Tuesday, 09 February 2016
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Tamil Guardian 09 February 2016
Zeid's comments on Tamil political prisoners 'misconstrued'

UNHRC spokesperson Rupert Colville says the media had 'slightly misconstrued' the high commissioner's comments on Tamil political prisoners.

Mr Colville, who accompanied High Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein to Sri Lanka, said he did not want to 'interfere in the release of the detained alleged LTTE cadres and that he was 'non-committal'.

"What the High Commissioner said was that either charge the detained political prisoners if there was sufficient evidence that they committed crimes, and, if convicted, maybe expedite their release bearing in mind how much time they have already spent in detention. He added if that was not the case or, if there was not enough evidence to convict (and a confession alone is not sufficient evidence), then simply release them," he said.

Media had reported that Mr Zeid said a general amnesty should not be given to Tamil political prisoners.

Tamil Guardian 09 February 2016
Tamil UNP state minister refuses to host Sri Lankan flag

The UNP's Vijayakala Maheswaran, the state minister for child affairs has refused to hoist the Sri Lankan flag at a function in Jaffna on Monday night.

Ms Maheswaran, who is Tamil, was the chief guest at the opening of a science lab in the Meesalai Veerasingam College in Thenmaratchi, in the Jaffna district.

"I have been a member of parliament for six years. However not one day have I hoisted the lion flag out of principle and I will not give up on this principle," she said.

Ms Maheswaran's husband, also a UNP MP, was killed by government-aligned paramilitaries in 2008.

Sri Lanka's flag is seen as controversial by many Tamils in the North-East of the island, due to its Sinhala Buddhist symbolism and its use throughout the armed conflict for state triumphalism and oppression.

Tamil Guardian 09 February 2016
Coalition of pro-Rajapaksa parliamentarians to protest in parliament unless recognised as separate entity
Sri Lanka’s ‘joint opposition’ which consist of a group of parliamentarians loyal to former president Mahinda Rajapaksa threatened to disrupt parliamentary proceedings unless they were recognised as a separate entity, reports Colombo Page.

The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) MP Ranjith Zoysa said the group had requested that the parliamentary speaker recognise them as an independent group in parliament, stating that there were 52 MPS in the group that wanted to be treated as a separate entity.

The group consists of parliamentarians from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and other constituent parties of the (UPFA)
Tamil Guardian 09 February 2016
Sri Lanka PM appoints committee to oversee foreign affairs ministry
Sri Lanka’s prime minister has set up a Global Affairs Committee to oversee the workings of the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Sources close to the head of the Ministry Mangala Samaraweera said that the Mr Samaraweera was disappointed with the appointment of an overseeing committee. Mr Samaraweera allegedly added that he would not allow any party to interfere with the affairs of his ministry, reports Asianmirror.lk.

The overseeing committee is headed by Charitha Ratwatte, a former Treasury Secretary and senior Advisor to the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Tamil Guardian 08 February 2016
Sri Lankan military occupy new land in Kilinochchi says TNA MP
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP S Sritharan said the Sri Lankan military had recently occupied 35 acres of privately owned land in Kilinochchi.

In a letter to the Northern province chief minister, C V Wigneswaran, Mr Sritharan called for immediate action to the stop the occupation.

The land is situated by the Neththili river in Kilinochchi, by the main road connecting Paranthan to Mullaitivu.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 08 February 2016
Rajapaksa signs petition against war crimes court

The former Sri Lankan president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, and the former defence secretary, his brother, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on Monday signed a petition against a war crimes court in Sri Lanka.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 08 February 2016
Zeid meets with Sri Lanka's Buddhist clergy

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein met with the Buddhist clergy on Monday, as part of his four day tour of Sri Lanka.

Mr Hussein met with the Mahanayake Thera as well other members of the clergy, who told the UN human rights chief that the present government was "striving hard to establish peace and reconciliation among all communities".

"Our President had even gone to the extent of pardoning the very person who planned to assassinate him," the Buddhist monk was quoted by the Daily Mirror as saying.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 08 February 2016
Zeid meets with Sri Lankan defence officials

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein met with secretary of the ministry of defence, Karunasena Hettiarachchi, and commanders of the army, air force and navy on Monday as he continued his four day visit of Sri Lanka.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 08 February 2016
Human Rights Chief raises hopes of resettlement at IDP camp in Jaffna

Updated 0200 GMT

The United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein visited Chunnakam IDP camp on Saturday, stating that he hoped the displaced Tamil villagers would be returned to their original homes the next time he visited Jaffna.

