News

    Lawmakers Pressure Indian Government on Alleged Sri Lanka War Crimes

    Police officers stand guard in front of the UN head office during a protest in Colombo, Sri Lanka, March 2, 2012. The UN Human Rights Council is currently debating a proposed resolution to probe alleged war crimes in the final months of the Sri Lankan civ
    Police officers stand guard in front of the UN head office during a protest in Colombo, Sri Lanka, March 2, 2012. The UN Human Rights Council is currently debating a proposed resolution to probe alleged war crimes in the final months of the Sri Lankan civ
    Kurt Achin

    India's parliament was the site of commotion Tuesday about the country's approach to allegations of war crimes in Sri Lanka.

    Instead of tending to scheduled budgetary issues, India's parliament had to be suspended for several hours after members began shouting for action on an upcoming United Nations vote on Sri Lanka. Indian politicians are trying to pressure the government into taking a firmer stand on its neighbor.

    The United States is among the backers of a resolution to be voted on next week at the United Nations Human Rights Council, calling for more thorough investigation into alleged war crimes in the final months of Sri Lanka's civil war.

    Last year, a panel of U.N.-appointed specialists said there was reason to suspect the Sri Lankan army may have deliberately attacked thousands of non-combatants in areas the government declared as safe. The same report accused Tamil separatist rebels of using hostages as human shields.

    Human rights groups say the Sri Lankan government's own investigation of the period is inadequate, and domestic pressure is mounting within India for the government to clarify its position.

    Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee spoke Tuesday in parliament, hinting India may abstain on next week's resolution.

    "Traditional position of India has always been, not only in respect of this case, that we normally do not support any country-specific resolution," said Mukherjee. "But what view on this issue will be taken will be determined as and when the time will be finalized in respect of the meeting of the Human Rights Commission."

    Meenakshi Ganguly, India's representative for Human Rights Watch, said the emergence of images from the final days of Sri Lanka's war is fueling Indian demands for a firmer government position.

    "It is only now when evidence is beginning to trickle out, pretty much because of the trophy videos that were taken by the military itself, that the Tamil community in India is extremely concerned about what happened in those last few weeks," said Ganguly.

    Britain's Channel 4 produced a documentary on alleged Sri Lankan war crimes last year and plans to air a follow-up this week. It accuses the Sri Lankan military of summarily executing the Tamil separatist leader's young son.

    Sri Lanka says Channel 4's material is fabricated and biased.

    Ganguly, with Human Rights Watch, said India cannot continue with past policies of neutrality on Sri Lanka as it rises in global status and presses for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.

    "That civilians were caught in this, and that there were serious allegations of war crimes has to be investigated, and India will have to take a position on that," Ganguly said.

    Next week's United Nations Human Rights Council vote is mainly symbolic, as the council has no authority to appoint an independent probe.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Obama
    March 17, 2012 9:24 AM
    International community should not back India's bid for permanent seat at the UN, if India fails to act on this shameful.attrocities

    by: Yp
    March 16, 2012 3:39 AM
    This is about innocent human being murdered in cold blood, they must get justice.
    War is a dirty business but it must never be brought to civilians like it was done by the SriLanken army.

    Any Hindu will remember a story of Ramayana about a king called Ravan, unfortunately for innocent people of the North there was no Ram to save them from the brutal kingdom, and this says enough about India's attitude to its history and heritage.

    by: Narayan
    March 15, 2012 8:38 PM
    Wherever it might happen - crime against humanity must be dealt with an iron fist. UN will fail in its responsibilities if it sits as a mute spectator on this war crime perpetuated by Srilanka on innocent people. Channel 4 program clearly shows that most of the victims were kids and old people. What a shame.

    by: rao
    March 13, 2012 6:22 PM
    Sri Lankan Govt war crimes are a shame on humanity. Indian Govt's lack of backbone is nothing unusual. It doesn't EVEN have any courage to handle Pakistan when it sponsors terrorists to kill innocent people in Mumbai. How can anyone expect Indian govt to show any courage when it comes to Tamils in Sri lanka. Unfortunately for tamils in sri lanka, india is irrelevant.

    by: real
    March 13, 2012 1:59 PM
    Tamils need justice who care about india we dont need there justice which they dont have there own people or equal to srilankan justice.we need from UN

    by: dave
    March 13, 2012 12:47 PM
    I will not set foot in Sri Lanka again and I know a lot of my mates who decided also not to go there to watch England play until some justice has been dished out to the murderous govt regime. Please India, show the world how democratic and fair you are and demand for justice for the tamils.

    by: Shiva
    March 13, 2012 10:36 AM
    International Law must be applied in Sri Lanka and all perpetrators must be brought to face the Law!

    by: Shiva
    March 13, 2012 10:11 AM
    No war criminal or human rights abuser can escape from responsibility. Indian Congress regime that collaborated with the Sri Lankan war crimes and genocide. As Indian leaders are implicated into war crimes, Indian Congress regime is trying to bail out Sri Lanka. International Community must exclude India (except Tamil Nadu) and independently investigate crimes against humanity.

    by: EQJustice
    March 13, 2012 9:56 AM
    The truth is that every key member nations at UN including Hon Secretary knows what has happened during the last days of the war in Sri Lanka.
    The stupid decision that Tamil Tigers have taken to kill Rajiv did not warrant crimes against humanity of this magnitude -YES, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT 40000+ perished lives to go unnoticed. It's not too late to act. Those innocent poor Tamil civilians who perished will silently bless the mother India from heaven, if she's willing to act.

    by: Jothipala
    March 13, 2012 8:23 AM
    Srilanka not going to give anything to tamils.only dividing srilanka is solution

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.