Accountability and reconciliation impossible together – Sri Lankan official

The presidential secretary has said to journalists in Colombo that there cannot be reconciliation in the country if moves for accountability are made. “My argument (to the international community) was that, yes, you can have an international inquiry,” Lalith Weeratunga said. “That is not an issue, if that is what the Government wants. But then, all these people will have to be brought back to the judicial process. Won’t that upset the reconciliation we are going through? To have accountability and inquiry into 30 years of war and to also make sure there is reconciliation are two parallel...

We will not accept country-specific resolutions by UN – SL Minister

A Sri Lankan minister has said that the government would not accept any ‘country-specific’ resolution. Minister for Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Dilan Perera said to media in Namibia that they are being targeted for “narrow political reasons”. “There is a resolution by the United States of America on Sri Lanka on the Human Rights Council, we cannot accept it because they are using the human rights mechanism to target specific countries for narrow political reasons,” he said after a meeting with Namibian president Hifikepunye Pohamba. “Sri Lanka fully supports the UN system and we...

Protest in Tamil Nadu demands investigation into genocide

A protest was held outside the United Nations office in Chennai earlier this week, demanding an international investigation into genocide and a referendum as part of a political solution. 'The past 60 years is political struggle for freeedom' The protest comes ahead of the United Nations Human Right Council session in March, where a resolution on Sri Lanka is expected to be submitted.

UK reaffirms commitment to international probe in Sri Lanka

The British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, John Rankin, reiterated on Sri Lankan television that the British government will call for an international investigation at the United Nations Human Rights Council, in the absence of an independent domestic process in Sri Lanka. Rankin said the issues would be discussed "frankly" and said "international mechanisms" such as the UN Human Rights Council can be used, whereby these issues can be addressed. He went on to note that, for example, "the UK fully accepts the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court". When questioned about whether the...

Tamils hoping for an international investigation - Jaffna bishop tells Norwegian Ambassador

The Bishop of Jaffna has reiterated that the Tamil people are hoping for an international investigation to take place, in a meeting with the Norwegian Ambassador, reported the Uthayan. Whilst meeting a Norwegian delegation that included Ambassador Grete Løchen, the Bishop said that an investigation must be undertaken by the international community and not Sri Lanka, noting that the Tamil people were hoping that a resolution in Geneva, where the UNHRC is set to meet in March, would call for this. Stating that complaints regarding disappeared persons have been ignored, he added that the Tamil people need justice and went on to tell the delegation that since the end of the armed conflict, drug use and sexual assaults have increased.

Mass service held near Mannar mass grave

Pictures: Sankathi24 The Bishop of Mannar held a special mass service with family members of the disappeared on Thursday, near the Mannar grave were 61 bodies have been unearthed so far . Ringing the bell for all those that went missing in Mannar, the Bishop recited prayers for all those that had disappeared or been kidnapped. Addressing the crowd, he went on to state that, from September 2007 until May 2009 166 people had disappeared from Mannar alone, adding that he had collected all their details and submitted it to the LLRC. Yet, the Bishop lamented, their whereabouts are still unknown, and he went on to call for an independent and accountable investigation.

Supreme Court case filed after church land grabbed

Father Jeyaraj Rasiah has filed a case in Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court, in an attempt to force the Sri Lankan Air Force to cancel their seizure of land that belongs to a Catholic Church in Trincomalee. Two years ago, the Sri Lankan Air Force came and seized the land, that has belonged to the Church for over 50 years, and stopped all persons from entering the area stated the Father. He went on to add that despite complaints being submitted to the Air Force, there has been no response and no explanation given as to why the land was seized. See the story on BBC Tamil here .

Sri Lanka slams ‘inconsistent’ policies of the international community

Sri Lanka’s Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella has hit out at the international community for criticising his country on the issue of investigations into war crimes, Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported. "The [UNHRC] resolution is a serious concern for the government. Reconciliation is something that is important for the people and we are very aware of it and have done an incredible amount of work so far but we feel that the international community keeps changing the specifications of what it wants us to achieve ," he said. Rambukwella said his government sensed a “hidden agenda” in the...

Sri Lanka's domestic human rights commission...

The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka has refused to take a complaint made by a Buddhist monk against the Bodu Bala Sena, a Buddhist organisation, thought to be close to Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. The monk accused the BBS of threatening him and that he feared for his life. See more here .

'Deceitful campaign' ongoing in the West – Major General Shavendra Silva

The Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Major General Shavendra Silva has said in a speech marking Sri Lanka’s Independence Day that many groups in western countries try to paint a false picture of Sri Lanka.