Full Speech: UN High Commissioner For Human Rights Navi Pillay At The Press Conference On Her Mission To Sri Lanka

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Good morning, and thank you for coming.

As is customary at the end of official missions such as this, I would like to make some observations concerning the human rights situation in the country.

Navi
During my seven-day visit, I have held discussions with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and senior members of the Government. These included the Ministers of External Affairs, Justice, Economic Development, National Languages and Social Integration, Youth Affairs and the Minister of Plantations Industries who is also Special Envoy to the President on Human Rights, as well as the Secretary of Defence.  I also met the Chief Justice, Attorney-General, Leader of the House of Parliament and the Permanent Secretary to the President, who is head of the taskforce appointed to monitor the implementation of the report of the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).

I had discussions with politicians who are not part of the current Government, namely the Leader of the Opposition and the leader of the Tamil National Alliance; in addition I met with the National Human Rights Commission, and a total of eight different gatherings of human rights defenders and civil society organizations in Colombo, Jaffna and Trincomalee. I also received briefings from the Governors and other senior officials in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.

I thank the Government for its invitation and its excellent cooperation during the planning and conduct of this very complex mission. It stated that I could go anywhere, and see anything I wished to see. And, despite some disturbing incidents which I will go into later, that commitment was honoured throughout.

Even though this is the longest official visit I have ever made to a single country, I am acutely conscious that I was unable to see everyone who requested a meeting. Nor will I be able to do justice to all the human rights issues facing the Sri Lankan people and government. Since I will be providing an oral update to the Human Rights Council in Geneva in late September, and a full written report in March next year, I will today confine myself to a few key issues that crystallized during the course of the mission.

I will divide these human rights issues into two parts: those related to the vicious and debilitating 27-year conflict between the Government and the LTTE, and its aftermath; and those that relate to the whole country.

Some media, ministers, bloggers and various propagandists in Sri Lanka have, for several years now, on the basis of my Indian Tamil heritage, described me as a tool of the LTTE. They have claimed I was in their pay, the “Tamil Tigress in the UN.” This is not only wildly incorrect, it is deeply offensive. This type of abuse has reached an extraordinary crescendo during this past week, with at least three Government Ministers joining in.

Firstly, let me say, I am a South African and proud of it.

Secondly, the LTTE was a murderous organization that committed numerous crimes and destroyed many lives. In fact, my only previous visit to Sri Lanka was to attend a commemoration of the celebrated legislator, peacemaker and scholar, Neelan Tiruchelvam, who was killed by an LTTE suicide bomb in July 1999. Those in the diaspora who continue to revere the memory of the LTTE must recognize that there should be no place for the glorification of such a ruthless organization.

I would like to pay my respects to all Sri Lankans, across the country, who were killed during those three decades of conflict, and offer my heartfelt sympathy to their families, all of whom – no matter who they are – share one thing: they have lost someone they can never replace. I have met many people during this visit whose relatives or spouses – both civilians and soldiers – are known to have been killed, or who are missing and may well be dead.

It is important everyone realizes that, although the fighting is over, the suffering is not.

I have been extremely moved by the profound trauma I have seen among the relatives of the missing and the dead, and the war survivors, in all the places I have visited, as well as by their resilience. This was particularly evident among those scratching out a living among the ghosts of burned and shelled trees, ruined houses and other debris of the final battle of the the war along the lagoon in Mullaitivu.

Wounds will not heal and reconciliation will not happen, without respect for those who grieve, and remembrance for the tens of thousands of Tamils, Sinhalese, Muslims and others who died before their time on the battlefield, in buses, on the street, or in detention. As one wife of a missing man put it poignantly: “Even when we eat, we keep a portion for him.”

Throughout my visit, the authorities, at all levels, have been keen to demonstrate to me how much has been achieved in terms of resettlement, reconstruction and rehabilitation in the relatively short period since the conflict with the LTTE ended in 2009. And the reconstruction achievements, made with the help of donor countries, UN agencies and NGOs, are indeed impressive: in both the Eastern and Northern Provinces, large numbers of new roads, bridges, houses, medical facilities and schools have been built or rebuilt; electricity and water supplies have been greatly improved; and most of the landmines have been removed. As a result, the great majority of the more than 450,000 people who were internally displaced at the end of the conflict have now gone home.

These are important achievements, and I understand the Government’s concern that they have perhaps not been sufficiently recognized.  However, physical reconstruction alone will not bring reconciliation, dignity, or lasting peace. Clearly, a more holistic approach is needed to provide truth, justice and reparations for people’s suffering during the war, and I have repeated my previous offer of OHCHR’s assistance in these areas.

There are a number of specific factors impeding normalization, which – if not quickly rectified – may sow the seeds of future discord. These are by and large to do with the curtailment or denial of personal freedoms and human rights, or linked to persistent impunity and the failure of rule of law.

From the very beginning, I have placed great hopes in Sri Lanka achieving true peace and reconciliation after the war. I welcomed the LLRC report as an important step in that direction, even though it side-stepped the much-needed full, transparent, impartial investigation into the conduct of a conflict that saw numerous war crimes and other violations committed by both sides. The Human Rights Council has expressed a strong interest in seeing progress in the implementation of the most important LLRC recommendations, and proper investigation of the many outstanding allegations and concerns.

The LLRC report contains a broad range of excellent recommendations regarding concrete improvements on human rights, and I was interested to receive a briefing on the extent of the implementation of some of those recommendations from the Permanent Secretary to the President. My Office will closely examine that update and future developments in the implementation of the LLRC, and I will of course make reference to any genuine progress in my reports to the Human Rights Council.

