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Sri Lanka Timeline - Year 2014

January 3

US Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues, in the Office of Global Criminal Justice at the Department of States Stephen J. Rapp will visit Sri Lanka Sri Lanka from January 6-11, 2014, the State Department Spokesperson announced. During his visit Ambassador Rapp will meet with a broad cross section of Government officials and political and civil society leaders on a range of issues focusing on Sri Lanka's justice, accountability, and reconciliation processes.

January 6

The US Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues, in the Office of Global Criminal Justice at the Department of States Stephen J. Rapp was arrived in Colombo on a six-day visit to hold discussions with Sri Lankan officials on allegations of war crimes.

The Presidential Commission to probe disappearances will commence sittings on January 18. The inaugural sitting of the Commission is scheduled to be held in Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi Districts from January 18 to 20.

January 8

US Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues in the Office of Global Criminal Justice at the Department of States Stephen J. Rapp said that the US will move a third resolution against Sri Lanka at the upcoming UNHRC session in Geneva in March calling for an international probe into the war crimes allegations during the final phase of the war.

January 9

Army rejected US claim that the Army shelling had killed hundreds of families at St Antony's Ground in Mullaittivu District as completely 'baseless'. The U.S. Embassy in Colombo on January 9 in its official Twitter account posted a photo captioned as "St Antony's Ground - site of January 2009 killing of hundreds of families by army shelling".

India's External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said "Our concern is that the Indo-Sri Lanka agreement with former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi should be respected. The Sri Lankan Government sought our help, and, in response to that, we were promised that there would be devolution of power from the centre to states - like it is in India."

January 10

Secretary to the External Affairs Ministry Karunatilaka Amunugama said that the Government will question the US Embassy in Colombo over the allegations made by US diplomats in social media that army shelling killed hundreds of families in the North during the final stage of the war.

January 12

The display of a wreckage of a passenger airplane that was shot down by the LTTE 16 years ago at the public park grounds in Jaffna District drew a large crowd on January 12. The debris of the ill-fated aircraft along with some recovered personal items of the passengers including a National Identity Card of a passenger, clothes, and shoes, were on display to the public.

US pressed Sri Lanka to probe alleged rights abuses by its Army through independent and credible investigations after a top American diplomat recorded eyewitness accounts of serious "abuses" during the final stages of the civil war with the LTTE.

January 14

TNA says the Government is not properly collecting data on the material and human losses incurred in the Northern Province during the period of the war.

EPDP, a group of Tamil party allies of governing party decided to submit proposals on behalf of the Tamil people to the PSC appointed to address the national problems and propose the necessary constitutional amendments.

The Premier of Ontario Province of Canada, Kathleen Wynne had a friendly meeting with a former spokesman, Nehru Gunaratnam for a LTTE front organization, WTM in Toronto. The Premier and Gunaratnam along with city councilor Michelle Berardinetti and Liberal MPP Lorenzo Berardinetti attended the event at the Kanthasamy Hindu Temple to celebrate Pongal.

January 15

Tharmalingam Jeyanthan (35) of the defeated LTTE and sought by Interpol for terrorism arrested by the French Police in Paris when the man walked into the Police Station to lodge a complaint. A Red Notice issued by Interpol on Tharmalingam says he is wanted by the judicial authorities of Sri Lanka for prosecution and to serve a sentence.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa said the Government is dedicated to implement justice to everyone in the country and everyone should live with equal rights.

Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem urged the US to reconsider its position on the island nation and support efforts towards achieving reconciliation in the country.

Reacting to the possibility of being sent to a Government-run rehabilitation camp meant for LTTE detainees, a TNA woman councillor of the NPC said she would resist the move. Ananthi Saseetharan said she was never a member of the LTTE but wanted justice for her husband and several others who had disappeared during the three-decade ethnic conflict.

January 17

The Government requested the French authorities to hand over Tharmalingam Jeyanthan arrested by the French Police in Paris when he walked into a French Police Station to lodge a complaint.

President's Special Envoy for Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe in Kandy city said the Government will face all the challenges it may encounter at the upcoming UNHRC session in Geneva in March. The 25th session of the UNHRC is scheduled to begin on March 3.

Murugesu Chandrakumar, a parliamentarian of governing party ally EPD said at an event in Jaffna District that the Government is trying to expedite the resettlement of IDPs in the North in their original homes.

