News


By New York Times, On Thursday, March 27 2014

GENEVA — Overriding fierce objections from Sri Lanka, the United Nations Human Rights Council voted on Thursday to open an international investigation into possible war crimes by both the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tiger rebels in the final stages of a 26-year civil war that ended in 2009.

 
By New YorkTimes, On Friday, February 28 2014

IN early 2009, as many as 40,000 civilians were killed in the final days of Sri Lanka’s civil war, having been herded into an area about the size of Central Park and subjected to relentless shelling. No one has been held accountable for these crimes, and even now the government in Colombo remains intent on burying the past. Only an international commission of inquiry stands any chance of rectifying this omission. So when the United Nations Human Rights Council meets Monday in Geneva, it should seek an investigation. It would be a decisive step toward justice and reconciliation in Sri Lanka.

 
By Toronto Star, On Friday, February 28 2014

Five years ago on this narrow strip of land along the Bay of Bengal, Sri Lanka’s military waged some of the most controversial but decisive assaults on its Tamil adversaries. The terrain here bears the scars of intense battle. A moonscape of bomb craters lies amid shallow, closely packed, hand-dug shelters. Bits of corrugated metal sprinkle the sand like macabre confetti where shells scored direct hits on the few reinforced bunkers.

 
By New York Times, On Tuesday, February 25 2014

In its official response to a highly critical report released on Monday by the United Nations’ high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, the government said Ms. Pillay’s call for an independent international investigation “reflects the preconceived, politicized and prejudicial agenda which she has relentlessly pursued with regard to Sri Lanka.”

 
By New York Times, On Friday, January 10 2014

The Sri Lankan Ministry of Defense expressed shock and anger on Friday at what it called a “baseless allegation” against the nation’s military in a photo caption posted on the official Twitter feed of the United States Embassy the day before.   The photograph showed the American ambassador to Sri Lanka, Michele J. Sison, and Stephen J. Rapp, the United States ambassador at large for war crimes issues, during a visit to the Tamil-dominated north of the country, where government forces routed Tamil Tiger rebels in the bloody final days of a civil war in 2009. The caption that enraged the ministry referred to the “killing of hundreds of families by army shelling” at the site that the United States diplomats were pictured visiting.

 
By APPG-T, On Thursday, September 12 2013

THE ALL PARTY PARLIAMENTARY GROUP FOR TAMILS  UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay’s visit to Sri Lanka   The All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils (APPGT) welcomes the visit by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay and we acknowledge the observations she made during her mission in Sri Lanka. On 31st of August 2013, in an initial media statement, High Commissioner Pillay said “It is important everyone realises that, although the fighting is over, the suffering is not”.  This is also the message which members of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils are hearing from Tamils  in the UK, as their loved ones continue to suffer under the military control of the North and East by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces. Dr Pillay further said: “There are a number of specific factors impeding normalisation, which – if not quickly rectified – may sow the seeds of future discord.” “These are by and large to do with the curtailment or denial o  Read on...

 
By Tamil Americans in Northern , On Friday, May 18 2012

As Tamils and human rights organizations mark the third anniversary of the mass atrocities in Sri Lanka against the Tamil population, the US government holds bilateral talks with Sri Lanka on accountability, Tamil Americans hold remembrance rallies and human rights organizations call for international investigations.

 
By Frances Harrison, On Thursday, May 17 2012

Today marks three years since the end of the fighting in Sri Lanka. I would like to mourn the dead but still I do not know how many. Estimates range from seven to 147,000. It is a shocking difference.  How is it possible in this world of satellites, rolling news and internet we have no idea how many human beings really perished, even rounded up to the nearest thousand?

 
By Frontline Club, On Thursday, May 17 2012

War crimes and political issues were at the centre of last night's Frontline Club event 'Sri Lanka: reconciliation and justice.' The debate proved challenging for panel chairman Stephen Sackur, who nevertheless managed to steer a course through the divisive issues of potential genocide, war crimes denial and injustice.

