Posts Tagged ‘European Union’

The Continued Militarization of Sri Lanka

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

[Journal of Foreign Relations]

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).

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Sri Lanka says EU diplomats may visit war-torn north

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009


Sri Lanka said on Wednesday it would open up its war-torn north to international scrutiny, days after the UN said it suspected war crimes were being committed in the fight against Tamil rebels. A foreign ministry official said talks were under way to give a European Union fact-finding mission access to the area, which has been almost totally off-limits to diplomats, aid workers and journalists. “We are in the process of finalising the dates and the agenda,” Sri Lanka’s Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona told AFP.

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Sri Lankan Government Rejects Rebel Appeal For Truce

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009


In Sri Lanka, the government has rejected an appeal by the European Union for a cease-fire with Tamil Tiger rebels. Intense fighting is under way in the northeast, where the military is trying to capture the last strip of territory held by the rebels. The government’s outright rejection for a truce with Tamil Tiger rebels came a day after the European Union said the situation of civilians trapped in the war zone is dangerous and called for a cease-fire to allow humanitarian aid into the region.

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EU calls for humanitarian ceasefire in Sri Lanka

Friday, February 20th, 2009


EU foreign ministers are set to make a joint call next week for an immediate ceasefire between Sri Lankan security forces and Tamil Tiger rebels to allow aid in and civilians out of the conflict zone.

“The EU is deeply concerned about the evolving humanitarian crisis and vast number of internally displaced people,” according to a draft agreement prepared for European foreign ministers to endorse when they meet in Brussels Monday.

“The EU calls for an immediate ceasefire thereby providing for the establishment of full and unrestricted access” to allow humanitarian aid in and traumatised civilians out of the narrow strip of coastal jungle area in northern Sri Lanka.

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EU officials voice concern at ‘humanitarian crisis’ in Sri Lanka

Monday, January 26th, 2009


EU officials told Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama of their concern at the “humanitarian crisis” in the north of the country, especially “the rising civilian casualties in the conflict zone.” EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner underlined that “international standards must be respected” and that unrestricted access be provided for the UN and humanitarian agencies, the EU Commission said in a statement. She said the Sri Lankan government should “now give priority to outlining and implementing an ambitious and sustainable political solution which can put Sri Lanka on the path towards peace and reconciliation between communities.”

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The Full Story: PM’s Questions

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009



“Hundreds of thousand of innocent Tamil civilians are currently under siege in Sri Lanka because of aerial bombardment by the Sri Lankan government,” Mr. Vaz told Parliament. “Last Sunday (sic) the editor of a leading newspaper was assassinated. He said in an [editorial] written before he was killed that this was due to the forces of the government,”

“Will the Prime Minister please use his good offices, either unilaterally or through the European Union, to call for a ceasefire, so that all those involved in this conflict stop their violence, so that peace can return to this beautiful island?”

Premier Brown responded: “I agree with [Mr. Vaz] about the terrible violence happening there, I also agree with him about the need for a ceasefire, I will be talking to President Sarkozy and Chancellor Merkal and this will be one of the issues I shall be raising with them.”

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EU warns Sri Lanka rights abuses threaten trade concessions

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008


The European Union threatened on Tuesday to withhold trade concessions from Sri Lanka due to the island’s worsening human rights record. Colombo has come under fire for its rights record, with Human Rights Watch saying recently at least 1,500 people “disappeared” between 2006 and 2007 — mostly ethnic Tamils living in the island’s restive north and east. The New York-based rights group said Sri Lanka was one of the world’s worst perpetrators of “disappearances” and abductions and described the situation as a “national crisis”.

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