13 March 2009
In a call made to Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa, U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton 'expressed the United States' deep concern over the deteriorating conditions and increasing loss of life occurring in the Government of Sri Lanka-designated 'safe zone' in northern Sri Lanka,' and 'stated that the 'Sri Lankan Army should not fire into the civilian areas of the conflict zone,' a press release issued by the U.S. State Department said. Meanwhile, US State Department South Asia official, Diane Kelly, commenting on 'distorted' accounts appearing on some Sri Lanka websites, said: "there was a call, but it was not the sunny news relayed."
12 March 2009
The EU Parliament Thursday passed a resolution, with a large majority, calling for immediate ceasefire between the Sri Lanka Army and Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam in order to allow the civilian population to leave the combat zone. Condemning all acts of violence against civilians in the safe zone and expressing serious concern for the plight of the people in the refugee camps run by the Sri Lankan government, the EU Parliament demanded full and unhindered access to international and national humanitarian organisations, as well as journalists to the combat zone and to the refugee camps.
10 March 2009
US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton and visiting Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon met for 45 minutes in Washington, Monday. “A discussion of one regional issue, in particular, was Sri Lanka -- the importance of trying to find a way to make sure that whatever happens in the armed conflict, that there is a political settlement in the future that both the US and India can help create, and participate in", reports Rediff News Tuesday, citing Administrative sources in Washington.
04 March 2009
Congressman Walter B Jones representing North Carolina's 3rd District, in a letter of support sent to the United States Attorney General, Eric Holder, said that the "Department of Justice must take care to review all issues brought to its attention," in the model indictment submitted early February, and requested that the Justice Department to "review this document thoroughly." Congressman Jones serves in the House Committee on Armed Services and in the Committee on Financial Services.
02 March 2009
Commenting on British Foreign Secretary David Miliband's statement in the British Parliament that "a failed [UN] resolution- one that faces a veto- is worse than no resolution at all," Prof Boyle, an expert in international law and a professor at University of Illinois College of Law, said that "Uniting for Peace Resolution of 1950" allows a vetoed resolution to be turned over to United Nations General Assembly for action. "The General Assembly can and must do the same with respect to the genocidal plight of the Tamils in Sri Lanka [...] Britain is simply trying to dodge its own obligation under Article I of the Genocide Convention "to prevent" the genocide against the Tamils by Sri Lanka," Prof Boyle added.
26 February 2009
The uncontradicted testimony of Dr. Anna Neistat, Human Rights Watch, in Tuesday's U.S. Foreign Relations Subcommittee Hearings of Sri Lanka concluded that the "Sri Lankan Armed Forces are guilty of war crimes, including the indiscriminate shelling of areas packed with displaced Tamil civilians and of hospitals; the use of imprecise multi-barrel rocket launchers; acute or complete restrictions on humanitarian aid; the operation of militarily controlled “concentration camps” for Tamil civilians without freedom of movement or communications or adequate medical or other assistance," said Bruce Fein, in a letter sent to the Subcommittee following the Hearings.
26 February 2009
The twenty-six year old armed conflict between the armed forces of the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has reached a phase that can only be called genocide-like and catastrophic for the Tamil people in the north and east of the island, said human rights expert Karen Parker, Wednesday to the subcommittee of the US Senate, hearing on the situation in the island of Sri Lanka. Describing the war waged by Colombo as illegal military operations, using illegal weapons or legal weapons in an illegal manner without any international monitoring, she urged the US government to call for an immediate ceasefire and address it most forcefully to the Rajapaksa administration.
09 February 2009
Subtly, but significantly differing from Tokyo Co-chairs, the Nordic Foreign Ministers who met in Oslo on Monday came out with a statement not insisting on LTTE's surrender but stressing on the interim no-fire period and a central role for UN and ICRC in receiving the IDPs from the conflict zone, adhering to international standards.
03 February 2009
In a statement issued Tuesday, U.S. Judiciary Committee Chairman and Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy said that "it is imperative that the government and the LTTE agree to an immediate ceasefire to avoid further loss of life, permit access to UN monitors and humanitarian organizations, and permit civilians to leave for areas of safety. The Obama administration, the British, Indian and other concerned governments, should be publicly urging the same," and added that "over the longer term, if lasting peace is to come to Sri Lanka, the government must effectively address, in negotiations which include all the main Tamil and Muslim parties, the core issues that have fueled the conflict including laws and policies that unfairly discriminate against Sri Lanka’s minorities."
03 February 2009
Deputy Leader of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the ruling Labour Party (AP) of Norway, Marit Nybakk, on Monday came hard on Colombo government for violating the International Law. "Sri Lanka should adhere to the Geneva Conventions under the prevailing war conditions," she said and condemned Colombo for committing genocide. Norwegian politicians across political parties addressed Norwegian Tamils at a public meeting in Oslo and said they were concerned why Co-chairs of Sri Lanka Peace Process are yet to respond to the current phase of the crisis.
