March 31, 2010 § 1 Comment
Three Australian men accused of supplying $1 million to Sri Lankan Tamil Tiger separatists have avoided immediate jail time.
…Justice Coghlan…accepted the men did not agree with that characterisation and wanted to help the Tamils in Sri Lanka.
“I’m satisfied you did not intend to support any activities you would have regarded as being terrorists related.”
…Outside court, Rajeevan said he was happy with the result.
“Tamils in Sri Lanka cannot expect justice from their Sri Lankan government, but today we have received justice from the Australian justice system,” he said.
“We thank the Australian justice system and we will obey that wholeheartedly.”
Mr Rajeevan thanked the Tamil community for supporting him and those who supported the Tamils’ human rights struggle in Sri Lanka.
Defence lawyer Rob Stary said there needed to be an inquiry into the way such cases were initiated and a review of terrorism laws.
March 31, 2010 Comments Off on Australian Police did GOSL's dirty work
The Age – Top judge blasts AFP terror probe
by Nick McKenzie and Richard Baker
A SUPREME Court judge has attacked the Australian Federal Police for bungling a two-year investigation into three men who sent funds to Sri Lankan Tamil Tiger separatists.
The agents’ action included improperly arresting a suspect and abusing his rights.
The AFP’s mistakes occurred during its 2007 arrest and questioning of Arumugan Rajeevan, who is one of three men who will be sentenced in the Victorian Supreme Court today for providing money to a terrorist organisation.More
March 31, 2010 Comments Off on Judge agrees: Australian Police abused Tamil's rights
Australian Judge has conscience and tells it like it is in the trial of 3 Tamils in Melbourne by criticising the deplorable actions of the AFP who arrested one of the men at gunpoint
The Age–Raising hackles
by Nick McKenzie and Richard Baker
DURING his 40 years in the criminal justice system, Paul Coghlan has prosecuted remorseless murderers, locked up white-collar fraudsters and watched countless police take the stand to give evidence. His record and experience rank him among the more learned on the Supreme Court bench. Yet if he thought he had seen all that a courtroom could offer, Justice Coghlan would stand corrected in January last year, when he was told by an Australian Federal Police agent that a terrorism suspect could be ”unarrested”.
”To be fair to you, I’ve only been practising in the criminal law for 40 years,” Coghlan said last year in reference to the arrest, and unarrest, of Arumugam Rajeevan, one of three men charged in 2007 with terrorist offences connected to their support and financing of the militant Sri Lankan separatist group, the Tamil Tigers. ”The notion of unarresting people is something that I’ve struck here for the first time … the notion that somebody can be arrested unlawfully and then just unarrested at somebody else’s whim is bizarre.”More
March 31, 2010 Comments Off on An SL Lawyer writes of horrors for Tamils
This is a letter that was sent by a Sri Lankan lawyer to an Australian refugee activist. His name has been censored to protect his identity.
This letter below is from a Sri Lankan lawyer who has assisted people who have been returned and whose lives have been placed in danger as a result. He does this work after hours pro bono. He has asked her to circulate this letter so that Australians get an understanding of the conditions and uncertainty facing Tamils who are deported and why they are leaving.
Today is a very sad day for one young asylum seeker on Christmas Island. He learnt yesterday that his 14 year old brother had been kidnapped and then murdered. He comes from a well off Tamil family. The inability and unwillingness of the Sri Lankan authorities to protect Tamils is another reason why they are fleeing from their lives.
Father Jim said prayers for the boy yesterday afternoon in Alpha Compound. He said that when the men heard about the death, there was a silence then tears and weeping as the men thought of their own families at risk back in Sri Lanka.
Dear [Australian refugee activist]
A friend of mine called me today and said that he was in Sydney and was on a UN mission which means that the UN is also supporting the Bali Process and trying to stop refugees leaving Sri Lanka. Returnees are complaining to me that they can not live in Sri Lanka and need to leave the country. Some of them will try to take boats again. Every moment someone is trying to go to Australia by boat. Two weeks back two boats reach to Australia. As far as I know an Australian Television team is coming to do a programme called 60 Minutes on Sri Lankan boat people. Every body wants to stop Sri Lankans going to Australia but nobody is trying to change the Sri Lankan government’s attitude on Human Rights for the Tamil people – rights are denied such as when the government takes their lands and gives this land to foreigners for hotel projects. Tamils can not say no as we Singhalese can, because they are Tamils who have been defeated and as such they can not open their mouths.
