Sri Lanka Brief
2012January
  • Colombo changing tack on LLRC?

    A mere four days after a resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council wanted Sri Lanka to implement the recommendations of a commission that went into issues of reconciliation, a senior Minister has said the commission had gone beyond its mandate.Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, who had presented the report of the Lessons Learnt […]

  • Sri Lanka will not abide by UNHRC resolution: Peiris

    Sri Lanka on Monday made it clear that it will not abide by the UNHRC resolution that censured it over its human rights record and said it would only implement feasible recommendations of its own panel that probed the three-decade-long bloody civil war.“We had taken a decision not to abide by the resolution irrespective of […]

  • Amid Sri Lankan denial, threats rise for journalists

     Bob Dietz/CPJ Asia Program CoordinatorIn the wake of the U.N. Human Rights Council resolution calling for an investigation into Sri Lanka’s alleged abuses of international humanitarian law during its war with Tamil separatists, the government has resorted to outright threats of violence against journalists who might dare to return home after taking part in the […]

  • Geneva resolution: A step towards justice

    ”While these are good reasons for jubilation, it is important to remember that the current resolution is only a beginning and not nearly enough to actually realise justice in Sri Lanka. For this to be achieved, the international community has to be able to continue its scrutiny and judge Sri Lanka’s future actions towards accountability […]

  • ‘We live in an inter-dependent world’- EU Ambassador

    Europe does not conduct its foreign relations on the basis of emotions, said Ambassador Bernard Savage, head of delegation of the European Union in Sri Lanka, last week. He also said that calls for accountability will not go away but stressed that a war crimes tribunal was nowhere near being considered. Excerpts from the    interview:By […]

  • LLRC centered resolution, an albatross around Tamils neck – Tamil Net

    While the passage of the US-tabled LLRC-based resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC sessions has renewed expectation in some quarters of the Tamil diaspora that the resolution will be the first step towards exposing the culpability of Colombo in committing war-crimes, Tamil circles expressed the need to exercise caution, pointing out that the history […]

  • Alarming Increase in Hostile Rhetoric, Threats of Reprisals against Journalists in Sri Lanka

    The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) strongly deplores the alarming escalation in hostile rhetoric and the barely concealed threats of reprisals that have been made against some of the country’s leading journalists and human rights defenders by representatives of the Sri Lankan government and by state-owned media outlets.This follows the adoption of a resolution by […]

  • UNHRC resolution anti-government, but pro-people, says Sri Lankan MP

    Rejecting the notion that the Sinhalese community as a whole would harden its stand as a result of the resolution against Sri Lanka in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the country’s Tamil Nationalist Alliance MP M.A. Sumanthiran on Sunday said that on the contrary, there was realisation that the resolution had come about […]

  • Sri Lanka’s foreign policy triumphs

    While ‘Might overruled right’ at the recently concluded sessions of the UNHRC, wherein a resolution against Sri Lanka was passed on so-called accountability issues by a wafer-thin one-vote majority, this final result should not be seen by this country in an entirely negative light. For instance, the LLRC report, we find, was a clear winner […]

  • Feasible LLRC recommendations will be implemented – Govt

    No referendum, No role for Opp.The government has decided to continue the process of implementing the recommendations made by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission without the participation of the Opposition or holding a referendum on it.Leader of the House and Irrigation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said yesterday that the government had decided to […]

  • Geneva 2012

    ”We must certainly strive to countervail the mounting anti-Lankan opinion in Indian civil society and the media, militant opinion in Tamil Nadu and the lobbying of certain Western elements. We must secure Delhi’s support and swing Indian public and political opinion firmly over to Sri Lanka’s side. This cannot be done by purely verbal means […]

  • Mervyns’ statement should be condemned: GL

    External Affairs Minister G.L Peiris yesterday said he could not condone statements made by a government Minister who claimed that he would clamp down on journalists and human rights activists who had travelled to Geneva.   “It is wrong and there is no defense of it. I cannot condone a statement from anybody when they state […]

  • UN can prove C-4 wrong – Gota Recalls how UN inaction helped terrorists

    The UN and INGOs deployed in Sri Lanka during Eelam war IV could help the international community to verify the validity of allegations contained in Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said.Those INGO chiefs as well as expatriate staff deployed in the Northern and Eastern Provinces should be able to […]