Forensic experts said a mass grave found in North-eastern, the scene of pitched battles between Government forces and LTTE in 2009 is said to contain several layers of bodies.

January 18

Mahinda Samarasinghe, Plantation Minister and the country's Human Rights envoy said the country was ready to face another resolution in the UNHRC over alleged war crimes during decade's long civil war against the LTTE.

January 20

A survey conducted by the TID found that over 2,900 children and youth abducted by the LTTE had perished in the war. The LTTE had abducted the children and youth from their homes and forcibly recruited to its ranks to fight against the Government SFs at frontlines.

Issuing the quarterly update to the 2012 Human Rights and Democracy Report covering the October-December 2013 period, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London said that the human rights situation in Sri Lanka did not improve during the last three months and UK's concerns over the culture of impunity in Sri Lanka continue.

January 21

HRW on in its World Report 2014 released in New York said 'Sri Lanka made little progress in 2013 in accountability for serious human rights abuses committed during the country's three-decade long war against LTTE that ended in 2009.'

President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson during a bilateral discussion at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi, UAE told Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa that Sri Lanka has made a remarkable transformation since the end of the conflict.

Minister of External Affairs Prof. G. L. Peiris said that repeated resolutions in the UNHRC in Geneva are counterproductive because of their polarizing effect and exert excessive pressure on the country.

Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga said that the Government has done all that was "humanly possible" to implement the NAP for the implementation of the LLRC, since its approval by the Cabinet of Ministers in July 2012.

January 22

Skeletal remains of three more people have been unearthed from the unmarked grave site found in Mannar District. With the latest discovery, skeletal remains of 42 people have been unearthed so far from the site that was under the control of the LTTE until the SFs liberated Mannar District in 2008.

National Languages and Social Integration Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara said that both the Sinhala and Tamil languages should be given equal status.

January 23

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs MP Mark Simmonds said that anticipating a tough time at the UNHRC sessions in March, 2014 and mounting a diplomatic offensive to against another resolution sponsored by the US, the UK is working hard to garner support to move the US resolution against Sri Lanka.

January 25

Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said that a lot of military camps that were in North during the war have been removed now and only the ones essential to national security remain at strategic locations. He further explained that maintenance of law and order in the North is handled entirely by the Police.

The Army during a brief ceremony returned 23 houses it occupied in Jaffna District in the Northern Province during the conflict to the rightful owners. The programme was implemented under the directions of Major General Udaya Perera, Commander, SFHQ - J.

January 27

Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga in Washington, US said that an international inquiry into war crimes in Sri Lanka would bring "chaos," and the Government's national reconciliation process must be given several more years to work.

The Army while claiming that within the last two weeks reduce the military presence in Jaffna District by relocating 214 static guard positions occupied by troops within the peninsula rejected claims that the Army had stepped up monitoring patrols in Jaffna District.

January 28

Three more dead bodies unearthed from the mass grave at Thirukethishvara in Mannar District raising the number of bodies recovered so far to 53.

Ministry of Defense in Colombo dismissed the media reports which alleged the SFs of using unconventional weapons in the war against the LTTE.

January 29

British Minister of State at the FCO Hugo Swire said in the UK Parliament in London that Sri Lanka's domestic LLRC appointed to address the reconciliation and accountability issues does not meet international standards.

To avoid hurting Tamil sentiment ahead of elections, the Indian Government in New Delhi refused to commit Sri Lanka any support against a US-sponsored UN resolution accusing its military of committing war crimes in the final assault on the LTTE in 2009.

January 30

Director General of the Department of Census and Statistics D.C.A. Gunawardena said that the report of the census on human death and property damages during the three-decade long conflict would be released next month.

Ally of governing party, the JHU called on the Government to dissolve the NPC over the resolution the NPC adopted recently to seek an international probe on alleged war crimes.

UNP charged that the NPC has overstepped its constitutional mandate by passing a resolution that called for an international investigation on Sri Lanka as a provincial council has no power over international affairs.

January 31

The 18th anniversary of the deadliest suicide bomb attack by the LTTE on the Central Bank in Colombo was marked. On January 31, 1996, the LTTE rammed a massive explosive-laden truck through the main gate of the Central Bank building killing 91 people including 41 bank employees.

