8 Oct
2019

Wigneswaran mulls NPC war crimes accountability mechanism

Thavarajah said that going by the lack of interest in pursuing cases such as the Vattakandaal school massacre case, there is little or no hope that an impartial accountability mechanism will be set up. Hence the demand for a Provincial Council initiative, he said.Thavarajah said that he wanted to hold the memorial function on January 30, 2015 after the hawkish President Mahinda Rajapaksa was replaced by the more moderate Maithripala Sirisena in the January 8, 2015 Presidential election. But he could not. The plan to hold it in 2016 also had to be abandoned, this time  because of his mother’s demise. (Colombo Gazette) The Chief Minister of the Northern Province C V Wigneswaran has suggested that the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) explore the legal possibility of instituting its own independent war crimes accountability mechanism in the absence of an international judicial mechanism recommended by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in September 2015.Wigneswaran said this while speaking at a function in Vattakandaal Tamil Mixed School in Mannar district, where 60 to 70 people including Principal V.Sundaramoorthy and teachers T.Mahendiran and S.Ratnadurai were gunned down by the Sri Lanka Army on January 30, 1985. Explaining the circumstances under which the Chief Minister made the suggestion, Thavarajah said it has been 32 years since the Vattakandaal massacre had taken place, but till date there is no inquiry and punishment for the army troops who had perpetrated the atrocity.It has been two years since the UNHRC passed a resolution with Sri Lanka’s co-sponsorship, recommending a judicial war crimes accountability mechanism with the participation of international judges, prosecutors and investigators, but  the Sri Lankan government has repeatedly ruled out international participation. The Chief Minister asked the Leader of the Opposition in the NPC, Sinnadurai Thavarajah, who is also a lawyer, to look into the legal aspect of his proposal and report. The memorial function was organized by Thavarajah as his sister’s husband was among those massacred in the school. Thavarajah told Express later that he would look into the Chief Minister’s proposal  before making his recommendation. read more

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25 Sep
2019

Two children dead and four others in hospital following major incident in

We can confirm that this is not a shooting— SouthYorkshirePolice (@syptweet) May 24, 2019 Two boys have died and four other children are in hospital following an incident at a house in the Shiregreen area of Sheffield.The two boys, who were both pupils at Firth Park Academy, were aged 13 and 14, South Yorkshire Police said. A 37-year-old man and a 34-year-old woman have been arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with the incident and remained in custody.Police said the four injured children were conscious but remained in hospital.Detectives refused to discuss the relationship of the people in custody with the victims, but said they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police said officers were called to the property at around 7.30am on Friday after a third party expressed concern for the welfare of those inside.Yorkshire Ambulance Service and Yorkshire Air Ambulance attended the scene and transported six children to hospital.The incident took place close to the Hartley Brook primary school and witnesses reported seeing the air ambulance land in the grounds of the school. The house where the incident took place has been sealed off Local residents claimed they had seen two children being taken out of the house by paramedics before being rushed away in an ambulance.They also reported seeing a man and a woman being taken away from the property in handcuffs. The house where the incident took place has been sealed off There is a huge police presence in the Shiregreen area of the city  There were initial reports that the incident involved firearms, but South Yorkshire police denied that there had been a shooting. There is a huge police presence in the Shiregreen area of the city  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Jonathan Campbell,50, who lives a few doors up from the house where the incident took place, spoke of his shock. He said: “The police knocked on our doorstep and told us there had been a domestic. It was quite a shock to see so many police cars and ambulances outside. I saw a baby of about six months old being carried to an ambulance by a paramedic. “I had never seen the kids or the parents before – they can’t have lived here long Mick Whittaker, 61, milkman who has lived on the same street for 11 years, said: “I pulled up from my round at about 8am and there were sirens wailing down the street. Twenty minutes later the air ambulance landed in Hartley Brook school.”I didn’t know the family and asking around it seems nobody did. There have been sirens down that end of the street before but this is horrific.” Crime scene investigators were spotted arriving at the scene shortly after 10.30am.Detective Chief Inspector Simon Palmer said: “Detectives and specialist officers remain in the Gregg House Road area carrying out inquiries and we are working hard to ascertain the exact circumstances surrounding this incident.It is understood the youngsters were taken to The Sheffield Children’s Hospital in the Broomhill area of the city.It is understood the two dead boys were pupils at the Firth Park Academy close to the scene.A statement posted on the school’s website read: “It is with great sadness that we can confirm that two of our students, died in tragic circumstances this morning. “As this is a Police matter, we are not able to provide any further detail at the moment. Our deepest condolences are with the family and their friends during this difficult time.”We will be providing the appropriate support to our students and staff to help them to come to terms with what has happened. Terrible things can happen in life and there are specialists there to help and who are now helping. We must all look after each other.” read more

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