Speaking at the General debate at the United Nations Human Rights Council sessions, Canada reiterated its call for an independent investigation in to the Sri Lankan government’s human rights violations. Canadian Ambassador and permanent representative to the UN, Elissa Golberg, stated “As host of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting this year, Sri Lanka must demonstrate its commitment to the Commonwealth’s fundamental values and principles,” Golberg went on to call for an independent investigation into the human rights abuses in Sri Lanka. Also participating in the General Debate,...
The Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO) calls for a State- wide general strike in Tamil Nadu stirred a widespread response, resulting in arrests and small incidents of violence. TESO called for a general strike to put pressure on the Indian government to vote against Sri Lanka when the final draft of a U.S sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka is tabled at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) later this month. TESO consists of several parties and trade unions that support the Eelam Tamil's calls for statehood.
Writing in the Times of India on Monday - Commonwealth Day, two prominent members of the Elders group, the Archibishop Desmond Tutu and the former Irish President Mary Robinson, argue that the "climate required for reconciliation does not yet exist" in sri Lanka and "urge the Commonwealth to seriously reconsider appointing Sri Lanka as its chair for 2013-15". See here - 'Hope and reconciliation: Healing Sri Lanka’s wounds of conflict' - together with embedded links. Extract reproduced below: 'How the Council chooses to act at this time will have a profound impact on Sri Lanka's standing in the international community. In this regard, we urge the Commonwealth to seriously reconsider appointing Sri Lanka as its chair for 2013-15, as it currently plans to do. In this role, Sri Lanka would host the biennial meeting of Commonwealth heads of government in November this year.
Writing in The Guardian on Monday, the former UK Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, urged the British government to "back the call for CHOGM to be moved", arguing that " for it to go ahead in Sri Lanka would be a mockery of Commonwealth values and UN authority , and a further invitation for its government to ignore international pleas for decency and accountability." See here - 'Britain must stand up for human rights in Sri Lanka' . Extract reproduced below: 'Human Rights Watch says that several thousand people are locked up without charge, and that state-sponsored abuse of Tamil activists is widespread. Other UN investigations record over 5,000 outstanding cases of enforced and involuntary disappearances; and nearly 100,000 internally displaced people remain without proper protection. This is not the path of reconciliation promised by the Government after the civil war .
In a letter to the US State Department, the Sri Lankan government asked the US to discontinue to the prosecution of a Tamil Canadian Suresh Sriskandarajah reports the National Post . Sriskandarajah was extradited to New York in December, charged with buying equipment and laundering money for the LTTE. The letter which came to light last month during his bail hearing last month, and said, “in light of his publicly recognized efforts to secure a lasting, peaceful reconciliation for the Tamil people,” The National Post reported, 'The U.S. court documents do not explain why Sri Lanka intervened...
Addressing the Human Rights Council on Monday during the 22nd session currently underway, Kartiga Thavaraj of the Tamil Nadu based NGO - Pasumai Thaayagam or 'Green Motherland' said, 'the Government of Sri Lanka’s behavior demonstrates the need for the Council to convene an independent international mechanism to investigate Sri Lanka’s alleged violations of international law , as recommended by the High Commissioner'. See here for full address.
Speaking to the UK's Channel 4 News , two former foreign secretaries - the Conversative Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Labour's David Miliband, condemned the idea of Sri Lanka hosting CHOGM later this year. Rifkind said: "Frankly against that background to have the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at this moment in time in Sri Lanka - I don't want to exaggerate but it would be rather like during the height of the Apartheid controversy when South Africa was still a member of the Commonwealth - having a Head of Government Meeting in Pretoria "
Asked by Channel 4's Jonathan Miller on whether Sri Lanka should be hosting the CHOGM later this year, Sri Lanka's ambassador to the UK Chris Nonis replied : "We welcome everyone to Sri Lanka, because I think it's a wonderful opportunity for everyone to make an objective and impartial analysis of the wonder reconciliation programme that is taking part in the country." Miller: "Do you think Sri Lanka abides by the Commonwealth's values and principles? Rule of law? Human rights?" Nonis: "Absolutely. We were one of the founding nations." Miller: "Why do so many disagree with you, including the...
According to local Sri Lankan media reports, the External Affairs Secretary Karunathilaka Amunugama has said that the government had appointed a committee to study the draft of the resolution. "We will make a response once the committee has presented the government with their report," Xinhua quoted him as saying.
T he Sri Lanka Campaign have released a new infographic that portrays the devastating intensity of Tamil civilian casualties as a result of the Sri Lankan government’s indiscriminate shelling in 2009. The graphic provides a stark comparison of civilian casualties within recent wars and conflicts.