Nisha Desai Biswal, the US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs arrived in Colombo for talks with Sri Lankan leaders ahead of a key UN vote on the country's human rights record.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing a ceremony held in Kalutara District said that Sri Lanka is no longer a dominated nation and it will not cave to external pressure and betray its independence.

Petroleum Industries Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa lashed out at British Minister of State at the FCO Hugo Swire for making a statement in the UK Parliament that Sri Lanka's domestic mechanism for reconciliation was not according to international standards.

Sri Lankan Government refused a visa to US Ambassador at large for women's issues, Catherine Russell, forcing her to cancel a high-level visit scheduled for February 10-11. Her visa application was officially submitted on January 27.

February 1

US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Nisha Desai Biswal said the international community's patience is wearing thin over Sri Lanka's slow progress in achieving reconciliation and addressing accountability for alleged war crimes.

February 2

Foreign Minister G. L. Peiris said remarks by Nisha Biswal, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, at the end of a two-day visit suggested that she wanted to believe the worst of the regime in Colombo.

February 3

The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka rejected the statements made by US Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia, Nisha Desai Biswal, on human rights issues in Sri Lanka during her visit to the country.

Finance Minister of India P. Chidambaram said that India assisted housing project to construct 50,000 houses for Sri Lanka's IDPs has completed 10,250 houses in 2013. According to India's Ministry of External Affairs 10,250 houses were completed by December 31, 2013 and another 27,750 houses will be constructed under the same scheme.

February 4

President Mahinda Rajapaksa condemned the attempts to bring another resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC session in Geneva next month.

Presidential Commission to investigate alleged abductions or disappearances of persons resident in the Northern and Eastern Provinces during the period 1990-2009 said that around 5,000 Muslims have gone missing in the country during the period of the war.

February 5

UN office in Sri Lanka in a statement said that Haoliang Xu, UN Assistant Secretary-General, Chair, United Nations Development Group Asia-Pacific and UNDP Assistant Administrator & Director, Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific will be visiting Sri Lanka from February 9-12.

February 6

Military spokesman Ruwan Wanigasooriya rejected the latest Australian report which claimed that the Sri Lankan armed forces had systematically destroyed evidence of alleged mass killings during the last stages of the war in the country. "Do you think we could have unearthed skeletal remains which are in the villages where people are also resettled now and destroy the evidence?" Wanigasooriya told.

February 7

Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem during a meeting with the South African High Commissioner Geoff Q.M. Doidge in Colombo said that passing proposals to conduct international investigations against Sri Lanka will have unexpected results and damage the sensitive reconciliation process.

February 8

A city court in Chennai (Tamil Nadu) acquitted 13 people accused of involvement with the banned terror group LTTE. The case relates to the arrest of some Sri Lankan Tamils in Chennai and seizure of communication devices, including satellite phones from them in April 2009.

UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director, Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, Haoliang Xu arrived in Sri Lanka. Xu said that he looks forward to understanding the progress made in the first year of the UNDAF for 2013-2017.

External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris told the Parliament that the Government has implemented 85 percent of the recommendations in the LLRC report. The Minister added that the Government will continue with the implementation work of the LLRC recommendations.

February 9

According to a report in The Divaina, the anti-Government activities of the NPC in Sri Lanka had come under Government scanner and the Government has decided to conduct a special investigation into the Council's recent measures.

February 10

President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that international conspiracies against the Government and the country are being formed in Geneva to build negative views among the people in the country and urged the public not to allow themselves to be misled by those conspiracies.

The Foreign Affairs Council of the EU at its meeting held in Brussels, capital of Belgium adopted the conclusion to actively support the accountability and reconciliation process in Sri Lanka and address the current human rights situation in the country.

February 11

China lent its support to Sri Lanka and said it opposed "interference" in the country's domestic affairs, ahead of next month's (March) meeting of the UNHRC where the US is expected to put forward a resolution criticising the island nation's post-war rights record.

Defense Ministry informed the Lands Minister Janaka Bandara Tennako that the military has not been mandated to acquire private lands in the Northern Province. The Lands Ministry received some 7,566 complaints from residents in the Northern Province on land matters.

February 12

Haoliang Xu, UN Assistant Secretary-General, Chair, United Nations Development Group Asia-Pacific and UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director met with President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Colombo and discussed the progress of those programs and human development priorities of the country as well as the further support needs.

