Making it up

Sri Lanka’s Central Bank is twisting statistics to project an unrealistic picture of economic development, an economist and parliamentarian of the main opposition said this week. These falsehoods are contributing to the " deteriorating credibility of the now completely politicized institution ," Harsha de Silva of the United National Party (UNP) told The Island newspaper. See also our earlier post: Dodgy numbers (Nov 2010)

Who’s for and against investigating 2009 slaughter of Tamils

At the 17th UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) meeting presently underway in Geneva, UN rights chief Navi Pillai called an international investigation of war crimes in the final months in 2009 of Sri Lanka’s war. Who supported : US, EU, France, Ireland Who opposed : Pakistan, China, Cuba Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s categorical rejection of an investigation was delivered by Human Rights Minister, Mahinda Samarasinghe. See the Daily Mirror’s report here

UN premiere for Sri Lanka war crimes film

Channel 4 is to screen Sri Lanka's Killing Fields , a special one-hour investigation which features devastating new video evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Sri Lanka, at the UN this Friday 3 June . Presented by Channel 4 News journalist Jon Snow, the film features footage captured on mobile phones, both by Tamil civilians under attack and government soldiers as war trophies. “ The footage is probably the most horrific the channel has ever shown . The decision to show it at length was made only after serious and careful consideration,” Channel 4's Head of News...

Executions in Channel 4 video need international investigation - UN

“I conclude on the basis of the extensive technical evidence we obtained from independent experts that what is depicted in the video indeed happened . … I believe that a prima facie case of serious international crimes has been made ." "The prima facie case should go to the next level of investigation on a domestic and an international level . ... "We should recognise the domestic process, but I think in parallel there should be an international investigation ." - Christof Heyns , the UN's special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, speaking to the Human Rights...

Foreign investors remain net sellers of SL stocks

As speculation drove Sri Lanka’s stock market to a 1-week high, foreign investors net sold $1.5 m (Rs. 165m) worth of shares on Monday, Reuters reported. Foreign investors have sold a net $58m (Rs. 6.36 bn) worth of shares in 2011, after a record $240m (Rs. 26.4 bn) in 2010. See our earlier posts: Sri Lanka’s stocks: a closer look (Jan 2011) Foreigners sell, state buys (Oct 2010)

Call for UNHRC to reconsider Sri Lanka

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Navanethem Pillay, during her opening statement to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on 30 May 2011. Let me also refer to the report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on accountability in Sri Lanka, which concludes that there are credible allegations of a wide range of serious violations of international law committed by both the Sri Lankan Government forces and Tamil Tigers in the final stages of the conflict. It is incumbent on the Government to investigate these allegations and I also urge it to implement the measures recommended by the...

Sri Lanka rejects any investigation of war crimes

While Sri Lanka’s friends urge a domestic investigation into war crimes committed during the final months of the island’s war as a way of fending of an international probe, a defiant President Mahinda Rajapaksa made clear Friday there will be nothing of the sort. See reports by the BBC and other agencies . “ We were with you in the battlefield. It is the same today. We will not betray you before the world ,” President Rajapaksa told his troops in a speech marking the second anniversary of the end of the war with the Liberation Tigers. "I will recall what I said in the past - that our troops...

The highest standard …

The rank of President’s Counsel (PC) in Sri Lanka – originally Queen’s Counsel (QC), as it is in UK – is awarded to the most senior lawyers who are experts in a particular field. The title refers to those considered sufficiently eminent as to be appointed to represent the head of state. According to Sri Lanka’s constitution, PCs are those lawyers who have “reached eminence in the profession and have maintained high standards of conduct and professional rectitude.” Thus, at a time Sri Lanka is under growing international scrutiny for mass killings during the final months of the island’s war,...

Recalling …

In the light of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s categorical refusal to investigate war crimes by Sri Lanka’s military, this is what US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, Robert Blake, had to say during his visit earlier this month (see AFP’s report here ): "We look first to the host government, in this case the government of Sri Lanka, to take responsibility (for) these issues. " The US has continuously expressed to the government of Sri Lanka to implement a credible process of accountability." "[An] international mechanism can become appropriate in case of states that are unable or...

Not one of us ...

From the Sunday Times, May 30: Rehearsals for the Victory Day parade held on Friday began two weeks ago. Among those rehearsing were a group of 23 newly-recruited policemen from Jaffna, six of whom were women constables. On the eve of the parade they were told, that due to security reasons , they had been dropped from the parade, but if they wished they could witness the parade. See also our earlier posts: Which nation’s team? (April 2011) Strict criteria ... (Dec 2010) 'Ethnocracy'? (Nov 2010)

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