I will now briefly outline some of the other issues that were raised during my visits to the Northern and Eastern Provinces, and which I have in turn raised with various ministers.

I welcome the forthcoming elections to the Northern Provincial Council and hope they will proceed in a peaceful, free and fair environment, and usher in an important new stage in the devolution of power.

I was concerned to hear about the degree to which the military appears to be putting down roots and becoming involved in what should be civilian activities, for instance education, agriculture and even tourism. I also heard complaints about the acquisition of private land to build military camps and installations, including a holiday resort. This is only going to make the complex land issues with which the Government has been grappling even more complicated and difficult to resolve. Clearly, the army needs some camps, but the prevalence and level of involvement of soldiers in the community seem much greater than is needed for strictly military or reconstruction purposes four years after the end of the war.

I understand the Secretary of Defence’s point that the demobilization of a significant proportion of such a large army cannot be done overnight, but urge the government to speed up its efforts to demilitarize these two war-affected provinces, as the continued large-scale presence of the military and other security forces is seen by many as oppressive and intrusive, with the continuing high level of surveillance of former combatants and returnees at times verging on harassment.

I was very concerned to hear about the vulnerability of women and girls, especially in female-headed households, to sexual harassment and abuse. I have raised this issue with several ministers, the provincial governors and senior military commanders who attended my meeting with the Secretary of Defence. I challenged them to rigorously enforce a zero tolerance policy for sexual abuse.

I have also been following up on the status of the remaining detainees and have urged the Government to expedite their cases, either by bringing charges or releasing them for rehabilitation. I also suggested it may now be time to repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act which has long been cause for concern.

Because of the legacy of massive trauma, there is a desperate need for counseling and psychosocial support in the North, and I was surprised and disappointed to learn that the authorities have restricted NGO activity in this sector. I hope the Government can relax controls on this type of assistance.

I met many relatives of missing or disappeared civilians and soldiers who are still hoping to discover the whereabouts of their loved ones, and they emphasized the urgent need to resolve this issue – something that was made abundantly evident at the two very moving meetings with relatives of the disappeared that I attended yesterday, to commemorate the International Day of the Victims of Forced Disappearances.

I asked the Government for more information about the new Commission of Inquiry on Disappearances, and stressed the need for it to be more effective than the five previous commissions of this kind. I was disappointed to learn that it will only cover disappearances in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, which means that the many “white van” disappearances reported in Colombo and other parts of the country in recent years will not fall within its scope.

I urge the Government to broaden the Commission’s mandate, and seize this opportunity to make a comprehensive effort to resolve the disappearances issue once and for all. I therefore welcome the new proposal to criminalize disappearances in the penal code, and hope this will be done without delay. The Government could also send a clear signal of its commitment by ratifying the International Convention on Disappearances, and by inviting the Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances to visit Sri Lanka, ideally before I report back to the Human Rights Council in March.

The Human Rights Council will also be looking to see something credible in terms of investigation of what happened at the end of the war and many other past cases.

I was pleased to learn that the case of the five students murdered on the beach in Trincomalee in 2006 has been reinvigorated by the arrest of 12 Police Special Task Force members known to have been in the vicinity at the time of the killings. I will be watching the progress of that case with interest, as well as the other infamous unsolved case of 17 ACF aid workers murdered in the same year, just a few kilometres to the south.

I also requested more information about the Courts of Inquiry appointed by the army to further investigate the allegations of civilian casualties and summary executions, and suggested that appointing the army to investigate itself does not inspire confidence in a country where so many past investigations and commissions of inquiry have foundered one way or another. Unless there is a credible national process, calls for an international inquiry are likely to continue.

The recent deployment of the military in support of police to control a demonstration in Weliweriya, which resulted in at least three deaths, has sent a shockwave through the community.   I stressed to the Defence Secretary the need to urgently complete and publish a proper investigation into this incident.

Too many other investigation files remain pending, for instance the custodial deaths of prisoners in Vavuniya and Welikada Prisons in 2012.  The Government has since announced police powers will now be transferred from the Ministry of Defence to a new Ministry of Law and Order, but this is at best a partial separation as both Ministries will remain under the President, rather than under a separate civilian ministry.

I have also reminded the Government that Sri Lanka desperately needs strong witness and victim protection legislation, which has been languishing in draft form since 2007.

I expressed concern at the recent surge in incitement of hatred and violence against religious minorities, including attacks on churches and mosques, and the lack of swift action against the perpetrators.  I was surprised that the Government seemed to downplay this issue, and I hope it will send the strongest possible signal of zero tolerance for such acts and ensure that those responsible (who are easily identifiable on video footage) are punished. The Minister of National Languages and Social Integration told me that he has proposed new legislation on hate speech.  We have recently concluded a study of such laws and would be happy to assist in this area. The same Minister, along with the Minister of Justice, expressed to me his support for a visit by the Independent Expert on Minorities, and I hope this can happen as soon as possible. I also applaud the Government’s policy of introducing tri-lingualism all across the country.

I would now like to turn to a disturbing aspect of the visit, namely the harassment and intimidation of a number of human rights defenders, at least two priests, journalists, and many ordinary citizens who met with me, or planned to meet with me. I have received reports that people in villages and settlements in the Mullaitivu area were visited by police or military officers both before and after I arrived there.  In Trincomalee, several people I met were subsequently questioned about the content of our conversation.

This type of surveillance and harassment appears to be getting worse in Sri Lanka, which is a country where critical voices are quite often attacked or even permanently silenced. Utterly unacceptable at any time, it is particularly extraordinary for such treatment to be meted out during a visit by a UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. I wish to stress that the United Nations takes the issue of reprisals against people because they have talked to UN officials as an extremely serious matter, and I will be reporting those that take place in connection with this visit to the Human Rights Council.

