File photo: Relatives of the disappeared met with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Jaffna last week, as Special Rapporteur Pablo de Greiff reiterated the importance victim participation in an accountability mechanism.
UN Human Rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein concluded a four-day trip across the Tamil North-East on Tuesday. Photograph: Mr Hussein on his visit to Nallur temple in Jaffna earlier this week.
Sri Lanka’s Independence Day was marked by acts of Tamil protest across the North-East. Families of the disappeared held marches and demonstrations demanding the whereabouts of their loved ones. In Jaffna University, students hoisted a black flag outside its premises in protest of Sri Lanka's independence day celebrations. Meanwhile in Colombo, the Sri Lankan government held a military parade with the president Maithripala Sirisena vowing to protect the pride of the armed forces, in the face of a United Nations resolution on accountability. See our earlier post: Sri Lankan president ‘determined to face UN resolution to protect pride of armed forces’ (04 Feb 2016) TNA welcomes singing of Sri Lanka's national anthem in Tamil (04 Feb 2015) Sri Lanka anthem in Tamil confirms hierarchical relationship of Sinhala Buddhists to others - TCSF (04 Feb 2015)
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena declared his government was “determined to face” a UN Human Rights Council resolution in order to protect the “pride and dignity” of the armed forces.
Photograph: Will Baxter/Freedom From Torture Tamil torture victims who suffered at the hands of the Sri Lankan government called on the UN Human Rights chief to ensure that an “internationalised justice process” takes place, ahead of his visit to the island this week. In a report by UK-based charity Freedom From Torture and the survivor activist network Survivors Speak OUT, victims called on UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein to “deliver a strong message to the President and Prime Minister about the need for Sri Lanka to comply with the commitments it made to the UN Human Rights Council and the consequences if it fails to do so” during his visit to the island.
The Tamil People’s Council called for the recognition that “Tamils constitute a distinct people with the inalienable right to self-determination” in a draft set of proposals, calling for a political agreement prior to a constitutional enactment in Sri Lanka.
Today marks the 23rd anniversary since the death of Sathasivam Krishnakumar alias Colonel Kittu, and nine other LTTE cadres, who committed suicide after being surrounded by Indian navy warships in 1993.
As Tamils across the world marked the annual harvest festival of Thai Pongal this week, in the Tamil homeland security the Sri Lankan government deployed soldiers in Jaffna as Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe visited the Northern Province. See our post: Sri Lankan military blocks access to temple, harasses journalists on Thai Pongal (15 Jan 2016) An event in Jaffna to mark Thai Pongal was attended by British Foreign Office minister for South Asia, Hugo Swire and Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswarwan...
Sri Lanka soldiers prevented Tamils from accessing a temple where a special pooja was being held to celebrate Thai Pongal earlier today, whilst Tamil journalists attempting to cover the event were harassed and faced extensive security checks. A special pooja was being held for Thai Pongal at the Rajarajeswari Amman Temple inside the Palali High Security Zone, with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, government minister Vijayakala Maheswaran and Tamil National Alliance MP Maavai Senathirajah in attendance.
New evidence has emerged of on-going torture and sexual violence by Sri Lanka’s security forces one year after the new government promised to end such violations. See full 45 page report here: SILENCED: SURVIVORS OF TORTURE AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN 2015 A new report by the International Truth and Justice Project: Sri Lanka (ITJP) documented the testimonies of twenty Tamil torture survivors who had escaped Sri Lanka to four different countries. The report provides harrowing details of abduction, torture and rape of Tamil men and women, with incidents as recent as December 2015. The report found...