Vigil to remember the disappeared in Sri Lanka, Melbourne, August 30, 2012. Photos by Tony Iltis.
By Lionel Bopage
A speech made on August 30, 2012, at a vigil to remember the disappeared in Sri Lanka on International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, at the State Library of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia.
August 30, 2012 -- Groundviews -- I am honoured to have been asked to speak at this vigil, to remember the disappeared in Sri Lanka on this important occasion of International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances.
Sri Lanka is party to diverse declarations and conventions of the United Nations on human rights. Therefore, the main responsibility of protecting peoples’ rights lies with the government of the day.
Premakumar Gunaratnam. Photo by Peter Boyle.
August 8, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal/Green Left Weekly -- Premakumar Gunaratnam, an ethnic Tamil from Sri Lanka, who now has Australian citizenship, returned to his home country in September 2011 to help organise the launch of a new left party, the Frontline Socialist Party (FLSP), a major breakaway from the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP, People’s Liberation Front). He had been a JVP activist for three decades and a member of its underground political bureau since 1994. In an extensive interview with Peter Boyle for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal and Green Left Weekly, Gunaratnam reported how he was abducted by a group of armed men between 4 am and 5 am on April 7, just two days before the scheduled launch of the new party.
Tamils protest in London, April 2009, during the Sri Lankan government's brutal war to crush the Tamil movement for national rights.
By Ron Ridenour
February 20, 2012 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Brace yourselves Tamils in and from Sri Lanka! The United Nations Human Rights Council will not grant you justice at its 19th session, on February 27-March 23, 2012 or, perhaps, in any foreseeable future.
Until the past few weeks it looked as though the “international community” (US, UK-Europe, Canada, Australia, Japan), the east (Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Iran), the Middle East-Libya/Africa and the progressive global South (Cuba-ALBA+, South Africa) were content with ignoring Sri Lanka’s war crimes and crimes against humanity.
By Danielle Sabai
June 2, 2011 -- Asia Left Observer, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- In February 2011, the president of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, celebrated the 63rd anniversary of the island’s independence. In his speech, he stressed the necessity of “protecting the reconstructed nation”, as well as protecting “one of the oldest democracies in Asia”, its unity and its unitary character.
This speech came nearly two years after the end of the war on May 19, 2009, between the Sri Lankan state and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The military command of the LTTE was decimated in the last two months of a merciless war that has had led to tens of thousands of deaths since the early 1980s.
Tamils are held in miserable conditions in IDP camps.
By Ron Ridenour
May 16, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Forty-seven governments on the Untied Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) will discuss and decide, beginning at its May 30 session, what to do about an unusually truthful report in the world of international politics.
The “Report of the Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka” was delivered to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on March 31 concerning: 1) alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in the last phases of the 26-year-old civil war, September 2008 to May 19, 2009; 2) consequences for approximately 300,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and, by extension, for 2.7 million Sri Lankan Tamils, 13% of Sri Lanka's 21 million population.