I urge the Government of Sri Lanka to issue immediate orders to halt this treatment of human rights defenders and journalists who face this kind of harassment and intimidation on a regular basis.  More than 30 journalists are believed to have been killed since 2005, and several more – including the cartoonist Prageeth Ekneligoda ­– have disappeared. Many others have fled the country. Newspaper and TV offices have been vandalized or subjected to arson attacks – some, such as the Jaffna-based paper Uthayan, on multiple occasions. With self-censorship fuelled by fear, journalists report that there are articles that they dare not write, and others their editors dare not print. Freedom of expression is under a sustained assault in Sri Lanka. I have called for the right to Information Act to be adopted like many of its neighbours in SAARC.

The war may have ended, but in the meantime democracy has been undermined and the rule of law eroded.  The 18th amendment, which abolished the Constitutional Council which once recommended appointments to the independent bodies, such as the Elections Commission and Human Rights Commission, has weakened these important checks and balances on the power of the Executive. The controversial impeachment of the Chief Justice earlier this year, and apparent politicization of senior judicial appointments, have shaken confidence in the independence of the judiciary.

I am deeply concerned that Sri Lanka, despite the opportunity provided by the end of the war to construct a new vibrant, all-embracing state, is showing signs of heading in an increasingly authoritarian direction.

Ending on a more optimistic note, yesterday, at the Government’s suggestion, I visited the Youth Parliament. This unusual institution, founded in 2010, is filled with bright, enthusiastic students from all across the country, and dedicated to a tolerant and all-inclusive approach. The parliament draws on elected members of youth groups who meet once a month to discuss key issues such as the importance of Amendment 13 to the Constitution and the LLRC (indeed they claim they actually debated the latter before the National Parliament).

I hope that the current and future members of the Youth Parliament, three of whom delivered excellent speeches in my presence, will, when they graduate to the main political stage, usher in a new era of tolerant coexistence in this beautiful island, where – despite the problems I have listed above – I have been greeted with great warmth and hospitality.

Thank you.

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184 Responses to Full Speech: UN High Commissioner For Human Rights Navi Pillay At The Press Conference On Her Mission To Sri Lanka

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    Words just cannot do enough justice to this exemplary speech by a great influential figure the head of the UN High Commission for Human Rights Navi Pillay. She touched on all the relevant instances of human rights abuses happening in the country today under many ruses, be it missing persons and its implications on society, missing or killed journalists and muzzling of the free press, infringement on religious rights and practices and causing sectarian strife including the control of minority rights, white van abductions and disappearances, adhoc land acquisitions and the influence of the armed forces in civilian administration and their indulgence in commercial ventures, the authoritarian approach to control or limit civil liberties, the whole gamut. I am sure the US will be happy to justify both resolutions brought against SL at the UN, although it had no impact or change of heart by our local ‘cowboys’ to address the issues raised. The lack of a vibrant opposition is also to be blamed for this country’s predicament. It is time for the rest of the world finally to sit up and take note of what was said and the reality of the many hardships (basic human rights and in socio economic terms) that the people are facing today, whilst those in power enjoy all the many luxuries.

    Marwan
    August 31, 2013 at 6:39 pm
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    Why cant Mrs Pillay talk about the bloodshed done by the LTTE, attack on religious places, killing of innocent civilians……….why not raise her voice on it, is it her Tamil lineage holding her back… Be fair in your actions!!!

    angel
    August 31, 2013 at 7:16 pm
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      Talking on the past and to take what action on whom, silly angel.

      Kawumii
      August 31, 2013 at 10:13 pm
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      angel “why not raise her voice on it, is it her Tamil lineage holding her back… Be fair in your actions!!!” Not only she is a Tamil, but a South African from poor black country and a women therefore keep an eye on her. As the saying goes keep your friends close and your enemies closer. In someways Mervyn was right, he wants to keep her closer. You should have encouraged him.

      Native Vedda
      September 1, 2013 at 12:49 am
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      The culprits are now dead or next to Mahinda Rajapakshe…. One is functioning as his advisor. And if you show where VP was cremated then she can go there and criticise.

      Kabi
      September 1, 2013 at 1:59 am
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      what a joke, Why cant you people talk about the bloodshed done by the you racists, attack on religious places, killing of innocent civilians……….why not raise your voice on it, is it your sinahla lineage holding you back… Be fair in your actions!!!

      ravivararo
      September 1, 2013 at 7:20 am
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    “I was pleased to learn that the case of the five students murdered on the beach in Trincomalee in 2006 has been reinvigorated by the arrest of 12 Police Special Task Force members known to have been in the vicinity at the time of the killings.” I think she is being diplomatic, but she knows well that this didn’t happen all these years and came just before her visit. So she should call this farce for what it is in her report to the HRC. But I have to say Bravo–it is a fine speech that touches on every important HR issue of concern in the country.

    Agnos
    August 31, 2013 at 7:35 pm
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      She parroted the christian NGO versions but she never questioned about the Tamil people who were kidnapped and killed by LTTE?

      M.Sivananthan
      September 2, 2013 at 3:21 pm
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    So Bhadra Kali does descend from those heavenly heights and deal with the patently unjust. In this case it was Notice – momentarily. Senguttuvan

    Senguttuvan
    August 31, 2013 at 7:51 pm
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      Petrocelli should ascend the throne of the Hulftsdorp to admonish the penitant ones.

