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Lords reject statelessness power
Published Date: 08/04/2014 (Tuesday)
Last night the Lords rejected the idea of rendering British citizens stateless. In doing so, they safeguarded our security and stood firm on our democratic values remarked the Civil Rights organisation Liberty. Last night, quietly and without fanfare, the Lords delivered a victory for all who believe in democracy and human rights.
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Sri Lanka Refuses Cooperation With UN-Backed Probe
Published Date: 07/04/2014 (Monday)
Sri Lanka's foreign minister announced that his country will not cooperate with the United Nations human rights chief when she begins an investigation into alleged crimes from the island nation's civil war. Minister G L Peiris said that Sri Lanka does not accept the authority of U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay to conduct an investigation. He said such an investigation will not be fair and objective because Pillay has a prejudged mind.
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JVP to fight for rights of Muslims
Published Date: 07/04/2014 (Monday)
Coming down hard on an alleged illegal construction taking place in a Muslim burial ground at Maligawatta, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) said it remains committed to protect the rights of Sri Lanka's Muslim community. JVP Western Provincial Councillor, K.D. Lal Kantha alleged that the illegal construction, in the Muslim burial ground at Maligawatta, is taking place with the consent of the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development. "Since of late, a trend has been witnessed in Sri Lanka where the Muslim Community is being subjected to marginalization.
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UN to review 20-year confidentiality clause ‘at a later stage’ War crimes probe targeting Sri Lanka:
Published Date: 06/04/2014 (Sunday)
The United Nations said that the issue of confidentiality of sources/eyewitness needed to be considered at a later stage. A senior UN spokesperson said: "The High Commissioner for Human Rights will now be making arrangements for a comprehensive investigation requested by the United Nations Human Rights Council and these are issues which will need to be considered at a later stage. In any case, the protection of witnesses and their consent to sharing their identities remain the overriding considerations when dealing with these matters."
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The World Tamil Web Conference 2014 held in London
Published Date: 05/04/2014 (Saturday)
The World Tamil Web Conference 2014 (WTWC 2014) took place on Friday 4th April 2014 in London with the aims of discussing the future of Tamil Media across the World Wide Web. The conference was attended by numerous Tamil Web based media. With a diverse range of participants ranging from Tamil web-based editors, media journalists, researchers, analysts and activists and even artificial intelligence developers. The Panels of guest speakers participated were;
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Indian envoy calls for Sri Lanka power sharing
Published Date: 04/04/2014 (Friday)
India's ambassador urged Sri Lanka's government on Friday to expedite power sharing with ethnic minority Tamils after a recent United Nations resolution authorized an international war crimes investigation. Ambassador Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha said early talks between the government and the main ethnic Tamil party, the Tamil National Alliance, are a "key imperative" and urged the government to create conditions that would lead to a resumption of the dialogue.
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Open letter to the Members of the UN Open Working Group (UN OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals
Published Date: 02/04/2014 (Wednesday)
30 organisations have come together to formulate a set of goals and targets that would effectively address armed violence in the post-2015 framework to bring it to the attention of the UN OWG. This is to ensure that sustainable peace remains prominent in the UN OWG's discussions and that any goals and targets that the UN OWG proposes effectively addresses the underlying drivers of armed violence.
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After Sri Lanka Samarasinghe Rebuffs Pillay, UN Tells ICP Ban Wants Cooperation
Published Date: 01/04/2014 (Tuesday)
While UN Secretary General had no comment last week on restrictions on human rights defenders in Sri Lanka (and previously accepted controversial military figure Shavendra Silva as an adviser, telling Inner City Press it was entirely up to the member states), on April 1 Ban through his deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq gave a pre-prepared answer to Inner City Press' question.
