Sri Lanka Delegation and briefs UNHRC 20th Session in Geneva and clarifies on Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism

Engaging with the relevant Interactive Dialogues with Special Procedures Mandate Holders and Working Groups since the commencement of the Human Rights Council on 18th June, the Sri Lanka delegation briefed the Council on its positions on the thematic issues of relevance.

In the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism, Sri Lanka supported a Joint statement presented by the People’s Republic of China on behalf of 13 like minded countries comprising the Russian Federation, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cuba, Bangladesh, Iran, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sudan, and Venezuela, which condemned terrorism in all its manifestations. Continue reading

Sri Lanka Accused Of Discriminating Against Women

By Maryam Azwer

A European human rights watchdog has accused Sri Lanka of violating a United Nations (UN) convention on discrimination against women.

The European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) in a recent media statement said that women and girls in the North and East are subject to harassment by police and military personnel.

These incidents are linked to the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), which, the statement said, “makes it easier for police and military members to carry out body inspections and ‘searches’ without having to justify doing so. These searches are often carried out alongside sexual harassment and violence that is specifically of a sexual nature.”
It is therefore required to eliminate all laws that may lead to direct or indirect forms of discrimination,” said the ECCHR. Continue reading

Post-war Sri Lanka’s Thought Police: The Rehabilitation of Ex-Combatants and the Denigration of Tamil Identity

16 Jun, 2012 by 

[Editors note: Read Part 2 of this series here, with PDFs of parts A-C of the questionnaire]

The defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May of 2009 brought a new dimension to the ethnic conflict that has engulfed Sri Lanka since its independence in 1948.  During the final phase of the war, thousands of LTTE combatants surrendered to the military and were held in high security holding places. They were investigated by various units of the security establishment of Sri Lanka. Subsequently, the Military Intelligence Unit, Criminal Investigation Unit and the Terrorist Investigation Unit moved them to various Protective Accommodation Rehabilitation Centres (PARCs) situated in Jaffna, Polonnaruwa and Vavuniya to be “rehabilitated.” Apparently, all ex-combatants are required to answer a number of questions, either orally or in writing, before being released. The Social Architects (TSA) has obtained a copy of this questionnaire. Its content is telling. Continue reading

Peasants’ Revolt: The time when women took up arms

By Melissa Hogenboom
BBC News

Until now the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 is largely believed to have been led by a mob of rebel men, but new research shows women played an important role in orchestrating violence against the government.

Today people are used to the idea of women being in the military. Some are already pressing for the right to fight on the front line.

And women fighting as insurgents has been a fact of conflicts from Vietnam to Sri Lanka.

But there’s a growing feeling historians have overlooked their role in medieval rebellions like 1381’s Peasants Revolt.

On 14 June 1381, rebels dragged Lord Chancellor Simon of Sudbury from the Tower of London and brutally beheaded him. Outraged by his hated poll tax, the insurgents had stormed into London looking for him, plundering and burning buildings as they went. Continue reading