Tamil civil society calls for robust UN resolution and strong follow-up to put pressure on Sri Lanka to deliver on promises

Tamil civil society organisations, political parties and trade unions have called on the UN human rights council to pass a robust resolution with strong follow up mechanisms in order to put enough pressure on Sri Lanka to deliver on its commitments on issues such as accountability and transitional justice. Full statement published below: ‘The credibility of the UNHRC has been put at stake by Sri Lanka’ ‘The UNHRC must respond strongly’ Joint Appeal by Tamil Civil Society Organisations, Political Parties and Trade Unions 09 March 2017 When Resolution 30/1 was passed by the UN Human Rights...

French Tamils arrested on arrival at Colombo airport

A French Tamil father and daughter were arrested at Colombo’s international airport on Wednesday evening, Virakesari reports . Mullaitivu-Puthukudiyirippu native, 52-year-old A. Thiyagaraja who has been living in France for the last 25 years, and his 24-year-old daughter Janani, were arrested on arrival at Colombo and presented to court at Negombo. The reason for the arrest was not given by airport spokespeople, Virakesari states.

Thousands call for justice at protest in Geneva

Thousands of Tamils gathered outside the Untied Nations in Geneva on Monday, calling for accountability for mass atrocities committed by Sri Lanka. Protestors marched towards the Palais des Nations, where the 34 th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council is currently underway. Banners and placards called for accountability through an international mechanism for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. See more coverage of the protest from our Twitter feed below. Thousands of protestors are currently outside the United Nations in Geneva, demanding justice for #SriLanka 's...

Land return activist’s field confiscated by Sri Lankan air force in apparent reprisal

The land of a civil society activist who led land-return protests in Mullaitivu has been confiscated by the Sri Lankan Air Force. Mrs S Chandraleela heads a local women’s organisation and has been at the forefront of protests demanding the release of land in Pilakudiyirippu and now Keppapulavu. Her agricultural land which was released two years ago was today confiscated by Sri Lankan Air Force personnel. Mrs Chandraleela and some workers who have been clearing and fixing up the field for cultivation were barred from entering by Air Force personnel who claimed the land belonged to the Forestry...

Families of disappeared protest outside Mullaitivu DS

Families of the missing and forcibly disappeared who have been protesting across the North-East, protested today outside the District Secretariat office in Mullaitivu. While Sri Lankan delegates have said at the UN human rights council that the government is making progress in the issue of missing persons, such as being a few months away from setting up the Office of Missing Persons, frustration among victims continues to grow.

Tamil Nadu fisherman shot dead by Sri Lankan navy say fishing groups

Fishing groups in Tamil Nadu said a fisherman was shot dead by the Sri Lankan navy on Monday evening whilst he worked in the Palk Straits. The victim, 22 year old Bristo, was killed when Sri Lankan navy personnel allegedly opened fire.

'No tangible progress on key issues' - The Hindu

The Sri Lankan government has made "no tangible progress" on key issues such as establishing a "hybrid judicial mechanism with domestic and foreign judges and returning the military-occupied lands to Tamil civilians in the north and east," said The Hindu in an editorial written this week. The editorial, entitled 'Elusive reconciliation', said "Colombo must do much more to address the concerns of the Tamil minority". Noting that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights report last week raised "serious concerns about the delay in addressing allegations of war crimes", The Hindu went on to add...

Entirely Sinhalese ceremony held to open new path at historically Tamil Kanniya hot wells

An opening ceremony which consisted entirely of Sinhalese cultural performances was held to open a new path leading to the Kanniya (or Kinniya) Hot Wells and the Buddhist temple there. Kanniya in Trincomalee is a historically sacred site for Tamils but ongoing Sinhalisation has diminished Tamil presence in the area and militarisation has meant that the Sivan temple is disused and unavailable for worship. Father Prabhakar, a civil society activist from Trincomalee, recently said in Geneva that Tamils in the region were increasingly fearful of Sinhalisation and the erasure of Tamil history,...

CEDAW urges Sri Lanka to take action on conflict-related violence against women

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) released its 8 th official report outlining recommendations for the advancement of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women in Sri Lanka. Recommendations included a push for accountability over conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence. The committee expressed concern regarding the “Serious allegations that the military and police perpetrated harassment, violence, including rape, abductions, torture, sexual bribery, sexual slavery, and unjustified surveillance, including...

Sri Lankan air force reinforces camps in Mullaitivu

Sri Lankan Air Force personnel in Mullaitivu have been reinforcing security around their camps and strengthening their presence, locals report.