Thursday, March 16, 2006

Responding to HRW: CTC & Sangam

Human Rights Watch:
Funding the "Final War" - full report

BBC:
Tamil rebels 'coercing diaspora'

Canadian Tamil Congress:
CTC Response to HRW Allegations on Extortion

Sangam:
HRW Missing an Opportunity: Targets victims

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Old stuff
TamilCanadian - December 13, 2004
Crocodile Tears: A Performance by Jo Becker

DaCrazyBoy said...

Thank you for the links.

Anonymous said...

The Globe and Mail
Tamil community cries foul by Timothy Appleby

Anonymous said...

Tigers feeding off Toronto Tamils, group saysby Colin Freeze

Anonymous said...

Toronto Star
Mar. 17, 2006. 01:00 AM
itorial: Ban Tamil Tigers and halt extortion

Anonymous said...

A Canadian Tamil Community response to Allegations by Human Rights Watch on Extortion

Anonymous said...

Tamilweek.com
HRW sheds light on Tiger fund raising in the West - by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Anonymous said...

Tiger fund raising among Toronto Tamils by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Anonymous said...

Tamils request for an apology from HRW by SiberNews Media Team

Anonymous said...

tamilweek.com
Beginning of an end or the end of a beginningby Rajasingham Narendran

Anonymous said...

Toronto Star
Feb. 26, 2006. 07:44 AM
Roar of the Tamil Tigers By MICHELLE SHEPHARD AND SURYA BHATTACHARYA, STAFF REPORTERS

Follow up
Toronto Star - March 3, 2006
Orphanage not tied to Tamil Tigers By Andrea Warnick

Anonymous said...

Canadian Tamil Congress
14 March 2006
A Canadian Tamil Community response to Allegations by Human Rights Watch on Extortion

Human Rights Watch
Sri Lanka: Human Rights Watch Replies to the Canadian Tamil Congress

TamilNet
March 19, 2006 12:14 GMT
Human Rights Watch backtracks on extortion charge

Anonymous said...

International Federation of Tamils
March 19, 2006
Funding Peace and Dignity: A Response to HRW report "Funding the final war" By IFT

Anonymous said...

Media Release - COTANZ response to Human Rights Watch report on extortion

March 17, 2006

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has recently issued a lengthy 50 page report “Funding the Final War: LTTE Intimidation and Extortion in the Tamil Diaspora” . The cover page is dominated by a photograph of a group of LTTE fighters, all holding automatic weapons.

The purpose of this press release is to examine whether this report, ostensibly written to promote the freedoms of the Tamil Diaspora, has contained within it an anti-Tamil bias. This raises the question: is HRW genuinely concerned for the well-being Tamils or, as we will argue, is HRW simply shedding crocodile tears?

To begin we note that there are no instances in the report of the LTTE being convicted of extortion. Furthermore almost all the allegations against the LTTE have been made confidentially to HRW. Short of questioning the research methods used by HRW, as others have done , there is therefore little we can say directly regarding the report.

The approach we take here, in trying to decide whether the report contains an anti-Tamil bias, is to carefully look at what has been left out of the report. As we all know, selective reporting can distort the truth as much as outright lies.

A natural place to start is the second section of the report, ‘Background’. Here we come across is the statement “Recruitment and use of children under the age of eighteen by non-state armed groups is a violation of international law, and the recruitment or use of children under the age of fifteen is considered a war crime”.

The issue of child soldiers is a complicated phenomenon and grass-roots human rights organizations operating in the Northeast of Sri Lanka has written extensively on the biases contained in earlier HRW reports on this issue . In essence it has been shown that while HRW pays a great deal of attention to child soldiers, it pays comparatively little attention to other issues affecting the well-being of the children of the Northeast. This includes nutrition, education and mental and physical violence – all compromised by the Sri Lankan state.

Furthermore, in the context of the current article, it is only on the issue of child soldiers that the phrases “violation of international law” and “war crime” are used. These terms are not applied to numerous human rights violations the Sri Lankan states has inflicted on the civilians of the Northeast for the past two decades.

