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, March 31, 2014

Sri Lanka: UN resolution the first step on rocky path to accountability

United Nations Special Rapporteur Chaloka Beyani, center, listens to a Sri Lankan ethnic Tamil war survivor during his visit to a former battle field in Mullaitivu, Sri Lanka in December. Pic: AP.

Asian CorrespondentBy    Mar 31, 2014
Sri Lanka adopted the resolution by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Establishes an International Investigation probe alleged Thursday mechanism to monitor ongoing War crimes of the past As well As Human rights violations in the country. While politicians spoke of the passing of the worldwide resolution in terms of victory and defeat, for those working for justice and accountability in the country it was a day of sober reflection on the work ahead. While the resolution partly fulfils the demand for justice and accountability, its weaknesses could also be a cause for serious setbacks.

Brother Bernard And The National Question

Colombo Telegraph
By  CV Wigneswaran -March 31, 2014 
CV Wigneswaran
CV Wigneswaran
It is indeed ironic that we are remembering a stalwart among our Majority Community Parliamentarians of yesteryears at this citadel of Tamil Letters and Literature on his hundredth birthday. In fact we live at a time when a mere 57th Lane cannot be renamed as Tamil Sangam Lane in Colombo because the word 'Tamil' appears to be anathema to some of our governing elites. I am wondering whether calling this Lane as Thamil Sangam Mawatha might be acceptable to those who oppose the renaming. There could be a fusion of Thamil Sangam with Sinhala Mawatha!
The very ground on which this Tamil Sangam Hall is constructed was the venue of our pre-teenage cricketing combats in the late 1940s. Each of us then would consider ourselves the local incarnations of the three Ws who played for West Indies then - Frank Worrel, Clyde Walcott and Everton Weekes apart from the bowling duo Ramaddin & Valentine! Almost all who lived here at 57th lane at that time-both Muslims and Tamils ​​understood the Tamil Language. I believe even today majority of the residents down this very short lane are Tamil speaking. I wonder why there is so much opposition to this road being renamed carrying the Tamil Sangam name.
Such parochial considerations were anathema to Brother Bernard. Call him I prefer to Brother Bernard Bernard since Comrade Rather than comradeship with those of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party got excised with the passing of the 1972 Constitution which took away the nature of the citizenry of this country PLURAL replacing IT with a mono lingual, mono religious and mono cultural ambience in Sri Lanka.    
Speaking of Brother Bernard one is reminded of the spirit of pre-1972 Sama Samajism, which he so thoroughly effused in his life and conduct. To me pre-1972 Sama Samajism taught us two important lessons. The lesson of empathizing and the lesson of united effort. It is a fact of our recent history among the leftists of this country that learned men and women who could have shone so eminently in their respective fields and lived their lives in the comfortable company of the elite, preferred to identify themselves with the common man, empathising with their feelings, needs and wants. They would sit, talk and eat together with the common man. It was they who taught our common masses that power lies in their united efforts. It was they who remained by the side of the unlettered and the rudderless people goading them to action, which ultimately registered their trade union rights in no uncertain terms. Our working class today are beholden to the pioneering efforts of the Sama Samajists and the Communists. Their parties have no doubt lost the charisma they enjoyed in the past, but their spirit is pervasive among our people specially the working class despite the opportunistic course followed by the Party after 1970.
                                                                         Read More

