News

    Sri Lanka Urged to Probe the Murder of Tamil MPs

    The Inter-Parliamentary Union is calling on the government of Sri Lanka to mount a thorough investigation of the murders of three Members of Parliament, two of them Tamils.   The IPU's Human Rights Committee, which has wrapped up its latest session, has examined cases of abuse of some 300 MPs in 29 countries.  

    The Inter-Parliamentary Union says the Sri Lankan government no  longer has any reason for not investigating the murders of the Parliamentarians now that its long-running civil war with the Tamil Tiger rebels is over.

    Chair of the IPU's Human Rights Committee, Canadian Senator, Sharon Carstairs, says the government has always maintained it was unable to investigate the murders because they occurred in rebel-held territory.  She says that excuse no longer exists.

    She tells VOA, Tamil Parliamentarians are subject to arbitrary arrest, harassment and intimidation.  She says her Committee is concerned about the situation of 12 Tamil Parliamentarians.  She says they essentially have been stripped of their rights of freedom of movement and of their ability to perform their legislative duties.

    She says the Tamil Parliamentarians are reluctant to leave the capital, Colombo, because their security is not guaranteed.

    "So, there is great fear among the Tamil Parliamentarians," Carstairs said.  "So, what we hope from Sri Lanka at this point is to get a new signal from them that Tamil Parliamentarians will have freedom of movement, they will have adequate security, they will be full participants of the government of Sri Lanka because they are duly elected Parliamentarians."   

    The IPU Committee is also very concerned about the cases of two Parliamentarians in Iraq.  Hareth Al-Obaidi, who was the Vice-Chair of Iraq's Human Rights Committee, was murdered on June 12.  His colleague, Mohammed Al-Dainy, who also was a member of the Committee, disappeared on February 5th.  

    Carstairs says Al-Dainy eventually surfaced in another country.  But, she says 19 of his family members and staff were arrested and some were tortured.

    "Now both these men, and this is what I think is important, had both called for the creation of a Commission of Inquiry in cases of torture, rape and death in Iraqi prisons," Carstairs said.  "And, so, they essentially were working on the same file together… The concerns were that these were not American-run prisons that these two men were concerned about.  They were Iraqi-run prisons."   

    The IPU Committee is calling for the reinstatement of a female MP in Afghanistan.  She was suspended from her duties two years ago for publicly criticizing some warlords on television.  Carstairs says the male-dominated Parliament described her remarks as un-Islamic.  

    "If you are a Parliamentarian and a you are a woman in Afghanistan, it is better to be seen and not heard," Carstairs said.  

    In a rare bit of good news, the IPU welcomes Israel's decision to release three Palestinian Parliamentarians who were duly elected in Gaza in 2006.  It calls on the Israeli government to also release 40 other Palestinian Members of Parliament who the IPU charges were kidnapped and imprisoned in Israel after the election.

     

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora