The Elders speak out against the Govt of SL

August 11, 2010 Comments Off on The Elders speak out against the Govt of SL

Elders member Lakhdar Brahimi is a member of the Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice

The Elders – Sri Lanka’s disturbing actions met by ‘deafening global silence’

No real progress on reconciliation
Persecution of critics is ‘terrifying’
See quotes from Desmond Tutu, Kofi Annan, Martti Ahtisaari, Lakhdar Brahimi and Mary Robinson below
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SL war criminals better watch out…

April 29, 2010 Comments Off on SL war criminals better watch out…

ABC Radio Australia Connect Asia : UN calls for war crimes tribunal into Sri Lanka

More than a year after Sri Lanka launched its final offensive against the Tamil Tiger rebels, pressure continues to mount for an international tribunal into alleged war crimes. U-N Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon plans to appoint a panel of experts to look into a tribunal something the Sri Lankan government says is unwarranted and uncalled for. Now Australian lawyers are joining forces with the International Commission of Jurists to take witness statements and prepare evidence for any war crimes tribunal. They say they hope it will help demonstrate the need for a full investigation and help protect those who might be subject to further human rights abuses.

Presenter: Joanna McCarthy
Speaker: John Dowd, President of the International Commission of Jurists Australia; Anne Marie Doueihy, co-chair of the Sri Lanka project on behalf of the NSW Young Lawyers Committee

Click here to download audio and read transcript

Verdict – SL committed crimes against humanity

January 23, 2010 § 1 Comment

Official Press Release – Dublin Tribunal finds against Sri Lanka on charges of War Crimes

In Dublin today, 16th January, at 2.00pm the Peoples’ Tribunal Chairman Francois Houtart read the preliminary findings of the Peoples’ Tribunal on the war in Sri Lanka and its aftermath. There were four findings:
1: That the Sri Lankan Government and its military are guilty of War Crimes;
2: That the Sri Lankan Government is military are guilty of crimes against humanity;
3: That the charge of genocide requires further investigation;
4: That the international community, particularly the UK and USA, share responsibility for the breakdown of the peace process.
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BBC – Sri Lanka ‘guilty’ of war crimes

The Sri Lanka government was found guilty of war crimes, a peoples tribunal in Ireland has said.

In its preliminary findings, the People’s Tribunal on Sri Lanka (PTSL) that conducted hearings from 14 to 16 January in Dublin has also concluded that the Sri Lanka government is also guilty of crimes against humanity. More

However, the-pro Tamil Tiger groups’ accusation that the government carried out Tamil genocide at the last phase of war between the security forces and the LTTE needs to be investigated.

“Harrowing evidence, including video footage, was submitted by eye-witnesses of the use of heavy artillery and phosphorous munitions, and of the continuous violation of human rights by military activity to a panel of ten international jurors over two days,” the PTSL said in a statement.

Tamilnet – Dublin verdict: Sri Lanka guilty of War Crimes

Dublin war-crimes tribunal, conducted by Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT) based in Milan, which held hearings on Thursday and Friday on war-crime charges on Sri Lanka from eye-witnesses and other material evidence, in the preliminary findings issued Saturday said, Sri Lanka Government is “guilty of War-Crimes” and “guilty of Crimes Against Humanity.” The tribunal also concluded that the charge of Genocide requires further investigations. Eye witnesses included several escapees from the final week of Sri Lanka offensive in the Mullaitivu “No Fire Zone” where more than 20,000 Tamil civilians were allegedly slaughtered by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) training heavy weapons on them.

Another eyewitness account to the horrors of the last days

September 30, 2009 § 1 Comment

Source: Articles published in a Tamil bi-weekly Nakkheeran (17/8/09, 20/8/09 and 24/8/09) by Father Jagat Casper from excerpts of a letter sent to him by Sivaruben

The genocide of Ceylon Tamils, was facilitated by India providing military assistance (including the Indira Radar and satellite intelligence), China contributing rockets and chemical weapons, Russia supplying tanks, cannon and armoured vehicles as well as on-field consultations and Pakistan providing missiles and weaponry worth several millions of Rupees. With the military force of all these countries against us, how could the armed Tamils forces alone resist this assault?