      Gopnats
      August 31, 2013 at 10:23 pm
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    Well, Mdm Pillai is “wrong” in her findings and analysis. What she “saw” is fake. A better person who could and had in fact given a profound “aye” to the SL regime is the Commonwealth SG, Kamalesh Sharma (KS). Guess who is the culprit here and the recent reported “hush-hush” of the reports and his diehard and penchant behaviour in protecting the MR regime would make one wonder whether KS is on the take. What else can one deduce?

    jansee
    August 31, 2013 at 8:02 pm
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    The Bastard Banki-moom came post 2009 war , appreciated srilanka, now after 4 years, she came,, i don’t think she will do magics, we need to build our people’s livelihoods

    sen
    August 31, 2013 at 8:31 pm
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    Gota had told Pillay that demobilising the large army was difficult. If so,why is the army recruiting more soldiers – tamil women? She appears not to have known that the army has “police”,and “judicial” powers too,in that those ‘arrested’ by the army in the north,are not produced in courts,but sent to distant army camps for “rehabilitation” and held incommunicado with no information to their families. Even the president,who appeared not to have known,had ordered the release of such students when the parents had appealed to him,during his visit to jaffna.

    justice
    August 31, 2013 at 9:17 pm
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    Brilliant suggestions for peaceful Sri Lanka, if the Sri Lankan state followed

    Muthu
    August 31, 2013 at 9:23 pm
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    Great Speech Madam, We await your more detailed report and writings on HR issues in SL.

    T. Dayalan
    August 31, 2013 at 9:34 pm
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    She indeed upheld her mission..to head the UNHR! She does not have to be a Tamil or a Sinhalese or a Muslim to judge what this country is heading towards.She did not come up with some unusual findings. All what she said is known by many and nothing shocking at all. She did not condemn anyone who spoke ill of her. She said it was ‘offensive’ in simple term. We do have zero tolerance that is why we blabber most of the time without any sense. There will be a day the offenders will face the world court. That is for sure!

    Myrna
    August 31, 2013 at 9:45 pm
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    So She came; She saw and she promises hell – unless you ??? A key UN official staying anywhere in a conflict-ridden area for 7 days carries its own chilling message. If the semi-literate Brothers thought their engineered discourtesy and provocation through those rowdy thugs in yellow opposite the UN office will intimidate her, they were wrong. Take it from Dayan J. She cannot be intimidated. She is ready to get into the ring with the Brothers Four – and exchange blows pound for pound. Referring to the set-up insults she is a Tamil and, therefore, pro-LTTE she says “this is not only incorrect. It is deeply offensive” The otherwise suave and quintessential ex-judge and senior diplomat notes in obvious ire “This type of ABUSE has reached an extra-crescendo during the past week with at least 3 Ministers joining in” If the regime has cooked its own goose for an ICCJ, it has none to blame but themselves. Making pointed reference to the Rajapakse claim they did “so very much” for the Tamils in development and investment, she contradicts the claim and reminds “reconstruction achievements (are) made with the help of donor agencies, UN agencies and NGOs” Questioning low claims of IDPs (the Army and Govt side) Mrs. Pillay puts the figure firmly at 450,000. Conscious of the vain and boastful claim of the President “the Tamils are also my people” she hints the regime has done little to win over the Tamils when she observes “physical reconstruction alone will not bring in reconciliation, dignity or lasting peace” She points out to the many incidences of excesses and shortcomings by the Army in the Tamil areas and by the Govt in the rest of the country -s curtailment and denial of personal freedom and Human Rights and makes bold in pointing out in numerous instances in her speech that these “as failure of the law” She comments adversely in the regime’s failure to arrange a briefing on the progress so far made with the much heralded LLRC recommendations. She otherwise suggests there is little to show in a report that either gathers dust or otherwise portions of it implemented shoddily and reluctantly. The regime cannot celebrate her observation “I have met many people whose relatives or spouses are known to have been killed or missing” She concludes they may be dead and if so wonders why is there no record of their deaths – where they were killed, how they died and who killed them. Why did the Army, Police and the Govt fool these people asking them to come to various places where they are supposed to be held – only to be inhumanely disappointed. What a comedy that goes as law, order and the judiciary in the Rajapakse kingdom. The loud-mouthed Defence Secretary who promised hell when he threatened to demand from her many things was silent as a lamb and only made the pledge the army presence will be gradually reduced in the Tamil areas. The man meekly asked for more time to disband the camps. In Mrs. Pillay advising on the repealing of the PTA she also fights for the good of the Sinhalese like Cartoonist Ekneligoda and thousands of others who are indefinitely incarcerated under a pernicious law whose original raison d’etre is long gone. Short of laughing at the regime’s insistence in that joke of “the army investigating itself” the UNCHR warns of the impunity of the army descending on witnesses in the North who came to give evidence before her. The Witness Protection process to which our lawyers in UN Geneva and New York write reams is simply ignored both by the army and the Rajapakses. Mrs. Pillay poignantly notes “the War is long over – but the suffering continues” is something those soldiers serving in the North with vengeful thoughts and a winner-takes-it-all mind-set will never learn. Will the Rajapkses, who can do much to change the equation, move to change the fate of the Tamils in the NEP. The unprecedented week-long visit of the UNCHR should not be taken lightly. A careful reading of her Press Statement gives indications of what she has in mind – on the basis of what she has seen, heard and carries in documents. We find President Rajapakse once more personally and injudiciously attacking her today – after he media interview. This cannot do much good to the Rajapakses. A wag comments – somewhat uncharitably perhaps – sooner than later it will be time the Brothers to pack their suitcases for a long stay at De Haag. Harry Horikadey

    Horikdey
    August 31, 2013 at 10:03 pm
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    Developments in the months ahead should prove interesting vis-a-vis SL future and will Bankimoons soft-diplomacy re-visit us? Why was SF not able to brief the esteemed visitor – whats the hidden agenda?