China strongly criticized the countries that are pressuring Sri Lanka on the human rights issue saying that people in Sri Lanka have the wisdom and capacity to manage their internal affairs.

February 13

Main opposition UNP blamed the Government for the anticipated UN resolution calling for an international investigation into the alleged war crimes during the last phase of the war against the LTTE terrorists.

UNP in a statement demanded the Government to conduct a domestic investigation into war crimes allegations arising from the quarter-century civil war.

Media and Information Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that the Government has implemented 75 percent of the recommendations in the LLRC and the Government's reconciliation programme is constantly moving forward.

Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran stressed the need to give 'dual nationality' to members of the Diaspora so that they could return to Sri Lanka and participates in post-war rebuilding work.

February 14

The Presidential Commission appointed to look into missing persons in the North and East during the period between 1990 and 2009 began its public hearings in Jaffna District. The hearings will continue till February 17, 2014. The Commission received 3000-4000 cases from the Jaffna District.

UNP MP and former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Lakshman Kiriella said the media teams who covered the final phase of war should be held responsible for leaked images and video footage with regard to the alleged war crimes.

February 16

The United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay in a report called for an international investigation into war crimes committed in Sri Lanka during the final stages of its ethnic conflict. The report also mentions emergence of new evidence on what happened in the final stages of the armed conflict.

Russia and China declared their strong support to Sri Lanka against the US-sponsored resolution that will be brought against the country at the upcoming UNHRC session in Geneva next month. Several other countries including Pakistan, Iran, Indonesia and UAE have expressed their support to Sri Lanka.

The DMK passed a resolution in Tamil Nadu (India) urging the Centre to support a US-backed resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC.

February 17

Ministry of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms said that the Government has taken measures to provide redress to persons injured or disabled due to the war as recommended by the LLRC.

February 18

The External Affairs Ministry in a statement said that a delegation headed by the Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management, Nimal Siripala de Silva will tour South Africa on February 20 and 21 to hold discussions with South African officials on that country's procedures and experiences of Truth and Reconciliation.

Amirthalingam Baheerathan, the son of the former leader of TULF, who was assassinated by the LTTE, met President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Colombo and praised the country's development brought under the President's leadership.

The NPC, at the council's sixth session held in Jaffna District, passed a resolution asking the Governments of Sri Lanka and India to take steps to introduce direct flights from Jaffna District and Trincomalee District to India for the benefit of Tamils living in the north and east of the island nation.

February 19

Civil Aviation Minister Pryankara Jayaratne said that the resolution of the NPC asking the Governments of Sri Lanka and India to take steps to introduce direct flights from Jaffna District and Trincomalee District to India for the benefit of Tamils living in the north and east of the island nation was "ridiculous".

February 20

The Government sent its response to the report by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay rejecting her call for an international inquiry into the allegations of human rights violations and accountability issues during the latter part of the war.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa extended the mandate issued to the Presidential Commission to investigate cases of alleged disappearances of persons in the Northern and Eastern Provinces by six months to August 12, 2014.

British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, John Rankin following an official visit to Jaffna District said in Colombo that Britain does not want to see the return of the terrorism unleashed in Sri Lanka by the LTTE again.

February 21

DMK, the Tamil political party in Tamil Nadu (India) urged the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to facilitate a separate resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC seeking an independent and credible probe into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka.

February 22

ALRC called for UN intervention into Sri Lanka's mass at Matale and Mannar Districts saying that the mass graves were dug with bulldozers and such methods are not conducive to proper handling of the human remains that are found in such graves.

The NPC adopted a resolution against the alleged 'Sinhala colonizations' carried out in the North. NPC Councilor T. Raviharan presented the resolution against the 'Sinhala colonization' in the Mullaitivu District and grabbing lands of people in the Northern Province. The resolution was seconded by Councilor M.K. Sivajilingam.

Army Spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya announced that 150 young women would be recruited to Sri Lanka Army from Tamil dominated Northern Province and multi-ethnic Eastern Province.

February 24

The Government rejected the call by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navnanethem Pillay's 'to establish an international inquiry mechanism to further investigate the alleged violations of human rights and monitor any domestic accountability process in Sri Lanka'.

The Government under a programme initiated by the Rehabilitation Authority will distribute 40 million rupees as concessionary funds to the war-affected people in the Mullaitivu and Jaffna Districts of Northern Province.