26 January 2009
The Regional Director of Health Services (RDHS) for Mullaiththeeev district, Dr. T. Varatharajah in an urgent appeal to the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL), ICRC, the United Nations and the International Community has urged to send medical supplies and medical teams to the district to assist its medical staff.
Bruce Fein, former U.S. Deputy Associate Attorney General and currently counsel for the US-based group Tamils Against Genocide, addressing a select gathering of media persons and intellectuals organized by the Max Foundation in Chennai Friday, told the audience that there is enough evidence to criminally convict U.S. citizen Gotabaya Rajapakse and U.S. Green card holder Lt.Gen. Sarath Fonseka in the U.S. Federal Courts for "intent to commit Genocide" in Sri Lanka, sources from Chennai said.
Norwegian Development Minister Erik Solheim says Norway remains committed to helping end the conflict
24 October 2008
The intensifying civil war in Sri Lanka is provoking widespread anger in the neighbouring southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu over the plight of the Tamil minority in the conflict and the Indian government's support for the Sri Lankan army.
22 October 2008
Tamil parties threaten to withdraw from India's Parliament, but some see this as an attempt to wrest more seats in upcoming elections.
20 February 2008
The now defunct Ceasefire Agreement in Sri Lanka was mooted and shadow-managed by the BJP government, according to Indian journalist, M.R. Narayan Swamy. Wickramasinghe and Pirapaharan were aware of this top secret mission of India, supervised by Vajpayee's Advisor Brajesh Mishra, but not J.N. Dixit who succeeded him with the change of government in May 2004. Dixit had to learn it from Wickramasinghe. The CFA signed in February 2002 was unilaterally withdrawn by the Sri Lanka government in January 2008. Swamy's revealing and the chronology of events implicate the Congress establishment and the ego war of the Chanakyas (Machiavellis) of New Delhi in belligerency returning to Sri Lanka.
17 Nov 2008, 0012 hrs IST, Amrith Lal
The war in Sri Lanka always finds an echo in Tamil Nadu. Political parties and civil society groups including members of the film industry have
now brought the issue to a boil. The situation in Sri Lanka is indeed grave: Over 2, 00, 000 people of Tamil origin are fighting for survival in extreme conditions in the Wanni region in north Sri Lanka.
Some of the scepticism about the current protests in Tamil Nadu is valid. Is the demand for a ceasefire a pretext to help the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) buy time and regroup, and not about providing relief for civilians caught in the crossfire between two armies? Is the political class in Tamil Nadu simply using the ruse of human rights violation of Tamils to advance the agenda of the LTTE?
13 March 2009 A bipartisan group of seven senior U.S. Senators in a letter to Foreign Secretary Hilary Clinton blamed the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers for the "impending catastrophe," and said: "The situation in Sri Lanka is unacceptable and must be remedied as quickly as possible. We commend your recent statement with UK Foreign Minister David Milliband that called on the government and the LTTE to adhere to a ceasefire, allow access to humanitarian agencies, and resume political discussions to bring the long-standing ethnic conflict to an end. An enduring peace can be achieved only through a political solution that treats the Tamil minority as equal citizens under the law. Without such an agreement, the violence will only continue."
12 March 2009 A group of 38 United States members of Congress sent a joint letter today to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and to the US Ambassador to the United Nations, Dr. Susan Rice, highlighting the humanitarian crisis faced by Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka, and expressing concern over conditions in the internment camps, calling for bringing the issue to the UN Security Council, and encouraging active U.S. leadership to bring about a long-delayed political settlement.
02 March 2009 A Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom, Dr. Rachel Joyce, apologised Sunday for the error of Colonial Britain in making a unitary Ceylon out of two nations, the Tamils and the Sinhalese. “The Tamil people have lived on the island currently called Sri Lanka for millennia - in their own contiguous, distinct, geographical territory. They lay claim only to the territory they have historically lived in. In fact, the 3 million Tamils of the island constituted a self governing nation until invaded and occupied by Colonial powers – in particular Britain, who amalgamated them with the Sinhala nation purely for convenience. In retrospect, this cultural naivety was a mistake that has caused problems since independence,” she said in a meeting held at Harrow, where Bruce Fein, a constitutional expert from the United States was the guest speaker.
26 February 2009 "We, the undersigned leaders of workers' parties, demand that the government of Sri Lanka stop attacks that can destroy thousands of Tamils and agree to a ceasefire with the LTTE to start discussions in order to install an interim government for the Tamil homeland," said a resolution passed Wednesday at the International Committee of the Fourth International, consisting over 50 political parties and organisations, spread throughout the five continents of the world. Dr. Vickramabahu Karunarante of the NSSP of Sri Lanka mooted the resolution, which was unanimously accepted.