 
By Tamil Guardian, On Thursday, May 17 2012

Tensions ran high at a live public debate run by London based media forum, The Frontline Club, on Wednesday, as the Sri Lankan president's advisor on reconciliation, Rajiva Wijesinha, accused fellow panellists talking “complete nonsense” and called the Sri Lankan researcher at Amnesty International a “vengeful harridan”.

 
By Frontline Club, On Wednesday, May 16 2012

What action will the Sri Lankan government take in light of new footage and will it be forced address the issue of high-command responsibility? After the failing of the international community to prevent such atrocities, what role can they play in the future?

 
By TAGAdvocacy, On Sunday, December 11 2011

The recent Swiss Federal Tribunal judgement sets European standards and provides clear guidelines for identifying categories of persons at risk of intimidation, torture and elimination in Sri Lanka. This judgment is far clearer and broader than present UK law and policy and identifies government critics, survivors of mass atrocities, both victims and witnesses as at risk in Sri Lanka as well as the people of the Vanni region. The UK Border Agency does not currently accept that these categories are at risk.  The Swiss judgment will be helpful to lawyers challenging UK Border Agency decisions in that the UK, regardless of the future of the EU. Urteil E-6220/2006 vom 27. Oktober 2011 Publisher Switzerland: Tribunal administratif fédéral Country Switzerland | Sri Lanka Publication Date 27 October 2011 Othe  Read on...

 
By Bell Pottinger, On Tuesday, December 06 2011

President Mahinda Rajapaksa speech of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN Headquarters in New York - Now Admitted To Be Written By Bell Pottinger   President Mahinda Rajapaksa speech of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN Headquarters in New York which  Bell Pottinger Executives have now admitted on tape that they wrote. Mr. President Excellencies I have great pleasure in congratulating Your Excellency Joseph Deiss, on your assumption of the Chair of the sixty fifth Session of the General Assembly. I also take this opportunity to extend our appreciation to the President of the sixty fourth Session, His Excellency Dr. Ali Abdussalam Treki, for his effective stewardship of the General Assembly. Mr. President, Excellencies, That the United Nations is now in its sixty fifth year serves to underline the durability of this organisation. It is an important mechanism in ensuring co-operation between States and a forum for di  Read on...

 
By APPG-T, On Sunday, November 27 2011

I join the thousands of British Tamils who are remembering the death of their loved ones today. Today, 27th of November, is an important day in the British Tamil calendar. Remembrance events are taking place in various venues in London. I am very mindful of the long wait of the Tamil community's quest for justice - they cannot wait any longer. In the summer this year, our Foreign Minister said that all options remain open for the international community if the Government of Sri Lanka fails to address the accountability issues, cited in the UN special panel report, in a credible manner and in line with internationally acceptable standards... In the coming weeks I will be working with Labour and Liberal Democrat colleagues in Parliament to ensure our Government act on our Foreign Minister's words. Justice will prevail and everybody will be able to live freely in peace and harmony. My thoughts and prayers today are with all Tamils who are mourning the death of their loved ones. I   Read on...

 
By Tamilnet, On Monday, November 21 2011

Transcripts of the speech and extracts of the question and answer session as well as concluding remarks of Mr. Erik Solheim, during the release function of Norway’s peace process evaluation report held in Oslo on 11 November 2011: Let me start by thanking Gunnar and his team for what I consider a very valuable, a very interesting report. Because, I have not been able to study everything at this stage, I will go through it, all the big and small issues which are covered by the report, looking into them and see to what extent I can inform what we will do to assist Sri Lanka in the future, of course may be more importantly how this can enlighten Norwegian efforts in other peace processes. Norway is involved in one way or the other, in may be 20 peace processes in the world – in very few of them if any at the moment – as the main actor as in Sri Lanka but, in supporting the parties or in supporting other international actors in bringing peace. So, it is very valuable to look into all th  Read on...

