US: Defense Attaché's remarks do not reflect US policy

Following the US Embassy's Defense Attaché, Lt. Col. Lawrence Smith's peculiar remarks at Sri Lanka's three day seminar, the US State Department have responded swiftly in a statement describing his remarks as 'personal opinions' and stipulating that they 'do not reflect the policy of the United States Government'. The statement went on to reiterate the United States' concern over the findings of the UN Panel report and commitment to ensuring credible accountability. The US previously declined their invitation to participate in the conference, however, as the statement clarified, Lt. Col...

People have the right to resist annihilation - Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy, Booker Prize winning novelist and political activist, speaking to reporters on her new book, a collection of essays on the Maoist guerrilla movement in India entitled 'Broken Republic', argues the case for violent resistance in the face of brutal oppression. "If you're an adivasi [tribal Indian] living in a forest village and 800 CRP [Central Reserve Police] come and surround your village and start burning it, what are you supposed to do? Are you supposed to go on hunger strike? Can the hungry go on a hunger strike? Non-violence is a piece of theatre. You need an audience. What...

CPJ: Sri Lanka fourth 'Getting Away With Murder'

Sri Lanka ranked fourth amongst states ‘Getting Away With Murder’, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said this week. (see the 2011 Impunity Index ) Sri Lanka fourth comes after Iraq, Somalia and the Phillipines. ( Philippines ranks higher due to a single incident – the massacre of 32 journalists and media workers in 2009.) Sri Lanka ranks higher than Afghanistan, Mexico and Colombia. On Sri Lanka, CPJ pointed out that the repeated lack of adequate investigation or arrest of suspects left "persistent questions as to whether authorities have been complicit in some of the crimes."...

Judge hails Mladic arrest, hopes same for Sri Lanka and Syria leaders

Judge Richard Goldstone (former chief prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda), writing for the BBC on the extradition of General Ratko Mladic, said it represented yet another key milestone in the "end of the effective impunity for the worst war criminals". Making particular reference to Sri Lanka and Syria, Judge Goldstone warned perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide that they will be brought justice. " It is my hope that the leaders of Sri Lanka and Syria will not be granted immunity for the crimes they...

Making it up

Sri Lanka’s Central Bank is twisting statistics to project an unrealistic picture of economic development, an economist and parliamentarian of the main opposition said this week. These falsehoods are contributing to the " deteriorating credibility of the now completely politicized institution ," Harsha de Silva of the United National Party (UNP) told The Island newspaper. See also our earlier post: Dodgy numbers (Nov 2010)

Who’s for and against investigating 2009 slaughter of Tamils

At the 17th UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) meeting presently underway in Geneva, UN rights chief Navi Pillai called an international investigation of war crimes in the final months in 2009 of Sri Lanka’s war. Who supported : US, EU, France, Ireland Who opposed : Pakistan, China, Cuba Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s categorical rejection of an investigation was delivered by Human Rights Minister, Mahinda Samarasinghe. See the Daily Mirror’s report here

UN premiere for Sri Lanka war crimes film

Channel 4 is to screen Sri Lanka's Killing Fields , a special one-hour investigation which features devastating new video evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Sri Lanka, at the UN this Friday 3 June . Presented by Channel 4 News journalist Jon Snow, the film features footage captured on mobile phones, both by Tamil civilians under attack and government soldiers as war trophies. “ The footage is probably the most horrific the channel has ever shown . The decision to show it at length was made only after serious and careful consideration,” Channel 4's Head of News...

Executions in Channel 4 video need international investigation - UN

“I conclude on the basis of the extensive technical evidence we obtained from independent experts that what is depicted in the video indeed happened . … I believe that a prima facie case of serious international crimes has been made ." "The prima facie case should go to the next level of investigation on a domestic and an international level . ... "We should recognise the domestic process, but I think in parallel there should be an international investigation ." - Christof Heyns , the UN's special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, speaking to the Human Rights...

Foreign investors remain net sellers of SL stocks

As speculation drove Sri Lanka’s stock market to a 1-week high, foreign investors net sold $1.5 m (Rs. 165m) worth of shares on Monday, Reuters reported. Foreign investors have sold a net $58m (Rs. 6.36 bn) worth of shares in 2011, after a record $240m (Rs. 26.4 bn) in 2010. See our earlier posts: Sri Lanka’s stocks: a closer look (Jan 2011) Foreigners sell, state buys (Oct 2010)

Call for UNHRC to reconsider Sri Lanka

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Navanethem Pillay, during her opening statement to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on 30 May 2011. Let me also refer to the report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on accountability in Sri Lanka, which concludes that there are credible allegations of a wide range of serious violations of international law committed by both the Sri Lankan Government forces and Tamil Tigers in the final stages of the conflict. It is incumbent on the Government to investigate these allegations and I also urge it to implement the measures recommended by the...

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