Sunday, June 19, 2011

Campaign for Justice and Peace in Sri Lanka

Campaign for Justice and Peace in Sri Lanka

Lankan Tamils: Speak out against the War Crimes in Sri Lanka

June 17, 2011

The Indian government should pay serious attention to the alleged evidence produced by the Channel4 TV documentary on Sri Lankan war crimes. ‘

Our attention has been drawn to a disturbing documentary titled Sri Lanka's Killing Fields produced by Jon Snow of the Channel4 TV channel of the United Kingdom.

The documentary highlights the results of a forensic investigation into the bloody culmination phase of the counter-insurgency operations of the Sri Lankan Security Forces against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in April-May, 2009.

It alleges that the culmination phase, which physically wiped out the leadership of the LTTE for which no right-thinking person opposed to terrorism need shed tears, was also marked by executions, shelling of civilians and other atrocities carried out by the security forces.

The Sri Lanka Campaign focuses on campaigning, advocacy and related capacity building work. Unlike other human rights and pro-democracy organizations that cover many countries, we focus on just one - in a similar vein to the campaigning groups working on Burma, Sudan and Tibet.

We campaign for the end to the suffering of almost 80,000 plus civilians still currently held in the crowded and unsanitary main internment camps and closed transit camps. We also call for the fundamental human rights of more than 10,000 people who are detained on suspicion of having been involved with the LTTE.

With the ground situation so grim, we continue our advocacy work which has seen some successes. However, there are no real signs of a just political solution which can address the roots causes of Sri Lanka’s problems.

Since the end of the war, President Rajapaksa has gained two electoral powerful mandates. The first, for his role as President, was gained in part by state manipulation of the campaigning process. The second mandate was secured during the time the opposition candidate, the war hero General Fonseka, was in jail on charles of treason. President Rajapakse is tightening his grip on the country and pushing back prospects for healing and reconciliation. If the lack of attention and pressure from the international actors and the media is allowed to continue, we share the fear of many commentators that Sri Lanka – previously a democracy which has previously enjoyed strong economic growth and where multi-ethnic identity was a given - could become a latter day combination of Burma (nepotism), Tibet (ethnic neutralization) and Palestine (ethnic apartheid).

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Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice

Advisory Council

Aitzaz Ahsan

is one of the leading constitutional, commercial, corporate and human rights attorneys in Pakistan.

Beate Arnestad

is a Norwegian film maker.

Lakhdar Brahimi

is former Foreign Minister of Algeria, Ambassador and international diplomat

Brahma Chellaney

is Professor of Strategic Studies at the Centre for Policy Research

Adele Barker

is Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona.

Damien Kingsbury

is a Professor who holds a Personal Chair in the School of International and Political Studies at Deakin University

Basil Fernando

is the Executive Director of the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) and the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC)

Noam Chomsky

is a linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, political activist, author and lecturer

Charles Glass

is an Author, journalist, and broadcaster specialising in the Middle East

Michael Grodin

is an internationally renowned medical specialist in the relationship of health & human rights.

Bruce Haigh

is a former Australian diplomat

Carolyn Hayman OBE*

is a specialist in conflict resolution and peace-making and has direct experience of building coalitions for peace in Sudan

Bianca Jagger

has worked as a human rights advocate for over thirty years, campaigning in defence of human rights, civil liberties, peace, social justice and environmental protection

Antony Loewenstein

is an independent freelance journalist, author and blogger

Jake Lynch

is Director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney

Chibli Mallat

is Presidential Professor of Law and Professor of Middle Eastern Law and Politics at the University of Utah

Rajan Menon

is an American foreign policy specialist

Edward Mortimer CMG*

is Senior Vice-President and Chief Programme Officer at the Salzburg Global Seminar and chair of the Advisory Council

Craig Scott*

is Professor of Law at Osgoode Hall Law School (York University, Toronto)

Teesta Setalvad

is a renowned journalist and human rights activist based in Mumbai

Stuart Rees

is Director of the Sydney Peace Foundation (founder of the Sydney Peace Prize) at the University of Sydney, Australia.

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