Another key point to take from the ‘Background’ section of the HRW report is the complete absence of any description of the non-military activity the LTTE is engaged in, which ranges from operating a judiciary through to running orphanages and civilian infrastructure reconstruction. By not mentioning any of these activities, HRW creates the impression that the LTTE is purely a military organization rather than a state building entity.

Finally, in the fourth section of its report, “LTTE Control of Hindu Temples in the West”, HRW states that, “The temples may also collect money for the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization or other LTTE front groups.” As we have just discussed above, the HRW report paints (through omissions) the LTTE as purely a military organization. Therefore the idea that the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization is a LTTE front group is clearly a disparaging assertion.

The Tamil Diaspora is well aware that the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization is one of the most important aid organizations operating in the Northeast. This point has been thrown into start relief by the reconstruction efforts following the Boxing Day Tsunami. The Tamil Rehabilitation Organization has been carrying out vital work while aid earmarked for the Northeast has been blocked by the Sri Lankan state.

We have argued in this response that the HRW report contains an anti-Tamil bias. We have done this by examining what is not contained in the report. To recap this has been, first, the focus on child soldiers at the expense of all the other rights due to the children of the Northeast. Second has been the select use of the phrases “violation of international law” and “war crime”, where such terms are not applied to the Sri Lankan state. Third has been the total lack of description of the state building activities of the LTTE. And fourth is the assertion that the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization is a LTTE front group, combined with the implicit idea that the LTTE is simply a military organization.

We believe that individually, and especially collectively, these four observations indicate an anti-Tamil bias within the HRW report. Given this bias, we find it very difficult to take it on faith that the confidential information HRW used to support its case is free of an anti-Tamil bias.

Until we are able to examine the evidence directly we will be taking the report with a large grain of salt. Given the analysis presented here, it seems reasonable to assume HRW is shedding crocodile tears until proven otherwise.

George Arulanantham
Coordinator
Consortium of Tamil Associations in New Zealand
(09) 620 6200, 021 577 351, george_cotanz@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Asia Tribune
LTTE agents target Jo Becker -- the Children's Rights Advocacy Director

Note: D. B. S. Jeyarajah, Rajasingham Narendran's brother Rajasingham Jeyadevan and Asian Tribune were quoted by Ms. Becker in her report.

Anonymous said...

IT SHOULD BE JEYARAJ, NOT JEYARAJAH

Anonymous said...

AUSTRALASIAN FEDERATION OF TAMIL ASSOCIATIONS
AFTA STATEMENT ON THE REPORT BY HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH ON 'INTIMIDATION & EXTORTION'

Anonymous said...

LankaWeb
New York Based ~Human Rights Watch's Exposure Of The LTTE Long Overdue! By Nandimithra Perera of Popular Front Against Terrorism In Sri Lanka (PFATISL)

Anonymous said...

The HRW Report and the Foreign Minister's Reaction by Dr. Victor Rajakulendran, Sydney, Australia

Anonymous said...

Dissecting the Semi-fictionalized HRW Report by Sachi Sri Kantha

Anonymous said...

HRW: False Alarm! by V Gunaratnam

Anonymous said...

Response to the HRW Report and HRW's Reply by Nimal

Anonymous said...

தமிழ்சேர்க்கிள்
01.04.2006
மனித உரிமைக்கான கண்காணிப்பு அமைப்பின் அறிக்கையும், அதன் மீதான எதிர்வினைகள் மீதும் பி.இரயாகரன்

Anonymous said...

The Tamil Mirror
April 4, 2006
Misguided Canadian Media By Roger Gnanaindran

Anonymous said...

War is a Complex, Multi-Symptom Disease by Dr. Victor Ragunathan

Anonymous said...

TCHR
19 April 2006
reflections on the report published by Jo Becker, Human Rights Watch - HRW

Anonymous said...

Tamil Guardian
April 19, 2006
How Does Rights Advocacy Fail? by Vidya Kumaraswamy,