Sri Lanka’s Humanitarian Crisis discussed in Swiss seminar

[TamilNet, Sunday, 30 September 2007, 13:46 GMT]
Centre for Just Peace and Democracy (CJPD), in collaboration with the International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR), and Sri Lanka and International League for the Rights and Liberation of Peoples (LIDLIP), Switzerland, hosted a seminar on “Humanitarian Action in the Undeclared War in Sri Lanka,” on 22 September 2007. Local and international activists, UN agencies and other humanitarian agencies discussed the present ground situation in Sri Lanka and explored ways to alleviate the suffering of the civilian population.

PDF IconDavid Rampton on Colonization of East (155Kb)
Professor B. G. Ramcharan, Former Acting High Commissioner for Human Rights and Former Director of the International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia, in his keynote address, stressed the need for a negotiated settlement to the prolonged armed conflict, and shared insights from his experiences in the Former Yugoslavia.

Papers were presented by right activistis from international community, Sri Lanka, and the Tamil diaspora.

Speakers included Ms. Sunila Abeysekera, Executive Director, INFORM, Ms.Karen Parker, Mr. David Rampton, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, Executive Director, Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), Rev. Fr. Alphonsus Bernard, Director, CEPAHRC, JaffnaFr.Jeyakumar (HUDEC, CARITAS Jaffna), Arjunan Ethirveerasingham, TRO, and Mr. Kasinather Sivapalan, Deputy President, Northeast Secretariat on Human Rights (NESOHR) and Local nominee to SLMM Trincomalee.

Mr Rampton, focussing on the spectre of colonization in the east, said, "whilst the current landscape in the East is one of humanitarian crisis and endemic human rights abuses, the current focus on human rights issues, which whilst performing the essential task of exposing the authoritarianism and violence of the current regime, is insufficient to capture the cold calculations and reasoning in the intentions of the Sri Lankan State which has once again returned the logic of Sinhala colonisation."

The meeting was co-chaired by Ms. Verena Graf, Secretary General, LIDLIP, Ms. Nimalka Ferdando, President, IMADR and Mr. Prasanna Chandrakumar, Program Coordinator, CJPD.

Mr. A.C. Tarcisus, Director, CJPD, and Ms. Graf, welcomed the speakers at the start of the conference.


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