15 August, 2022


Partisan Amnesty International Targets Sri Lanka

By Lakshman I.Keerthisinghe –

Lakshman Keerthisinghe

The cold neutrality of an impartial judge -Edmund Burke-Preface to the Address of M.Brissot

Reuters reported recently that Amnesty says Sri Lanka represses dissent to consolidate power.The report stated that Amnesty International said that the Sri Lankan government is intensifying a crackdown on critics in order to tighten its grip on power, and urged the Commonwealth countries not to hold a summit there in November. But the Media Minister of the Sri Lankan government Keheliya Rambukwella accused Amnesty International of being in the pay of supporters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), once known as the most brutal terrorist organization in the world defeated in a nearly 30-year war that ended in May 2009. The Minister further stated that Amnesty is always against Sri Lanka and they never see anything positive. We accept still there are some problems, but they need to see what we have done good also.”

The London-based rights group, citing specific rights abuses in a 78-page report entitled ‘Sri Lanka’s Assault on Dissent’ said a crackdown on critics had intensified through threats, harassment, imprisonment and violent attacks.”Violent repression of dissent and the consolidation of political power go hand in hand in Sri Lanka,” said Polly Truscott, Amnesty International’s Deputy Asia Pacific Director.”Over the past few years we have seen space for criticism decrease. There is a real climate of fear in Sri Lanka, with those brave enough to speak out against the government often having to suffer badly for it.”The rights group further said the report was based on interviews with witnesses, lawyers and activists, legal affidavits, court records, reports by Sri Lankan, United Nations and international human rights organizations, as well as local and international media reports. The report also said journalists, the judiciary, human rights activists and opposition politicians were among those who have been targeted in a pattern of government-sanctioned abuse, often involving the security forces or their proxies.

Amnesty International was founded in London in July 1961 by English labour lawyer Peter Benenson According to his own account, he was traveling in the London Underground on 19 November 1960, when he read of two Portuguese students from Coimbra who had been sentenced to seven years of imprisonment in Portugal for allegedly “having drunk a toast to liberty” Researchers have never traced the alleged newspaper article in question. In 1960, Portugal was ruled by the Estado Novo government of Antonio de Oliveira Salazar The government was authoritarian in nature and strongly anti-communist, suppressing enemies of the state as anti-Portuguese. In his significant newspaper article “The Forgotten Prisoners”, Benenson later described his reaction as follows: “Open your newspaper any day of the week and you will find a story from somewhere of someone being imprisoned, tortured or executed because his opinions or religion are unacceptable to his government  The newspaper reader feels a sickening sense of impotence. Yet if these feelings of disgust could be united into common action, something effective could be done.” The article described these violations occurring, on a global scale, in the context of restrictions to press freedom, to political oppositions, to timely public trial before impartial courts, and to asylum. It marked the launch of “Appeal for Amnesty, 1961”, the aim of which was to mobilise public opinion, quickly and widely, in defence of these individuals, whom Benenson named “Prisoners of Conscience”. The “Appeal for Amnesty” was reprinted by a large number of international newspapers. In the same year Benenson had a book published, Persecution 1961, which detailed the cases of nine prisoners of conscience were investigated and compiled by Benenson and Baker In July 1961 the leadership had decided that the appeal would form the basis of a permanent organisation, Amnesty, with the first meeting taking place in London. Benenson ensured that all three major political parties were represented, enlisting Members of Parliament from the  Labour Party, the Conservative Party and the Liberal Party On 30 September 1962, it was officially named ‘Amnesty International’. Between the ‘Appeal for Amnesty, 1961’ and September 1962 the organisation had been known simply as ‘Amnesty’.

Amnesty International is financed largely by fees and donations from its worldwide membership. It says that it does not accept donations from governments or governmental organisations. According to the AI website, “these personal and unaffiliated donations allow AI to maintain full independence from any and all governments, political ideologies, economic interests or religions. We neither seek nor accept any funds for human rights research from governments or political parties and we accept support only from businesses that have been carefully vetted. By way of ethical fundraising leading to donations from individuals, we are able to stand firm and unwavering in our defence of universal and indivisible human rights.” However, AI did receive grants from the UK Department of International Development  the European Commission the US State Department and other governments contrary to its aforesaid policies. In November 2012, the Amnesty staff in London went on strike to protest work conditions and financial issues with the organisation. Gerald Steinberg, of NGO Monitor said, “They really are in trouble. They’ve been in crisis for a number of years.”