The Australian Government has provided the Coast Guard System to Sri Lanka. The Australian High Commissioner donated this system to the Sri Lankan Government. They said that it is for the safety of the Sri Lankan coast but actually it is to stop Sri Lankans sailing to Australia.
The Australian High Commissioner said at the Australia Day celebrations that Australians are a very peculiar nation in that they eat their own national symbol. That night they provided Kangaroo meat as well as Crocodile meat for dinner. As others have said Australians are a peculiar in another aspect also. This is that they were boat people at one stage of their nation when they grabbed the land from the Indigenous people when they came by boat from UK. Now they do not want the Sri Lankans to come by boat.
Please tell people that they can contact me for legal assistance. I am still making efforts to have the imprisoned returnee released but the Sri Lankan government have charged him with aiding and abetting so it is a struggle.
Attorney at Law
March 31, 2010 Comments Off on Evidence of Sinhala colonisation of Tamil homeland
France24 (05/02) – Sri Lanka: Tamils on probation
Six months ago in Sri Lanka, as the last bastion of the Tamil Tigers fell, tens of thousands of civilians who had fled the fighting were detained in refugee camps. Now the Sri Lankan army has given them permission to return home. We went to meet these refugees who have lost everything.
March 30, 2010 Comments Off on Melbourne book launch on SL – 23 April
Following an extremely successful launch of the book “Sri Lanka: 60 years of “Independence” and Beyond” in Sydney @ Gleebooks (Glebe) on Friday 26th March by Associate Professor Jake Lynch, Director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney an event will now be held in Melbourne:
Sri Lanka: 60 Years of “Independence” and beyond is a collection of articles exploring the complex issues that underpin Sri Lanka’s history since its “independence” in 1948 a period dominated by conflict between the Sinhalese and the Tamil people of the island.
This book is the latest (December 2009) publication by the Switzerland based Centre for Just Peace and Democracy (CJPD) and is edited by Ana Pararajasingham, CJPD’s Programmes Director.
The book comprises 26 papers covering 11 topics examined from different perspectives. Contributors include Tamils, Sinhalese and others from the wider international community. This is because conflicts, particularly those that are underpinned by nationalism and the vestiges of colonialism are best comprehended when diverse views are presented. The authors include David Feith and Lionel Bopage, who will both be present at the Melbourne book launch.
This book provides a comprehensive and up to date account of the island’s “post independence” era by authors who, over many years, have written widely on the subject.
In his Foreword, Justice John Dowd AO QC, Vice President of the International Commission of Jurists refers to the book as a “very careful and painstaking analysis of the legal, constitutional, religious, sociological and ethnic problems that comprise modern Sri Lanka” and recommends “it is essential reading for those who want to understand the conflict”.
In his review of the book, Bruce Haigh, Former Australian Deputy High Commissioner to Sri Lanka wrote: “This book is long overdue. It should have been published twenty years ago. Now that it is published it should be required reading by politicians, diplomats, journalists and academics. The contributors to this study by and large provide a perspective on Sri Lanka which can no longer be ignored. The tragedy, which underlines the need for this book to be read by policy and opinion makers and educators, is that some people who might have contributed became too frightened”
March 30, 2010 Comments Off on SL: More harassment of journalists by GOSL
DailyMirror – Letters demanding assets sent
by Jamila Najmuddin
The Media Ministry has dispatched letters to newspaper organisations and its editors informing them of the decision to obtain details of the assets of journalists before the end of next month, Media Ministry Secretary, W. Ganegala told Daily Mirror online.
Under the terms of the 1988 declaration of assets and liabilities act, the Ministry has requested, that proprietors, editors, and members of the editorial staff of every newspaper in Sri Lanka submit a declaration of their assets to the Ministry Secretary.
“I have already dispatched the letters to all the editors. All journalists must abide by this request,” Ganegala said without elaborating further. More