Research


By Together Against Genocide (TAG), On Monday, March 06 2017

Executive Summary UN HRC Resolution 30-1 of 2015 contains 20 clauses and incorporates by reference the 39[1] recommendations of the report of the OISL. It encourages ‘the Government of Sri Lanka to implement the recommendations contained therein (in the report of the OISL) when implementing measures for truth-seeking, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence’ (Clause 1). The resolution was passed with the co-sponsorship of the Sri Lankan government, with Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera stating that “The Government of Sri Lanka recognises fully that the process of reconciliation involves addressing the broad areas of truth seeking, justice, reparations and non-recurrence and for non-recurrence to become truly meaningful, the necessity of reaching a political settlement that addresses the grievances of the Tamil people.” Two years on, this report finds that Sri Lanka has failed to deliver on the promise of 2015. While the Foreign Minister has continued his internation  Read on...

 
By Together Against Genocide (TAG), On Thursday, May 05 2016

This briefing note based on multiple field visits, observation of court proceedings and interviews of senior legal practitioners in Sri Lanka distils our criticism of the Sri Lankan judiciary into three elements: a lack of independence, a poor at  Read on...

 
By Together Against Genocide [TAG], On Wednesday, September 16 2015

Introduction Approaching the release of the report of the UN Human Rights Council investigation (OISL) into the human rights violations and war crimes committed during the final stages of the Sri Lankan civil war in May 2009, this report seeks to assess the state of the country vis-à-vis witnesses and victims seeking justice in Sri Lanka. The initial response of the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) to the OISL call for witness in the country was to increase fear and intimidation on the Tamil population in general and on the people publicising the OISL call in particular. In the months since, the change of government in Sri Lanka has meant that the discourse is now focused on domestic and ‘hybrid’ mechanisms and the possibilities in the country, based on the view that the change of government makes it possible for justice and accountability to be achieved in country. The government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) is proposing an extended consultation with victims on appropriate in-country mechanisms  Read on...

 
By Together Against Genocide [TAG], On Monday, September 07 2015

Introduction The UN Human Rights Council investigation (OISL) into the crimes committed during the final stages of the Sri Lankan civil war in May 2009 is expected to present its findings to the UNHRC in September 2015. OISL called for witnesses to give their accounts of Sri Lanka during the war; the Sri Lankan Government (GoSL) reacted by increasing fear and intimidation on the Tamil population in general and on the people publicising the OISL call in particular. Most of the witnesses who came forward to OISL had fled the country since 2009. They provided compelling stories of the events they witnessed. But they did so under OISL assurances of anonymity fearing for the lives of their relatives in Sri Lanka. They fear for their lives if they go back to Sri Lanka and in numerous UK court cases, their fear has been found to be valid. Sri Lanka is not a safe place for witnesses. The current UNHCR guidelines, which came into effect in December 2012, recognise certain ‘Witnesses of  Read on...

 
By Together Against Genocide [TAG], On Wednesday, July 08 2015

  We reproduce below, extracts of our January 2010 submissions to the Dublin session of the Permanent Peoples Tribunal [PPT] on SriLanka (http://www.internazionaleleliobasso.it/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Sentenza-Sri-Lanka-and-Tamil-II.pdf ) on the application and implications of the ICTY approach to Srebrenica (articulated in Krstic & others)  to SriLanka, [Note that casualty and impacted population estimates submitted to the PPT were the conservative prevailing international estimates in 2010, TAGs own internal estimates in 2010 were 50K+ civilian casualties & our current estimates are 100K+ to 130K civilian casualties]  The two requirements to find genocide, as articulated by the ICTY, are: The showing that the group was targeted for destruction in its entirety or in substantial part, and The demanding proof of specific intent.   Establishing that a Substantial Part of the Group was Targeted Some parallels with Sri Lanka are given below: Srebrenic  Read on...

 
By Together Against Genocide (TAG, formerly Tamils Against Genocide), On Tuesday, February 25 2014

Executive Summary Women’s bodies have historically been a secondary battlefield in the theater of war, a space where victors claim their spoils and nations plant their flag. In Sri Lanka post-2009, Tamil women’s bodies in the North and East have become both the site of a violent Sinhalisation[i] process and their only means of survival in a militarized environment. Direct interviews and a compilation of secondary sources reveal that in the period from 2008-2013 women lost their reproductive rights, were forced into coercive sexual relationships or marriages, and faced the constant threat of rape, even as they desperately tried to escape the island. These acts collectively highlight the structural violence that marginalizes Tamil women and subjugates Tamil society. Due to the cultural positioning of Tamil women, these acts go far beyond the immediate physical and psychological damage to the individual woman, they also serve to humiliate Tamil men and reinforce Tamil powerlessness.[ii  Read on...