Speaking at the debate in the UK Parliament in London, the British Minister of State at the FCO, Hugo Swire said Britain does not believe that the domestic processes set up by the Sri Lankan Government are adequate to address the humanitarian law violations and accountability issues.

February 25

Eighty skeletal remains were dug out of a mass grave in a former LTTE stronghold in Thirukatheeswaram area of Mannar District, fuelling speculation that the bodies are of Tamil civilians who disappeared during the war with the rebels.

Amnesty International said that the international community must act on a robust new UN report calling for an international investigation into alleged human rights violations and war crimes in Sri Lanka.

TNA said the report submitted by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanetham Pillai is a comprehensive and accurate depiction of the serious human rights issues in the country.

February 26

The Department of Census and Statistics began the pre-processing of data of the island wide census to assess the human and property damages that occurred during the civil war.

February 27

The US Secretary of State John Kerry releasing the 2013 Annual Country Report Human Rights said that the Sri Lankan Government's failure to answer the basic demands for accountability and reconciliation has led the US to sponsor another resolution at the UNHRC in Geneva.

February 28

President Mahinda Rajapaksa denounced Washington's plan to move a UN human rights resolution against Sri Lanka, comparing the US move over alleged war crimes to a professional boxer taking on a schoolboy.

Expressing Sri Lanka's discomfort with the US-sponsored resolution to come up in Geneva in a month, President said "We are uncomfortable with the whole resolution. There is no evidence [of rights abuse or war crimes] at the moment… if there is any, we will look into it."

HRW has backed UN rights chief's recommendation for an international inquiry into alleged war crimes committed in Sri Lanka during the final phase of battle with the LTTE, the New York-based HRW said.

Welcoming the report from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Sri Lanka, the British Government said that it supports the High Commissioner's call for an international investigation into Sri Lanka.

March 1

ICRC will conduct a survey in Sri Lanka to assess the needs of families of individuals who disappeared during the nearly three-decade war against LTTE terrorists. The survey would begin in April and is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year, ICRC's spokesperson Sarasi Wijeratne told.

March 2

According to a source in the Presidential Secretariat, 80 per cent of the complaints of forced disappearance made to the Presidential Commission of Disappearances blame the LTTE.

March 3

The Draft Resolution HRC25/1 "Promoting reconciliation, accountability, and human rights in Sri Lanka" calling for an international independent and credible investigation into alleged humanitarian and human rights law violations tabled at the 25th session of the UNHRC in Geneva.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay's report on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva and said he welcomes the High Commissioner's report on promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka.

March 4

Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh met President Mahinda Rajapakse after a resolution at the UNHRC condemning Sri Lanka's human record during its war against the LTTE and to underline the case of de-militarisation in the Jaffna Peninsula.

BTF, a separatist Tamil nationalist diasporas group in UK slammed the 'insubstantial' US-sponsored draft resolution on Sri Lanka tabled at the UNHRC session in Geneva on March 3.

March 5

The Census and Statistics Department issued its interim report on the nationwide census the Department conducted to assess the human and property damages occurred during the Civil War. The interim report contains details of the methodology, training, enumeration and supervision, and the processing of the census data.

The Presidential Commission investigating the alleged disappearances of persons in conflict affected areas has considered issuing a Certificate of Absence instead of a Death Certificate to the persons who went missing during the armed conflict.

Rejecting a report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on the country's post-war progress as "fundamentally flawed" in its entirety, Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris said judging the country by the initiatives of Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is a "travesty of justice".

March 6

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay reiterated her call for the UNHRC to establish its own international inquiry mechanism into Sri Lanka saying the nearly five years after the end of the conflict, the Sri Lankan Government has failed to satisfy the Council's call for a credible and independent investigation into allegations of serious human rights violations.

External Affairs Minister G. L. Peiris told the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay that the negative attention placed on Sri Lanka makes achieving reconciliation among ethnic communities' even harder.

Kapilan alias Nandhagopan, the 'second in command' of the LTTE's Nediyavan Group, was arrested by Iranian authorities at the transit passenger lounge in the Teheran airport. Thereafter, Nandhagopan was "seized" by Sri Lankan officials and transported to Colombo.

March 9

President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing a rally held in Gampaha District said that Sri Lanka has strength to face any international challenge and will never give into imperialists or their followers in reference to the resolution tabled by the US at the UNHRC in Geneva.

