SL independence sanctioned Tamil genocide say Australian Tamils

Dismissing Sri Lanka's celebration of Independence day on 4th February an act that sanctioned the state's genocide of Tamils, Australian Tamils came together in condemnation at the 65 years of genocide that has ensued. Together with trade union activists, members of the Tamil Coordinating Committee - Australia, raised the Eelam Tamil flag in Geelong, Australia, to protest against what they described as the "international lie of independence in Sri Lanka". Speaking to Tamil Guardian, Dominic Santhiapillai of the TCC-Australia said: "Since Feb 4th, 1948 successive Sri Lankan governments have attempted to wipe out the Tamil nation through various pogroms and acts of genocide... The citizenship act in 1948, the Sinhala Only Act in 1956, the republican constitution of 1972 and the burning of Jaffna public library in 1981 are just a few key examples of the steps taken by the state towards this genocide."

Rajapaksa rejects Tamil autonomy in Independence Day address

Addressing the island for Sri Lanka's celebration of Independence Day from Trincomalee, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, rejected the possibility of Tamil autonomy, once again. Despite mounting international pressure to ensure a political solution to the conflict is found that respects the rights of Tamils in the North-East centred around mere devolution of powers, Rajapaksa dismissed any notion of Tamil autonomy or devolution . " It is not practical for this country to have different administrations based on ethnicity. The solution is to live together in this country with equal rights...

Tamil Nadu governor calls for sanctions on Sri Lanka

Tamil Nadu governor K Rosiah has called on India to place economic sanctions on Sri Lanka, due to continued displacement and subjugation of the Tamil people. Addressing the first day of the assembly session, Rosiah stated , “I reiterate the resolve expressed by the Tamil Nadu assembly June 8, 2011 to urge the Indian government to initiate action by working with other nations for imposition of an economic embargo on the Sri Lankan government till the Tamils living in camps are resettled in their own places and are allowed to live with dignity, self-respect and equal constitutional rights on...

Look but don’t touch

The Sri Lankan Army has escorted a group of Internally Displaced Persons back to their villages in Sampur, located in the Eastern Province, for a ‘visit’, according to reports . 138 families from the Navarathnapuram village were allowed to revisit their homes located in High Security Zones, as they were accompanied by the Army’s 224 brigade. The area was captured by the Sri Lankan government in September 2006, with 5 villages still remaining under Army control in the High Security Zone.

Sri Lanka turns down UN special rapporteurs team

The Sri Lankan government has turned down a request by UN officials to assess the progress the country has made in implementing certain recommendations of the contentious Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation report, reported the Daily Mirror . Instead, the Sri Lankan External Affairs Ministry, called on the Human Rights Commissioner to visit the country herself. The United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner, Navi Pillay, recently asserted that she would like to send 10 special rapporteurs to assess the implementation of the recommendations by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission.

Tax free land to China

The Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who also acts as the Minister of Finance and Planning, has commissioned the sale of tax free l and in the Southern c apital Colombo to the Chinese embassy, reported the Sunday Times . Any transfer of property ownership to foreign citizens, under usual provisions of the Finance Act, should be taxed according to the value of the property transferred. However, using his overarching power as President and Finance Minister, Rajapaksa offered the Chinese embassy exemption from such charges.

SL revokes visas of International Bar Assoc mission

The visas of members of the International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), who were due to travel to Sri Lanka on a fact finding mission over the recent impeachment of the Chief Justice, had their visas revoked, according to the Institute. In a statement, the institute said : "A visa had been issued to one member of the delegation on 18th January 2013 and was revoked on 29th January 2013, while approval to enter the country was suspended in the cases of other delegates on 29th and 30th January 2013.” The delegation, which was to be led by the former Indian Chief Justice J.S...

SL fails to take meaningful steps towards accountability - HRW

In its World Report 2013 published today, Human Rights Watch (HRW) concluded that "the Sri Lankan government in 2012 continued its assault on democratic space and failed to take any meaningful steps towards providing accountability for war crimes ." See here for the Sri Lanka section. Extracts published below: "The government targeted civil society through threats, surveillance, and clampdowns on activities and free speech. Statements by government officials and government-controlled media named and threatened human rights defenders who called for accountability for wartime abuses or criticized other government policies. Local activists expressed deep concern about the security of their staff and the people they assist. Overly broad detention powers remained in place under various laws and regulations. Several thousand people continued to be detained without charge or trial. State security forcescommitted arbitrary arrests and torture against ethnic minority Tamils, including repatriated Sri Lankan nationals allegedly linked to the defeated Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Sri Lanka sure of India’s support at UNHRC

Sri Lanka’s Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said the government is confident that India will support Sri Lanka against the US-sponsored resolution at the Human Rights Council in Geneva next month. “Our position is that India is our greatest friend and closest neighbour and they have been extremely supportive in many issues and they have been a friend indeed. So we believe that stand,” he told reporters . “Of course last time they had to opt out, they had given certain reasons, all this we discuss at a diplomatic level. “From time to time international relations change for a variety of...

Tamil parties and groups on Berlin meet

Representatives of Tamil political parties and civil society and diaspora groups who met last weekend in Berlin will continue discussions in the coming months, the Global Tamil Forum said this week. The full text of the statement on behalf of the participating organisations follows: Tamil political and civil society representatives, and Diaspora groups have convened in Berlin on the 26th & 27th January 2013 for progressive discussions on how to end the Sri Lankan State's continued agenda of destruction of Tamil people’s identity (genocidal), the heightened oppressive conditions, the...