Sri Lanka Civil War

Sri Lanka at a Crossroads

Frances Harrison | Posted 08.10.2016 | UK
Frances Harrison

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 acknowledgement of the atrocities is hugely significant given just a few years ago the world disbelieved most of these accounts.

In Defence of Diaspora and Sri Lanka's Invisible Victims

Frances Harrison | Posted 22.06.2016 | UK
Frances Harrison

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 - members of a diaspora are considered financially better off abroad...

Planet Appetite: The Exotic Far North of Sri Lanka - Jaffna and its Islands

Rupert Parker | Posted 10.12.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Rupert Parker

Long out of bounds for travellers, because of the war, the city of Jaffna, and its peninsula, is now safe for travel and there's even a new railway line.

UN: 'The Scene at First Light Was Devastating'

Frances Harrison | Posted 16.07.2014 | UK
Frances Harrison

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.

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

Frances Harrison | Posted 12.06.2014 | UK
Frances Harrison

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 issue of accountability is now being dealt with by the UN and they can put their minds at rest and move on.

Why Did Cameron Take Over £420k Off A Donor Close To This Man?

The Huffington Post UK | Asa Bennett | Posted 19.11.2013 | UK Politics

David Cameron has been urged to investigate why the Tory Party took over £420,000 from the telecoms group Lycamobile, which has close links to Sri La...

Asa Bennett

PM Under Fire Over Top Donor's Links To Sri Lankan Regime | Asa Bennett | Posted 18.11.2013 | UK Politics

David Cameron has come under fire after it emerged that one of the Tory Party's top donors, Lycamobile, has close links to the Sri Lanka's President M...

Canada Threatens Commonwealth Funding Over Sri Lanka

Frances Harrison | Posted 23.01.2014 | UK
Frances Harrison

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 th...

UK Immigration Court Rules on Sri Lanka Human Rights

Frances Harrison | Posted 07.09.2013 | UK
Frances Harrison

Under new guidance issued by a British tribunal, a full investigation is now required if an asylum seeker is suspected by the government of Sri Lanka to have been a member of the Tamil Tiger rebel group.

Sri Lanka - Sun, Sea, Torture and Impunity

Allan Hogarth | Posted 26.08.2013 | UK Politics
Allan Hogarth

A heavily worked phrase used by the tourist industry is to describe a particular destination as a "country of contrast". Sri Lanka is surely such a country - at one level a popular tourist destination... In contrast it also detains its citizens without trial, restricts freedom of expression, arrests members of the judiciary, stands accused of committing war crimes and routinely tortures.

Commonwealth Fails Sri Lanka Test

Frances Harrison | Posted 27.05.2013 | UK Politics
Frances Harrison

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.

War Crimes and Curry

Frances Harrison | Posted 05.05.2013 | UK
Frances Harrison

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 the emotions still are.

Sri Lanka: Impeachment & Injustice

Frances Harrison | Posted 15.03.2013 | UK
Frances Harrison

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.

Sri Lanka's Killing Fields Tourism

Frances Harrison | Posted 25.02.2013 | UK
Frances Harrison

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. Right in the heart of what was rebel territory, the hotel overlooks the stretch of water that became the frontline during the final bloody months of the conflict.

What If the UN Had Spoken Out on Sri Lanka?

Frances Harrison | Posted 15.01.2013 | UK
Frances Harrison

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 it. We know this because of an internal review, commissioned by the UN Secretary General, Ban ki Moon. It's a report that concludes that the UN's conduct at the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka marked a "grave failure" that "should not happen again".

Uncovering the Truth About Sri Lanka's Civil War: a Painful But Urgent Task

Emanuel Stoakes | Posted 11.12.2012 | UK Politics
Emanuel Stoakes

While peace in Sri Lanka is to be welcomed, a culture of impunity cannot prevail among the nation's political and military elite given the horrific atrocities that, by all indications, probably occurred during the conflict's finale.

New Book Details Sri Lanka's 'Habit of Denial'

Helena Williams | Posted 03.12.2012 | Home
Helena Williams

It saw one of the bloodiest conflicts of this century, and yet many still only see it as a tropical paradise. While the south boasted palm-fringed beaches - a picture-perfect destination for cocktail-sipping tourists - northern Sri Lanka was a hell on earth for the Tamil minority as government troops clashed with Tiger insurgents.

Aung San Suu Kyi's Political Wisdom for Sri Lanka

David Griffiths | Posted 28.08.2012 | UK
David Griffiths

I was very privileged to attend Aung San Suu Kyi's historic speech to both Houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall last week.

Why We Must Not Forget Iraq

Emanuel Stoakes | Posted 27.05.2012 | UK Politics
Emanuel Stoakes

It has been a little over a week since the ninth anniversary of the Iraq war's launch. Watching the UK news over recent days, it seemed that at this milestone moment, serious mainstream media reflection on a conflict that officially ended only months ago were in short supply.

Sri Lanka's Killing Fields: The Time for Accountability Has Come

Emanuel Stoakes | Posted 20.05.2012 | UK Politics
Emanuel Stoakes

Whether Sri Lanka's tortured past can be left to drift into an Orwellian memory hole or be held up to scrutiny is now up to the Human Rights Council: let us hope that each member will decide to vote according their conscience.

Sri Lanka's Killing Fields

Callum Macrae | Posted 12.05.2012 | UK
Callum Macrae

In the north east of Sri Lanka just now there is a brutal and repressive clamp-down on the Tamil population. Thousands are still homeless while the military has seized land and homes. Around the world a generation of Tamil youth are burning with anger. If the world does not take action to find the truth and make the perpetrators face justice, that anger may find its expression in a tragic, awful, repetition of history. WARNING: THIS BLOG CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES

Is This Ban's 'Never Again' Moment?

Edward Mortimer | Posted 01.10.2011 | UK Politics
Edward Mortimer

We failed to prevent a massacre in Sri Lanka. We must not fail to seek justice for it.