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Tamil Guardian 01 July 2015
UN finds mass rights violations in South Sudan, calls for unfettered access and accountability
South Sudanese armed forces could have committed widespread human rights abuses in recent intensified fighting across the region, found a new report by the United Nations mission in South Sudan, (UNMISS).

A report released on Tuesday accused the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) of killing civilians, looting and destroying villages and displacing over 100,000 people.  

Human rights abuses including the rape and immolation of women and children were recorded in the testimonies of 115 victims and eyewitnesses from different counties.

Emphasising the need to ensure accountability, the UN Secretary General’s representative, who also leads the UN Mission to South Sudan, Ellen Margrethe Loj, said,

“Revealing the truth of what happened offers the best hope for ensuring the accountability for such terrible violence and ending the cycle of impunity that allows these abuses to continue. We call on the SPLA to fulfill its commitment and allow our human rights officers unfettered access to the sites of these reported violations.”

“The recent upsurge has not only been marked by allegations of killing, rape, abduction, looting, arson and displacement, but by a new brutality and intensity. The Scope and level of cruelty that has characterised the reports suggests a depth of antipathy that exceeds political differences,” said the UNMISS report.

Tamil Guardian 30 June 2015
Islamic State behead two civilian women

Two women, accused of "sorcery", in Syria have been beheaded by Islamic State, in the first such executions of female civilians by the group.

“The Islamic State group executed two women by beheading them in Deir Ezzor province, and this is the first time the Observatory has documented women being killed by the group in this manner,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, chief of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Both women were executed with their husbands, each couple being accused of "witchcraft and sorcery".

Islamic State has previously decapitated Kurdish female fighters' corpses and stoned civilian women to death on accusations of adultery, the Observatory said.

Read more from AFP.

Tamil Guardian 30 June 2015
Islamic State threatens Hamas
Islamic State militants threatened to overrun the Gaza Strip after accusing Hamas of being insufficient in enforcing religion, reports Reuters.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the Islamic State militants said,

“The rule of sharia (Islamic law) will be implemented in Gaza, in spite of you. We swear that what is happening in the Levant today, and in particular the Yarmouk camp, will happen in Gaza."

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Israel’s intelligence minister, Israel Katz, accused Hamas of partnering with Islamic State, stating,

“There is cooperation between them in the realm of weapons smuggling and terrorist attacks. The Egyptians know this, and the Saudis. At the same time, with Gaza, ISIS has been flouting Hamas. But they have a common cause against the Jews, in Israel or abroad.”

Tamil Guardian 30 June 2015
ICC Prosecutor restates commitment to bringing justice in Sudan

In a briefing to the UN Security Council on Monday, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda restated her office’s “unshakeable” commitment to bringing “independent and impartial justice” for the people of Sudan. This statement comes six years after the first issuance of a warrant by the ICC for the arrest of Sudan’s President, Omar al-Bashir, for alleged war crimes including genocide in Darfur.

Dismissing “detractors and naysayers” of the efficacy of ICC warrants, Bensouda pointed to President al-Bashir’s recent visit to South Africa: “Omar Bashir's rapid departure from South Africa proves that the warrants of arrest against him are as valid as they were when issued; that they remain in full force and effect, and that my Office is committed to ensure they are executed.” She called on courts in other countries to look to the South African courts’ swift action as an example.

However, Bensouda also called on the Security Council to take action on the situation saying, "It is long overdue for you to heed the cries of the victims of rape and sexual abuse, torture, mass displacement and other inhumane suffering Darfurians continue to endure."

She reiterated that the Council had a “vital” role to play in achieving “peace and justice” in Sudan:

“If there is no follow-up action on the part of the Security Council, any referral by the Council to the ICC…would never achieve its ultimate goal, namely, to put an end to impunity. Accordingly, any such referral would become futile.”

Tamil Guardian 29 June 2015
Somalian troops killed in Al Shabab attack

At least five Somalian soldiers were killed in an attack on their base by Al Shabab militants in Kismayo.

Some of the soldiers were beheaded after the militants briefly took control of the camp, witnesses told AFP.

Last week over 50 Burundian peacekeepers from the African Union were killed in an attack by the militant group.

The African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) has more than 20,000 troops in the country, but is now withdrawing from some of its smaller outposts in southern Somalia, residents have told the BBC Somali service.

Tamil Guardian 29 June 2015
Chad violence killls police

Five members of Chad's police force were killed in a raid on a militant weapon's cache in N'Djamena.

Officials say six militants also died in an explosion, as they refused to surrender and blew themselves up.

The Chadian government has blamed Nigerian armed group Boko Haram for recent violence in the country, with a bomb attack in the capital in May killing 33 people.

The militants had threatened Chad for taking part in armed operations against it in neighbouring Nigeria.

Tamil Guardian 29 June 2015
Egypt prosecutor killed in car bomb

Egyptian prosecutor Hisham Barakat was killed in a car bomb earlier today.

Mr Barakat, who has sent thousands of opponents of President Sisi to prison in a crackdown on supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, died of his injuries in hospital.

"He [Mr Barakat] has passed away," Justice Minister Ahmed al-Zind told AFP news agency.

At least three civilians were also killed, local media reported.

Tamil Guardian 28 June 2015
Judge orders seizure of Falkland assets

An Argentinian federal judge has ordered the seizure of assets of companies who are drilling for oil in the Falkland Island region, claimed by Argentina as its territory.

