Sri Lankan Crisis Statement

March 5, 2009 Comments Off on Sri Lankan Crisis Statement


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In today's media…

March 5, 2009 Comments Off on In today's media…

Reuters: Red Cross worker killed in Sri Lanka’s war zone
A Red Cross worker was killed by shrapnel inside Sri Lanka’s rapidly shrinking war zone, the international aid group said on Thursday.

The Guardian, UK: Stop Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war
Sri Lanka’s government has turned a blind eye to the mass killing of Tamils. The Commonwealth should threaten expulsion
We heard on a nightly basis about the events in Gaza earlier this year. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for what’s been happening in Tamil areas of Sri Lanka…There are also reports that particularly lethal cluster-bombs, banned white phosphorous and multi-barrelled rocket launchers have been fired on the civilian population. Hospitals have been bombed, as have places that the government has encouraged people to see as “safe zones”…In many cases, the killings have been what independent observers would define as genocide, with whole communities killed in a form of ethnic cleansing.

Associated Press: Court issues war crimes warrant for Sudan’s Bashir
The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant Wednesday for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. He is the first sitting head of state the court has ordered arrested.

In early February 2009, a 12-count indictment on charges for genocide was filed with Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice yesterday, against Sri Lankan government’s Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Sarath Fonseka.

The Japan Times: China fuels Sri Lankan war
Chinese military and financial support — as in Sudan, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Uzbekistan, North Korea, Burma and elsewhere — has directly aided government excesses and human rights abuses in Sri Lanka. But with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton publicly emphasizing that the global financial, climate and security crises are more pressing priorities for U.S. policy than China’s human rights record, which by her own department’s recent admission has “remained poor and worsened in some areas,” Beijing has little reason to stop facilitating overseas what it practices at home — repression.

A 'veteran international aid worker' exposes SL

March 3, 2009 Comments Off on A 'veteran international aid worker' exposes SL

Peter Foster of the Telegraph, UK unveils a communication that he received from a veteran international aid worker, which exposes the true inconsideration of the Sri Lankan government and army towards the Tamil civilians.

“This attitude towards the UN and its humanitarian mission has very serious implications – not just for the suffering displaced people on the ground who need an effective aid-operation – but because it gives the world another reason not to take at face value the ‘good intentions’ of the Sri Lankan government… The fear – fuelled by the repeated attacks on the Sri Lankan media (most recently the Tamil newspaper editor N Vithyatharan), the refusal to tolerate dissent in Sri Lanka and the often chauvinist rhetoric of key figures in the Sri Lankan government, including the army chief Sarath Fonseka – is that the final settlement will be so discriminatory and demanding of subservience from the Tamil minority that it will amount to a piece of ethnic suppression/cleansing in all but name…Not even in Kosovo in 1998 (before NATO came in) were the Serbs so disrespectful of international UN staff as is the Sri Lankan Army.”

Sri Lankan Government supressing press freedom, arrest of journalist illegal: media watchdogs

February 27, 2009 Comments Off on Sri Lankan Government supressing press freedom, arrest of journalist illegal: media watchdogs

Media watchdog Committee to Project Journalists (CPJ) has accussed the Sri lankan government of supressing media outlets critical of the current administration.

The statement came hours after Tamil newspaper editor Nadesapillai Vithyatharan was arrested by Sri Lankan police, after initially claiming his dissapearence was an abduction.

The arrest of Vithyatharan, editor of Sudar Oli and a range of Uthayan publications, has also been condemned by Reporters Without Borders, who described his detainment as “violation of the rule of law”  due to the abscence of a warrant.  

The statement by the CPJ follows its release of a damning report accusing the government of being behind a spate of attacks and assasinations of  journalists critical of the current war.

Tamil Journalist "arrested", attack on free speech continues

February 26, 2009 Comments Off on Tamil Journalist "arrested", attack on free speech continues

Tamil journalist N. Vidyanthan has been arrested by Sri Lankan police, despite quotes in the government run “Daily News” from a Senior Superintendent earlier claiming he had been ‘abducted’ by unidentified persons, the AFP reported.

An Editor-in-Chief of Chudaroli and the Jaffna based Uthayan, Vidyanthan had been the target of several attacks aimed at media outlets critical of the governments war in the North East and its appalling human rights record. He was forcibly arrested while attending the funeral in Colombo of a relative of the group’s chairman. The media minister told the organisation that he was being “treated well” by the police.

He was allegedly detained for 6 hours on Sunday by the Sri Lankan Terrorist Investigation Department (TID) over his reporting of civilian casualties in the war zones as a result of continued attacks by the armed forces.

Three uniformed police officers and three men in plain clothes arrested Vithyatharan at the funeral of a relative of Uthayan press group chairman M. Saravanapavan. The police hit people who tried to intervene to prevent the arrest.

Tamils Rally Worldwide

February 22, 2009 Comments Off on Tamils Rally Worldwide

Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

FIGHTING FOR PEACE: Supporters of the Solidarity Group for Peace and Justice in Sri Lanka held a protest in Durban last week to create awareness of human right violations on the island. Picture: JACKIE CLAUSEN

Canberra, Australia
Associated Press – Tamil protesters march to embassies

Tamil protesters in Canberra
Australian Tamils have marched on embassies in Canberra demanding an end to violence in Sri Lanka.
Washington DC, USA
A young protestor yells out her protest chants towards US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Geneva, Switzerland

Human Rights Watch Report

February 22, 2009 Comments Off on Human Rights Watch Report

Sri Lanka: End ‘War’ on Civilians

“This ‘war’ against civilians must stop. Sri Lankan forces are shelling hospitals and so-called safe zones and slaughtering the civilians there.”

James Ross, legal and policy director at Human Rights Watch

Report: War on the Displaced

After 25 years, the armed conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) may be nearing its conclusion. But for the quarter of a million civilians trapped or displaced by the fighting, the tragedy has intensified.

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