TNPF outlines Tamil demands for UNHRC

The Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) discussed the systematic genocide that Tamils face in a meeting with a Canadian delegation, including Sarah Gills, the Senior Desk Officer for Sri Lanka, Maldives, and South Asian Relations, last week. In a press release about the meeting, the TNPF reported that after discussing the many actions of the Sri Lankan state that constituted genocide of the Tamil nation, the organisation also laid out their expectations for the next UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session in Geneva. The TNPF expressed that a UNHRC resolution against Sri Lanka should include...

Tamil Nadu fishermen protest in Trincomalee

The 111 Tamil Nadu fishermen who were released following their mass arrest by the Sri Lankan Navy last month, are protesting in Trincomalee that their boats and other fishing equipment be returned to them, reports the Uthayan . Fifteen boats were also seized by the Sri Lankan Navy in December, whilst arresting over 200 fishermen. Some reports said that upto 300 were arrested, with almost two-thirds later released. According to the paper, fishermen in Naakai, in Tamil Nadu, are on a hunger strike in solidarity with their colleagues in Trincomalee. The Sri Lankan Navy's mass arrest was...

Worldwide protests against Australia's detention of 46 refugees

Updated 23:55 GMT Protests in Australia, as well as outside the Australian High Commission in Tamil Nadu and London today, are demanding the release of 46 refugees who have been detained indefinitely by Australia's Security and Intelligence Organisation (ASIO). Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India In Chennai protesters who had demonstrated outside all day, handed over a petition to the High Commissioner calling on Australia to " end this inhuman and cruel practice of indefinite detention of our brethren, who have sought refuge in your country, fleeing persecution from Sri Lanka ." In a letter, a...

'We do not trust any mechanism created locally' - Disappearances Committee NE

In a letter to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, and writing on behalf of the Disappearance Commissions North and East, the Northern Province Councillor Ananthi Sasitharan reiterated the call for an international investigation stating "we do not trust any mechanism created locally, which in the past has not delivered justice to the survivors." See full letter here . Extracts reproduced below: " Regarding: Seeking UN monitored international independent inquiry into forced disappearances and abductions . We the committees of the disappearance from the North and East, write to you as representatives of the collective body, that still seek justice. We do not trust any mechanism created locally which in the past has not delivered justice to the survivors.

No improvement in Sri Lanka's human rights situation - FCO

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in a quarterly human rights report, published today , outlined that Sri Lanka had not improved in the last 3 months despite the intensified international focus on the country’s human rights issues. The report highlighted the on-going detention of Tamil youth and the abuse of Tamil civilians in police custody. Citing the case of the 5 Tamil students that were killed in Trincomalee in 2006, and assassination of 17 French NGO workers, the update expressed concerns over Sri Lanka’s culture of impunity. The update comes as the British Minister of...

Four Indians arrested in North-East

Sri Lankan police arrested four Indian nationals in Pallai in the North, reported Colombo Gazette . According to the police the four were arrested for visa violations, having allegedly engaged in business activities whilst on a tourist visa. They will be brought before a Magistrate in Kilinochchi today.

UK minister reiterates March deadline for Sri Lanka

Britain’s Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire once again reiterated that unless allegations of war crimes have “credible, transparent and independent investigations” taking place by March, then Britain will push for an international investigation to begin. Responding to a question on the progress of establishing an independent investigation, Swire went on to state that, “We are regularly discussing Sri Lanka with a range of international partners in the run-up to the next session of the Human Rights Council in March”. Swire also said that, “we will continue to press the Sri Lankan Government for credible, transparent and independent investigations into alleged war crimes”.

Body of 19y male found in Oorkaavarthurai

The body of a 19 year old male was found in marsh land in Oorkaavarthurai yesterday, reports Uthayan . The decomposing body has been identified as that of Anton Isrin, who was last seen leaving his house on January 14th. His body has been taken to Jaffna Teaching Hospital for a post-mortem.

Sri Lanka to present findings from census at Geneva

Sri Lanka’s Plantation Industries Minister Mahinda Buddhadasa Samarasinghe has said that he will present the findings from the census in Geneva during the UN Human Rights Council session in March. The government announced the census last year and said it would be used to ascertain the real number of people who died during the conflict. Samarasinghe also said that the government would not betray the motherland and the security forces in Geneva, accusing “self-appointed human rights protectors of finding faults with the Sri Lankan security forces”, reported The Island. See our TG View - Erasing...

Mannar mass grave toll reaches 40

As excavations continued today, the number of human remains found rose to 40, reports Uthayan. Excavations are set to continue on January 20th. The mass grave was initially discovered after construction workers found two human skeletons on December 20th when digging in Thirukketheeswaram. The following week, a further four skulls were unearthed , with more over subsequent weeks (see also here and here ). This week the Bishop of Mannar said that the holes in many of the skulls were believed to be from gunshot wounds.