Welcoming the draft of the US-sponsored resolution that seeks an international probe led by the UNHRC, the TNA said it looked forward to a resolution with stronger scope after revisions ahead of the voting day at the UNHRC in Geneva.

March 10

A new video clip showing Sinhala-speaking uniformed men celebrating over bodies identified as those of female LTTE fighters released by Channel 4 accused the Sri Lankan Armed Forces of having an "underlying culture of systematic brutality and sexual violence".

A TNA delegation led by R. Sampanthan met US and British envoys in Colombo and discussed the US-led resolution to be submitted at the ongoing UNHRC sessions in Geneva.

March 11

New Zealand Green Party human rights spokesperson Jan Logie asked the New Zealand Government to support the resolution on Sri Lanka tabled by the US along with four other countries at the UNHRC in Geneva when it comes up for vote on March 26.

March 12

The US, while calling for an international inquiry into human rights violations in Sri Lanka, called for another side event in Geneva on March 18 to lobby for support.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa said "The war was not against the Tamils. We only fought a brutal terrorist outfit that was the LTTE. If our war was against Tamils how could the Tamils live happily and peacefully among the Sinhalese in the south of the country?"

March 13

Minister of Plantation Industries and Special Envoy of the President on Human Rights, Mahinda Samarasinghe in Geneva said that Sri Lanka's decision to fight the resolution moved by the US, UK and a few other countries was a fight on a matter of principle and that Sri Lanka would not compromise on it.

A Sub Inspector of the Terrorist Investigation Unit was shot at and injured when a Police team including the officer went to a suspect's residence at Dharmapuram in Kilinochchi District to arrest him for his involvement in subversive activities. The suspect is a former Liberation LTTE intelligence officer.

Police arrested Tamil activist, Balendra Jeyakumari and her 13-year-old daughter Vidushika from Dharmapuram in the Kilinochchi District for allegedly sheltering the former LTTE 'intelligence officer'.

March 14

SLFP Parliamentarian, Namal Rajapaksa, addressing an election rally in Colombo said that despite the military defeat of the LTTE, members of the LTTE Diaspora were still trying to establish an Eelam.

TNA leader R. Sampanthan dismissed the Government's stance blaming it for the stalled direct negotiations to hammer out a political settlement to the island's ethnic conflict.

TNA Parliamentarian Sivashakthi Anandan said that help from the international community is needed to address grievances of the people in the North and East as the real grievances of the Tamil people have not been addressed.

Northern Provincial Councilor Ananthi Sasitharan addressing the UNHRC in Geneva said "The children affected in any war spend a lifetime to recover from the impact. But, the Eelam Tamil children face a continued war with genocidal intent. Concrete actions are needed to safeguard our children from becoming permanent victims to the genocide."

March 15

Ananathy Saseetharan, a woman Northern Provincial Council member raised the issue of the arrest of Balendran Jeyakumari and her daughter Vithushaini in Kilinochchi District at the meeting of UNHRC in Geneva.

March 16

Two Human Right activists - Ruki Fernando, who works for Rights Now Collective for Democracy and a Catholic priest, Father Praveen - were arrested by the Terrorist Investigation Unit in Kilinochchi District under the PTA for attempting to create ethnic discord among communities and to promote separatism.

March 18

The Government explained to the UNHRC the investigations that led to the arrest and detention of three activists - Ms. Balendran Jeyakumari, Fernando and Praveen - suspected of supporting subversive activities in violation of the PTA in the conflict-affected North.

Jaffna Commander Major General Udaya Perera said that the Government and the Defense Forces would not allow the re-emergence of the LTTE as the Tamil Diaspora wants.

The two human right activists, Ruki Fernando and Father Prveen detained under the PTA for questioning to ascertain the whereabouts of a LTTE suspect who shot a Police officer in Kilinochchi District was released.

March 19

External Affairs Minister G L Peiris claimed that most of the 47 member countries of the UNHRC are under pressure to back a tough US-sponsored resolution that has called for an international probe into alleged rights abuses during the country's war with LTTE.

TNA, which controls the Northern Province, said they were not averse to reviving talks if no pre-conditions were attached. The Northern Province has unanimously agreed to revive the stalled direct talks with President Mahinda Rajapaksa to find a political solution to the problems of the ethnic Tamils.