 
By WASHINGTON COLLEGE OF LAW, American University, On Friday, September 23 2011

NEW YORK, N.Y., SEPT. 23, 2011 This morning, American University Washington College of Law’s UNROW Human Rights Impact Litigation Clinic filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) against Sri Lankan General Shavendra Silva, who currently resides in New York City. General Silva was the commander of the 58th Division of the Sri Lankan Army during its brutal counter-insurgency campaign that costs the lives of up to 40,000 civilians in spring 2009. General Silva currently resides in New York City, and is Sri Lanka’s Acting Permanent Representative to the United Nations. As the United Nations General Assembly is ongoing, this lawsuit shines a spotlight on a war criminal in its midst. As commander of the 58th Division, General Silva was responsible for conducting Sri Lanka’s bitter and brutal war against Tamils in northern Sri Lanka, and directly caused the untold suffering of thousands of Tamil civilians. Under the auspices of “fighting terrorism”, General Silva le  Read on...

 
By TAG News Team, On Tuesday, September 13 2011

In March 2009 Sri Lanka had come to the attention of the UN’s Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide, Francis Deng, but despite his disquiet he did not take further steps as Sri Lanka had assured him the United States and India supported its military campaign, according to a leaked US cable. The account of the meeting on March 16, 2009 between Mr. Deng and the US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, as well as other US cables, shows how international inaction and silence, rather than ignorance, made it possible for Sri Lanka to continue and escalate its mass killings of Tamil civilians.  U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan RiceFrancis Deng, Special Adviser for the Prevention of GenocideRobert O'Blake, Former Ambassador to Sri LankaThe cable from the US mission to the UN in New Yorkdetails the discussion between Mr. Deng and Ambassador Rice on genocide-related issues, including the cases of Sudan and Sri Lanka.  The discussion on Sri Lanka is summarised thus:   Read on...

 
By TamilNet, On Tuesday, April 05 2011

Professor Gideon Boas of Monash University School of Law, in an article appearing in Sydney Morning Herald, criticized the Australian Government for its reluctance to prosecute war criminals, and pointed to the recent filing by two Tamil organizations of war-crime charges in the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Dr Palitha Kohona who is an Australian citizen and formerly a senior official with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Meanwhile, Lathan Suntharalingam of the Swiss Council of Eelam Tamils (SCET), the organization who together with Tamils Against Genocide (TAG) submitted the ICC complaint said, "after we filed the complaint giving due safeguard to protect the identity of a witness, two new witnesses who were physically present in the area during the alleged execution of the surrendees have expressed willingness to help us record new evidence. We plan to submit a modified complaint soon."

 
By , On Saturday, December 11 2010

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family are responsible for alleged war crimes against the Tamil, according to a cable sent by US ambassador to Sri Lanka Patricia Butenis.  Read on...

 
By TamilNet, On Monday, December 06 2010

“The Sri Lankan government has appointed a senior army officer accused of war crimes in the conflict with Tamil rebels as its deputy permanent representative to the United Nations,” Washington Times said in a lead article Sunday referring to ex-Major General Shavendra Silva who commanded one of the largest divisions in Sri Lanka Army, and was the front line commander during the final phases of the war, the blood bath in which more than 40,000 Tamil civilians were alleged to have been killed in indiscriminate bombardment. 

 
By Channel 4, On Tuesday, November 30 2010

Channel 4 News reveals new footage of the alleged massacre of Tamil prisoners which promoted a UN investigation last year, as the Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse arrives in London.

 
By Tamil Guardian , On Wednesday, June 30 2010

amantha Power, Director of Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights of the National Security Council in the Obama administration, David Pressman, Director for war crimes atrocities and civilian protection of the US National Security Council, and Ms. Patricia A Butenis, Ambassador of the US in Sri Lanka, met with Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapakse on June 15. Dr. Power has been an outspoken critic of the western institutions and the past US Governments for inaction and empty rhetoric against rights violations and crimes amounting to genocide, crimes very similar to what Sri Lanka has allegedly committed against Tamil civilians, TAG said. 

