Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

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A_Gupta
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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby A_Gupta » 17 May 2019 06:06

^^^^ There is no veto in the UNHRC.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby A_Gupta » 17 May 2019 06:08

In 2015 the government of Sri Lanka co-sponsored UNHRC resolution 30/1 on ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’. In 2017 Sri Lanka received a two-year extension to implement its own commitments. At its fortieth session, the UNHRC adopted a new resolution on 21 March 2019 co- sponsored by the government of Sri Lanka, giving it a further two years to implement outstanding promises in full. UNHRC resolution 30/1 commits Sri Lanka to ‘establish a judicial mechanism with a special counsel to investigate allegations of violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, as applicable; affirms that a credible justice process should include independent judicial and prosecutorial institutions led by individuals known for their integrity and impartiality; and also affirms in this regard the importance of participation in a Sri Lankan judicial mechanism, including the special counsel’s office, of Commonwealth and other foreign judges, defence lawyers and authorized prosecutors and investigators.”

Also in 2015, the then UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussain called for the establishment of a hybrid special court adding, “a purely domestic court procedure will have no chance of overcoming widespread and justifiable suspicions fueled by decades of violations, malpractice and broken promises.”

However, on 20 March 2019, Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister responding to the OHCHR report on Sri Lanka’s implementation of resolution 30/1 stated, ‘The Government of Sri Lanka at the highest political levels, has both publicly and in discussions with the present and former High Commissioners for Human Rights and other interlocutors, explained the constitutional and legal challenges that precludes it from including non-citizens in its judicial processes. It has been explained that if non-citizen judges are to be appointed in such a process, it will not be possible without an amendment to the Constitution by 2/3 of members of the Parliament voting in favour and also the approval of the people at a Referendum.’


https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/ ... -progress/

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Tuan » 17 May 2019 06:31

A_Gupta wrote:^^^^ There is no veto in the UNHRC.


Ah... what I meant was that China voted against the US led resolution supporting the SL military.


U.N. launches Sri Lanka war crimes investigation
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-sril ... NA20140327
A total of 23 states voted in favor, 12 against and 12 abstained. States that voted against included China and Pakistan, while Sri Lanka's neighbor, India, abstained.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby A_Gupta » 17 May 2019 06:45

^^^ You're providing 2014 news.

To remember:

1. Trump withdrew the US from the UNHRC in June 2018 -- meaning no US pressure on Sri Lanka.

2. Here is UNHRC resolution A/HRC/40/L.1 March 13, 2019.
https://undocs.org/A/HRC/40/L.1
It is co-sponsored by Sri Lanka.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby A_Gupta » 17 May 2019 06:54

I'll note that if it appears that in two years, Trump will be out of power, the US will rejoin the UNHRC and still retain an interest in pushing Sri Lanka; and in a couple of weeks, India will have coalition government with a strong Tamil Nadu component that is able to force the Indian government to go after Sri Lanka; and from this appearance, it is imperative to get a different Sri Lankan leader in place to protect the guilty in Sri Lankan intelligence; even so,

(a) UNHRC is toothless and
(b) both China and Russia will veto anything that makes its way to the Security Council.
(c) why would you provoke anti-Muslim violence on that will simply rile up the OIC component of the UN?

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Tuan » 17 May 2019 06:59

A_Gupta wrote:^^^ You're providing 2014 news.

To remember:

1. Trump withdrew the US from the UNHRC in June 2018 -- meaning no US pressure on Sri Lanka.

2. Here is UNHRC resolution A/HRC/40/L.1 March 13, 2019.
https://undocs.org/A/HRC/40/L.1
It is co-sponsored by Sri Lanka.


Here is an article from April this year on the latest developments in Geneva.
UNHRC Resolution, Guided by India, to Give Breather to Sri Lankan Government - The Wire

Just before the UN Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) session ends mid-week, the Geneva-based body will adopt by consensus a new resolution – proposed by the UK, Canada and Germany – that will give time till 2021 for the Sri Lankan government to fully implement commitments it made four years ago.

Sources said that India had been kept informed “at every stage” about the drafting of the resolution by the UK. This is the first time that the US is not taking the lead, since it withdrew from the HRC last year.

This is the first regular session that India will participate as a member of UNHRC, after a mandatory gap in 2018 of one year following two consecutive terms.

According to sources, various countries were aware of the very recent turbulent political history and the fraught ties between President Maithripala Sirisena and Wickremesinghe.

“It was felt that the government required a break and this was not the right time to impose any stringent strictures,” said an Indian government official.

However, some Nordic countries with large Sri Lankan Tamil diasporas, had tried to introduce stronger language in the text. This was when India intervened to “remind” the international community about the current circumstances in Sri Lankan polity, sources noted.

However, officials said that there was largely not much intervention required, as there was consensus among the international community about the need to give the government some breathing space. “We didn’t have to do too much,” said the official.
This will certainly be good news for Wickremesinghe, who has been embattled domestically, with presidential election due in Sri Lanka within a year.

This agreement came despite Sri Lanka not having a good record of meeting its assurances on reconciliation and transitional justice.

According to a Sri Lankan think-tank, Verite Research, Colombo has fully implemented only six out of 36 commitments made by the government in resolution 30/1. There has been no progress on the creation of a judicial mechanism with foreign elements, but the Office of Missing Persons was set up last year in February.

The UN human rights commissioner’s report on Sri Lanka, which will be discussed on March 20, has acknowledged some of the steps taken by the government, but continued to be critical about the pace of accountability reforms.

However, with Sri Lanka co-sponsoring the resolution, as it had done with two previous iterations, officials said that the text would be adopted without the need for a vote.

