OHCHR led inquiry inadequate, CoI needed as step towards criminal prosecutions - Tamil civil society

Criticising the current draft UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka, K. Guruparan, of the Tamil Civil Society Forum (TCSF), a network of Tamil civil society activists in the North-East, said stressed that " if there is to be a proper international investigation, it must involve criminal prosecutions " and a " Commission of Inquiry is needed as an important part of the process " towards that. Speaking to journalists at the Jaffna Press Club (JPC) the day after the draft resolution was released this week, Mr. Guruparan said, " there is a difference between the UN Human Rights Council being asked to undertake a report [following an inquiry] and Navi Pillay's office being asked to undertake it, " and added that the Government would simply reject any OHCHR report, whilst one mandated by the UNHRC would carry the sway needed to lead to a criminal investigation.

Sri Lanka concerned at Mauritius support for resolution – Menon

India’s National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon said that Sri Lanka had expressed concern about Mauritius co-sponsoring the UNHRC resolution. “ Sri Lanka expressed concern that Mauritius had co-sponsored the resolution ” Menon told media in New Delhi, speaking after the third Trilateral Meeting on Maritime Security Cooperation, between India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Mauritius is set to join the maritime security group, prompting Sri Lanka to say that trust needed to be built between neighbours.

Britain urges Sri Lanka to sign UN sexual violence treaty

The British government has urged Sri Lanka to sign the UN Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, the Daily Mirror reported on Friday. The UK High Commissioner in Colombo John Rankin said in a statement to mark International Women’s Day tomorrow, that Britain “strongly encouraged” Sri Lanka to sign the declaration. “We strongly encourage the Sri Lankan government to sign the UN Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict and join our international campaign, which is making encouraging progress worldwide,” he said.

Navy Pillay is a liar – Sri Lankan Minister

The Sri Lankan Minister for Plantations Mahinda Samarasinghe called the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay a "liar" and accused her of being determined to be aggressive against Sri Lanka. Speaking at an election rally, Samarasinghe, who is also the president’s special envoy on human rights, said the government will not “succumb to pressure from some countries or the UN Human Rights Chief to betray the soldiers who fought the war against the LTTE”, the Colombo Gazette reported.

Sri Lanka ready to face any challenge – Basil Rajapaksa

Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa said that Sri Lanka is ready to face any challenge to preserve its independence and sovereignty, reported Outlook India magazine. "Achieving a stable peace has made it possible for the government to secure Sri Lanka's sovereignty, independence and food security thus strengthening its resolve to face any challenge," the brother of President Mahinda Rajapaksa said at an event in Ratnapura.

Indian NGO calls for COI on genocide in Sri Lanka

Addressing the UN Human Rights Council today, Indian NGO Pasumai Thaayagam called upon the Council to establish an international Commission of Inquiry that will investigate the crime of genocide. Speaking as part of the Council discussion dedicated to the 65th anniversary of the “Convention on the prevention and punishment of the Crime of Genocide ", the organisation stated, "When crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity are left unpunished, and the international community lacks the will to ensure accountability, it creates an environment of impunity that makes the world more vulnerable. Accountability requires first of all fact-finding, then the identification of those responsible, punishment, reparations for victims, and restructuring of national institutions. When accountability is not a priority, prevention against future violations will also suffer."

Body of elderly woman found in Jaffna

The body of an elderly woman was found on Wednesday in the Velanai part of Jaffna, reported the Uthayan . The body was found with wounds suggestive of an attack, and has been identified as that of a 70 year old woman called Arulappu Alvinamma.

Draft resolution fails to mention international investigation - TNA MP S. Premachandran

Expressing disappointment over the current text of the draft UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka, the TNA Spokesperson Suresh Premachandran said it did ' nothing constructive towards addressing the genuine grievances towards the Tamils affected by war '. Speaking in an interview to Ceylon Today , Premachandran said, "Canada, Britain and the US had earlier vehemently condemned the human rights violations in Sri Lanka and had also called for an international investigation into the alleged war crimes in the Island. But the US draft resolution had failed to mention anything on the International investigation into the alleged war crime s,"

When Buddhist supremacism unites

Photograph Colombo Telegraph The Sinhala Buddhist monk Galagoda Atte Gnanasara of Sri Lanka's Bodu Bala Sena met with the leader of Burma's notorious 969 movement, Ashin Wirathu, at the sidelines of the BIMSTEC conference in Burma earlier this week, reports Colombo Telegraph. The Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa was also present at the conference, however it is unknown if BBS's Gnanasara traveled as part of the President's entourage. See 'This is the modern axis of Buddhist hate' by Jake Scobey-Thal published in Foreign Policy today.

'Unprecedented and biased campaign against Sri Lanka' - Mahinda Rajapaksa

Sri Lankan president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, today rejected the US sponsored draft resolution on Sri Lanka tabled at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), alleging that the resolution was of no significance due to its ‘biased’ nature. Speaking on national television, Rajapaksa outlined that he was not concerned about the imminent resolution, as it was based on findings of the UN Human Rights Chief, Navi Pillay’s report, who according to Rajapaksa, was always expected to criticise Sri lanka. The President’s office further quoted him as labelling the criticism of Sri Lanka, as an ‘...