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Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

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SwamyG
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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby SwamyG » 16 Sep 2015 18:15

And there was sethusamundaram controversy.

Tuan
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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Tuan » 16 Sep 2015 18:16

U.N. Urges Sri Lanka to Establish Court to Investigate War Abuses

GENEVA — The United Nations on Wednesday called on Sri Lanka to set up a special court, including international judges and lawyers, to investigate what it called “horrific” abuses committed by both sides during the country’s 26-year civil war, and by the government in the suppression of critics and opponents after it ended.

The recommendations came in a landmark report released on Wednesday, which found that both government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels had committed “the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole,” which it said could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

“Our investigation has laid bare the horrific level of violations and abuses that occurred in Sri Lanka, including extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, harrowing accounts of torture and sexual violence, recruitment of children and other grave crimes,” Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the United Nations’ top human rights official, said in a statement accompanying the report.

The creation of a special, hybrid court, involving Sri Lankan and international jurists, prosecutors and investigators, was just one proposed step in a process of far-reaching institutional reform that the United Nations said would be essential to achieving the reconciliation that has eluded the country since the civil war ended in 2009.

The 261-page report and a 19-page overview were produced by a core team of seven investigators with advice from three prominent international judicial experts. It followed years of resistance to an independent investigation by Sri Lanka’s former president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, who commanded the armed forces in the closing years of the civil war.

The election of President Maithripala Sirisena in January and the formation of a new government ushered in “a new political context in Sri Lanka which offers ground for hope,” Mr. al-Hussein said.

But though the report said the new government’s offer to introduce a domestic process for reconciliation was “commendable,” it bluntly asserted that circumstances in Sri Lanka would “require more than a domestic mechanism.”


Sri Lanka’s criminal justice system “is not yet ready or equipped,” it said, to conduct a credible investigation that would deal with the legacy of anger and skepticism left by the previous government, as well as the sheer scale and gravity of the violations committed during the conflict.

The report documents widespread killings by security forces and Tamil Tiger rebels during the civil war and the disappearance of tens of thousands of people, including large numbers who were never seen again after surrendering to government forces at the war’s end.

A particularly shocking finding, the report said, was “the extent to which sexual violence was committed against detainees, often extremely brutally, by the Sri Lankan security forces” during and after the conflict, with both men and women victimized.

Torture by the security forces was widespread, systematic and premeditated, particularly in the aftermath of the conflict, the report said, describing centers equipped with metal bars for beating, barrels of water for waterboarding and pulleys for suspending victims.

For their part, the Tamil Tigers abducted adults as part of a strategy of forced recruitment that intensified toward the end of the war, and they made extensive use of children in armed conflict, the report said.

“Ending the impunity enjoyed by the security forces and associated paramilitary groups, as well as holding to account surviving members” of the Tamil Tigers “will require political will” to ensure that such crimes do not recur, the report said.

Tuan
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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Tuan » 16 Sep 2015 18:17

SwamyG wrote:And there was sethusamundaram controversy.


What's the controversy about?

svenkat
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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby svenkat » 16 Sep 2015 20:10

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/jayalalithaa-moves-resolution-for-international-probe-on-alleged-war-crimes-in-sri-lanka/article7658982.
In a resolution adopted in Assembly, TN sought diplomatic efforts by Centre to change any possible pro-Sri Lanka stand adopted by US in the UN rights body.

The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Wednesday unanimously asked the Centre to move a “strong resolution” in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for an international probe into the alleged war crimes and genocide in the final phase of the civil war in Sri Lanka.

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa urged the Centre to move a resolution along with United States and other countries at the UNHRC for the international probe against all the perpetrators of the human rights violations and those responsible for the genocide.

“In case, the United States takes a pro-Lankan stand, India should take diplomatic efforts to change that,” Ms. Jayalalithaa said to the unanimous approval of the members in the House.


Moving the resolution, the Chief Minister said that the UNHRC will hold its sessions between September 14 and October 2. On September 30, there will be a debate on the Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights -Promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka.

It has been proposed take action based on the draft agreement on October 1 and 2, she said. Meanwhile, media reports suggested that the Sri Lankan government’s views had been sought on the report. In such a situation, there are apprehensions that a resolution favouring “internal inquiry” by the Sri Lankan government could be moved in the UNHRC. “It is against natural justice. India has a great responsibility to stop it,” Ms. Jayalalithaa said.

It was in this context it was decided to unanimously pass a resolution in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly urging the Centre to take steps through the UNHRC for an international probe, she explained.

The Chief Minister also recalled the earlier resolutions moved by her in the Assembly urging India not to treat Sri Lanka as a “friendly nation” and impose “economic sanctions” on the island nation for its war crimes.

Another resolution had demanded that India boycott a meeting of Heads of Commonwealth nations held in Sri Lanka in 2013, besides insisting on the non-participation of Sri Lankan players and officials in IPL matches in Chennai. “BCCI agreed and is following it till now,” Ms. Jayalalithaa said, hailing it as a victory for her government to the loud thumping of desks by the ruling partymen.

SwamyG
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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby SwamyG » 16 Sep 2015 20:44

Tuan wrote:
SwamyG wrote:And there was sethusamundaram controversy.


What's the controversy about?


http://bharatkalyan97.blogspot.com/2014 ... clare.html

Tuan
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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Tuan » 17 Sep 2015 02:32

Sri Lanka cannot domestically deal with 'grave crimes' found in OISL report says UN Rights Chief

The OHCHR investigation into Sri Lanka (OISL) indicates a pattern of violations that suggest that crimes against humanity and war crimes were likely committed, said the United Nations Human Rights Chief upon releasing the report on Wednesday.

