PEARL calls on CMAG to suspend SL

The US based advocacy group PEARL - People for Equality And Relief in Lanka - called on the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) to suspend Sri Lanka from the Councils of the Commonwealth in a statement released on Wednesday. See here for full statement, extracts reproduced in full below: "Suspending Sri Lanka from the Commonwealth will send a clear message to the Sri Lankan government as well as other oppressive regimes around the world, that the Commonwealth is willing and able to take decisive action in the face of the world's worst crimes. If CMAG does not decide to suspend Sri...

Tamil from Australia tortured in Sri Lanka

Photograph ABC A Tamil man from Australia who returned to Sri Lanka last month to visit a sick family member was raped and tortured by Sri Lanka’s security forces. Speaking to Australia’s ABC , the man, only identified as Kumar, made shocking claims regarding the treatment he was subjected to on return. See video of news report here . Kumar was abducted by a white van, soon after his arrival and taken to a blood-stained room by army intelligence officers. "I was naked and no place to sleep, except the floor like a dog. I felt like dying but I thought of my kids and family back here, "They came back and again started hitting me with a log at my back and now I've got a spine problem as well, "The two guys were drunk and they came to me and they just put their hand on my body and they just rubbed me and I had some sexual torture as well,” Kumar said.

Sri Lankan Police reject US State Dept report

Sri Lankan Police have rejected charges of torture raised in the US State Department’s 2012 Human Rights report, slamming the allegations as “baseless”. The report , released earlier this week stated that there were still credible reports of torture of civilians carried out by security forces, noting “"a disproportionate number of victims of human rights violations were Tamils". Police spokesman Prishantha Jayakody called the allegations “baseless”, adding , "There have not been such reports in recent times". Earlier this year Human Rights Watch also released a report detailing the rape,...

'No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka' screened in the UK

www.nofirezone.org On 23 rd April 2013, the documentary “ No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka ” , outlining credible allegations of war crimes and human rights abuses committed by the Sri Lankan government, was screened for the first time in the United Kingdom. Introducing the documentary to an oversubscribed preview screening event at The Frontline Club, the director, Callum Macrae, assured that, “We can rule out any possibility of this evidence being faked.” He also noted, “if there are any Sri Lankan government representatives here they will say that this evidence is fake.” The...

Relocate CHOGM - HRW

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has repeated its calls for a change of venue for the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) due to be held in Sri Lanka. HRW Asia director, Brad Adams said: “The Commonwealth will rightly face international ridicule if it goes ahead with its summit in Sri Lanka,” “The CMAG meeting should send a message to the Sri Lankan government that the scale and severity of its abuses violate the Commonwealth’s core values and will not be rewarded.” “The Commonwealth needs to have the courage of its convictions and its values and inform the Sri Lankan government...

Tamils protest as land grabs continue unabated

Hundreds of Tamils protested in Jaffna today against the continued seizure of land by the Sri Lankan government, as the government deployed hundreds of security forces personnel. Over 200 members of the security forces, including military intelligence officers, were deployed in Valikaamam North in Jaffna, as protestors demanded an end to continued land grabs by the state. The officers reportedly photographed and took videos of the protestors, as well as the Tamil politicians and Tamil journalists covering the event. [ more ]

Law Society of South Africa calls for SL Commonwealth suspension

The Law Society of South Africa (LSSA), called for the suspension of Sri Lanka from the Commonwealth, citing Sri Lanka's "breaches of the rule of law and of the independence of the judiciary, as well as the gross harassment of members of the legal profession." Supporting the resolution passed by the Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA) which called on the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) to please Sri Lanka on the agenda of the group's upcoming meeting on Friday and suspend Sri Lanka from the Commonwealth for "serious and persistent violations of the Commonwealth fundamental...

UK Bar Council condemns Chief Justice impeachment

The UK Bar Council, a representation of barristers across England and Wales, condemned the impeachment of the Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, in a statement released on Tuesday. Maura McGowan QC, Chairman of the Bar, said : "The Bar Council of England and Wales is extremely concerned about the impeachment of Shirani Bandaranayake, which we believe constitutes a grave threat to the independence of the judiciary in Sri Lanka and to the Rule of Law." "The Bar Council condemns this action and seeks to offer its vocal support for judges and lawyers across Sri Lanka." "The Rule of Law is...

Only in #lka

The Sri Lankan President's son and MP, Namal Rajapaksa, shares his thoughts on the island's ethnic conflict: @ loveshan76 - In SL it was never Majority vs the Minority. It was always Terrorists vs Sri Lankan's — Namal Rajapaksa (@RajapaksaNamal) April 23, 2013

Rajapaksa hands over 3000 land deeds to Mahaweli farmers

The Sri Lankan president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, distributed 3000 land deeds to Mahaweli farming families from the Mahaweli L zone, as part of a ceremony at Weli Oya on Saturday entitled - "Farmland Rights for You that Give Golden Harvest to the Nation". Addressing those present, Rajapaksa stressed that they must "steer the country towards prosperity" and "use the land productively and not become a servant in their own land". Rajapaksa grants land deeds to Mahaweli settlers on a previous occasion - Feb 2013 The Irrigation & Water Resources Management Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva stated...

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