Submitted by Anonymous on Wed, 02/13/2013 - 00:41
Sri Lanka Campaign, 12 February 2013 - Deep in the jungle of the northern Mullaitivu district, south of the town of Puthukkudiyiruppu, lies the former LTTE operations hub, now a ghost town. Visitors are offered a guided tour of the hub which comprises of a 3 story underground bunker, a firing range, a film hall, a semi-underground garage and a funeral parlour. What is absent are details of the suffering faced by the Tamils who lived in constant fear of the LTTE, and then persecution by the Sri Lankan army, and of the aftermath of 30 years of civil war that has destroyed the social and economic infrastructure of the region. Visitors, who are predominantly Sinhalese, seem content to marvel at war relics rather than truly comprehend the devastating events that took place here. Offensive triumphalist memorials celebrating the government’s ‘triumph over terrorism’ now litter the northern provinces, such as this one in Pudumathalan marking the spot where LTTE leader Prabhakaran’s body was found. The explicitly Sinhalese and martial imagery is the exact opposite of the conciliatory, inclusive approach which is needed if true reconcilliation is to take place.
Submitted by Anonymous on Wed, 02/06/2013 - 23:56
Sri Lanka Campaign, 06/02/2013 - Frances Harrison recently wrote for the Times of India about how the Government of Sri Lanka is turning the site of the final battles of the civil war, where tens of thousands of civillians were killed, into a tourist attraction. The article unfortunately did not include the many pictures provided which evidenced the piece, and so we are presenting them here. These photos show both the triumpahalism with which the Government of Sri Lanka is presenting these sites, and also the evidence of war crimes that is now turning up due to heavy rain. All words and pictures that follow are from Frances Harrison.
Submitted by Anonymous on Sat, 01/12/2013 - 00:03
11 January 2013 - Responding to the impeachment of Sri Lanka's Chief Justice, the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative and the Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice in a joint statement have demanded the Commonwealth to take action. "The impeachment comes in direct contravention of a Constitutional determination by the Sri Lankan Supreme Court. Events such as these are a clear violation of the the Commonwealth (Latimer House) Principles on the Three Branches of Government. As such they should lead the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group to pursue a process which leads, if there is not improvement, to Sri Lanka's suspension from the Commonwealth. Relations between Sri Lanka's Government and its judiciary have been appalling for some time, yet the Commonwealth, in particular the Secretary General, have been muted in their criticism. The CHRI and SLC charge that this has been a contributing factor in the Sri Lankan Government's increasingly brazen disregard for judicial independence" they said.
Submitted by Anonymous on Wed, 11/21/2012 - 02:04
Sri Lanka Campaign, 19/11/2012 - You may see Antoni as you walk down the street- head down, lost in thought as he weaves his way through a throng of people. You may sit next to him on the bus, or brush past him in the supermarket. He may live next door to you. He hides a troubled past, which continually haunts him. And he is just one of the thousands of asylum seekers in every capital of the world, whose lives are totally anonymous. In The Vanni, a multimedia graphic novel by Benjamin Dix and Lindsay Pollock, we discover Antoni’s roots in Sri Lanka, and his journey to England as an asylum seeker, after being forced to come here during the closing stages of the civil war in 2009.
Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 11/15/2012 - 15:19
Sri Lanka Campaign, 15 Nov 2012 - Following yesterday's fantastic BBC coverage the UN today released their internal report into failures in Sri Lanka. As well as releasing it to the press they originally made a document available online but then appeared to take down the link, which stopped working after about twenty minutes. However in that time it had been reposted by Groundviews and Lanka Standard. Various pieces have been blacked out. However they have not been electronically removed and so any person can read what they say simply by copying the text and pasting it onto a document with a white background.
Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 11/15/2012 - 15:06
Nouse.co.uk, 15 Nov 2012 - What should the UN be doing in response to this internal review? “It must apply the lessons of this report. Staff in the field must be trained to stand up to government intimidation, and senior staff at HQ must understand that their most important job is to support staff in the field who are subjected to same. Maybe one or two heads need to roll to make sure the lesson is not forgotten. But let’s not talk as if the UN were just the Secretariat. Where were the member states in all this? In the Security Council, deafeningly silent. In the Human Rights Council, actually congratulating the Government of Sri Lanka on its victory, and brushing aside the very pertinent observations of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the terrible, illegal methods by which this victory was secured.
Submitted by Anonymous on Tue, 11/06/2012 - 19:20
Sri Lanka Campaign, 06/11/2012 - Many people go on holiday to Sri Lanka without realising that as recently as three years ago tens of thousands of civilians were slaughtered there, in the closing stages of the civil war; that the north of the country remains under military occupation; that its people are still traumatized, many of them disabled or otherwise prevented from earning their living; and that people in any part of the island who fall foul of the government are liable to be kidnapped, beaten and often killed. Our campaign is designed to help tourists make informed choices, so that they spend their money in ways that help reconstruction and rehabilitation rather than lining the pockets of criminals.
Submitted by Anonymous on Sat, 08/18/2012 - 14:25
By Mantar, 18 August 2012 - Veteran diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi has become the new UN and Arab League envoy for Syria, taking over the peace-facilitation role played over the past several months by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The Former Algerian freedom fighter and Foreign Minister is a conflict mediator and UN diplomat. He is an expert in peacekeeping and post-conflict reconstruction. He is one of ‘The Elders’ group advocates for human rights. He is a senior advisory member of the ‘Sri Lanka Campaign’.
Mr Brahimi in an article published in March 2009 in the International Herald Tribune warned that the severe humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka was on the brink of catastrophe. He pleaded the quick arrival of humanitarian relief and high-level international political muscle to bring the nightmarish situation to an end and prevent a slaughter. “The international community has the means to act; it must not, it cannot fail to act. Being a spectator when 150,000 thousand people are trapped in a death zone is not an option”, he said then.
Submitted by Anonymous on Wed, 06/20/2012 - 02:53
Sri Lanka Campaign, 19 June 2012 - A couple of weeks ago it was revealed that the Sri Lankan army used cluster munitions, some of the most dangerous weapons in the world, on their own people. The government of Sri Lanka had previously claimed only the LTTE had used cluster munitions (something that may well also have happened). Weaponry such as cluster bombs – illegal under international law in 102 countries (but not in Sri Lanka as they never signed the treaty) – by their very nature target civilians. Cluster bombs are controversial weapons consisting of a canister which breaks apart to release a large number of small bombs. They can cover a large area and do not have precision guidance. Many do not explode on impact with the result that, like landmines, they litter the ground with the potential to explode years later.
Submitted by Anonymous on Wed, 06/13/2012 - 01:57
Sri Lanka Campaign, 12 June 2012 - Sri Lanka Campaign, 12 June 2012 - The Government of Sri Lanka are masters at the art of intimidating their critics into silence. However, like most bullies, they tend to pick on those who find it difficult to fight back – either because they are currently living in Sri Lanka or because they have Sri Lankan family members who might suffer the ill effects of any attempt to be more vocal. But the reach of the Government seems to be growing, as was demonstrated by the recent and ongoing intimidation of Matthew Lee. ... The UN should not be taking the side of the bullies, nor should they be adding to the confusion and speculation by failing to renew Lee’s accreditation. As for the UNCA; their role is to stand up for its members, not to expel them and we can see no justification for the continuation of this “Board of Examination”. Both the UNCA and the UN have played straight into the hands of the Government of Sri Lanka’s attempts to silence its critics.