Tuesday, 01 December 2015
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
  Tamil Affairs
Tamil Guardian 01 December 2015
Sri Lanka to auction off seized Indian fishing boats

The Sri Lankan government will not released any fishing trawlers seized from Tamil Nadu fishermen but plans to auction them off instead, the Daily FT quoted the director general of the department of fisheries and aquatic resources, [more]

Tamil Guardian 01 December 2015
Lok Sabha members concerned about fishermen detained by Sri Lanka Navy

Members of India's Lok Sabha expressed concern on Tuesday about the latest arrest and detention of Tamil Nadu fishermen by Sri Lankan navy personnel. [more]

Tamil Guardian 30 November 2015
Sri Lanka's lecturer associations pledge to raise awareness of worsening national security
The National University Teachers Association and Kandy association of Scholars and Professionals agreed to canvas representatives of political parties, religious leaders about the growing dangers posed by abolishing existing security measures. [more]

Tamil Guardian 30 November 2015
India's new arms to Sri Lanka will be used to annihilate Tamils says PMK
The Tamil Nadu party, PMK on Monday urged India's central government to stop giving Sri Lanka new arms and military aid, the Business Standard reported. [more]

Tamil Guardian 30 November 2015
Sirisena says no compromise on national security
The Sri Lankan president, Maithripala Sirisena on Monday assured French Sri Lankans that he "would not take any decision under any circumstances that would compromise the national security", reports the Daily Mirror. [more]

Tamil Guardian 30 November 2015
India offers Sri Lanka assistance to modernise army
India offered assistance and training to Sri Lanka to modernise its army, reports Colombo Page. Arriving in Sri Lanka, the chief of the Indian army, General Dalbir Singh met with Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva on Monday. [more]

Tamil Guardian 29 November 2015
Australian Senator calls for end of Sri Lanka's military occupation of Tamil homeland
Australian Senator for New South Wales, Lee Rhiannon called on the new Sri Lankan government to show its commitment to a reconciliation process be de-militarising the Tamil North-East. [more]

Tamil Guardian 29 November 2015
Tamil poet denied visiting visa to launch book in Jaffna
Award winning Tamil poet and actor VIS Jeyapalan has been stopped by the Sri Lankan government from attending a launch of his latest book in Jaffna, reports Journalists for Democracy Sri Lanka. [more]

Print Editions


Contact Tamil Guardian