After the adoption, India’s statement will include references to the need to take into account the sentiments of the Tamil population. There could also be a rare public mention of the full implementation of the 13th amendment that decentralises power to provincial councils. India had been a key advocate for the 13th amendment, but it has largely been absent from recent statements.

The scenario would have been different if President Sirisena had gone ahead with his proposal to send a separate delegation on his behalf to the Palais de Nations in Geneva.

On March 6, Sirisena informed heads of media organisations that he will be sending a three-member team his behalf, led by former foreign minister Mahinda Samarasinghe. He also indicated that Sri Lanka will not co-sponsor the resolution and would instead ask the international community to abandon plans for investigation into alleged atrocities. “I want to tell them [the UN] not to pressure us…What I want to tell them is don’t dig the past and reopen old wounds,” he said.

Observers had felt that Sirisena, who has been unable to convince the joint opposition to field him as their presidential candidate, had been hoping to earn some brownie points by advocating a Sinhala nationalist position against the prosecution of security personnel over alleged incidents of war crimes during the civil war. Leader of opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa has been opposed to Sri Lanka co-sponsoring the resolution.

A few hours later on the same day, a two-page joint press release was issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Department of Government Information and the Prime Minister’s Office that Sri Lanka would be co-sponsoring the resolution. In effect, there would have been two separate delegations from Sri Lanka at UNHRC’s 40th session.

Taking a dig at Sirisena, the press release stated, “The allegations made against the co- sponsoring of the roll-over resolution by the GOSL is part of the campaign to mislead the public and gain undue political advantage.” It also blamed the “infamous constitutional coup of 26th October, 2018” for the delay in bringing in some of the required legislation to implement commitments.

After months of estrangement, Sirisena had removed Wickremesinghe and made Rajapaksa as the prime minister in a surprise move last October. Wickremesinghe was restored as prime minister after the Supreme Court deemed the presidential orders to be unconstitutional.

Eventually, Sirisena climbed down after a week. According to the Sri Lankan media, Samarasinghe told President Sirisena that it would be embarrassing to go to Geneva and advocate a position at the UNHRC that was directly opposite to his previous commitments.

In October 2015, UNHRC had agreed to a resolution – co-sponsored by Sri Lanka and backed by India – that called for a domestic judicial mechanism with foreign judges and lawyers. With Sirisena defeating Mahinda Rajapaksa in a shock upset at the January 2015 presidential elections, the new government in Colombo was basking in the glow of the international community’s approval.

A year earlier in March 2014, India had abstained on the resolution that called for an international probe into human rights violations that occurred in the last stages of the civil war. In 2013 and 2012, the UPA government – under coalition pressure – had voted in favour of US-sponsored resolutions that criticised the Mahinda Rajapaksa government for not taking enough steps to ensure accountability.

Sources told The Wire that the Sri Lankan president had also been discretely informed by India and other members of the international community that if Colombo didn’t co-sponsor the resolution, it was highly likely than a vote would have been called on March 21. “If that had happened, then all bets were off,” said a highly-placed official.


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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby A_Gupta » 17 May 2019 07:11

Here's the latest UNHCR UN General Assembly review of Sri Lanka:
https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UND ... penElement
Last edited by A_Gupta on 17 May 2019 07:21, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Tuan » 17 May 2019 07:14

A_Gupta wrote:(c) why would you provoke anti-Muslim violence on that will simply rile up the OIC component of the UN?


That is the average Buddhist-Sinhalese for you. If it is truly ISIS attacked SL, the military will be able to secure the country in one year, but if the Sinhala mobs fall into the military's trap and target the minorities and attack the Muslims, they will ****** the county up for another 30 years or so....
Last edited by Tuan on 17 May 2019 07:30, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby A_Gupta » 17 May 2019 07:15

^^^
...had voted in favour of US-sponsored resolutions..


US is no longer a member of UNHRC.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby A_Gupta » 17 May 2019 07:16

Well, it is only fair for me to say that I have zero sympathy for the LTTE and its supporters, and, yes, it is personal.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Tuan » 17 May 2019 07:23

A_Gupta wrote:^^^
...had voted in favour of US-sponsored resolutions..


US is no longer a member of UNHRC.


Yes, Sir, I know that. You don't have to repeat the same thing again and again. The US was replaced by the UK.

A_Gupta wrote:Well, it is only fair for me to say that I have zero sympathy for the LTTE and its supporters, and, yes, it is personal.


It is not about sympathizing with the LTTE or not, but the SL Tamil's grievances have not been met yet even after the war was ended 10 years ago. No Sinhalese governments will ever accommodate Tamils politically, economically, socially or culturally. It is India's duty, a moral and legal obligation, to fix this problem once and for all.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby A_Gupta » 17 May 2019 07:49

The US was replaced by the UK.


No, the US was replaced by Iceland.
https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/P ... mbers.aspx
Iceland****
Iceland was elected on 13 July 2018 to serve as a member from 13 July 2018 to 31 December 2019 to replace the vacancy left by the United States following its decision to withdraw its membership


--- In any case, the threat of UNHRC is minimal. What perhaps should concern Sri Lanka Intelligence more is the move from within Sri Lanka to move the International Criminal Court.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby A_Gupta » 17 May 2019 07:58

https://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFKCN1SM1UA
Sri Lankan army defends rehiring major amid outcry from rights groups
Sri Lanka’s army on Thursday defended its decision to reinstate an intelligence official arrested in 2017 on suspicion he attacked journalists, saying he is the right person to investigate the Easter bombings claimed by Islamic State.

