US Congress members express concern over lack of progress

Thirty-one members of the US Congress have written to Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, expressing their concern over Sri Lanka's lack of progress towards reconciliation and accountability, despite the resolution passed by the UNHRC earlier this year. See here for letter in full, extracts reproduced: "The resolution [UNHRC 19th Session] signaled an important step forward in placing additional pressure on the Government of Sri Lanka to implement constructive recommendations contained in the LLRC report, while also noting that the report failed to adequately address serious allegations of violations of international law." "Despite these initial steps toward reconciliation and accountability, we remain concerned that the Government of Sri Lanka will resist taking the good faith steps necessary to implement both its obligations under the UNHRC Resolution and the LLRC report."

Sri Lankan President assures ‘equal’ benefits for 'North and South'

Addressing the alleged 'final' group of resettled internally displaced civilians in the Mullativu district, Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, exemplified the government’s notion of assurance by imploring the people to work hard for the welfare of their own families and future generations. Rajapaksa encouraged the 'resettled' internally displaced persons to "work hard" for his future generations. Disseminating the government’s questionable rhetoric on ‘successful resettlement’, Rajapaksa added that ‘the benefits enjoyed by the people in the southern part of the island’ would be restored...

Madras High Court urges protection of fishermen

The Madras High Court directed the Indian Coast Guard to file an affadavit on plans to protect Tamil Nadu fishermen attacked by the Sri Lankan Navy. Justice Vinod K Sharma, and Justice A Selvam, asked the state and central government to produced details of future steps, though made clear that the court could not direct the Indian government to protect fishermen in Sri Lankan waters. The judges said, "You should ensure that they do not cross the International Maritime Boundary Line. Tell us the steps taken to protect them," The judges rejected a plea by petitioners asking that fishermen be...

3 Tamil men abducted by SL Navy in Vadamaradchi

Three Tamil youths were abducted by members of the Sri Lankan Navy during the early hours of Monday morning reported Uthayan. Dressed in civilian clothes and riding motorbikes, the Sri Lankan navy personnel arrived at the houses of the victims and demanded the men come with them for questioning. Relatives of the victims have reported the men where beaten by the navy whilst being taken away. The navy has accused the men of trafficking 46 asylum seekers - a claim denied by the families of the men.

UN still “concerned” for displaced Tamils

Welcoming the announced closure of Menik Farm camp the United Nations has stated that they remained concerned for the last remaining families who cannot return to their homes. The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs released a statement today with Sri Lanka co-ordinator Subinay Nandy saying, “there are still some people who are unable to return to their homes and a solution urgently needs to be found”. The statement particularly highlighted the case of the 110 families being resettled in Keppapulavu who are unable to return to their homes and appealed for international...

A Sri Lankan minister’s wisdom

Sri Lankan Minister Wimal Weerawansa has again attacked Google, this time blaming it for the current upheaval and protests against the anti-Islam movie. Weerawansa said Google was responsible for the circulation of the video and that US authorities use the search engine to ‘suit their whims and fancies’, according to the Daily Mirror . He urged the authorities to block the movie from being viewed by Sri Lankans. Weerawansa had called for a boycott of US products , such as Google, Coca Cola, KFC and McDonald’s, earlier this year, and pledged that he would stop using his Gmail account. A...

Government funds new chapters for Mahavamsa

The Sri Lankan Treasury has announced that they have allocated supplementary funds to help finance new chapters in the Buddhist chronicle, the Mahavamsa. The new chapters are set to include 3 dedicated to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, more than any of the predecessors in the text, according to reports. One official reportedly said earlier this year, “Rajapaksa’s achievement in ending the Island’’s 30-year separatist war has no parallels in the chronicle.” The project is set to be funded by the government's Department of Culture and Arts.

Keppapulavu IDPs appeal for international intervention to go home

Tamils from Keppapulavu who were moved out of the Cheddikulam IDP camp by the military this weekend, have appealed to the international community to intervene and allow them to go their original homes, reported TamilNet. Although the government has proclaimed that there are now no IDPs, many of those who were supposedly 'resettled' have not been allowed to return to their homes, but have instead been moved on to effectively another camp. See here for the petition. Extracts reproduced below: "The military establishment and governmental authorities have been as of recent times insisting that we...

Brazil army chief meets Gota

The Chief of Staff of the Brazilian Army has met with Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse in Colombo on Monday. General Joaquim Silva E Luna led a delegation of high ranking military officials from the Brazilian military. According to the General and the Defence Secretary discussed ‘matters of bilateral relevance and mutual interests’.

Independent report accuses UN of complicity in covering up war crimes

An independent report compiled from the accounts of twelve United Nations humanitarian workers during the last phases of the war accused the United Nation’s of inaction, failure to speak out and willingness to comply with the Sri Lankan government’s rights violations. The report, published on TamilNet , was written by Julian Vigo, an independent volunteer that was not politically or economically tied to any organisation, who had never visited Sri Lanka. Identifying some of the twelve witnesses by name, the report described how the witnesses “resigned their posts, stating they could not...