100,000 Death Toll Must Be Revised

|  by Rajasingham Jayadevan
(March 30, 2014, London, Sri Lanka Guardian)  The count clock of the War Dead in Sri Lanka since 1997 is jammed at 100,000. It never moved even a point upward since. Many thousands have been killed ever from that year.
We have seen daily accounts of deaths and there were large numbers of casualties in major confrontations and random killings by the warring parties. The military's actions against the Tamil civilians are many folds than actions of the LTTE and the civilians were treated as fodders to execute the war agenda.
100,000 has become a stubborn comfort figure that has stuck in the rusted and disabled count clock. Even the UN claim of 40,000 deaths in the final confrontation in 2008/09 did not shake the clock to move upward.
The 100,000 claim does not include the missing persons from all walks of life. There is no proper estimation for the missing persons. Then the government claim of soldiers missing in action can be adduced as military persons killed in the confrontation. The LTTE was giving its daily counts of its dead cadres until the latter stage of the war. LTTE's official counts too has not helped move the count clock even a point forward. Then there was claims of dead bodies of the soldiers wrapped in black bags and dumped in the sea by the Air Force during the peak of the final battle. These dead are said be counted as military men missing in action.

Gist: These deaths are not in the static 100,000 claim (File Photo)
The death count in Syria is on a fast upward trend. Within a short period of the internal strife, the death toll has climbed to over 150,000.
Estimation of war deaths in Sri Lanka will be an easy task but a reasonable or actual count will be a daunting one. To get a reasonable count, researching through the daily Sri Lankan newspapers after the 1977 anti-Tamil violence will give a comfortable insight. In such effort, the most difficult one to count is the last stage of the war, when government systematically prevented anyone reporting the casualty details. The government expelled international aid workers and UN staff from the war zone in the last stages of the fighting and blocked independent journalists from covering the war, making it impossible for outsiders to know the extent of civilian deaths. Until the genie let out, the true number will not come out.
Will the ICRC facilitate its statistical record on the number of killed in the war in Sri Lanka?. ICRC will be a difficult source as it will take cover under its mandate to be non controversial and will not compromise it's non partisan stand.
The government has undertaken a count of the dead, wounded and the missing in the over quarter century old war on November 29, 2013. Will the Commission inquiring undertake a proper count of the dead. The effort of the government is braded as a "sham" already. If this is true, the count clock will be forced move backward from the static 100,000 dead.
Only credible source that can unearth the true number of deaths in the final war is the oncoming UN inquiry. If UN succeeds in reaching the wider focus of the war, scale of the deaths will become credible count.
Let's wait and see whether or when the counting clock will show signs of some movement movement.

The PC Elections, External Pressures And The Local Constituencies

By  Imtiyaz Razak  -March 31, 2014 |
Dr.Imtiyaz Razak
Dr.Imtiyaz Razak
Colombo TelegraphSri Lanka's just concluded provincial elections [southern and western] suggest that the ruling regime still enjoys considerable amount of supports among ordinary people despite the fact it had lost some ground to opposition parties in both provinces. The reasons for the regime success are complicated, but the fact is that it still enjoys supports.
There are many reasons as to why opposition parties are not successful to mobilize masses to overthrow the regime. Studies suggest that nationalism often Hands to provide politicians to win power in electoral democracies. Since the end of the War against the LTTE , the Regime was to provide stability eases SUCCESSFUL IT was the fact Fairly On Tough Liberal dissent. The regime's intolerance can be understood as the result of external pressure and Tamil Diaspora activities which were and are aimed at punishing the regime for the military collapse of the LTTE, which claimed it was liberation fighters, but murdered Muslims, Tamils ​​and Sinhalese who oppose it's policies, actions, and agendas.   
On other hand, neo-liberal NGO and INGOs as well as some "liberal international" actors have been ardently trying to depose the regime, which is rather close to China, rising power of the 21st century. These external forces with the help of both diasporic and local liberals among Sri Lankans have been working very hard in several ways, including financially support to depose the regime for the reason that the regime is basically opposes to the west's agendas in the island.
Mahinda Biddhist colombotelegraphI am not a supporter of the regime and do not have any records of supporting any ruling regimes in my life. But I have seen and experienced enough sufferings caused by the neo-liberal regime from 1977-2005 under the United National Party [UNP] which introduced the liberal economic policies that opened the doors to the west while curtailing socio-welfare programs to poor. Sri Lanka also witnessed horrible anti-Tamil violence during the UNP regime. The anti-Tamil Violence in 1983 under the UNP Regime negatively Contributed to not only to polarize the polity, but also led IT to adopt some Tamils ​​Violence. 
I am not a favor any external pressure on any country. In Sri Lanka case, external forces know very well that the regime is still popular among masses, especially among Sinhalese. So they may resort to some other options to depose the regimes, including in the form of UN resolutions. In many ways such pressures are very counter productive and would lead to a circle of hatred and violence. It may also help politicians to use that external pressure to garner votes. Being that said Sri Lanka regime needs to address the concerns of all people including Tamils ​​and Muslims. The war crime allegations need to be addressed. Such investigations should begin from 1983 so affected parties including Muslims parties can seek justice.
Winning elections would not provide effective solutions to the entire crisis and problems Sri Lanka faces. In some cases, elections trigger tensions and thus contribute to instability if there is a heavy politicization. What state should do is to take actions to solve the basic problems of common men and women, provide conditions for upward economic mobility and take against the Sinhala extremist forces who now target Muslims.
In any society, trust is the key. When there is deficit in trust from below, it may well contribute to tensions or it may give space to external actors to fish in the troubled waters. Mr. LEAD by the Regime. Rajapakshe should know this reality. What ordinary masses generally need is better food, bread, and security. If the regime is able to provide these basic needs to masses, there is less reason to raise concerns about instability. Any failure to this effect may lead to instability.  

