Association for Prevention of State Terrorism (APST)
North & East Srilanka  

Darfur Sudan


Humanitarian Crisis in Sri Lanka.

Tamil Canadians are thoroughly disillusioned and concerned over the human rights violations that are happening in Sri Lanka in a much wider scale, only comparable to Darfur. Despite the pleas from the International community, the Government of Sri Lanka is bent on pursuing the path of destruction through war, violating the agreement brokered by Norway. Massive human rights violations including, extra-judicial killings, disappearances, rape, kidnappings, mass killings of civilians including journalists, international humanitarian workers, priests and students have become the daily occurrence.

During the last few weeks, the Government of Srilanka has started its campaign of terror in the Tamil dominated EasternProvince, through daily aerial bombardments and artillery shelling. More than 250,000 civilians have become refugees in their own land, according to UN.

The UN also has warned the international community that the food, medical and shelter facilities are running extremely low, and would last only for a few days, amidst the fear of epidemics and related diseases.

Besides the displaced are being forced to serve as human shields by the Government of Srilanka, says the UN.

The Government of Srilanka has out rightly rejected the UN request to send a Human Rights Monitoring mission to that country.

Canada, being the home of nearly 300,000 of the Tamil descent, urgently request the Government of Canada which has an unblemished record of standing up for Peace and Human Rights all around the world, to pressurize Srilanka to respect the fundamental Human rights. They also urge it to coordinate with the UN urgently, to look into the urgent needs of medical, shelter and food supplies to the internally displaced refugees.

Sri Lankan court blocks international rights probe
[ Mar 30, 2007 11:10:57 GMT ] [ Radio < xml="true" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" prefix="st1" namespace="">Australia ]

A Sri Lanka court has blocked access for an internationally supervised team probing grave human rights abuses, as the island faced mounting criticism for extra-judicial killings. Colombo's chief magistrate refused permission for the Special Presidential Commission investigating high-profile assassinations and massacres to have access to court records. AFP news agency reports a police official saying: "We made an application to court on behalf of the presidential commission, but the chief magistrate ordered that the records should not be made available to them or anyone else."

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UNP bombshell on abductions - Claims top politicians involved, ready to reveal names
[ Mar 22, 2007 20:27:47 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

The UNP charged in Parliament yesterday that certain government ministers were involved in abducting persons for obtaining ransom. Speaking during the debate on two finance-related Bills, Chief Opposition Whip Joseph Micheal Perera said the party was aware of the names of ministers who were allegedly involved in abductions. “We have information about some ministers involved in abduction of persons for ransoms amounting to five to ten million rupees. But, we cannot reveal their names due to restrictions in the Standing Orders,” he said

"Safeguard our lives" - journalists
[ Mar 22, 2007 18:12:19 GMT ] [ BBC ]

The chief editor of the Udayan newspaper published in Jaffna calls upon all fellow journalists to act immediately and take necessary action to safeguard journalists associated with Udayan, and all Tamil journalists in the Jaffna Publishing the daily newspaper Udayan in Jaffna is an increasingly Herculean and dangerous task with armed gunmen who continuously threaten its work and staff, says the chief editor, V.Kanamailnathan. Writing to the the Editors Guild of Sri Lanka, Kanamailnathan says journalists & employees working in the night face this risk each second of every day, with absolutely no respite

Sri Lanka rejects foreign monitoring of human rights
[ Mar 21, 2007 11:52:21 GMT ] [ AFP ]

Sri Lanka Wednesday rejected any foreign scrutiny of its human rights record amid growing international criticism of extra-judicial killings, abductions and the recruitment of child soldiers. Government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said Colombo would not allow any unsolicited monitoring of rights in the embattled island, but would invite "eminent persons from time time to time" to assess the situation.

Sri Lanka: UN appeals for urgent funds to feed thousands displaced by fighting
[ Mar 20, 2007 14:25:26 GMT ] [ UN ]

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is appealing for vital funds to boost its operations in eastern Sri Lanka to ensure basic supplies for over 155,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in need of immediate aid after being uprooted by intensified fighting between the Government and Tamil separatists. “Unless we receive new funding very soon, we will run out of food supplies by the end of April,” WFP Regional Director for Asia Tony Banbury said in Bangkok, Thailand, today, terming the need for additional contributions “critical and urgent.”

UN refugee agency urges Sri Lanka not to forcibly return displaced persons
[ Mar 16, 2007 20:20:12 GMT ] [ UN ]

After reports that the Sri Lankan authorities have forcibly returned many internally displaced people (IDPs) who fled fighting, the United Nations refugee agency today said that it had received the Government’s assurances that the agency will be “fully engaged” in any future returns to ensure that they are both voluntary and safe. Yesterday, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) received disturbing reports of increased police presence around displacement sites in the eastern Batticaloa district, where more than 150,000 IDPs reside, spokesperson Ron Redmond told a press briefing in Geneva.

