'Sri Lanka's Killing Fields' screened to Canadian MPs

Channel 4 documentary providing video evidence of war crimes, 'Sri Lanka's Killing Fields' was screened at Parliament Hill, Ottawa, on Thursday. The event, co-hosted by NDP MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan (Scarborough-Rouge River), Conservative Party MP Patrick Brown (Barrie) and Liberal Party MP John McKay (Scarborough-Guildwood), was well attended. Addressing the crowd, MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan, welcomed the cross-party consensus on war crimes and accountability in Sri Lanka, “I’m very pleased that all parties came together to host this event. This issue runs deeper than political ties, and it is...

Canadians turn up the pressure on Sri Lanka

Speaking in the House of Commons earlier today, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird lashed out at Sri Lanka, as the issue of war crimes and accountability looms ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth next month. Having met with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister GL Peiris last week, Baird said he had expressed Canada’s "concerns on the lack of accountability for the serious allegations of war crimes , the lack of reconciliation with the Tamil community and with events that have taken place since the end of the civil war ". He went on to tell the House of Commons, "Canada...

MP Mervyn Silva 'chief' patron of drug kingpins

Leaked US embassy cables, state that MP Mervyn Silva was believed to be giving patronage to drug traffickers in 2009, along side his son, Malika Silva. "According to a former Sri Lankan security services official, drug kingpins in Sri Lanka have political patrons in the government, chief among them Dr. Mervyn Silva, a Member of Parliament and the Minister of Labor ." " His son, Malika Silva, is suspected of trafficking the drug “ecstasy” in Colombo nightclubs ." A further cable drew attention to the wider culture of impunity within the Sri Lankan state, highlighting its failure to investigate...

Sri Lanka attempts to censor C4's 'Killing Fields', again

Sri Lankan officials attempted to prevent the broadcasting of the Channel 4 documentary, 'Sri Lanka's Killing Fields' on Norweigan TV channel NRK2 on Tuesday. The documentary, containing first-hand video footage of war crimes, has already been broadcast worldwide on several mainstream news outlets. However, Sri Lankan officials remain intent on preventing any further broadcasts. NRK2 reportedly 'ignored calls from the Sri Lankan Embassy to cancel transmitting a contentious programme." In a last ditch attempt embassy officials released the following statement, “We urge NRK 2 not to air the UK...

Deportation delayed after last gasp court order

The deportation of around 50 Tamils to Sri Lanka was halted today after frantic last minute efforts by lawyers resulted in a postponement in their removal, and the complete overturn of one woman’s case. The decision, just hours before their scheduled departure, comes as the UK faces intense criticism from human rights groups such as Amnesty International for sending Tamil asylum seekers back to Sri Lanka, where they face the risk of interrogation and torture See report from Channel 4 below. In a statement released today, Amnesty said , “[I]t is hugely disappointing that Britain is continuing...

Canada speaks out against inaction on Sri Lanka

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird has warned that the UN’s significance is endangered when it fails to act on its founding principles, stating Sri Lanka’s war crimes as one such issue. Addressing the UN General Assembly, Baird said , “The U.N.’s relevance and effectiveness are imperilled when the Founding Principles are observed in word but not in deed... when objection is taken, on petty, procedural or process-based grounds, to reporting that speaks about credible allegations of war crimes committed in Sri Lanka . ” The Foreign Minister also mentioned Iran’s refusal to allow entry to UN...

Ban Ki-Moon appoints Head for review into UN conduct

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has appointed former Under-Secretary-General Thoraya Obaid to conduct the review into the UN’s activities during and after the war in Sri Lanka, as suggested by the UN Panel of Experts. The Panel made following recommendation to the UN in their comprehensive report released in April 2011, which is now being examined by the Human Rights Council: “The Secretary-General should conduct a comprehensive review of actions by the United Nations system during the war in Sri Lanka and the aftermath, regarding the implementation of its humanitarian and protection...

Remembering Thileepan

September 26 is the anniversary of the death of LTTE Lt. Col. Thileepan in 1987 during his hungerstrike appealing for the Indian government of Premier Rajiv Gandhi to honour the security undertakings it gave to the Tamil people alongside its 1987 Accord with Sri Lanka. Click image for details.

From the killing fields …

Catholic priest, Fr GA Francis Joseph, amongst the population being massacred by Sri Lanka's bombardment, says in a letter to the Pope sent on May 10, 2009: “Last night's toll of the dead is 3318 and of the injured more than 4000. “It was a barrage of artillery, mortar, multi-barrel shelling and cluster bombs, weapons which Sri Lankan government denies using on the civilians in the no fire zone. “It is unfortunate that the Church in Sri Lanka does not have the wisdom and guts to air her views forcefully and unequivocally regarding the ongoing war. “Knowing that diplomacy comes so perilously...

UK still ‘complicit’ in torture of Tamils

The UK is preparing to deport more than 100 Tamils on Wednesday, while pressure by human rights organisations is mounting to stop all deportations until the safety of Tamils can be guaranteed. An event on the sidelines of the Labour Party conference, organised by Freedom from Torture and Human Rights Watch, highlighted the systematic targeting of Tamils being deported from other countries. Hosted by Channel 4’s Jonathan Miller, the event focussed on ‘the desperate need for justice and accountability in Sri Lanka and to cover lessons that can be drawn from the Sri Lanka “case” for the protection of human rights within UK foreign policy.’

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