statements

Sri Lanka Campaign launched #ThinkAgain: "We name and shame five hotels, four airlines, and four attractions"

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.

Dublin tribunal takes up genocide investigation

TamilNet, Saturday, 03 November 2012 - “In April 2013, a panel of international experts will be convened as Judges of the 'Permanent People's Tribunal' to examine reports submitted by many specialised working groups on the accusation of the crime of Genocide against the Government of Sri Lanka and on the accusations against various international actors who had supported and prepared the conditions for the Sri Lankan Government to implement this alleged crime,” said a joint statement issued by the 'Permanent People's Tribunal' (PPT) based in Rome on Friday. The move is supported organisationally by the 'Irish Forum for Peace in Sri Lanka' (IFPSL) based in Dublin and the International Human Rights Association based in Bremen (IMRV). Dublin Tribunal was the first independent international undertaking that recognised the need to look into the case of genocide in the island as early as in January 2010.

Sri Lanka’s empty promises and denial of rights crisis exposed at UN - Amnesty International

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.

U.S. Statement at the UPR of Sri Lanka

U.S. Statement at the UPR of Sri Lanka, 14th Session – November 1, 2012 - 1. Implement the constructive recommendations of the LLRC, including the removal of the military from civilian functions; creation of mechanisms to address cases of the missing and detained; issuance of death certificates; land reform; devolution of power; and disarming paramilitaries. 2. Transfer NGO oversight to a civilian institution and protect freedom of expression and space for civil society to operate, by inter alia investigating and prosecuting attacks on media personnel and human rights defenders. 3. End impunity for human rights violations and fulfill legal obligations regarding accountability by initiating independent and transparent investigations, which meet international best practices, into alleged violations of international law and hold those found culpable to account. 4. Especially in light of today’s news of the efforts to impeach the Chief Justice, strengthen judicial independence by ending government interference with the judicial process, protecting members of the judiciary from attacks, and restoring a fair, independent, and transparent mechanism to oversee judicial appointments.

Sri Lanka: new ICJ report documents ‘Crisis of Impunity’

The Sri Lankan government must immediately cease its assault on the independence of the judiciary, the ICJ said in a new report released today.
The 150-page report, Authority without Accountability: The Crisis of Impunity in Sri Lanka, documents how, and why, it has become nearly impossible for people who have suffered serious violations of their human rights to receive justice in Sri Lanka. Recent attacks on judicial officers and judges only highlight the systematic erosion of accountability mechanisms.

Action Against Hunger Launches Justice for Muttur Campaign

By Elisabeth Anderson Rapport, Communications Officer, Action Against Hunger, October 2, 2012 - This week, Action Against Hunger launched a campaign of advocacy and mobilization to demand justice for 17 ACF aid workers who were executed in the town of Muttur, Sri Lanka on August 4, 2006. The campaign is anchored in a signature video and petition that request an independent United Nations investigation to shed light on the circumstances of the murders and hold those responsible for the massacre accountable.

Joint Letter to the Commonwealth Secretary-General regarding Sri Lanka - HRW

HRW, September 25, 2012 - When Commonwealth countries announced at the 2011 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Australia that Sri Lanka could host CHOGM 2013, they agreed to actively promote and uphold the fundamental values and principles of the Commonwealth, including human rights and the rule of law. We therefore urge you to press for adequate and satisfactory human rights progress in Sri Lanka by CHOGM 2013. We believe that the failure of the Commonwealth and its members to do so would be contrary to the Commonwealth’s values and principles, and undermine its credibility.

UN Human Rights Council: Statement on the Human Rights Situation in Sri Lanka

HRC, September 17, 2012 - Oral Statement Under Item 4 - Human Rights Watch firmly believes that given the Sri Lankan government’s continued failure to deliver on its human rights commitments to its citizens in a meaningful manner, the international community should take action. In this regard, it is evident that the only way forward is to adopt the recommendation of the UN Panel of Experts for an independent international mechanism to investigate violations of international human rights and humanitarian law by all sides to the conflict.

Interview with editor who was threatened by defence secretary

RSF, 12 July 2012 - Reporters Without Borders condemns the threats and insults that defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the president’s brother, made against Sunday Leader editor Frederica Jansz during a phone interview on 9 July. “We call on defence secretary Rajapaksa to stop threatening journalists who are doing their job,” Reporters Without Borders said. “In many countries, a government official would have to resign for making such comments and would probably be subject to a criminal prosecution. The justice system cannot turn a blind eye when a secretary openly makes such grave threats."

Sri Lankan defence secretary: "You shit fucking journalist … People hate you. They will kill you"

ARTICLE 19, 09 Jul 2012 _ ARTICLE 19 is very concerned for the safety of Sri Lankan journalist, Frederica Jansz, who has been threatened with death by the country’s defence secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa. “The threat against journalist Frederica Jansz is the latest demonstration of the Sri Lankan government’s systematic attacks against independent and opposition-supporting journalists and media houses. They have showered scorn on journalists and shown a complete inability or unwillingness to prosecute perpetrators of violence toward and the killing of journalists,” said Dr Agnes Callamard, ARTICLE 19 executive director. “We urge the authorities to keep Frederica Jansz safe. We also urge embassies in Sri Lanka to raise her case with the government.” Frederica Jansz is the editor of Sri Lankan weekly newspaper, The Sunday Leader, and was conducting a phone interview with Rajapaksa, who is also the brother of the president. According to The Sunday Leader, Rajapaksa told Jansz during the interview: “You pig that eats shit! You shit shit dirty fucking journalist! […] People will kill you! People hate you! They will kill you!”

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