Posts Tagged ‘Sri Lankan government’

Human rights worker in Malaysia to appear in court tomorrow for screening the film “No Fire Zone”

September 18, 2013

On July 3, 2013, Komas program officer Ms Lena Hendry, Executive Director Mr Arul Prakkash and one of the Board of Directors, Ms Anna Har, were arrested during the screening of the film “No Fire Zone, the Killing Fields of Sri Lanka”. MSN Malaysia reports: that today the KDN issued a notice informing Komas that Ms Lena Hedry would be charged and for her to appear in the Magistrate court tomorrow, 19 September Read the rest of this entry »

U.N. High Commissioner says Sri Lanka increasingly authoritarian

September 2, 2013

On Saturday 31 August 2013 United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said at the end of her long awaited one-week-long fact-finding mission that the Sri Lankan state is becoming more authoritarian. “The war between government troops and Tamil rebels may have ended, but in the meantime democracy has been undermined and the rule of law eroded,” the U.N. commissioner for human rights told a news conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She visited the former Tamil rebel-held areas in northern Sri Lanka, and met civil society groups, politicians and aid workers before meeting President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brothers, Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Economic Affairs Minister Basil Rajapaksa.” I am deeply concerned that Sri Lanka, despite the opportunity provided by the end of the war to construct a new vibrant, all-embracing state, is showing signs of heading in an increasingly authoritarian direction,” Pillay said. The U.N. envoy said that some people she visited in the northeastern part of the country previously held by the rebels had been later visited by military and police officers and questioned again. “This type of surveillance and harassment appears to be getting worse in Sri Lanka, which is a country where critical voices are quite often attacked or even permanently silenced,” she said. Pillay visited Sri Lanka on the invitation of the Sri Lankan government, but some of the members of the government have criticized her and openly ridiculed her, with one of the Cabinet ministers saying he was willing to marry her.Pillay also expressed concern about media freedom, incomplete investigations into disappearances and abductions, attacks on civil protests, issues of sexual harassment of women and harassment of human rights defenders. She is due to submit a report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva next month. Cabinet Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that the government had invited her to the country genuinely and would await the report to be submitted next month.

via U.N. human rights chief says Sri Lanka increasingly authoritarian – Wire Lifestyle – The Sacramento Bee.

the full version of her very substantive speech can be found at: 

https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/full-speech-un-high-commissioner-for-human-rights-navi-pillay-at-the-press-conference-on-her-mission-to-sri-lanka/

 

Sri Lanka and the war-time massacres: how ideally the Government should react

March 4, 2013

In one of my posts of last week I referred to the panicked, knee-jerk reaction of the Sri Lankan Government to the showing of the film  No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka  at the UN in Geneva. Now I have come across a much more reasonable and constructive reaction published in the Sri Lankan The Island of 1 march 2013. The whole piece is worth reading; here follow just some excerpts for those pressed for time:

Every time, the United Nations Human Rights Council meets in session or one of the international Human Rights Organizations issues a statement on violations of human rights in Sri Lanka, the government of Sri Lanka gets into a combat mode. Their response follows the rule that attack is the best form of defence. The attack takes the form of personal abuse directed at the human rights defenders; there is no attempt to meet the issues of violations that have been raised. Its apologists and other hangers-on merely follow suit with hysterical outbursts against the United Nations, the international community and the local human rights defenders. None of them seem to care to read the reports released by the Office of the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights or by the different human rights organizations. Their criticism of the reports is therefore not informed and raises more issues than clarifying any. Mahinda Samarasinghe [the SL Ambassador] is normally not prone to such hysterical responses; his speech at the current sessions of the UNHRC therefore seems untypical of him.article_image Read the rest of this entry »