Speaking to families living at the camp, the Human Rights Chief said, “I hope that next time I come I will not be visiting a welfare centre, but I will come to visit you in your homes”.

The camp has previously been visited by foreign officials, and despite promises of resettlement by the Sri Lankan government, many remain trapped, a fact acknowledged by the High Commissioner.

"You must be tired when you see people like me year after year and you tell your stories and nothing seems to happen," he said. "But I assure you, I assure you, in the end there will be change and you will find your way home."

The camp residents applauded and cheered as the High Commissioner finished his address, with many lining up to thank him for his words.

Many of the residents have been displaced from their homes for decades, and remain unable to return due to Sri Lankan military occupation of their land. "It's very clear that people of the North have problems and are frustrated," said the High Commissioner, after meeting residents at the camp. 


The desperation felt was highlighted when elderly residents of the camp, pleaded with UN officials to be resettled in their land, as the High Commissioner's convoy was leaving.

[more]

Tamil Guardian 08 February 2016
Sri Lankan government appoints ‘Special Task Force’ to gauge public opinion on UN resolution
The Sri Lankan government announced it will be appointing a ‘Special Task Force’ to examine public opinion on the implementation of a UN Human Rights Council resolution calling for accountability for violations of international humanitarian law.

The 11-member group, which includes Manouri Muttetuwegama and Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, will begin work after the arrival of the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence Pablo de Greiff, according to state television broadcasting reports ColomboPage.

Mr de Greiff visited the island in April last year, and subsequently submitted a report on Sri Lanka to the UN Human Rights Council in September.

Amongst those to be surveyed for the views on the UN resolution are “students, members of the security forces and the public who faced the war”, ColomboPage added.
Tamil Guardian 07 February 2016
Human Rights Chief talks political prisoners, disappearances and release of land on North-East visit

 
The UN Human Rights chief discussed the “challenges” faced by the Tamil people, in talks with the Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council C. V. Wigneswaran on Sunday.

Speaking to reporters UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said he held a "constructive" meeting with the chief minister, adding,

“Discussions very much focussed on the challenges the province faces but also the plans and the achievements in connection with this region and the people who aspire to see more information in terms of those detained and those missing as well as the issue of the release of land”.

“These discussions will continue of course in the course of today tomorrow and in Colombo with the highest officials of the state,” he added.

Justice Wigneswaran also handed the High Commissioner a list of 4,000 people who have been listed as missing since the end of the armed conflict, alongside dates and places they were last seen.

[more]

Tamil Guardian 07 February 2016
UN High Commissioner meets protesting relatives of the disappeared in Jaffna

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, met with family members of the disappeared who were staging a protest as he arrived in Jaffna on Sunday.

The family members, who were holding photographs of their loved ones who had disappeared, were outside the Chief Minister of the Northern Province’s office as the UN Human Rights chief arrived.

“They could have shown us our children or they could have given us a decision,” said the weeping mother of a disappeared son. “They must give us an answer today. They have to give us our children back.”
[more]

Tamil Guardian 07 February 2016
Hundreds of Sinhala nationalists protest against UN human rights chief
 
Photograph: Daily Mirror

Hundreds of protestors took to the streets of Colombo demanding UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein leave the island, shortly after his arrival in Sri Lanka on Saturday.

Waving Sri Lankan flags, protestors threw shoes and slippers at photographs of the UN human rights chief, before burning posters with his image.

The protestors, which included a large contingency of Buddhist monks, marched to the UN Office in Colombo, and held banners that read "Al Hussein hands off - Sri Lanka", "We condemn your report", "No war crime courts, no foreign judges" and "Don't send war heroes to the guillotine". 


Photograph: Daily Mirror


[more]

Tamil Guardian 07 February 2016
Chinese FM meets Sri Lanka foreign minister
China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi met Sri Lanaka’s Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera during a short stay, reports Ceylonews.

