Sunday, 20 April 2014
Home Tamil Affairs International Affairs Editorial Opinion Feature Culture & Community Interviews
Latest Entries:
When public relations meets militarisation
Alan Keenan Tamil Guardian 28 August 2013 Print ArticleE-mail ArticleFeedback On Article
   

Writing on Crisis Groups Blogs, the International Crisis Group's project director for Sri Lanka, Alan Keenan, said that the Sri Lankan government's "latest gestures fit an established pattern of promises made for international consumption but unsupported by political will."

See here for full post. Extracts reproduced below:
"The value of the steps announced by the government was always questionable, given the active efforts of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family to remove all independent checks on their power, as detailed in Crisis Group’s February report on Sri Lanka’s Authoritarian Turn: The Need for International Action. The recent events in Weliweriya and Grandpass reveal more clearly than ever that what Sri Lanka needs is not more commissions, or even arrests. The country needs legal and institutional changes to the system of policing and justice designed to reverse the militarisation and concentration of power that has deepened so dangerously under the Rajapaksas. These changes would include many of the reforms recommended by the LLRC, as well as others outlined in Sri Lanka’s Authoritarian Turn. At a minimum, the president should end his grant (renewed monthly) of police powers to the army and return soldiers to barracks in north and south, remove the police from the control of the ministry of defence and Secretary of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and restore the independence of the attorney general’s department by removing it from presidential control. The president should also agree to re-establish the independence of commissions that control the police, the judiciary, elections, and the civil service by reinstating the constitutional council.

Unfortunately, without increased international pressure, there is little chance the government will take these or any of the other necessary steps to restore the rule of law. Fed by the Rajapaksas’ attachment to centralised and militarised rule, Sri Lanka’s decades-long problem of impunity is getting worse, not better. While the government may have stepped up its public relations game in response to international pressure, the recent events at home show the risk of more serious violence, especially along religious and communal lines, is increasing.

An effective international response to Sri Lanka’s deepening crisis of governance should include the following steps:

  • Members of the UNHRC should support an international mechanism empowered to investigate the many credible allegations of violations of international law by both sides in Sri Lanka’s civil war and to monitor ongoing human rights violations and attacks on the rule of law. The human rights council should move to establish this mechanism during its March 2014 session.
  • Commonwealth leaders – both before and during the November heads of government meeting – should publicly challenge ongoing impunity for government abuses and for attacks on Muslims and the deliberate undermining of the rule of law, and assert the continued need for accountability for events at the end of the war. The government should not be allowed to use CHOGM to showcase a false picture of a democratic country at peace and on the road to reconciliation.
  • All governments and international organisations with significant relationships with Sri Lanka should send clear messages that to be accepted as a full member of the community of nations, the government must face up to the past, reform its damaged public institutions, and work actively to rebuild peaceful relations between all communities.
 
Share on Facebook Print ArticlePrint Article E-mail ArticleE-mail Article Feedback On ArticleFeedback On Article
 
 
HIGHLIGHTS
  Tamil Affairs
Tamil Guardian 20 April 2014
We do not welcome South African initiative - Minister Champika Ranawaka
Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka criticised efforts by South Africa to facilitate dialogue between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), stating the Tamil struggle should not be equated to that against Apartheid. [more]

Tamil Guardian 20 April 2014
Guard attacks prisoner - Jaffna
A prisoner in Jaffna was attacked by a prison guard today, reports Uthayan. The prisoner, whose identity remains unknown, has been admitted to Jaffna hospital after suffering injuries. [more]

Tamil Guardian 20 April 2014
Foreign Correspondents Assoc questions visa restriction on BBC journalist
The Foreign Correspondents Association (FCA) said it was "unaware of any time limits on visas issued to foreign journalists posted to Sri Lanka", [more]

Tamil Guardian 20 April 2014
5 years today - Slaughter in No Fire Zone whilst LTTE reaches out to international community, thousands of Tamils push for UK action
Tamil civilians injured by Sri Lankan military shelling and gunfire wait to be treated in makeshift hospitals within the No Fire Zone Photo:Tamilnet [more]

Tamil Guardian 19 April 2014
Sri Lanka to brief international community on ‘LTTE revival’

The External Affairs Ministry and the Defence Ministry will hold a briefing for the diplomatic community in Colombo, on what the government claims are recent attempts to revive the LTTE, the Daily Mirror reported. [more]

Tamil Guardian 19 April 2014
An attempt to replicate Sri Lankan success in India
The Sri Lankan high commissioner in New Delhi, Prasad Kariyawasam, has been appointed as the new ambassador to the United States reports , Colombo Page. [more]

Tamil Guardian 19 April 2014
Reconciliation cannot take place overnight – Army spokesperson

A spokesperson for the Sri Lankan Army has told media that reconciliation cannot take place overnight, in response to a question by a journalist regarding US Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal’s statement earlier this week. [more]

Tamil Guardian 19 April 2014
RSF condemns attack on Tamil journalist

The recent attack on Tamil journalist Sivagnanam Selvatheepan has been condemned by Reporters Without Borders in a statement on its website.

“Reporters Without Borders joins its partner organization, [more]


Print Editions

 
 

Contact Tamil Guardian
www.tamilguardian.com