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After roaming oceans and continents, Sri Lankan Tamils find home in Oakland
June 16, 2010, 5:51 pm
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 http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_15295572?nclick_check=1

Palani Nadarajah
www.boycottsrilanka.com

Please remeber our Heroes



Tamil Asylum Seekers on Hunger Strike in Malaysia
May 25, 2010, 5:48 pm
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http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/5/25/nation/20100525133439&sec=nation

PETALING JAYA : The 75 Tamil asylum seekers, were detained by Malaysian authorities a month ago, have threatened to go on an indefinite hunger strike beginning Tuesday.

Sri Lanka Tamil Refugees Humanitarian Programme coordinator Eashvara Lingam said the group would go on strike unless the Malaysian government and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR) fulfill their demands to be sent to a third country without further delay.

“They also demand for them not to be forcibly sent back to Sri Lanka where they will face persecution by its army and for authorities to permit human rights activists and other NGO leaders to visit them in the camps,” he said in a statement here on Tuesday.

Eashvara said he had also received reports from the detainees that they were not getting clean water, and supplied with only low quality and stale food.

“However, they appreciate the Malaysian authorities for saving them from the sea,” he said.

Palani Nadarajah
www.boycottsrilanka.com



Sky banners display Tamil genocide message during cricket game

Banners flown by single engine aircraft displaying “Stop Tamil Genocide; Boycott Sri Lanka” circled the cricket grounds several times during a 20-over cricket tournament held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida during this weekend, attendees to the games said.

Stop Tamil Genocide - Boycott Sri Lanka

Stop Tamil Genocide - Boycott Sri Lanka

Indian, Pakistani, English, South African, Sri Lankan and Caribbean supporters dominated the attendees at the stadium. In the meantime Sinhalese dissidents opposed to the Rajapaksa regime flew their own message on another plane which said: Sri Lanka – Free Gen Fonseka – Restore Democracy.”

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori felt the event had been a success. “Obviously with a lot of Sri Lankans here it had a kind of sub-continent feel but it was a crowd that was entertained,” Reuters report quoted Vettori as saying.

“I thought the entertainment off the field was good for the game and whilst it wasn’t as high scoring as people wanted it was still a thrilling game,” Vettori added.

New Zealand made 120 and Sri Lanka stumbled to 92 all out with two balls remaining on the Saturday game.



Sri Lanka: New Evidence of Wartime Abuses
May 21, 2010, 6:17 pm
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New Evidence of Wartime Abuses
[ Friday, 21 May 2010, 08:43.26 AM GMT +05:30 ]
New evidence of wartime abuses by Sri Lankan government forces and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) during the armed conflict that ended one year ago demonstrates the need for an independent international investigation into violations of the laws of war, Human Rights Watch said yesterday.
New evidence of wartime abuses by Sri Lankan government forces and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) during the armed conflict that ended one year ago demonstrates the need for an independent international investigation into violations of the laws of war, Human Rights Watch said yesterday. Recently Human Rights Watch research gathered photographic evidence and accounts by witnesses of atrocities by both sides during the final months of fighting.

Last week, the government created a Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission with a mandate to examine the failure of the 2002 ceasefire and the “sequence of events” thereafter. It is not empowered to investigate allegations of violations of the laws of war such as those documented by Human Rights Watch.

“Yet another feckless commission is a grossly inadequate response to the numerous credible allegations of war crimes,” said Elaine Pearson, acting Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Damning new evidence of abuses shows why the UN should not let Sri Lanka sweep these abuses under the carpet.”

Human Rights Watch called on Secretary-General Ban to promptly establish an international investigation to examine allegations of wartime abuse by both sides to the conflict.

New Evidence of Wartime Violations
Human Rights Watch has examined more than 200 photos taken on the front lines in early 2009 by a soldier from the Sri Lankan Air Mobile Brigade. Among these are a series of five photos showing a man who appears to have been captured by the Sri Lankan army. An independent source identified the man by name and told Human Rights Watch that he was a long-term member of the LTTE’s political wing from Jaffna.

The first two photos show the man alive, with blood on his face and torso, tied to a palm tree. He is surrounded by several men wearing military fatigues, one brandishing a knife close to his face. In the next three photos, the man is lying – apparently dead – against a rock. His head is being held up, he is partly covered in the flag of Tamil Eelam, and there is more blood on his face and upper body.

A forensic expert who reviewed the photos told Human Rights Watch that the latter three photos show material on the man’s neck consistent in color with brain matter, “which would indicate an injury to the back of his head, as nothing is visible which would cause this on his face. This would indicate severe trauma to the back of the head consistent with something like a gunshot wound or massive blows to the back of the head with something such as a machete or ax.”