Criticism of Amnesty International includes claims of excessive pay for management, under-protection of overseas staff, associating with organisations with a dubious record on human rights protection, selection bias, ideological /foreign policy bias against either non-Western countries or Western-supported countries, criticism of Amnesty’s policies relating to abortion, and assertion that “defensive jihad” is not antithetical to human rights. Governments who have criticised Amnesty include those of Canada Israel, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo the People’s Republic of China, Vietnam, Russia and the United States,[ for what they assert is one-sided reporting or a failure to treat threats to security as a mitigating factor. The actions of these governments—and of other governments critical of Amnesty International—have been the subject of human rights concerns voiced by Amnesty. As of February 2011, Amnesty is engaged in a dispute with the British union ‘Unite over Amnesty’ allegedly attempting to de-recognize some of its foreign-based workers’ rights.(Wikepedia)

In the above scenario it is an open secret that cash strapped Amnesty may receive funds from the diaspora and the TGTE who are hell bent on destabilizing the legitimately elected Sri Lankan government and replacing it with a puppet regime amenable to the US and its Western allies in order to gain support for their separatist agenda to establish a State of Eelam in the North and East of Sri Lanka.

The reporting by the Amnesty is therefore biased and one sided as Minister Rambukwella very correctly stated thereby ignoring all the welfare activities undertaken by the Sri Lankan government for the rehabilitation of the former LTTE cadres, providing them with funding,employment and housing and the replacement of the displaced persons during the conflict by returning them to live happily in their former areas where they lived prior to the unfortunate civil war.

In conclusion it is noteworthy to consider whether the Amnesty International could maintain impartiality in its reports emulating the cold neutrality of an impartial judge as quoted at the outset of this piece as it is obvious that cash strapped AI has to do the bidding of its paymasters.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 0

    Another Rajapaksa arselickers trying his best to defend the despicable regime from criticism. He must be either deaf , blind and dumb or a paid apologist for the regime. How the writer of this article fails to see the damage to democracy and freedoms of the people and the name of the country being caused by this regime is mind boggling. When the regime falls I hope these apologists also disappear from the scene forever. People like Lakshman Keerthisinghe are the real enemies of the people for they are the ones who are giving life and strength to and protecting the regime.

  • 0

    U expose who U are by Ur vicious comments.I love my country and I wish to protect it from persons hell bent to destroy the legitimately elected Government of my country as well as my motherland from persons who are directly linked to the terrorist LTTE and the TGTE.The government may have its weaknesses but it has done a lot to SAVE my motherland by freeing it from the grip of the barbaric blood sucking LTTE.

    • 0

      Yes LK, Srilanka is full of innocent babies who dont even know how to drink milk;

    • 0

      Mr Keerthisinghe,

      I am no supporter of the LTTE or the TGTE but am a supporter of all those who are trying their best under terrible circumstances -created solely by your dearly beloved Rajapaksa – to make Sri lanka a peaceful, prosperous and a truly democratic country that respects human rights and the rights of all the people without discrimination.

      A golden opportunity was created after the end of 30 years of terrorist carnage but what did Rajapaksa chose to do? He chose to consolidate his grip on power with brutal force, banishing and murdering and imprisoning those who opposed him, brought in the 18th amendment to enable him to centralise power and control the nation’s coffers within his own family, build unwanted and wasteful edifices that serve no purpose at all. All these were at the expense of national prosperity for all, freedoms, democracy and equality. The nation is going to be indebted to China for generations and that is a fact.

      Blaming the AI is pointless because there are dozens of rights bodies, including the UNHRC, the EU, the USA and the UN itself are some among many who are blaming Rajapaksa for the situation the country and its people are in today. You can spend the rest of your life castigating these people and organisations but Rajapaksa will not win in the end. Dictators usually end up being dragged like rag dolls on the streets by the people who they brutalised and that is sure to be the fate of your dearly beloved dictator too. Just watch and wait!