March 20

A group of pro-Government protesters staged demonstrations outside the UN Office and the Embassies of the US and Britain in Colombo to protest a resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC over its alleged rights abuses during war with LTTE rebels.

Many shops in Trincomalee city of Trincomalee District were closed in support of protest carried out by Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims Organizations against the US sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva.

March 21

The Government expressing displeasure over the statements made by the Northern Provincial Councilor Ananthi Sasitharan at the UNHRC requested the Minister of External Affairs to take immediate steps to counter the false allegations.

A report by the UK Bar Human Rights Committee and International Truth and Justice Project warned that the "highest levels" of Sri Lanka's Government were complicit in raping, torturing and abducting ethnic Tamils following the nation's ethnic civil war.

March 22

The Presidential Commission investigating the alleged disappearances of persons in conflict affected areas concluded its first public sitting in the Eastern Province. The Commission during the period 1990-2009 received submissions from 129 people from Chenkallady, Vakarai and Batticaloa in the Eastern Province.

Police announced a reward of LKR 1 million for anyone who is able to provide accurate information about LTTE suspect, Kajeeban Ponniah Selvanayagam alias Gopi who shot and injured a Police Sub Inspector on March 13 in Kilinochchi District.

March 23

President's Human Rights Envoy and Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe claimed that there was a "division" among members of the UNHRC over a US - backed resolution and termed it a victory for the country. He further said most of the member nations are clamped by the US pressure to vote in favor of the resolution.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said that he had secured the 'full backing of the European Union' for the UK co-sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka next week at the UNHRC session.

March 24

The revised version of the US-sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka was circulated to member states of the UNHRC in Geneva. The revised version requests the OHCHR to undertake a comprehensive independent investigation into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka, during the period covered by the LLRC from February, 2002 to May, 2009.

A massive demonstration was held at the UNHRC headquarters in Geneva with the participation of over 5,000 expatriate Sri Lankan communities in Europe.

Chief Minister of Northern Province, C.V. Wigneswaran in a statement issued in Mannar District expressed concern over the possibility of increasing the military presence in the North due to search operations in the area.

March 25

Piratheepan Nadarajah (37), a Canadian LTTE operative extradited to the US to face charges of supporting the LTTE, has been sentenced to two years in prison by a Federal Court in Brooklyn, New York.

The final draft of the resolution on Sri Lanka sponsored by the US, the UK and three other countries was submitted to the 25th session of the UNHRC in Geneva.

Sri Lankan Army heightened security in the Northern Province through a host of measures, including vehicle checks. The precaution was necessary to nab a suspect still at large, after a recent incident of firing on a Policeman in Kilinochchi District.

The Government amended the time period for its Presidential Commission looking into cases of alleged disappearances in its Northern and Eastern Provinces to cover the 26 years from 1983-2009.

March 26

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay presenting the report on Sri Lanka to the 25th session of the UNHRC in Geneva said that none of the various state mechanisms the Sri Lankan Government established during the five years after the end of the war had the independence to be effective or inspire confidence among victims and witnesses of human rights violations.

TNA Parliamentarian P. Selvaraja said that lands in the North and East are being grabbed by chauvinist forces. According to Selvaraja, private lands that belong to the Tamil people in the East, especially in the Batticaloa District are being taken over by the Government with the assistance of chauvinist monks and the Sri Lanka Army.

Major General Sudantha Ranasinghe, Commander of the SFHQ-KLN met the rehabilitated former combatants of the LTTE in Kilinochchi District and alerted the rehabilitated ex-combatants to external threats that would be directed at them by parties interested in sending them back to violent means.

March 27

US led resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva was adopted with a majority of 11 votes. Out of the 47 members of the UNHRC, 23 voted for the resolution and 12 opposed it while another 12 abstained from voting.

Sri Lanka rejected the UN resolution calling for an international investigation into alleged human rights violations as a conspiracy by interested parties "seeking a regime change".

US welcomed the passage of resolution and said it sends a "clear message" to the Rajapaksa Government that the international community is committed to promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the country.

TNA opposed India for its decision to abstain from the US sponsored resolution in UNHRC which was passed on March 27. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran told that India had cheated the Sri Lankan Tamils by the stance it had taken with regard to the resolution.

March 28

External Affairs Minister, G.L. Peiris blamed "unbelievable" US pressure on member states led to the UN adopting a resolution censuring Colombo on its human rights record after a vote at the UNHRC session in Geneva.