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Transcript: Northern Province Chief Minister’s speech at the Bernard Soysa Centenary Memorial Event: THE NATIONAL QUESTION
Published Date: 31/03/2014 (Monday)
Mr. Chairman, distinguished Guests, my dear Brothers & Sisters. It is indeed ironic that we are remembering a stalwart among our Majority Community Parliamentarians of yesteryears at this citadel of Tamil Letters and Literature on his hundredth birthday. In fact we live at a time when a mere 57th Lane cannot be renamed as Tamil Sangam Lane in Colombo because the word ‘Tamil’ appears to be anathema to some of our governing elites. I am wondering whether calling this Lane as Thamil Sangam Mawatha might be acceptable to those who oppose the renaming. There could be a fusion of Thamil Sangam with Sinhala Mawatha!
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French charity welcomes inquiry into aid worker massacre in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 31/03/2014 (Monday)
French charity Action Contre La Faim (ACF) has welcomed a United Nations resolution which paves the way for an inquiry into human rights abuses committed during Sri Lanka's civil war, including the massacre of 17 of its aid workers eight years ago. The ACF workers were murdered outside their office in the town of Muttur in the mainly Tamil north of Sri Lanka in August 2006. The charity said they were lined up and shot at point blank range.
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Ending sexual violence
Published Date: 31/03/2014 (Monday)
Speaking at the meeting organised by Lawyers’ Collective Women’s Rights Initiative, Sir James Bevan KCMG, UK High Commissioner to India said, Sexual violence is a global pandemic. The official statistics say that one in three women suffer violence or sexual abuse at some time in their lives. I suspect the real figures are much, much higher.
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Sri Lanka: Western and Southern Provincial Council Elections
Published Date: 30/03/2014 (Sunday)
The ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) emerged victorious in both the Western and Southern Provinces. The UPFA emerged victorious by beating the Opposition by 388,977 votes in the Southern Province and by 683,993 votes in the Western Province, with an overall lead of 932,292.
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Baroness Warsi welcomes conclusions of UN Human Rights Council
Published Date: 28/03/2014 (Friday)
The UN Human Rights Council concluded its 25th Session today with important resolutions on Sri Lanka, DPRK, Iran, Syria and Burma. Senior Foreign Office Minister Baroness Warsi said: The UK welcomes the strong action which the Human Rights Council has taken on Sri Lanka, DPRK, Iran, Syria and Burma at this session. I am also encouraged by the Council’s effective response to a range of other critical human rights situations including Ukraine and South Sudan.
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CPS to prosecute G4S guards for the manslaughter of Jimmy Mubenga
Published Date: 27/03/2014 (Thursday)
It has taken nearly four years of sustained pressure from the family and supporters of Mr Mubenga, and much public outrage, for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to finally bring criminal charges against his G4S killers. An inquest in 2013 heard how three G4S guards deporting Mr Mubenga on a British Airways flight, violently restrained him in a position known to cause asphyxia. Having considered the evidence of Mr Mubenga’s harrowing death, the jury found that he had been “unlawfully killed”.
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South African Tamils Supports Independent and International Inquiry into Human Rights Violations of Tamils in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 26/03/2014 (Wednesday)
The South African Tamil Federation (SATF), which represents more than 650 000 South Africans whose mother tongue is Tamil, has supported moves by the United States, United Kingdom and other countries to call for an international and independent commission of inquiry into the allegations of human rights violations of Tamils in Sri Lanka. The SATF's support is contained in a letter submitted on Monday this week to the United Nations Human Rights Council session which is currently being held in Geneva, Switzerland.
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UN Rights Council: Crucial Vote on Sri Lanka Inquiry International Investigation a Pivotal Step for Justice
Published Date: 26/03/2014 (Wednesday)
Members of the United Nations Human Rights Council should vote for a resolution calling on the UN’s human rights office to investigate allegations of war crimes by all sides during the final months of Sri Lanka’s civil war, Human Rights Watch said today. The vote on the resolution is expected this week. The Sri Lankan government has failed to seriously respond to two previous Human Rights Council resolutions seeking national investigations into violations of international human rights and humanitarian law during the last stages of fighting with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which resulted in the deaths of as many as 40,000 civilians.