Major Prabath Bulathwatte was arrested on suspicion he assisted in the abduction and torture of Sri Lankan editor Keith Noyahr in 2008. He was also accused in the murder of Lasantha Wickrematunga, an outspoken editor of The Sunday Leader newspaper, who was killed in 2009 while stuck in rush hour traffic in Colombo, according to police and prosecutors.

Bulathwatte, 45, has not been convicted and was released on bail in 2018, state-run media reported.


Since the end of the war in 2009, Sri Lanka’s former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who oversaw the crushing of Tamil Tiger rebels under his brother, has been accused by rights groups of multiple crimes during the civil war, including extrajudicial killings.

Wickrematunga’s daughter Ahimsa filed a complaint for damages from Gotabaya earlier this year in California for allegedly instigating and authorizing the extrajudicial killing of her father. Ahimsa did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Bulathwatte’s reinstatement.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby A_Gupta » 17 May 2019 08:02

https://www.apnews.com/Globe%20Newswire ... a6d007b6bd
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, April 09, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP), in partnership with the international law firm Hausfeld and human rights lawyer Scott Gilmore, have filed a civil damages case in California against former Sri Lankan defense secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, on behalf of a Tamil torture survivor Roy Samathanam.

Roy Samathanam made the complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against Mr. Rajapaksa, who is a dual US Sri Lankan citizen. The case was brought under the Torture Victim Protection Act, which gives torture victims legal redress in US courts.

Notice was formally served on Mr. Rajapaksa on Sunday night. Notice was also served at the same time in a separate case filed by another organization on behalf of assassinated journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge.

Roy Samathanam, a Canadian national, was arrested on false charges in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo in September 2007 by Sri Lankan police who reported directly to Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the time. Visiting Sri Lanka to marry his wife, Mr. Samathanam was detained for three years and repeatedly denied access to a lawyer or a judge. According to the suit filed in the U.S. District court, under Mr. Rajapaksa’s command, guards tortured Mr. Samathanam, threatened to rape and kill his wife and child, and made him watch the electrocution of other prisoners. He was forced to sign a false confession before being released in August 2010 on a plea deal.

Since his release, Mr. Samathanam has been an outspoken advocate. In 2011, he testified about his ordeal in the Parliament of Canada. In 2016, Mr. Samathanam won a UN Human Rights Committee case, but Sri Lanka has failed to abide by the compensation ruling.

“While I was in prison, I learned what inhumanity looks like,” said plaintiff Roy Samathanam. “So far, there has been no accountability, so I am happy to take this first step to get justice. This action will give torture victims in Sri Lanka hope for the future.”

“Mr Samathanam was one of countless civilians detained and tortured in Sri Lanka because of their ethnic Tamil identity,” said human rights lawyer Scott Gilmore, who led the compensation case successfully brought by the family of Sunday Times journalist, Marie Colvin, against the Government of Syria. “Under international law, Mr Rajapaksa bears command responsibility for the abuses carried by his security forces.”

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Tuan » 17 May 2019 08:32

A_Gupta wrote:https://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFKCN1SM1UA
Sri Lankan army defends rehiring major amid outcry from rights groups
Sri Lanka’s army on Thursday defended its decision to reinstate an intelligence official arrested in 2017 on suspicion he attacked journalists, saying he is the right person to investigate the Easter bombings claimed by Islamic State.

Major Prabath Bulathwatte was arrested on suspicion he assisted in the abduction and torture of Sri Lankan editor Keith Noyahr in 2008. He was also accused in the murder of Lasantha Wickrematunga, an outspoken editor of The Sunday Leader newspaper, who was killed in 2009 while stuck in rush hour traffic in Colombo, according to police and prosecutors.

Bulathwatte, 45, has not been convicted and was released on bail in 2018, state-run media reported.


Since the end of the war in 2009, Sri Lanka’s former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who oversaw the crushing of Tamil Tiger rebels under his brother, has been accused by rights groups of multiple crimes during the civil war, including extrajudicial killings.

Wickrematunga’s daughter Ahimsa filed a complaint for damages from Gotabaya earlier this year in California for allegedly instigating and authorizing the extrajudicial killing of her father. Ahimsa did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Bulathwatte’s reinstatement.


This article says it all, the audacity of the SL military intelligence against the country's judicial system, just like the Pakistani ISI.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby A_Gupta » 17 May 2019 16:35

http://www.dailymirror.lk/news-features ... 131-167333
Cinnamon Grand bomber’s copper factory case takes a new turn

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby SSridhar » 17 May 2019 20:47

Tuan wrote: . . . It is India's duty, a moral and legal obligation, to fix this problem once and for all.

Tuan, don't go there. You keep blaming India for everything. Take it as a warning.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Tuan » 17 May 2019 21:11

SSridhar wrote:
Tuan wrote: . . . It is India's duty, a moral and legal obligation, to fix this problem once and for all.

Tuan, don't go there. You keep blaming India for everything. Take it as a warning.


Sir,

Please don't accuse me each time I state the facts. I have nothing against India, in fact, I identify myself in Canada as an Indian although I am a Sri Lankan Tamil. Furthermore, I would like to share with you that I get to where I am today is also because of a few generous individuals within the RAW, who genuinely helped me to get out of Sri Lanka; it is thus I am grateful and loyal to India and its regional interests. At the same time, I am not here to pander to the opinion of the forum moderators, rather engaging myself in an unbiased, impartial and fact based discussions.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby A_Gupta » 18 May 2019 04:45

http://www.dailymirror.lk/breaking_news ... 108-167420
India pledges support to SL to combat Jihadi terrorism

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby SSridhar » 18 May 2019 04:51

Tuan wrote:At the same time, I am not here to pander to the opinion of the forum moderators . . . .

