U.N. calls for accountability in Sri Lanka rights investigation

[ Reuters ][ Mar 03 17:18 GMT ]

The United Nations urged Sri Lanka on Tuesday to make sure it had strong systems for holding people accountable, as the island nation carried out its own investigations in abuses during a 26-year civil war. The U.N. Human Rights Council has separately investigated atrocities in the war against Tamil separatists, but last month deferred its report, saying Colombo had shown a new willingness to open up to scrutiny. [ full story | comments ]

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U.N. calls for accountability in Sri Lanka rights investigation [ more ]

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U.N. calls for accountability in Sri Lanka rights investigation

The United Nations urged Sri Lanka on Tuesday to make sure it had stro...

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China Continues to Court Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera was in Beijing the las...

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Bali Nine: Andrew Chan, Myuran Sukumaran to be moved to Nusakambangan island today, ahead of executions

The ABC understands the Bali Nine duo are to be moved from their priso...

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China Continues to Court Sri Lanka

[ The Diplomat ][ Mar 03 17:16 GMT ]

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera was in Beijing the last two days of February, where he met with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, as well as Premier Li Keqiang. China’s Foreign Ministry had previously talked up the visit as a way of establishing the foundation for China-Sri Lanka relations under new President Maithripala Sirisena. Samaraweera was the first cabinet member from the new government to visit China. China used Samaraweera’s visit as a chance to refute the notion that extensive Chinese loans made to Colombo for various construction projects have a nefarious intent. “China’s loans were provided at the request of the Sri Lankan side… [ full story | comments ]

India, Sri Lanka to revive fishing talks

[ PTI ][ Mar 03 17:10 GMT ]

Sri Lanka on Tuesday accepted India’s request to revive talks between the fishing communities of the two countries, days ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first visit to the country. Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Y K Sinha on Tuesday met Fisheries Minister Joseph Michael Perera and asked for the revival of talks between the representatives of the fishing communities. “In talks today the Indian High Commissioner requested that talks be started around 12th of this month ahead of Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Colombo”, Mr. Perera said. [ full story | comments ]

Press statement during official visit to Sri Lanka, Under-Secretary-General Jeffrey Feltman

[ UN ][ Mar 03 16:47 GMT ]

Without question, there is still a wide trust deficit between communities in Sri Lanka, especially between the Tamil and the Sinhalese. We have thus encouraged the national leaders and political stakeholders to work on all of these issues in the spirit of inclusion and consultation. Inclusion requires that all communities be willing to participate in these processes. As requested by Sri Lanka, the United Nations is committed to assisting in the process of accountability and reconciliation, through the Peacebuilding Fund and other facilities, as appropriate. But it is first and foremost for Sri Lankans themselves to shape how to address issues of the past in order to find a common future. [ full story | comments ]

Mid-sea fight threatens to jeopardise bilateral talks between Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka fishermen

[ ToI ][ Mar 03 16:33 GMT ]

"Sri Lankan fishermen are very upset that their Indian counterparts are destroying their marine wealth and fishing gear in spite of repeated appeals. They alleged that our fishermen attacked them in mid-sea and it appears they are thoroughly antagonised," U Arulanandam of Alliance for Release of Innocent Fishermen from Pamban said.Justin Soysa, president of Federation of Mannar District Fishermen Associations in Sri Lanka, said the atrocities of Indian fishermen were increasing by the day.On Sunday, Karaikal fishermen passed a resolution agreeing not to trespass into Sri Lankan waters. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka seeks foreign help with new war crimes probe

[ AFP ][ Mar 02 18:44 GMT ]

Sri Lanka's new government Monday formally asked the international community for "advice, technical support and assistance" for a proposed domestic probe into war crimes under former leader Mahinda Rajapakse. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told the UN Human Rights Council that the new government, unlike its predecessor, will cooperate with the international community to address reconciliation and accountability in the island. "The last few years when Sri Lanka moved away from this cooperative approach was an aberration," Samaraweera said in his address to the council in Geneva, a copy of which was released in Colombo. [ full story | comments ]

Human Rights and 50 days of Sri Lanka’s new Presidency

[ GroundView ][ Mar 02 14:45 GMT ]

However, intimidation and surveillance of Tamil human rights defenders in the North and East appear to be much more intense, though again, less intense than during the Rajapakse’s. A Tamil youth who had been detained and released as innocent after years and months of detention and torture, continued to be harassed by the Police.Torture and deaths in suspicious circumstances when in Police custody continued to be reported in these 50 days. At least two persons were reported to have died in Police custody, in Suriyawewa in the South and Thalawakele in the Central Province. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka President Says He Dodged CEPA Talks in Delhi

[ PTI ][ Mar 02 14:39 GMT ]

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has said that he deliberately avoided having Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India on the agenda during his recent visit to New Delhi. "I want to assure you that I will not enter any agreement with any country that will be harmful to our businesses," he said while addressing local businesses during the weekend. He said he had cancelled some 16 agreements signed with foreign companies in the field of gem and mining industry. India and Sri Lanka have been grappling with sealing the CEPA for several years. [ full story | comments ]

