October 3, 2009 Comments Off on Review of Patriot Act: American tamil doctor plaintiff in appeal
The Supreme Court has agreed to review a civil liberties dispute over the government’s power to criminalize “support” of a terrorist organization.
The justices on Wednesday accepted review of a key provision of the 2001 Patriot Act, and whether it threatens free speech rights of those who would assist non-violent activities of designated groups.
Another plaintiff is an American physician who wanted to help ethnic Tamils in his native Sri Lanka. Much of the island nation is controlled by the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which has also fought for decades to carve an independent state. The government claims the Tamil Tigers have “used suicide bombings and political assassinations in its campaign for independence, killing hundreds of civilians in the process.”
HLP and a group of Tamil doctors say they merely wanted “to provide their expert medical advice on how to address the shortage of medical facilities and trained physicians” in the region but “they are afraid to do so because they fear prosecution for providing material support.”
February 20, 2009 Comments Off on In the media today…
New Matilda : A Fight Without Good Guys
As tens of thousands of civilians try to flee the violence in north-east Sri Lanka, there are ominous signs that the military endgame won’t guarantee peace in the future, writes David Blunt
Civilian stories from the conflict zone on the north-east coast of Sri Lanka are finally beginning to emerge.
CNN: Sri Lanka media
Journalists in Sri Lanka have come under a growing number of attacks and intimidation according to media rights groups.
Asia Times : Two wars heat up India’s election
NEW DELHI – In this year’s national elections, there’s no hiding from history – or, if you like, geography. No escape from invocations of the 1971 Bangladesh war or the Indian army’s peacekeeping adventure in Sri Lanka in the late 1980s. Past wars have a life beyond memory and rhetoric, too. They live on in cyclical re-runs, in morphed forms. Or maybe they simply never end.
Thus it is with the Sri Lanka civil war and the India-Pakistan war of nerves sparked off by last November’s terror attack on Mumbai, two separate war fronts joined together only by the fact that they provide context to India’s general elections.
The Hindu : Stop military help to Sri Lanka: Jayasuriya
NEW DELHI: India should help stop the killing of Tamil civilian by immediately ending all military aid to the Sri Lankan armed forces, said Sri Lankan politician Siritunga Jayasuriya.
“The Indian government should set a positive example by stopping all its military support to the Sri Lankan government right now,” Mr. Jayasuriya told a meeting organised by civil society groups at the Press Club of India here on Thursday.
“I think the Parliament should be adjourned permanently. Useless allowances should not be given to you. You don’t deserve a paisa,” was the desperate reaction of the Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee today, after members ignored his repeated pleas to restore order in the House, and forced the adjournment of the question hour.
Mukherjee waited for 15 minutes for tempers to cool down, but eventually adjourned the proceedings at 11.55 am after reprimanding the MPs. “I express my greatest disappointment of your behaviour. You are taking the House for granted. I hope the country is watching this Parliament,” the Speaker said, as UPA allies PMK and DMK stormed the well of the Lok Sabha, shouting slogans and demanding the withdrawal of External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s statement on the ethnic strife in Sri Lanka, made yesterday.