Sri Lanka

Disappearances and extra judicial killings have become routine in Sri Lanka. Over the last twelve months more than 1000 civilians, mostly Tamils, have disappeared. Most of these enforced disappearances are extortion related abductions and now it has become a part of Sri Lanka’s war industry. Activists fear that the actual numbers of abductions are higher than reported since many have negotiated on their own and got themselves released after paying handsome ransoms.

(click here to read more from the South Asian)


[ from the radio archives of the South Asian Community News Collective ]

Since the 1980s the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have been engaged in a violent conflict where thousands of civilans have been killed. Despite a ceasfire being signed in 2002 between the two groups, in the summer of 2006 Sri Lanka has been witness to the worst violence since then, with many people in the north-east part of the island been killed and even more displaced. Today’s program is the first in a two part episode looking at the conflict in Sri Lanka.

(click here to listen to Part I)

(click here to listen to Part II)

Amnesty International says the human rights situation in two South Asian countries – Sri Lanka and Bangladesh – has deteriorated in recent years. The human rights watchdog says that in Bangladesh people promoting human rights are under attack, while in Sri Lanka an escalated ethnic conflict has resulted in the killings and disappearances of many civilians. Anjana Pasricha reports from New Delhi, where Amnesty has two reports.

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Thousands of civilians have fled their homes in eastern Sri Lanka because of heavy fighting between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels. A BBC correspondent in Batticaloa says that 3,000 mostly Tamil civilians arrived in the town on Thursday. Most came from the Paduvankarai area east of Batticaloa town, and said they were escaping heavy artillery fire. The civilians said they believed troops were massing for a major offensive. The government denies the reports.

(click here to read more from BBC)

The problems of villages like this are not only a Sri Lankan problem; many villages all around the world in Asia, in Africa, and in Latin America face similar and related problems. It is also clear that NGOs are an effect of Neo Liberalism, an attempt to stop any political solution from arising.

(click here to read more from Counter Currents)

Sri Lankan Migrants Used as Forced Laborers

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – In Sri Lanka’s war-torn north and east, where killings happen every day and work is nearly nonexistent, it doesn’t take much to entice a man to leave. So when an employment agency offered a steady paycheck for laboring amid Dubai’s soaring glass and steel towers, 17 young Sri Lankan men paid their fee to the job brokers – $2,000, a small fortune on this tropical island – and signed up. But instead of going to work, they were locked in a room guarded by a man with a pistol. They had been sold to another agency, they were told, for $1,200 apiece. It took them two weeks to realize where they were: Iraq.

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Is There Light at the End of the Tunnel?

After a seemingly endless series of events that made all decent Sri Lankans hang their heads in shame, there is at last something to make us feel proud of our country. The majority report of the panel set up to advise the All Party Representative Committee is impressive not only in its thoroughness and professionalism, but also in its ability to suggest creative solutions to the problems that have plagued us for so long. Of course it is, as yet, only a draft; it would need to be revised in consultation with the people most affected by the measures it proposes before it can be finalised.

(click here to read more from South Asian Citizens Web)