[ திங்கட்கிழமை, 31 மார்ச் 2014, 09:58.57 AM GMT ]
வாழைச்சேனை வாகனேரி கிராமத்தில் பல நூறு ஆண்டுகளுக்கு முன் இந்து மக்களால் வழிபட்டப்பட்டு வந்த விநாயகர் ஆலய மூல விக்கிரகம் நேற்று உடைக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது.
குறித்த விக்கிரத்தை எடுத்துச் அருகிலுள்ள காட்டுக்குள் வீசப்பட்டுள்ளது.
மட்டக்களப்பு மாவட்டத்தின் கிரான் கோறளைப்பற்று தெற்கு பிரதேச செயலாளர் பிரிவில் உள்ள வாகனேரிக் கிராமத்துக்கு காகித ஆலைக்கு அண்மையில் அமைந்துள்ள பிரதான வீதியில் இந்த ஆலயம் அமைந்துள்ளது. 
விக்கிரகத்தை வெளியில் எறிந்த விஷமிகளால் இவ்வாலயத்திற்குள் மிக்சர் மற்றும் புகைத்தல் பொருட்கள் என்பவற்றை உள்ளே போட்டு விட்டு, அதனுள் இறைவனுக்கு வைக்கப்பட்ட பூக்கள், பட்டுக்கள் என்பவற்றையும் வெளியே வீசியுள்ளனர்.
இவ்வாலய விநாயகர் விக்கிரகம் வீசப்பட்ட செய்தியை கேள்வியுற்ற மட்டக்களப்பு மாவட்ட இந்து இளைஞர் பேரவையின் தலைவரும், பாராளுமன்ற உறுப்பினருமான சீ.யோகேஸ்வரன் நேற்றிரவு சம்பவ இடத்திற்குச் சென்றார்.
அங்கு ஆலயத்தையும், வீசப்பட்ட விநாயகர் விக்கிரகத்தையும் பார்வையிட்டதுடன், உடனடியாக வாழைச்சேனை பொலிஸ் நிலையத்தின் முறையிடுமாறு வாகனேரி இந்து மக்களை கேட்டுக் கொண்டார்.
இவ்விக்கிரகத்தை தூக்கி எரிந்தவர்கள் ஒரு போதும் இந்து சமயத்தை சார்ந்தவர்கள் அல்ல என்பதை பாராளுமன்ற உறுப்பினரிடம் பொதுமக்கள் உறுதிப்பட
உரைத்துள்ளனர். இவ்விடயமாக கூடிய கவனம் செலுத்தப்படும் எனவும், இவ்வாலயத்தை இங்கு திறம்பட அமைக்கவும், மீண்டும் விக்கிரகத்தை இங்கு வைத்து பூசைகளை நடத்தவும் ஒழுங்குகள் செய்யப்படும் எனவும் அவர் உறுதியளித்தார்.

