No consensus on Sri Lanka resolution in India

The all-party meeting has not been able to come to a common position on the resolution on Sri Lanka in the Indian parliament. Of all the parties present only the Tamil parties DMK and AIADMK supported a resolution to be passed in parliament, with all other parties rejecting the idea, reported FirstPost . “We are with Lankan Tamils but there is no need for a resolution by Parliament as Lanka is the only country which stood with us during the 1962 China war. “We have recently rejected Pakistan parliament resolution on Afzal Guru. How can we do the same to a friendly neighbour. At the UNHCR,...

OHCHR report “flawed and misconceived” – Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan Special Envoy for Human Rights, Mahinda Samarasinghe has slammed the report by the High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay during a debate in the UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday. “We wish to express our strongest reservations as to the content of the report on Sri Lanka as well as the procedure followed in formulating this document,” he said to the Council. He suggested that the report had gone beyond the mandate given by last year’s resolution, saying the resolution only asked the High Commissioner to report on the provisions for technical assistance to Sri Lanka...

Student group calls for Chennai ban for Sri Lankan IPL players

The Students’ Federation for Free Eelam has called on the Board of Control for Cricket in India to bar Sri Lankan players to attend Indian Premier League matches in Chennai. Coordinator of the group, V. Prabhakaran, said that students would disrupt matches if they went ahead with Sri Lankan players. “There is no question of allowing the Sri Lankan players to participate in cricket matches here. We have nothing against IPL or the game, but allowing them to play in Tamil Nadu will be a great insult to millions of Tamils who are fighting for justice. We will go to any extent to stop this,” Mr...

International investigation 'only mechanism' for accountability

Speaking at the 22nd session of the UN HRC, Tamil Nadu-based NGO Pasumai Thaayagam has welcomed the High Commissioner's report on Sri Lanka and underlined that an intnernational mechanism was the 'only mehcanism' in which true accountability could be brought to Sri Lanka. Delivering her address, Dr Yaso Natkunam stated, " The report underlined on-going and widespread allegations of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and torture, detention and land-grab, severe threats to the right to freedom of expression and assembly, lack of demilitarization, especially in the Tamil areas of the North and East, as well as the eight long-outstanding visit requests by Special Rapporteurs appointed by this Council. Real victims, the majority of whom are Tamils, are affected when violations of human rights such as these and many others occur and go unchecked in Sri Lanka." She went on to say, "Mr. President, the international community represented by this Council has an incredibly important role to play in ensuring the realisation of human rights for all. Pasumai Thaayagam echoes the High Commissioner’s sentiments contained in this report that an independent and credible international investigation is the only mechanism that has the possibility to ensure genuine accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka ." See her full address below

Sri Lanka's 'ruthless program' to mute the Tamil people

Gary Anandasangaree of Lawyer's Rights Watch Canada has slammed Sri Lanka's 'ruthless program' to disenfranchise the Tamil people and demographic campaign of Sinhalisation in the North-East, when addressing the 22nd Session of the UNHRC, earlier on Wednesday. Speaking in Geneva, Anandasangaree said, "The North and East of Sri Lanka are traditional Tamil territory with a unique language and culture. Sri Lanka has undertaken a campaign against the Tamil people to systematically mute their voice, and agency over a 65 year period. This campaign has progressively curtailed the democratic franchise of Tamils in the East. The same ruthless program is now undertaken in the North. Increased militarization, land grab, and the establishment of new Sinhalese settlements in traditional Tamil areas are exasperating the Sinhalization and Budhization of the North." "This is no longer an armed conflict – but a demographic one – one that is based on artificially changing the population that would assimilate Tamils as one monolithic group within the island."

Tamil Nadu tensions escalate as DMK withdraws from government

Tamil Nadu’s Dravidar Munnetra Kazhakam (DMK) has withdrawn from the ruling coalition in Delhi, amidst increasing protests on the streets of the southern Indian state. As DMK Fumes, Tamil Nadu Boils - The Wall Street Journal (19 Mar 2013) India’s contribution to the weakening of the US-sponsored resolution at the UN Human Rights Council has caused party leader M Karunanidhi condemned India’s actions and announced the DMK’s immediate withdrawal from the UPA government. Has India watered down the resolution once again? – First Post (19 Mar 2013) “The issues raised by the DMK haven't been addressed by the Congress, thus this is a government that doesn't benefit the Tamils in any way," Karunanidhi, told reporters in Chennai on Tuesday. "And even after this, if we continue to extend our support to the government, it is a shame to Tamil Nadu... Thus the DMK has decided, and we are announcing our immediate withdrawal from the central government and the UPA, "India, despite being the biggest democratic country, hasn't addressed the issues raised by the DMK, and they have chosen to ignore the problems of the Tamils. These are completely anti-democratic acts by them. I totally condemn it," he added.

Sri Lankan airlines cuts half of flights to Chennai

Sri Lanka’s national air carrier SriLankan Airlines has announced it has cut the amount of flights between Chennai and Colombo by half, due to a drop in passengers after anti-Sri Lanka protests in Tamil Nadu. "Srilankan Airlines has observed a drop in traffic between Chennai and Colombo due to recent developments in Tamil Nadu, hence it was decided to reduce its frequency of flights to Chennai from 28 to 14 per week," a statement from the airline said today. "Flights to other Indian destinations will be operated uninterrupted," "SriLankan Airlines is closely observing the situation and will...

Amnesty International blames India for weakening UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka war crimes

Amnesty International on Tuesday blamed India for weakening the US-backed draft resolution at the UN Human Rights Council seeking accountability for mass killings of Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka in 2009. The Deccan Herald and Washington Post both reported that India has been in touch with Washington to soften criticism of Sri Lanka. G Ananthapadmanabhan, head of Amnesty International India said in a statement : “The revised US draft resolution is much softer in the context of the overwhelming volume of new evidence [of mass atrocities] that has been unearthed since the 21st session of UNHRC...

Indian cricket board anticipating protests against Lankan players

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is reportedly considering asking Indian Premier League (IPL) teams to keep Sri Lankan players out matches in Chennai. While the BCCI maintained that there were no immediate threats to players, it is anticipating protests against Sri Lankan players. There are currently 13 Sri Lankan cricketers in the IPL.

Sonia Gandhi demands 'independent and credible inquiry' in Sri Lanka

President of the Congress party Sonia Gandhi has slammed Sri Lanka’s “unspeakable atrocities” against Tamils and called for an demand an independent and credible inquiry into human rights violations on the island. Speaking to Congress MPs hours before the DMK announced they were withdrawing from government, Gandhi reportedly said , “The plight of Sri Lankan Tamils is very close to our hearts… We are anguished by the reports of unspeakable atrocities on innocent civilians and children, especially during the last days of the conflict in 2009”. "That is why we demand an independent and credible...