Speaking at a press conference at the United Nations Human Rights Council, Zeid Hussein said,

“The report draws us closer to the conclusion... that crime against humanity and war crimes.... have apparently been committed by state actors,... the LTTE and paramilitary groups.”

Highlighting a “deep mistrust” between victims and the state, and “repeated failures by the state in providing justice,” the Human Rights Chief said that a significant recommendation from the report was the set up of a hybrid court to ensure there is no impunity for crimes of “such grave nature.”

Mr Hussein added, “a purely domestic procedure will not succeed in overcoming decades of broken promises… it is an inescapable reality that Sri Lanka’s criminal justice system is not ready to handle these types of crimes.”

He further called on Sri Lanka to show it's commitment to non-recurrence by ratifying the Rome Statute.

Please find a link to the full report here. See summary report here.

The report found that "there are reasonable grounds to believe that gross violations of international human rights law, serious violations of international humanitarian law and international crimes were committed by all parties during the period under investigation. Indeed, if established before a court of law, many of these allegations would amount, depending on the circumstances, to war crimes and/or crimes against humanity."

On denial of humanitarian assistance to Tamil civilians, the report added,

"OISL has reasonable grounds to believe that the Government knew or had reasons to know the real humanitarian needs of the civilian populations in the concerned areas, including from its own Government agents who were organizing assistance in the conflict zone, and yet it imposed severe restrictions on the passage of relief and the freedom of movement of humanitarian personnel"

On the nature of unlawful killings across the period of the investigation, the report added,

"SL security forces and paramilitary groups associated with them were implicated in unlawful killings carried out in a widespread manner against civilians and other protected persons during the period covered by the OISL’s report” specifically targeting Tamil politics, humanitarian workers and journalists but also ordinary civilians."

On future processes to deal with the findings of the report, the found that,

"Sri Lanka has not acceded to several key instruments, notably the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions, in particular Additional Protocol II, the International Convention on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. It does not have laws criminalising enforced disappearances, war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide. Its legal framework does not enable individuals to be charged with different forms of liability, notably command or superior responsibility."

Commenting on Sri Lanka's lack of cooperation with the UN, the rights chief added that, "there was no U turn in the support we had hoped would be extended to the investigation. Although some of the decisions that the current president and the government have taken clearly point in a positive direction, we all know much more still needs to be done. We believe we should have a role in assisting Sri Lanka."

Conclusions of the OISL report:

"The OHCHR investigation contained in this report was born out of the past failure of the Government of Sri Lanka to address accountability for the most serious human rights violations and crimes. Ending the impunity enjoyed by the security forces and associated paramilitary groups, as well as holding to account surviving members of the LTTE, will require political will and concerted efforts to ensure the non-recurrence of these violations and crimes.

The new Government’s commitments in this respect are welcome, but it needs to convince a very skeptical audience – Sri Lankan and international – that it is determined to show results. Prosecuting a few emblematic cases will not be sufficient; Sri Lanka needs to address the patterns of serious human rights violations and other international crimes that have caused such suffering for all communities over decades if it is to prevent them haunting its future.

The High Commissioner remains convinced that for accountability to be achieved in Sri Lanka, it will require more than a domestic mechanism. Sri Lanka should draw on the lessons learnt and good practices of other countries that have succeeded with hybrid special courts, integrating international judges, prosecutors, lawyers and investigators. Such a mechanism will be essential to give confidence to all Sri Lankans, in particular the victims, in the independence and impartiality of the process, particularly given the politicization and highly polarized environment in Sri Lanka. OHCHR stands ready to continue providing its advice and technical assistance in the design of such a mechanism.

The High Commissioner also believes the Human Rights Council has – and should continue to play – a critically important role in encouraging progress on accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka. As the process now moves into a new stage, he urges Council members to sustain their monitoring of developments in Sri Lanka with a view to further actions that may be required at the international level should there not be concrete results."

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby svenkat » 17 Sep 2015 07:32

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Zeid_bin_Ra%27ad

Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein (born 26 January 1964) is the current United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, having taken up this post in September 2014.[1] He is the son of Prince Ra'ad bin Zeid, Lord Chamberlain of Jordan, and his Swedish-born wife Margaretha Inga Elisabeth Lind, subsequently known as Majda Raad. Previously, he was Jordan's Permanent Representative to the United Nations. From 2007-2010 he served as Jordan's Ambassador to the United States and non-resident Ambassador to Mexico.


He was educated at Reed's School, Surrey, in England, then at Johns Hopkins University in the United States, where he was a prominent member of the university's rugby club and graduated B.A. in 1987.


His paternal grandmother was the renowned Turkish painter Princess Fahrelnissa Zeid who was married to Prince Zeid bin Hussein


Prince Zeid was married on the 5 July 2000 in Amman to Sarah Butler, known as Princess Sarah Zeid after her marriage, who was born in Houston, Texas, on 1 August 1972. She was educated at Prior's Field, Hurtwood House in Surrey, and has a BA in International Relations from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas and an MSC in Development Studies from SOAS, University of London. She was then employed with the United Nations Organization in New York City, where she served in the development program, the peace-keeping department and UNICEF. She is the daughter of Dr Godfrey Butler, a British geologist (PhD) and a consultant to international oil companies, and Jean H. Butler.[13]

Together they have three children:

Prince Ra'ad - born 17 May 2001
Princess Hala - born 13 March 2003
Princess Azziza - born 13 July 2009
Last edited by svenkat on 17 Sep 2015 07:39, edited 1 time in total.

svenkat
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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby svenkat » 17 Sep 2015 07:37


Tuan
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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Tuan » 17 Sep 2015 17:20

svenkat wrote:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Zeid_bin_Ra%27ad

Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein (born 26 January 1964) is the current United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, having taken up this post in September 2014.[1] He is the son of Prince Ra'ad bin Zeid, Lord Chamberlain of Jordan, and his Swedish-born wife Margaretha Inga Elisabeth Lind, subsequently known as Majda Raad. Previously, he was Jordan's Permanent Representative to the United Nations. From 2007-2010 he served as Jordan's Ambassador to the United States and non-resident Ambassador to Mexico.