Sri Lanka’s Deputy Foreign Minister Dr Harsha de Silva said,

“Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera and I had fruitful discussions with him and agreed on several steps ahead of the proposed visit to China by PM later this year.”

The meeting came ahead of a two day visit by India’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to Sri Lanka
Tamil Guardian 07 February 2016
UNP, SLFP agree on no international element ot accountability process
The UNP and the Sri Lanka Freedom party are in agreement that there would be no foreign judges in a local judicial mechanism to look into alleged violations of international humanitarian law, reports dailymirror.lk.

Speaking to press, the government spokesperson Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, said,

“At the interview the President said in no uncertain terms that there would be no foreign judges in the local judicial mechanism that would be appointed to look into alleged violations of international humanitarian law.”

Mr Samarasinghe added that the government was confident that Sri Lanka could convince the UN Human Rights Chief that Sri Lanka was on the right track in addressing concerns of the human rights council.
Tamil Guardian 06 February 2016
Swaraj says India 'fully satisfied' with Sri Lanka's programme - Daily Mirror

The Indian government is fully supportive of Sri Lanka's programmes and is grateful to the new administration's policies on reconciliation and development, visiting foreign minister Sushma Swaraj said according to the Daily Mirror.

“The Indian government will give its fullest support to implement those policies mentioned in that statement”, she said, while speaking about a recent speech delivered by President Sirisena in Sri Lanka's parliament.

Mr Sirisena also thanked India for its assistance.

“India has been a friend of Sri Lanka for a long time. That is why I selected India for the first state visit after my election as the President”, said President Sirisena.

See more here.

India must play an active role in resolving the Tamil national question in Sri Lanka – GTF (06 February 2016)

Indian FM discusses political solution and militarisation with TNA (06 February 2016)

Tamil Guardian 06 February 2016
Sri Lanka: Looking for a deal, not truth and justice – Frances Harrison
Deep rooted reform in Sri Lanka is not on the government’s agenda writes Frances Harrison, in a piece for Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka.

The author of Still Counting the Dead and former BBC correspondent noted that for Sri Lanka, “it’s getting impossible to paper over embarrassing public differences between the country’s President and its Prime Minister on the issue of war crimes”.

“The most immediate crisis is over interviews the President gave to the BBC and Al Jazeera in which he rolled back on the country’s commitments in Geneva regarding international involvement in a special court yet to be set up,” she said. “Tamil victims don’t have faith in a process that’s purely domestic - it’s not a question of ability and professionalism - but one of trust, given many of the alleged war criminals are still in positions of power.”

“Worse still, the President now says there were no war crimes, perhaps just a few human rights violations by the odd rotten apple in the military,” she added. “No matter that a UN investigation has been very clear the violations were systematic and widespread and could result in convictions for war crimes and crimes against humanity when tested in a court. “But perhaps not in the court currently envisaged for Sri Lanka.”
[more]

Tamil Guardian 06 February 2016
Sri Lankan police construct Buddhist shrine in Jaffna

The Sri Lankan police force has constructed a new makeshift Buddhist shrine in Kayts in Jaffna, according to latest reports.

The Buddhist shrine has been built on private land which is currently being occupied by the Sri Lankan forces, after Tamil villagers were displaced from the area in 1990.

 
 International Affairs
Tamil Guardian 07 February 2016
UN Sec Council to hold emergency meeting on North-Korea as China condemns
China’s Foreign Ministry expressed regret that North Korea had launched a rocket in to space despite strong opposition from the international community.

In a statement released on Sunday, the ministry spokeswoman Hua Cunying said,

“China expresses regret that North Korea, in spite of the pervasive opposition of the international community, insisted on using ballistic missile technology to carry out a launch.”

The condemnation came as  the UN Security Council looks to hold an emergency meeting on the issue, reports Reuters.

The United States and China have been in discussion about the possibility of expanding UN sanctions on North Korea in response to its latest actions.
Tamil Guardian 06 February 2016
North Korea fires rocket for 'satellite'

The North Korean government has fired a long range rocket, claiming that it was putting an earth observation satellite into orbit.

However, it is thought that the rocket was a test of banned missile technology, part of efforts to develop nuclear weapons technology.