Tuan, I do not engage in dialogues over admin decisions. The choice is yours. No more posts on this.


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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby SSridhar » 18 May 2019 07:53

It is very clear that as the Caliphate is dismantled, stray incidents such as this would happen from the dregs. They must be handled ruthlessly and mercilessly. The dregs would take whatever help they can get from wherever and try to 'pose' a danger. It looks like that they are trying to target the Indian subcontinent for obvious reasons, even as they lose steam elsewhere. There are are quite a number of Levant returnees, there is already a deeply entrenched jihadi terrorism in some countries of the region thanks to jihad-loving Pakistan, there is a large number of jihad veterans in Afghanistan and many parts of Af-Pak are not effectively governed, wahhabi/salafi thoughts have been spreading in this region due to Saudi influence etc.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Tuan » 18 May 2019 09:17

A Decade Without Justice for Sri Lanka’s Tamils
https://thediplomat.com/2019/05/a-decad ... as-tamils/

Amid the continued international attention on the aftermath of the April Easter bombings in Sri Lanka, this month is also an important reminder of the legacy of Sri Lanka’s civil war, with May 18 marking the tenth anniversary of the end of the conflict on May 18, 2009. But though media accounts today tend to focus on this as an endpoint for the country’s civil war, it is critical to keep in mind that for many of Sri Lanka’s Tamils, the search for elusive justice continues even today, and that the international community’s commitment to that justice to date leaves much to be desired.

On May 18, 2009, the Sri Lankan government declared an end to a 26-year-long armed conflict after committing mass atrocities, including what some would characterize as genocide. The atrocities are well-documented, and the military’s intentional shelling of government-designated “No Fire Zones” (NFZs) alone was primarily responsible for killing 70,000–140,000 Tamil civilians, maiming another 25,000–30,000, and displacing at least 300,000.

But for many Tamils in the North-East and diaspora, May 18 this year not only marks the conclusion of the armed struggle for self-determination led by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), but also a decade without justice for crimes that had been committed. Although Tamils had varying views about the LTTE’s tactics, for many, its military defeat represented an end to the hope that Tamils would be free from successive Sinhala-Buddhist nationalistic regimes that had sponsored anti-Tamil pogroms with impunity at various points since independence.

Since May 18, 2009, the United Nations and states have acknowledged that Sri Lanka’s violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law may amount to war crimes and/or crimes against humanity in a court of law. Despite facts and jurisprudence strongly supporting a legal finding of genocide, however, the same entities have shied away from even using the word “genocide” concerning the atrocities against the Tamil people.

A cursory review of the evidence indicates the Sri Lankan government’s intent to destroy the Tamil people, a protected ethnic and national group. The government had a clear and effective strategy of encouraging Tamil civilians in the Vanni region to relocate to the “No Fire Zones” that were then deliberately shelled by the military. It also purposefully understated the number of Tamil civilians in the Vanni to limit necessary food and medical supplies going into that area and to facilitate the deaths of survivors. Hundreds of Tamil women and girls were raped and sexually mutilated before their execution. Tamil men and women who were detained after crossing into government-controlled areas are still subjected to sexual violence today.

Survivors’ trauma has been exacerbated by an endless wait for a court to validate the harms they suffered by adjudicating that “genocide” occurred. This is particularly insulting in light of the government’s continual rejections of agreed-upon UN Human Rights Council commitments to establish a special court with foreign judges, lawyers, and investigators, in addition to the absence of other paths to justice.

However, a court finding is not necessary to politically recognize genocide. In fact, UN guidance encourages UN and states to acknowledge when violations of international law may amount to atrocity crimes, regardless of the existence of legal determinations. An assessment of established risk factors and indicators of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and/or genocide provides guidance on when atrocities may be appropriately deemed “genocide.”

Whenever there is a serious risk of genocide, members of the international community have a responsibility to prevent it and punish the perpetrators. In Sri Lanka, however, the UN withdrew from the warzone around September 2008, thus enabling the genocide. After internally reviewing its inaction in 2012, the UN determined it committed a “systemic failure.” By February 2019, few lessons had been learned and the UN had to revisit its shortsightedness in Sri Lanka in the hopes of understanding how it subsequently ignored signs of Myanmar’s atrocity crimes against the Rohingya. Notably, although some UN actors have recognized the Rohingya, they have maintained their silence on the Tamil genocide.

Given their failures and desire to demonstrate that lessons can be—and have been—learned, the UN owes it to the Tamil people, who were subjected to state-sponsored genocide, to appropriately characterize Sri Lanka’s mass atrocities. It must also explore and open alternative, parallel paths to justice.

In other states with similar levels and cultures of impunity, such as Syria and Myanmar, the UN General Assembly and the UN Human Rights Council respectively established mechanisms to collect, preserve, and analyze evidence for criminal justice purposes. This does not relieve the UN Security Council of the responsibility to refer the situation in Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court, a still unlikely prospect. Tamil activists are increasingly calling for such alternative, parallel avenues to see justice served for the Tamil people.

As the window for transitional justice narrows, the hopelessness and frustration of Tamil genocide survivors must be prioritized over six years of the government’s false promises. Given Sri Lanka’s utter lack of political will to investigate and prosecute atrocity crimes in accordance with international commitments, members of the international community must promptly act to ensure the punishment of perpetrators and the precise recognition of all atrocity crimes committed against the Tamil people, including genocide.