Election Victory Provides Space To Govt To Deal With Geneva Resolution

Colombo Telegraph
By Jehan Perera -March 31, 2014
Jehan Perera
Jehan Perera
Once again the government swept to a comfortable victory at the provincial council elections in the Western and Southern provinces far outstripping its main rival, the UNP, by huge margins virtually everywhere except for Colombo city where the ethnic and religious minority vote predominates.  Both provinces that the government retained control over are important ones.  The Western Province, which includes Colombo, is the most populous and prosperous one by far, accounting for over a quarter of the country’s population and a half of its national income.  The Southern Province has gained in importance during the tenure of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, whose ancestral home is located there.  The Hambantota district from which the presidential family hails has witnessed unprecedented economic development that includes a gigantic new harbor and airport.
The political shrewdness of the government ensured that the elections to the two provinces were timed to coincide with the vote on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.  The day after the vote in Geneva, and just prior to the provincial elections, the main opposition party, the UNP, issued a statement that said “It is now crystal clear that the government set the date for the Western and Southern Provincial elections for March 29, in the full knowledge that it would face a resounding humiliation in the international arena two days earlier.   It is nothing short of despicable that the Rajapaksa administration has chosen to turn a major crisis facing Sri Lanka internationally into a political rallying point in order to consolidate power.”  The US-sponsored resolution in Geneva was passed by a margin of 23 to 12 with 12 abstentions.
During the election campaign government members made it clear that they wanted the voters to deliver a strong verdict in their favour in order to combat the UNHRC resolution.  The government’s campaign was two-pronged.  It emphasized that the resolution sought to punish the leaders of the government and army who had defeated the LTTE and preserved the unity of the country.  The shooting of a policeman that occurred in the North during the campaign period, and heightened security measures including arrests of human rights activists and cordon and search operations in the northern part of the country, became reminders of times past.  The seemingly inexplicable arrest of two internationally known human rights defenders was perhaps for this purpose.  It was used to make the point that the country needed a strong government at this point of time when it was being besieged from both within and without.                            Read More  

Sri Lanka: Indian Abstention at UNHRC: National Interest or Complicity Issue?

Guest Column: By Prof. Manivannan Papers - 30-Mar-2014
The introduction and passing of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution L.1/Rev.1., 'Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka' on 27/03/2014 heralds a new page on many fronts in South Asia. 

The Post-Election Scenario: Lessons & Options For Govt & Opposition

By Dayan Jayatilleka - March 31, 2014
Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka
Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka
Colombo TelegraphA famous soliloquy in the history of Hollywood movies in Don Siegel’s iconic film Dirty Harry begins with Clint Eastwood, playing Inspector Harry Callahan says “I know what you’re thinking— did he fire six shots or only five…” In similar vein I can tell what the strategists of the Opposition are thinking after the Provincial Council election: “when we add the total vote of the ethnic and religious minorities to the 25% plus that the UNP has got, we can get the 50.1% we need to beat Mahinda Rajapaksa”.
In that movie scene, Dirty Harry went on to add a qualifier: “but seein’ as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and could blow your head clean off, there’s one question you’ve gotta ask yourself— do you feel lucky?” My response to the Opposition’s calculation is a similar one: “but seein’ as this will be a Presidential election, which is a popularity duel for leadership of the country, and you’re fielding Ranil Wickremesinghe against Mahinda Rajapaksa, there’s just one question you’ve gotta ask yourself— do you feel lucky?”
All the post-election analyses I read from the critics, tell me that they either do not know or have forgotten what Trotsky said about politics, namely that arithmetic is trumped by higher algebra. The higher algebra is that the Sri Lankan system is presidential, not parliamentary, and while the result of the PC election may be a pointer to future trends, it is far likelier to be indicative of parliamentary trends than the prospects at a Presidential election. The socio-psychological dynamics are quite different in a contest between two candidates for the top spot; for the leadership of the country. This does not mean that Mahinda Rajapaksa is unbeatable. He can certainly be given a run for his money and may even be beatable, but certainly not by Ranil Wickremesinghe who has seen a slight drop in the performance of his party and caused a significant drop of 5,000 votes in his party’s performance in his own Colombo Central, while the most significant improvement in his party’s performance has been spearheaded by his obvious rival for party leadership.
The Government has declined noticeably in its popularity, but the UNP has not only failed to gain, it has a huge gap to bridge between itself and the Government’s percentage of votes. Most dramatic is the fact that the gap between the UNP and the Government, which is 30% plus, is a greater percentage than the votes polled by the UNP. This means that in order to beat the Government the UNP would have to more than double its vote.
If panel of experts are banned from visiting SL 

