View Full Version : Rolling Sri Lanka Thread

padraig (u.s.)
26-06-2009, 07:47 PM
right, so - the time to have one was a few months ago but, still. I met a Sri Lankan Tamil kid at school today & he was duly impressed that I knew the difference between Sinhalese & Tamils. turned out his mum & dad had been "encouraged" to leave by the Tigers back in the early 80s (I think cos his dad is some kind of intellectual, didn't pry).

Anyway, I figured a specific place for people to drop off links to articles, papers, etc. was in order. esp. as time goes by, to see how reconciliation (or lack thereof) goes - what the end of a long & brutal civil war can teach us about the resolution & aftermath of other conflicts, etc.

30-06-2009, 02:34 PM
20,000 dead in the last push for victory. 300,000 displaced civilians now living in internment camps

I think it tells us that in a time when the rule of international law is at it's lowest ebb, boycotting elections and ending ceasefires is a dangerous game for national movements to play.

padraig (u.s.)
30-06-2009, 07:38 PM
both true as regards the LTTE, tho of course the Tigers had been playing with fire for years AFAIU it. it kind of was/is their modus operandi - I mean, assassinating Rajiv Ghandi? who the hell thought that was a good idea? Prabhakaran was of course a very, very unappealing figure.

As I said I'm no expert, or even well-informed on the topic, but it seems like the Tigers made the classic mistake of overreaching and trying to play on the govt's terms - conventional warfare. Also forgetting the #1 guerrilla rule - to treat your people/recruiting base well - I wonder how many of the expatriate Tamils at those solidarity demos were/are LTTE supporters, as opposed to being simply appalled by human rights etc abuses &/or non/anti-LTTE Tamil nationalists.

dunno if you've seen it but over in the Iran thread I mentioned in re: birth rates that Sri Lanka's has dropped off considerably since the height of the conflict in the 90s. Less hopeless, uneducated young men around to gangpress/indoctrinate. (Interestingly the West Bank's birth rate has been falling since the 2nd Intifada tho it's still about 0.5 higher than Israel's - & of course Gaza's remains among the highest in the world)

More generally - when has the "rule of international law" ever been strong? I guess it depends on what you define that as. Tho I agree w/you about elections & ceasefires.

01-07-2009, 11:13 AM
a time when the rule of international law is at it's lowest ebb


Mr BoShambles
01-07-2009, 11:57 AM
Martin Shaw - expert on genocide analyses recent trends in Sri Lanka:

The civil war in Sri Lanka is receding from the international headlines, as crises in Iran and celebrity deaths occupy the media's limited space and attention-span. A very large number of its Tamil victims are still, more than six weeks after the fighting ended, confined in government forces in a complex of forty camps in the north east of the country. An estimated 280,000 civilians - originally displaced from their homes by the fighting between the Sri Lankan military and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (TamilTigers / LTTE), and in some cases fleeing from the brutal regime in the LTTE's former "liberated" zone - are being held, generally against their will.

full article (http://www.opendemocracy.net/article/sri-lanka-camps-media-genocide)

01-07-2009, 12:17 PM
More generally - when has the "rule of international law" ever been strong?


CF MccGwire, Paust, Sands, Amnesty (http://www.voanews.com/english/archive/2005-05/Amnesty-International-Says-War-on-Terror-Has-Eroded-Human-Rights.cfm?CFID=243296031&CFTOKEN=76667433&jsessionid=00302294e0e8bb273d204460592f3b20487b), HRW (http://www.hrw.org/en/search/apachesolr_search/erosion+of+international+law).

01-07-2009, 01:34 PM
Even in that sense, I think that 6-7 years ago was worse. But it remains to be seen whether there is a causal relationship between America's actions in the war on terror and atrocities in Sri Lanka (seems like a stretch to me). And there is an obvious need to recalibrate international law somewhat to deal with the emerging consitutional order...

EDIT: For instance, to cope with the threat of WMD proliferation and non-state/globally networked terrorism.

10-07-2009, 02:04 PM
About 1,400 people are dying every week at the giant Manik Farm internment camp set up in Sri Lanka to detain Tamil refugees from the nationís bloody civil war, senior international aid sources have told The Times.

here (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6676792.ece)

24-11-2009, 10:26 AM
Jake Lynch: what happens next? (http://www.australia.to/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=16694:sri-lanka-what-happens-next-&catid=116:breaking-news&Itemid=298)

3 Body No Problem
24-11-2009, 10:51 AM
There's an interesting China/oil connection see e.g. here (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6207487.ece), here (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6295258.ece) and here (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-upset-with-China-over-Sri-Lanka-crisis/articleshow/4449209.cms).

24-11-2009, 11:10 AM
Thanks for those links.

3 Body No Problem
24-11-2009, 01:32 PM
Thanks for those links.

A friend of mine who's a serious oil investor alerted me to this connection.

