Showing posts tagged as "sinhalese"

Showing posts tagged sinhalese

13 Nov
"The government’s policies have badly damaged the rule of law and democracy, undermined the rights of Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese alike and rendered all Sri Lankans insecure. If it continues to close off avenues of peaceful change, the risks of violent reaction will grow."

—from today’s report on Sri Lanka, “Sri Lanka’s Potemkin Peace: Democracy Under Fire

21 Nov
Sri Lanka: Tamil Politics and the Quest for a Political Solution
Colombo/Brussels  |   20 Nov 2012
The Sri Lankan government’s refusal to negotiate seriously with Tamil political leaders or consider reasonable forms of power sharing is heightening ethnic tensions and damaging prospects for sustainable peace.
Sri Lanka: Tamil Politics and the Quest for a Political Solution, the latest report from the International Crisis Group, examines political opportunities and challenges in finding a realistic strategy for the Tamil community to claim its rights against a government that remains opposed to power sharing. The administration of President Rajapaksa has failed to honour agreements with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), broke promises to world leaders and refused to implement constitutional provisions for minimal devolution of power to Tamil-speaking areas of the north and east. Instead, the government is pursuing a policy of militarisation and biased economic development in Tamil and Muslim areas.
“Three and a half years after the end of the civil war, President Rajapaksa has delayed long-promised elections to the northern provincial council – elections the TNA would be nearly certain to win”, says Alan Keenan, Crisis Group’s Sri Lanka Project Director. “Rather than address Tamils’ legitimate demands for a fair share of power in areas where they have traditionally been the majority, the Rajapaksa administration has begun discussing a new amendment to reduce provincial powers even further”.
The government’s position follows a long tradition in Sinhala nationalist thinking that rejects the Tamil and Tamil-speaking character of the north and much of the east. Military and economic policies have been institutionalising this ideological position with vigour. The de-facto military occupation of the northern province and state-sponsored cultural and demographic changes appear designed to undermine Tamils’ ability to claim the north and east as their homeland. In the face of the government’s aggressive policies, Tamil leaders are under increased pressure from their constituents to adopt more confrontational language and tactics.
International actors should press the government for the speedy establishment of an elected provincial council and full restoration of civilian government in the north. They should insist that the government start serious negotiations with the TNA and that it make no new moves to dilute provincial powers.
At the same time, Tamil leaders need to rebuild relationships with Muslims – damaged by years of war and Tamil Tiger abuses – while making clear the links between the Tamil struggle for equality and the growing unease among Sinhalese at corruption and government abuse of power. Tamils are likely to win their rights only when the broader national struggle for the restoration of democracy and the rule of law, including the independence of the judiciary, has made substantial progress.
“So long as the government refuses to devolve power to those areas in the north and east where Tamils and Muslims have for centuries been the majority, separatist demands are likely to be attractive to large numbers of Tamils in Sri Lanka”, says Paul Quinn-Judge, Crisis Group’s Acting Asia Program Director. “This would be a recipe for continued ethnic polarisation and political volatility”. 
FULL REPORT

Sri Lanka: Tamil Politics and the Quest for a Political Solution

Colombo/Brussels  |   20 Nov 2012

The Sri Lankan government’s refusal to negotiate seriously with Tamil political leaders or consider reasonable forms of power sharing is heightening ethnic tensions and damaging prospects for sustainable peace.

Sri Lanka: Tamil Politics and the Quest for a Political Solution, the latest report from the International Crisis Group, examines political opportunities and challenges in finding a realistic strategy for the Tamil community to claim its rights against a government that remains opposed to power sharing. The administration of President Rajapaksa has failed to honour agreements with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), broke promises to world leaders and refused to implement constitutional provisions for minimal devolution of power to Tamil-speaking areas of the north and east. Instead, the government is pursuing a policy of militarisation and biased economic development in Tamil and Muslim areas.

“Three and a half years after the end of the civil war, President Rajapaksa has delayed long-promised elections to the northern provincial council – elections the TNA would be nearly certain to win”, says Alan Keenan, Crisis Group’s Sri Lanka Project Director. “Rather than address Tamils’ legitimate demands for a fair share of power in areas where they have traditionally been the majority, the Rajapaksa administration has begun discussing a new amendment to reduce provincial powers even further”.

The government’s position follows a long tradition in Sinhala nationalist thinking that rejects the Tamil and Tamil-speaking character of the north and much of the east. Military and economic policies have been institutionalising this ideological position with vigour. The de-facto military occupation of the northern province and state-sponsored cultural and demographic changes appear designed to undermine Tamils’ ability to claim the north and east as their homeland. In the face of the government’s aggressive policies, Tamil leaders are under increased pressure from their constituents to adopt more confrontational language and tactics.

International actors should press the government for the speedy establishment of an elected provincial council and full restoration of civilian government in the north. They should insist that the government start serious negotiations with the TNA and that it make no new moves to dilute provincial powers.

At the same time, Tamil leaders need to rebuild relationships with Muslims – damaged by years of war and Tamil Tiger abuses – while making clear the links between the Tamil struggle for equality and the growing unease among Sinhalese at corruption and government abuse of power. Tamils are likely to win their rights only when the broader national struggle for the restoration of democracy and the rule of law, including the independence of the judiciary, has made substantial progress.

“So long as the government refuses to devolve power to those areas in the north and east where Tamils and Muslims have for centuries been the majority, separatist demands are likely to be attractive to large numbers of Tamils in Sri Lanka”, says Paul Quinn-Judge, Crisis Group’s Acting Asia Program Director. “This would be a recipe for continued ethnic polarisation and political volatility”. 

