“Similarly, the persecution of Ms. Jeyakumari foretells the future fate of Southern dissidents.
The Tiger leaders betrayed their followers and their community, as the embarrassingly-unheroic dénouement of the Eelam War demonstrated. The Rajapaksas are sacrificing Sri Lanka to their power-hunger. The plight of Jeyakumari Balendran and her little daughter is symbolic of the LTTE’s failed struggle and of the Rajapaksas’ failing peace.”
No matter what happens in Geneva this month, the way forward for Sri Lanka will be difficult. The situation on the island is clearly worsening and, up to now, international efforts to exert pressure on the regime have been largely ineffectual. Since the ability of international actors to shape events in Sri Lanka is limited, the passage of a strong resolution at the HRC – one that emphasizes an independent international mechanism to monitor ongoing human rights trends and also to conduct an examination into the war’s final phase – would not guarantee a decline in authoritarianism. On the other hand, the passage of a weak resolution or – less likely – the failure to pass any resolution on Sri Lanka this time around would probably encourage heightened repression, the continued rejection of Tamil and Muslim rights and an even more evident period of ethnic discord.
The realities facing the people of the north are way more complex. There is an acute need for jobs. With the rising cost of living, households — particularly those with women heading them — are struggling to make ends meet. Many public institutions, including those that lost land to the army’s high security zones in the Northern Province, are crying for attention and support. Fishermen of the north are badly hit. With the failure of successive monsoons, food security is emerging as a serious concern. The region is still heavily militarised.
The Sri Lankan government may not acknowledge these problems anytime soon, as the rhetoric, for both the government and those opposing it, seems to begin and end with war crimes — now an all-too-familiar game of allegations and denial. While allegations of war crimes and human rights violations keep surfacing from time to time — justifiably so after a brutal war that allegedly claimed several thousand civilian lives — it is important that we simultaneously shine the spotlight on some of these current challenges.
some of the alleged crimes were committed with “such flagrant and reckless disregard for the laws of war which strongly suggests there was intent to commit those crimes.”
The structure of the Sri Lankan Army was so well-established, the report adds, “that criminal responsibility for certain crimes if proven at trial could lead to convictions of senior military commanders and Sri Lankan government officials” as well as senior surviving members of the Tamil Tiger rebels.
Sri Lanka’s Northern Provincial Council (NPC) passed a resolution on Monday calling for an international probe into the war crimes allegedly committed during the country’s ethnic conflict.
“World is losing patience with Sri Lanka over its refusal to investigate war crimes, US warns, as new report details alleged massacre of 17 French aid workers…”
An international investigation into Sri Lanka’s war crimes is long overdue. It is time for the rest of the Commonwealth and the international community to stop treating Sri Lanka with kid gloves and follow the lead of Mauritius whose prime minister said world leaders must act because Sri Lanka’s total lack of accountability was unacceptable. Waiting till March to find out whether a TRC or national inquiry succeeds will be a waste of time. The time for action on an international investigation is now.
“Cameron said on Saturday: “Let me be very clear. If an investigation is not completed by March, then I will use our position on the United Nations human rights council to work with the UN human rights commission and call for a full credible and independent international inquiry.”
March is when the commission next meets to assess Sri Lanka’s progress on addressing human rights abuses, including allegations of war crimes. In the past the country has refused to allow the UN unrestricted access to the former war zones.”
You could find below a link to to watch BBC Newsnight documentary on atrocities in Sri Lanka since the war ended. Many Tamil victims of rapes and tortures by sri lankan soldiers testify on what happened to them.
source: BBC NEWSNIGHT (via Youtube)
Tens of thousands of civilians were killed in the final weeks of Sri Lanka’s armed conflict in 2009. Civilians were caught in the deadly conflict with nowhere to run. When the injured tried to get help they found hospitals deliberately shelled.There’s still been no independent investigation into these alleged war crimes.
Sri Lanka is hosting Commonwealth leaders this November – make sure they speak out and don’t approve of Sri Lanka’s actions with their silence: http://bit.ly/1866Y89
source: Amnesty International
Channel 4 released a new video captured on a Sri Lankan soldier’s mobile camera shows the news presenter and actress/singer Isai Priya captured alive. The audio reveals that the Sri Lankan Army soldiers assume the 27-year-old Tamil woman to be the LTTE leader’s, V. Prabhakaran’s, daughter. She pleads she is not. Her naked body was later shown on another soldier’s trophy video with marks of torture and rape.
click to watch Channel 4 video
There is a strong case for accountability and recognition of the loss of life. The current situation does not hold out much hope for genuine reconciliation. Naming and shaming on the basis of exaggerated numbers is not the way to persuade the Sinhalese community to recognise the loss of life amongst the Vanni Tamils. Bludgeoning them with inflated numbers could lead to a backlash.
The findings of the Military Court of Inquiry exonerate the military of any responsibility and attest to the fact that the Government of Sri Lanka and the Military cannot be trusted to investigate the crimes committed during the final phases of the conflict.
That is why an independent international inquiry is needed.
By Yasmine Sooka. Read the full article here –http://groundviews.org/2013/04/11/the-empty-findings-of-sri-lankas-military-court-of-inquiry/
A documentary purporting to show the execution of civilians and other war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan army had its first public screening on Friday but was swiftly rejected by the government as part of an “orchestrated campaign” against it.
to read more : http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/02/us-srilanka-film-idUSBRE92104F20130302
Two eyewitnesses have come forward for the first time to support allegations that the Sri Lankan army executed two Tamil Tiger rebel leaders after they surrendered, carrying a white flag, at the close of the island’s civil war in 2009.
Their accounts cast fresh doubt on the Sri Lankan government’s claim that the rebels were killed by their own supporters and add to a growing body of evidence of war crimes allegedly committed by the Sri Lankan military during the conflict.