Wimal Weerawansa, Minister of Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities in a news conference in Colombo said that military personnel stationed in the Northern Province will not be withdrawn.

D.B.S. Jeyaraj, a well-known Canadian Sri Lankan journalist in an article posted on his website revealed a plot to assassinate Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa or his brother Secretary of Defence and Urban Development Gotabhaya Rajapaksa by the LTTE.

March 30

A joint statement put out by several organizations of Sri Lankan Tamils living outside the country expressed disappointment over India's abstention at the UNHRC.

March 31

The Government proscribed LTTE and 15 other alleged front organizations - TRO, TCC, BTF, WTM, CTC, ATC, GTF, NCCT, TNC, TYO, WTCC, TGTE, TEPA, WTRF and HQ Group.

April 2

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the Sri Lankan Government to constructively engage and cooperate with the OHCHR on the implementation of the resolution adopted on March 27 by the UNHRC.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the Sri Lankan Government to constructively engage and cooperate with the OHCHR on the implementation of the resolution adopted on March 27 by the UNHRC.

Army Spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya said that more than 1 million land mines had been unearthed so far in the de-mining process and the lands with landmines in the North had been reduced to 82 square kilometers from 2,064 square kilometers.

April 3

101 resettled IDP families in Keppapilavu area of the Mullativu District will receive houses constructed by the Government. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Secretary of Defense and Urban Development will hand over houses to the displaced families.

April 4

Indian High Commissioner Y. K. Sinha addressing the Foreign Correspondents' Association in Colombo said "Early progress on devolution and political settlement crucial to Sri Lanka to tackle mounting international pressure.

April 5

TNA called on the Government to lift the ban imposed on 16 Tamil Diaspora organizations. According to TNA Northern Provincial Councilor, M.K. Sivajilingam, the organizations have not in any way aided terrorists or terrorist organizations in Sri Lanka or elsewhere.

April 7

HRW said that the Sri Lankan Government's decision to label 16 overseas Tamil organizations as financers of terrorism is so broad that it appears aimed at restricting peaceful activism by the country's Tamil minority.

Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris said that Sri Lanka will not participate in any investigation carried out by the OHCHR. He told "Nobody can come here without the cooperation of the Sri Lankan Government. The country would however continue with its national process and remain engaged with the UN."

April 9

Government handed over 98 acres of paddy lands that were occupied by the SLAF to 29 resettled families for cultivation in Vellamullivaikkal East of Mullaitivu District in the presence of the Secretary of the Ministry of Defense and Urban Development Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

Military Spokesman Ruwan Wanigasuriya said foreign terrorist groups and several overseas organizations banned over suspicion that they were LTTE supporters could go to Courts and get their name cleared.

April 10

Four people including an Army Lance Corporal and three LTTE leaders were killed in a clash between SFs and suspected LTTE terrorist operatives in Nadunkarni area of Vavuniya District in a search operation for the wanted LTTE suspect Ponniah Selvanayagam alias Gopi.

TID of Police interrogated Kapilan alias Nandhagopan, an overseas leader of LTTE arrested when he entered the country on March 6. He was in charge of LTTE's media division and fled from Sri Lanka when the war ended.

Police media Spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said that Police arrested 65 persons in the past month (March) under suspicion of attempting to resuscitate the LTTE. Investigations are underway to arrest several local leaders of the LTTE who clandestinely work to reorganize the terror movement.

April 11

Army spokesman Ruwan Wanigasooriya said that the three LTTE leaders who were killed by the Army during the clash in Vavuniya District on April 10 are Ponniah Selvanayagam alias Gopi, Sundaralingam Kajeepan alias Thevihan and Navarathnam Navaneethan alias Appan.

Justifying for maintaining troops in the former war zones, President Mahinda Rajapaksa's special envoy on human rights Mahinda Samarasinghe said "We were asked and criticized about the presence of the military in the north at the UNHRC in Geneva. We explained to them the need to keep the military going as it was a decision for a sovereign Government to take in view of the national security needs."

April 13

Police media spokesman SSP Ajith Rohan said that law enforcement authorities will seek Interpol's assistance to arrest LTTE leaders operating from foreign countries to revive the defunct terrorist outfit in the island.

Source:Compiled from news reports and are provisional.

 

 

 

 

 
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