The US and Japan condemned the launch and have requested, alongside South Korea, an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the launch "absolutely unacceptable," saying it was a "clear violation" of UN Security Council resolutions.

Tamil Guardian 06 February 2016
Pentagon releases photos of abuse by US military

The US has released nearly 200 photographs linked to abuse by its military, after a freedom of information request.

Images published include bruises and cuts on prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan, however the Pentagon said none of the pictures were of detainees held in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay.

A Pentagon spokesperson said the photos had "come from independent criminal investigations into allegations of misconduct by US personnel".

See more on the BBC here.

Tamil Guardian 06 February 2016
European parliament recognises IS crimes as genocide
The European parliament this week recognised the crimes committed by Islamic STate against Christians and other religious minorities as genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

In a resolution, passed unanimously, the European Parliament called for the UN Security Council to refer the case to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and for the crimes to be recognised by the them as a genocide.

Extract reproduced below:
"Whereas religious and ethnic minorities, such as Christian (Chaldean/Syriac/Assyrian, Melkite and Armenian), Yazidi, Turkmens, Shabak, Kaka’i, Sabae-Mandean, Kurdish and Shi’a communities, as well as many Arabs and Sunni Muslims, have been targeted by the so-called ‘ISIS/Daesh’; whereas many have been killed, slaughtered, beaten, subjected to extortion, abducted and tortured; whereas they have been enslaved (in particular women and girls, who have also been subjected to other forms of sexual violence) and forcibly converted, and have been victims of forced marriage and trafficking in human beings; whereas children have also been forcibly recruited; whereas mosques, monuments, shrines, churches and other places of worship, tombs and cemeteries have been vandalised."
Tamil Guardian 04 February 2016
Officials fear UN failing Syrians as it did Tamils
Senior officials within the UN fear the organisation's role in Syria echoes its past failures during the end of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka where tens of thousands of Tamils were killed, reports The Guardian.

The UN's role in the siege of Madaya has come under particular scrutiny after correspondence revealed the UN was aware of the crisis since last July, but had hesitated to label it so due to a difficult relationship with Damascus.

See full report by The Guardian here.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 03 February 2016
British Airways to resume flights to Iran
British Airways will resume flights from London to Tehran from July reports Reuters.

The head of BA’s network planning division, Neil Conttrell, said,

“The recent lifting of sanctions opens up exciting new prospects for Iran as a tourist destination and with its rich heritage, unique architecture and world-class food it’s unsurprising Tehran is tipped to be a popular destination for 2016.”

Last week, Iran struck a $27 billion deal to but 118 Airbus jets and a dozen A380 jumbo jets.

 Britain reopened its embassy in Tehran in last year after protesters stormed the compound.
Tamil Guardian 03 February 2016
UN envoy halts Syria talks amidst army offensive

The United Nations envoy halted his attempts to launch Syrian peace talks on Wednesday after Syria’s army, backed by Russian air strikes made major advances on the opposition held areas around Aleppo.


The UN said it had been told hundreds of families had been uprooted following “an unprecedented frequency of air strikes in the past two days,” reports Reuters.

Speaking to press after temporarily halting the talks, the UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said,
“I have indicated from the first day that I won’t talk for the sake of talking. I have concluded frankly that after the first week of prepatory talks there is more work to be done, not only by us but by th stakeholders.”

The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the country had no intention of ending its campaign, stating,
“Russian strikes will not cease until we really defeat terrorist organisations like (the al-Quadei-linked) Jabhat al-Nusra. And I don’t see why these airstrikes should be stopped.

Tamil Guardian 02 February 2016
Kurdish leader calls for a non-binding independence referendum
The president of the autonomous region, Kurdistan, on Tuesday called for a non-binding referendum of the independence of the region.

"The time has come and the situation is now suitable for the Kurdish people to make a decision through a referendum on their fate," Mr Barzani was quoted by Reuters as saying.

"That referendum does not mean proclaiming statehood, but rather to know the will and opinion of the Kurdish people about independence and for the Kurdish political leadership to execute the will of the people at the appropriate time and conditions."


[more]

Tamil Guardian 01 February 2016
Syria opposition ready to leave UN peace-talks if progress not seen
The United Nations announced the formal start of peace talks for Syria on Monday and urged world powers to push for a ceasefire as Syrian forces backed by Russian air strikes launched their biggest offensive in a year, reports Reuters.

