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These blog postings do not necessarily represent the views of all members of the Advisory Council.

11/03/2012

Stories from Sri Lanka

We thought you might like to know what will happening with our blog next week

In the run up to what could be a crucial vote in the Human Rights Council, we will be lifting the lid on the real situation in Sri Lanka by publishing a series of eight stories about the way the war in Sri Lanka ended.

This blog will be running one story a day between Monday the 12th and Monday the 19th of March. The stories will be written by Sri Lankan witnesses and the Sri Lankans who have recorded their story, but because of the very real fear of retaliation, these authors will write under the pseudonym "The Social Architects".

The Social Architects (TSA) are comprised of a diverse group of writers, intellectuals and working professionals. While most of TSA’s members hail from the country’s North and East, the group also includes other scholars and activists who have been working on issues related to Sri Lanka. TSA seeks to educate, to inform and to provide timely, thoughtful analysis on a range of topics.

Fred Carver, Campaign Director for the the Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice said, "the Government of Sri Lanka would have you believe that there are not more voices of dissent from Sri Lanka because all is well - in fact it is because they have intimidated their critics into silence. But through initiatives like these, their stories will be told nevertheless."

An excerpt, "Rasadurai's story":

Rasadurai was caring for a group of children from an orphanage in the No Fire Zone during the end of the war.

During the night of May 17th, I said about fifty rosaries in our bunker. The bunkers were shallow becausewe were close to the sea so water would come through the sand. The Army soldiers were throwing grenades into the bunkers and killing the people all night. That night the children were saying, “Father, we are going to die here.” I was saying rosaries and preparing to throw myself on top of the grenade to save the others in the bunker.


Rasadurai goes on to document the war crimes he saw and the suffering he witnessed, and names the senior military commanders responsible.

For more information about retaliation against those who speak out at the Human Rights Council please read these documents

One
Two
Three

This is not the first time the Sri Lanka Campaign has been asked by Sri Lankans to release documents anonymously for fear of retaliation. We have also recently published:
- A statement discrediting many of the claims in the Sri Lankan Government's speech to the HRC
- A disturbing report of violent robberies taking place in the north (seemingly with the complicity of the army)
- A critique of the government's claims on numbers killed
- A paper on ongoing human rights violations

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