Sri Lanka

Time is Expiring for Sri Lanka at the Human Rights Council

February 26, 2012 by

The US has made it very clear; they will table a resolution against Sri Lanka at the Human Rights Council’s (HRC) 19th session in Geneva. Unsurprisingly, the government of Sri Lanka is asking for more time. The Sri Lankan government knows that this might be the most pressure they ever face at the HRC. When it comes to national reconciliation, the government’s strategy continues to revolve around delay, prevarication and even outright lies.

Congressman Kingston’s Irresponsible Letter on Sri Lanka

February 24, 2012 by

U.S. Representative Jack Kingston (R-GA) recently submitted a bipartisan letter to President Barack Obama. Cosigned by eleven other members of Congress, it effusively praises the Sri Lankan government for all of its accomplishments since end of the country’s twenty-six-year civil war. The short note is heavy on rhetoric and light on reality.

Sri Lanka’s Game of Diplomacy

January 16, 2012 by

As promised, the Sri Lankan government made the final report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) public last month. It has also recently released its “National Action Plan for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights: 2011-2016.” The Action Plan was developed in accordance with a commitment the government had made in 2008, the last time Sri Lanka participated in the UN’s Universal Periodic Review.

SAFTA & Regional Trade

December 21, 2011 by

The South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) is an agreement among the SAARC countries of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Maldives. Although SAARC was formed two decades ago in 1985, its achievement in the area of regional economic integration has been very slow to come to fruition.

Sri Lanka’s “Truth” Commission: A Brief Assessment of the LLRC Report

December 17, 2011 by

Readers will find no big surprises after reading the final report of Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC). It is very much what most people were expecting. A document that looks to the future, exonerates the military, does not touch on the question of accountability and includes some touchy-feely language about the country’s need to move forward, celebrate its diversity and be grateful for the defeat of terrorism.

US Foreign Policy and Sri Lanka

November 19, 2011 by

After three decades of war, Sri Lanka is still a mess. President Mahinda Rajapaksa could not care less about national reconciliation. Here is a president who did not hesitate to assert his authority at the end of the war. Yet now, he is afraid to be a strong and thoughtful leader, reluctant to take a stand. The widespread human rights violations that occurred during final phases of the war (by both government forces and the LTTE) have been well-documented.

2011 SAARC Summit

November 10, 2011 by

SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation) was established 26 years ago and held its 17th Summit Conference on November 10, 2011. The goal of SAARC is to enhance the prosperity of the peoples of South Asia through regional co-operation among the eight member states, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives, Bhutan and Afghanistan.

The Continued Militarization of Sri Lanka

October 22, 2011 by

Led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, post-war Sri Lanka is a sad place. In May of 2009, the Sri Lankan government achieved a resounding military victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Most of the LTTE’s leadership was killed. For the foreseeable future, it is hard to envision another Tamil nationalist movement taking up arms against the state. Yet, if living in Sri Lanka, one might think that the conflict is still going on.

India leery of neighbor’s new squeeze

August 16, 2011 by

India is leery as China draws Sri Lanka into a closer embrace with the sanctuary of its United Nations Security Council veto against a growing clamor for Colombo to answer war crimes allegations. Side too heavily with Western condemnation and Delhi would risk pushing a defiant and isolated neighbor further into China’s orbit.

Statelessness in the Aftermath of the Sri Lankan Civil War

June 1, 2010 by

The long war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was finally declared over in May 2009 following the capture of its capital, Kilinochchi by the Sri Lankan government. The Civil War had raged since 1983, and culminated in the battles that killed the Tigers’ leader, Vellupillai Prabhakaran and 250 of his most loyal followers. Many of Mr. Prabhakaran’s surviving followers committed suicide by biting cyanide tablets which they carried around their necks rather than face capture.