bySulochana Ramiah Mohan- March 30, 2014

Q: What is your present role in the United Nations?
A: I am not an employee of the UN; however, I have been part of several missions for the UN including Sierra Leone where I served as the International Commissioner for the Truth Commission there. I have also been part of missions to Liberia, Ivory Coast, Libya as well as serving on the Panel of Experts advising Secretary-General to the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, on Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka: India's Janus Faced Duplicity:

Guest Column by Dr Kumar David -Dated 28-March-2014
In an unexpected volte-face India abstained from supporting the UNHRC resolution calling for an international probe into war crimes during the final stages of the civil war in Lanka.
Both the Congress led government and the BJP, hopeful of forming the next, are arm in arm and complicit in this. There were concerns about what implications certain passages in the resolution may have for human-rights violations and crimes by past, present and future Indian governments, and we are asked to believe that this was the reason for abstention. This may be partly true, but why should anyone be soft on governments seeking to hide crimes against their own people under the shroud of national sovereignty?
We live in a globalised planet were national sovereignty has become a profanity uttered by dictators and states seeking to hide a multitude of sins. But enough; this piece is not about atrocities in India. So far as its implications in this country are concerned what Delhi has done is to throw a life line to the Rajapakse clan. The big refrain touted with much drum beating is: India Abstained!
This permits GoSL to repeat of two things to the masses: “We (GoSL) have not done anything wrong, even India says so”, and secondly, “Nothing is going to happen, have no fear, somehow India will throw succour in our direction if the going gets rough”. There is a third possible message; implied reassurance to the Rajapakse clan that if the international probe gets hot and the clan needs getaway locations for ill-gotten loot and corpulent bodies, well options can be considered at the proper time. I have no access to any information to suggest that a deal was reached; I am only reading the political tealeaves.
The Indian representative Dilip Sinha declared that the resolution was “impractical”; obviously diplomatic speak for saying India would not cooperate in implementation. The Regime is now perilously unpredictable. What can be foreseen is that it will unleash the hounds of racism to drum up support, but how far will it go? Will it dissolve the Northern Provincial Council? This is the Regime that imprisoned a so-called Sinhalese war hero, Sarath Fonseka, on trumped up charges; will Wigneswaran, a mere Tamil Chief Minister, fare any better?
These are unanswered questions, especially if the Regime defies United Nations actions and sanctions begin to bite. The net impact of the Indian abstention is counterproductive. It is a slap in the face of the local and international human rights community, it has disheartened the Tamils, and it has put a spring in the step of ultra-nationalists, chauvinists and the Rajapakse clan.
Fortunately the resolution was carried by such a large majority (23-12-12) that the impact of the Indian letdown is not crucial. Now there is concern in the corridors of power in Colombo about how the operative part (an international investigation) will pan out. There is fear that if Colombo rejects the investigation it will be in line for sanctions. The Rajapskses and the top-brass are terrified of possible criminal charges. These potential threats have ameliorated the effect of India’s Janus faced duplicity.
Yes, duplicity! Right up to the end India conducted itself differently and allowed a different measure of its position to leak. Mr Dilip Sinha’s wriggling on the floor of the UNHRC on March 27 was pathetic. His keyword was “intrusive”, put previously India was willing to go along with Navi Pillay’s “National mechanisms have consistently failed to establish the truth and achieve justice” assessment. If you accept that, then you need international mechanisms don’t you? And international means not local, which is ‘intrusive’, doesn’t it? Or is there an elementary logic deficit in Delhi?
I have heard it said that Delhi does not want to burn its boats with Colombo; that it wants to keep the door open to the Rajapakse Clan. And when the Rajapskses go, which may be sooner rather than later, what then?
Delhi has slammed shut the door on every opposition party and every potential alternative government. None are so blind as those who have eyes but cannot see.

