UAE urged not to deport Tamil journalist

Human rights groups are urging the UAE not to deport Tamil journalist Rathimohan Lokini to Sri Lanka. The former presenter for the National Television of Tamileelam (NTT) , a channel which broadcasted nationally and internationally from the Vanni before 2009, left the island in 2008. Lokini, who has UN refugee status, would be at “grave risk of torture” if returned, says Human Rights Watch. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) also expressed concern about the fate of Lokini and 18 other refugees who are due to be deported to Sri Lanka. “In the light...

It wasn't the army, says the army - volume II

The report by the Sri Lankan Army Court of Inquiry, which was appointed by the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, was handed over to the Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on Wednesday. Here is a summary of the report's findings on the Defence Ministry's website, apparently courtesy of the "Army Media Unit"... Some extracts of the report: "Evidence before the Court has conclusively established that the Humanitarian Operation was conducted strictly in accordance with the "Zero Civilian Casualty" directive made by His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksa and...

JHU tells India to look at Kashmir crimes first

The Sinhala nationalist JHU (Jathika Hela Urumaya) said that India should look at its own human rights violations, including those in Kashmir. Science and technology Minister and Gen Secretary of the JHU Patali Champika Ranawake said the recent Indian delegation visit was part of a campaign to distort the image of Sri Lanka. Ranawake said that India should look at its own record of human rights violations. “Look at the issues instead of covering them up. This will not end up being a fight against Sri Lanka but a fight against India since the country has faced turmoil of its own and has failed...

India’s former ambassador to UN on Sri Lanka’s war crimes, country-specific resolutions and China

Updated 13:45 Hardeep S Puri retired last month from the Indian Foreign Service. In an op-ed in The Hindu , India’s former Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, Hardeep S. Puri, calls for a “full and final” investigation of allegations of Sri Lankan war crimes in 2009. Arguing that “ sovereignty has never succeeded in providing a cover against genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes and crimes against humanity ,” Amb Puri asks: “ Why should Sri Lanka not be held to account for not respecting understandings given bilaterally to India, such as those of April-May 2009?”...

Asylum seeker boat arrives at Australian port

A boat carrying 66 asylum seekers from Sri Lanka has arrived at the busy Western Australian port of Geraldton, completely undetected until its arrival. The boat arrived at the port, one of Australia’s busiest, around noon on Tuesday reportedly flying a New Zealand flag and a makeshift sign being held up by the asylum seekers stating “We want to go to New Zealand. Please help us”. The 66 asylum seekers, which include pregnant women and children, are to be transferred to Christmas Island, reported Australian authorities. However, David Manne from the Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre, stated...

US Ambassador warns of 'next steps' after Geneva

The US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Michele J. Sison, has warned that unless accountability was addressed in Sri Lanka, the island would see a “return to a conflict situation”, whilst addressing the Foreign Correspondents Association of Sri Lanka. See her full speech here . Speaking in Colombo, Sison said , “History has shown that societies that do not adequately address reconciliation and accountability usually return to a conflict situation at some point down the road. Thus, however difficult this process is, it is ultimately vital to the stability of Sri Lanka”. “ As we examine next steps, we will renew our consideration of all mechanisms available, both in the Human Rights Council and beyond. But it is important to emphasise that calls for reconciliation and accountability should not simply be seen as exhortations by the international community – reconciliation and accountability should be viewed as essential to ensuring a peaceful and prosperous future for the country”. “We looked at the conditions around the country. We compared those to the government's commitments and stated goals. We realised that not only were many of the concerns that led to the first resolution still there, but also that in some ways the situation had deteriorated ." In terms of accountability, Sison expanded saying, "We mean identifying those responsible for committing abuses and imposing consequences for these acts or omissions."

Sri Lanka will not comply with resolution - GL Peiris

Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister GL Peiris has stated that Sri Lanka will not comply with a recently passed resolution at the UN Human Rights Council this March. Speaking in Parliament, the Minister said , “ Sri Lanka cannot acquiesce with the resolution adopted. First and foremost among the reasons for such a decision is that the resolution calls for an oral update on Sri Lanka at the 24th session in September this year, and a comprehensive report at the 25th session in 2014. It means Sri Lanka will figure on the UN agenda every six months. When we survey the global situation, Sri Lanka is not a...

Bodu Bala Sena plan US visit to create 'worldwide BBS network'

The Sinhala Buddhist group of Sri Lankan monks, the Bodu Bala Sena, who are responsible for recent anti-Muslim campaigns, have announced that they will be sending a delegation to the US in order to contruct a worldwide BBS network. The executive committee member, Dilantha Vithanage, made the announcement on Monday. The delegation will include the Secretary Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thero and the national organiser Witharandeniye Nanda Thero. At their recent party convention the BBS warned the Sinhala people to 'protect the nation and not let other races or religions to take over,' asserting...

Only in #lka ...

Tweet from an organisation of Sinhala Buddhist monks on the morning of an anti-Muslim campaign.

Buddhist monks fight for Kollywood films to be banned

The organisation of Sinhala Buddhist monks, Ravana Balaya, has launched a campaign to ban the screening of all films from Tamil Nadu in Sri Lanka. The secretary of the Ravana Balaya, the Buddhist monk Iththepane Saddhathissa Thero, announced that a letter would be handed over to the Public Performance Board on Tuesday. Earlier this month, the group threatened Sri Lankan cricketers for taking part in IPL .

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