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A Realistic Look at the Draft Resolution by the US on Sri Lanka at the UN HRC

Placard in Sinhala reads ‘Barack, you’re a burden for us’. Photo courtesy Priyantha Wickremarachchi/Ceylon Today The US recently tabled a draft resolution against Sri Lanka is so incredibly weak that President Mahinda Rajapaksa must be breathing a sigh of relief. It is no wonder that the US feels confident that it has the votes in […]

THE BIG LIE ABOUT THE US RESOLUTION

Image from The Nation It is almost a crime to lie to the people and mislead them on a matter of vital national interest. When it is committed by politicians it is an act of unconscionable opportunism. When it is perpetrated by so-called intellectuals belonging to civil society, it is a counterfeiting of the currency […]

Post 9/11 world: Compromises with war crimes and accountability

The President looking at war crimes in Vietnam. Courtesy Defence.lk A mapping of differences amongst and alliances within member States of the UN Human Rights Council, reduced to 46 with Libya not qualified to vote till a permanent government is installed in Tripoli, does not show a clean sweep to either side. US would still […]

Some thoughts on Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished

Like so many diasporic Sri Lankans I watched it, even staying up late (by my currently low standards that is). Did I think that the first programme was a good thing? Yes. There’s a line, a quandary, a grey area after any conflictual situation. And it’s about what we should just put behind us and […]

Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished: Unofficial video now online

Channel 4′s new documentary on Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished aired for the first time in the UK last night. Before it is even available on Channel 4′s official web based on-demand service, it’s now up on YouTube. It is likely that the video is soon taken down by Youtube over […]

Sri Lanka and its ‘Geneva-problem’

Maria Otero, US Under Secretary, Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights meets Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary of Defence in February 2012. Photo courtesy Lanka Standard. The year 2009 was when the Western group of States at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) made a serious diplomatic blunder, by attempting to pass a resolution against Sri Lanka. […]

Why Sri Lanka must ‘win’ at UNHRC

Image courtesy Vikalpa from rally held in Colombo on Monday, 27th February. Unclear what the poster means, but the general thrust of it seems to gel with Chaminda’s submission. The following is an excerpt from a statement recently made by Ambassador Eileen Chambarlain Donahoe JD PhD, top US diplomat to the United Nations Human Rights Council […]

LLRC REPORT: REASON, REFORM, ROADMAP

Photo, courtesy JDS, is of Sri Lanka’s President reading the LLRC report on a ‘haansi putuwa‘ at his official residence. Though not without flaws and lacuna, the long awaited LLRC report does not disappoint, and reaches high standards, ranking with the best reports emanating over the decades from official and semi-official/autonomous Sri Lankan commissions, reviews and probes. […]

The LLRC report and ‘accountability’ in Sri Lanka

Readers will find no big surprises after reading the final report of Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC). It is very much what most people were expecting. A document that looks to the future, exonerates the military, does not touch on the question of accountability and includes some touchy-feely language about the country’s need to […]

The official report of the LLRC

The official report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission was tabled in Parliament today. The official government site the report is available at is, at the time of writing, charitably put, doing very badly with the local and international demand for and interest in the report. We managed to get a PDF of the […]

Post-war situation in Northern Sri Lanka & Prospects for Reconciliation

Changes since the end of the war: 30 months after the end of war, more people travel between the once off limits North[i] and the South and many of the travel restrictions have been eased. The dreaded Medawachiya checkpoint is no more, and since 2010, we have not taken a flight or ship to Jaffna, […]

CHOGM-2011: HOW DIPLOMATIC VICTORIES END IN DISGRACE

[Editors note: As noted by the author below, an example of the distressingly bad propaganda of the Sri Lankan Government, attributed in some websites to the Director General of the President's Media Unit, Bandula Jayasekera. It's not the first time an airbrushed image of CHOGM involving the President has been published in Government controlled media. This […]

Sri Lanka and the death of Muammar Gaddafi

Muammar Gaddafi was captured alive and killed thereafter. This is a fact that no one contests today. Even the killer himself accepted the responsibility in front of a mobile camera.  Once any individual is captured, in spite of the crimes allegedly committed by the person, whether victim or perpetrator,  due process and the rule of […]

Waiting for the end of the LLRC

Image courtesy LLRC Another session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva has come to an end. Sri Lanka has emerged unscathed, even though considerable pressure is being exerted on the Sri Lankan Government, from different actors in different quarters of the world: one, regarding a political solution to the conflict; two, regarding the […]

Channel 4′s ‘Killing Fields’: Journalism, Advocacy or Propaganda?

Image from Channel 4 Introduction The UK based Channel 4 documentary, “Killing Fields”, possesses an interesting characteristic. It has the power of accentuating the prejudices and biases of viewers. The reaction found on a variety of forums is arguably more illuminating than the documentary itself. Those who feel the Sri Lankan government has done no […]