Sri Lanka's war 10 years on: Finding Father Francis
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-48300279

It's been 10 years since the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka. For thousands of people, missing family members and friends are a constant reminder of the trauma of the conflict. This is the story of Father Francis.

On 18 May 2009, a brutal conflict which lasted almost three decades came to an end. It's estimated that at least 100,000 people lost their lives. Many thousands are still missing.

The war was fought along ethnic lines. A desire for an independent state amongst parts of the Tamil minority gave rise to an armed separatist rebel group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, also known as the Tamil Tigers. They took on the Sri Lankan military and both sides stand accused of committing atrocities against the civilian population.

On the final day of the conflict, a Catholic Tamil priest led and negotiated the surrender of at least 360 people, including Tamil Tigers and children as young as two. All of them boarded military buses - never to be seen again.

Father Francis was an ardent supporter of Tamil independence but he never picked up arms. Words were his only weapon.

Eight days before the war ended, he wrote a desperate three-page letter to the Vatican pleading for help and expressing a sense of abandonment. It was written in a bunker, now a memorial of concrete blood-stained hands to commemorate the Tamil dead. The BBC contacted the Vatican for comment but is yet to receive a response.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby sanjaykumar » 18 May 2019 10:37

Tuan, welcome to the club. I belong to a group said to have been persecuted out of Kashmir centuries ago by Muslims, eventually settled in Panjab. But of course persecuted in panjab by religion crazed terrorists 30 years ago. Whether Kashmir, Panjab, or Sri Lanka Hindus are available for every savage who wants to kill someone.

When I was doing graduate work, Tamils from Sri Lanka used to tell me they were grateful for being able to do chemistry in madras. They were not accepted in Lanka universities. Some of us have not forgotten, in case that is what you fear.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Tuan » 18 May 2019 18:58

Sanjay,

Thanks for sharing, this is the story of SL Tamils around the world. And, yes, majority of us don't consider SL as our home. I don't want to open the old wounds because I have been warned twice here not to talk about the plight of SL Tamils, isn't that sad?

Hey, we still can talk about ISIS though... :rotfl:

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby chetak » 18 May 2019 19:19

Tuan wrote:Sanjay,

Thanks for sharing, this is the story of SL Tamils around the world. And, yes, majority of us don't consider SL as our home. I don't want to open the old wounds because I have been warned twice here not to talk about the plight of SL Tamils, isn't that sad?

Hey, we still can talk about ISIS though... :rotfl:


just so long as you also don't consider India as your "home" and expect Indians to do something about that "plight" we should be OK.

we saw that very "plight" operating rather forcefully in the murky underworlds of bombay and madras, swaggering louts openly carrying pistols, frequent shootouts to eliminate "rivals" in the quest for lucrative "territory".

there are many other friendlier and much more receptive areas around the world for your people to shelter, thrive and prosper.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Theeran » 18 May 2019 20:11

But Indians are ok to discuss and do something about the "plight" of Hindus in Bangladesh and Pakistan? I never understood the double standards in brf when discussing Tamils and Hindus in other countries. Srilankan Tamils seem to be forever associated with break India forces. Is that fair for the avg Tamil.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby SSridhar » 18 May 2019 21:55

Tuan wrote:Hey, we still can talk about ISIS though...

Tuan, you are skating on very thin ice here. This is a formal warning for you.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby A_Gupta » 20 May 2019 17:29

http://www.dailymirror.lk/top_story/Han ... 155-167472
Hansard officer in parliament arrested for aiding and abetting Zahran

Lot of detail in the article except how the accused aided and abetted....

A senior indexing officer attached to the Hansard Department of Parliament who had aided and abetted suicide bomber Zahran Hashim as a leading activist of the National Thawheed Jamaath (NTJ) was arrested by a special police team in Kurunegala on Saturday.

The suspect was apprehended on the information obtained after questioning an electro-cardiologist of Kurunegala Teaching Hospital who had been taken into custody on suspicion with two others on Friday with links to the NTJ.

The Hansard Department officer had been identified as Mohamed Naushad Jalaldeen (42), a father of two children and a resident of Alawatugoda in Kandy.

It has been revealed that he had joined the Translation Section of the Parliament in 2006 as a proof reader prior to this appointment.

In spite of the fact that the normal procedure is to recruit a person for the responsible position in the Parliament, is to sit for a competitive examination. The investigations has revealed that he had obtained this post with the support of a top Muslim politico, violating this procedure.

It has also transpired that he had discussed with several Muslim politicians to remove the Police check points that has been in operation in Akurana Town due to the prevailing emergency situation in the country.

The two of the other three suspects who had been arrested as the members of National Thawheed Jamaat with the electro-cardiologist of Kurunegala Teaching Hospital are the residents of Thalgodapitiya in Ibbagamuwa and the other one is a resident of Alakoladeniya area on Dambulla Road in Kurunegala.

It has been revealed that one suspect (27) who is a resident of Thalgodapitiya in Kurunegala district has worked as a coordinator of several Muslim Extremist Organisations including Thawheed Jamaath.

The other suspect (48) who is a resident of Thalgodapitiya itself was in charge of financial activities of Thawheed Jamaath in Kurunegala District and a cheque amounting to Rs.2.1 million had been found in his possession at the time of his arrest.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby A_Gupta » 20 May 2019 17:31

http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat ... tle=204517
A person, whose arrest in connection with the Easter Sunday bombings prompted Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen to make inquiries about him from Army Commander Lt. Gen. Mahesh Senanayake, has been handed over to the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID).

Army headquarters yesterday confirmed the handing over of the suspect taken in by troops to the TID.

