Protest against visit of Maithripala Sirisena to Britain, March 2015.
The elaborate public facade carefully constructed by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, with the hidden assistance of India and the US, is crumbling by the day. Instead, the discomforting truth is revealed that despite Sirisena becoming president last year, Sri Lanka remains a brutal regime dominated by a military mindset.
About 300 Tamil political prisoners in 11 prisons began a hunger strike on October 12.
Many of the prisoners have been detained without trial under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. Some have been in jail for up to 20 years.
They are accused of being members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which fought for an independent Tamil homeland in the north and east of the island of Sri Lanka, but was defeated in 2009.
The United Nations Human Rights Council has unanimously adopted a resolution called “Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka”.
This resolution, of which the United States was the main sponsor, welcomed a proposal by the Sri Lankan government to establish a “judicial mechanism” to investigate “abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law”.
The United Nations' Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) report of its investigation into human rights violations in Sri Lanka found “reasonable grounds to believe that gross violations of international human rights law … were committed.”
The investigation deals with the period between February 2002 and November 2011. It thus includes the final years of the war between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The LTTE fought for an independent Tamil homeland in the north and east of the island of Sri Lanka and was defeated in May 2009.
Kokilavany is contesting in the Sri Lankan parliamentary election in 2015 on behalf of the All Ceylon Tamil Congress Party, which is part of the Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF). She spoke to Lalitha Chelliah on Community Radio 3CR's Tamil Manifest program on August 1.
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