Posts Tagged ‘government’
Friday, February 27th, 2009
[Committee to Protect Journalists]
As the Sri Lankan government steps up its war with the LTTE, assaults on
journalists are on the rise. So are suspicions that the government is
complicit in these attacks.
Sri Lanka’s journalists are under intensive assault. Authorities have failed to carry out effective and credible investigations into the killing of journalists who question the government’s conduct of a war against Tamil separatists or criticize the military establishment. Three attacks in January targeting the mainstream media drew the world’s attention to the problem, but top journalists have been killed, attacked, threatened, and harassed since the government began to pursue an all-out military victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in late 2006. Many local and foreign journalists and members of the diplomatic community believe the government is complicit in the attacks.
Thursday, January 29th, 2009
Far from heeding charges of human rights abuses and stifling dissent, the government has, this week, added blatant disregard for judicial fiat to its list of sins. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court (SC) terminated proceedings in a controversial oil hedging case, saying the government was no longer implementing court orders on the issue. Sources said the court of Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva backed off from taking on the executive after a series of high-profile judgments it passed against President Mahinda Rajapakse’s administration were simply ignored.
Thursday, January 15th, 2009
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.”
Wednesday, January 14th, 2009
[ BBC ]
The last remaining strip of rebel-held land on the northern Jaffna peninsula is now in government hands, the Sri Lankan administration says. Correspondents say that taking full control after nine years is another strategic victory for the government. The capture follows the recent fall of the town of Kilinochchi and the strategically important Elephant Pass. Separately, the president has pledged to protect press freedom in the wake of a high-profile journalist’s killing.
Monday, January 12th, 2009
The funeral of a Sri Lankan newspaper editor and staunch critic of the war on Tamil rebels was underway Monday with the island’s hawkish government facing allegations of being behind his killing. Security was tight as thousands of mourners attended a Christian service for Lasantha Wickrematunga at the Assembly of God church in Colombo ahead of a burial ceremony at the Colombo General Cemetery. Wickrematunga’s Sunday Leader newspaper has been virulently anti-establishment and regularly savaged the government for waging its costly and bloody war against the Tamil Tigers. Last Thursday he was shot at close range near the capital Colombo by unidentified gunmen.
Monday, January 5th, 2009
Sri Lankan troops battling Tamil rebels on Monday captured a part of the highly strategic Elephant Pass, a causeway linking the northern Jaffna peninsula to the mainland, the military said. Military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara said the southern part of the causeway fell to government troops advancing northwards from Kilinochchi, the political headquarters of the Tamil Tigers, which was captured by the army on Friday. “Troops are now consolidating in the southern part of Elephant Pass,” he said.
Friday, January 2nd, 2009
[ The Guardian ]
The loss of Kilinochchi, its capital, is a major blow to the Tamil Tiger movement fighting for autonomy in the Sinhalese-dominated country. But the army’s success in capturing the town yesterday does not mark the death of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Kilinochchi was the LTTE’s political headquarters, strung out on the main tarmac road from Colombo to Jaffna. The government could always strike it at will by air, as it did just over a year ago when aircraft bombed the offices of SP Thamilselvan, the man with whom foreign diplomats as well as the government had frequently negotiated.
Wednesday, December 31st, 2008
[ AP ]
Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger separatists are open to restarting peace talks with the government, despite the continuing military offensive aimed at crushing the group, a senior rebel official said. The two sides have been fighting for more than 25 years over the rebels’ demands for an independent state for minority Tamils in the north and east of this Indian Ocean island nation. A new military push deep into the rebel heartland in recent months has forced the Tamil Tigers to retreat from vast swaths of land they once controlled, and the government has said it expects to finish off the group in the coming months.
Friday, December 26th, 2008
ASIA’S longest civil war is building to a violent crescendo. In the island nation of Sri Lanka, the Sinhalese-majority government should be pressed to accept a cease-fire, to permit a political settlement. Government forces are besieging the rebel Tamil Tigers in the north of the country. Since abandoning a ceasefire in 2006 and a Norwegian-sponsored peace process earlier this year, President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brother, Defense Minister Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, have been vaunting their intention to crush the Tigers once and for all. There is little chance the brothers’ military campaign will produce anything other than a new phase of protracted guerrilla warfare. Meanwhile, over 200,000 civilians have been uprooted from their homes.