We The ‘Criminal’

By Lakmali Hemachandra -March 31, 2014
Lakmali Hemachandra
Lakmali Hemachandra
Colombo Telegraph“History tells us that many of the fundamental rights we enjoy today were obtained after generations before us engaged in sustained protests in the streets: the prohibition against child labor, steps toward racial equality, women’s suffrage – to name just a few – were each accomplished with the help of public expression of these demands. If freedom of expression is the grievance system of democracies, the right to protest and peaceful assembly is democracy’s megaphone. It is the tool of the poor and the marginalized – those who do not have ready access to the levers of power and influence, those who need to take to the streets to make their voices heard.” -   “Take back the streets” Repression and Criminalization of protest around the world October 2013
The Constitution of Sri Lanka declares that ‘We’ the people are sovereign, that the people’s sovereign executive power will be exercised through the office of Executive Presidency, people’s legislative power will be exercised through the Parliament and the sovereign judiciary power of the people is to be exercised through courts and tribunals constituted by the Parliament. We the people are very important it would seem when one reads the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. However, that is not the story that we hear from the Courts appointed by we the people’s sovereign powers, the courts are singing a different tune these days and it says that we the people are in fact criminals, that We the people do not have the right to dissent and protest using the roads built by the We the people’s money, because We are a danger to public property and public order.
This is the official reason given by the Police in applying for injunction orders against mass protests by students, that they are obstructing public order, creating public nuisance and posing probable threats to public property. Some of the bail conditions issued by the Courts in fact ban student activists from organizing and taking part in protests. Magistrate courts, including the Mahara Magistrate Court that issued an injunction order against the IUSF student protest march on 19th of March and later on arrested 14 student activists, have issued many an injunction orders to protect this ‘public’ from the ghastly nuisance of students and other dissenters. The public should be very safe in the hands of the police and the Magistrates, the way they issue order after order to protect the interests of the public.
However, what is happening in reality is that in the guise of public order and public nuisance, the very rights of the people, the supposedly sovereign people, are being violated by the institutions whose primary responsibility is to protect them. People are rapidly being converted into criminals.  It is important for everyone to understand what this trend of criminalization of dissent is undermining and what the eventual outcome of these arbitrary and anti-people decisions would be. We the people are being usurped of our democratic rights, right under our noses. If we do not take action against it now, at the end of the tunnel we will lose all our democratic rights to engage in politics, to dissent and protest government policy. It is the very essence of democracy that the courts are restricting in the interest of the state, against the interest of the people.Read More

Baroness Warsi welcomes conclusions of UN Human Rights Council

Page history:
Published  28 March 2014
World locations:

The UN Human Rights Council concluded its 25th Session today with important resolutions on Sri Lanka, DPRK, Iran, Syria and Burma.
Senior Foreign Office Minister Baroness Warsi said:

Promoting reconciliation, accountability, and human rights in Sri Lanka: Remarks of Ambassador Michele J. Sison

March 28, 2014, American Center
US Embassy ColomboThe message from the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva is clear: the international community has spoken, and urges the Government of Sri Lanka to take meaningful, concrete steps on reconciliation and accountability.

