Hi Stephanie,

Haven’t caught up with you in a long time. Hope all of you are doing well.

I justed wanted to catch you up to what’s going on in Sri Lanka lately. You may get  2 or 3 emails from under various topic. Hope you will have the time to read and pass this on to your human rights activists.

Thank You.
Manju Schwandt
CNN, Becky Anderson – Jan 7, 2010
U.N. Special Rapporteur, Prof. Philip Alston, calling for investigating war crimes in Sri Lanka.
Three independent forensic experts have authenticated the extrajudicial execution video.
“There are clearly enough allegations on the table to warrant investigating the Sri Lankan government has systematically blocked all access to the war zone, to the many witnesses to these events. I think the time has come for the international community to really push strongly for an independent inquiry to ascertain exactly what happened.”

“When allegations of potential or apparent war crimes are brought, it is not a very happy situation when a government then instead of addressing those allegations, instead of looking at the substance and real problems, turns to question of (internal) procedures within the UN.”

NY Times – Jan 12, 2010 – “Sri Lanka’s Choice and the World’s Responsibility”
Chris Patten, Co-Chairman of the International Crisis Group
“Pity the poor Sri Lankan voter. As presidential elections loom on Jan. 26, the public is faced with a choice between two candidates who openly accuse each other of war crimes.”
“Now, put yourself in a Tamil’s shoes, and decide whom to vote for in the presidential election: Choose either the head of the government that ordered the attacks against you and your family, or the head of the army that carried it all out.”

“… However, a large portion of the more than 150,000 people recently sent out of the camps have not actually returned to their homes nor been resettled. They’ve been sent to and remain in “transit centers” in their home districts.”

“U.N. agencies and non government organizations should have full access to monitor the programs to ensure international money is spent properly and people receiving aid are not denied their fundamental freedoms.. In short, this means not giving Colombo any money for reconstruction and development until we know how it will be spent. And if we see funds not being used as promised, it means not being afraid to cut them off until.”

The Australian – Dec 28, 2009
Sri Lankan Aid Projects needs to be investigated
“Berlin-based Transparency International has demanded an audit of the money received by the Sri Lankan government to help victims of the Asian tsunami that hit the island on December 26, 2004, killing 31,000 people.”

 “As the tropical nation marked the fifth anniversary of the tsunami, the group alleged that out of $US2.2 billion received for relief, $US603.4m was spent on projects unrelated to the disaster. Another $US471.9m is missing, the group said.”

Human Rights Watch – Peter Bouckaert, Director, Emergencies – Jan 22, 2010
“Now, the top United Nations envoy responsible for investigating extralegal executions around the world has added his voice to those believing the tape to be genuine. After commissioning three experts on forensic pathology, video analysis and firearms to review the tape, the envoy, Philip Alston, told the BBC, “You cannot fake the precise sort of reaction which the human body makes when shot at close range by such a weapon.”

“General Sareth Fonseka, the man in charge of last year’s offensive and who is challenging his former boss for the presidency, said that the orders to execute surrendering Tamil Tiger leaders in the final days of the war had come directly from the defence secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the powerful brother of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.”

‘For our March 2008 report, Recurring Nightmare: State Responsibility for “Disappearances” and Abductions in Sri Lanka, our investigators spoke to families and witnesses in more than a hundred such episodes. In most cases we were able to establish direct state responsibility. These were just a small fraction of the disappearances and executions carried out by state security services over the course of the armed conflict. But no one has ever been held responsible.”

“When the UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon visited Sri Lanka shortly after the conflict ended in May, President Rajapaksa promised him that his government would investigate, but it has not kept that promise.”

The Guardian, UK – Jan 21, 2010 (same article above)
Amnesty International USA – Sri Lanka: Investigate Human Rights Abuses, War Crimes
Other AI Online Actions/Petitions




Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s