He was educated at Reed's School, Surrey, in England, then at Johns Hopkins University in the United States, where he was a prominent member of the university's rugby club and graduated B.A. in 1987.


His paternal grandmother was the renowned Turkish painter Princess Fahrelnissa Zeid who was married to Prince Zeid bin Hussein


Prince Zeid was married on the 5 July 2000 in Amman to Sarah Butler, known as Princess Sarah Zeid after her marriage, who was born in Houston, Texas, on 1 August 1972. She was educated at Prior's Field, Hurtwood House in Surrey, and has a BA in International Relations from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas and an MSC in Development Studies from SOAS, University of London. She was then employed with the United Nations Organization in New York City, where she served in the development program, the peace-keeping department and UNICEF. She is the daughter of Dr Godfrey Butler, a British geologist (PhD) and a consultant to international oil companies, and Jean H. Butler.[13]

Together they have three children:

Prince Ra'ad - born 17 May 2001
Princess Hala - born 13 March 2003
Princess Azziza - born 13 July 2009


What's your point?

Philip
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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 17 Sep 2015 18:42

It is hilarious that the West wants to be the judge of the human rights abuses /war crimes in Sri Lanka,when its two most precious leaders,Dubya Bush and Tony B.Liar were the greatest war criminals since WW2 for their lies,chicanery and war crimes in Iraq,Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East,etc.

In the Lankan conflict,both sides behaved abominably at times.The LTTE consistently so,savaging both the Lankan forces,civilians and its own Tamil people who did not succumb to its terror and the despotism of Fuhrer Prabhakaran. After the Sri Lankans has effectively routed the Rajapakse regime,and a relative calm and peace rewturning to the island with the "entente cordial" fostered by the new national coalition of Sirisena and Ranil W,there appears to be vested outside forces who want a return to conflict,animosity and re-opening of old wounds that were healing.This latest attempt to invite itself into the war crimes investigation/court is really an attempt to yet again push India out into the sidelines!

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Vipul » 18 Sep 2015 01:54

Nitin Gadkari, Sri Lanka PM discuss $5.19 billion India-Lanka road project.

An ambitious $5.19 billion road project to connect India and Sri Lanka with a sea-bridge and an underwater tunnel is believed to have been discussed today by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari during his talks with visiting Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, called on Wickremesinghe here on Tuesday and discussed construction of a sea bridge and an underwater tunnel linking 22-km stretch between Talaimannar in the island nation and Dhanushkodi in India, official sources said.

To improve connectivity with the neighbouring nations, India has signed motor vehicle pacts with Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal and is also proposing to improve connectivity with Sri Lanka."Multi-lateral funding agency ADB, which has already agreed to finance infrastructure projects worth about $8 billion for Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) region, has also shown keen interest in financing $5.19 billion India-Sri Lanka proposed project," a source said.

Sources said it was also proposed during the meeting that a Secretary-level meeting along with the representatives of ADB can be held in Sri Lanka to discuss the project. India also wants Sri Lanka to join the BBIN Motor Vehicle Agreement, signed in June this year in Bhutan during Gadkari's visit there, which aims to facilitate cross-border movement of all types of vehicles in the BBIN region.

Work on the $8 billion road connectivity projects among Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) is likely to be completed within two years. India would also enter into another landmark motor pact with Myanmar and Thailand by year-end.

Gadkari had earlier said ADB is ready to finance the project "for providing connectivity to Sri Lanka".

He had said there was a missing link of narrow corridor of about 22 km in connectivity to Sri Lanka from Rameshwaram which is presently being serviced through makeshift ferry service arrangements. "We are working on the project and as soon as it is completed, Trans Asia Road and transport network could be extended to Sri Lanka," Gadkari had said.

From TOI:

As per the proposal, the rail-road project would be built in a manner that would allow unhindered movement of ships through the Pamban channel. There have been similar such underwater tunnels in other parts of the world and this project would not damage the Ram Sethu, officials said.

There is a missing link of narrow corridor of about 22 km which is presently serviced through makeshift ferry vessels. Once this project is completed, trans-Asia road and transport network could be extended to Sri Lanka. Sources said pillars can be erected on the sea bed where the water depth is less so that a bridge can be built. In case of stretches where the water is deep a submersible tunnel would be built.

Philip
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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 18 Sep 2015 10:51

Financially,it will be the deadest of dead ducks.The Channel Tunnel,built at huge cost ,despite a large amt. of passngers,goods,etc.,using the Chunnel,has yet to see any profit at all. Such a project is not going to see profit at all in the Indo-Lankan context.

A far better solution is to start regular ferry services from both west and east coast using modern car ferries,catamarans,which can be increased as demand picks up. Despite the Chunnel,the car ferries sailing between the UK and France do make money and are very popular!

I am totally against any bridge,tunnel,chunnel,whatever between India and Sri Lanka as Sri Lanka is a "dead end".There is nothing beyond other than the Indian Ocean.Whereas,in Europe,traffic uses the chunnel,ferries from all over the continent .There are regular car ferries/ro-ro ferries from the continent,Scandinavia,the Iberian peninsula,to England,Wales,Scotland,Ireland,etc. and vice versa.

