Friday, 7 March 2014

Mass Graves in Sri-Lanka



Sri-Lanka has numerous mass graves across the country.

Successive Sri-Lankan governments have been involved in state-sponsored terrorism for many decades.

These graves date back to the 1970s when there was an uprising against the government by the JVP. The group led two uprisings first in 1971 and the second from 1987 to 1989.

The Sooriyakanda mass grave is the mass burial ground of murdered school children from Embilipitiya High School. These school children were killed and buried as part of the counter insurgency during the second JVP uprising.

It was alleged that over 300 bodies were buried in the location. The mass grave was located in 1994.

The Sri Lankan government last reported in 1996 to have conducted a forensic analysis of the burial ground uncovering an unspecified number of bodies. Local media, NGOs and the US state department have claimed that the investigations are not satisfactory.

"The state's army and paramilitaries carried out large-scale killings at that time and we ask the government to do a full investigation," said Anura Dissanayake, a lawmaker from a political party with ties to the former rebels.

In a BBC interview with David Frost on 28 October 2001, Chandrika Kumaratunga - who was the President of Sri Lanka from 1994 to 2005 - stated that at the time that her husband Vijaya Kumaranatunga was murdered, "Sri Lanka had killing fields; there was a lot of terror perpetrated by the government itself, state terrorism.”

Human remains of 200 people were discovered in Matale in December 2012. Politicians belonging to the JVP party allege that the victims were killed having been tortured and that the heads, arms and legs of many of them had been severed.

The then government was widely accused of running torture chambers in the area in the late 1980s and of conducting extra-judicial executions. As many as 60,000 JVP insurgents were reportedly killed. 

According to the Sri Lankan defence ministry website, the military’s coordinating officer and then commanding officer in the area at the time was Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

According to Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch:

“Unless there is real transparency in the forensic investigation, we will never be sure." "But we know they will not want to open a Pandora's Box that would incriminate many senior figures."

More and more mass graves are being found almost monthly!



“The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who do not do anything about it.” - Albert Einstein


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Saturday, 19 October 2013

Political Assassinations and Violence in Sri-Lanka




Sri-Lankan politics have a long history of violence.

S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike (who was Prime Minister from 1956 to 1959) was assassinated by a Buddhist monk in 1959.

The government under President Ranasinghe Premadasa killed many opponents, but put the blame on groups such as the LTTE and/or JVP. Some of the leading people alleged to have been murdered by the Premadasa regime include: General Denzil Kobbekaduwa, Lalith Athulathmudali and Vijaya Kumaranatunga.

Vijaya Kumaranatunga was the husband of Chandrika Kumaratunga (President from 1994 to 2005) and he was murdered in 1988.

Soon after the killing of her husband, Chandrika Kumaratunga fled the country with her two children seeking self-imposed exile in the UK.

In 1995, alleging Ranasinghe Premadasa and Ranjan Wijeratne (a minister)
to have been behind the assassination of her husband, she appointed a Presidential Commission of inquiry into the assassination of Vijaya Kumaratunga. The commission implicated Ranasinghe Premadasa and Ranjan Wijeratne.

General Denzil Lakshman Kobbekaduwa was murdered in August 1992. A Presidential Commission concluded that President Ranasinghe Premadasa as well as members of the Sri Lankan Army such as Major W A N M Weerasinghe were directly responsible for his death.

Lalith Athulathmudali, a senior minister, was murdered in April 1993.

Initially, the government blamed the LTTE and produced the body of a Tamil youth named Ragunathan found near the scene of the shooting the following day. He had apparently died from taking a cyanide capsule. However, these claims were later proved to be false.

A Presidential Commission carried out by the Sri Lankan Government concluded that Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa was directly responsible for the assassination. It also concluded that the Tamil youth Ragunathan, was murdered by the same people who killed Athulathmudali, by forcibly administering him with cyanide.

Ranasinghe Premadasa and Ranjan Wijeratne were both brutally murdered!



"If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him." Hindu Proverb



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Friday, 27 September 2013

Six Facts About Sri-Lanka

Sri-Lanka has become one of the most violent and dangerous countries in the world. Under the Rajapaksa brothers, political violence and corruption have increased dramatically.