    Punchinilame
    August 31, 2013 at 10:11 pm
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      Punchi Nilame – Both Fonseka and the crooked former CJ – who sold her honour and the integrity of that high office to rob a luxury apartment – were, in the calculations of the crooked regime like used condoms. Their usefulness is long past. The stupid Fonseka mis-judged he was not only the country’s darling but the world’s too. This is what happens when you promote semi-educated swollen-headed idiots to positions in the Army far beyond their mental capacity. Hooker

      Hooker
      September 1, 2013 at 1:47 am
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    What a great analysis of the present situation in Sri Lanka. It seems as if Dr.Navi Pillay has been living in SL for years and knew what is exactly happening in the country in great detail. Those who criticized and ridiculed her should cover their faces in shame. Apologizing to Dr.Navi Pillay for the remarks made by three Ministers is not enough. Mr.President should have fired them immediately.

    Weera
    August 31, 2013 at 11:17 pm
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    There is nothing knew in these facts. All stated therein is history. We have heard them over and over again. It is plainly clear what she addressed were premeditated facts and she visited areas and places to suit the agenda of her report which has been pre arranged. Not only glorification of LTTE but she should have categorically stated that there was no place for LTTE ideals. What business Pillay had to meet Catholic priests? Did she think that she was visiting the Vatican City? This is where Pillay exposed her Tiger Tail. GOSL suspicion of Pillay’s pre meditated intentions were transparent.

    Thondamanaru
    August 31, 2013 at 11:33 pm
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      Thondamanaru – The UNCHR met Catholic Priests in Jaffna because they are bold and committed social workers – in an environment men and women from civil society fear to go before the highly oversized troops in their areas. Jaffna has a sizeable concentration of Christians/Catholics – if you don’t know. As to “GoSLs suspicion” you refer to they suspect almost anybody – including one brother watching over the others. We will soon hear more of this. Backlash

      Backlash
      September 1, 2013 at 1:22 am
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        Catholic priests robbed banks along with LTTE also. How is that? Catholic church supported all the atrocities of the LTTE. She met them because they are the agents of the LTTE. Catholic Church is the loot keeper of LTTE.

        M.Sivananthan
        September 2, 2013 at 3:33 am
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      “What business Pillay had to meet Catholic priests? Did she think that she was visiting the Vatican City?” Then whom she has to meet…? The thug Mervin silva?? Child abuser & murderer Duminda Silva? War criminal Rajapaksa family?? Racist babies of Gotabaya; Ravana Balaya and Bodu bala sena??

      Kabi
      September 1, 2013 at 1:54 am
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      You are right. Who are these Catholic priests who supported LTTE criminals? Many Pandist bark so much about Human Rights but talk nothing about the representatives of Vatican and the human rights violations by supporting LTTE. I think she got the message from the LTTE too from the Church.

      M.Sivananthan
      September 1, 2013 at 2:07 am
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        yes they got it from the church. what you will do? nothing. regards రవి

        ravivararo
        September 1, 2013 at 7:51 am
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    Did she meet any victims of LTTE terror? Why did not she meet Douglas Devananda who escaped many attempts of terror from LTTE and he is the only elected minister from the Northern Tamils?

    M.Sivananthan
    September 1, 2013 at 2:11 am
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      is he(Devananda) a saint? what are you talking?

      ravivararo
      September 1, 2013 at 7:48 am
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        Yes he is a saint to the Jaffna people. That is why Jaffna voters gave the most preferential votes to him! Do you know anything about the SL election system?

        M.Sivananthan
        September 1, 2013 at 7:34 pm
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          ya, we know more about your saint and the election held previously and the results. wait for the upcoming election result. pl request him to go to India, if can. useless chappal can be used. రవి

          ravivararo
          September 2, 2013 at 1:02 pm
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      is he(Devananda) a saint? what are you talking?

      ravivararo
      September 1, 2013 at 7:48 am
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      Because he is a criminal who is hired to threaten people.

      manisekaran
      September 1, 2013 at 8:25 am
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        Are you paying or fooling yourself from salem? You are an idiot. If he threaten people, people never give the majority of the preferential votes to him. Do you know the electoral system and voting in Sri lanka?

        M.Sivananthan
        September 1, 2013 at 7:37 pm
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          Are you paying or fooling yourself from ceylon? You are an dumb idiot. people never give the majority of the preferential votes to him, this time. we know the electoral system and voting in Sri lanka.

          ravivararo
          September 2, 2013 at 1:07 pm
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            corrected version You are a dumb idiot. Henceforth people will not vote and elect him.

            ravivararo
            September 2, 2013 at 1:09 pm
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            You are the real dumbass. He won the hearts of the Tamils in Jaffna in the last election. Next election is not an issue you idiot!

            M.Sivananthan
            September 2, 2013 at 3:26 pm
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        he is an ettappan(எட்டப்பன்). రవి

        ravivararo
        September 2, 2013 at 1:06 pm
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      Why should she meet a thug.Maybe he is not as bad as the LTTE thugs,but still he is a thug.As for being elected i believe he got only a few hundred votes or so if i’am not mistaken from a core constituency of his form the kayts islands or somewhere not the bulk of tamil people. Already navi was forced to meet sinhala thugs and the biggest thug of all too.Do you want her to meet some more and have a thug itinerary. She must have been already quite nervous about visiting a country which has given the world the image of a thug country full of crime and rape committed by politician thugs.If it was normal crime it would have been okay but when it is crime committed by those in power she would have been nervous because the police will be useless. Already when she first put a step here a senior minister has offered to marry her which is a way of telling her that he wants to rape her. I think she got the message because she also has lashed out.

      shankar
      September 1, 2013 at 9:12 am
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        Fool! He is an elected person and the Jaffna people’s preferred politician. So, dont bark here. You tell lies here. Jaffna people gave their highest number of preferential votes to Douglas Devananda and not for any other pro-LTTE or UNP fellows. So, you tell here that the people of jaffna love bad person? Proposing marriage is not a crime anywhere!

