crises it is confronted with at present and from imperialist interferences only through the victory of the anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist struggle carried out by a broad anti-imperialist people’s movement. The working people in Sri Lanka led by its working class should take the lead in creating such a broad anti-imperialist people’s movement. This should be the resolution of the working people on this May Day.
Hence, the JVP invites the working people, farmers, fisher-folk, women, youths, students, professionals, technologists, artistes, democrats, humanitarians and environmentalists to ideologically and organizationally rally around the anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist broad front being built with the leadership of the JVP.
Sunday 29 April 2012
ast week the IMF released its economic report on Lanka; it is available on the Fund’s website as Country Report 12/95 dated April 2012. It gave the government mixed grades; expressing approval of the austerity and price cutting already implemented, criticizing delay in rupee depreciation and the consequent fall in reserves, and bemoaning the mess in implementing EPF legislation. The report lowered 2012 GDP growth forecast to below 7.5% and expressed concern about foreign reserves and sovereign debts:
“ . . (R)isk underscored the need for a credible package of measures to stem the loss of reserves and place the current account on a more sustainable path.”
The overall assessment was as follows, and those who know how to read these things will tell you the intention is to push the government in certain directions; not for the report to be taken as an economic forecast.
“The policy package should improve Sri Lanka’s reserve position and place the external current account deficit on a sustainable trajectory. However, the next several months are critical, as the authorities will need to stabilize reserves and consolidate a shift to a more flexible monetary and exchange rate policy regime.” 
OK, so what this adds up to is that the IMF wants the government to persist with austerity, cut subsidies, raise prices and resist wage demands. Politically, economic confrontations between the government and the subaltern social classes that started in the first months of this year will worsen. Whether one likes the IMF prescriptions or not, everyone can agree that a fight is brewing.
I have previously argued in this column that “no man is an island separate unto itself” and certainly this small island will always be sensitive to events in the big. wide world out there. It is not human rights but the economic quarrels in the rest of the world that will affect our future, which I have chosen as my topic for today. The big picture is the New Depression in the West and slowdown in China and India, but today I want to focus more sharply on Europe and specifically on France in the light of the outcome of the French Presidential Primaries on April 22.

“Citizen’s revolutions”     Full Story>>>

Ven Somaratana Denies The Rape Charges:He Says ‘It Could Have Been Another Monk’

April 30, 2012By Nick Hitchens/Croydon Guardian -

Top monk on child rape charges

The Venerable Pahalagama Somaratana
Colombo TelegraphOne of the most senior Buddhist monks in the UK is accused of a string of sexual assaults on two girls aged under 10, including raping one in his temple’s shrine room.
The Venerable Pahalagama Somaratana, is charged with four counts of indecent assault and one of rape against a victim in Chiswick in the summer of 1978 and five counts of indecent assault against a second victim at the Croydon temple in the mid-80s.
Appearing in his saffron robes at Isleworth Crown Court last week, Ven Somaratana, 66, chief monk at Thames Buddhist Vihara, Dulverton Road, Selsdon for the past 31 years, denied all the charges and blamed mistaken identity for the allegations against him.
The court heard the first victim was attacked shortly after the monk arrived in England from Sri Lanka.
Prosecuting Richard Merz told the court the girl, aged nine, had been enticed into the monk’s room with fruit polos and told to sit on his lap.
Later, he told the court, Ven Somaratana cornered her in the temple shrine and raped her.
He said: “You used to see her in the corridor downstairs and ask her upstairs.
“Three times this happened, three times. The victim says the person who did this to her in the shrine rooms was someone who gave her the fruit Polos.”
Five assaults allegedly took place at Thames Buddhist Vihara in Selsdon
Mr Merz added the second victim, who was aged between nine and 10 during the attacks in 1984 and 85, was also enticed into his room with sweets at the Selsdon temple, which he founded in 1981.
He said: “She says she was attacked by you in your room.”
During hypnotherapy in 2009 as an adult she revealled she was the victim of sexual assault The court heard both victims describe how he had them sit on his lap before he touched them.
Ven Somaratana denies the charges. He said he did not know how the first victim was raped but it could have been another monk.
He denied either girl had ever entered his room and said the temple plan meant people could always look in, so it would have been impossible to not be seen with the victims.
He said: “It is a very small room. It is very public people are sitting in front people can see in.”
Arguing against the rape in the shrine he said the room was always occupied by worshippers.
He said: “There are so many people coming from 9am to 9pm they regularly go to the shrine room.”
The trial is expected to last three weeks.
Read related stories here

