On UN expert panel’s report ...

“The publication of this report will cause irreparable damage to the reconciliation efforts of Sri Lanka. It will damage the UN system too.” - G. L. Peiris , Sri Lanka’s foreign minister. “ To speak of an ongoing process of reconciliation in Sri Lanka that will be complicated by international and UN investigations or interest in the last stages of the war, and the crimes that seem to have been committed, is just nonsensical .” - Alan Keenan , International Crisis Group’s senior analyst on Sri Lanka. “The UN secretary-general believes that the panel has done a good and conscientious job and...

Why the world must act

“The UN report says that the alleged crimes of both the warring parties and subsequent cover-up by the government constitutes ‘an assault on the entire system of international law and security’ . “By that, it means that should the government of Sri Lanka be allowed to get away with it, the system of international justice built on the back of the crimes in Rwanda and Bosnia is weakened. “Srebrenica recalls a painful and costly UN failure. In a month during which the UN swiftly forestalled potentially disastrous internal conflicts in Libya and Ivory Coast, Sri Lanka cannot be allowed to erode...

Opposing what?

This is the English text of the Sri Lankan government-sponsored petition against the UN expert panel's report: “We Sri Lankans consisting of Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities who enjoy the newly earned freedom, hereby strongly denounce the comments and relevant discussions made against the independence of our country by the UN’s Committee on war crimes allegations.” See TamilNet's report on the petition here . See Groundviews' comment, and photos, here . Muslim and Buddhist clergy sign a petition against the report on Sri Lanka’s war crimes. Photo Nishan Priyantha/The Island

UN experts’ report makes the case for genocide

Based on leaked extracts, the UN expert panel’s report on Sri Lanka constitutes a watershed moment in international understanding of the crimes committed in the closing phase of the war in Sri Lanka. Crucially, although the word does not appear in the extracts, the report’s contents well supports the charge that Sri Lanka engaged in genocide of the Tamils. The report lays out in detail the calculated, deliberate and systematic targeting of Tamil civilians by the Sri Lankan armed forces, operating under the direct command of the country’s top political leadership. The former UN spokesperson in Sri Lanka, Gordon Weiss, has aptly termed the publishing of the UN experts’ report as a ‘Srebrenica’ moment for Sri Lanka and indeed for the world. The analogy is correct on many counts. Firstly, it was in relation to Srebrenica that the ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia) most clearly formulated the principle that part destruction – specifically, a geographically contained (i.e a small territory) destruction - of an ethnic or national group constituted genocide.

BTF calls for action on UN expert panel's report

Following the UN expert panel's submission of its report on Sri Lanka to the Secretary general Ban Ki-Moon, the British Tamils Forum (BTF), an umbrella group of Tamil community organisations, said Wednesday: "We demand that an independent international investigation is conducted, supported by comprehensive witness protection afforded to the Tamil community by a UN task force. "We appeal to the UN to release the full report without further delay and implement with vigour the recommendations made by the advisory panel so as to restore the Tamil people's faith in the international body to...

Supporting Sivan Arul Ilam

King's College London (KCL) Tamil Society's raises funds for the Sivan Arul Ilam Charity in Mannar. See the video created by Ratheeson Thillainathan for the Society: See the report on KCL Tamil Soc's awards night for its newly established sports 'Legacy League' here .

Sinhala unity over war crimes

" Instead of supporting international calls for a proper investigation and the prosecution of those responsible for mass atrocities against what are – supposedly – fellow citizens, Sri Lanka’s mainstream media, commentators and, now, the main opposition parties have instead rallied to defend the regime and its conduct of the war. " - See our comment: 'Sinhala opposition to accountability for Tamil suffering '

Ban Ki-Moon must show leadership on Sri Lanka’s war crimes - Amnesty

These are comments by Amnesty International’s Sri Lanka researcher, Yolanda Foster, in an interview to Channel 4 News Saturday. “[The UN panel’s] report is a call for action because it highlights the scale and gravity of what happened in the final months of the war in Sri Lanka. “Amnesty believes an international independent investigation should be set up without further delay . “The panel’s report is very strong and it itself recommended an international investigation. “[Amnesty] is hoping that Ban Ki-Moon will show leadership and deliver on his promises of accountability and set up a...

100,000 missing in war's final months

Over 100,000 Tamil civilians remain unaccounted for after Sri Lanka’s onslaught in 2009 into the northern Vanni region, Channel 4 reported Saturday. Government census forms obtained by Channel 4 show 430,000 residents in Vanni in mid 2008. However internal UN documents also obtained by Channel 4 show only 290,000 people coming out of the final enclave overrun by the government’s troops and being put into its militarized internment camps. Only 60% of the original residents have returned to Vanni, a Channel 4 source who recently visited the still miliarised region, also said. Meanwhile, the UN...

Justice for the Trincomalee 5

This is Amnesty International’s film – ‘Sri Lanka, tell the truth’ - on the ongoing effort to secure justice for five Tamil students executed by the Sri Lankan armed forces in January 2006. The five students are: Manoharan Ragihar (22.09.1985) Yogarajah Hemachchandra (04.03.1985) Logitharajah Rohan (07.04.1985) Thangathurai Sivanantha (06.04.1985) Shanmugarajah Gajendran (16.09.1985) See links to TamilNet’s reports from the period here :