JE Menon
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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby JE Menon » 18 Sep 2015 11:05

To answer your question SwamyG, this is a classic troll

>>I think if the tamilians are just wiped off the face of SL, then it would be just paradise, no?

Do you expect the genocidal answer "Yes"? From the people on BRF? If you expect "No", why ask the question of whether the sun rises in the West?

And you have done it again, "should I sign in hindi"? Either you are unaware that the BRF is in English, or you are trying to argue from sentiment and emotion rather than from fact.

Hold fast to the rope of reason - to misquote another profiteer from another time.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby A_Gupta » 22 Sep 2015 17:19

http://colombogazette.com/2015/09/22/in ... ence-ties/
India and Sri Lanka agree to expand defence ties

Tuan
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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Tuan » 22 Sep 2015 17:58

German foreign minister offers assistance for Sri Lankan probe of alleged war atrocities

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – Germany has offered assistance to Sri Lanka in its investigation of alleged atrocities during its civil war, in which thousands of people died.

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier made the offer in a meeting with his Sri Lankan counterpart on Tuesday.

Last week, the United Nations human rights chief recommended that Sri Lanka set up a special hybrid court that would include foreign judges and investigators to examine the alleged atrocities, saying Sri Lanka's own courts are not yet ready to carry out a fair judicial process.

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said then that the country wants to conduct its own investigation but would accept some outside technical support.

Steinmeier said Tuesday that the extent of international assistance should be deliberated at the U.N. Human Rights Council.

chetak
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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby chetak » 22 Sep 2015 18:24

Tuan wrote:German foreign minister offers assistance for Sri Lankan probe of alleged war atrocities

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – Germany has offered assistance to Sri Lanka in its investigation of alleged atrocities during its civil war, in which thousands of people died.

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier made the offer in a meeting with his Sri Lankan counterpart on Tuesday.

Last week, the United Nations human rights chief recommended that Sri Lanka set up a special hybrid court that would include foreign judges and investigators to examine the alleged atrocities, saying Sri Lanka's own courts are not yet ready to carry out a fair judicial process.

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said then that the country wants to conduct its own investigation but would accept some outside technical support.

Steinmeier said Tuesday that the extent of international assistance should be deliberated at the U.N. Human Rights Council.


what a puerile condescending attitude the effing german joker seems to have!!!!.

WTF were their "qualified" judges doing when their jackbooted jokers were polishing off the jews?? Were they not ready then??

Of all the miserable #$%&^ on this earth, the germans are the LEAST qualified to talk of investigating any sort of atrocities. Foreign judges and investigators????

Trust me, if it was some talibani gang that was exterminated, the world would be singing hosannas onlee. The xtian west is desperate to get a crusade like foothold in the island again and undermine the locals.

This concerted effort by the western goondas who pleaded the case of the ltte is agenda driven.

Tuan
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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Tuan » 22 Sep 2015 18:41

Philip wrote:Financially,it will be the deadest of dead ducks.The Channel Tunnel,built at huge cost ,despite a large amt. of passngers,goods,etc.,using the Chunnel,has yet to see any profit at all. Such a project is not going to see profit at all in the Indo-Lankan context.

A far better solution is to start regular ferry services from both west and east coast using modern car ferries,catamarans,which can be increased as demand picks up. Despite the Chunnel,the car ferries sailing between the UK and France do make money and are very popular!

I am totally against any bridge,tunnel,chunnel,whatever between India and Sri Lanka as Sri Lanka is a "dead end".There is nothing beyond other than the Indian Ocean.Whereas,in Europe,traffic uses the chunnel,ferries from all over the continent .There are regular car ferries/ro-ro ferries from the continent,Scandinavia,the Iberian peninsula,to England,Wales,Scotland,Ireland,etc. and vice versa.


Perhaps you overlooked the obvious political impact of the Indo-Lanka physical "connectivity". A bridge/road will not only undermine the idea of separatism in Sri Lanka's domestic context, but it will also ensure India's hegemony or supremacy over the entire Indian ocean region, in my opinion.

srin
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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby srin » 22 Sep 2015 19:12

^^^ And give us a huge influence in the northern parts.

Tuan
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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Tuan » 24 Sep 2015 02:29

Sri Lanka’s watershed moment

In the coming days, a United States-led core group at the United Nations Human Rights Council will put forward its resolution on accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka, responding in part to the OISL (Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Investigation into Sri Lanka) report released on Sept. 16.

The resolution, which is likely to be adopted by the council, will have a considerable bearing on the process of accountability in Sri Lanka. The UN report lays bare patterns of grave violations committed by the Sri Lankan armed forces and the rebel Tigers they were fighting. The abuses, ranging from unlawful killings, enforced disappearances and torture to sexual violence, abduction and forced recruitment of children are horrific by any standard. Six years after the war ended, victims continue to tirelessly chase truth and justice, which are all too evasive.


The report is significant, particularly in its timing. Sri Lanka has witnessed two historic elections this year. The presidential election in January saw the decisive defeat of authoritarian leader Mahinda Rajapaksa. In the more recent parliamentary polls, Sri Lankan voters rejected the divisive politics of Rajapaksa, who threatened to make a political comeback. The new government, with President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the helm, offers promise and a new opening. One that could help all Sri Lankans look at the country’s past with honesty and its future with hope. But the future course is not all that simple.

Domestic versus internationalized

The UN report’s recommendation that a hybrid special court be set up to probe what could potentially amount to war crimes sparked a fierce debate in Sri Lanka on a domestic versus a domestic-plus-international process. The Sri Lankan government has yet to indicate if it will allow international experts to assist in the process but has said a “credible, domestic mechanism” will be established within 18 months to probe the allegations. “Whoever is responsible, if proved, we will punish them without considering their rank or position,” Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera has said.