        M.Sivananthan
        September 1, 2013 at 7:42 pm
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          that is because the TNA boycotted the election.If they had contested he would have got only a your vote,you crackpot. If he is so popular why does he not contest for the CM post.He knows he will lose very badly to Wicnesvaran.

          shankar
          September 1, 2013 at 9:14 pm
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            and proposing marriage to a married woman is not okay.When you know very well she will not accept and you are also married.One of the things you want to do to your wife is to have sex with her.So proposing this marriage is saying you want to forcibly have sex with pillai,which is rape you uncultured uncouth jaffna islet man. You are obviously the tamil version of the uncultured mervin. My opinion of you is that you need psychiatric treatment badly. Those who know you will agree with me that i’am right in my diagnosis.Your writings speak plainly of your mental state.

            shankar
            September 1, 2013 at 9:26 pm
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              LTTE captured girls after their puberty only and used them as sex slaves. When they fedup with a girl she was transformed as a suicide bomber. Prabhakaran had girls as his body guards like Muammur Gadafi and abused those girls. But you guys cried “long live Thesiya thalaivar” who ended his life with KOVANAM. Whatever you bark, you support the smugglers and other Tamil criminals who are worse than Mervyn. that is your mental problem!

              M.Sivananthan
              September 2, 2013 at 3:47 am
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            Idiot! TNA had not boycotted the last parliamentary elections. In which era you live? C.V.W is a [Edited out] Further President Mahinda dont like to lose an elected Tamil minister from the North of his cabinet.

            M.Sivananthan
            September 2, 2013 at 3:41 am
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              sinhala backlicker

              ravivararo
              September 2, 2013 at 3:40 pm
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              sivananthan You homoerectus,i did not know you were making such a racket about the 2010 parliamentary elections,if you can call that an election with most of the people still displaced.Out of 700000 registered voters in the jaffna district only 150000 voted.That is about 23% only.To call that an election is a joke and to crow about the 28000 votes that douglas received shows how desperate you people are to crown him as the leader of the jaffna tamils,my foot. As for wicnesvaran who you are slandering,you are not fit to even lick his [Edited out],honestly.

              shankar
              September 2, 2013 at 4:34 pm
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              and douglas has said he is dying to be the CM of the north,so don’t give excuses that mahinda does not want him to etc.He will get only 28000 votes from kayts.The thug won’t allow anyone else to contest also there and is beating them up.

              shankar
              September 2, 2013 at 4:36 pm
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          M.Sivananthan How did you escape from mental asylum??? Are you still a Tamil refugee in Canada??? Don’t you think you are one of the top lier in CT??? Douglas Devananda is a number one criminal. People never voted for him, he stuffed the ballot boxes with illegal votes. Do you think any sensible person (other than some mental cases like you) will vote for this thug???

          Anagarika Somapala
          September 3, 2013 at 4:52 am
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      Douglas Devananda was a bigger TERRORIST than Prabakaran before he started licking Rajapakshe’s ass. He is also another drug lord and a thug very similar to Mervyn Silva.

      Anagarika Somapala
      September 3, 2013 at 4:31 am
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        “Douglas Devananda was a bigger TERRORIST than Prabakaran” anagarika,i don’t think anyone can be worse than prabha though karuna comes quite close due to the massacres in the east. Douglas has not been in that category of killing masses of civilians.He is a thug who tries to use violence to further his means and welfare.More in the category of a mervys silva type than a terrorist.You have to give him credit for trying to go straight leaving militancy aside and also quite a remarkable character in surviving more than 10 assassination attempts and 2 prison massacres at welikada.Quite unbelievable his survival skills.

        shankar
        September 3, 2013 at 12:59 pm
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    No ones visit or comments won’t do any good to people. We as Sri Lankans talks about trust without committing to it. We always want others to trust us but do we trust those who we want to trust us. We always want to establish our opinion and want everyone else to listen to us. But do we listen to others? and remember it is not about listening it is about also accepting if it make sense. We talk about a problem or miss understanding between tamils and sinhalese due to 30 years of war. But we are ignoring muslims, moors, burgers and many other small groups of nationalities who lives in Sri Lanka. If we were able to solve the problems between tamil and sinhalese, we have created many more among others due to ignorance. When we talk about equality, peace or anything else it should be about all Sri Lankans. Every one who have suffered from war and who is missing from war is not only sinhalese and tamils or not only people who worked with LTTE or ARMY. Each and every Sri Lankan suffered. Who created this we created this situation in the country. Although we want peace we fight to get it. When there is a fight it will make the path to a another fight. Because in a fight there is always a winner and a loser. Loser always will wait his chances to defeat the one who won the previous fight. So every step we take towards should be peaceful. We as Sri Lankans should accept the equal right of every sri lankan and should seek solutions through peace. We also should understand that we can’t correct everything that happened in past. But we can build a better future. I am not asking you to forget the past, I am just asking to learn from the past to live in present to build a better future. Our lives are ruled by politicians. So choose educated people to rule you. Ones without hatred in their hearts. Ones who do not spread violence. If you can’t choose some one like that just to vote just don’t vote anyone. Give your vote to someone who can think, someone who is educated. Also please check whether they are educated. Leadership determine the future of our country. Leadership of our country created a war 40 years back and another leadership is not taking the correct steps and knowingly or unknowingly taking us towards a country without peace. So chose the leaders who can give you the country we want not you want. Try to achieve this through peace.

