Sri Lanka ‘lacks credibility’ on rights abuse - critics

BESET by censure over a rash of civil war human rights abuses, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa set out his case at the UN General Assembly this week -- but critics doubt it will wash. Rights groups say hundreds of people have been killed or abducted since last year, when the civil war resumed after a near four-year lull. Some abuses have been blamed on state security forces. The government says the reports are overblown and designed to tarnish its image, and has vilified United Nations envoys for voicing concerns and slammed foreign governments and rights groups for criticism. "The...

Soccer, shells: Life in Sri Lanka rebel north surreal

Soccer spectators roar with excitement as a goal is scored, children play in a nearby park as adults drink tea and an old man cycles slowly along the road. Artillery shells thunder in the distance. With the front line of renewed civil war just 20 miles (30 km) up the road, residents here in the Tamil Tigers' stronghold in Sri Lanka's far north live a surreal daily diet of fear, desperation and hope. On closer inspection, some of the soccer spectators are wearing the rebels' characteristic striped fatigues and carrying assault rifles. Cyanide capsules hang around their necks in case of capture...

Can Sri Lanka destroy the Tigers?

'This is not to say that the Tigers' military capability has in any way been dented'

War to deepen before any new peace talks

“I can’t see anyone getting back to peace talks until a clear change in the balance of power on the ground has been accepted, and likewise with the ceasefire.”

UNHCR chief visits Sri Lanka

“The purpose is to meet displaced people in the north and east of the country and hear first-hand their concerns and needs.”

Frustration amid fear of renewed war

‘The fruits of peace must be tangible. Rebuilding their houses, rebuilding their livelihoods, being able to move freely. Unfortunately, these things are not happening.’