While Human Rights Watch cannot conclusively determine that the man was summarily executed in custody, the available evidence indicates that a full investigation is warranted.

Several of the photos also show what appear to be dead women in LTTE uniforms with their shirts pulled up and their pants pulled down, raising concerns that they might have been sexually abused or their corpses mutilated. Again, such evidence is not conclusive but shows the need for an investigation.

The new accounts by witnesses described indiscriminate shelling of large gatherings of civilians during the last weeks of fighting, apparently by government forces. In addition to an incident on April 8, 2009, previously reported, witnesses told Human Rights Watch about three other incidents in late April and early May 2009 of government forces shelling civilians, mainly women and children, who were standing in food distribution lines. The witnesses also described LTTE recruitment of children and LTTE attacks on civilians attempting to escape the war zone.

To download the photos, please use following links:

www.hrwnews.org/press/HRW_SriLanka_0520.zip

To read the May 2010 Human Rights Watch document, “Q & A on Accountability for Violations of International Humanitarian Law in Sri Lanka,” please visit:
http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/05/20/q-accountability-violations-international-humanitarian-law-sri-lanka

To read the May 2009 Human Rights Watch news release, “Sri Lanka: Satellite Images, Witnesses Show Shelling Continues,” please visit:
http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/05/12/sri-lanka-satellite-images-witnesses-show-shelling-continues

To read the May 2009 Human Rights Watch news release, “Sri Lanka: Repeated Shelling of Hospitals Evidence of War Crimes,” please visit:
http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/05/08/sri-lanka-repeated-shelling-hospitals-evidence-war-crimes

To read the February 2009 Human Rights Watch report, “War on the Displaced: Sri Lankan Army and LTTE Abuses against Civilians in the Vanni,” please visit:
http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2009/02/19/war-displaced

Palani Nadarajah


Please remeber our Heroes

boycott sri lanka

boycott sri lanka

Next Year  in TAMIL EELAM
Stop Genocide in Sri Lanka


Sri Lanka Tamil killings ‘ordered from the top’

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=5128

Channel4: Executions of Tamils at the end of the Sri Lankan civil war were carried out under orders

Genocide of Tamils

Genocide of Tamils

Exclusive: a senior Sri Lankan army commander and frontline soldier tell Channel 4 News that point-blank executions of Tamils at the end of the Sri Lankan civil war were carried out under orders.

In August 2009 Channel 4 News obtained video evidence, later authenticated by the United Nations, purporting to show point-blank executions of Tamils by uniformed Sri Lankan soldiers.

Now a senior army commander and a frontline soldier have told Channel 4 News that such killings were indeed ordered from the top.

One frontline soldier said: “Yes, our commander ordered us to kill everyone. We killed everyone.”

And a senior Sri Lankan army commander said: “Definitely, the order would have been to kill everybody and finish them off.

“I don’t think we wanted to keep any hardcore elements, so they were done away with. It is clear that such orders were, in fact, received from the top.”

Despite allegations of war crimes, Sri Lanka’s government has managed to avoid an independent inquiry. But the evidence continues to mount.

‘Body blows to humanitarian law’
So decisive was Sri Lanka’s victory over the Tamil Tigers last year that other nations facing violent insurgencies are now citing the “Sri Lanka option” as a model for crushing rebellion, writes Channel 4 News foreign reporter Jonathan Miller.

International lawyers, human rights and conflict prevention groups are alarmed, accusing the Colombo government of riding roughshod over international law.

Last night Louise Arbour, a former chief prosecutor in international war crimes trials, told an audience at Chatham House – the foreign policy think tank – that “the [Sri Lankan] government’s refusal to distinguish between combatants and non-combatants” and the “sheer magnitude of civilian death and suffering” dealt what she called “the most serious of body blows to international humanitarian law”.

Now, the International Crisis Group, of which Ms Arbour is the president, has joined forces with Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to demand an independent international investigation into what they brand “massive human rights violations” and “repeated violations of international law” – by both sides.

Channel 4 News reports on the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war
– 12 May 2009: thousands flee Sri Lanka bombardment
– 25 Aug 2009: is this evidence of ‘war crimes’ in Sri Lanka?
– 26 Aug 2009: Sri Lanka calls ‘war crimes’ video a fake
– 01 Sep 2009: UN probing Sri Lanka ‘executions’
– 11 Sep 2009: Sri Lanka steps up death video rebuttal
– 16 Sep 2009: Tamil medic describes camp conditions
– 07 Jan 2010: Sri Lanka video ‘appears authentic’
– 27 Jan 2010: Sri Lanka’s Rajapaska wins re-election

The Sri Lankan government has repeatedly rejected the charges of civilian deaths as grossly exaggerated and has denied that any of its security forces have committed war crimes or violated international humanitarian law.

