As many as 2,175 internally displaced Tamil families in Jaffna and Trincomalee districts are set to receive a financial assistance of Rs. 38,000 per family for resettlement with the Cabinet of the Sri Lankan government sanctioning Rs. 16 crore Lankan.
The UN Human Rights Commission’s decision to investigate violations and the huge loss of life during the last months of the war concluded in 2009 was a significant victory for the victims.
The dignity of the victims required that the truth must be told without fear or favour, and processes of justice and restoration set in motion. And the wrong was not all on one side.
Dignity also demands that we await the verdict of the judges with restraint and reverence for the name of justice.
But in Jaffna, all hell broke loose over the coming UNHRC report in an orgy of mud-slinging, recrimination and effigy burning for Tamil leadership spoils.
Some academics in Jaffna University led by taking on themselves the task of identifying and upbraiding ‘traitors to the race’ in a return to dangerous heroics. MPs Sampanthan and Sumanthiran were excoriated for attending the Independence Day function.
The first shot in virtually christening the coming UN report a ‘genocide report’ was fired by Northern Chief Minister Justice Wigneswaran on 10th February 2015 in the Provincial Council resolution he advanced.
The opinion held by a sizeable portion of the university teachers was not to politicise the coming UN report, so as to allow Sinhalese to read it with an open mind. There was no opposition to delay, as requested by the new government. But this moderate stance got lost in the rush of events. It was presented to the media on 13th February as the University Teachers demanding the release of the report as scheduled in March. »
« Tamil National Alliance(TNA)Leader Rajavarothayam Sampanthan MP and TNA National list Parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran won many hearts and minds by participating in the official Independence day ceremony held in Battaramulla on February 4th…. »
«Ich fahre regelmässig an diesen Orten vorbei», erzählt ein junger Student aus der Provinzhauptstadt Jaffna. «Ausgestiegen bin ich noch nie. Für uns Tamilen wurden diese Denkmäler nicht errichtet.»
« The report initially examines Thatcher’s policy on Sri Lanka during her decade in power. Her opening salvo was to dispatch former MI5 director (Jack Morton), a veteran of Malaya and Ireland. He reported back on ‘the depressing picture of apparatus and morale in the security forces tackling the Tamil problem’, at a time when the Tamil armed struggle for independence was just beginning.
Then, from 1983-1987, KMS Ltd, a British mercenary company comprised of ex-SAS soldiers (many of them Dhofar veterans), trained Sri Lankan police commandos, army officers and helicopter gunship pilots in counter-insurgency techniques. KMS became infamous in the late 1980s when its boss, David Walker, was implicated in the Iran-Contra scandal. It is now one of Britain’s oldest private military contractors, trading under the name of Saladin Security.
The 1990s were no different; UK military training continued unabated. The Defence Attaché at the British High Commission even described himself as a protégé of General Frank Kitson, godfather of Britain’s colonial counter-insurgency campaigns. Then in 1997, almost 50 years after Sri Lanka became independent from the Empire, the British Army helped establish a military academy on the island for senior officers.
The Ministry of Defence attached a British Colonel to the college, where he held one of the highest positions. His first batch of students included a young Kamal Gunaratne, who would go on to command the Sri Lankan Army’s 53rd Division in the killing fields during 2009. His unit is alleged to have executed the Tamil female journalist Isaipriya. The twisted irony is that the college’s motto was, ‘To war with wisdom and knowledge’. »
« Thousands of Tamils protested in Jaffna this morning, calling on the UN Human Rights Council to release the report looking into mass atrocities committed against the Tamil people, the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) report, next month as planned. Rejecting the any domestic inquiry conducted by the Sri Lankan state, protesters questioned how those responsible for mass atrocities can conduct a credible, independent investigation. The protest, organised by the Jaffna University civil society, including students and teachers, was unanimously endorsed by Tamil political parties and civil organisations in the North-East. Some even travelled from the East to take part. »
A U.N. envoy urged Sri Lanka’s new government on Tuesday to address skepticism among ethnic Tamils about its efforts to promote post-war reconciliation, saying there should be more progress in accountability and in human rights issues
Tens of thousands went missing during the civil war ending in 2009, including people who were killed in battles as well as those said to have been shot in custody. But there have long been rumors of secret camps holding thousands of detainees, a notion Mr. Wickremesinghe sought to dispel.
“There are a few hundreds, I think, not thousands,” he said. “There are people who are missing whose names are not found anywhere,” which means they either “are not among the living or they left the country. That’s all.”
We are the relatives of those who have been abducted, arrested, and disappeared by agents of the state or different armed groups. With our lives and emotions, in different ways, we have been searching for our loved ones who have not returned home, and who we believe are being held in illegal and secret ways.
Shahnaz Habib writes for The New Yorker’s ‘Briefly Noted’ a review of the last book of Shobasakti « The MGR Murder Trial « .
Again and again, the stories in this exciting new collection from Sri Lankan writer Shobasakthi grapple with the question of who a character really is. The writer, who now lives in France as a refugee and has worked as a dishwasher, construction worker and street sweeper over the last 20 years…
At the heart of this in-depth ethnographic study lie the daily life situations of tsunami survivors in war-torn, eastern Sri Lanka. Each chapter is built around the empirical themes derived from the stories and recollections of Tamil women and their families during their stay in relief camps, anticipating relocation. The specifics of the socio-cultural context are firmly embedded in the discussions. Ten years after the tsunami, this publication offers a timely contribution to a better understanding of what it means to cope with the combined effects of disaster, war, and international aid in this matri-focal region of the island.
However, the key question remains: Does Sirisena have the political will and capability to actually resolve the fundamental problems that drove the country to almost three decades of civil war?
« Sri Lanka will Celebrate its Sixty-seventh Anniversary of Independence from the United Kingdom this Wednesday. The country then known as Ceylon obtained full freedom from the British on February 4th 1948.Independent Ceylon/Sri Lanka / has faced many challenges and problems in the past 67 years. We have had military coup attempts, communal riots, pogroms, armed revolts, external military intervention, assassinations of heads of state, terrorist violence and above all a long secessionist war that threatened to tear apart the country. »
In four months’ time, Sri Lanka will mark the sixth anniversary of the end of its bloody civil conflict. Ever since government armed forces declared victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on May 19, 2009, the country has savored peace after a generation of war.
Sripavan becomes the first Tamil to occupy the top judicial position in 24 years as Sri Lanka’s new leaders seek to mend ties with the country’s largest ethnic minority after a bloody 37-year war.