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xinhuanet (10/01) – Sri Lankan leftist party demands release of Tamil youths
Sri Lankan leftist party, the People’s Liberation Front (JVP), on Sunday demanded immediate release of 12,000 Tamil youths currently detained by the government under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
JVP Parliamentary Group Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake told reporters that the government took them into custody while the final phase of the war against Tamil Tiger rebels and some of them were surrenders.
The government has detained them for seven months without informing their parents, Dissanayake said, adding that the government must prosecute them or release them after rehabilitation.
Dissanayake said at least the government should let their parents know whether their children are alive or not. More
xinhuanet (09/01) – Sri Lanka Tamil detainees continue hunger strike
A group of detainees from Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority held for suspected links with Tamil Tiger rebels continued their hunger strike on Saturday, prison officials said.
Kenneth Fernando, a prison superintendent in the capital Colombo said 96 Tamil prisoners held in the New Magazine prison in Colombo have been on a hunger strike for nearly a week.
They have been rejecting food served by prison authorities but have consumed food coming from their families. More
Sri Lanka on Saturday released more than 700 former Tamil Tiger fighters from military custody following a rehabilitation program, an official said.
President Mahinda Rajapakse, who is touring the northern town of Vavuniya, handed over the ex-combatants to their immediate relatives, an army officer involved in the rehabilitation, Major General Daya Ratnayake, said.
“Out of some 12,000 Tiger combatants who are undergoing vocational training we have identified about 800 who had very minimal involvement with the Tiger movement,” he added. More
June 11, 2009 § 3 Comments
DAY 21 OF FORMER BRITISH AID WORKERS’ HUNGER STRIKE: TIM MARTIN ENDING STRIKE IN RESPONSE TO OFFERS OF HELP
Press Release (Contact: +44(0)7817 504 227; +44(0)7970 455 445):
Over 500 people gathered in London outside Parliament, for a ceremony to mark the end of a hunger strike carried out by a British former aid worker. Tim Martin, Director of the human rights group Act Now, had responded to assurances of help if he ended his hunger strike outside the Houses of Parliament in London, England, after enduring 21 days without food.
Tim’s protest has been to raise awareness of the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka, centred on an urgent appeal to President Obama, the UK Government and the UN to press for action to protect the devastated Tamil civilian population and uncover the true scale of the humanitarian disaster in Sri Lanka. During these 21 days, news of further atrocities and abuses in Sri Lanka have come to light – some obtained from Tim’s own contact network.
News of increasing opposition, amongst US politicians and lawmakers, to the request by the Sri Lankan Government for an IMF loan is reassuring to those, like Tim Martin, who believed Obama would not repeat the mistakes of old (such as Clinton on Rwanda) and that Obama’s ultimate stance on Sri Lanka will be a benchmark of his presidency, in terms of human rights issues.
ver the course of Tim’s protest, these requests have begun to be addressed. Three days into the hunger strike, initially based outside the US Embassy in London, the US Government released satellite pictures highlighting the scale of the devastation in the so-called ‘Safety Zone’. The press also began to report on Tim’s fourth request: the need for an investigation into Indian diplomat and UN Chief of Staff Vijay Nambiar, whose brother is a paid consultant of the Sri Lankan government. There are now calls for this matter to be taken up by the UN.
Tim has more than proved his ability to gain support after the large number of celebrities and MPs that he managed to get behind the Mercy Mission. Including ‘Trip-hop’ band Massive Attack, Joanna Lumley, Sian Evans (singer/songwriter of the band Kosheen), Brian May of the
mega-rock group Queen, Jade Parfitt and Jasmine Guinness (British fashion models), Deborah Leng, Dr Chris Steele (of This Morning TV). Tim is now recuperating from his hunger strike, gathering his energies to report on the atrocities in Sri Lanka to British and UN officials and to raise awareness of his requests to protect Sri Lanka’s devastated Tamil population from further suffering.
He urges everyone to sign the online appeal to Obama which can be found by on the ACT NOW site by licking here
A number of British politicians from across the political divide, including Simon Hughes MP and Tony Benn, as well as many members of the Tamil community, have met with Tim to lend their support for his hunger strike.
Day 12 Times Online : Tamil demonstrators say Times report backs massacre claims
Press can contact the numbers provided for more details.
Act Now is a UK based human rights organisation set up by a group of British former humanitarian aid workers. Act Now has set up campaign groups across the UK, which are working to lobby their MPs and to raise public awareness of human rights abuses in Sri Lanka. Act Now currently has the support of 55 MPs and a number of Members of the European Parliament.
For further information, please contact:
Tim Martin, Director, Act Now
Tel: +44(0)7817 504 227
Graham Williamson, Director, Act Now
Tel: +44(0)7970 455 445
May 4, 2009 § 1 Comment
Three weeks ago, disheartened by the lack of response of the Australian government to try save hundreds of thousands of Tamil civilians being persecuted by the Sri Lankan state, Sutha embarked on a hunger strike.
On the seventh day, the Australian government gave him assurances that they would act and believing those promises would be met he ceased his hunger strike.
On 3 May 2009, after waiting for more than a fortnight and seeing no concrete action by the Australian government, Sutha has recommenced his hunger strike.
As the Australian government continues to keep silent, the Government of Sri Lanka continues to bomb Tamil civilian areas, including hospitals.
Sutha will continue his hunger strike until there is constructive action taken by the Government of Australia.
April 11, 2009 § 3 Comments
In the first three months of this year alone, over 3500 Tamil civilians have been killed and over 12,000 Tamil causalities resulted due to the Government of Sri Lanka’s bombing of hospitals and civilian targets both inside and outside its self declared safe zone. There is evidence of the Sri Lankan Army’s use of cluster bombs, white phosphorous and chemical weapons in these attacks. They have also banned medicine, aid and food from entering the conflict zone, effectively using starvation as a weapon of war. These breach international law and are war crimes.
Three young Tamil Australians are to embark on a hunger strike at 5pm on Saturday 11 April 2009 in Sydney.
They have four demands which they want met through the actions of the Government of Australia, which has the ability to use its diplomatic powers to push the Government of Sri Lanka:
1. to enter an immediate ceasefire with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam;
2. to immediately allow food, medicine and aid into the conflict zone;
3. to allow vital services, including medical services into the conflict zone;
4. and the international community to allow the Tamil people, both in the conflict zone and those indefinitely detained in concentration camps in government-held areas, to decide independently where they wish to reside.