This is how the final assault of 17 May 2009 took place in front of our own eyes. We weren’t sure if we could believe what we were seeing was real. Missiles were falling amongst us coming from all directions.  Chemical weapons were also being fired at us from unknown locations. There was also continuous gun fire. I got out of the bunker cautiously, when there was a little pause in the shelling. The devastation and destruction of Mullivaaikkal unfolded in front of my own eyes.

My kith and kin whom I saw before I ran and hid under the bunker were later discovered to be in pieces in a wilderness of corpses. I could not distinguish between those who were young and old. Body parts covered the entire area. A mother was in tears, screaming out aloud holding on to a headless body that appeared to be her child. “My lord, why does it have to be us! I’m unable to see my son’s face! Demon Rajapakse why don’t you come and take me as well!” she screamed.  Following this, a bullet, which was fired, struck her head spraying its contents, making a mess of it. She fell to the ground, kissing the Mother Eelam.

Click here to read article

From a civilian in the former conflict zone

September 29, 2009 § 3 Comments

Dear Ban Ki Moon, 

I write this as a plea to the United Nations. This is a voice for the voiceless people who are being held in the internment camps in Northern Sri Lanka. I was one of the many people who was in the so-called “Safe Zone” as the Sri Lanka Military advanced against us, who believed and hoped that the United Nations would come to protect us during the final stages of the war. Many of those are now dead. Some are still alive and asking for your support. I am one of the lucky ones to be alive. 
 
I was one of those who went tent by tent in the final few square kilometres of the safety zone to get letters signed by families affected in the shelling. I explained to them that these will be sent to the United Nations, who will help them if it gets to the United Nations before their Security Council meeting on the 29th of April. April 29th was one of the dates that the people waited for, holding on to their life with the hope that some change will occur in their lives. It didn’t and the death continued. 
 
To be frank, I risked my life to get those letters signed for you. So did many other volunteers who did the same. We went tent by tent, explaining to them that we are sending letters to the United Nations. We gave them hope that there is a world body to represent the voiceless. Our hope was all wasted. Their hope was all wasted. If you don’t act now, you will never be forgiven. A small child, as young as 2 years old, will remember what happened and and hate the international community for years to come. You can be assured.
 
As the chaos hit its peak, I decided to go and help out at the hospital. It was better to die doing something helpful to others than die for nothing. There wasn’t a day when a child will be carried to the hospital by the child’s relative. They would cry and beg for the child to be treated and given life but it would be too late by then. The child was already dead. This was a daily occurrence at the hospital. Were these children “terrorists”, to be subject to such a horrific fate, only because they were born Tamil in Sri Lanka? 
 
Click here to read letter

A life in history to always remember

September 24, 2009 Comments Off on A life in history to always remember

transCurrents – Keeping memories alive 20th anniversary of Rajani’s assassination

One night in 1983, soon after midnight Rajani woke me up and whispered to me that she had been asked to treat an injured boy from the Iyakkam (movement). For her, this was an act of compassion by a doctor towards her patient. For me it was a political act. I was frozen. I turned back and slept. I was caught up in the agony of belonging to the oppressor and the woman I dearly and unconditionally loved trying to ‘liberate’ her own community by undertaking her bit in the struggle. This whisper and the brief political argument that followed opened cracks in our relationship which grew wider and wider.

………………..

The Tamil democratic struggle needs peoples structures in every sphere of life that would guarantee their rights and freedom and these structures should be strengthened against corrupt politicians and the rule of the gun.

To commemorate Rajani’s life and her contribution to human rights a commemoration meeting will be held on 25th September 2009 at 6.00pm at BMICH in Colombo by the Rajani Thiranagama Commemoration Committee.

Click here to read whole article

In aid of the forgotten 300 000

September 20, 2009 Comments Off on In aid of the forgotten 300 000

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