In the wake of Lt. Gen. Senanayake’s revelation regarding Minister Bathiudeen getting in touch with him over the arrest of the suspect, the Joint Opposition cited it in the NC against Bathiudeen, handed over to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya on Friday (17).

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Tuan » 20 May 2019 20:48

China trip and son's wedding: Sri Lanka leader Sirisena denounced after Easter bombings - Straits Times

COLOMBO (REUTERS) - After coming under fire for not acting on warnings about Easter bombings that killed more than 250 people, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena is now facing criticism over his leadership in the aftermath of the Islamist attacks.

On Monday last week (May 13), just as anti-Muslim riots were spreading in apparent reprisal for the attacks, Mr Sirisena embarked on a three-day trip to key financier China, leaving some Sri Lankans feeling abandoned.

Going ahead with his son's wedding on May 9 also struck some as an affront to families still in mourning after the April 21 bombings, claimed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which struck churches and hotels.

That leaves Mr Sirisena in a weak position ahead of this year's presidential election, voters and analysts say, potentially paving the way for former wartime defence chief Gotabaya Rajapaksa to take over.

Mr Sirisena's allies say he did the best he could in a volatile situation, citing measures like temporarily shutting down social media and deploying the army to stem violence in the multi-ethnic, Buddhist-majority island.

But that rings hollow to voters like 56-year-old construction worker Sunil, who voted for Mr Sirisena in 2015 amid hopes the career politician would combat corruption but now feels the President has not focused on governing.

"The President has no time for this because he is busy going all over the place," said Sunil on a recent morning in Colombo, vowing never to vote for Mr Sirisena again.

Mr Sirisena's trip to China, where he met President Xi Jinping, was pre-planned and beneficial to the nation, coordinating secretary Shiral Lakthilaka told Reuters.

Mr Sirisena returned to Sri Lanka on Thursday and only addressed attacks on Muslim homes and shops on Friday, five days after the violence erupted.

Some disgruntled Sri Lankans were also frustrated that Mr Sirisena's son's wedding went ahead. It was originally scheduled to be held in the Shangri-La, which was bombed, and ultimately celebrated at the Hilton Colombo.

Mr Sirisena, one user identified as @sankadon tweeted, "cant even postpone the extravagant wedding at least (for) the tears and blood of the people who lost their lives due to his inability".

Spokesman Ekanayake pushed back at the criticism, saying the wedding was scaled down and that Mr Sirisena did not attend all the festivities.

ELECTION YEAR

The criticism comes on top of accusations that government paralysis due to a feud between Mr Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe prevented warnings about the attacks from being disseminated.

Both men, who fell out after a political crisis in October, say they were not privy to the warnings.

Mr Sirisena was in Singapore with family when the attackers struck. He returned to Colombo 15 hours later, appointed a panel to probe defence lapses and replaced both the police chief and the defence secretary.

There are no political polls in Sri Lanka, but analysts said Mr Sirisena was on the back foot in elections that must be held by December.

"President Sirisena does not have a fighting chance," said Eurasia analyst Akhil Bery.

Mr Wickremesinghe is also seen as a lame duck due to disappointment over the economy under his watch.

His allies say two more popular politicians from the United National Party, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya or Housing Minister Sajith Premadasa, could run instead.

To be sure, Mr Sirisena's chances of re-election prior to the attack were also seen as slim, but he had been vying for an alliance with former president Mahinda Rajapaksa.

That now seems impossible, with Mr Rajapaksa's brother Gotabaya, who is running for office, doubling down on criticism that the attacks happened because the government dismantled intelligence networks he built up during Sri Lanka's 25-year civil war with Tamil rebels.

"Sirisena had the idea of contesting, but there is no chance at all (of winning), especially after the attack," said political commentator Kusal Perera.

Auto rickshaw driver Shantha, who did not provide a surname, has switched from supporting Mr Sirisena to backing Mr Rajapaksa.

"We did not see quick decisions to bring the situation in the country back under control," Shantha, 37, said of the government.

"I will vote only if Gotabaya Rajapaksa contests."

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby ramana » 21 May 2019 00:53

Theeran wrote:But Indians are ok to discuss and do something about the "plight" of Hindus in Bangladesh and Pakistan? I never understood the double standards in brf when discussing Tamils and Hindus in other countries. Srilankan Tamils seem to be forever associated with break India forces. Is that fair for the avg Tamil.


The stigma of Rajiv Gandhi Assassination is still too fresh.
Takes time and truth to heal.

Avg Tamil from India does not feel this.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby A_Gupta » 21 May 2019 01:58

Not just Rajiv Gandhi assassination. e.g.,places like ISRO centers were under LTTE threat for a while.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby A_Gupta » 21 May 2019 01:59

Foreign Policy says:
https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/05/20/bu ... nka-apart/

Buddhist Anger Could Tear Sri Lanka Apart
Old hatreds are coming out in the aftermath of the Easter bombings.
About a week ago, the country experienced its most violent 24-hour period since the Easter bombings. Mosques, Muslim-owned business, and the homes of Muslims were attacked in various areas, especially in the North Western province. One death was reported. Sri Lanka’s pogrom-filled history means that a very dark period could get even darker.

The attacks shouldn’t simply be viewed as direct retaliations for the bombings. The violence follows some previous patterns. Plenty of it is likely driven by opportunism, past prejudices among Sinhalese Buddhists that Muslims are economically better off, and the desire, as one Muslim human rights activist recently told me via email, “to teach Muslims a lesson.” This would also explain the pattern of state security personnel failing to act decisively on warnings of mob violence and not allocating adequate forces to control the mobs.