      • 1


        What were you doing during the 20/30 years of barbaric LTTE terrorism. Yes everything is what it should be. As usual where are the Jayawardene’s,the Bamdaranayake’s, the Premadasa’s all of them come and go! Similarly time will ensure that Rajapakse’s time will have to end. So don’t blame the country it is not productive.

  • 0

    “…………….Amnesty may receive funds from the diaspora………”
    This means that the ‘diaspora’ can ‘buy’ over any INGO.
    It is a slur on all NGOs and INGOs.
    Of course dissent is brutally suppressed.
    Attacks on Uthayan office are only one such example.
    The last attack was labelled by Hulugalle within 24 hours as an “Inside Job”.
    Three days ago persons distributing handbills in Jaffna against EPDP were brutally attacked.
    Just before, the home of Sivagnanam,a possible candidate for ‘chief minisership’in the pending NPC election was pelted with stones and all windows broken.
    Few weeks ago a meeting of TNA MPs was attacked similarly.
    Keerthisinghe appears to be an avatar of Hulugalle & Rambukwella combined!

  • 0

    Lakshman Keerthisinghe,

    you say,
    …welfare activities undertaken by the Sri Lankan government for the rehabilitation of the former LTTE cadres, providing them with funding,employment and housing and the replacement of the displaced persons during the conflict by returning them to live happily in their former areas where they lived prior to the unfortunate civil war.

    why then we hear from Sumanthiran in parliament otherwise, on people living behind the barbed wires with ‘hellish conditions’ as werner von braun would put it if he had a visit to one of your welfare villages aka concentration camps? i wonder how people like you are able to sleep in the night having betrayed your own conscience. i wish you die soon and be born in your next birth (if that’s the truth and if that’s what you believe in) in one of those welfare villages to be taken care of by your heros that are still protecting the mother land from VPs to possibly emerge! or as a girl in a muslim village where women where the black cloak when going out!

    remember it was these international organizations that condemned the LTTE and made the case for the SL govt stronger abroad when LTTE was the greater of the two evils.

    the TGTE who are hell bent on destabilizing the legitimately elected Sri Lankan government and replacing it with a puppet regime…
    did you ever consider that having an autocratic and barbaric dynasty is more favorable for the seperatist goal to be achieved rather easily with the international sponsorship, instead of a softie regime that Dayan Jayathilake and his clan are trying too hard so that cessation is made an non-necessity? May you be blessed some brain growth!

  • 0

    Kehliya Rambukwalla is himself in the pay of the Govt. So can you believe him? UN is mainly financed by some big powers. So can you believe them? The US president election campaign is financed by NGO’s so can you believe him? etc etc. Even the author if we dig into his background we may find the affiliations. So can you believe him?

    We believe a person, organisation based on the facts and merits of what is stated. We also take into account the consistancy and trend of his / its activities. AI may have shortcomings but it is well reputed for its forthright statements. Azad Sally is also a blunt and outspoken politician not a terrorist. The regime on the other hand has a very poor record with regard to Human Rights and Rule of Law. If you cant see that you must be blind.

  • 0

    They have State Media Liars.

    1. Mr. Lakshman Hulugalla

    2. Mr. Lakshman Keerthisinghe. There is No Keerthi in Lying.

    1. Speaking at a press conference held today in Colombo (May 6) Hulugalla said that Salley was questioned regarding a statement he had made against Sri Lanka in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

    2. It is the SAME LIAR who said lies after the Udayan Newspaper Fire.


    Reported on DEFENCE .LK

    Set fire to Jaffna newspaper – an inside work

    Director General of the Media Centre for National Security Mr Lakshman Hulugalla said that investigations into the last night’s burning of Udayan Newspaper office in Jaffna revealed that it was an inside work.

    ‘The setting fire to Udayan newspaper printing office has been an inside job to tarnish the government’s image’ he said.

    TNA MP and owner of Uthayan newspaper, E. Saravanapavan today rejected accusation claiming the torching of the newspaper’s main office in Jaffna was an ‘inside job’ staged to ‘tarnish the image of the government’.

