Canada prepared to take 'principled actions' against Sri Lanka

The Canadian Minister of Foreign Affair’s press secretary, Rick Roth, outlined today that the Canadian government would not rule out taking action against Sri Lanka. Responding to calls for sanctions on Sri Lanka after a new report found credible evidence of deliberate planning behind crimes committed against Tamils , Roth told the National Post that the Canadian government was “prepared to take principled actions to encourage tangible progress” towards justice and accountability in Sri Lanka.

ICEP report allegations false – Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has rejected the allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity, made by an Australian NGO on Wednesday. The International Crimes Evidence Project accused the Sri Lankan government of “crimes against humanity of persecution”, which could constitute of genocidal acts, and called for a international inquiry into the allegations. But Sri Lankan military spokesperson Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya slammed the allegations as a ploy to mislead member countries at the UN Human Rights Council. Wanigasuriya said that the report contained nothing that the “LTTE diaspora” has not been...

Sri Lanka excluded from India visa-on-arrival scheme

India will extend its visa-on-arrival facility, from initially eleven countries to 180, meaning tourists from nearly all countries will not have to apply for a visa in advance form an Indian embassy, reported Zee News . "We have decided to extend the visa-on-arrival facility to tourists from 180 nations. It will take 5-6 months for the respective departments to put the required infrastructure in place. We hope to implement this from the next tourist session beginning October," Planning Minister Rajeev Shukla said in New Delhi. The facility will not be extended to tourists from Sri Lanka,...

Economic freedom in Sri Lanka in decline

Reports from the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal, registered a decline in Sri Lanka’s 2014 Index of Economic Freedom. The analysis found that improvements in trade and fiscal freedoms were offset by reduced financial and business freedom, government spending, labour freedom monetary freedom and trade freedom. Labelling the situation in Sri Lanka as ‘mostly unfree in recent years’ the Heritage Foundation outlined , "Its score is 0.7 lower than last year, reflecting modest declines in five of the 10 economic freedoms.” “In the absence of lasting progress towards greater economic...

We need upto 10 years to reconcile – Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has again said it needs more “time and space” to address reconciliation in Sri Lanka. In a 30-minute propaganda video, aired on US national television channel NBC, President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Secretary Lalith Weerathunga said that Sri Lanka needs over a year to implement the bulk of the LLRC recommendations and up to 10 years to see “fruits in this whole issue of reconciliation” . “Tell us if there is any better situation of a similar kind of scenario in the world elsewhere, we will take it. But I don’t think there is anything like that anywhere in the world,” he said while...

‘Appeasement is no answer to war crimes’ – The Age editorial

Australian newspaper The Age published an editorial today calling upon the Australian government to take meaningful action towards bringing about an international investigation on Sri Lanka, stating that the international community has a duty to act on the reports of war crimes. Published the day after a report by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC), which stated genocidal acts may have occurred, the editorial slammed Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s “petulant and dangerously insular response” to reports of human rights violations and Australia's "shameful and obsequious brand of appeasement” of Sri Lanka. It went on to note that "Australia risks being marginalised" if it fails to act towards bringing about justice. Extracts from the article have been reproduced below. See the full piece here . "When war crimes are committed but not punished because a ruling government ignores or, in the case of Sri Lanka, flatly denies that they occurred, the duty falls to the international community to act. We must not fail to do so even when we fear it may jeopardise bilateral relationships. We have an abiding moral duty to do all we can to ensure justice is done." "What is particularly concerning, though, is evidence that torture, enforced disappearances, rape and sexual violence have continued since 2009 under the government of President Mahindra Rajapaksa. The PIAC suggests the Rajapaksa government has fostered a ''culture of impunity'' that allows violations of human rights to continue. Is it any wonder that so many Sri Lankans have sought asylum here in recent years?"

TESO resolution calls for international investigation

The Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation, a group founded by DMK head Karunanidhi, has passed a resolution calling on India to support an international investigation into Sri Lanka at the upcoming UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva. The organisation, who met at the at 'Anna Arivalayam' in Chennai with Karunanidhi chairing, unanimously condemned the Indian government’s approach on Sri Lanka and called upon the government to support a resolution calling for an international investigation on Sri Lanka. See the TESO resolution (in Tamil) here . However, the resolution was greeted with...

Protesters will face criminal prosecution in future - SL police

Protesters and demonstrators are to be prosecuted in the future, the Sri Lankan police has announced . Police spokesperson Ajith Rohona told a press conference that due to the public inconvenience caused by demonstrations and road blockades, protestors would be charged for wasting public time. The policy will allegedly be enacted in all districts on the island, including Colombo.

Sri Lanka denies visa refusal for US official

Sri Lanka’s External Affairs Ministry has denied reports that it refused a visa for the US Ambassador at Large for Women’s Issues, Catherine Russell, who cancelled a 2 day visit scheduled to the island. External Affairs Ministry official Prabhashini Ponnamperuma said that the government was merely requesting Russell to reschedule her visit. “What has been reported is totally erroneous. Sri Lanka has not denied a visa to Ms. Russell as there was no reason for such a refusal. Her visit had to be rescheduled because if otherwise she would have been unable to meet some of those whom she planned...

Potential genocidal crimes of SL are result of 'deliberate planning and policy decisions' - ICEP report

The International Crimes Evidence Project (ICEP) on Sri Lanka, carried out by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC), concluded the Sri Lankan government was responsible for vast " crimes against humanity of persecution ". Highlighting the need for a truly independent and credible investigation, the report added that such crimes " constitute genocidal acts if the additional requisite elements for this crime are found to be present through further investigation". “ An independent and comprehensive international investigation is needed into these alleged violations of international law . The absence of such investigation will also ensure the ongoing impunity of those on both sides of the conduct who have committed violations, thereby emboldening those who may continue to abuse the civilian population.” There are also allegations of collusion and other acts by the Sri Lankan state, which inhibit accountability for wartime crimes and protect perpetrators. This report describes command and control structures so well-established that criminal responsibility for certain crimes if proven at trial could lead to convictions of senior military commanders and Sri Lankan Government officials, as well as senior surviving members of the LTTE. ICEP is in the process of collecting new evidentiary material. Early analysis suggests that the Sri Lankan Government may have sought systematically to exhume and destroy evidence of mass civilian deaths. See here for key points of the report. Find full report here .