1. Sri-Lankan governments have been involved in state-sponsored terrorism and violence for the last 40 years.

In an interview with the British television presenter David Frost, Chandrika Kumaratunga - who was the President of Sri Lanka from 1994 to 2005 - stated that at the time that her husband Vijaya Kumaranatunga was assassinated, "Sri Lanka had killing fields; there was a lot of terror perpetrated by the government itself, state terrorism.”

The Sri-Lankan government is intensifying its crackdown on critics through threats, harassment, imprisonment and violent attacks, Amnesty International said in a report released in April this year.

Check the following:










2. Sri-Lanka has the largest Cabinet in the world with more than 90 Ministers.


But the Rajapaksa brothers control more than 80% of the budget! The country is run like a corner shop!

Check the following:


3. Sri-Lanka's chief justice is a pathological liar.                 

In November 2011, Mohan Peiris said the following in Geneva: "An investigation into the abduction of Prageeth Eknelygoda is being conducted by the police and by the CCD. Investigation is being continued. So far no one has been arrested in this connection."

But, according to the Asian Human Rights Commission, in a question and answer session after the presentation, Peiris said: “according to reliable information, Prageeth Eknelygoda has taken refuge in a foreign country and that the campaign against his disappearance is a hoax.” Peiris failed to provide detailed information about where Eknelygoda had fled, the AHRC correspondent said.

He was ordered to testify before a court in June 2012 during the case over Prageeth Eknaligoda’s disappearance. Peiris told the court that he was not aware of the whereabouts of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda!

Check the following:



4. Sri-Lanka is one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists.


Reporters Without Borders ranks Sri-Lanka 163 out of 179 nations on its global Press Freedom Index 2011 - 2012. Sri-Lanka is ranked just above Somalia!

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5. Sri-Lanka has high level of corruption and the Rajapaksa brothers and their cronies are involved in looting the country.


A recent S&P report pointed to the country’s weak external liquidity “in the context of low income levels, relaxed lending practices and underwriting standards, as well as a weak payment culture and rule of law.

During the past 10 years, two state banks, Bank of Ceylon and Peoples Bank, wrote off 125 billion rupees, with the loan defaulters mostly backed by government politicians.

Market regulator Tilak Karunaratne quit in August 2012, saying he could no longer battle against a "mafia of crooks" preventing probes into insider trading and "pump-and-dump" scams in which investors drive up shares and then sell them.

Karunaratne's predecessor, Indrani Sugathadasa, also resigned in 2011, saying she was unwilling to compromise her "principles".

According to Transparency International, about US $ 500 million of the tsunami aid for Sri Lanka is unaccounted for and more than $ 603 million has been spent on projects unrelated to the disaster. In a report examining the funding, the group concluded the discrepancy between relief money received and money spent ''does not have a credible explanation''.

Check the following:

 




6. Sri-Lanka relies heavily on more than one million maids in the Middle East for foreign exchange.



The Rajapaksa regime is involved in slave trade. It sends Singhalese and Muslims women to the Middle East to work as maids and receives fees and remittances of $2.5 billion per year - the second largest source of foreign exchange.

Check the following:





Friday, 20 September 2013

State-Sponsored Terrorism and Racism in Sri-Lanka









Since Sri-Lanka’s independence in 1948, Sri Lanka’s Tamils have been killed, kidnapped, raped, robbed, displaced and arbitrarily detained by the Sri-Lankan government.

The persecution of Sri-Lanka’s Tamils started with the passage of the Ceylon Citizenship Act of 1948. It denied citizenship to one million Tamils.

The Act was inspired by Adolph Hitler’s Nuremberg Laws of 15 September 1935, which provided: “A Jew cannot be a citizen of the Reich. He cannot exercise the right to vote.”

The 1958 Sinhalese Only Act was a landmark in the history of Tamil oppression. It generally excluded or handicapped Tamils in public or private employment, education, housing or welfare.

Sri-Lankan regimes have been involved in state-sponsored terrorism for more than 40 years while pretending to be a peaceful Buddhist country. In fact, Sri-Lankan Buddhism is an extreme version that is similar to the Talibans' ideology.

