The Guardian, Tuesday 12 February 2013 - Fifteen Sri Lankan nationals have claimed they were tortured and subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment after they were forcibly removed to the country by the UK Border Agency, the Home Office has said. In a freedom of information (FoI) request, the Home Office revealed that between the end of the island's civil war in 2009 and September 2012, 15 failed asylum seekers managed to escape back to Britain after being removed by the agency, the UKBA. They subsequently won refugee status after giving evidence to officials saying they were tortured in Sri Lanka. Kulasegaram Geetharthanan, a solicitor in the UK, said that one of his clients, understood to be one of the 15 mentioned in the FoI statement, had been gang raped and tortured by Sri Lankan security services after being forcibly removed to the capital, Colombo, on a specially chartered UKBA flight in 2011.
The Guardian, Tuesday 4 December 2012 - The trials of those allegedly responsible for the deaths of at least 1.7 million people under Cambodia's Khmer Rouge regime could collapse unless European governments come to the financial rescue of the country's UN-backed tribunal, the chief international prosecutor warns. Andrew Cayley QC is having to tour Europe to drum up enough funding to ensure the court survives. He met with officials from the Foreign Office on Monday to try to guarantee the future of what he described as the most important case since the Nuremberg trials, and will address the European Union on Wednesday.
By Steve Crawshaw, The Observer / The Guardian, Friday 26 October 2012 - Survivors of the bloody last months of Sri Lanka's civil war tell a story of injustice and horror that we cannot continue to ignore - In the bloodbath that ended the 26-year civil war in Sri Lanka in 2009, tens of thousands of civilians lost their lives in a few terrible months. The world's politicians looked the other way. Some governments even praised Sri Lanka for its "victory over the terrorists", in reference to the defeat of the rebel Tamil Tigers. The UN Human Rights Council passed a remarkable resolution that praised the Sri Lankan government's "commitment to promotion and protection of human rights".
By Libby Powell, The Guardian, 28 June 2012 - Three years after its civil war, Sri Lanka has emerged as a middle-income country on course to meet most of the millennium development goals. GDP rose by around 8% during 2011 and tourism is set to bring in more than $1bn this year. Yet this national success story obscures the tale of an unsettled north that remains under military control.
By Roy Greenslade, The Guardian, 20 June 2012 - An extraordinary row has broken out among journalists who cover the United Nations at its New York headquarters. A reporter who works for a small investigative news site, Inner City Press, is in danger of being ejected from the UN correspondents association (UNCA) at the behest of journalistic colleagues. According to an article in the National Review, Matthew Lee is being investigated for alleged unethical and unprofessional behaviour by a so-called "board of examination" set up by UNCA.
By Chris Elliott (the Guardian readers' editor), The Guardian, Sunday 10 June 2012 - The appearance of a promotional supplement paid for by Sri Lanka in the same edition as a story detailing claims of torture by the country's security personnel was far from serendipitous. ... It is entirely reasonable that Sri Lanka wants to put the past behind it, but the evidence of our front-page story shows that it has not done so, and we should not have distributed this supplement.
By Donna Covey, The Guardian, 7 June 2012 - The horrifying testimony of Hari, a Tamil man tortured by Sri Lankan officials after the UK sent him back to his country, is one more shameful example of how this country currently treats people who seek safety here. Given the distressing description of Hari's 17-day torture ordeal and the methods used, who can blame him for holding the UK government responsible for the scars on his back?
By Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah, The Guardian, Wednesday 6 June 2012 - Rajapaksa will rightly claim that his government has received no formal Commonwealth sanction and that he has the backing of the vast majority of member states. Harper's concerns are shared by several member states and almost all Commonwealth NGOs. The problem is that Commonwealth institutions seem unable to lend a helping hand with reconciliation or development in Sri Lanka, or to be able to demonstrate that they can resolve political differences.
The Guardian, 06 June 2012 - More than 1,000 Tamil protesters demonstrated outside a diamond jubilee lunch for the Queen in protest over the presence of the president of Sri Lanka as he was forced to abandon a keynote speech in the City of London on Wednesday. Mahinda Rajapaksa, accused of presiding over human rights abuses after allegations of war crimes by Sri Lankan armed forces, was a guest, along with David Cameron, at the lunch in London hosted by the Commonwealth secretary general, Kamalesh Sharma.
London, 06 Jun 2012 - “The British government is forcibly deporting asylum seekers who are then tortured in Sri Lanka, according to the testimony of one victim who was left scarred and suicidal after a brutal two-week ordeal”, The Guardian newspaper reported today in its front page lead news article.
“The victim told the Guardian he was tortured over the space of 17 days after being deported from the UK last year. His torturers accused him of passing on to British officials information about previous beatings at the hands of state officials and other human rights abuses, to ruin diplomatic relations between the two countries.
“The revelations come as Sri Lanka’s head of state, Mahinda Rajapaksa, is expected to have lunch with the Queen as part of jubilee celebrations today. The coalition is coming under increasing pressure to revisit its policy, which suggests it is safe to return Tamils to Sri Lanka. Last week the high court halted the deportation of 40 people to the island at the last minute, citing human rights concerns” says The Guardian Newspaper’s investigative news report.
To read the full news article please buy today’s (06 June 2012) The Guardian Newspaper.