India's frustration with Sri Lanka over Tamils

BBCBharat  BhushanBy Bharat Bhushan Analyst
President Rajapaksa has yet to act on promises of greater rights for Tamils
Sri Lankans carry posters of President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a rally opposing the UN Human Rights Council vote against the country - 22 March 2012Indian disappointment with Sri Lanka's refusal to undertake genuine reconciliation with its Tamil population ought to have been apparent to Colombo for some time now.
It must have been brought home forcefully with the visit of an all-party delegation of Indian parliamentarians to Sri Lanka last week.
Although India supported the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam it was wrong to presume that it would turn a blind eye to Colombo's indifference towards resolving the Tamil question since the war ended three years ago.
Its error should have been apparent to Colombo when Delhi voted for the resolution in the UN Human Rights Council castigating Sri Lanka for the abuses committed by its armed forces against the Tamil militants during the three decades of war.
Indian opposition leader Sushma Swaraj in Colombo, Sri Lanka - 21 April 2012The parliamentarian delegation, the first high level one from India after the UN vote, was led by opposition leader Sushma Swaraj.
Indian opposition leader Sushma Swaraj - taking the government line on Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: And now they have come for the Muslims


Guest Column by Dr Kumar David
It is alarming, what is happening to the Muslims in Sri Lanka. There is a 50:50 chance it will blow up into unrest and instability – I will explain anon why I have hedged my bets. However, there is a disease these events have exposed about which there can be no doubt. This is a deep animosity towards Muslims, which remained buried during the civil war against the Tamils, and has now broken out into the open. Explicit expressions proliferate on the web and in the media – even international sites like Youtube are used for an outpouring of hate mail. Here are two printable quotes from the web to convey the gist of it – I cannot quote more juicy examples littered with obscene expletives, or because they are in Sinhala.
Quote 1: “My Muslim brothers. Plz remember this is not a islamic republic where ‘sharia’ law is practised…
Sri-lanka is a majority sinhala country where 74% of the population are sinhalese..
Quote 2: “This could well be a self inflicted attack by the Muslims themselves in order to incriminate Sinhala people and to create havoc by rioting. The venomous atmosphere currently prevailing in Sri Lanka is the direct result of encroachment in to Buddhist Temple properties and establishing places of worship on the sly. Sinhala Buddhists co-existed with Muslim people when there were no provocation by the latter. Encroachment in to the ancient Buddhist Shrine at Kooragala, obfuscate the scrolls and establishing a tomb for worshiping, is another example of Muslim high handed and provocative activity.”
It is extremely important (I do not use adjectives carelessly) for overseas readers interested in Lanka to thoroughly apprise themselves of the factual side; I will touch on it but lightly. Two excellent sources for politically sophisticated foreign readers are the websites:-
   (an award winning site)
The build up in outline       Full Story>>>
CTC Press Conference and Channel 4's 

"War Crimes Unpunished" screened at the 

Canadian Parliament

LogoCTC Press Conference and Channel 4's "War Crimes Unpunished" screened at the Canadian Parliament

The Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) organized a press conference at the Parliamentary Press Gallery on Tuesday April 24th, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. This press conference was held to highlight the unsettling human rights situation in Sri Lanka despite the end of the war three years ago. It was also held in anticipation of the screening of “War Crimes Unpunished", Channel 4's sequel to 'Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields' for the first time on Parliament Hill later that evening at 7:00 p.m.
Following Ms. Vani Selvarajah’s opening statement on behalf of Canadian Tamil Congress, NDP Ms. Rathika Sitsabaiesan and Liberal Party MP Hon. John McCallum spoke at the press conference. All speakers addressed the dire need of support and international attention needed towards the situation in war-torn Sri Lanka and urged people to watch the documentary. Many mainstream media was present for this press conference and Channel 4 DVD’s were distributed to all media personal present at the press conference.