The Abbott Government and Sri Lanka's new regime

[ Independent Australia ][ Mar 02 14:34 GMT ]

The egregious Sri Lankan high commissioner to Australia, Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe, a political appointee of the Rajapaksa regime and a person cited as a war criminal has been recalled along with fifty or so other political appointees to diplomat posts. Australia should insist that his replacement is a skilled professional diplomat who can assist in building a more balanced relationship. Sri Lankan security operatives that harass members of the Australian Tamil community and liaise with the AFP should also be asked to leave. [ full story | comments ]

Disaster warnings ignored in Sri Lanka

[ IRIN ][ Mar 02 13:19 GMT ]

Lives and livelihoods are being lost unnecessarily in Sri Lanka because local communities are ignoring disaster warnings, according to officials. More than 70 people died in the last two months of 2014 as a result of floods and landslides while the earlier part of the year was marked by a prolonged drought, severely impacting the rice harvest. “In both instances, the losses could have been avoided if warnings were heeded but unfortunately they weren’t,” Sarath Lal Kumara, assistant director at Sri Lanka’s Disaster Management Centre, (DMC) told IRIN. [ full story | comments ]

China says Sri Lanka loans made 'based on consensus'

[ Reuters ][ Mar 02 13:17 GMT ]

China's loans to Sri Lanka were made based on consensus through talks between the two countries and at Sri Lanka's request, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Monday, after Sri Lanka's foreign minister expressed concern about the loans. The minister, speaking in Beijing over the weekend, said Sri Lanka's finance minister would visit Beijing to discuss the roughly $5 billion owed to China. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the loans were made on the principle of mutual benefit and would help promote development in Sri Lanka. [ full story | comments ]

Bali Nine: Andrew Chan, Myuran Sukumaran to be moved to Nusakambangan island today, ahead of executions

[ ABC News ][ Mar 03 17:12 GMT ]

The ABC understands the Bali Nine duo are to be moved from their prison to the Indonesian island of Nusakambangan this morning, but the date of their executions is yet to be decided. Senior security and Indonesian justice sources have told the ABC it is due to happen this morning, with two saying that it will be around 6:00am (local time). [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka waiting for best time to raise up to $1.5 bln bond - c.bank gov

[ Reuters ][ Mar 03 17:08 GMT ]

Sri Lanka is waiting for an opportune moment to launch a sovereign bond of up to $1.5 billion this year, possibly with a longer tenure to roll over its debts, Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran told Reuters on Tuesday. Speculation over an interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve and Greece possibly exiting the euro zone have been weighing on emerging markets' bond pricing at the moment, Mahendran said. "So we want to wait for an opportune moment. When that volatility decreases then we will be able to get the best possible rate for our borrowing," he said. [ full story | comments ]

Kerry Says Sri Lanka Among Significant Successes Of UNHRC

[ Eurasia Review ][ Mar 03 16:38 GMT ]

While stating that no other state has worked harder than the USA to promote human rights, he added that although the ‘wheels of justice may not turn as rapidly as all of us would wish, the foundation for establishing justice has been prepared.’ “At the same time, we welcome that the constructive dialogue is being had between Sri Lanka and OHCHR and expect that such actions will lead to genuine reconciliation, a goal towards Japan will as much cooperation as possible,” the Japanese representative said. [ full story | comments ]

Yarl's Wood: undercover in the secretive immigration centre

[ Channel 4 News ][ Mar 02 21:11 GMT ]

The treatment of detainees inside the notorious Yarl's Wood immigration removal centre is revealed in exclusive footage obtained by a Channel 4 News investigation. Yarl's Wood, which holds nearly 400 detainees, is the UK's most secretive immigration detention centre. It has been plagued by damning accusations about the behaviour of guards since it opened in 2001. Cameras have never been allowed inside. Even the United Nations special rapporteur for violence against women was barred entry. [ full story | comments ]

International Justice Possible Only When in the Interest of Powerful States

[ ICTJ ][ Mar 02 16:25 GMT ]

So this is where we are—with politics and power prevailing over international justice and likely to do so in the future. It may be necessary to say, bluntly, that justice when it is done in the international arena is always victor’s justice: impunity will be punished only when it is in the interest of a powerful state that it should be so.Yes, this is a depressing view, but friends of international justice—and I count myself as one—do ourselves no favors when we comfort ourselves with illusions. [ full story | comments ]

Lanka's Main Tamil Party Cracks Whip on Hardliners

[ OutLook India ][ Mar 02 14:40 GMT ]