Reiterating that the opposition representatives had not formally accepted the UN peace talk process, Monzer Makhous form the High Negotiations Committee told press,

“We are here for a few days. Just to be clear, only a few days. If there is no progress on the ground we are leaving. We are not here for negotiations, we are here to test the regime’s intentions.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said that government troops and allied fighters captured a countryside supply route used by opposition forces on Monday morning.

Opposition militants said the government offensive had been backed by Russian air support.

Opposition representatives agreed to travel to Geneva on Friday, after saying they had received commitments to improve the situation on the ground.

Syrian opposition meet UN envoy to reiterate precursory demands for political negotiations (31 Jan 2016)

Syrian opposition to boycott UN peace talks (28 Jan 2016)
Tamil Guardian 01 February 2016
India set to agree on separate flag and constitution for Nagaland in peace accord
Nagaland may be given a separate official flag under the final accord expected between India’s government and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah), reports the Hindustan times.

According to sources from the negotiations, the decision for the north-eastern state of India to have its own flag is almost agreed on.

A separate flag is one of the 33 demands made by the NSCN, who have been in talks with the Indian government since an end to the armed conflict in 1997.

A negotiator from the team said,

“If Kashmir can have a separate flag, why not Nagas? China also has separate flags for Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan.”

Other demands include a separate constitution, dual citizenship and the creation of Nagalim by integrating all the Naga-inhabited areas of Assam, Arunachai Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland.

The final agreement is expected to transfer powers from India’s central government to Nagaland.

The peace agreement is based on the concept of shared sovereignty with constitutional privileges to safeguard the traditioontal rights of Nagas with recognition of the uniqueness of their history.

The Naga liberation struggle, which hinges on the demand for independence, is over six decades old.

Government figures suggest that 3,000 have died in the conflict, whilst unofficial figures suggest that 50,000 died.

'Historic' Naga peace deal signed with India ( 03 Aug 2015)

Tamil Guardian 31 January 2016
Syrian opposition meet UN envoy to reiterate precursory demands for political negotiations
A Saudi backed Syrian opposition delegation met the UN special envoy to Syria Staffon de Mistura for the first time with demands for tangible actions on humanitarian issues before participating in political negotiations.
Speaking from Geneva, where the peace-talks were meant to commence on Friday, a member of the opposition negotiation delegation Bassma Kodmani, said,

“We only came to Geneva after receiving assurances and commitments and we have precise commitments on the fact that there would be serious progress on the humanitarian situation. We can’t start political negotiations until we have those gestures in place.”

UN sponsored peace-talks temporarily stalled last week after Syrian opposition leaders expressed discontent at the failure to secure commitments of ending airstrikes and sieges on opposition held areas.
Tamil Guardian 29 January 2016
Guatemalan soldiers face sex slavery charges 30 years on
Guatemalan soldiers are to be prosecuted over sex slavery charges during the country's civil war, thirty years on, the Guardian reported.

The trial of the former base commander Esteelmer Reyes Giron and the former regional military commissioner, Heriberto Valdex Asij, is the first time worldwide that sexual slavery committed during an armed conflict will be prosecuted in that country.

The charges relate to the enslavement and rape of 11 Mayan women from Eastern Guatemala, who were systematic raped by many soldiers.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 28 January 2016
Syrian opposition to boycott UN peace talks
The Syrian opposition will not attend peace talks due to begin in Geneva on Friday reports Reuters.

An opposition council that convened in Riyadh said it would not be in Geneva on Friday after failing to receive convincing answers on its demands for good will gestures including an end to airstrikes and sieges.

Another representative of the opposition, said the decision could change if the outlined goodwill gestures were made or committed to.

A member of the opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC) George Sabra, said,

“For certain we will not head to Geneva and there will not be a delegation from the High Negotiations Committee tomorrow in Geneva.”
Tamil Guardian 28 January 2016
Satellite evidence of mass graves in Burundi says Amnesty
Amnesty International said on Thursday there is new satellite imagery and video footage depicting mass graves in Burundi following suspected killings by security forces in December.