26 February 2009 Since the British Foreign Minister has now publicly admitted on behalf of his Government that Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) is "quite prepared to go ahead with acts of genocide," then under Article I of the Genocide Convention, the British government has a legal obligation "to prevent" this expected genocide of the Tamils by GoSL, said Professor Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law, in a note sent to TamilNet.
04 February 2009 US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband on Tuesday jointly called on the warring parties in the island of Sri Lanka to "not to fire out of or into" the safe zone and in the "vicinity of Puthukkudiyiruppu (PTK) hospital or any other medical structure". The statement has come, following the claims of Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa that PTK hospital was a "legitimate" target, delivering a clear message to Colombo saying that the parties "must respect the international law of armed conflict.
Asserting that Mahinda Rajapakse regime is “the darkest, the most brutal and the most ruthless,” that has ruled Sri Lanka, Mangala Samaraweera, the convenor SLFP (M), in an interview published in this weekend Sunday Leader, said that he will “seek an appointment with the US State Department and the incoming Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton,” to offer evidence related to human rights violations committed by “Gotabaya [Rajapakse] and Basil Rajapakse as well as Sarath Fonseka…The US must deal with these people. They have an obligation to deal with them.
Jan Egeland, the former UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, in a commentary article published in a leading newspaper in Norway on Saturday has called for world attention on forgotten conflicts where situation has deteriorated while the focal point of the world was centered on Gaza. "With catastrophic consequences to an already exhausted civilian population, the army of Sri Lanka has taken upon the guerrilla controlled areas," he writes.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called Thursday for an immediately negotiated ceasefire between the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE), stating that the ceasefire should enable aid deliveries and medical care for the civilians in the disputed areas.
17 January 2009
The Tamil Nadu State Secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI), D Pandian charged Saturday that it was not enough to merely condemn the genocide in Sri Lanka, but instead one should be prepared to embrace a martyr's death.
17 January 2009
Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) leader Dr S Ramadoss, who visited VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan, now in his fourth day of a fast-unto-death over the humanitarian crisis imposed on Tamil civilians by Sri Lanka’s punitive bombardments, exhorted Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi to act urgently to invoke Indian intervention to stop the war.
India should stop war, instruct Colombo to talk to Tigers - BJP Tamil Nadu
17 January 2009
A senior leader of BJP, a major national political party of India, visited Friday Thol. Thirumavalavan, the VCK President who is on a fast-unto-death demanding the Central government of India to stop the war being waged by Colombo against Eezham Tamils.
From Tehelka Magazine, Vol 5, Issue 28, Dated July 19, 2008
A covert war against the LTTE is underway as India deepens its military engagement with Sri Lanka
SETTING ASIDE domestic Tamil sensitivities, the Indian government appears to have involved itself in a full-fledged proxy war in Sri Lanka. While claiming to have adopted a hands-off policy with regard to its neighbour’s continuing ethnic conflict between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the forces of the Sinhalese government, India is extending the latter its covert support. This was revealed by Sri Lanka’s army chief, Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka, last week during an interaction with members of the Foreign Correspondents’ Association in Colombo. “Eight hundred of our officers are trained (in India) every year; free of cost,” Fonseka is reported to have said. “India gives them an allowance for the duration of their courses there. The support from India is huge.”
Mohan Tikku’s new book condenses the tumultuous history of Sri Lanka with perspective and empathy, saysMR NARAYAN SWAMY
This is a gem of a book. Only a journalist with perspective and empathy could have condensed so well the tumultuous history of Sri Lanka in so few pages. Tikku, who spent many years in Colombo coinciding with the times Indian troops battled the LTTE in Sri Lanka, has missed nothing. And he has not minced words either. Tikku is clear what he feels has gone wrong with an island that in the 1970s was wooed by the ASEAN but today struggles to stay afloat, locked in a bleeding ethnic conflict that shows no signs of ending.
Tamil Eelam, the LTTE’s long-standing demand, is today a de facto reality. The Tigers run their own courts, police and generate funds for their economy. VK Shashikumar spent three weeks in the liberated zone. His report
Can anyone write the lines of my unwritten poem?
In a land where fantasies of freedom outnumber bloody memories, even two decades of war have failed to answer Captain Malathi’s poetic query. She was 20, the first woman fighter of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to die in combat. Thousands of young men and women laid down their lives to give meaning to her lines. Finally, the tsunami did what a violent ethnic conflict couldn’t. It made Eelam, the Tamil homeland, a de facto reality. The tsunami brought the world to this war-blighted corner of Sri Lanka. The ocean drowned the past and left behind the hopes for a new beginning.