Sri Lanka's main Tamil party has censured two hardline members for their anti-party activities, including "unwarranted and unacceptable" criticism of its leaders. The Tamil National Alliance central committee condemned the conduct of lawmakers Suresh Premachandran and Ananthy Saseetharan for criticising party leader R Sampanthan and senior member MA Sumanthiran. The party resolution yesterday said Premachandran and Saseetharan were involved with a protest held in Jaffna on February 21, where an effigy of Sumanthiran was burnt. Sampanthan and Sumanthiran, regarded as moderates in the TNA, have been criticised by hardliners for taking part in the anniversary of Sri Lankan independence in February. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka: Friendly Foreign Ties Bring Great Rewards

[ Eurasia Review ][ Mar 02 14:36 GMT ]

The building of new bonds of friendship with the International Community, and cooperation with the United Nations and its special agencies are highlights of the policies enunciated by President Maithripala Sirisena that have brought encouraging results in the development of a Foreign Policy, to help develop new understandings on key aspects of social and economic progress in the country.Foreign observers of the changes taking place in the country since the major electoral change on January 8 this year, have noted this significant shift away from a policy that was insular in nature, and had little to offer the world by way of improved relations with countries with strong commitments to democracy and the humanitarian aspects of governance and social organization. [ full story | comments ]

MR dumps astrology

[ Daily Mirror ][ Mar 02 14:32 GMT ]

I ask him that the Sri Lankans I have met here say that Pakistan helped in quelling the Tamil insurgency. How so? “See, the US, Europe, the West, they are not our friends,” he says. “Pakistan helped us, especially Musharraf. What happened in my country and the insurgency happening in your country, RAW [India’s Research and Analysis Wing] is behind it.” I ask him how Pakistan and Sri Lanka can develop closer ties. “I have visited Pakistan twice and went to Taxila and saw the Buddhist relics,” he says. “People here don’t know about these things.” [ full story | comments ]

President Sirisena’s credibility faces tough test

[ Sunday Times ][ Mar 02 13:18 GMT ]

The Government this week crossed the half way mark of its hundred-day programme to fulfil promises made to the people during the campaign for the January 8 presidential election. Ironically that milestone has arrived with some election assurances remaining unfulfilled and was to take a turn for the worse on Thursday. The two major partners in the rainbow coalition — the United National Party (UNP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) — failed to reach accord on the impending constitutional changes when the subcommittee on the subject, appointed by the National Executive Council (NEC), met at ‘Temple Trees’, the one-time official residence of the former President and now used more as an office. [ full story | comments ]

Whose democracy is it anyway?

[ Groundviews ][ Mar 02 13:17 GMT ]

While domestic and international observers have been praising the peaceful transfer of power in early January, Sri Lanka’s civil conflict continues and Tamil rights remain in question. TSA has obtained a series of highly credible reports about people who disappeared during the final days of combat from September 2008 – May 2009. This year, the Government of Sri Lanka failed to publish a progress report on its January 2014 National Plan of Action for the Implementation of the LLRC Recommendations. Shockingly, the new administration has failed to acknowledge the recommendations of the LLRC in any capacity. [ full story | comments ]


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Notices
Featured News

[Reuters - Mar 03, 2015 17:18:50 GMT]

U.N. calls for accountability in Sri Lanka rights investigation


[The Diplomat - Mar 03, 2015 17:16:02 GMT]

China Continues to Court Sri Lanka


[ABC News - Mar 03, 2015 17:12:38 GMT]

Bali Nine: Andrew Chan, Myuran Sukumaran to be moved to Nusakambangan island today, ahead of executions


[Channel 4 News - Mar 02, 2015 21:11:27 GMT]

Yarl's Wood: undercover in the secretive immigration centre


[AFP - Mar 02, 2015 18:44:32 GMT]

Sri Lanka seeks foreign help with new war crimes probe


[ICTJ - Mar 02, 2015 16:25:11 GMT]

International Justice Possible Only When in the Interest of Powerful States


[GroundView - Mar 02, 2015 14:45:41 GMT]

Human Rights and 50 days of Sri Lanka’s new Presidency


[Sunday Times - Mar 02, 2015 13:18:42 GMT]

President Sirisena’s credibility faces tough test


[Groundviews - Mar 02, 2015 13:17:13 GMT]

Whose democracy is it anyway?


[CNN - Mar 02, 2015 13:15:57 GMT]

Dear Chandrika: Conversations with my missing wife


[The Guardian - Mar 01, 2015 15:23:39 GMT]

Rise of Sri Lanka’s luxury tourist resorts ‘fuels round of human rights abuses’


[Daily Mirror - Feb 28, 2015 15:07:25 GMT]

Tamil “Extremists” target Sampanthan and Sumanthiran of the TNA as “Traitors”


[HRW - Feb 28, 2015 14:51:05 GMT]

Sri Lanka: Press Ahead on Rights Reforms


[Reuters - Feb 28, 2015 14:48:40 GMT]

Sri Lanka concerned by China loans, rules out submarine visits


[PTI - Feb 28, 2015 14:46:39 GMT]

Missing persons hearing starts in Sri Lanka amid protests