  • Colombo censors BBC Tamil, Sinhala services

    Sri Lankan state-run Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC), which relays BBC’s Tamil and Sinhala services in the island, avoided airing Sandeshya, the BBC Sinhala service on Sunday. In the meantime, BBC’s Tamil language service ‘Thamizhoasai’ was jammed on Friday and Saturday. The SLBC informed the listeners to listen to the service on BBC’s own website. […]

  • The Geneva II debacle

    Kalana Senaratne The US-sponsored resolution at the UNHRC had to be defeated. It was not. 24 in favour, 15 against, 8 abstained. Hearts are broken, glasses are shattered, the ‘gods’ have ignored our prayers, there is madness surrounding us; 2012, we are now sure, is when the world comes to an end.But that was yesterday. […]

  • Minister Mervyn in ‘cover up of VVIP’

    The senior journalist union leader who was forced to flee Sri Lanka after being brutally attacked has accused a controversial minister of making public statements in order to protect the real perpetrators.Poddala Jayantha was abducted by an unidentified group on 1 June 2009 taken to a hideout, brutally assaulted and left on the street with […]

  • Leave UN – UNP

    Secretary of the UNP MP Tissa Atthanayake said that if the government is not willing to be bound by the UN it should resign as a member state. “ As a country that has been a part of the United Nations for decades and having accepted the Human Rights charter of the United Nations, if […]

  • ‘Sri Lanka must seek public vote over UN vote’

    Colombo: Sri Lanka must put the question of the UN resolution against it before people, a constituent partner of the ruling coalition, United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) said on Sunday. Wimal Weerawansa the minister of housing and the leader of the nationalist National Freedom Front (NFF) told reporters that the government cannot face the problem […]

  • The man – Weerawansa – is nuts; Dayasiri .

    UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara responding to the call for a fresh mandate from the people by Minister Wimal Weerawansha said that the request was a very “foolish one and wouldn’t solve the mess we have got ourselves into”. “This is as foolish as someone can get. Firstly we know how this government has repeatedly won […]

  • War displaced stopped from cultivating

    The people in the former war-torn areas will not be able to enjoy the hard won freedom after decades of war if the government does not settle them back in their ancestral lands, says a provincial minister from the ruling party in Sri Lanka.Wimalaweera Dissanayake, the land minister of the eastern province, made these remarks […]

  • Rage in Colombo, post Geneva

    By Ranga JayasuriyaIn Colombo, the air is thick with anger. Defeated in Geneva, at the Human Rights Council, the government is on the offensive. State controlled media have modelled themselves after notorious Rwandan hate radio, RTLM, that whipped up racial animosity,  prologue to the Rwandan genocide. Some private media commentators have followed suit. They, of […]

  • Why the UN acts to hold Sri Lanka accountable for war crimes

    J.S. TissainayagamA few incidents that have led to commentators voicing doubts on the impartiality of the UN’s role in Sri LankaUnhrc sri lanka resolution war crimes protests. A resolution on Sri Lanka was passed in the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, Thursday. Human rights activists hailed the resolution as a hopeful first step […]

  • SL rejects claim of Indian ‘helping hand’ in Geneva

    By Shamindra FerdinandoSri Lanka yesterday strongly dismissed claims that India had intervened on behalf of the government  to thwart UN intervention by amending the US-sponsored United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution captioned ‘promoting reconciliation and accountability is Sri Lanka’, though it voted with the US-Norway grouping.The resolution received the backing of 24 countries, while […]

  • Ministry Rejects 50 Applications of web sites

    The government has rejected the applications of 50 websites which had sought to register with the Media Ministry. Media Ministry Secretary W. B. Ganegala said that 100 applications had been received for registration but only 50 were approved.  He said that the 50 which were rejected did not have the required information or had false information. The […]

  • Indepedent Poice Commission (former NPC) is now a toothless commission

    While the National Police Commission (NPC) has been re-established as the Independent Police Commission (IPC), informed sources said that the IPC is not positioned to take any authoritative decisions in the course of its functions. These sources added that the IPC has become a toothless commission as it has not been mandated to grant promotions […]

  • The Geneva debacle and lessons still unlearnt

    By Kishali Pinto Jayawardene  Sri Lanka’s humiliating defeat in the ‘war’ unsuccessfully fought in Geneva this week over the resolution brought by the United States is a textbook illustration of the combined effect of arrogance, bravado and ignorance. When such disastrous combinations determine the course of our foreign policy, should we be surprised at the […]

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