Like past riots and pogroms, credible reports of state complicity in the violence emerged on May 14, a day after the anti-Muslim attacks. Later reporting on the ground noted that “affected people alleged that the authorities were doing little to disperse crowds when the mobs continued with the attacks going from village to village.”

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby chetak » 21 May 2019 02:05

A_Gupta wrote:Not just Rajiv Gandhi assassination. e.g.,places like ISRO centers were under LTTE threat for a while.



the entire fort and vt areas of bombay selling smuggled goods, drugs and other imported stuff was taken over entirely by these SL guys. they had killed many of the original guys and chased out the remaining entirely.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby ramana » 21 May 2019 02:17

A_Gupta wrote:Foreign Policy says:
https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/05/20/bu ... nka-apart/

Buddhist Anger Could Tear Sri Lanka Apart
Old hatreds are coming out in the aftermath of the Easter bombings.
About a week ago, the country experienced its most violent 24-hour period since the Easter bombings. Mosques, Muslim-owned business, and the homes of Muslims were attacked in various areas, especially in the North Western province. One death was reported. Sri Lanka’s pogrom-filled history means that a very dark period could get even darker.

The attacks shouldn’t simply be viewed as direct retaliations for the bombings. The violence follows some previous patterns. Plenty of it is likely driven by opportunism, past prejudices among Sinhalese Buddhists that Muslims are economically better off, and the desire, as one Muslim human rights activist recently told me via email, “to teach Muslims a lesson.” This would also explain the pattern of state security personnel failing to act decisively on warnings of mob violence and not allocating adequate forces to control the mobs.

Like past riots and pogroms, credible reports of state complicity in the violence emerged on May 14, a day after the anti-Muslim attacks. Later reporting on the ground noted that “affected people alleged that the authorities were doing little to disperse crowds when the mobs continued with the attacks going from village to village.”


Foreign Policy up to usual Democratic bile on non Christians.

Who was the writer? Could be usual bile spewing hack.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby A_Gupta » 21 May 2019 02:35

^^^ Taylor Dibbert, Adjunct Fellow @PacificForum

Additionally: "Taylor Dibbert is a writer and consultant based in the Washington, D.C. area. Previously, he worked for human rights organizations in Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. From 2006 to 2008, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala. Dibbert is the author of “Fiesta of Sunset: The Peace Corps, Guatemala and a Search for Truth.” He holds degrees from Columbia University and the University of Georgia. "

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Skanda » 21 May 2019 05:09

A_Gupta wrote:Foreign Policy says:
https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/05/20/bu ... nka-apart/

Buddhist Anger Could Tear Sri Lanka Apart
Old hatreds are coming out in the aftermath of the Easter bombings.
About a week ago, the country experienced its most violent 24-hour period since the Easter bombings. Mosques, Muslim-owned business, and the homes of Muslims were attacked in various areas, especially in the North Western province. One death was reported. Sri Lanka’s pogrom-filled history means that a very dark period could get even darker.


Why exactly are muslims in India (in any part of the country) not protesting this act against fellow muslims in SL? I mean these guys protested Saddam killing or Rohingya killing. Now that the elections are over, perhaps, they might start protesting.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby Tuan » 21 May 2019 07:42

Afghan Refugees Face Jaffna’s Hostility: These Sri Lankans Are Crazy
https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index. ... are-crazy/

Abbas Ahmadi, an IT specialist, was rather high in the Afghan provincial civil service. He is of Hazara ethnicity and persecuted by the majority Pashtuns who ironically dominate the ruling faction as well as the rebelling Taliban. The Hazaras are in part the descendants of Genghis Khan and therefore are regarded as Asiatic. Says Abbas that they, the Hazaras, have suffered a lot more than the Tamils of Sri Lanka, having lost 80% of their fertile lands.

Abbas was asked three times by the Taliban to resign his position. When an assassination looked imminent, he flew to New Delhi some five years ago with his wife and 4 children and from there applied for an online visa to Colombo where he applied for asylum upon landing. Sri Lanka does not give refugee status. He and his family were given a residence visa because the UNHCR had determined them to be eligible for asylum but this visa was an interim relief while the UNHCR found a third country willing to accept them as refugees. The Sri Lankan visa did not give them the right to work.

Says Abbas that at long last he was told that the US would accept them as refugees, and they should get the required medical tests done. He did that. But then, in a sudden reversal, he was told that the US would not accept them. This was immediately after Donald Trump’s election. He then appealed and that appeal is ongoing, and the family waited for a response from the US.

Then the Easter Bombings happened on 21 April, 2019. Several refugees like him were attacked by Sinhalese mobs. The frenzied mood of Sri Lankan mobs is best captured by Tarzie Vittachi in his book Emergency ’58. The relevant passage explains to us why the army is unable to stop the mobs today but was able to in 1958:

“The Bren gun was mounted near the gate. At 3.20 p.m. the first wave of goondas advanced towards the police station, with sarongs lifted, shouting obscenities and coarse defiance. They were still confident that Apey Aanduwa would not shoot them down.

“As they came nearer, the Bren fired a burst over their heads to warn them. This had just the opposite effect. They took it as confirmation that the army was only bluffing. The roar of the crowd became louder and the obscenities more defiant. The entire 3,000 now began to swarm towards the barricade. At this point the army unit commander said that he needed authority to open fire. Aluwihare signed the order. The officer put the paper in his pocket and walked out. On came the mob. They were only a few yards away now. One man in front raised his sarong, displaying his genitals in foul defiance of the army. The Bren opened fire and the passionate exhibitionist fell dead. Two of his comrades shared his fate.”

