Indian civil rights organisations call for international investigation

Over 150 activists from various Indian civil rights organisations and political movements convened at a demonstration to call on India to sponsor a United Nations Human Rights Council mechanism calling for an independent international investigation mechanism into Sir Lanka’s crimes against Tamils. Speaking at the event, Senthil, from Save Tamils Movement, condemned the Indian government for its silence on the issue whilst it worked to weaken the current resolution against Sri Lanka.

Hugo Swire: 'arrests underline why the Council must continue its focus on Sri Lanka'

The arrests of activists over recent days " underline why the Council must continue its focus on Sri Lanka ", Channel 4 News quoted the British Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire as saying. Stating that he was " deeply concerned " to hear of the arrests, Mr. Swire urged the Sri Lankan government to allow " immediate access to lawyers and their familie s", adding, "With the March UN Human Rights Council underway and a resolution on Sri Lanka under draft, these arrests underline why the Council must continue its focus on Sri Lanka. The world is watching what happens there, so I urge the Sri...

Navi Pillay reiterates OHCHR mandate to establish international investigation

The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, reiterated her office's mandate for establishing and conducting international investigations during a meeting on Monday between the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) and NGOs on the sidelines of the 25th session of the Council. Asked to clarify the remit of the OHCHR mandate, Ms. Pillay stressed that the OHCHR " has the power to establish an international mechanism " to investigate crimes, as it falls under the human rights protection mandate of her office. " Now apart from calling for an international investigation, we have interpreted our mandate to say that the High Commissioner herself has power to investigate a situation ," said Ms. Pillay.

TNA - 'pleased by revisions to draft resolution'

As the second draft of the UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka was circulated amongst diplomatic missions, international NGOs and Tamil activists on Friday, the TNA said it was " pleased by the revisions ". Commenting via twitter, the TNA said, " TNA pleased by revisions to draft resolution, esp re intl inquiry on SL at #HRC25 ." " Revised draft clarifies and strengthens envisaged investigation. Provides basis for robust intl inquiry by experts "

MoD orders 18 day detention, Jeyakumari makes statement to judge

The Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence has ordered for the disappearances campaigner Balendran Jeyakumari, who is currently reported to be detained at Boosa camp, to be detained for 18 days, reports Uthayan . Ms Jeyakumari made the following statement to the judge: "On the day of the incident, about 3.30 pm, I was feeding food to my child. At that time a tall person wearing a black jacket jumped over the wall and ran into our house.

Text of second draft UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka

The second draft of the UN Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka, tabled by the US, UK, Montenegro, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Mauritius, was circulated late on Friday night. See here for full text. Commenting on the draft, the TNA said it was "pleased" by the changes.

Troops, police ransack homes in massive search operation in Kilinochchi district - residents

Published 12:36 GMT Sri Lankan army troops and police are conducting an aggressive house to house search operation in Kanakampikaikilam, in Kilinochchi district, residents say. Large numbers of heavily armed police and soldiers arrived unannounced early Sunday morning and cordoned off the village, restricting access in and out of the area, before ransacking houses and seizing all personal documents, digital devices and computers. No reason was given for the search, which has spread panic amongst people, sources in Vanni told Tamil Guardian. The new search operations come amid prevailing anxiety amongst the populace caused by the heightened presence of the military in several parts of Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts in recent weeks, they added.

Vanni fearful amid further arrests and intensified militarisation

Vanni is gripped with fear amidst intensified militarisation and arrests, including two incidents of a pregnant mother in Trincomalee and a 28 year old woman in Vasvamaadu , Mullaitheevu district being arrested, reports JDS. One senior citizen from Vanni told the JDS of increased mobile and permanent check posts along Paranthan-Mullaithivu road and Puthukudiyiruppu-Mankulam road since the arrest of the the disappearances campaigner Balendran Jeyakumari and her 13 year old daughter Vipoosika on Thursday.

President Rajapaksa defends government's foreign policy

The Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa defended the government's foreign policy yesterday at the opening ceremony of the Galle-Matara Southern Expressway, reports Sri Lanka's Sunday Times . Making reference to criticisms from the opposition party, UNP that the government's poor foreign policy had resulted in the latest UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka, President Rajapaksa said “it is their foreign policy which divided the country,” adding,

Excellency - 'we'll protect you with our last drop of blood'

A poster spotted in Galle this weekend, featuring a large smiling President Rajapaksa, reads: "TO INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY / HRC GENEVA Avoid meddling in Our Motherland Do not Touch Out Leader Dear Leader, Excellency MAHINDA RAJAPAKSHA, You Will also Take Our Country to Prosperity You are Our Great Leader, You are Our President, We'll Protect You With Our Last Drop of Blood, We are Prepared to Fight on Your Behalf! "