Later in the evening at 7 pm, "War Crimes Unpunished", Channel 4's sequel to 'Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields' was screened for the first time on Parliament Hill at Room 268 La Promenade located at 151 Sparks street. During this special screening, one which was jointly sponsored by Liberal Party MP Judy Sgro, Conservative Party MP Patrick Brown and NDP MP Prof. Craig Scot.
Despite busy schedules on the Hill and the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Canada’s personal appeal to Canadian MP’s urging them not to attend this screening, many elected representatives and their staff from all political parties attended this screening. The joint sponsors addressed the crowd and echoed the sentiment that this was no long an issue between the Tamils and Sinhalese but was merely an issue of human rights – one which needed international attention and action.
The gruesome Channel 4 documentary did just that – it portrayed the stories of the war that remained unheard and unseen to the international community. Viewers were left “speechless” and teary as the documentary concluded. Members of Parliament asked for extra copies of the documentary as they planned on spreading the word to their networks.

Published on: 04/29/12 19:23

 People's Democracy

T K Rangarajan
THE army must be pushed back to the barracks; the Tamils living in camps resettled in their original inhabitations; accountability fixed of those who indulged in war crimes during the last phase of the war in Summer 2009; and powers devolved to the Tamil provinces as was stipulated by a constitutional amendment after heroic struggles and sacrifices. These were the demands made by an Indian all-party parliamentary delegation that visited Sri Lanka for six days starting April 16, 2012. It was only after a lot of controversy that the visit of the 12 member parliamentary delegation to Sri Lanka, led by leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha, Ms Sushma Swaraj (BJP), took place.
The delegation also demanded of the government of India that it must bring pressure upon the Sri Lankan government through inter-governmental and diplomatic efforts for fulfilment of these demands. 
While the mainline Dravidian parties, the AIADMK and DMK, withdrew their nominees from the delegation, alleging that it won’t serve any purpose, the successful and productive conclusion of the visit on April 21 pushed these parties to the defensive. Their contention was that the members of Indian parliament would not be able to visit the IDP camps and war affected areas to hear the views of Sri Lankan Tamils, but it proved wrong. The itinerary was recast and a tight schedule awaited the delegation when it landed in Ceylon. 

Buddhist Sangha May Hold An Inquiry And Discipline Those Political Un-Buddhist Monks

Colombo TelegraphApril 30, 2012By Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake -
Dr.Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake
Sri Lanka has a long and proud tradition of religious co-existence which is attested by the presence of multi-religious sacred sites throughout the island, as well as, its uniquely mixed cultural geography.
The solution to the unfolding Dambulla Mosque crisis must hence build on, protect and nurture traditions of religious syncretism, pluralism and co-existence in the country.
Buddhists, Christians, Hindus and Muslims have historically shared public space. After years of conflict when the need of the hour is reconciliation and social integration, segregation or removal of established shrines or places of worship would set a negative precedent that amounts to a form of religious and ethnic cleansing
Katargama, the Madhu shrine in Mannar, and Sri Pada are ancient and famous multi-religious sites of worship where Hindus and Buddhists, as well as, Muslims and Christians have come together for worship for centuries, as evident in the country’s archaeological and historical record. For instance, there is an ancient Sufi shrine in the Kataragama sacred area which houses Hindu and Buddhist deities and related religious complexes.
The British colonial administrator, John Still, recorded in his book, Jungle Tide, which was published over a hundred years ago in 1911, that he witnessed a Muslim father bring his son who was ill to the shrine at Madhu church which was known to be a powerful and healing sacred place. Sri Pada is a multi-religious site in the central hills. In contemporary religious practice a majority of Lankans are pluralist and pragmatic, and tend to gravitate to multiple religious sites to give arms and seek the blessing and favor of various gods while “hedging their bets” so to speak. In Colombo it is not difficult to find a single small street harbouring a kovil, mosque, temple and church each next to the other (e.g. Mayra Place ). Read More