    Three gunmen stormed into the newspaper office this morning, threatened the employees and fired four shots, one narrowly missed a worker’s head.

    The assailants opened fire at the computers as well as the printing machines before dousing them with petrol and setting fire, he said.

    One of them held an AK-47 assault rifle and he kept watch near the gate, E. Saravanapavan told Ada Derana by telephone.

    He stated that the government tells the international community that civil control prevails in Jaffna and that nobody is allowed to carry weapons except military personnel.

    Then who came into the newspaper office with firearms, he questioned.

    Responding to accusations from the government that the attack was an “inside job,” the Jaffna District MP stated that there are so many crimes that have gone unsolved in the country.

    But when the Uthayan office is attacked at 4.45am, investigations are completed within 5 hours and the director general of the Media Centre for National Security, Lakshman Hulugalla issues a statement at 10.00am claiming the incident was an ‘inside job to tarnish the image of the government,’ he said.

    “Does Lakshman Hulugalla have no shame at all?” he inquired.

    He further said that they have no interest in tarnishing the government’s image in Jaffna, and that the government has already done so on its own.

    Saravanapavan stated that the Director General of the MCNS has been fooled and that now he is attempting to fool the masses.

    He charged that the entire world knows that the government is lying and asked why the government itself did not know this fact.

    The TNA parliamentarian stated that Jaffna Security Forces Commander Maj. Gen. Mahinda Hathurusinghe should take complete responsibility for the attack.

    In any other country the military commander would resign after such as incident, but not in Sri Lanka, he stressed.

    Today’s incident is the latest in a series of attacks targeting the Jaffna-based newspaper and its employees and comes just over a week after the Uthayan Killinochchi office was attacked by an armed group.

    Saravanapavan stated that continues calls for security for their main office in Jaffna had gone unheard.

    “Maybe they thought we will give security after attacking this one too.”

    He stated that attacks are being carried out continuously, there is no security in the country and there is no trust. Therefore we will seek the assistance of the international community and Non-Governmental Organizations, he said.

    “How can a government, which is unable to protect a media institution, protect the people of the country?” he inquired. (ADA DERANA.LK)

    • 0

      The army admitted that the gun used to shoot a hindu priest and his two sons was posessed by the army.
      The priest died and the army held a pooja in the same temple later.

      Only the army posesses guns in jaffna. Some are be loaned to assassins.

    • 0

      Can you tell the fate of the millions of deposits in the “Sabra Finance” which was also owned by the same Saravanabhavan who is the owner of the “Uthayan” paper?

      His father a police officer gave a party to the UNP thugs who burnt down Jaffna Library in 1981.

      Saravana and his brother-in-law Vidyadaran involved in the destruction of Jaffana news papers EELANADU and EELAMURASU.

      The owner of Eelamurasu Myl Amirthalingam and the staff reporter I.Shanmugalingam were killed by LTTE.

      Uthayan and its owner are well qualified to be burnt alive for the murders and frauds they committed in Jaffna!

  • 0

    Deaf and blind, not dumb.
    And or paid apologist for the regime.

    For a change, he may look at the other titles in this website.

  • 0

    Be thankful CT still believes in freedom of expression and has given you the opportunity to kiss arse in public. Your a waste of space, do check the dictionary or google for “BROWN-NOSER” your picture would appear.

  • 0

    AI has no credibilty on the issues of Sri Lanka. It accepted money from the LTTE fronts in Canada. The Canadian Tamil Congress, a front of LTTE, gave 50,000 dollars in a Public meeting in Toronto.

    TNA MP Sumanthiran was the Chief Guest in the meeting. He cried the TNA do not accept 13 A or anything! The LTTE diaspora was happy.

    Amnesty International is financed by the West and is a spy organization for the same West!

    • 0

      And you living in canada, preaching from canada. What a damn joke…

      • 0

        So what? Just I told what happened in Canada and the Amensty Ineternational which is not for anything except money.

        What is here for joke?