FULL REPORT

15 Nov
The World Failed Sri Lanka. And Continues to Do So. | UN Dispatch
By Mark Leon Goldberg 
The top story buzzing around the UN today the soon-to-be-released report on the failure to protect civilians caught in the final days of the Sri Lankan civil war. Parts of the report were already leaked to the BBC, and Ban Ki Moon is expected to make it public tomorrow.  The short story is that there was a massive and system wide failure to prevent the slaughter of an estimated 40,000 ethnic Tamils in five short months in the winter and spring of 2009. (To put that in perspective, there has been an estimated 30,000 Syrians killed in over a year of violence.)
What we know about those final days is stunningly awful. This International Crisis Group report and this UN Commission of Inquiry report describe a months-long massacre of innocent civilians caught between Tamil Tiger insurgents on one side and government forces on the other. The insurgents used civilians as human shields, and the government decided to shoot through those shields to get to the Tigers. Hundreds of thousands of people were trapped in an area the size of Central Park, subjected to daily mortar fire and indiscriminate killing. The Sri Lankan government said they were going after terrorists. That may be true, but they did so by killing tens of thousands of civilians in the process.
FULL ARTICLE (UN Dispatch)
Photo: United Nations - Geneva/Flickr

The World Failed Sri Lanka. And Continues to Do So. | UN Dispatch

By Mark Leon Goldberg 

The top story buzzing around the UN today the soon-to-be-released report on the failure to protect civilians caught in the final days of the Sri Lankan civil war. Parts of the report were already leaked to the BBC, and Ban Ki Moon is expected to make it public tomorrow.  The short story is that there was a massive and system wide failure to prevent the slaughter of an estimated 40,000 ethnic Tamils in five short months in the winter and spring of 2009. (To put that in perspective, there has been an estimated 30,000 Syrians killed in over a year of violence.)

What we know about those final days is stunningly awful. This International Crisis Group report and this UN Commission of Inquiry report describe a months-long massacre of innocent civilians caught between Tamil Tiger insurgents on one side and government forces on the other. The insurgents used civilians as human shields, and the government decided to shoot through those shields to get to the Tigers. Hundreds of thousands of people were trapped in an area the size of Central Park, subjected to daily mortar fire and indiscriminate killing. The Sri Lankan government said they were going after terrorists. That may be true, but they did so by killing tens of thousands of civilians in the process.

FULL ARTICLE (UN Dispatch)

Photo: United Nations - Geneva/Flickr

20 Mar
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — An international human rights group on Friday warned that the militarization of Sri Lanka’s former war zone and discrimination against minority ethnic Tamils threaten to lead the island back into violence.
The Brussels-based International Crisis Group said in a report that there are government moves to change the demographics in what were once Tamil majority areas by sending in ethnic Sinhalese settlers. Sinhalese are the largest ethnic group in the country — wielding the most power in the government, military and business community.
"By adopting policies that will bring fundamental changes to the culture, demography and economy of the Northern Province, the government of Sri Lanka is sowing the seeds of future violence there," the report said.
Sri Lanka’s civil war ended in 2009 when government troops crushed separatist Tamil Tiger rebels, who fought for more than 25 years to create an independent state in the island’s north for Tamils after years of discrimination by Sinhalese-controlled governments.
Friday’s ICG report said important decisions of governance in the north were now being made by Sinhalese military officials and politicians at the exclusion of the local Tamil people and their elected leaders. The predominantly Tamil north now has streets and villages renamed in the Sinhala language, dotted with war monuments and Buddhist shrines, the religion of the majority.
Many of these are built on land that Tamils left behind during the height of the conflict, it said.
FULL ARTICLE (Associated Press)
Photo: Jolle/Wikimedia Commons

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — An international human rights group on Friday warned that the militarization of Sri Lanka’s former war zone and discrimination against minority ethnic Tamils threaten to lead the island back into violence.

The Brussels-based International Crisis Group said in a report that there are government moves to change the demographics in what were once Tamil majority areas by sending in ethnic Sinhalese settlers. Sinhalese are the largest ethnic group in the country — wielding the most power in the government, military and business community.

"By adopting policies that will bring fundamental changes to the culture, demography and economy of the Northern Province, the government of Sri Lanka is sowing the seeds of future violence there," the report said.

Sri Lanka’s civil war ended in 2009 when government troops crushed separatist Tamil Tiger rebels, who fought for more than 25 years to create an independent state in the island’s north for Tamils after years of discrimination by Sinhalese-controlled governments.

Friday’s ICG report said important decisions of governance in the north were now being made by Sinhalese military officials and politicians at the exclusion of the local Tamil people and their elected leaders. The predominantly Tamil north now has streets and villages renamed in the Sinhala language, dotted with war monuments and Buddhist shrines, the religion of the majority.

Many of these are built on land that Tamils left behind during the height of the conflict, it said.

FULL ARTICLE (Associated Press)

Photo: Jolle/Wikimedia Commons

19 Mar
International Crisis Group

Sri Lanka’s North: Recipe for Renewed Conflict

19 March 2012: Alan Keenan, Crisis Group’s Senior Analyst and Sri Lanka Project Director, examines how de facto military rule and various forms of government-sponsored “Sinhalisation” of the Tamil-majority region are impeding international humanitarian efforts, reigniting a sense of grievance among Tamils, and weakening chances for a real political settlement to devolve power in Sri Lanka.


(Source: bit.ly)

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