'Karuna's men in IDP camps' - Amnesty
[ Mar 13, 2007 21:11:10 GMT ] [ BBC ]

Amnesty Inetrnational expressed concern about the activities of armed groups operating in government controled areas in a satement issued on Tuesday.In its report, the Amnesty International claims, "Armed groups, some identified as part of a breakaway group of Tamil Tigers known as the Karuna faction, are infiltrating camps for newly displaced people and abducting residents, according to sources known to Amnesty International,The Karuna faction appears to operate throughout Batticaloa town with the complicity of the Sri Lankan authorities."

Camps full, Sri Lanka war-displaced live under trees
[ Mar 13, 2007 11:22:16 GMT ] [ Reuters ]

There is no room for thousands of new war-displaced in crammed refugee camps in Sri Lanka's east, so many are sheltering under trees or in schools and churches, aid workers said on Tuesday. More than 40,000 people have fled rebel-held territory in the eastern district of Batticaloa over the past week as the military seeks to drive Tamil Tiger rebels from the area amid a new chapter in a two-decade civil war. "Most of them are under trees," said Basil Sylvester, district officer for the main aid agency umbrella group, the Consortium for Humanitarian Agencies in Batticaloa.

EU trade benefits threatened by human rights concerns
[ Mar 12, 2007 14:41:40 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

The European Commission (EC) office says Sri Lanka could lose trade benefits from the European Union (EU) if allegations of human rights and labour rights violations continue to pile up. Sri Lanka is one of 14 countries given GSP+ trade concessions by the EU. The GSP+ scheme gives bigger trade benefits than the usual GSP scheme of the EU and under the GSP+ Sri Lanka can export around 7,000 items into the EU duty free. The trade scheme has been particularly useful for the local garment sector

US concerned over Sri Lanka's human rights record
[ Mar 10, 2007 12:15:27 GMT ] [ AFP ]

The United States expressed concern over Sri Lanka's human rights record as activists stepped up pressure over a spate of abductions and disappearances. Visiting ambassador Steven Mann, principal deputy assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian Affairs, urged President Mahinda Rajapakse to address the issue during talks here. "We are concerned about the reports we receive ... the United States takes these issues very seriously," he said on friday

Britain alarmed at mounting conflict in Sri Lanka
[ Mar 07, 2007 16:52:05 GMT ] [ AFP ]

Britain said Wednesday it was deeply worried about the escalation in Sri Lanka’s long-running armed conflict with separatist ethnic Tamil rebels. Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett told her visiting Sri Lankan counterpart Rohitha Bogollagama that Britain remained committed to finding a peaceful solution in its former colony. However, Beckett said Britain ‘remains seriously concerned by the escalation in conflict,’ and ‘the terrible humanitarian impact this has had on the civilian population of Sri Lanka,’ according to a statement.

Sri Lanka says some police involved in abductions
[ Mar 07, 2007 11:38:01 GMT ] [ Reuters ]

Sri Lanka's government said on Wednesday it suspects some state security service personnel have been involved in abductions and murders that have mushroomed amid renewed civil war. The admission comes as President Mahinda Rajapakse's government faces pressure to halt rights abuses blamed on elements of the military as well as Tamil Tiger rebels and renegades -- and days before an expected roasting by the Human Rights Council in Geneva. The police has arrested more than 450 people since September in connection with a host of crimes including aiding and abetting the Tamil Tigers and abductions and killings -- 20 of those serving in the police and army.

Police held over S Lanka kidnaps
[ Mar 06, 2007 15:11:38 GMT ] [ BBC ]

A senior police officer has said that serving and former police and security force personnel have been arrested over abductions in Sri Lanka. His statement at a media briefing came on the same day as the bullet-riddled bodies of five people were found in a field in the north of the country. Their remains were burned beyond recognition, according to police in the north-central district of Anuradhapura. It follows the discovery of five other bodies near the capital on Saturday.

Sri Lankan police, troops involved in abductions: police chief
[ Mar 06, 2007 12:29:34 GMT ] [ AFP ]

Sri Lanka's police chief said police and security personnel have been involved in ransom kidnappings of civilians, vowing to crack down on mounting abductions and killings. Police Inspector General Victor Perera said Tuesday that a "large number" of police officers and troops had been arrested on charges of abduction and extortion. In some instances ransoms had been paid abroad. His remarks came as five bullet-riddled bodies of unidentified men turned up in the north central district of Anuradhapura following a similar discovery of five bodies near the capital last Saturday

Anti-terrorism laws abused in Sri Lanka - jurists
[ Mar 02, 2007 12:21:16 GMT ] [ Reuters ]