Sri Lankans are divided on the matter. While some of them invoke sovereignty to keep international actors out, others remain deeply skeptical of a domestic process, given Sri Lanka’s past failures in truth-seeking and justice. It is hard to believe that an independent or credible domestic inquiry is possible when many of the alleged perpetrators are state actors, including those in the armed forces. However, international participation comes with its own set of complications.

Rajapaksa lost the elections, but is not politically irrelevant. He still enjoys considerable support among the Sinhala majority, thanks to his masterfully constructed political image of “war-victor” and a force standing against “evil imperialist forces targeting the country.” So, any sign of the current government accommodating international actors will come at a huge political cost.

If it were to strategically allow international actors, the government would be compelled to adopt a hard line locally to strike a balance. The disparate positions will aid forces that divide the country on ethnic lines for political gains.

A majority of the Sinhalese population do not favor international involvement, while many Tamils prefer an entirely international mechanism and even a referral to the International Criminal Court, according to Sri Lankan human rights activist Ruki Fernando. “In such a context, a hybrid court is the middle path, taking into consideration that domestic mechanisms have proved to be incapable of ensuring accountability,” he told the Boston Globe via e-mail.

Even as the debate on a domestic versus internationally assisted process grows shrill as the final resolution draws near, it is likely that the resolution on the report is more sympathetic to the Sri Lankan government than the original report. The politics of the Human Rights Council and the reality of geopolitics are, after all, not mutually exclusive.

Departing from its earlier Sri Lanka policy, the United States now appears more inclined to back the country’s proposed domestic inquiry. After meeting with Sri Lankan leaders in Colombo last month, US Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal told reporters: “We support efforts to create a credible domestic process for accountability and reconciliation.” India’s known support to Sri Lanka at the council will also work in the island nation’s favor. It would not be surprising if the resolution limits international assistance to technical support.

Historic opportunity

Nevertheless, the report presents a unique, historic opportunity for Sri Lanka to address some of the most troubling chapters of its past. The nature and extent of crime committed by the armed forces and the LTTE (Liberation Tigers for Tamil Eelam) evidenced in the patterns of violations, are hard to brush under the carpet. This is perhaps the moment to acknowledge that.

In a significant shift in its position, the TNA (Tamil National Alliance) — the main Tamil party of Sri Lanka known to have supported LTTE — said in a statement following the report that it would lead the Tamil people in reflecting on the past, and use this moment as “a moment of introspection into our own community’s failures and the unspeakable crimes committed in our name.” This could not have been easy, given that the party’s support base includes many who remain sympathetic to the cause of the LTTE.

The Sri Lankan government must respond with similar courage and honesty. It will take enormous political will on the part of President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe to lead the Sinhalese people in a process of introspection and self-criticism. If the leaders are serious about moving forward, they will have to carry their people along in this journey of truth and reconciliation, paving way for mutual understanding, sensitivity, and sympathy.

Speaking to The Globe, Nirupama Subramanian, South Asia specialist and a senior editor of The Indian Express, said: “It is not going to be easy but if it is not done now, Sri Lanka will be stuck in the same rut. If Sri Lanka seizes the moment, it can write one of the most progressive chapters in South Asia’s history.”

Political solution is key

The process of accountability in Sri Lanka has to be accompanied by domestic pursuit of a lasting political solution. They are interdependent. Sri Lanka will not be able to look ahead without looking back. Likewise, unless leaders show tangible efforts towards a political solution, a shared future founded on equality and dignity will continue to evade the country.

Ahilan Kadirgamar, an activist and researcher based in the northern city of Jaffna, said: “The accountability process and the process to find a political solution will be a test for Sri Lanka’s divided polity to work together and move forward at this opportune moment.”

The current draft of the US-sponsored resolution, by some reports, has a passing reference to a “political settlement” among other conciliatory efforts.

“The resolution must speak of a political solution,” said TNA leader and Sri Lanka’s Leader of Opposition R. Sampanthan, in a telephone interview. “If there has to be an assurance of non-occurrence, there is a need for a comprehensive resolution of the Tamil question,” he said. “If that is to be assured, it is not feasible without a political solution,” he said.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Bhurishrava » 26 Sep 2015 10:16

Rajapaksa group is not going to be happy with the new resolution.

http://nation.lk/online/2015/09/26/the- ... esolution/

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby schinnas » 27 Sep 2015 09:16

I find the narrative in BRF interesting. Many argue that India should not poke its nose into Sri Lanka and that Sri Lanka is too small a country for concepts such as federalism. They also argue using the China card that India does not have leverage over Sri Lanka.

However, the same people argue that when it comes to Nepal, India needs to flex its muscles to enforce a federalist constitution that protects the rights of Madhesis who have Indian connection. Why not extend the same logic to SL Tamils? This double standard would be comical if not for its seriousness.

GoI adopting one stand in Nepal and a different stand in TN will not go down well with Tamils. Those that propogate such notions just do not understand the magnitude of error they are making.

It is in India's interest to work for a federalist constitution in all of its neighbors that have sizeable populations belonging to different ethnicity or language or religions. Sri Lanka and Nepal are two countries that actually need a federalistic set up to remain peaceful and prosper. The China card cannot be played beyond a point as China is thousands of kilometres away from Srilanka. When China card does not matter in Nepal which shares a long land border with China, it should not matter to Sri Lanka as well. Neither of these countries will commit suicide by moving away from India. It is time to be tough with both of them unitl they adopt federalistic constitution.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby arshyam » 27 Sep 2015 19:35

Like it or not, India has some distance to go in examining its own thoughts on this. Nepal will always be in the limelight, since they are an extension of the heartland. Whereas, SL will be a 'Tamil' problem, not a Hindu issue, not an Indic origin people issue (all ethnic groups in SL are Indic origin), not a human issue. Only a security issue, for those who care to know about those things. Rest don't even care, 'they are all Tamil onlee' types. Sadly, the ignorance is all-pervavise, BRF and 'Madras Cafe' like films not-withstanding.

