'Waiting for action, not just sound and fury' - Akashi

Japan’s special envoy to Sri Lanka Yasushi Akashi has criticised Sri Lanka’s repetitive appointment of commissions and failure to act on them, in a press conference held at the Japanese Embassy in Colombo yesterday. Speaking after a 6-day visit to the island, Akashi stated , “There is a certain amount of impatience and frustration on these matters and there is a notion that the Sri Lankan Government has taken too much time appointing commissions and then shelving their reports without taking any action.” “I hope the government of Sri Lanka is reflecting upon these past repetitions." " I think time has come for action and I hope that kind action is needed, the implementation of the LLRC report is a good testing case of real action, it’s the people in Sri Lanka not those in other countries are anxiously waiting for action and not just sound and fury ”.

Army handouts for Tamil children

The Sri Lankan Army has distributed free school accessories to 500 Tamil school children at a ceremony in Mullaitheevu. Sinhalese priests, Father Roshan Wikremasinghe and Father Gamini Perera, from the 'Pragna Pradhana' programme, along with several military officials, took part in the ceremony. See our editorial on militarisation here .

Normalcy critical says UN expert on IDPs

Creating the conditions for normalcy was critical for displaced people and those trying to return said Dr Beyani, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of IDPs following his recent visit to the North-East. In a statement published on Wednesday, Dr Beyani called for a " focus on addressing durable solutions for all IDPs and those who have returned to their areas of origin on a comprehensive basis ", and stressed that "it is essential to ensure that the durable solutions process is done voluntarily, with the informed consent and participation of IDPs. "

EU Parliament sets March 2014 deadline

The European Union Parliament has passed a resolution stating that the United Nations should initiate an international investigation into allegations of violations of international humanitarian law, if Sri Lanka fails to start one itself, before March 2014. Passed on Thursday, the resolution called for, "an independent and credible investigation into alleged violations by March 2014, and considers that otherwise the UN should initiate an international investigation ".

Rape and abuse of Tamil widows in North-East still met with impunity

In a report released today, the Agence France Presse (AFP) outlined extensive threat of rape and abuse that Tamil widows faced in the North-East. The South Asia expert for the London based Minority Rights Group international (MRG), Farah Mihlar, outlined that Tamil women in the North-East felt threatened from other ethnic groups, many of whom are from the Sinhalese majority that were flooding into the North-East.

Sri Lanka rejects EU resolution

The Sri Lankan government has rejected the resolution passed at the European Union Parliament yesterday, calling on Sri Lanka to implement the recommendations of its own controversial Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, while appreciating “restoration of peace”. Sri Lanka’s Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella responded that the government alone will decide which recommendations will be implemented and by when. “The LLRC was formed not for anyone else but by the President to address our own issues for own people so we will see about it.”

International community must provide political solution for Tamils – Wigneswaran

Updated 14 Dec 2013 07.30 GMT The Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial council, C.V Wigneswaran, whilst highlighting that the Northern-Provincial council would not provide a solution for the Tamil people, outlined that the international involvement was needed to ensure the well-being of the Tamil people in the North-East. Addressing the Northern Province, in Tamil, C.V Wigeswaran, in his budget speech stated, “It is essential that an international strategy is innovated to quickly ascertain the views of the Tamil speaking people presently still occupying their traditional homelands. If the international community shows laxity, lethargy and indifference to the plight of the Tamil speaking people, it would be an irreversible act.” “Consecutive governments of whichever hue were only interested in foisting more and more hardships and calumny on our people. Thereby turning to the international community appears to be the only alternative to us.” “Unless there is immense pressure from the international community, our government will not grant any form of power sharing to the Tamil speaking people of the North-East. The international community should ensure that all aid given reaches us." “They must realise that it was after driving away violently the Tamil speaking people from the Southern seven Provinces between 1958 and 1983 that the colonisation of the Northern Province with the help of the military is being undertaken now. Do not theses brothers who ask such questions know that the activities of successive Governments in this country have bordered on genocide.” Outlining the unabated Sinhala-military colonisation and militarisation of the North-East he said, “With everything that’s happening if there is no political solution soon, there will be more Sinhalese people in the North-East than Tamils." “I would say well planned activities are in progress to completely detract the world from identifying the Northern and Eastern Provinces as traditionally and historically Tamil speaking. It is essential that an International strategy is innovated quickly to ascertain the views of the Tamil speaking people presently still occupying their traditional home lands. If the international community shows laxity, lethargy and indifference the plight of the Tamil speaking people would become irreversible.”

Australian court rules error made in Tamil refugee case

The Australian High Court has ruled that the Immigration Department mishandled the case of a Tamil refugee who was given a negative security assessment and is being kept in detention. The asylum seeker, Ranjini, travelled to Australia by boat in 2010 whilst pregnant, fleeing Sri Lanka. She arrived on Christmas Island and was then taken to Sydney with her two sons aged 9 and 7, to be detained at the Villawood Detention Centre. There she gave birth to her third child. The High Court ruling did not decide on Ranjini’s indefinite detention, but unanimously ruled that the immigration minister at...

Mass arrest of fishermen is 'near warlike' act says Tamil Nadu CM

The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Jayalalithaa called the mass arrest of fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy this week a "near warlike" act. In a letter to the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, she wrote , "These are the largest and most outrageous acts of mass abduction of our fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy ," "Such brazen and near warlike acts could not have been carried out without the tacit approval of the Sri Lankan government . India's prestige and image has suffered grievous damage,"

UN genocide adviser says member states failed in Sri Lanka

The Special Advisor on Prevention of Genocide to the Secretary General of the United Nations, has told a UN panel that it was not only the UN which failed the people of Sri Lanka, but also all its member states. Adama Dieng was talking during a discussion chaired by Stanford Research Fellow Tunku Varadarajan, and was responding to a question about Article 99, which stipulates that the Secretary General may bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security. Also on the panel was Amady Ba, the Deputy Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, who said that the ICC was powerless as Sri Lanka was not a member.

Pages