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Dal Khalsa on Tamil Right to Self-determination
Published Date: 26/03/2014 (Wednesday)
Amritsar- Asserting that like Tamils in Sri Lanka, Kashmiris and Sikhs face similar situation in India, the Dal Khalsa has urged the United Nations to intervene in India also to ensure justice and protection of rights of Sikhs and Kashmiris particularly their right to self-determination. Realizing that UN intervention in South Asia has been negligible, the party’s secretary for political affairs Kanwar Pal Singh has sent a letter addressed to United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms Navi Pillay seeking the UN intervention.
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The Forever War? Military Control in Sri Lanka’s North
Published Date: 25/03/2014 (Tuesday)
The heavy militarisation of Sri Lanka’s northern province after the civil war’s bloody end in 2009 has been the subject of growing domestic and international concern, says International Crisis Group, working to prevent conflict worldwide. The large numbers of military personnel in the north, and the deep involvement of the military in the province’s governance, endanger the re-establishment of democratic institutions that is necessary to lasting peace (see our November 2013 report Sri Lanka’s Potemkin Peace: Democracy Under Fire).
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Sri Lanka: Further acts of harassment against Mr. Ruki Fernando and Rev. Praveen Mahesan
Published Date: 25/03/2014 (Tuesday)
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), has received new information and requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Sri Lanka.
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President Rajapakse to brief Maha Nayaka Thera’s
Published Date: 22/03/2014 (Saturday)
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has accepted a request made by the Most Venerable Mahanayaka Thera’s to brief them on the ongoing Human Rights sessions in Geneva. The Government information department stated that accordingly the meeting will be held tomorrow. The request for the meeting seeking an update about the US sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC session was made by Mahanayaka Thera of the Malwathu Chapter Most Ven. Thibbatuwawe Sri Sumangala Thera and Mahanayake of the Asgiriya Chapter Most Ven. Udugama Sri Buddha Rakkitha Thera.
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“I have secured full backing of EU for resolution on Sri Lanka”, UK Prime Minister David Cameron
Published Date: 22/03/2014 (Saturday)
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom said he has secured the full support of the European Union for the UN resolution on Sri Lanka UK co-sponsored with the United States. Addressing the press conference at the close of European Council on Friday (March 21) Cameron said Sri Lankan President\'s failure to properly address the issues of accountability for the past and bring reconciliation in the country has necessitated the international investigation called on by the resolution.
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On Sri Lanka, After Arrest of 2 Rights Defenders, US Speaks, UN Doesn't By Matthew Russell Lee
Published Date: 21/03/2014 (Friday)
As the Sri Lanka draft resolution at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva had the reference to demilitarization dropped, the government has arrested two human rights defenders, Ruki Fernando and Praveen Mahesahn, who is both a pastor and director of a rights group. The UN had no comment when Inner City Press asked on March 17, nor at the UN noon briefing on March 21. But now later on March 21 US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki has issued this, link added here
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Report on torture and sexual violence released on Friday, 21 March 2014
Published Date: 21/03/2014 (Friday)
A shocking report detailing the ongoing sexual violence and torture in Sri Lanka, some as recent as February 2014, was launched by international human rights lawyer, Yasmin Sooka, the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales (BHRC) and The International Truth & Justice Project, Sri Lanka, this Friday 21 March in the Canadian High Commission, Macdonald House, 1 Grosvenour Square, London W1K 4AB. The event was chaired by Geoffrey Robertson QC.
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Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka figures in disappearance probe
Published Date: 21/03/2014 (Friday)
The conduct of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka figured in complaints received by a Sri Lankan government commission probing disappearances during the country\\\'s civil war, a senior official said today. The complaints against the IPKF was received during the sitting of a 3-member disappearances probe panel in the former conflict zone in the eastern province. \\\"We began our sittings in Chenkaladi and called some 60 cases. There were also new cases numbering 250,\\\" HW Gunadasa, panel\\\'s Secretary said.
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Chairman Menendez Expresses Support for an International Investigation into Sri Lankan War Crime Allegations
Published Date: 19/03/2014 (Wednesday)
Chairman Menendez wrote UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay to express his support for a resolution at the current session of the UN Human Rights Council that calls for an international investigation into Sri Lankan war crimes committed during that country’s civil war.
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