Thanks to GoI's ham-handed way of handling language issues within India, we have a situation where some Hindi speakers feel more in kinship with our neighbour to the west than the long distance (from Delhi) southern folks. SL happens to be an extension of the same issue.

Having said that, the security aspect of it was well-handled within India. That ensured southern India stayed peaceful through this period and did not become like the NE, as chetak-ji said above.

Agree with your points otherwise. SL's best chance lays in a federal constitution with equal status given to all, like how India does. I think there is some understanding of this now, let's see how they take it forward. India should play an active role here in two areas: a) ensure Tamil rights are protected so ethnic issues don't happen again, and b) prevent any so-called benign neutral (read western) country from even setting foot. If they do, fully under our oversight, like this proposal for some international observers. And India has a favourable perception in SL, based on my observations. Definitely in the north, where they look to India to ensure equality, and to an extent in the south, where we ensured GoSL was fully backed. We need to build on this, and use this leverage to guide them forward. Integrating with our economy through the road/ferry connections will go a long way in redressing greivances.

Modi, by his actions, seems to get it, and has done some significant gestures that are not unnoticed. His lighting a lamp in a Hindu temple in the north during his previous visit wasn't unnoticed (see my next post, the priestinterviewee (he's a teacher, apparently) talks about lighting lamps in all abandoned temples in the north, and his hope on Modi doing the right thing).
Last edited by arshyam on 27 Sep 2015 20:09, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby arshyam » 27 Sep 2015 19:41

This was the video I was referring to in my previous post. Unfortunately, it's in Tamil, I will provide a gist when time permits. Essentially, he says this temple survived the war, and was respected by everyone including the SL army. He is hoping for a peaceful future, and expresses the hope that Modi will ensure temple lamps are re-lit across the land (a manner of saying revive a peaceful life across the war-ravaged north), and their future being with Sri Lanka as a united nation as equals. From a language perspective, his accent is a pleasure to listen to, and his Tamil is pure (as we say in Tamil, "kadhula thena kottardhu").


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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby chetak » 27 Sep 2015 19:44

schinnas wrote:I find the narrative in BRF interesting. Many argue that India should not poke its nose into Sri Lanka and that Sri Lanka is too small a country for concepts such as federalism. They also argue using the China card that India does not have leverage over Sri Lanka.

However, the same people argue that when it comes to Nepal, India needs to flex its muscles to enforce a federalist constitution that protects the rights of Madhesis who have Indian connection. Why not extend the same logic to SL Tamils? This double standard would be comical if not for its seriousness.

GoI adopting one stand in Nepal and a different stand in TN will not go down well with Tamils. Those that propogate such notions just do not understand the magnitude of error they are making.

It is in India's interest to work for a federalist constitution in all of its neighbors that have sizeable populations belonging to different ethnicity or language or religions. Sri Lanka and Nepal are two countries that actually need a federalistic set up to remain peaceful and prosper. The China card cannot be played beyond a point as China is thousands of kilometres away from Srilanka. When China card does not matter in Nepal which shares a long land border with China, it should not matter to Sri Lanka as well. Neither of these countries will commit suicide by moving away from India. It is time to be tough with both of them unitl they adopt federalistic constitution.


we need to close the open borders with nepal and adopt a standard policy with all neighbors. We do not need another bangladesh, however pious the protestations to the contrary. The open border was because we felt comfortable with a so called "Hindu" nation. If they have become "secular" for what ever reason and it is actually none of our business, we should institute normal passport controls, remove all extra constitutional provisions accorded to the nepalese and just get on with it. No way that they can have their cake and eat it too.

srilanka is really hoping to become a nepal with unhindered free access to India but they are actually a bangladesh in the making and we will live to rue the day if we don't watch out.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby arshyam » 27 Sep 2015 19:49

Another perspective, this time from the south (of SL). Smt. Kumaratunga speaks at the Hindu-Buddhist conclave held in New Delhi earlier this month. She does not explicitly says so, but clearly appears to be referring to Sri Lanka and the conflict that came about, and how to ensure equality for all in order to prevent conflict. Some good quotations from Buddhist scriptures as well. My only thought when listening to this speech was how could followers of Buddha come up with such a discriminative policy in the fifties and sixties, when the Buddha himself preached non-violence and respect for all. Another case of people being cut-off from their roots thanks to colonialism. What an unnecessary waste.

(Start at 45 mins elapsed, PM Modi speaks after her, but not necessarily about Sri Lanka)

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby arshyam » 27 Sep 2015 19:56

chetak wrote:srilanka is really hoping to become a nepal with unhindered free access to India but they are actually a bangladesh in the making and we will live to rue the day if we don't watch out.

Fair enough. Have the same uniform policy to all friendly nations in SAARC, except the one-that-shall-remain-unnamed. I am in favour of closing the Nepal border - they can still come and go, but will need some sort of identification, preferably a passport. The open border is being exploited by our ill-wishers (to put it euphemistically) to push in anything and everything, and Nepal is not equipped do anything about it.

No need to harm our security in the course of helping out our smaller neighbours.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby chetak » 27 Sep 2015 20:24

arshyam wrote:
chetak wrote:srilanka is really hoping to become a nepal with unhindered free access to India but they are actually a bangladesh in the making and we will live to rue the day if we don't watch out.