UNHRC vote: Vasan joins Chidambaram in protest

Return to frontpage
 March 30, 2014 
Close on the heels of Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram expressing the view that India should have supported the U.N. Human Rights Council resolution against Sri Lanka, Union Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan on Sunday said he was “agonised and shocked” by the country’s abstention.
Speaking to reporters here at the State Congress headquarters in the presence of TNCC president B.S. Gnanadesikan and senior leader Jayanthi Natarajan, Mr. Vasan said he had conveyed the sentiments of Congress leaders and the people of Tamil Nadu on the issue to the Prime Minister’s Office and the External Affairs Ministry.
“India’s abstention has caused agony and shock for a majority of Congress leaders and workers in the State. There could be no two opinions on the serious human rights violations that took place in Sri Lanka [in the last leg of the military conflict during 2009],” the Minister said.
‘Opinion not shaped by polls’

Mr. Vasan, however, added that the Congress always accorded top priority to the interests of the Sri Lankan Tamil community. “Unlike other political parties, the opinion of the Congress is not shaped by elections,” he clarified.
When asked about the DMK chief, M. Karunanidhi’s remarks that his party was prepared to support the Congress after the elections if the party “regretted its mistakes,” Mr. Vasan said the Congress was happy at the opportunity provided to the party to contest alone in the coming election.

The Crisis In US-Sri Lanka Relations

By Dayan Jayatilleka -March 30, 2014
Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka
Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka
Colombo TelegraphWas it just me or did you notice something very strange in Geneva during the resolution on Sri Lanka? All the speakers who were critical of Sri Lanka focused on post-war sins of commission and omission on the part of the government and the state apparatus— in other words, the present. There was only a passing, ritualistic reference to accountability and reconciliation. However, the mandate of the High Commissioner’s office pertained to the past.
The establishment of a monitoring mission of the Office of the High Commissioner would have addressed the problems that were identified, but by going for an international investigation, the West has put paid for a long time to come, for such an effective measure. Far from an improvement in the situation on the ground, there will be a climate of deterioration.
Decades ago, US policy towards Sri Lanka or any place at all, was drawn up by knowledgeable individuals. A left-of-centre Sri Lankan administration was co-opted and eventually re-shaped by two US Ambassadors with stellar intellectual credentials: Prof Robert Strauss Hupe and Chris Van Hollen Sr. Prof Hupe, the author of the classic ‘Protracted Conflict’ went on to became US Ambassador to NATO. Chris van Hollen became a member of Dr Henry Kissinger’s ‘40 Committee’.
It is not my contention that current and recent US Ambassadors to Colombo are sub-standard. Ambassador Sison and her team are formidably competent diplomats and the crisis in US-Sri Lanka relations owes far more to the quality of Sri Lanka’s representation in the US than US representation in Colombo. It is, however, my contention that those who pushed through the Sri Lanka policy at the Washington end; those who made or endorsed the gear shift from the March 3rd draft resolution to the March 18th draft , are not of the same intellectual quality as the Robert Strauss Hupe, a great Realist strategic thinker, or Chris Van Hollen, a master diplomat (who established such an excellent personal equation with the anti-western Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike that he was suspected of being responsible for the ejection of the leftwing partners of the ruling coalition).                                 Read More
The Beginning

