Saturday, 19 April 2014
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Tamil Guardian 19 April 2014
India to join Chinese naval exercise, US pulls out after Japan excluded
India is sending a stealth frigate to participate in an international fleet review and maritime exercise hosted by the Chinese Navy on April 23, which the United States declining to join after Japan was excluded from the event. See The Hindu’s report.

 The Indian Embassy in Beijing said in a statement the visit by INS Shivalik "highlights the friendly exchanges and bilateral defence cooperation" between India and China.

 China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy is hosting the event in the northeastern port of Qingdao, the headquarters of its North Sea fleet, as it prepares to mark its 65th anniversary with great fanfare. President Xi Jinping is expected to presided over the celebrations.

 At least 10 countries have so far confirmed their participation, including India, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand, Indonesia and Pakistan, according to a provisional list.

 With India and Pakistan taking part, the review and exercise will also provide a rare instance of both countries jointly taking part in a naval exercise, the paper said.

 The event will take place along with the annual meeting of the Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS) – a US-established grouping of 20 countries, including Australia, Canada, Russia, Japan, South Korea and China, and three observers - India, Bangladesh and Mexico.

China invited Japan's Navy chief to attend the WPNS, but excluded Japan from the international fleet review and exercise.

 

Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said last week it was "unfortunate that China took such an approach", which follows rising tensions over disputed East China Sea islands.

Tamil Guardian 19 April 2014
Interpol chief vows to pursue genocide perpetrators

Rwanda in partnership with Interpol hosted an international meeting this week to discuss strategies against ideologies that lead to genocide

 Participants in the April 14 - 16 meet included national law enforcement and judicial authorities as well as experts from Interpol member countries, representatives of international organisations, civil society organisations, academia and the media.

 Speaking on genocide fugitives still at large, Secretary General of Interpol, Mr Ronald Noble said: "No matter how long it takes, all fugitives of genocide crimes will be brought to justice wherever they are."

 

Tamil Guardian 19 April 2014
Iraq’s Kurds press states to recognise genocide
Twenty-six years have passed since Saddam Hussein's campaign of mass killings against the Kurds in northern Iraq. Yet to date, no governments - except for Iraq's - have officially recognised the campaign as constituting a genocide. That allows them to avoid legal liability for supporting and arming Saddam during this time, writes Sofia Barbarani in Al Jazeera’s website.

Saddam systematically killed more than 100,000 Kurds in the ‘al-Anfal’ campaign, which lasted from February to September 1988, towards the end of the war with Iran - in which the Iraqi leader was supported by many Western countries. In March 1988, Saddam also ordered the chemical bombing of Halabja, where 5,000 Kurds were murdered.

Some of Iraq's largest military operations against the Kurds took place on April 14, 1988 - now the official day of remembrance for those killed in al-Anfal.

April is the commemorative month of several other genocides including the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, Armenian Genocide and the Cambodian genocide.

"For Western governments to recognise the systematic persecution of the Kurds as genocide… will help the Kurdish people achieve justice for the overwhelming suffering they experienced at the hands of Saddam Hussein," said Kurdish-British MP Nadhim Zahawi, who in 2012 launched an online petition that ultimately prompted the debate in the British parliament to recognise the al-Anfal campaign as genocide.

Tamil Guardian 19 April 2014
UN Security Council urges renewed commitment to prevent genocide
The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday unanimously adopted resolution (2150) in which it called on all states to renew their commitment to prevent and fight against genocide and other serious crimes under international law.

Through the resolution, the Council also called upon States that had not yet ratified or acceded to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide to consider doing so as a matter of high priority.

The Council, presently under the presidency of Nigeria, was marking the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide.

Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General, described the genocide in Rwanda as one of the "darkest chapters in human history" and said the world remembered with heavy hearts the international community's collective failure to recognize and act on the warning signs of genocide.

