Saturday, February 25, 2012

Statistics on deaths during the war:  Department of Census and Statistics Sri Lanka 

The Census and Statistics Department of Sri Lanka released an official report on the deaths occurred in the five districts of Northern Province for the last four years of the war that ended in May 2009.  In 2009, a total of 7,934 died due to 'other deaths' and 2,523 died natural deaths.

Download EVE-2011 Full Report

Friday, February 24, 2012

Media Release: Ambassador Maj. General Silva has not been charged before any court of law by any credible authority

On Tuesday (21st February 2012) evening, Madame Louise Fr├ęchette, Chair of the Senior Advisory Group to consider rates of reimbursement to troop-contributing countries (SAG) asked Ambassador Maj. General Shavendra Silva, Deputy Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka, who is the representative of the Asia Pacific Group in the SAG to meet her. She had brusquely informed him that she will not let him enter the room where the discussions of the SAG were being held and will have him removed from the room, should he insist on coming into the room. She, of course, could not carry out this threat. Ambassador Silva participated in the meetings. Previously, he participated in the initial meetings of the SAG held on 19 and 20 January 2012. 
The approach of Madame Fr├ęchette, who was once a very senior officer of this Organization was outrageous and high handed given that the United Nations is an Organization of Member-States governed by hallowed rules, regulations and etiquette. To make matters worse, she has actually said, “You may have been nominated by the Asia Pacific Group, but I will decide whether you participate or not”. Such an intolerant and superior attitude is fundamentally unacceptable in an organization which is representative of the entire international community. She was also observed trying to convince other members of the SAG individually to exclude Ambassador Silva, an act totally inconsistent with her role as Chair. 
Ambassador Maj. General Silva was appointed as a member of the SAG in accordance with GA resolution 65/289 and pursuant to the decision taken by the Asia Pacific Group after lengthy consideration. Accordingly, the Chair has no right to usurp authority to exclude Maj. General Silva from the SAG, contrary to the normal practice of the United Nations. Ambassador Silva has not been charged before any court of law by any credible authority and to seek to exclude him from a position in the UN is unfair and contrary to the principles of the United Nations- a public lynching without trial. 

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations
New York
23 February 2012
SL rejects misleading and unethical communication allegedly sent by US
Sri Lanka strongly reject a statement sent to the missions in Geneva purportedly by the United States to garner support for a resolution backed by the US and Western countries against Sri Lanka. Read more...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Geneva Carnival is on

It is that time of the year again. The annual carnival is back in town! The main protagonists are busy putting finishing touches to their masks…
The XIX Session of the UN Human Rights Council opens on 27 February 2012 and is due to end on 23 March 2012. I have no intention of scoffing at human rights or being dismissive of the need to have international mechanisms in place to deal with serious violations of human rights. No fair-minded person should have any objections to the respect for human rights being accorded high priority at all levels – national, regional and global.  However, what is happening in Geneva in the name of human rights is quite curious, to put it mildly. Read more....
News From Other Media Lanka capable of solving its internal issues - Russian envoy Lanka capable of solving its internal issues - Russian envoy

Russia yesterday said that Sri Lanka's situation with regard to human rights does not in any way call for an external intervention and the Sri Lankan government is capable of solving its internal issues including human rights. Read more...
GoSL won’t negotiate with US on HR Resolution – GL 

External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris yesterday stressed that the government wouldn’t negotiate with the US on the proposed resolution, which the Obama administration intended to move against Sri Lanka during the 19th sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) scheduled to begin on Feb. 27. Read more....

Protest against 'Western conspiracy'

The Sri Lanka government has urged the general public to come to streets against what it called a “Western conspiracy” to topple Mahinda Rajapaksa government.Read more....
War crimes did not take place in Sri Lanka; Opposition Leader

Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe stated that if the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission is submitted to the Parliamentary Select Committee to find solutions to the National Issue and discussions are based on it, the UNP would name its representative for the Committee.

He further stated that he does not accept the fact that war crimes have taken place in the country.

Sri Lanka outraged over purported US email 

Sri Lanka expressed outrage over an email purportedly sent to member states of the human rights council by the U.S Mission in Geneva seeking support for a resolution on Sri Lanka. Read more...
Road from Geneva to Nanthikadal

After a second round of talks in April 2006 failed to materialize due to transgression on the part of the LTTE, Norway arranged for the two parties to meet in Oslo on June 8 and 9, 2006. The LTTE refused to meet the government delegation on the basis it wasn’t led by a minister. The LTTE took up the position that Dr. Palitha Kohona wasn’t important enough for them to sit at the negotiating table. The LTTE also objected to the presence of Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) personnel from EU states, Denmark, Sweden and Finland, due to the EU proscribing the LTTE as a terrorist organization...Read more 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

‘Book Hub’ – Sri Lanka’s first ever e-book store

Reading a good book usually gets you information, which in turn can be converted into knowledge but most importantly it guides you to achieve wisdom. It helps people be knowledgeable as well as thoughtful. For generations, Sri Lankans have been a nation that loved literature, but the reading habit has decreased to fairly low levels in the recent times. At present the students are exposed to modern communication methods and technologies with the presence of Internet and other facilities and tend to give up the habit of reading. Understanding this new tendency correctly an online e-book store, called ‘Book Hub’ is to be commercially launched by end of March which will be the Sri Lanka’s first ever e-book store. Read more....
US spreads rumours against Lanka: SL diplomats

The United States (US) has spread rumours in diplomatic circles here in Geneva that Sri Lanka has agreed with them to draft the resolution to be presented at the next session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) with regard to the country’s human rights situation, diplomatic sources said yesterday. Read more....

Congressional letter to President Obama lauds Sri Lanka's progress, Proposes stronger US - SL Ties

WASHINGTON – A group of influential members of Congress have urged President Barack Obama to strengthen ties between the United States and Sri Lanka, noting Sri Lanka’s May 2009 triumph over terrorism, its flourishing trade ties with U.S. companies and its regional strategic importance. Read more....

Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa yesterday instructed his Ministry officials to work with UN agencies, INGOs and NGOs on a joint Action Plan of Assistance for the Northern Province in 2012. Read more....

The Norwegian Postal Authority, Posten Norge, has issued an apology to the Sri Lankan Ambassador in Oslo, Mr. E. Rodney M. Perera, for the recent issuance of LTTE stamps in Norway.  In his letter addressed to the Ambassador of Sri Lanka, the President  & CEO of Posten Norge, Mr. Dag Mejdell, states, inter alia, Read more....