Anti-terrorism laws in Sri Lanka have led to widespread and systematic rights abuses, a panel of global jurists said on Friday, charging government forces of extra-judicial killings and torture. The panel was appointed in 2005 by the Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists to investigate the impact of "terrorism" and counter-terrorism measures on the rule of law and human rights. It concluded a visit to India on Friday where it met affected people, activists and government representatives from the region including Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the Maldives. The experts are due to visit Pakistan separately

Britain warns could withold aid to Sri Lanka
[ Feb 18, 2007 16:13:20 GMT ] [ Reuters ]

Britain warned on Sunday it will withhold millions of pounds worth of aid to Sri Lanka if the island's government fails to provide assurances it is fulfilling agreed human rights and defence spending conditions. Britain agreed in 2005 to provide Sri Lanka 41 million pounds ($79.9 million) in debt relief through 2015 in yearly instalments of around 4 million pounds, as long as it meets conditions related to various issues, including human rights and defence expenditure. The British government has written to its Sri Lankan counterpart asking it to clarify whether those conditions were still being met

Sri Lanka faces international isolation: ex-foreign minister
[ Feb 15, 2007 12:01:46 GMT ] [ AFP ]

Sri Lanka faces international isolation for failing to pay close heed to human rights issues, former foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera warned. He said he was troubled by the renewed violence and a rising number of deaths, as well as a big increase in unsolved kidnappings across the island. "There is growing concern among (the) international community over allegations of abductions, disappearances and extra-judicial killings," Samaraweera told reporters on Thursday

US lawmakers ask Bush to appoint peace envoy for Sri Lanka
[ Feb 06, 2007 13:16:32 GMT ] [ AFP ]

A group 38 US lawmakers have asked President George W. Bush to appoint a special envoy to help bring about peace in conflict-ridden Sri Lanka. The legislators from the House of Representatives said in a letter to Bush that they were troubled by renewed violence and a rising number of deaths as well as a big increase in unsolved kidnappings across Sri Lanka. "It is time for the United States to provide global leadership to help advance peace for the people of Sri Lanka," they said, according to a copy of the letter obtained by AFP from the office of New Jersey Democratic Representative Rush Holt (news, bio, voting record), who initiated the move.

‘Breakdown’ of the CFA and human rights ‘problems’
[ Mar 09, 2007 20:49:13 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

The Civil Monitoring Committee on Extra Judicial Killings and Disappearances says it had received around 100 complaints of disappearances so far. Its Convenor, Colombo district MP Mano Ganeshan accuses an influential section within the government and the security apparatus to be part of the incidents. He claims that he has the numbers of vehicles and descriptions of the people carrying out the abductions. “People are picked up from public places in the city by armed men who travel in white colored vans. These persons walk in to these places call the people by their name, check the identity cards and confirm they are taking the right person and take them in casually

Ex-foreign minister warned India may join in imposing embargoes
[ Feb 25, 2007 13:43:14 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

The then Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera warned President Mahinda Rajapaksa that India may join western powers to bring international strictures and even embargoes on Sri Lanka. The warning came in a letter Mr. Samaraweera sent on December 13, last year, almost a month before he was sacked. Copies of this letter were released to the media together with a letter he wrote to Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) General Secretary, Maithripala Sirisena, countering charges levelled against him

Britain threatens to stop aid to Lanka
[ Feb 18, 2007 6:25:41 GMT ] [ The Sunday Times ]

The British government is putting the squeeze on Sri Lanka, threatening to stop a grant of £41 million for breaching international obligations and for "unjustified" military spending. But now Britain claims that Sri Lanka is guilty of a significant violation of international obligations, particularly human rights, an instigation of hostilities and an unjustified rise in military spending. It believes that instead of spending the sum released on tsunami recovery and poverty reduction it has gone on a spending spree for military hardware and logistics.

Three Rajapaksa's rule - Mangala
[ Feb 15, 2007 20:35:01 GMT ] [ BBC ]

Former Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said the government is run by "non elected" members of the Rajapakse family. Ousted foreign minister said on Thursday he was dismissed by the government mainly because he had stressed the need to curb human rights abuses including abductions and killings. "Tamil people in Colombo are living in fear of being abducted". He said. "Not only Mangala Samaraweera, but also Mahinda Rajapakse can't be a part of a government that abuses human rights". said the former minister.

Sri Lanka faces international isolation: ex-foreign minister
[ Feb 15, 2007 12:01:46 GMT ] [ AFP ]

Sri Lanka faces international isolation for failing to pay close heed to human rights issues, former foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera warned. He said he was troubled by the renewed violence and a rising number of deaths, as well as a big increase in unsolved kidnappings across the island. "There is growing concern among (the) international community over allegations of abductions, disappearances and extra-judicial killings," Samaraweera told reporters on Thursday