 
By Together Against Genocide (TAG, formerly Tamils Against Genocide), On Tuesday, February 04 2014

Introduction   Figures vary, but approximately 12,000 former Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) members have been ‘rehabilitated’ since the end of the war and ‘reintegrated’ back into society.[1] Relative to such numbers little is known of the ‘Rehabilitation Programme’ beyond the Government of Sri Lanka’s (GoSL) own pronouncements. In this report, we enable the voices of the ‘rehabilitated’ to speak out. We present fresh testimony from seven different sources, five of who were ‘rehabilitated’ and a further two who had privileged access to the camps.  Care has been taken to preserve the anonymity of these witnesses for their own and their extended family’s security.   The report begins by briefly setting the scene, namely the end of the civil war, for the analysis on rehabilitation that follows. The analysis explores the who, what, when, where and why of the rehabilitation programme: who qualifies for rehabilitation, what does the programme consist of, what are its timelines,   Read on...

 
By Together Against Genocide (TAG, formerly Tamils Against Genocide), On Friday, November 01 2013

Summary Since the beginning of the reign of the United People’s Freedom Alliance coalition government in 2004, Sri Lanka has gained the infamous reputation of being one of the “most dangerous countries in the world for journalists” alongside Afghanistan, Somalia, Eritrea and North Korea. What remains largely unsaid or unexplored is that some journalists and media workers are more vulnerable to state-backed attacks than others. In this report, we assess risk of extreme violence to media workers in Sri Lanka by analysing the available data on ‘disappearances’ and deaths. We ask who is being targeted, when and where. The data is analysed in historical and political context and in consideration of the nature of the relationship between the state and press more broadly. We find as follows: It is predominantly Tamil media employees and those journalists who speak out about violations of Tamil rights who have become the targets of violence in Sri Lanka. Being a state-critical jou  Read on...

 
By Together Against Genocide (TAG, formerly Tamils Against Genocide), On Wednesday, March 13 2013

This report is in part an update to the TAG report “Returnees at Risk: Detention and Torture in Sri Lanka” (hereafter ‘Returnees at Risk’) published 16 September 2012.[1] The focus of this report is the Government of Sri Lanka (hereafter GoSL) surveillance and intimidation of Tamil diaspora activists. We include in this broad category of ‘activists’ protesters who campaign for political objectives, such as devolution of the North and East of Sri Lanka, but also those who campaign for accountability for violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) including war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.    The report analyses afresh the data sets from the ‘Returnees at Risk’ report but also presents and analyses material that has been collected by TAG since that report, namely, five interviews with activists conducted in January 2013, and a further eight successful asylum appeal determinations. The backdrop to analysis of these data sets is the changing context since Septembe  Read on...

 
By Together Against Genocide (TAG, formerly Tamils Against Genocide), On Sunday, September 16 2012

This report calls for a comprehensive re-evaluation of the UK government’s current policy towards asylum applicants of Sri Lankan Tamil origin in light of the significance of the collection of 27 recent asylum appeal determinations published and analyzed here. We understand this collection, exclusively shared with TAG, to be the largest such collection yet to be analyzed and made public by an independent third party. The appeals determinations are particularly valuable as 26 of the 27 claims of egregious torture have succeeded and been found to be credible under the most stringent adversarial review. They provide us with the benefit of a valuable collection of judicial opinion. This dataset is supplemented by other datasets including a further 11 asylum interviews by the UK Border Agency, also exclusively provided to TAG and a further set of 21 Medico-legal reports [MLRs] drawn up in the UK by leading UK experts.  All the above cases relate to detention and torture that took place in t  Read on...

 
By Tamils Against Genocide (US), On Wednesday, July 18 2012

Tamils Against Genocide has obtained testimonies of surviving abductees and interviews of affected victims, that enable us to identify individuals involved in abduction and torture targeting Tamils and non-Tamil dissidents. TAG has identified a number of detention complexes and torture centers participating in “white van” operations, where “white van network” is a term widely used in Sri Lanka to refer to both the physical transport and general modus operandus of abduction and disappearance. The information gathered forms an evidentiary basis for a blueprint of the operational logistics of State-sanctioned white van networks.   White van networks are part of a cluster of cooperative partnerships with other State instrumentalities – such as the judiciary, the prisons, the defense establishment, hospitals. They have become an instrument of State machinery which beats at the heart of Sri Lanka’s culture of impunity. White van networks are an embedded element of Sri Lankan democratic pol  Read on...

 
By Together Against Genocide (TAG, formerly Tamils Against Genocide), On Wednesday, May 30 2012

TAG has released a report documenting the persecution faced by failed asylum seekers who are returned Sri Lanka. The report comes ahead of the scheduled deportation of failed Tamil asylum seekers from the UK to Sri Lanka on 31 May 2012. This deportation is set to go ahead despite credible evidentiary sources of ongoing torture, arbitrary detention and disappearances suffered by previously returned failed asylum seekers and calls by human rights organisations such as Human Rights Watch to halt the deportation of failed asylum seekers to Sri Lanka in light of such evidences. TAG's report presents these sources of evidence showing how failed asylum seekers may face risks either simply by virtue of their status as failed asylum seekers, or due to imputed political opinion regarding LTTE involvement or support especially when returning from places such as the UK that traditionally have very active Tamil diaspora communities.  To obtain a copy of the report please contact advocacy@tamilsagai  Read on...

 
By Together Against Genocide (TAG, formerly Tamils Against Genocide), On Wednesday, May 11 2011