"We must do more as a community of nations and as global citizens if we are going to live up to the promise of 'never again' and act upon our collective responsibility to protect," he said.

Rwanda's UN Ambassador, Eugene-Richard Gasana, told the council that “the systematic slaughter of men, women and children was perpetrated in full view of the international community.”

“The genocide against the Tutsi highlighted the extent to which the UN methods of prevention utterly failed,” he said, adding that the “horrific” scenes from Central African Republic, Syria and South Sudan today shows that the U.N. still has a long way to go.

Jordan's UN Ambassador, Prince Zeid al Hussein, asked his fellow council members, if they had learned anything from the Rwanda genocide, and what words they would use that would be “immune to the inevitable mockery, the cynical laughter” of the people of the CAR whose relatives had been killed there in ongoing fighting.
Tamil Guardian 18 April 2014
UN camp attacked in South Sudan
Gunmen in South Sudan on Thursday attacked a UN peacekeepers’ camp where thousands of people had sought safety, killing at least 58 people, the Washington Post reports.

Almost 5000 civilians were sheltering at the camp. The South Sudan government today deployed troops to provide security for UN facilities.

The United Nations said the gunmen, using a peaceful demonstration as cover, stormed the camp and opened fire after breaking through the gate.

The United Nations Security Council has  expressed outrage at the attacks.

Tamil Guardian 18 April 2014
US urges Burma to protect Rohingya
The United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, today urged the Burmese government to intervene in the Rakhine state and end the violence between Buddhists and Muslims, reports Voice of America.

Speaking at the end of a briefing at the United Nations Security council on the situation in Burma, Power said that the United states to support Burma’s reforms but was greatly concerned by the ethnically driven violence in the country.

The United Nations recognises the Rohingya community as one of the most persecuted in the world.

See related articles:

US urged to protect Rohingya community from genocide in Myanmar (24 March 2014)

When Buddhist supremacism unites (07 March 2014)
Tamil Guardian 18 April 2014
Ukraine announces amnesty for separatist militants in response to disarmament deal
The interim Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, addressing Ukrainian parliament today, said an amnesty bill was prepared for separatists who laid down their arms and left government buildings in response to an agreement made in Geneva yesterday.

The United States, European Union, Russia and Ukraine yesterday, agreed a plan to help deescalate tensions in eastern Ukraine in Geneva.

The agreement called for the disarmament of armed groups in eastern Ukraine, the return of occupied buildings to the government and amnesty to separatist protestors in exchange for delays in another round of sanctions.

Pro-Russian separatists who proclaimed parts of eastern Ukraine as the Donetsk People’s Republic rejected calls vacate government buildings stating that they would only vacate when pro-European Union demonstrators vacated government administration.

A statement from the Donetsk People’s Republic separatists, said,


“We cannot accept the values of the Kiev junta, we have our heroic part going back to World War Two, we are the Russian bear which is waking up.”

Meanwhile in an act of solidarity with Ukraine and other vulnerable eastern European countries, the US and Canadian military, yesterday announced that they would keep fighter planes in neighbouring Poland.
 

Tamil Guardian 17 April 2014
Burmese soldiers killed in conflict against Kachin rebels
Burma’s presidential spokesperson, yesterday confirmed that a senior commander and several troops, had been killed in fights with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), reports Voice of America.

The KIA spokesperson, rejecting calls from the government to disarm, expressed concern over the state militarisation of the area, and said,


“Everybody says we need to reduce military actions, conflicts and build up trust before signing a nationwide ceasefire agreement; however, the Burmese military deploys more troops in the area for the time being."

Burma this week received
criticism from US officials over the government’s treatment of the Rohingya community in the Kachin state.
Tamil Guardian 17 April 2014
Syrian activists accuse government of further chemical weapons attacks
In the fourth allegation this week, Syrian activists today published online, alleged evidence of chemical weapons attacks on civilians, reports the BBC.