    E.A.D. Nuwan Chamara
    September 1, 2013 at 10:41 am
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      Don’t say we. Say you.

      Fathima Fukushima
      September 1, 2013 at 5:27 pm
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    I hope this (ORIGINAL) Report by Ms Pillay would be translated into both Tamil and especially Sinhala and made available to the Sri Lankan public! Thank you UNHR Commisioner,

    D E M O Krazy
    September 1, 2013 at 3:50 pm
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    What can we expect from this BIASED woman? What has she done for the human rights of 5,000,000 Muslim widows in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Libyan, etc., etc. She is a big joker and a common Tamil racist. Anyway her UNHRC has no power to do anything. UNHRC is gone to dogs.

    Fathima Fukushima
    September 1, 2013 at 5:29 pm
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      Thats why you modaya’s invited Tamil woman Navi and appointed earlier another Tamil woman Tamara kunanayagam.

      ravivararo
      September 2, 2013 at 1:11 pm
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        what has her ethnicity got with it? Arent you being racist

        sach
        September 2, 2013 at 4:59 pm
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      For the Sinhala-Buddhist Modayass like you, it is Karma at work. A Tamil woman is sent to Sri Lanka by UNHRC to check and repot what the Sinhala Modayass are doing.

      Anagarika Somapala
      September 3, 2013 at 4:36 am
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    I just returned from 5days in a village about an hour inland from Killinochchi. There’s still no tarred roads or electricity. Schools are poorly staffed & equipped. And the only readily available employment is as daily wage workers clearing the road or working on the “farms” which were set up by the rebels and are now military property. The people are farmers but have no access to the market & can’t even sell their fresh milk because of lack of electricity for refrigeration & road access to transport to the milk packaging plant closer to Killinochchi. In the few days I was there there was 1 rape 1 suicide 1 attempted suicide & 1 death following a suicide attempt 3months previously. The young man who died also happened to be the last surviving member of a community of weavers. He also happened to own the last undamaged weaving loom. I had gone to try & support the community through meditation & possible livelihood support but was unable to continue. We need to do more meaningful work to support these people or we will only have ourselves to blame for future problems…

    Angelica
    September 1, 2013 at 5:37 pm
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      Why can’t you tell the name of the village? I know kilinochchi very well. Catholic Church robbed the same Tamils with LTTE. A Catholic Church was built after the war at a cost of 10 million in Ruthira Puram. You ask the church to pave the roads instead of building churches in HINDU areas!

      M.Sivananthan
      September 1, 2013 at 7:47 pm
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        You ask the your sinahla (pay) masters to pave the roads instead of building Buddhist temples/vihara in HINDU areas! రవి

        ravivararo
        September 2, 2013 at 1:13 pm
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          Hindus have no problem with Buddha!

          M.Sivananthan
          September 2, 2013 at 3:31 pm
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            M.Sivananthan “Hindus have no problem with Buddha!” I hate to agree with you. However Sinhala/Buddhists have problem with everyone else.

            Native Vedda
            September 2, 2013 at 10:51 pm
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            As a child, did you get molested or rather sodomized by the catholic priests???

            Anagarika Somapala
            September 3, 2013 at 4:39 am
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      Angelica, Vet. Rajasingham Narendran took issue with all Tamil critics sometime ago that the Rajapakse Govt has done much work in development and investment in the North, including Kilinochchi. He then tried to give the impression these critics were traitors. State intelligence agencies have been provided with a list of these critics. But now Narendran is a strong critic of the Govt. With the NPC Elections on the way one can easily guess why. I wonder what he has to say about your story of step-motherly treatment in Kilinochchi. I have heard similar stories from various other areas in Jaffna and Mannar too. It is sad much damage is done to our people by ambitious Tamils themselves. Thamilthambi

      Thamilthambi
      September 2, 2013 at 7:56 am
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        Thamilthambi (more aptly Thamil Madayan), Please read Navi Pillai’s statement to the media. What I have said all along is what she has confirmed. The infra-structural work in the Vanni or elsewhere, is work in progress. Substantial work has been done, while more needs to be done. The term traitor is not in my vocabulary. It is the one the likes of you use to damn your critics, The crime statistics Angelica cites is not particular to Kilinochchi . It is a crime wave engulfing the whole country. On the milk issue, collection of milk is a problem in the whole country and a year or so back, thousands if litres of milk was poured down the drains and roads in the hill country. Please do not make mole hills of mountains and mountains of mole hills , while making unwarranted disparaging and insulting remarks about others who strive to seek sanity midst the madness the lies of you encourage. I have been critical of the government, when criticism was warranted in terms of circumstances and the seriousness of the issues. It was not my mission to nit pick or criticise in pursuit of a lost cause. Dr. Rajasingham Narendran (B V Sc, M Sc and Ph D ) – a Veterinarian, academic and senior administrator in the food industry.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran
        September 3, 2013 at 10:02 am
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    Ms Navarethan Pillai, a South African we are told,( wonder which of the eleven tribes) spends a one whole week travelling extensively in the former Tiger Territory. Ms Pillai even had plans to pay a Floral tribute to whovever, by spreading flowers in the Nanthikadal Lagoon. When is Ms Pillai plan to do a Tour of Iraq and spend at least a few days in Shite terrotory, who suffered most under Saddam Hussain?. If such a tour eventuates does Ms Pillai plan to pay Folral Tributes?. Would Ms Pillai give a public lecture on how the Americam installed and protected Iraqi regime organize its Administration?.

