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tv   Inside Story  Al Jazeera  February 26, 2021 3:30am-4:01am +03

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unable to adapt to the assigned job as have complained of forced relocations this is a much needed winds of the chinese government and it comes at a crucial time beijing is pushing to revive the economy following the pandemic and to live as michael 100 years since the founding of the communist party she didn't pull in is hoping this milestone will strengthen loyalty to the positive as well as it's only just a mistake as it's the day between al jazeera and. this is al-jazeera these are the top stories and breaking news is being reported the united states has carried out an air strike in syria targeting structures that belong to iran backed fighters it's thought the strike targeted the military base near al book all u.s. officials have told the reuters news agency the strike was approved by president joe biden there warnings that brazil's health system is on the verge of collapse
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the health minister says his country is facing a new stage of corona virus pandemic with a mutated virus and of the virus that is 3 times more contagious monica you naki have has more from rio de janeiro the border both in the north and in the south hospital but on the verge of collapse so the state of the ball which is richest state of brazil has just started restricting measure our people from circulating a lot and 5 am in the morning now by in the northeast of brazil they have shut down all the beaches and all central business is until next monday. the head of the european commission says the e.u. is on track to fully vaccinate 70 percent of adults by the end of the summer despite criticism of its slow rollout a leaders use this summit to put pressure on astra zeneca over delayed covert 19
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vaccine supply lines. of armenians have protested for and against the prime minister nicole passion young fired his military chief after senior army officials called for his resignation he says that amounts to a coup. u.s. president joe biden and saudi arabia's king solomon have spoken before the expected release of an american intelligence report on the murder of saudi journalist jamal khashoggi the 2 leaders discussed efforts to end the war in yemen and washington's commitment to help riyadh to defend itself against iranian backed rebels. because governments passed laws allowing for people who die of covered $900.00 to be buried under previous rules they had to be cremated which were caused an outcry especially within the country's muslim minority some protested this week to demand an end to the forced cremations of the headlines the news continues here on al-jazeera after inside story by.
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justice denied in sri lanka the un says the government is failing to pursue crimes from the civil war but sri lanka's leaders reject this so will the conflicts victims ever find out the truth about what happened this is inside story. hello and welcome to the program. it's been 12 years since sri lanka civil war ended about 100000 people died and more than 20000 disappeared government troops
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and the thomas separatists they were fighting were both accused of murder and torture particularly towards the end of the conflict since then the un says little has been done to find out what happened human rights chief says victims have been denied justice and she's accused the government of further eroding human rights sri lanka's leaders reject the accusations we'll bring in our guests in a moment 1st this report by bernard smith. 12 years after the end of sri lanka's civil war the pain is still roll but those whose sons daughters and husbands dissipative. this was a protest earlier this month they want answers accountability and justice. but don't get any because the united nations human rights council says the highest levels of sri lanka's government is in denial about past crimes the space we're seeing is crime and the media which have grown significantly is now rapidly shrunk . they independence already the story the human rights commission of. the national
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police commission another key warning has been deeply eroded by the recently adopted prentiss constitutional amendment that the president got a buyer rajapaksa was defense secretary at the end of the civil war is brother mahinda was president 100000 people were killed in the 26 year long war between tamil separatists and the government both sides are accused of crimes including murder and torture. and now the u.n. says minority groups are facing more discrimination this protest in february was a rare combined march of muslims and tumbles with a long list of complaints including trying to get education in the tamil language and oppressive police surveillance of muslim lanka's government rejects all the allegations made in the report including claims it uses divisive rhetoric. calls constitutional guarantees as i mentioned before fundamental rights of all the
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citizens and anyone can can must under the fundamental right and or for all 3 lanka in the last few years as well as today we have all our programs economic social law and the many official programs all are equally. and joined and implemented from the not to the scout. leader not the raja's son was taken away by the military at the end of the war she's no idea what happened to him but he's convinced he's still alive the story is the same for thousands of other families and in the political on an island it up with what we see now is that they're trying to make his fed up and stop the protests so we can trust them we will have to go to the international community to get our children back as we have realize that there is no point going to the government here the un's high commissioner for human rights has urged member