Opposition activists also published photographs of injuries similar to those suffered from chemical weapons attacks.

A UN inquiry in December found credible evidence of the usage of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict.
The Syrian government failed to meet a deadline in February to hand over its 1300 tonne chemical weapon agent stockpile and has an impending deadline in June to destroy all its chemical weapons.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an organisation based in London that reports on and analysis the conflict in Syria estimates that over 150,000 people have been killed in the conflict so far.

Tamil Guardian 17 April 2014
UN asks for $270 million to aid humanitarian operations in CAR
The United Nations launched an appeal for $274 million to aid people that have fled the sectarian conflict in the Central African Republic, reports the Associated Press.

“All agencies working in the region are dramatically underfunded,” the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, said today.

The money will be used by the UN refugee agency and 14 other non-governmental aid organisations.

Over 200,000 people have sought refuge in neighbouring conflict due to the escalating violence in the region.
 
HIGHLIGHTS
  Editorial
Editorial Tamil Guardian 14 April 2014
Inducing fear

The killings of three Tamil men last week, who the Sri Lankan military claims were attempting to revive the LTTE, has spread terror amongst the Tamil population. [more]

Editorial Tamil Guardian 07 April 2014
Transcending Terror

The Sri Lankan government's proscription last week of 15 Tamil diaspora organisations and over 400 individuals was a brazen attempt to instil fear into the Tamil people. [more]

  Opinion
Krisna Saravanamuttu Tamil Guardian 01 April 2014
The proscription of the Tamil Diaspora: War by other means
Writing in JDS, on the recent blanket proscription of several Tamil diaspora organisations by the Sri Lankan government, the National Council of Canadian Tamils' (NCCT) advocacy and research director, [more]

J. S. Tissainayagam Tamil Guardian 01 April 2014
UN resolution the first step on rocky path to accountability

The resolution adopted in the UN Human Rights council is the first step in the rocky path towards accountability, writes the exiled Tamil journalist, J. [more]

Tamil Students Initiative (TSI) Tamil Guardian 01 April 2014
Another step in a long and arduous path towards justice

The Tamil Students Initiative (TSI) recognises the resolution passed by the United Nations Human Rights Council as a small but important step in the ongoing struggle for justice for the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. [more]


  Feature
Tamil Guardian 14 April 2014
'We will continue to keep Sri Lanka issue alive' says Stephen Rapp at event on international criminal justice

The US Ambassador-at-large for Global Criminal Justice, Stephen J. Rapp, said at an event in Washington that the US will continue to work to keep the Sri Lanka issue alive, with a view to see justice some day. [more]

Tamil Guardian 09 April 2014
What drew bond investors to Sri Lanka this week?
Sri Lanka sold $500m of bonds on Tuesday with a yield of just over 5 percent – its lowest ever – after raising $1bn in January in a separate bond issuance with a 6 percent yield. [more]

Tamil Guardian 02 April 2014
Diaspora groups reject SL ban, vow to continue struggle
Thousands of Tamils protest outside the UN HRC in Geneva on March 10th, calling for an international investigation into Sri Lanka's genocide of Tamils. [more]


  Culture & Community
Sinthujan Varatharajah Tamil Guardian 26 March 2014
Paddy Field

Paddy Field

Words that hold the world together Touches that erupt in vibration Breaths that rip apart air textures

Tears that moist the sandy soil Heartbeats that overtake passing vehicles Filled with people, [more]

O V Maniccam Tamil Guardian 17 March 2014
Talking Taboo: Discussing LGBT issues in the Tamil community

Unrestricted, a discussion series created by Tamil Students Initiative, is a platform for open discussion challenging the taboos that are rife within the Tamil society at large. [more]

Tamil Guardian 01 March 2014
Tamil talent takes centre stage at LSE

‘Raise Your Voice’, an event held by the Tamil Student Initiative (tsi) to showcase and empower emerging creative talent, [more]



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