"Before and after images and video footage clearly show five possible mass graves in the Buringa area, on the outskirts of Bujumbura," Amnesty said in a statement.

"The imagery, dating from late December and early January, shows disturbed earth consistent with witness accounts. Witnesses told Amnesty International that the graves were dug on the afternoon of 11 December, in the immediate aftermath of the bloodiest day of Burundi’s escalating crisis."

"These images suggest a deliberate effort by the authorities to cover up the extent of the killings by their security forces and to prevent the full truth from coming out,” Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International’s regional director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, said.

“African leaders gathering at the AU summit must call on the Burundian government to grant international investigators access to all suspected grave sites and launch an immediate, independent and impartial investigation into the killings and why most families were given no opportunity to retrieve and bury their dead,” Wanyeki added.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 27 January 2016
UN response to demands precursor to attending peace talks says Syrian opposition
The Syrian Opposition said they await a UN response to their demands before confirming that they will attend peace talks scheduled to take place with the Assad regime in Geneva, reports Reuters.

The opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC), an opposition council of opponents of Assad, on Saudi TV said,

“We are waiting for the response of de Mistura first, and then Secretary General Bank Ki-moon, which is the most important..If it is positive maybe there will be an agreement to go.”

Earlier this week Syria’s opposition groups called for an end of Russia led airstrikes and Assad’s besiegement of opposition held regions.

The Syrian Kurdish Party PYD, which controls the North-East parts of Syria has also been excluded from the talks. In a statement, the PYD representative in France said,

“You can’t neglect a force that controls an area three times the size of Lebanon.”

Syrian opposition groups threaten to boycott UN talks unless siege ends (25 Jan 2016)
Tamil Guardian 27 January 2016
US and China agree on new UN Security Council resolution on N Korea
The United States and China on Wednesday agreed on the need for a new UN Security Council resolution on North Korea following the country's nuclear test earlier this month.

The decision was reached when the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, who is currently on a two day visit to Beijing, met with China's foreign minister, Wang Yi.

"We agreed that the UN Security Council needs to take further action and pass a new resolution," Mr Wang was quoted by Reuters as saying at a joint press conference with Kerry after the meeting.

"In the meantime, we must point out that the new resolution should not provoke new tensions," he added.


[more]

Tamil Guardian 27 January 2016
‘We must prevent future acts of genocide’ – UN Human Rights chief

Racism and ethnic intolerance must be combated with “all our might” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al Hussain, in a message released to mark the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust.

“The Holocaust will forever remain a terrible scar on the human conscience,” said the UN human rights chief, adding that the “hideous reality of planned and deliberate mass murder must lead us to deep reflection on the roots and spread of such violence”.

Though the High Commissioner paid tribute to those who resisted the Holocaust, he added that “at every stage of this massive crime against humanity, millions of others assisted, supported, or shied away from protesting the steps that led to genocide”.

[more]

Tamil Guardian 26 January 2016
UN condemns Israeli settlements as 'provocative acts'
The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned Israel’s settlement activities as ‘provocative acts’ that raise questions over the nation’s commitment to a two-state solution.

Israel confirmed on Thursday that it would appropriate a large tract of fertile land in the occupied West Bank, reports Reuters.

The US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said Washington strongly opposed the settlement activity.

Speaking at the council, she said,

“Steps aimed at advancing the Israeli settlement program… are fundamentally incompatible with the two-state solution and raise legitimate questions about Israel’s long-term intentions.”

The chief of the Palestinian delegation to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, called on the Security Council to take action against Israeli settlements.
 
HIGHLIGHTS
  Editorial
A flower, a flame and a flag
Inescapable truth
Road To Reckoning
  Opinion
Sri Lanka: Looking for a deal, not truth and justice – Frances Harrison
Sri Lanka's constitution: What's in it for Tamils?
Governments change, but the torturers stay the same - Frances Harrison
  Feature
Protests in North-East as Sri Lanka marks Independence Day
Sri Lankan president ‘determined to face UN resolution to protect pride of armed forces’
Tamil torture survivors call for internationalised justice process
  Culture & Community
Tamil farmers honoured in Farmers' Festival
"As an artist I’m still dealing with being a refugee" - Interview with M.I.A.
Canadian Tamil youth commemorate Maaveerar Naal



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