International pressure on Sri Lanka must be sustained – The Guardian editorial

Amidst fears of violence spilling into Sri Lanka’s streets and the country’s security forces intervening, international pressure must be sustained, The Guardian argues in its editorial on Thursday . “The suspicion is that [President Maithripala Sirisena] and his chosen prime minister [Mahinda Rajapaksa] hope to give the impression that Sri Lanka is becoming ungovernable and that fresh elections are the only solution,” the newspaper states.

India must engage to counteract Chinese supplied instability - Financial Times editorial

India must stand up for democracy in its own backyard as Sri Lanka’s current political turmoil points to China’s increasing role, the Financial Times said in an editorial on Thursday. “China is again becoming a supplier of political instability” along its strategic ‘string of pearls’ in the Indian Ocean, the editorial board writes, referring to Sri Lanka's recent political crisis. Highlighting a tweet sent by Mahinda Rajapaksa following his purported appointment as prime minister, in which he was greeted by China’s ambassador to Colombo, as a sign of Chinese influence in the political drama...

Arrest of Tamil MP is ‘a flagrant abuse’ of rights

Sri Lanka’s arrest of Tamil parliamentarian Vijayakala Maheswaran, following her remarks on the LTTE, is a “flagrant abuse of the rights to freedom of expression,” write human rights lawyers Samir Pasha and Naga Kandiah in The Interpreter this month. “Any citizen has a right to dissent against government actions and raise issues affecting communities,” they wrote. “There is an unarguable difference between this and making a call to violent uprising, promoting hatred or hostility… The government’s claim in protecting the public can only be exercised in criminal proceedings where absolutely necessary. In Maheswaran’s case, this distinction was not made.”

Sri Lanka Monitoring and Accountability Panel urges independent evidence gathering mechanism

International lawyers from the Sri Lanka Monitoring and Accountability Panel called for an independent evidence gathering mechanism in the country, in an op-ed published in Justiceinfo.com "Steps should include setting up an independent evidence-gathering mechanism related to atrocities for Sri Lanka with a similar mandate to those on Syria and Myanmar to investigate international crimes; and urging prosecutors in third states to pursue cases against Sri Lankan war criminals under the doctrine of universal jurisdiction," co-authors and lawyers Andrew Ianuzzi, Richard Rogers and Heather Ryan wrote.

‘US policy on Sri Lanka needs a reset’

US policy on Sri Lanka has over emphasised growing military relations “to the detriment of human rights accountability,” writes J S Tissainayagam in the Asian Correspondent this week. “The policy of western democracies – led by the United States – of over-emphasising military-to-military relations with Sri Lanka to the detriment of human rights accountability, has weakened their hand to play a constructive role in this crisis,” said Tissainayagam. “While Washington, with Europe and India were busy enhancing military relations, they lagged on persuading the Colombo to make good on its promises...

‘US rewarded Sri Lanka’s empty promises’ – Kate Cronin-Furman

The United States’ “failure to push Sri Lanka to implement key institutional reforms not only betrayed the victims of past abuses, but it will also create new ones”, writes Kate Cronin-Furman in a piece for Foreign Policy this week. “US officials who designed and implemented foreign policy on Sri Lanka over the last four years, based on a misguided acceptance of Rajapaksa’s ouster as a full-fledged democratic transition,” she says, adding that there was a “rush to accept limited progress as true change”. Yet, there was no evidence that the Sirisena administration was committed to the goal of...

‘Tamils condemned to choose between two security regimes’

As both Mahinda Rajapaksa and Ranil Wickremesinghe battle for the seat of Sri Lanka’s prime minister, Tamils on the island are “condemned to choose between two security regimes,” writes Kumaravadivel Guruparan in Scroll.in earlier today. “Every time we can make a difference, we are asked to support the actor that can guarantee, albeit marginally, our existence,” said Guruparan. “The reductionist reading of the Tamil struggle for self-determination, justice and accountability to a mere existentialist struggle will solidify Sinhala Buddhist ethnocracy in Sri Lanka, slowly but surely.” Speaking on the failure of the Sri Lankan government, led by Maithripalal Sirisena and Ranil WIckremesinghe, to fulfil promises to Tamils over the last three years, Guruparan says the regime “did nothing to reform the security establishment”.

Sri Lanka's Tamils are at imminent risk after Rajapaksa's return - PEARL advocacy director

Writing in Al Jazeera , the Advocacy Director for the Washington DC-based People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL), and a Human Rights Fellow at the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership, Mario Arulthas, urged the international community to take urgent action to protect Tamils in Sri Lanka following the former president's return to power last week. "The Rajapaksa brothers have been plotting for a political comeback since their downfall in 2015. Tamil activists, who say they always knew Rajapaksas would one day return, are now revisiting their safety protocols, switching to secure messaging apps and sharing emergency contact details," Arulthas writes. Read full article here .

The Failed Promise of Reconciliation in Sri Lanka

As Sri Lanka continues to go back on its promises to investigate and prosecute atrocity crimes, alternative avenues for justice must be found, writes People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL) Advocacy Director, Mario Arulthas. “Nearly 10 years after the end of the conflict, reconciliation and a sustainable peace are far off – contrary to what President Sirisena claimed in his speech at the UNGA,” wrote Arulthas in The Diplomat this week. “Sri Lanka has repeatedly gone back on its promises to investigate and prosecute atrocity crimes,” he said, adding “the international community cannot...

Thileepan, Hunger and Remembrance: Why Do We Starve?

Starvation occurs in three phases. First, the body halts consumption of glucose, its primary energy source. Then, it scrapes away at fat deposits. Once those are depleted, it finally cannibalizes muscle mass to feed the brain. The body enters a delicate balancing act, substituting glucose for fat and eventually protein, until organ function is affected and results in death. The ultimate cause of death, in general, is cardiac arrest or the stopping of the heart. At its core, starvation is a process of desperate sacrifice.

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