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Is the Tamil Diaspora Against Unity in Sri Lanka?

“The great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes The Tamil Diaspora is a diverse ethnic group. Amongst it, the majority are strongly connected to their kith and kin in the island of Sri Lanka. Arguably, the Tamil Diaspora is […]

First Failure in Geneva: Trap, Blunder or Model?

However bad Sri Lanka’s foreign policy is and external relations are, they have yet to hit the nadir that they did under President Jayewardene in the 1980s. The first ever resolution on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka adopted in Geneva by the Human Rights Commission was in March 1987, while the first decision, […]

Police in Sri Lanka show their true saffron colours

Lest we forget, the Sri Lankan police, who act under the orders and protection of the Ministry of Defence, are far from doyens of impartiality. A few weeks ago, we noted that ”it is quite clear that four policemen, no more than 3 feet away from and staring directly into the face of the Buddhist “monk” […]

Responding to Geneva by Exemplary Restitution

Robert O. Blake has once said, “International mechanisms can become appropriate in cases where states are either unable or unwilling to meet their obligations.” After Geneva March 2013, US officials have reiterated this in stricter terms. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran has said the final Geneva Resolution will not relieve the affected Tamils and reminded the […]

A Missing Person in Sri Lanka: Heartfelt Issues & Ground Realities

Image courtesy Salon / AP Photo by Eranga Jayawardena When I was in Sri Lanka from mid-April to early June 2009 I was on holiday with my wife and not able to pursue investigations in any depth. In contrast my sojourn in May-June 2010 focused on a range of studies and travels. One gem of […]

Interview with Nimalka Fernando: The UN HRC resolution and beyond

Nimalka, now we’ve seen that the council voted for the resolution on Sri Lanka. What is your initial impression? It’s a serious voting pattern. Because if you look at the resolution, the resolution has very substantial  concerns raised by civil society for a period of time. From holding elections in the North, addressing issues of […]

UN HRC 22nd Session | Resolution ‘Promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka’

An archive of material around the Resolution titled ‘Promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka’ passed at the UN Human Rights Council today. Final text below, and available as PDF here, and as Word document here. ### Human Rights Council Twenty-second session Agenda item 2 Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human […]

Sons and daughters missing, missed, forgotten: LLRC’s failure in Sri Lanka

Tamil mothers, sisters, wives and daughters have not yet given up their hopes to find their disappeared sons, brothers, husbands and fathers. The tragedy of endless search continues for them. Some Tamil women have more than one tragedy to digest. Vasanthathevi Kathirkamanathan is still searching for her missing daughter. And, her husband has been missing […]

Police detains families of disappeared from Northern Sri Lanka and prevents peaceful protest and petition to the UN

[Editors note: See our earlier report, Police impeding the movement of Tamils.] March 5th, 2013, Vavuniya On March 5th, 2013, at about 8.30pm, the Police blocked about 600 persons, comprising families of the disappeared and civil society activists from the North, from traveling from Vavuniya to Colombo to attend a protest organized by the ‘Association of […]

Police impeding the movement of Tamils

11.14PM, 5th March 2013: Families of the disappeared in Sri Lanka, traveling to attend a demonstration in front of Colombo UN office, were detained in Vavuniya by the Police. Eleven buses with victimised Tamil people were en route to Colombo to stage a demonstration in Colombo tomorrow to coincide with the submission of the US […]

Lies, Damn Lies and Mahinda Samarasinghe at the UN HRC

Image courtesy JDS Sri Lanka Campaign has just released a very good compilation of rebuttals to points made by Min Mahinda Samarasinghe’s address to the UN Human Rights Council yesterday, which can be read and viewed here. Here Sri Lankan civil society responding to Mahinda Samarasinghe’s speech @groundviews @cfhaviland #HRC22 #UNlk scribd.com/fullscreen/127… — Sri Lanka […]

“Building the base”: An interview with Sunila Abeysekara about post-war Sri Lanka

Sunila, how do you look at Sri Lanka today?  There are different interpretations ranging from a constitutional dictatorship to clan- run ‘deep state’? And you have decades of human rights activism behind you; you have been to the Geneva Human Rights council for nearly a decade to campaign for rights in Sri Lanka, but today […]

Howling

What shall I do, living in Peru, with this report of systemic failure in U.N. monitoring in Sri Lanka, how bureaucrats drove away from the disaster to come, buried hard- earned stats about civilian deaths and allowed themselves to be brow-beaten, harassed, shouted into silence while 40,000 humans died , mostly from battering shells rained […]

Many Shades of Accountability: The UN and Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy United Nations In the last stages of the war in Sri Lanka tens of thousands of civilians were killed and no one has been held to account to date. This article though is not about the accountability of the Government of Sri Lanka(GoSL) for the killings. Hundreds, if not thousands, have already discussed, […]

#UPRLKA: Complete tweet archive and related visualisation around Sri Lanka’s UPR review

Image courtesy Sydney Morning Herald On 1st November 2012, Sri Lanka was taken up for discussion as part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC). The last UPR was in 2008, and under scrutiny was Sri Lanka’s human rights record over the past four years, that significantly, saw the […]