The government has organized race riots in response to peaceful Tamil protests. In July 1983, Sri Lankan President J. R. Jayawardene supplied armed gangs of Sinhalese with voter lists to identify Tamil homes and businesses. He incited the thugs to hack Tamils to death in their houses, offices, and places of work.
Thousands of Tamils were murdered. None of the murderers was prosecuted by the government; and, no compensation was paid to the Tamil victims.

People were burned alive in their cars. Women were raped. In Colombo and provincial towns, soldiers stood by and even supplied petrol. In two pogroms in the biggest prison, Sinhalese inmates killed 53 of their Tamil counterparts.

The statement of J.R. Jayawardene to the Daily Telegraph on 11 July 1983 while state organized race riots were slaughtering Tamils by the thousands and displacing more than 100,000: “I am not worried about the opinion of the Tamil people…now we cannot think of them, not about their lives or their opinion…the more you put pressure in the north, the happier the Sinhala people will be here…Really if I starve the Tamils out, the Sinhalese people will be happy.”

Remembering Sri Lanka's Black July 1983:



In 2004, the previous President Chandrika Kumaratunga gave a public apology to Tamils for Black July, likening it to Nazism.

At their recent rallies, the most prominent new hard-line group, the Buddhist Strength Force (Bodu Bala Sena, BBS) have used coarse, derogatory language to describe Muslim imams and have told the Sinhalese majority not to rent property to Muslims.

Dayan Jayatilleka, a former Sri-Lankan diplomat, calls the BBS an "ethno-religious fascist movement from the dark underside of Sinhala society".


Useful links for more information:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21840600 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21920735 

http://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/a-criminal-monk-to-the-police-commission 

http://groundviews.org/2012/04/23/bigoted-monks-and-militant-mobs-is-this-buddhism-in-sri-lanka-today 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-14926002 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21973292 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21977640 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21964586 

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/03/sri-lanka-slaughter-no-fire-zone 


Friday, 26 April 2013

Why Sri-Lanka Should be Kicked Out of the Commonwealth?





The new Commonwealth charter lists democracy, human rights, freedom of expression, judicial independence, rule of law and good governance among the "shared values" it seeks to promote. Sri-Lanka's record in all of these areas has been questioned at the highest level.

Two former British Foreign Secretaries, David Miliband and Sir Malcolm Rifkind have asked the Commonwealth Secretariat to stop Sri-Lanka from hosting its heads of government meeting because of the country's poor human rights record.

David Miliband, described as "grotesque" the notion of the Queen attending the meeting as head of the Commonwealth, if it is to be hosted by what he called a repressive regime, fast "moving towards pariah status".

Sir Malcolm Rifkind likened it to Pretoria hosting this November's heads of government meeting while South Africa was under apartheid.

The leading human rights lawyer, Geoffrey Robertson QC, has also said the Commonwealth risked becoming "a laughing stock". He branded the organisation "leaderless and rudderless" and said "if it goes to Colombo, we need never bother with it again. It will be a mockery".

"Sri-Lanka has breached the most fundamental aspect of democracy, namely the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary," he told Channel 4 News.

He said it would be "obscene" if the Queen were to shake hands with Mahinda Rajapakse as it would deliver what he called "exactly the propaganda coup that these people want."

Peter Kellner, chairman of the cultural and educational charity, the Royal Commonwealth Society, also said that the Commonwealth risked becoming irrelevant if the meeting in Colombo goes ahead. "At issue is the commitment of governments and the leaders of civil society to the principles of human rights," he said.

Mr Kellner also drew attention to the strong criticism of Sri Lanka's human rights record voiced by the United Nations, the European Union, Amnesty International and Human rights watch.

Commonwealth Journalists Association, the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, The Commonwealth Lawyers Association, the Commonwealth Legal Education Association, the Commonwealth Magistrates and Judges, Human Rights Watch, the UN Human Rights Council and Amnesty International have pointed to a deterioration of civil liberties and human rights in Sri Lanka after the end of the civil war.

Fiji, Nigeria, Pakistan and Zimbabwe have been suspended from the Commonwealth in the past. Sri-Lanka’s record is far worse than any of the countries that have been suspended. However, the Commonwealth has not only chosen to ignore Sri-Lanka’s appalling human rights record but also has awarded Sri-Lanka a prize by allowing it to host this year’s Commonwealth Summit!

The Commonwealth is fast becoming CommonFilth!
 

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