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UN Panel Report on Accountability in Sri Lanka

Provoking, persecuting and pushing Sri Lanka: Enough!

Photo credit REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte: Special Forces Combat soldiers ride in a parade during a war victory ceremony in Colombo May 27, 2011. Sri Lanka holds a military parade and memorial for fallen soldiers on Friday to mark the second anniversary of the defeat of the Tamil Tigers, which ended a quarter-century civil war in the […]

“War Crimes” and Democracy in Sri Lanka

Photo courtesy Online Focus Lieutenant William Calley of the Charlie Company was a confused man. It was just two months ago that his company and others took a heavy toll when the Viet Cong  attacked during the Tet festival and television screens around the world showed the carnage they wrought. So when Calley’s CO Colonel […]

Sri Lanka ‘Killing Fields’: Will there be progress and what does that mean?

‘Killing fields’ can be a phrase used to describe a most mundane fact known to humanity, or it could be a most provocative phrase to an ethnic majority or minority group. When viewed from the standpoint of a human being, one need not try hard to realize that the moment one factors in the number […]

Thoughts on a documentary: We are complicit in Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields

It was the most gruesome of visual feasts and it when it ended, the most disorienting sense followed. One is struck, not by the extremity of human suffering; but by stillness, by the insouciance of the pools of blood. They appear on screen as almost as if they are the everyday aftermath of one of […]

Exclusive interview with Callum McCrae, Director of ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’ produced by Channel 4

Groundviews caught up with Callum McCrae, Director of the highly controversial and very disturbing film by Channel 4, Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields, in New York, a day before the film was due to be screened for senior diplomats, UN staff and others at the Church Centre, in front of the UN Headquarters. Callum was joined […]

Assessing the Validity of Legal Challenges to the UN Panel Report

Apologists for the Sri Lankan government have marshaled a number of arguments in response to the growing pressure on accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Some are less clever than others. The argument that the Panel Report is part of a Western witch hunt against Sri Lanka as punishment for defeating terrorism needs […]

Sri Lanka’s Post-War Crisis: War Crimes and Channel 4

Following the broadcast of ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’ on the 14th of June and its public release – for seven days – on Channel 4’s website, there has been an overwhelming international reaction to what has been described as ‘brutal,’ ‘horrific’ and ‘shocking’ footage of war crimes. In an effort to collate the reportage following […]

The ramifications of the Channel 4 documentary ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’

The recently telecast Channel 4 documentary on ‘Killing Fields of Sri Lanka’ sheds no new light (despite claims to the contrary), in terms of groundbreaking evidence, regarding the incidents related to the end of the war in Sri Lanka.  If anything, it will seek to entrench already hardened attitudes and decrease the ever reducing space […]

Twitter explodes with reactions and responses to Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields

Channel 4 broadcast Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields tonight in the UK, which it describes as “a hard-hitting investigation into the final weeks of the Sri Lankan civil war, featuring devastating video evidence of horrific war crimes.” Sri Lanka’s response to the video has been unsurprisingly ham-fisted, but already, the video is having an impact internationally. […]

Checkmate, Rajapakse! The UN Report, Militarism and Public Religion in Sri Lanka

The author of this article, in January 2012, wanted us to take it down. Although published under a pseudonym on Groundviews, the real name of the author and the full content of the article is available online on a number of websites.

When allegations become evidence

Media and advocacy groups make mistakes. It’s true. The reason for the errors can vary from simple human error, time constraints resulting in insufficient research to subtle manipulation of facts and wording to push an agenda. Once a mistake has been pointed out, most reputable organisations will publish an acknowledgement along with the correction. Less […]

Giving the middle finger: Sri Lanka’s conflicting responses to war crimes allegations

Mr. A Nawan, Deputy Solicitor General of Sri Lanka This symbolic screen grab is from a short video on Channel 4’s website, on the occasion of screening in Geneva a one-hour documentary into the denouement of the war in Sri Lanka. As Channel 4’s website notes, “Disturbing footage in the film includes the apparent extra-judicial […]

Is the war crimes video confirmed by UN as authentic “unrepresentative and irrelevant”?

The Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, presented at the 17th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva today found, after digital forensic investigations, new footage from the final days of Sri Lanka’s civil war as authentic and proving that war crimes took place […]

The Indo- Sri Lanka Joint Communique: Delineating the Parametres of Action in Response to the Panel Report

[Editors' note: An edited version of this article appeared in the Daily Mirror on the 26th of May 2011.] 4. Both sides agreed that the end of armed conflict in Sri Lanka created a historic opportunity to address all outstanding issues in a spirit of understanding and mutual accommodation imbued with political vision to work […]

A robust debate on No Fire Zones (NFZs) and International Humanitarian Law: Artful dodging of war crimes in Sri Lanka?

Original image courtesy PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images A central challenge of curating content on Groundviews is that some of the most interesting discussions which occur on comment threads get obscured over time, and are less visible than the primary material published here. A case in point is the recent thrust and parry of wit over the […]