Frances Harrison
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Frances Harrison was educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, as well as the School of Oriental & African Studies, and Imperial College in London. For many years she worked as a foreign correspondent for the BBC posted in South Asia, South East Asia and Iran. From 2000-4 she was the resident BBC Correspondent in Sri Lanka. She has worked at Amnesty International as Head of News and while writing this book was a visiting research fellow at Oxford University.

Entries by Frances Harrison

Sri Lanka at a Crossroads

(2) Comments | Posted 8 October 2015 | (10:12)

2015-10-08-1444294899-5708606-DSC_2499.jpg (2009 War Zone)

There's been a seismic shift. The publication of the UN report on Sri Lanka in September put on record indisputably and for posterity the terrible suffering endured by Tamils in the final phase of the Sri Lankan civil war. That...

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In Defence of Diaspora and Sri Lanka's Invisible Victims

(6) Comments | Posted 23 June 2015 | (10:08)

There's typically a sense that once people have fled their country they no longer deserve a full stake in its future. Perhaps the assumption is exiles have assimilated elsewhere, their children no longer speak the language or understand the nuances of the culture. Sometimes there's a degree of envy -...

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Welcome to Britain!

(0) Comments | Posted 6 July 2014 | (18:53)

It was when the barrister casually mentioned the torture methods that I recognised her client's country of origin. Beaten with pipes filled with sand, hung upside down and forced to inhale chilli smoke. It's the standard menu of Sri Lankan security force torture for Tamils.

Until then I'd paid...

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UN: 'The Scene at First Light Was Devastating'

(0) Comments | Posted 17 May 2014 | (10:05)


New photographs have emerged five years after the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka showing the aftermath of government attacks on a United Nations food distribution centre inside the war zone. The pictures, shot by a Tamil working for...

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Sri Lanka - UN Inquiry Just the Start of a Long Road to Justice

(1) Comments | Posted 12 April 2014 | (23:25)

Sri Lankan human rights activists campaigned hard for an independent international commission of inquiry into war crimes during the end of the conflict in 2009. Last month members of the UN Human Rights Council did finally vote to set up an inquiry. To many governments it looks as if the...

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Canada Threatens Commonwealth Funding Over Sri Lanka

(0) Comments | Posted 7 October 2013 | (21:46)

Canada's Prime Minister has announced he will not be going to the Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka but more importantly he's threatened funding for the cash strapped organisation. Canada is one of the three top funders along with the UK and Australia, donating $20 million a year in voluntary and...

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UK Immigration Court Rules on Sri Lanka Human Rights

(3) Comments | Posted 8 July 2013 | (23:44)

The ruling in an important immigration case in Britain suggests that Sri Lanka's human rights situation is far from improving, four years after the civil war ended.

Under new guidance issued by a British tribunal, a full investigation is now required if an asylum seeker is suspected by the...

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Commonwealth Fails Sri Lanka Test

(6) Comments | Posted 27 March 2013 | (23:00)

Sri Lanka is a test case for reform of the Commonwealth, intended to produce a renewed commitment to rule of law, democracy and human rights. It looks as if the 54-nation body is already failing dismally.

The custodian of the Commonwealth's political values is a rotating group of Foreign...

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War Crimes and Curry

(5) Comments | Posted 5 March 2013 | (13:33)

Publishing a book about a highly charged ethnic conflict in which tens of thousands have died is no path to a peaceful life. You only need to look at the racial abuse and filthy language in the comments sections of online sites frequented by Sri Lankans to see how intense...

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Sri Lanka: Impeachment & Injustice

(12) Comments | Posted 13 January 2013 | (09:52)

It's been frustrating to watch the international reporting of the story of the impeachment of Sri Lanka's top judge. Some reports have got bogged down in the issue of whether or not she is guilty of corruption. That's not the issue at stake.

This is a story about rule of...

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Sri Lanka's Killing Fields Tourism

(28) Comments | Posted 26 December 2012 | (23:00)

The Sri Lankan military is advertising a newly constructed hotel in the heart of the killing fields in the north of the island, where tens of thousands of minority Tamils were killed in 2009. The holiday resort, called Lagoon's Edge, caters for Sinhala war tourists who want to see the...

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One Hundred Thousand Tamils Missing After Sri Lanka War

(16) Comments | Posted 16 December 2012 | (23:00)

World Bank population data from Sri Lanka indicates up to a hundred thousand Tamils are unaccounted for after the final war against the Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009, raising questions about whether they could be dead.

A UN report cited a death toll of forty thousand for the climax...

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What If the UN Had Spoken Out on Sri Lanka?

(36) Comments | Posted 15 November 2012 | (23:00)

If today the United Nations announced that it had received unconfirmed reports of 50,000 casualties in a war off limits to journalists - wouldn't the world take notice and try and stop the killings? We now know the UN system had this information in 2009 about Sri Lanka and suppressed...

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