Ms Arbour appeared live on Channel 4 News to outline options available to the international community to prevent the “Sri Lanka option” gaining currency. A new ICG report entitled War Crimes in Sri Lanka defines this option as “unrestrained military action, refusal to negotiate, disregard for humanitarian issues, keeping out international observers including press and humanitarian workers”.

‘War Crimes in Sri Lanka’
– Download the International Crisis Group report in full (.pdf)

Ms Arbour also responded to dramatic new evidence contained in a film broadcast by Channel 4 News. The fresh evidence, detailing extremely serious allegations of possible war crimes, has been gathered in an extended undercover investigation in Sri Lanka. Testimony from soldiers interviewed by Channel 4 News corroborates persistent allegations aired by this programme since the end of the war a year ago.

Chief among these: the accusation that Sri Lankan soldiers were responsible for extrajudicial executions – as graphically illustrated by the disturbing video we aired last August. The video – long dismissed as a fake by the government in Colombo – was authenticated by the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions in January this year.

The clamour from international rights groups for an impartial investigation into alleged atrocities contrasts sharply with the failure of the UN to demand accountability from the Sri Lankan government. Last year, the Sri Lankan president promised the UN Secretary General that he would look into the question of accountability.

On Monday President Mahinda Rajapaksa named an eight-member panel to glean lessons learned from the war.  But members of the group say they have no legal power to investigate alleged abuses. “If this is ‘it’,” Louise Arbour said last night, “there’s no reason to expect from the government’s past record that it’s got any intention to investigate or put in place an appropriate accountability mechanism.”

The UN Human Rights Council seems to provide little hope of investigating war crimes, having congratulated the Sri Lankan government on its victory, within days of the war ending.

Channel 4 News blogs on events in Sri Lanka
– Blogs by Jon Snow, Jonathan Miller and Nick Paton Walsh

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council holds out no hope at all. The Sri Lankan issue has failed to force its way onto the UNSC agenda – and were it to do so, China and Russia would likely stand in the way of any unlikely referral to the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

The secretary general has also so far failed to appoint international experts to investigate – as he’s previously promised he might.

Amnesty and the ICG have taken the UN to task for its failure to act decisively to push for accountability. Crisis Group went so far as to recommend that the UN should open an inquiry into its own conduct in Sri Lanka. Last night Louise Arbour – herself a former UN human rights commissioner – talked of the UN’s “silence – verging on complicity” with the Rajapaksa regime.

A statement from the Sri Lankan high commission
The High Commission of Sri Lanka in the United Kingdom totally deny the allegations made against the Government of Sri Lanka and its armed forces. As it has been repeatedly stressed and supported by evidence, Government’s security forces were engaged in a humanitarian operation with the objective of rescuing the civilians held as human shields by a terrorist outfit: the LTTE, which was banned in many countries including the UK. All internationally accepted standards and norms of such operations were followed in the prosecution of the humanitarian operation by the security forces which were under strict orders to follow a zero civilian casualty policy.

The government of Sri Lanka is now in the process of rebuilding and reconciliation. The President of Sri Lanka has established the “Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission” of eight eminent persons reflecting all ethnic groups in Sri Lanka to inquire and report institutional administrative and legislative measures which need to be taken in order to prevent any recurrence of such concerns in the future, and to promote further national unity and reconciliation among all communities.

This High Commission is not in a position to make comments on specific allegations said to have been made in the video without viewing it. Therefore, we appreciate it if you could forward the said video to the High Commission for viewing and for verifying its authenticity prior to the telecast.

High Commission of Sri Lanka
The United Kingdom
18 May 2010

In January 2009, as the final chapter opened in the 30-year-long Sri Lankan civil war, I was in Gaza, picking over the humanitarian disaster left after Israel’s three-week war there. Between 1,200 and 1,400 civilians were killed during the aerial bombardments and subsequent ground offensive. In the final weeks of the Sri Lankan government offensive on the “no-fire zone”, Ms Arbour believes a figure of 30,000 civilian deaths “is not implausible”.

Within months of the Gaza conflict, the UN Human Rights Council had dispatched Judge Richard Goldstone to investigate possible war crimes. He produced a damning report.

There has been no investigation in Sri Lanka. Local journalists who’ve raised their heads above the parapet have been jailed or disappeared or killed. The UN has done nothing concrete in moving towards an impartial inquiry. There has been no Goldstone in Colombo. Even the UN rapporteur for extrajudicial executions has been denied a visa for the past four years.

You can kind of see why the “Sri Lankan Option” might just catch on.