Submitted by Anonymous on Mon, 01/28/2013 - 22:13
By Nicolas Beger, Head of the EU office, Amnesty International, 27 January 2013 (New Europe) - Here in Brussels, certain MEPs seem strangely determined to ignore the truth. At a hearing of Parliament’s human rights sub-committee last November, the ‘Friends of Sri Lanka’ group said the EU should offer a message of “sympathy and good will” to the Sri Lankan Government, and casually dismissed abuses as “mistakes”. Yet these MEPs have been confronted with evidence of arbitrary detention, torture, enforced disappearance, extrajudicial execution and other human rights violations. The Friends of Sri Lanka consistently deflects any criticism of the country’s human rights record, effectively acting as the Sri Lankan Government’s mouthpiece in Brussels. Why do they continue to defend the indefensible? Fortunately, this group is heavily outnumbered by other MEPs who aren’t willing to ignore ample evidence of alleged violations. But overall the EU must be more vocal about the human rights situation in Sri Lanka. With the Sri Lankan Government continuing to commit grave human rights violations and refusing to ensure accountability for past crimes, the country is heading in diametrically the wrong direction. The EU must extend its scrutiny and criticism of Sri Lanka beyond individual cases like the Chief Justice’s and focus on widespread violations of human rights. It must use all its influence with Sri Lanka to ensure justice for past violations and an end to the many present ones so that the people of Sri Lanka can enjoy the future that they deserve.
Submitted by Anonymous on Sun, 12/23/2012 - 01:43
New Delhi, Dec 22 (IANS): Sri Lanka needs to face an "independent international" investigation into the killings towards the end of the war against the Tamil Tigers, the Amnesty International chief says. "We need a full and independent international inquiry to bring (guilty) people into account," Amnesty Secretary General Salil Shetty told IANS here. He said India had been mostly silent on the Sri Lanka situation. "The time has come for India to take a fresh look."
Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 12/06/2012 - 01:01
Amnesty International, 04 Dec 2012 - Four students were arrested on 1 December in Jaffna, northern Sri Lanka, by the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) of the police. They are being held in Vavuniya for interrogation and are at risk of torture. P. Tharshananth, Sanmugam Solaman, Kanesamoorthy Sutharsan and K. Jenemajeyamenan were arrested without warrants in Jaffna. It is not known if they have been formally charged. Sri Lankan media reports that they are being questioned about their alleged involvement in a petrol bomb attack on the office of a local political organization, as well as their involvement in organizing demonstrations. There are concerns for their well-being given evidence of the persistent use of torture in TID custody. Their arrests come after several days of student protests following efforts by the security forces to suppress peaceful commemorations of Maaveerar Naal (Heroes Day), a day of remembrance established by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Submitted by Anonymous on Sat, 11/24/2012 - 03:01
Amnesty International, 23 November 2012 - Amnesty International has found a toxic mix of uncertainty, unlawful detention and inhumane conditions creating an increasingly volatile situation on Nauru, with the Australian Government spectacularly failing in its duty of care to asylum seekers. Following a three-day inspection of the facility, Amnesty International researchers found the facility totally inappropriate and ill-equipped, with 387 men cramped into 5 rows of leaking tents, suffering from physical and mental ailments-creating a climate of anguish as the repressively hot monsoon season begins.
Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 11/22/2012 - 01:29
Tamil Guardian 20 November 2012 - To a packed room of London university students, panellists Thusiyan Nandakumar of the Tamil Youth Organisation UK (TYOUK), Fred Carver of Sri Lanka Campaign, Madurika Rasaratnam of Tamils Against Genocide (TAG) and Alan Keenan of the International Crisis Group (ICG) discussed the question - 'Sri Lanka: Genocide?'. The event held on 13th November was chaired by Professor Neil Mitchell (International Relations, UCL) and hosted by the Amnesty International society at University of College London University (UCLU).
Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 11/15/2012 - 14:57
Amnesty International, 15 November 2012 - The Sri Lankan government declared a “No Fire Zone” and directed civilians caught in the conflict to relocate there. Witnesses say the army shelled the “No Fire Zone”, which both the Sri Lankan army and political leadership knew was densely populated by civilians. They hit hospitals, killing and injuring patients and staff. More than three years later, there has been no impartial investigation into these alleged crimes under international law and no one has been brought to justice. This failure sets a dangerous precedent, sending the message that states which, like Sri Lanka, have not ratified the Rome Statute are beyond the reach of international justice and that crimes committed in the name of “combating terrorism” can simply be ignored.
Submitted by Anonymous on Fri, 11/02/2012 - 01:22
Amnesty International, 1 November 2012 - Sri Lanka’s promises on human rights should no longer be accepted by the international community, Amnesty International said as the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on 1 November highlighted Colombo’s continued denial of the human rights crisis in the country and the need for independent investigations into new alleged human rights violations and past war crimes. The UN examines the human rights situation in each member state every four and a half years, and Sri Lanka has yet to follow up on important commitments made during its first UPR in 2008, when the government was engaged in armed conflict with the Tamil Tigers (LTTE). “Sri Lanka has been making empty promises about human rights for decades. This was made clear by a number of countries which questioned Sri Lanka’s lack of progress in ending human rights violations during the review,” said Yolanda Foster, Amnesty International’s expert on Sri Lanka.
Submitted by Anonymous on Tue, 06/19/2012 - 02:34
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL, June, 2012 - The Human Rights Situation in Sri Lanka, June 2012 - A statement for the June Human Rights Council Session - Sri Lanka is not fulfilling many of its international human rights obligations. Impunity remains the norm for gross violations of human rights, including alleged war crimes. Gross and systematic human rights violations continue to take place. Sri Lanka’s armed conflict ended in 2009, but its legacy of unlawful detention practices continues; arbitrary arrest and detention, torture and other ill-treatment and custodial killings remain hallmarks of Sri Lankan policing. The number of reports of enforced disappearances in the past six months is alarming; political activists critical of the state continue to be victims. Intimidation and smear campaigns against human rights defenders and journalists in government-owned newspapers have included attacks on individuals advocating for human rights accountability before this Council.
Submitted by Anonymous on Sun, 06/03/2012 - 03:11
Amnesty International, 02 June 2012 - The government continued to arbitrarily detain, torture or ill-treat people and subject people to enforced disappearance. It failed to address most instances of impunity for violations of human rights and humanitarian law. The government rejected repeated allegations of war crimes committed by both sides of the conflict that ended in 2009, prompting Amnesty International to reiterate calls for an independent international investigation.
Submitted by Anonymous on Sat, 05/19/2012 - 01:40
Amnesty International, 17 May 2012 - "Secretary Clinton should use this meeting to follow up on her decisive action during the March session of the United Nation's Human Rights Council to press the Sri Lankan government on accountability for abuses committed during its 30-year internal conflict. Sri Lankan authorities have stated that they would conduct an internal investigation into the abuses, yet they continue to dither, refusing to bring those accountable to justice. The international community cannot wait while the Sri Lankan government makes empty promises amid smoke and mirrors. It must establish an independent international investigation immediately. Only then will victims have a real chance at realizing their right to truth, justice and reparations."