UN budgets US$2.8 million for war crimes evidence collection in Sri Lanka

Ahead of the passing of a United Nations Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka, a US$2.8 million budget was being requested by the global body to begin collecting evidence of mass atrocities that could be used for future war crimes trials. A programme budget implications statement was distributed on Monday, which detailed the resources and budget that would be required in 2021 and 2022 for the Office of the High Commissioner “to collect, consolidate, analyse and preserve information and evidence and to develop possible strategies for future accountability processes for gross violations...

UN Human Rights Council passes resolution mandating war crimes evidence collection on Sri Lanka

The United Nations Human Rights Council has passed a resolution on accountability and justice in Sri Lanka, by 22 votes in favour to 14 votes against and 11 abstentions. The resolution, adopted earlier today, will mandate the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to "collect" as well as "consolidate, analyse and preserve” evidence that could be used in future war crimes trials. The resolution also “expresses serious concern at the trends emerging over the past year, which represent a clear early warning sign of a deteriorating situation of human rights in Sri Lanka” and highlights “ongoing impunity and political obstruction of accountability for crimes and human rights violations”. More than US$ 2.8 million has been budgeted for the collection and analysis of evidence, with a report to be produced and presented to the Council in 2022.

Tamil Nadu politicians urge Indian government to vote for resolution on Sri Lanka in UNHRC

As the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council is set to vote on a crucial resolution on Sri Lanka tomorrow, politicians in Tamil Nadu have come out with statements urging the Indian government to vote in favour of the resolution, and for justice and accountability for Eelam Tamils. The stance of the Indian government has acquired particular prominence in the state because of Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary Jayanath Colombage’s recent remarks that India has “assured support for Sri Lanka at the UNHRC.” That the Ministry of External Affairs did not deny this claim caused anxiety in Tamil Nadu...

An animated history of the Tamil struggle

We explore figures from the early decades of the Tamil struggle by animating and bringing to life photographs taken throughout the decades. Using the ‘Deep Nostalgia’ feature, developed by the genealogy platform MyHeritage, the animated photographs offers a chance to see some of the Tamil struggle’s most memorable figures and moments in a new form. For many of these figures, no video footage of them exists.

Blinken, Yang, Sri Lanka and the global competition for democracy

Photograph: US and Chinese delegations in Alaska this month. Earlier this month the United States and China publicly clashed, capturing global attention as the first face-to-face talks between the two superpowers since the Biden administration came into power, descended into a chaotic opening day. The meeting in Alaska saw US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken exchange sharp words with Yang Jiechi, director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission Office of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). “As US and Chinese officials landed in Anchorage this week, the temperature was well below freezing...

British parliament debates 'UK commitments to reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka'

Following widespread criticism of the draft UN resolution, which is seen to fall short on accountability, the British parliament held a debate on the country's commitments to Sri Lanka on issues of “reconciliation, accountability and human rights”. The resolution follows a damning report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, which highlights the deteriorating human rights conditions in Sri Lanka and urges international action to prevent future violations. The call to action includes imposing sanctions on senior Sri Lankan officials implicated in war crimes; to consider referring Sri...

Indian High Commissioner visits North-East ahead of crucial UNHRC vote

Gopal Baglay, the Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, made a trip to the North-East, the traditional Tamil homeland, ahead of a crucial vote on Sri Lanka at the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council Session (UNHRC) in Geneva. During his visit, Mr. Baglay conferred with parliamentarians of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) in Jaffna on Saturday, 13th March. The High Commissioner reportedly "reiterated India's consistent support for development & meaningful devolution in a united SriLanka to promote #progress , #peace , #equality , #...

Pursuing Accountability for Mass Atrocities: What Can the UN Human Rights Council Do?

A panel event about the ongoing 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council and what can the human rights body do to deliver justice and accountability for the Tamil people took place on Tuesday. Titled “Pursuing Accountability for Mass Atrocities: What Can the UN Human Rights Council Do?”, the discussion was organised jointly by People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL) and the School of Public Policy, University College, London.

British police draw batons on Tamil protestors in London

UK Metropolitan Police officers clashed with hundreds of Tamil protestors today in Kenton North-West London, outside the home of a British Tamil woman who has been on hunger strike for 16 days.

Remembering Dominic Jeeva

Famed Eelam Tamil and Dalit writer Dominic Jeeva passed away on 28 January 2021. Jeeva was the editor of Mallikai, a monthly journal on Tamil literature for more than four decades, and courageously narrated intersectioning tales of oppression and marginalisation on the island. We share below some excerpts of his work and words as a tribute to the renowned writer.