15-06-2011, 12:24 AM
did anyone watch the appalling documentary on c4 just now:

i attended the demos in london at the time, it was abundantly clear what was happening to anyone who cared to know
2 key quotes

"Contrast between action in Libya and the complete and utter silence over Sri Lanka is morally indefensible."
"Survivors of Sri Lanka war crimes now looking to international community for justice. Will they be failed again?"

uk is deporting tamils on thursday

contact your mp? do something

15-06-2011, 06:02 PM
just received this email

From: NCADC [mailto:news@ncadc.org.uk]
Sent: 15 June 2011 16:44
Subject: Legal challenge to Sri Lanka mass expulsion

Legal challenge to Sri Lanka mass expulsion

A London law firm has submitted an application to the High Court seeking an injunction to stop the removal of at least 14 Sri Lankans. The refugees have been refused asylum, and are facing removal on a controversial deportation charter flight tomorrow, Thursday, along with about 50 others.

The injunction is on the basis that the deportees names and details of their asylum applications have been passed by the UK Border Agency to the Sri Lankan High Commission, in breach of Section 13 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

Not only have confidential legal papers been passed on, but the UKBA has also allowed the Sri Lankan authorities to interview detainees and question them about their asylum applications.

If these removals can be stopped, it is hoped that those concerned will be able to submit fresh claims for asylum, on the grounds that their safety has been put at risk as a result of this UKBA collaboration with the Sri Lankan authorities.

Further evidence is being collated. If you have anything relevant, or if you are in contact with any Sri Lankans scheduled for this flight who are affected by this UKBA action, contact Karim Assaad at Ravi Solicitors


Around sixty failed asylum seekers may be deported from the UK to Sri Lanka tomorrow. This deportation has attracted quite a lot of publicity and is especially worrying. Amnesty International has provided evidence that failed asylum seekers have been tortured in Sri Lanka.

A Channel 4 documentary shown last night uncovered the horrifying levels of violence used in Sri Lanka towards the end of the civil war, in 2009. The asylum seekers due to be deported, particularly those with links - actual or perceived - to the rebel Tamil Tigers, are scared that the threat of extreme violence is still present. In March, the UK Foreign Office reported that although the war has stopped, human rights violations, disappearances, and arbitrary arrests have not.

The explicit press coverage of the civil war could make the threat of further violence even more acute. These breaches of confidentiality will therefore put the asylum seekers at a greater risk of persecution

More information on the Border Agency's breaches of confidentiality at Free Movement blog More on the documentary at the Guardian website

so as HO plans mass deportations FCO wrings it's hands about war crimes (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23960774-uk-urges-sri-lanka-war-crimes-probe.do)

17-06-2011, 04:33 PM
Sri Lanka deportations: 'UK has Tamil blood on it's hands'

The deportation charter flight to Sri Lanka took off yesterday evening, 16 June, while deliberations were still underway at the High Court. It is understood that one deportee won their injunction, but not until after the flight was in the air.

Another flight is scheduled for 30 June, and British charity Freedom from Torture (formerly the Medical Foundation) is gravely concerned. The charity has received referrals to help 334 survivors of torture from Sri Lanka in the last two years, and believes the deportees may face serious risks on their return.

At least two deportees have attempted suicide. One supporter told NCADC today that his friend in detention was terrified of being taken to the "4th floor" in Colombo.

A class action Judicial Review had been lodged in the High Court on behalf of several Tamils by Karim Assaad at Ravi Solicitors. He believes they are at risk of torture as a result of the UK Border Agency sharing confidential asylum files with the Sri Lankan government, and by allowing Sri Lankan officials to question Tamils held in UK detention centres.

Channel 4 News reports that an MP has accused the UK Government of "painting targets on the backs" of Tamil civilians being deported from the UK, and says at least two have attempted suicide rather than face the return to Sri Lanka. Following the broadcast of the Channel 4 documentary Sri Lanka's Killing Fields, MP Siobhain McDonagh has told the Commons the British Government is complicit in the torture of Tamil civilians as it plans to deport refugees whose confidential asylum files have been shared.

Amnesty International had called for flight to be cancelled, as their is a very real risk of torture. Amnesty has documented the endemic use of torture in Sri Lanka and a culture of impunity prevails.

"Nobody should be deported from the UK if they are at risk of torture. The end of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka in May 2009 has not diminished the risks faced by failed Sri Lankan asylum seekers, who continue to be subjected to arrest and detention upon their arrival in Sri Lanka. We are aware of cases of returned asylum seekers being tortured," said Yolanda Foster, Sri Lanka Researcher at Amnesty International.

Human Rights Watch wrote to the UK Home Secretary and the Foreign Secretary, also urging a halt to the flight, but it seems that the UK government was intent on enforcing these removals in spite of the worldwide condemnation.

Meanwhile, AlertNet has reported today that Sri Lanka's main ethnic minority Tamil party had it's election campaign attacked by the military in the former war zone in the north, ahead of the first local government polls in 26 year, and there are calls for the England cricket team to pull out of it's upcoming tour of Sri Lanka.