Tierra del Fuego judge Lilian Herraez ordered the authorities to seize boats and other assets worth $156m of Premier Oil Plc, Rockhopper Exploration Plc, Falkland Oil and Gas Ltd, Noble Energy Inc and Edison International Spa.

Three of the companies are British, one American and one French.

The Falkland islands are British territory and in a 2013 referendum among the 3,000 residents showed unanimous support for remaining British.

Tamil Guardian 28 June 2015
US warns Kosovo that it will not block Russian war crimes prosecution push

The United States warned Kosovo that it would not block Russian attempts to establish a United Nations tribunal to investigate alleged war crimes by ethnic Albanian fighters, after Kosovo failed to establish a war crimes tribunal.

The US Embassy in Kosovo said it was "deeply disappointed" by the failure of Kosovo’s parliament to pass a vote that would have seen a special court set up to try former Albanian fighters with the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) on charges of war crimes.

[more]

Tamil Guardian 27 June 2015
Swiss extradition of war crimes suspect to Bosnia angers Serbia
Swiss authorities have extradited a former Bosnian Muslim commander accused of war crimes to Bosnia instead of to Serbia, where he is wanted over similar charges.

The decision to send 48 year old Naser Oric to Bosnia instead of Serbia has angered Serb authorities, who called the decision "politically motivated” and “all but fair.”

Last year, Serbian authorities issued an international warrant for his arrest and Mr Oric was arrested by Swiss authorities whilst trying to cross into France some two weeks ago. As soon as Serbian authorities filed a request for his extradition though, the Bosnian government followed suit, announcing it had launched its own investigation into alleged war crimes.

Swiss authorities decided to send Mr Oric to Bosnia over Serbia, stating the decision had been made in “simplified proceedings”.

"For Serbia, it means that the war crimes issue is not a matter of justice but of politics," said Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic.  Mr Oric, who stands "accused of the worst war crimes, has thus been practically released," he added.

However the Bosnian government reacted differently, hailing the decisions as "the only correct and fair" one. Bakir Izetbegović, the Bosniak member of the tripartite Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said Serbia’s move was "another attempt of Serbian justice to mistreat our citizens, despite the accords and protocols (on cooperation of two countries in war crime cases) failed".

[more]

 
HIGHLIGHTS
  Editorial
Editorial Tamil Guardian 18 May 2015
Struggle for remembrance
Illustration by Keera Ratnam May 18 is etched deep into the conscience of the Tamil nation. [more]

Tamil Guardian 07 May 2015
The British Tamil ballot
With the United Kingdom approaching the 2015 general election this week, voters throughout the country will once again be carefully considering their choices at the polls. [more]

  Opinion
Tamil Guardian 24 June 2015
‘In Defence of Diaspora and Sri Lanka's Invisible Victims’

Hundreds of recent survivors of torture have been forced to flee Sri Lanka, says former BBC correspondent Frances Harrison, in a piece in the Huffington Post. [more]

Phil Miller Tamil Guardian 19 June 2015
Tamils struggle for freedom in Sri Lanka’s ‘new democracy’
Mullivaikaal today is a picture perfect beach with a small fishing community. Boats line the seafront, stuffed with freshly caught fish, sting rays and even tiny sharks. [more]

Tamil Guardian 18 May 2015
Chief Minister's statement delivered at May 18 remembrance event in Mullivaikkal
Chief Minister’s Statement relating to the death of our dear ones during the last stages of the war on this Anniversary date - 18.05.2015

Today is the day of remembrance of those relatives of ours who died during the last stages of the war. This day brought forth sad and grief stricken news about our people six years ago which wrenched the hearts of not only Sri Lankan Tamils but also those residing abroad. This day is thus a significant emotive day for us.

The Mullivaikal incident left indelible marks on the collective human conscience of our people. Human rights’ denied, [more]


  Feature
Tamil Guardian 25 June 2015
Witnesses from No Fire Zone testify at UNHRC event on disappearances in Sri Lanka
Updated 02:34 BST

Witnesses from the No Fire Zone revealed their testimonies at a side event on disappearances in Sri Lanka at the 29th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, on Thursday. [more]

Tamil Guardian 18 June 2015
TAG Eyewitness Account: Shanthi's Story
Shanthi’s Story The following account is based on interviews to Tamils Against Genocide. Personal details of Shanthi (not her real name), place names and dates have been changed to protect her identity. [more]

Tamil Guardian 05 June 2015
Pon Sivakumaran remembered in North-East

The first Tamil to die in the liberation struggle was remembered in Jaffna today, on the 41st anniversary of his death.

Locals gathered at a statue of Ponnuthurai Sivakumaran in his hometown Urumpirai in Jaffna earlier today, [more]


  Culture & Community
Tamil Guardian 22 March 2015
A night to remember as Tamil comedy takes to the stage

  All photographs: Thamarai With Tamil variety shows having been a staple part of the British Tamil calendar for years, [more]

Tamil Guardian 22 February 2015
'Super Singer Junior' audiences stunned by song dedicated to Eelam Tamils
A 15 year old Canadian Eelam Tamil singer, Jessica Judes, stunned audiences of the widely popular Tamil Nadu singing competition - Super Singer Junior on Saturday, [more]

Tamil Guardian 21 February 2015
Denmark Tamil schools compete in Malathy Cup football tournament
Tamil schools across Denmark came together for the Malathy Cup football tournament on February 14. [more]



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