May 31, 2010 Comments Off on Clinton "commends democratic" GoSL's violations of Tamils
Transcurrents: US State Dept Video & Transcript: Secretary Clinton Meets With Sri Lankan Minister of External Affairs G.L. Peiris
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meets With Sri Lankan Minister of External Affairs G.L. Peiris at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC May 28, 2010:
SECRETARY CLINTON: I am delighted to welcome Dr. Peiris here to the State Department. I first met him 15 years ago when I was in Colombo, Sri Lanka. And it is a great pleasure to have the opportunity to discuss Sri Lanka’s efforts to rebuild after more than two decades of violence and terrorist activity that have deprived the Sri Lankan people of the progress they deserve. Dr. Peiris is a capable, experienced public servant whose leadership is helping to move Sri Lanka toward renewal and reconciliation and, we hope, to greater peace, prosperity, and security for the future.
The United States has long been a friend of Sri Lanka. Our countries share a history of democratic institutions, and we have an active USAID program that has invested more than $1.9 billion in Sri Lanka since 1956 and is currently helping to create new opportunities for people who were displaced by the conflict.
Since the LTTE terrorist group was defeated one year ago, USAID has rebuilt or repaired seven schools and a hospital damaged by the conflict, launched public-private partnerships in northern and eastern Sri Lanka to create the equivalent of 5,000 full-time jobs in former conflict zones, supported work training for young people to spur economic development, and provided extensive aid and assistance to internally displaced people seeking to return home. The United States will continue to provide Sri Lanka with humanitarian and de-mining assistance to help heal the wounds of war and bring lasting peace and prosperity to the country. More
May 31, 2010 Comments Off on Segregation: outlawed in US in 1960s, rampant in SL in 2010
Lakbimanews – Tracking Tamils: dead, or dissapeared?
by Ranga Jayasuriya
A nation so eager to forget its violent past – and to forge ahead – is haunted by the fate of the disappeared Tamil youth and thousands others held incommunicado in detention camps.
Even one year after the war victory, the exact number of the disappeared during the conflict remains a mystery and is often a contentious issue, though hapless parents cling to the faint hope that their loved ones would one day reappear from a detention camp somewhere in the island.
No one knows exactly how many hundreds, or possibly thousands of young Tamil men and women have gone missing during nearly three decades of conflict. Most contentious of all are the missing numbers during the last four years, for the government in its presumptious denial has ruled out the existence of the problem. Government’s indifference, makes matters worse on multiple fronts: its already dismal record of human rights and the much hyped process of post-war nation building has much to lose. It would also reinforce the culture of the state sanctioned impunity. More
May 31, 2010 Comments Off on ICG's Louise Arbour: GoSL has no credible argument
Watch Louise Arbour speak here on the need for a war crime inquiry in Sri Lanka and GoSL’s deliberate shelling of hospitals and civilians during the final stages of the war.
May 31, 2010 Comments Off on Senator Hanson-Young meets baby born to detained asylum seekers
SMH (29/05) – Boy ‘born into captivity’ to detained asylum seekers
A BABY boy has been born to Sri Lankan asylum-seeker parents at Villawood Immigration Detention Centre. Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said the birth two months ago highlighted concerns about the length of time detainees were being held.
”It’s extremely sad this baby has been born essentially into captivity and is living in captivity,” she said yesterday. ”It’s a depressing place. There’s no doubt it is a jail.”
May 30, 2010 Comments Off on M.I.A rocks it again!
Singer MIA has taken her revenge on a journalist by publishing the reporter’s phone number on Twitter.
MIA had taken offence to an article written by New York Times journalist Lynn Hirschberg about the singer’s links to Sri Lanka, her visa problems in the US and her family, the music website NME.com reports.
Huffington Post – M.I.A. Freaks Out At ‘New York Times,’ Tweets Reporter’s Phone Number
MIA is upset about a New York Times Magazine cover story about her, so she tweeted the phone number of the piece’s writer, Lynn Hirschberg.
“917.834.3158 CALL ME IF YOU WANNA TALK TO ME ABOUT THE N Y T TRUTH ISSUE, ill b taking calls all day bitches ;)” she wrote.
May 30, 2010 Comments Off on Popular blog writes about security threats and sexual abuse in war-torn Sri Lanka
Groundviews – Vanni in the year after war: Tears of despair and fear
About six months after the end of the war, in November 2009, the government of Sri Lanka relaxed restrictions on travel to the Vanni and started to allow some of the displaced people to go back to their villages.
Although the government still maintains some restrictions on travel, I managed to visit these areas many times. My visits including overnight stay in Vanni without beds, attached bathrooms, running water, electricity, helped me to better experience and understand life there after the war. It also increased my admiration for some of my friends, Catholic priests and sisters, who warmly welcomed and hosted me and my friends every time we visited, despite the very basic and difficult life they had opted to live.
My visits took me to interior villages deep inside the Vanni. From Paranthan on the A9 road to Ponneryn, and then further south on the A32 road, down to Vidathalthivu, visiting villages such as Mulangavil, Thevanpiddy. We also visited villages and towns such as Mallawi, Thunukai, Uruthirapuram Sannar, Eechalavakai. In the Mannar district, we went to Adampan, Alkataveli, Uylankulam etc. East of the A9 road, in the Mullativu district, we visited places such as Oddusudan, Katsilaimadu and upto Vattapalai on the A34 road.
May 30, 2010 Comments Off on US lifts Sri Lanka ban, Peiris, Amnesty's damning report and 1 year after the war…
Politico (27/05) – Interview with Sri Lanka’s FM
Almost exactly a year ago, Sri Lanka’s government declared victory in its brutal 25-year long civil war against the separatist Tamil Tigers. That victory came at a clear price — the Times of London reported extraordinary civilian casualties, estimating at one point that roughly 1,400 people were dying each week at an internment camp for Tamil refugees.
Sri Lanka’s minister for external affairs, G.L. Peiris, left a scheduled meeting with journalists at the National Press Club Thursday morning without speaking.
Inner City Press (27/05) – In DC, Peiris of Sri Lanka Shows Not Ready for Prime Time, Hillary Clinton to Hear War Crimes Defense
Now that Sri Lanka Minister of External Affairs Gamini Lakshman Peiris has turned tail and run out of the National Press Club without speaking or offering any explanation, the world can see what Inner City Press has diagnosed since the Peiris visit began over last weekend: he is not ready for prime time.
Amnesty International (on Huffington Post) (27/05) – Sec. Clinton’s shot at uncovering justice for Sri Lanka’s war crimes
In the context of Amnesty International’s global campaign to establish an international, independent investigation into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka, we are currently closely following the US visit of Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister, Professor G.L. Peiris.
Digital Journal (27/05) – Amnesty International releases annual report on human rights
Amnesty International has released its 2010 annual report where it criticizes numerous governments for ignoring human rights violations by others. The report also criticized Canada for not protecting the rights of aboriginal people.
The Economist (27/05) – Don’t ban Ban
A YEAR after the end of the long and terrible civil war between the Sinhalese-run government and Tamil separatists, Sri Lanka has returned to a sort of normality. The killing has stopped and people have, mostly, returned to their homes. Tourists are turning up in droves—Sri Lanka is the New York Times’s top tourist destination for 2010—and foreign investment is beginning to trickle in. In many ways, the prospects for Sri Lanka are looking better than they have for three decades.
AlertNet (26/05) – U.S. State Dept lifts travel warning on Sri Lanka
The U.S. State Department announced on Wednesday it had canceled a travel warning for Sri Lanka, in a boost for the Indian Ocean island state that ended a long war last year and hopes to draw more tourists