17-06-2011, 06:53 PM
Yet another brutal, extended conflict we can trace back to colonialism. The British put all the tamils in the administrative roles,thereby creating a nice division in society from which to operate within. Amazing how much the world was completely fucked for centuries by a few resource and trade hungry countries from western europe.

padraig (u.s.)
20-06-2011, 12:47 PM
^^well all empires do that. that's what empires do: they exploit the conquered for their own benefit. not to let the British, Dutch, Portuguese, etc, or laterally us yanquis, off the hook in re: imperialism + effing things up royally, but the Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Mongols, Turks + others - not mention indigenous empires like the Aztecs - certainly fucked things up in their time as well. granted that they didn't have quite the geographical reach of the later Western European empires (altho the Mongols probably came or close or even exceeded them in terms of sheer area) but seriously...I mean Julius Caesar basically decimated the population of Gaul in conquering it. the Mongols so thoroughly crushed Mesopotamia that it's still feeling the effects some 850 years later. not to say that all imperial efforts are the same by any means, but the Europeans hardly had a monopoly on destructiveness, they just had better tools with which they were able to carry it out more effectively. granted Sri Lanka does seem like it can very largely be laid at the spitshined boots of the British Empire, despite the prior periods of Portuguese, Dutch + Mughal rule.

I thought the issue in Sri Lanka wasn't an artificial caste division along ethnic lines (i.e Rwanda) but rather the en masse importation of Tamils as cheap agricultural labor (i.e. N. Ireland, tho w/o the overt ideological motives on the part of the British) but I'm definitely not an expert on Sri Lankan history so I may be wrong.

27-02-2012, 10:53 AM
No-Deportations - Residence Papers for All

Stop the Charter Flight to Sri Lanka Tomorrow 15:30

UKBA are planning to forcibly remove a number of Sri Lankan's tomorrow, Tuesday 28th February 2012. This despite warnings that the Sri Lankan government will go to any lengths to stop, investigations into the war crimes they have committed. Up to 7,000 Tamil's remain in 'Interment Camps'.

'No-Deportations' and 'Detainee Support Network', have been in contact with many of those being removed tomorrow. They have asked us to ask the public to lobby the Home Secretary to Stay the Charter Flight, they have requested that none of their names are put in the public domain, in case of reprisals, if removed.

Human Watch Rights amongst other have called for a stay on forced removals to Sri Lanka: "The United Kingdom should suspend deportations of ethnic Tamil asylum seekers to Sri Lanka and immediately review its policies and information about the country's rights situation used to assess their claims, Human Rights Watch said Saturday. Research by Human Rights Watch has found that some returned Tamil asylum seekers from the United Kingdom have been subjected to arbitrary arrest and torture upon their return to Sri Lanka." HRW Saturday 25th February (http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/02/24/uk-halt-deportations-tamils-sri-lanka)

Sri Lankan Government Must Stop Persecuting Tamils and Acting like a Rogue Nation
The years between 1983 and 2009 saw a bitter civil war between the Sri Lankan Government and the Tamil Tigers. During that long and bloody conflict, both sides were responsible for atrocities. But following the ceasefire three years ago, Tamil civilians have been subjected to outrageous abuse of their basic human rights. In 2009, for example, 300,000 Tamil civilians were displaced or caged up in barbaric internment camps. As late as November last year, 7,000 remained in these camps. Many more are unable to return home. Thousands are forced to live in tents without access to basic health care, sanitation and education. Even worse: the Sri Lankan military is still occupying 7,000 square miles of Tamil land in the North and East, where they have no credible property rights. Robert Halfon MP <halfon4harlow@roberthalfon.com>

What you can do to help:
Please fax/phone/email: Secretary of State for the Home Office, Rt. Hon Theresa May, MP. Ask her to exercise her discretionary powers to stop the Charter flight, and release all the detainees, from detention and to grant them protection in the UK. You can use the attached model letter SriLankaFebruaryTM.doc or alternatively write your own one.

Rt. Hon Theresa May, MP
Secretary of State for the Home Office,
2 Marsham St
London SW1 4DF
Fax: 020 7035 4745



Please let the campaign know of any actions:

Sri Lanka Post-War - Risk of return to violence growing
More than three years after the end of Sri Lanka's civil war, the political situation in the country remains deeply worrying. The unique opportunity the government has to build a lasting and just peace after the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is being lost. The government has not taken credible steps to ensure accountability for the grave allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity identified in the April 2011 report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka. Nor has the government pursued policies to reconcile the country's ethnic communities after decades of political violence and conflict. Instead, its post-war agenda has been to further centralize power, expand the role of the military, undermine local civilian authorities, and politicize the institutions that should uphold the rule of law and combat impunity. As argued in Crisis Group's most recent report, the risk of an eventual return to violence is growing again.
(International Crisis Group/September 2011) (http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/asia/south-asia/sri-lanka.aspx)