Fair enough. Have the same uniform policy to all friendly nations in SAARC, except the one-that-shall-remain-unnamed. I am in favour of closing the Nepal border - they can still come and go, but will need some sort of identification, preferably a passport. The open border is being exploited by our ill-wishers (to put it euphemistically) to push in anything and everything, and Nepal is not equipped do anything about it.

No need to harm our security in the course of helping out our smaller neighbours.


friendly to all (except the un named one) and special favor to none. Our national interest shall be supreme. This is how all countries play it. Why should we be any different.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby VKumar » 27 Sep 2015 20:33

To which state of India can one compare Sri Lanka, in terms of development etc?

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Tuan » 28 Sep 2015 05:38

arshyam wrote:Another perspective, this time from the south (of SL). Smt. Kumaratunga speaks at the Hindu-Buddhist conclave held in New Delhi earlier this month. She does not explicitly says so, but clearly appears to be referring to Sri Lanka and the conflict that came about, and how to ensure equality for all in order to prevent conflict. Some good quotations from Buddhist scriptures as well. My only thought when listening to this speech was how could followers of Buddha come up with such a discriminative policy in the fifties and sixties, when the Buddha himself preached non-violence and respect for all. Another case of people being cut-off from their roots thanks to colonialism. What an unnecessary waste.

(Start at 45 mins elapsed, PM Modi speaks after her, but not necessarily about Sri Lanka)


Funny you should mention that, explicit or implicit, C.B. Kumaratunga, a potential war criminal who was the executive president of SL from Nov/1994 to Nov/2005 and commander-in-chief of Operation Riviresa, during which thousands of innocent Tamil civilians were murdered, concludes in her peaceful, coexistence, religious and harmony speech by saying: “we have to resolve the root causes of any conflict, be it extremism or terrorism….” eh?

The fact is that since independence the minority Tamil-Hindus in Sri Lanka were continuously oppressed and discriminated by the majority Sinhala-Buddhists.

Has any successive chauvinistic Sinhala-Buddhist leader had the courage or will power to resolve the “root causes” of the Tamil dilemma over the sixty years since independence?

To date, the record is hardly encouraging.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby arshyam » 28 Sep 2015 05:40

^^ Whether she is or not, is for the people of Sri Lanka to decide. Not my place to make that call.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby chetak » 01 Oct 2015 19:23

Sri Lanka should unilaterally reject it. UNHRC has no business to poke it's nose.

This is patently a vengeful decision, sponsored by the very same forces who nurtured, supported and sponsored the ltte and willfully precipitated the crisis for their own ends.

The Indian Express ‏@IndianExpress 1h1 hour ago

JUST IN: UNHRC unanimously passes resolution to allow foreign judges, prosecutors to probe warcrimes in Sri Lanka.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby svenkat » 01 Oct 2015 20:27

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/unhrc-adopts-consensus-resolution-on-sri-lanka/article7712259.ece

The United Nations Human Rights Council, which is holding 30th session in Geneva, on Thursday adopted a resolution, through consensus, on alleged human rights violations during the Eelam War in Sri Lanka.

Sponsored by the United States, United Kingdom and a few others, the resolution was backed by Sri Lanka.

The adoption of the resolution marked a high point of the current session of the UNHRC which commenced on September 14 and concludes on Friday.

The resolution envisages the establishment of a Sri Lankan judicial mechanism to investigate allegations of violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law. The proposed mechanism will include Commonwealth and other foreign judges, defence lawyers and authorised prosecutors and investigators.

There was no voting and there were no last-minute changes in the text of the draft resolution, which was submitted by the sponsors on September 24, according to a spokesperson of the Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby svenkat » 01 Oct 2015 21:19


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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby svenkat » 01 Oct 2015 21:37

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/anbumani-for-international-probe/article7709205.ece

PMK MP Anbumani Ramadoss on Wednesday made a strong case for international inquiry into the war crimes and human rights violations in the last leg of the civil war in Sri Lanka, saying that the Sri Lankan government facing accusations had no locus standi to take any decision on the issue.

Participating in a debate on the inquiry report on human rights violation by the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner at Geneva, Dr. Anbumani pointed out that the new government in Sri Lanka had refused to allow the inquiry commission headed by the UNHRC commissioner.

“Tamils continue to live in fear as refugees in their own land. The Army has occupied their land and properties,” Dr. Anbumani said, urging India to move a resolution in the UNHRC in support of an international inquiry.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby svenkat » 01 Oct 2015 21:52

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-international/tna-hails-usbacked-resolution-on-sri-lanka/article7703759.ece

The draft resolution on Sri Lanka tabled at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) by the U.S. and other countries has addressed the main issues of accountability and reconciliation, according to the Tamil National Alliance leader, R. Sampanthan.

The involvement of Commonwealth and other foreign judges, defence counsel, prosecutors and investigators would give the judicial process “much greater degree of credibility”, the TNA chief told The Hindu on Tuesday. “You can’t blame the people who are sceptical [of the domestic judicial process] because the previous experiences were quite bad.”

The references in the resolution to the need to evolve an acceptable political solution and the proposed review of implementation of the resolution at the 32nd and 34th sessions of the UNHRC are “welcome features”, he said.

“This is perhaps the best possible resolution that could have been achieved at the UNHRC on the basis of a consensus.” Mr. Sampanthan also recalled that resolutions on Sri Lanka were adopted at the UNHRC during 2012-2014 through voting.