    K.A Sumanasekera
    September 2, 2013 at 8:52 am
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      None of those are important, what is important right now is how the Sinhalaya is treating the Tamils in Sri Lanka. The UNHRC want her to check and repot what the Sinhala Modayass are doing.

      Anagarika Somapala
      September 3, 2013 at 4:43 am
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    None of the roads, or important infrastructure were built by NGOs or organisations attached to UN. They were made by the Government money. We know what NGOs did during the war. They build buildings for LTTE, claiming they were building houses for people. So they should not be allowed anywhere in the country.

    Ravi Samaranayake
    September 2, 2013 at 12:27 pm
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      NGOs built 7 air strips to LTTE criminals.

      M.Sivananthan
      September 2, 2013 at 3:32 pm
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    I am no one to judge LTTE. Let me tell everyone that I am an independent observer and researched this issue as an independent film-maker truly trying to gain a perspective of human emotions that both communities would have gone through. Here are some submissions that record my disagreement about the optimism on Tamil’s future in Lanka. 1. The tamil community has seen bigger betrayals (refer tearing down banda-selva pact, alternate minority govts seeking support of samasti katchi (largest tamil party) and ditching them in 1960s) to even think the reconciliation committee and move towards tri-lingual governance will bear any fruit. 2. The fact that Pillay reports that people that interviewed with UN commission were questioned before and after her visit, clearly points that the authoritarian approach hasnt taken a back seat. 3. Tamils constituted 25% of Lanka. How much of tamils are in Govt jobs in Lanka? 0.5%!!! (I made sure I read only independent census). Rate of Tamils in professional colleges dropped from 40% to below their ratio in overall population. In higher education and university education one can see a similar drop to single digits. How good is a country if it discriminates minorities??? For gods sake, my country, India, has reservation policy that favours minority. If not favouring, can the reconciliation committee guarantee equality? 4. What good is a unilateral granting of rights – at best it has a condescending tone. Who is pleading for the tamils? What negotiating power do they have? At least if America fights a war they enter openly and ensure they leave after settling issues** ! Here the Lankan aids supported them like Ram (hiding while killing vaali in fight against sugriva) in Ramayana. What interest does Ram have now to ensure Vaali’s rights are given!!??!! *** How in the world will a sane man accept that Tamil’s will get justice? Peace after war is possible. Justice after war eludes one side. Here are some excerpts from Pillay’s statement: I expressed concern at the recent surge in incitement of hatred and violence against religious minorities, including attacks on churches and mosques, and the lack of swift action against the perpetrators. I was surprised that the Government seemed to downplay this issue… I would now like to turn to a disturbing aspect of the visit, namely the harassment and intimidation of a number of human rights defenders, at least two priests, journalists, and many ordinary citizens who met with me, or planned to meet with me. I have received reports that people in villages and settlements in the Mullaitivu area were visited by police or military officers both before and after I arrived there. In Trincomalee, several people I met were subsequently questioned about the content of our conversation. This type of surveillance and harassment appears to be getting worse in Sri Lanka, which is a country where critical voices are quite often attacked or even permanently silenced. The war may have ended, but in the meantime democracy has been undermined and the rule of law eroded. The 18th amendment, which abolished the Constitutional Council which once recommended appointments to the independent bodies, such as the Elections Commission and Human Rights Commission, has weakened these important checks and balances on the power of the Executive. The controversial impeachment of the Chief Justice earlier this year, and apparent politicization of senior judicial appointments, have shaken confidence in the independence of the judiciary. I am deeply concerned that Sri Lanka, despite the opportunity provided by the end of the war to construct a new vibrant, all-embracing state, is showing signs of heading in an increasingly authoritarian direction. One more closing comment: LTTE didn’t exist during the 1958 communal riots. If LTTE was a murderous organisation, then so was the Lankan government. I wish Mrs. Pillay didn’t shy away from saying that equally aloud. Again I am no one to judge but if someone judged one side, the judgement on other side needs to be pronounced as well! ** observation on america – This is crude and doesnt represent my position but for clarity resorting to less ambiguous statement. *** I am not equating anyone to anyone. Simply highlighting gorilla warfare is simple as compared to diplomatism of countries!

    SHANMUGA SUNDAR LAKSHMANAN
    September 2, 2013 at 4:17 pm
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      S. S. Lakshmanan – The more I read from the media and different blogs, including Colombo Telegraph, it is clear the confused Rajapakses are expediting the process of the Tamil areas breaking away. It is no longer the question of IF but more WHEN. Many peaceful Tamil leaders were ready to find an arrangement to live together with the Sinhalese – after the recent 30 years of bloody conflict – but the army, the Buddhist Clergy and the Rajapakses through the current land grabbing, forced colonisation and naked injustice are making separation inevitable. The unnecessary aggression shown by President Rajapakse to Mrs. Pillay and the provocative language of the usually mild postman Dr. GLP makes it clear the Rajapakses know what is in store for them at the hands of the UN. The indignity poured on Mrs Pillay may have an impact on the CHOGM by many countries that may wonder if Sri Lanka is safe to visit at all. The Sinhala people will have to hold the Rajapakses responsible for what is going to happen. Nettaibomman

      Nettaibomman
      September 2, 2013 at 11:07 pm
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    Pillay has given a correct assessment of the socio-political situation in sri lanka,as a responsible, neutral UN observer. She will report to the UNHRC accordingly. The president should accelerate the implementation of the LLRC report fully.

    justice
    September 3, 2013 at 5:53 pm
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    Time to Answer friends.

    Larry
    September 4, 2013 at 6:17 pm
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    Animals have 4 legs. Tamils and Sinhalese have 2 legs and 2 Hands. Let us live and let live.

    Larry
    September 4, 2013 at 6:19 pm
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