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Recent developments in Sri Lanka

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Foreign Secretary David Miliband's Written Statement to the House of Commons on recent developments in the political and humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka.

David Miliband gave an update on recent developments in Sri Lanka in a Written Ministerial Statement to the House of Commons.

On Wednesday 24 February, the Foreign Secretary also gave a speech to the inaugural meeting of the Global Tamil Forum.

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Seeking Justice after Sri Lanka's Elections

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The decisive re-election of Sri Lanka's Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday presents the president with a momentous choice. He can continue the Sinhalese nationalist policies that defined his first term, or he can address the serious grievances of the minority Tamil population that lay behind the country's 26-year-long civil war. That turnout in the predominantly Tamil north-east was only 30 percent, compared to 70 percent of eligible voters generally, reflects those grievances.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 28 January 2010 20:08

HRW: Sri Lanka: President’s New Term Time for Accountability

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UN Secretary-General Should Work for Independent International Investigation
January 27, 2010

(New York) - United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and key international actors should take steps to bring accountability for Sri Lanka's grave human rights violations so that the thousands of victims will not continue to be denied justice during President Mahinda Rajapaksa's second term, Human Rights Watch said today.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 January 2010 20:29

An Article by the Asian Human Rights Commission

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[AHRC Article] SRI LANKA: The crisis of the Electoral Commission

January 16, 2010

An Article by the Asian Human Rights Commission

SRI LANKA: The crisis of the Electoral Commission

Basil Fernando
The groups engaged in monitoring the election have reported flagrant violations of election laws, the illegal use of state assets and the use of violence. They have noted that in Sri Lanka today the collapse of the electoral system on an unprecedented scale is taking place. The election commissioner own comments about the absence of cooperation between him and the government have also been very widely reported.

None of these observations would come as a surprise to anyone who has been an observer of the constitutional process in Sri Lanka. The collapse of public institutions has taken place over a long period of time and the debate on the 17th amendment to the constitution is merely a reflection of the extent of this collapse. The source of the collapse is the very nature of the constitutional arrangement in the 1978 Constitution, which has placed all power in the hands of a single person who holds the office of the Executive President.

The collapse of all public institutions, including the electoral process, is the necessary result of the political process initiated through the introduction of the executive presidential system. The existence of the executive presidential system in Sri Lanka and any form of democratic government, or even a rational government, are incompatible

For More http://www.ahrchk.net/statements/mainfile.php/2009statements/2371/

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 20:20

Sri Lanka: A Bitter Peace - International Crisis Group

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Sri Lanka: A Bitter Peace


Colombo/Brussels, 11 January 2010: No matter which of the two main Sinhalese candidates wins Sri Lanka’s 26 January presidential election, the international community must take steps to ensure he addresses the marginalisation of Tamils and other minorities in the interest of peace and stability.

Sri Lanka: A Bitter Peace,* the latest briefing from the International Crisis Group, examines how eight months after the military victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the post-war policies of President Mahinda Rajapaksa have deepened rather than resolved the grievances that generated and sustained militancy. Though the election campaign between Rajapaksa and retired General Sarath Fonseka has now opened up some new political space, Sri Lanka has yet to make significant progress in reconstructing its battered democratic institutions or establishing conditions for a stable peace.

“The victory over the LTTE will remain fragile unless Sinhalese-dominated political parties make strong moves towards a more inclusive and democratic state”, says Donald Steinberg, Crisis Group’s Deputy President for Policy. “Donor governments and international financial institutions should strengthen voices for reform by collectively pressing for democratisation and demilitarisation throughout Sri Lanka, but especially in the north and east”.

The return to their home districts of most of the quarter million Tamils displaced from the Northern Province, and the increased freedom of movement for the nearly 100,000 still in military-run camps, are important steps forward. The resettlement process has failed to meet international standards for safe and dignified returns, however, and the damage from the government’s humiliating internment will require much work to repair.

For  More  http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=6462&l=1&m=1

Last Updated on Monday, 11 January 2010 16:28

Amnesty International takes action for Sri Lanka displaced

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Activists and supporters of Amnesty International will launch a week of action on Monday highlighting the continued detention of thousands of displaced civilians in government camps in Sri Lanka.

Activists in more than 10 countries will take action as part of the Unlock the Camps campaign. Events include a ‘Circle of Hope’ in Canada, a street march and signature campaign in Nepal, a poetry reading in Switzerland and solidarity actions in  France, Germany, Mauritius and the United States.

Throughout the week, Amnesty International activists based in London and participating sections  will write blogs about the events taking place across the world..

Six months after the end of the war between government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Sri Lanka continues to confine people who fled fighting in the north to closed displacement camps in uncomfortable and sometimes hazardous conditions.

Releases from the camps have increased in recent weeks. However, camp shelters have deteriorated as Sri Lanka has entered the rainy season, with funds for shelter repair running out.

This week John Holmes, lead advisor on humanitarian affairs to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, travels to Sri Lanka to assess the situation of the people in the camps. 
Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 December 2009 22:29

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