Tamils still face rape and torture in Sri Lanka's 'Unfinished War' - BBC reports

A new report by the BBC revealed further evidence of the rape and torture of Tamils in Sri Lanka today. The thirty minute documentary, ‘ Sri Lanka’s Unfinished War ’ exhibited witness statements of men and women that alleged to have faced rape and torture by the Sri Lankan forces as recently as August 2013. Independent experts and medical reports verified the accounts of the victims to be credible and legitimate. One of the 12 men and women that told their stories to the BBC, Vasantha, described being photographed and fingerprinted and then kicked, beaten with batons and pipes, burned with...

‘They will definitely torture me and kill me’

Speaking to Channel 4 News, Tamil torture victims recalled their experience at the hands of the Sri Lankan state and warned against sending Tamils back to the island. Commenting on British Prime Minister David Cameron’s decision to attend CHOGM, one of the men, who could not be identified for security reasons said, “I deeply regret [the British Prime Minister’s] decision to visit Sri Lanka at this juncture”. He went on to say, “Sri Lanka has openly carried out a genocide and is still carrying out a vicious campaign against the Tamil community.” “Instead of punishing this government and its...

'Corrupted Journalism'- Sri Lanka on heightening evidence of crimes against humanity

As part of an ‘ Engage Sri Lanka ’ campaign, the Sri Lankan government will hand out a 222 page book to brief journalists attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Colombo. The book named ‘Corrupted Journalism’ allegedly produces findings from the study of the work of Channel 4 on documenting human rights abuses and crimes against humanity committed in Sri Lanka. See below for extracts from an Engage Sri Lanka’s press release on their ‘Corrupted Journalism: Channel 4 and Sri Lanka’ media pack: “Channel 4 claimed its programmes were forensic in their approach. Corrupted...

Channel 4 respond to Sri Lanka's 'Corrupted Journalism' booklet

The Channel 4 News Editor Ben de Pear, today provided a detailed response to Sri Lanka’s ‘Corrupted Journalism’ booklet, which looked to discredit the work of Channel 4 News. Extracts of his written statement are reproduced below: “In the media pack given to all arriving journalists at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) being held in Sri Lanka next week is a 222 page book called ‘Corrupted Journalism’.” “It is an out and out attack on Channel 4 and our journalism. As we only received our visas this week (our accreditation process took 8-10 weeks as opposed to the2-3 weeks it...

World will need to provide an independent investigation if Sri Lanka fails to deliver - David Cameron

In a statement released after watching the documentary No Fire Zone , British Premier, David Cameron reiterated the need for an independent investigation into the killing of Tamil civilians. Full statement reproduced below. "No Fire Zone is one of the most chilling documentaries I've watched. It brings home the brutal end to the civil war and the immense suffering of thousands of innocent civilians who kept hoping that they would reach safety, but tragically many did not. Many of the images are truly shocking. "No right-thinking person can regret the end of the terrorist campaign waged by the...

Hunger striker continues to call for CHOGM boycott

Tamil protestor Parameswaran, who has been hunger striking outside Number 10 Downing Street, has continued to call on British Prime Minister David Cameron to boycott the upcoming CHOGM, due to be held in Colombo later this month. Speaking to the Tamil Guardian Parameswaran said, "The main aim is to stop Cameron from participating in the CHOGM and call for him to boycott it." Commenting on British Prime Minister David Cameron's decision to remain steadfast in attending CHOGM, Parameswaran said, "Even after meeting with Tamil representatives, he has refused to listen to British Tamil voices."

David Cameron's explanation is too little too late

If Number 10 is about to breathe a sigh of relief, they ought to know that their last ditch and very public efforts to engage with British Tamils have fallen far short of their placating intentions. Considering the Tamil community makes up over 100,000 of the British electorate, David Cameron was absolutely right to think he owed us an explanation. It’s just a shame that the explanation was far too little, too late.

Engagement legitimises repression

Writing in the Tamil Guardian on Thursday , British Premier David Cameron set out his government’s rationale for rejecting the growing calls, both at home and abroad, for him to boycott the Commonwealth leaders’ summit in Sri Lanka next week. Whilst noting the Sri Lankan government’s “ poor record on human rights and cruel treatment of the Tamils ” – an understatement given the steadily mounting evidence – and the grave “ allegations ” of war crimes and sexual violence, Mr Cameron’s argument, in sum, is that to secure the “ change ” he wants to see, “ the right thing to do is to engage ” with Colombo. We disagree. In fact, it is precisely Britain’s policy of essentially unconditional engagement that has enabled, and emboldened, President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s regime to thumb its nose at international demands for accountability and justice, and to intensify its repression of the Tamil people.

TNA welcomes CHOGM boycott calls - Reuters

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) welcomed growing calls for a boycott of the Commonwealth leaders’ summit in Sri Lanka next week. "We have taken a position that Sri Lanka is in breach of fundamental values of the Commonwealth," TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran told Reuters . "We appreciate the call by various people that it must be boycotted."

No British business representation at CHOGM

Britain’s Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Michael Fallon has told the House of Commons that there will be no British business representative at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka. “Chairman of the Prime Minister's Trade Envoys, Lord Marland will be in Sri Lanka in November 2013 on the invitation of the Commonwealth Business Council….but there will be no UK business representation at the meeting,” he told parliament.