  • 0

    Mr.M Sivanathan

    • 0

      Laxshman keerthisinghe,
      Dont give foolish argument man. Sinhala budishit terror against tamils created Ltte. Still tamils suffering under your brutal force. Tamils open their mouth only for food since 1948. Brutal ltte gone man, when you going to come out from this stupidity. I will tell you sinhala budishm allways looking for new enemies. They love blood and violence…srilanka will suffer for ever…

      • 0

        LTTE is a product of smugglers and nothing to do with TAMIL. Racism is existing everywhere but the racism of minoririties never bring good results except miseries to the minorities.

        LTTE was chosen by USA/UK to go against India and Sri lanka. An uneducated 7th grade moron became a “thesiya Thalaivar’ for tamils after.

        LTTE killed more Tamils than any others. When LTTE joined UNP Sinhalese, they survived and killed thousands of Tamils thereafter.

        How did a puny bastard like Prabhakaran able to challenge India?

        Can you tell who is suffering now ? Sinhalese or Tamils? You are an idiot and want more Tamils to be killed to serve American masters.

        Better stop your tamil bulshit!

        • 0

          What a plonker are you? Did I say I am ltte supporter…You may be seveary affected ltte or using tamil name. Any way Living in canada , bashing western agenda, what damn joke…come on man come live in srilanka. Just like me, your fucking blood will boil man fucking if you are tamil. Stop your damn noncence…

  • 0

    Pro-LTTE group funding Amnesty: Lanka

    Qadijah Irshad / 8 February 2012

    COLOMBO – The Sri Lankan government has questioned human rights watchdog Amnesty International’s objectivity after the organisation received 50,000 Canadian dollars from a pro-LTTE group, the Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC).

    Alex Neve, Secretary-General of Amnesty International, Canada, has confirmed the receipt of the $50,000 funds by the LTTE front organisation.

    Amnesty International has been one of the rights groups pushing Sri Lanka for a war crimes inquiry on accountability issues rising from the country’s three decade war with terrorist faction the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE).

    The organisation recently released a report on Sri Lanka calling for an independent international investigation. The report stated that “the government has failed to effectively address impunity for past human rights violations, and continued to subject people to enforced disappearances and torture and other ill-treatment.”

    The $50,000 donation to Amnesty International which has consistently taken a pro-LTTE stance despite the Tamil Tigers being proscribed by a terrorist organization by the UN and most countries including Canada, was officially announced by CTC head Suntharamoorthy Umasuthan at the annual Thai Pongal dinner in Scarborough. It was reported that Ontario Premier Dalton Mc Guinty was a special guest at the fund raiser, along with Sri Lankan Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian M. A. Sumanthiran. Umasuthan in his address, thanked Canadian Premier Stephan Harper and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird for supporting their cause.

    The Canadian Tamil Congress director of communications Sahilal Sabaratnam was arrested by the US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) for attempting to buy Russian made missiles and firearms for the LTTE in 2006. The group which began the fundraiser for Amnesty International last September in Canada with a walk-a-thon has been one of the most active LTTE fundraising fronts during and after the Ealam war.

    Following the end of the ethnic war in 2009, the Canadian Tamil Congress continues to agitate anti Lankan government sentiments in the West.

    Currently, the organization is spearheading a campaign in Canada for a resolution against Sri Lanka at the next United Nations Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva later this month.

    A local newspaper reported that the SriLankan government plans to raise the issue with the London headquartered Amnesty International soon.


    • 0

      You are right Keerthi! But Canadian government under Harper banned LTTE. Now the LTTE never show their damn flag.

      But Canadian FM and PM bark aginst SL because the real interest of the West.

      Canada is a legacy of Colonial Britain. Dundas, Hamilton and many other names are familier in SL/India history and they screwed and invested in Canada.

      SL must ban AI and other CHURCH based orgs in Sri lanka to stop further damages. Churches are the main culprits who distributed dollars to all TAMIL movements at the stat in the 70s and 80s.

  • 0

    If Mathma Ghandhi was around Sri Lanka and BBS will question his mortives too in order to cover their own racisim. So whats new?

  • 0

    Keerthisinghe must be very happy reading the comments. At least CT readers read his writings (and so listen to him). In Sri Lanka, nobody listens to him, not even the courts because he has no practice! Keep on writing old chap. You need to be busy.

  • 0

    Keep on reading and commenting old chap as U also need to be busy.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 5 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.