Sharma attempts to defend Commonwealth

The Commonwealth's secretary-general Kamalesh Sharma told BBC News that the Commonwealth does not "look away from the hard and difficult questions" regarding Sri Lanka, while also writing off calls for an independent investigation into war crimes as "impractical". See here for video of Sharma responding to news anchor George Alagaiah's question "what have you got to show for [engagement]?"

Sri Lanka rejects Channel 4 evidence ahead of No Fire Zone screening

Sri Lankan officials dismissed Channel 4 News video evidence that showed LTTE journalist, Isaipriya, alive in Sri Lankan military custody before she was found killed. The Sri Lankan government said instead, that Isaipriya was a Lieutenant Colonel of the LTTE and died in the final battle with the Sri Lankan army. Speaking to BBC Tamil service, a spokesman for the Sri Lankan military, Brigadier Wanigasuriya, said , “We reject outright the video. It is a complete fabrication.” Further rejecting earlier videos of summary executions of LTTE combatants, he reiterated that no LTTE combatants had...

Commonwealth complicit in Sri Lanka's rehabilitation - Jonathan Miller

Writing in the Radio Times Point of View column, Channel 4 correspondent Jonathan Miller compares reactions to Sri Lanka’s war crimes with the way Syria’s Assad regime is perceived. See Miller’s blog for a version of the article. Extracts reproduced below. “Spin the clock forward. It’s 2018. You’re four-and-a-half years older and you’ve just woken up to the headlines: more than 50 world leaders are heading to the Syrian capital, Damascus, for a global summit, hosted by President Bashar al-Assad. Syria’s at peace, it’s economy, thriving. The tourists are back and the “terrorists”, vanquished...

'Sri Lanka should be condemned, not acclaimed'

Writing in The Independent, author and practising English barrister, Sadakat Kadri outlined the need to condemn Sri Lanka. Full opinion reproduced below.

British Tamils voice concerns to Ed Miliband

British Tamil Forum members and local constituency residents met the Labour Party leader Ed Miliband MP yesterday to express their views on the UK’s participation in the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. The BTF press release from the event is reproduced below.

Phosphorus attacks covered up in hospitals

An article by British newspaper the Times has presented evidence of the use of phosphorus shells against civilians, and of the cover-up methods, including blackmail, employed by government medical staff. The article recounts the experiences of 'Kannaki', a victim of phosphorus shelling left with extensive bodily burns and a disfigured face. Kannaki, six months pregnant at the time, was hit by the shell while in bunker with 15 others, and regained consciousness in a hospital staffed by Sinhalese doctors. While recovering at the hospital, she was presented with a legal document declaring that...

British Tamils demand boycott of CHOGM

Over 2000 British Tamils gathered today to march through the streets of London today demanding that British Prime Minister boycott the upcoming Common Wealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which is set to take place in Sri Lanka later this month. Starting the rally at Embankment station, the protestors marched along the river towards the Houses of Parliament. Ending their rally at Whitehall in front of Number 10 Downing Street, demonstrators shouted slogans urging Prime Minister David Cameron to reconsider his involvement at CHOGM.

Amnesty International protests against CHOGM in Sri Lanka

Hundreds of Amnesty International campaigners staged a protest at Parliament Square today, against British involvement at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. Placing David Cameron, William Hague and Mahinda Rajapaksa alongside grim reapers, the protestors gathered on a mock beach where the three political figures sipped cocktails. The director of Amnesty International UK, Kate Allen, said , “CHOGM should not just be an opportunity for President Rajapaksa and his government to sign business deals whilst clinking glasses with David Cameron and other leaders. CHOGM ought to be a moment...

Indian PM 'aware' of CHOGM opposition

India's Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has said that the central government is aware of some minister's opposing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's attendance at CHOGM. However the Hindu newspaper also drew attention to Northern Provincial Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran's refusal to boycott CHOGM, and reported a senior Indian government official as saying: “If he attends, what is now left for us to protest?”

Sri Lanka deports international journalists

Sri Lankan’s immigration authorities deported two international journalists, for breaching the country’s visa regulations today. The two journalists, Asia Pacific Director of the International Federation of journalists (IFJ) Jacqueline Parker and Deputy Director, Jane Worthington, were deported after being detained and interrogated. Sri Lankan authorities wiped all the data from a journalist's laptop before sending her back to Australia, reports the AFP . Jacqui Park, an Australian media rights activist and colleague Jean Worthington were expelled from Sri Lanka for "anti-government...