Editorial  Tamil Guardian 31 March 2014
The UN Human Rights Council's adoption of a resolution last week calling on the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to undertake a comprehensive investigation into Sri Lanka is a key milestone in the protracted Tamil struggle. The Council which in May 2009 praised Sri Lanka for its 'victory', now calls for it to be subject to an international inquiry. Whilst the intensification of Sri Lanka's militarised repression in the North-East, even during the Council's 25th session, underscores the inability of the resolution to lead to any immediate change on the ground, the significance of this moment - hard fought and long overdue - is nonetheless profound. Almost five years after the mass slaughter of tens of thousands of Tamils, in what international experts have described as war crimes, crimes against humanity, and even genocide, the international community has come to acknowledge what Tamils ​​had consistently argued was the case: Sri Lanka Justice lacks the will to deliver to the Tamil people, International intervention is Essential. was by no means Easy The Journey here. The passage of the resolution last week was the culmination of the tireless efforts and determination of a few individuals, for five years, including officials from the US, UK and co-sponsoring states, the High Commissioner, a coalition of international human rights organisations, and Tamil actors, particularly from the diaspora, who have doggedly pursued the quest for justice and accountability. In order to achieve the necessary consensus however, compromises have been made ​​along the way. The intense discussions over recent weeks regarding the text of the resolution, and the eleventh hour efforts by Sri Lanka's allies to stall an international investigation made ​​it evident to all engaged in the process, and those around the world who tuned in to watch events unfold live, the need for this. Whilst the behaviour of Sri Lanka's allies is unremarkable, India's abstention and vote in favour of postponing the debate, though thoroughly predictable given past conduct, remains deplorable and unbecoming of the aspiring world power it claims to be. Thus as we argued last week, the well intended efforts of the resolution sponsors to accommodate India's whims whilst seeking to secure an international inquiry were always to be in vain. On the Question of Sri Lanka,
is aligned with a murderous Regime Less than non-aligned. The significance of this moment However, should not detract From and fails to negate the resolution's inability to bring an end to the ongoing violations and the intensifying Crisis in the North-East. As US and UK officials have commented repeatedly over recent weeks, the situation is deteriorating. The persistent and sustained calls from the North-East for immediate relief and protection from the Sri Lankan state remain unmet, as Sinhalisation and militarisation of the Tamil homeland escalate at an alarming rate. Meanwhile as Sri Lanka has already made ​​clear, meaningful and genuine cooperation are not to be forthcoming. Determined to resist international norms, Sri Lanka has categorically rejected the resolution. Thus, quite apart from the pursuit of justice for past crimes, arresting ongoing violations requires focus and further international action as a matter of urgency. Targeted sanctions and criminal prosecutions of alleged War criminals traveling outside the Island, should be pursued, in parallel to the Investigation by the High Commissioner's Office. In the Immediate aftermath of May 2009,  We forewarned  of the inevitable confrontation between Sri Lanka and Liberal order that would ensue. The military defeat of the LTTE - purported by liberal orthodoxy to be the panacea to the island's conflict - would not lead to Sri Lanka taking the road to ethnic reconciliation and liberal peace. Quite the reverse, the absence of an armed Tamil resistance to the Sri Lankan state, would allow the government to pursue Sinhala Buddhist hegemony unchecked. Today we stand vindicated. We also meanwhile wrote of renewed resolve amongst the Tamil diaspora to take the struggle forward as a coalition of activists, united in purpose, and focused on a greater engagement with key power centres. This has been the case too, so much so, IT is at times far Easy to Forget How We Come to have this Point Reach - that which was extraordinary and aspirational, Now is routine and commonsensical. Five years ago As Tamils ​​were in the Homeland brutalised, the diaspora, collectively criminalised as terrorist sympathisers, protested day after day in capital cities around the world. Today, the very people who led the protests of 2009, many of whom were second generation Tamil youth, together with those in the North-East who have suffered the greatest losses, such as the mothers and wives of the disappeared, have emerged as key driving forces of the struggle. Five years On, a coalition of Tamils ​​From the Homeland and diaspora, gathered at the UN in Geneva, to (successfully) International action Secure On Sri Lanka, 
liaising closely with International ActorsAmidst unfathomable loss and hopelessness, grief by far From being paralysed or anger, Tamils ​​Rose up and continued the struggle with unwavering resolve.  This is just the beginnig.