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Geneva 2012: The signs missed, lessons unlearnt

Photo courtesy JDS Let’s learn the right lessons from the Geneva outcome, not the wrong ones. It is not the case that a small country such as Sri Lanka cannot fight a diplomatic battle with the mighty USA and win.  Minutes after the Sri Lanka vote at the HRC this time, the Cubans moved a […]


  The passage of the United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution on Sri Lanka raises a fundamental question: what next? When the dust settles and tempers calm, all parties concerned will be faced with the actuality that things have changed quite dramatically. This piece attempts to identify the challenges and opportunities presented by the passage […]

After the UNHRC Resolution Vote: Don’t Hold Your Breath for Truth, Justice or Reconciliation

Photo courtesy JDS/Guy Calaf, Agence France-Presse​ By the time this article is published, the votes on the hotly-contested UN Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka will have been cast and counted.  I am writing this as the debate over the resolutions is taking place in Geneva, and I find myself wondering if the outcome […]

Counter-productive propaganda and human rights in Sri Lanka

As the three Sri Lankan human rights defenders who have come most under attack by the state media in Sri Lanka in the past week, because of our active involvement with the on-going session of the UN Human rights Council in Geneva, we feel compelled to issue this statement of clarification. We do not deny […]

Choosing What to Believe

Photo courtesy of Reuters/Dinuka Liyanawatte [Editors’ note: The article below was sent to us by a regular contributor to the site whose name we have redacted due to security considerations.] With the airing of Channel 4’s new film, Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished, a follow-up to their first one Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields […]

India’s Volte-Face: Winners and Losers

  India’s hasty decision to support the United States of America led Resolution on Sri Lanka came as a big surprise. While a few rumours flagged the possibility of an India “for” vote a couple of days before the actual announcement by the Prime Minister, they were largely ignored. The prevailing orthodoxy was that India […]

Sri Lanka and the UNHRC: Implications for India and for Human Rights

Image courtesy India Ink blog by New York Times/Rajanish Kakade, Associated Press As the 19th session of the Human Rights Council progresses, the discourse on Sri Lanka with reference to Human Rights is reaching its annual climax. It is annual in the sense that it has been reaching the said level of climax each year […]

What is the bigger lie? US resolution in Geneva or number of people in Vanni in 2009?

Image from Wikimedia Commons “One of the rankest untruths in the public domain today is that the US resolution is innocuous and unobjectionable…” said Amb. Dayan Jayatilleka in his article THE BIG LIE ABOUT THE US RESOLUTION on 16th March 2012. It would be pertinent to question whether a bigger untruth in the public domain since 2009 […]

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 […]


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 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 […]