Asked whether he was confident of the full implementation of the resolution, the TNA leader said that a “honest implementation will become inevitable,” against the context of “a resolution based on consensus.” He urged all to join together to make sure that the resolution was “honestly implemented in the interests of the whole country and all people living in the country.”

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 02 Oct 2015 04:07

People keep on making the same false assumptions about the ethnicity and attitudes of the Sri Lankans.Like "Tamils" for instance.There are 4 distinct Tamil groups in the island who have nothing in common ,politically,other than that thye speak tamil.Jaffna Northern Tamils (Prabhakaran and co. included,whoa ssassinated Rajiv),Eastern Tamils,Plantation Tamils and "Indian"Tamils-trading community in Colombo.We ,India that is,keep on stroking the Jaffna Tamils while forgetting the rest.A prominent Lankan told me that he was amazed at India not doing anything for "its people",the Plantation Tamils ,simply forgetting about them.And then there are the Muslims who speak also speak Tamil.Shouldn't they aalso be called "Tamils"? :rotfl: By the way,"Muslims" too come in diff. species."Moors" the originals,from Oman,who settled down around Beruwela on the south coast. Then the Tamil speaking Muslims of the east round Trinco,Batticaloa,etc.You than have the Bohras of Colombo,whose head is the Syedna of Bombay and more Muslims around Chilaw north of Negombo,which is v.Catho.

"Sinhala Buddhist".They should instead be called the "Sinhalese",not Sinhala,or "Sinhalas"which is the language spoken.During colonial times it was spelt "Cingalese". Now not all Sinhalese are Buddhists for the information of friends! Its like the old saying that "all Sikhs are Singhs but not all Singhs are Sikhs"! All Buddhists,almost all, may indeed be Sinhalese,but there are many Sinhalese who are not Buddhists but Christian,RCs and Protestants,and the famous "Ceylon Pentecostals". Many Sinhalese follow all religions! Almost everyone worships at Kataragama,a temple dedicated to Lord Skanda/Murugan.A new car has to be taken first to Kataragama and blessed there.The Capt.Gardens kovil in Colombo is v.popular among the Colombo elite. The Sinhalese also have the castes,"Gs",Gowigamas,landowners.farmers,Salagamas-cinnamon peelers,Halis-toddy tappers,Karawas-fisherfolk. Old Soyza of the "Ks" was the richest bloke in Victorian/colonial times.Owned half of Colombo,great maansions,some splendid ones survive to this day.Entertained the Prince of Wales,built new houses for the occasion and ordered a massive dining set from Royal Doulton it is said for entertaining the prince.Lastly the Radelyas-Kandyan aristocracy,Bandaranaikes,etc., (Nayaka Pandaram),the "B" family who trace their origin to a priestly one originally from Benares,via the Madurai kingdom,where one Brahmin priest "Perumal" by name,nayaka pandaram was sent to the king of Kandy.
In fact almost everyone in the island trace their ancestry to India! Oops! I forgot the small but entertaining and important "Burghers".Like the Anglo-Indians in India,they are of mixed European/Dutch and Lankan ancestry.Most Burghers have Dutch surnames.Its quite funny really .You have the DBU."Dutch Burgher Union",then some say "machan,they are English Burghers,not bl**dy Dutch men",then come the "Batty Burghers",from Batticaloa,more of Portugese descent,looked down by the "Dutch Burghers",but the Batty Burghers are responsible for the delightful Baila music of Ceylon/Lanka! I'm still waiting for the day when I discover a "Ham-Burgher"as well!

Unfortunately,our TN politicos support those Tamils who make the most trouble! A small % of the Sinhalese were responsible for the '83 riots,etc., and similarly a small % of "Tamils" of the north ,the LTTE,were responsible for their atrocities.The vast majority of Sinhalese Sri Lankans, are peace loving happy-go-lucky fellows,more interested in having a good time,watching cricket or rugger,"sniffing up a skirt", or "cupping" a boy if you "bat for the other side"! A swim at the beach and opening a bottle of arrack to celebrate any occasion. More strength to their arm (to open more bottles) and Woe to the trouble makers of this island paradise!

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby schinnas » 02 Oct 2015 07:21

Philipji,
It is not fully upto us to call Tamil Muslims in Srilanka as Muslims. The fundamentalism has gone rampant and Muslims whether they are in Srilanka or tamilnadu or Karnataka are increasingly identifying themselves with their religious identity than ethnic or linguistic identity.

That was one of the reasons LTTE and SL Muslims (vast majority Tamils) were at loggerheads.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 04 Oct 2015 20:02

This was because Prabhakaran massacred Muslims in the north and east.Until that time most Muslims were proud that they spoke Tamil.Theyw ere mainstream voters at elections The Lankan Muslim identity and rise of pan Muslim parties is post '83 after they felt insecure.Earlier most Muslims voted for mainstream parties.Rajapakse and family also contributed their bit to alienate the Muslims with the sponsored anti-Muslim riots in the south before the last pres. election,why the Muslim electorate voted en-bloc against him.Lankan Muslims have rarely been fundamentalist despite the Saudi and Paki attempts,though Rajapkase's antics may have sent some youth on the Islamic jihadi path.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Sachin » 05 Oct 2015 17:41

Is'nt it true that Prabhakaran made his first kill, that of Alfred Dorayappa (a X'tian) while he came out from a Hindu temple after his prayers?

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Arjun » 05 Oct 2015 18:43

Sachin wrote:Is'nt it true that Prabhakaran made his first kill, that of Alfred Dorayappa (a X'tian) while he came out from a Hindu temple after his prayers?

http://www.asiantribune.com/?q=node/12404

Dorayappa was visiting the Vishnu temple and was murdered by Prabhakaran (believed to be a Christian) before Dorayappa entered the temple.


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