 
By TamilNet, On Wednesday, June 02 2010

The United Nations human rights chief, Navaneetham Pillay on 31 May reiterated her call for an "independent international probe" into Sri Lanka Government's final offensive against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam during the final months of the war in 2009. While noting the appointment of "post-war reconciliation commission" by Colombo, Navi Pillay said, "based on previous experience and new information, I remain convinced that such objectives [looking into alleged human rights violations, and provide justice to victims] would be better served by establishing an independent international accountability mechanism that would enjoy public confidence, both in Sri Lanka and elsewhere," AFP reported.

 
By Tamil Guardian, On Wednesday, June 02 2010

Tamils across the globe commemorated the first anniversary of the end of the Mulliyavaikkal massacre and marked 18 May as ‘War Crimes Day’. In the US, more than four hundred Tamils held a remembrance rally in Washington D.C. "We had the event at the very heart of the Nation built on promise of freedom and justice; we demonstrated first in front of the White House, and after a one mile procession, at the reflecting pool adjoining the Lincoln memorial to symbolize and demonstrate our resolve that we will never forget this atrocity, and that until we bring the perpetrators of this dastardly crimes, we will not rest," Dr Jeyarajah, the main organizer of the event said.

 
By International Crisis Group, On Tuesday, May 25 2010

Louise Arbour, President and CEO of Crisis Group, on the report "War Crimes in Sri Lanka" and the Sri Lankan government's response to the report thus far.

 
By International Crisis Group, On Monday, May 17 2010

Evidence gathered by the International Crisis Group suggests that these months saw tens of thousands of Tamil civilian men, women, children and the elderly killed, countless more wounded, and hundreds of thousands deprived of adequate food and medical care, resulting in more deaths. This evidence also provides reasonable grounds to believe the Sri Lankan security forces committed war crimes with top government and military leaders potentially responsible.

 
By Tamil Guardian, On Wednesday, March 10 2010

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon plans to ask a panel of experts to advise the world body on "accountability issues" relating to possible human rights abuses in Sri Lanka, Reuters reported quoting spokesperson Martin Nesirky as saying. Ban has said an investigation of war crimes allegations should be handled by the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, Navi Pillay, who has called on Sri Lanka to investigate the allegations itself – albeit with outside help, Reuters added. Spokesperson for the US-based pressure group, Tamils Against Genocide (TAG) said, "United Nations has a moral obligation to be more proactive in conducting investigations into war-crimes allegedly committed by member countries that are not signatories to theRome statute. Non-signatory countries enjoy some level of protection, and options to obtain justice in International Criminal Court (ICC) for victims who suffered egragious rights violations by non-signatory member countries are limited, and available only if the Security Council initiates the investigation, or an "active" prosecutor exercises his proprio motu powers under Article 15 of Rome Statute. However, prosecutor Moreno Ocampo has, in a recent interview at the CNN, expressed reservations on using his own powers to investigate Sri Lanka.” "Non-signatory status does not create a positive right to commit jus cogens norms violations," TAG spokesperson added.

 
By Wikileaks, On Tuesday, December 22 2009

Robert Blakes raises war crimes accountability with Sri Lankan Defense Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa, who is himself a prime accused. But in the same meeting Blase asks for troops for Afghanistan from Rajapaksa. Rajapaksa offers troops for UN Peackeeping. Disturbing suggestion of a negotiation between the US State Department and a key accused.

 
By Times Newspapers, On Tuesday, December 15 2009

Video footage that appears to show Sri Lankan troops committing war crimes by summarily executing captured Tamil Tiger fighters on the battlefield was not fabricated, as claimed by the Sri Lankan Government, an investigation by The Times has found.

 
By The Times, On Friday, July 10 2009

Colombo’s order to the Red Cross to cut back its work at Tamil internment camps is an outrage. The world must boycott Sri Lanka until it starts releasing detainees "...the Commonwealth, the United Nations and even world cricketing organisations — should boycott Colombo until reconciliation begins. A nation cannot run concentration camps and expect the world to look away."