Fortunately, renting in Moratuwa, Abbas did not face such “Saronged Johnnies” who raised their sarongs. But like-minded others threatened his landlord into ejecting him. Several refugees like him were endangered by mobs led by Buddhist priests betraying Buddhism as Harvard’s S.J. Tambiah put it in his book Buddhism Betrayed? Religion, Politics, and Violence in Sri Lanka (University of Chicago Press 1992), a book that was promptly banned in Sri Lanka because it seemed so incontrovertible in the normative traditions of academe.


Today’s refugees were mainly forced into camps and police stations. The irony was that the police who should have opened fire on the mods and rioting monks took the refugees into their police stations where some 700 refugees in one instance are said to have shared two toilets and were being thanked for the help the police had rendered them. Such is the upside down world in which we Sri Lankans admire ourselves for our greatness that we see in our failures.

Abbas says he was rattled by President Maithripala Sirisena saying he cannot defend the refugees and pleading with outside counties to take them away quickly. The UNHCR which had been helpful till then did nothing. Even Christian institutions did not come forward to help after the hostility to the refugees which the President seemed to harbor and National Christian Council’s efforts to settle them in one of their buildings faced mobs led by a monk after the first night and the refugees had to be returned to their camp.

Efforts by the Southern Province and Northern Province Governors to settle refugees in their provinces met with opposition partly because the governors’ authority had been, albeit meaning well, usurped from the expired Provincial Councils to which elections were unlawfully delayed through parliamentary intrigue and inefficiency

Sadly many Tamils saw it as an effort to bring Muslims to Jaffna because the Sinhalese did not want “such dangerous people” in their midst. Tamils could not see the parallels to 2007 when Gotabaya Rajapaksa as defense secretary declared Tamils as dangerous terrorists who had to be shipped out of Colombo to save Colombo from bombs. At the time the courts declared such racial profiling to be discriminatory and violative of rights. The government was forced to return to Colombo the Tamils involuntarily taken to the North.

Today there are some meagre signs of hope against similar racial profiling of Muslims. The Human Rights Commission has come out against the banning of the Abaya. After the Sri Lanka Institute for Development Administration banned administrators coming to their courses in the Abaya, the Election Commission declared its protest and said we would permit our officers who so choose to go for SLIDA courses wearing the Abaya, and take it up legally if they were obstructed.

At that point Ruki Fernando (a Colombo-based rights activist) and the Ven Fr. Sam Ponniah (the Anglican Archdeacon of Jaffna) joined forces to bring willing refugees to Jaffna. Theirs were individual efforts with no institutional support. Father Ponniah privately asked some Jaffna Anglicans if they would host some refugee families in their homes. A few agreed and the number of families moving to Jaffna became 4 and then 5 and then 6 and so on says Father Ponniah.

Newspapers like the Uthayan had positive comments but not the Valampuri. It is a newspaper whose editor in a University of Jaffna speech declared that all Christians must become Hindu. That communalist newspaper is now threatening those helping the refugees find safety in Jaffna by writing that if any harm befell the refugees in Jaffna, then those bringing them to Jaffna must take the responsibility. Other churches that failed to offer even verbal support for the refugees cautioned Father Ponniah. Neighbours warned those who had volunteered to host the refugees, “The Muslims will come, produce fast and take over Jaffna. That is what the Sinhalese want. Do not give in to that.”

Today 19 May, Ruki Fernando arrived with other volunteers and the Abbas Ahmadis at 3:00 pm. As chief householder I had to go with them to the Police who seemed worried by Muslims coming to Jaffna but finally took my request to register the Ahmadis in my home, promising to send my application to Colombo for approval. The HQI’s worry was that this was the first refugee family settling in Jaffna. Apparently all the other volunteer hosts had backed out for some reason.

There are many ironies in the experience of the Ahmadis. They fled their home in Bamien which I visited and enjoyed during the last elections there. The Buddha statues of Bamien, a world heritage, were destroyed by the Taliban which chased off the Ahmadis. Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka are turning on the Ahmadis and others like him, telling them they cannot live in the Sinhalese areas of Sri Lanka.

The second perhaps greater irony is that on July 23, 2016 two Islamic State suicide bombers blew themselves up during a peaceful protest in Kabul killing 160 and wounded over 200 people as reported by Reuters. The attackers were reportedly from the local affiliate of the so-called Islamic State, known as the “Khurasan Province” (IS-Khurasan). The target was the Ahmadis’ Hazara folk who had been demonstrating against the route of a planned multi-million-dollar power line. And we Sri Lankans think the Abbases are ISIS!

And worse, Tamils think that racial profiling is wrong only if it is applied to Tamils but not when they apply it to Muslims.

To paraphrase Asterix’s inseparable buddy Obelix, “These Sri Lankans are crazy!”

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion- Post PM appointment crisis

Postby MeshaVishwas » 21 May 2019 10:34

Sri Lanka Parliament Official Arrested Over Links To Easter Sunday Blasts
https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/sri-lanka-parliament-official-arrested-over-links-to-easter-sunday-blasts-2040361?amp=1&akamai-rum=off
Edit:
ramana wrote:
The stigma of Rajiv Gandhi Assassination is still too fresh.
Takes time and truth to heal.

+1
There is a book by a noted Kannada journo/author Ravi Belagere called "Gandhi Mattu Godse" which describes the diabolical planning that went into the assasination in the first few chapters.Still sends shivers down my spine.

And also 1157 IPKF personnel died fighting for peace.
Can never forgive the LTTE and it's support base for this.


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