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states to consider prosecuting alleged crimes in sri lanka to try and get on says the thousands of people like leila bernard smith al-jazeera. as you heard there the u.n. says the 20th amendment to sri lanka's constitution has further eroded human rights so what's changed last october parliament overwhelmingly approved giving the president more power got a virus or proxy can remove any minister including the prime minister and he can dissolve parliament a year after its election the president has full immunity from prosecution and he can appoint top judges the police chief and the heads of the electoral and human rights commissions. all right let's bring in our guests from colombo pike i saw at the bottom what to a political analyst and chief executive of the center for policy alternatives in beijing kahana sri lanka's ambassador to china and in london. the swat on
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a human rights lawyer thank you all for joining us polly to let me start with you today you in human rights commissioner michel bhatia lee said on wednesday that 12 years after the end of armed conflict in sri lanka domestic efforts to ensure justice for the victims have failed what is your response to that. i have an number of comments on back 1st and foremost. i think what michelle passionately a very senior u.n. official and a form of press and jolie has misunderstood her i do not think as a as a follow up unit 3 or so and a senior official at the un that it's a job that i can be. too tough and for the countries her job is to assist countries all countries not only should not go to improve the human rights of films her job is to make the world a better place not to go around i can find countries and finding fault with them
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and making suggestions to penalize them and also what is most important is that she basis of 100 points which have been get dumped over and over again and also she and she made a basis a set on allegations in the end or and suggestion which i think is not turtle head rule is to make head countries assist countries to improve their performance and not to history but also at the countries and there are many countries around us even moving in the west which need their human rights improved so that i have a lot of problems with but yes. high commissioner bhatia lay also accused sri lanka of reneging on promises to ensure justice for thousands of civilians killed in the final stages of the 37 year separatist war that ended in 2009 do you agree with
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that assessment i completely agree i mean i think over the past few years we've seen a really worrying trajectory in sri lanka which i think shall daschle has pointed to signalling and as she has added that there is a real recurrence and risk of violence and cycles of violence in it and i think this play. to the fact that she has still failed to address the root causes of its ethnic conflict and over the last 2 years there's been a real ramping up militarization an increase in attacks on human rights defenders journalists and victims survivor communities you know this past saturday marked for in the years since the whole families of the disappeared across the northeast began protesting looking for answers and justice around their loved ones who had been disappeared a lot many of them have been disappeared during the final phase of the armed conflict and i think again kind of symbolizes the fact that sri lanka is a country that has sort of allowed for and encouraged impunity rather than actually
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dealing with issues in its past and kind of pushing for accountability so that we don't see a recurrence of violence like yes i think how concerned are you about what's going on currently in tree like i mean do you believe that the country is at a tipping point of sorts oh yes very definitely i think that the great danger of a moment is the consolidation of this culture of beauty and increased militarization as far as government that's is concerned it's not based on the bow so that we are going to be in pretty bad shape. you know we have a culture of impunity which has been a barrier to almost to the system the system of governance as far as accountability for these articulations have been set and i think what needs to be understood at the end of the day is start we are members of an international community and we members of the international community needs to meet her. big oceans and certain
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responsibilities we can cherry pick those the beach we are going to still or hot. so we are definitely out to 2 people. several countries including the u.k. canada germany they have submitted a draft resolution for consideration by the un age r c it expresses concern over what it calls warning signs of the teary orating human rights situation in sri lanka what do you say to that i don't. know if anybody want to go to colombo today i do not know where there. is deteriorating situation. the communities are very very integrated into mixed the last majority of the time and population who i assume you're talking about lives not in the so-called homelands but a month to single out 54 percent of the needs and the situation with jittery
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they would be fleeing. to the north and even then not the exact opposite is true they're coming in that. to live in the south because that's where their job opportunities are and also because the rest of the community about comes i don't think there is a tipping point in fact it's it's a meat that has been propagated by self-serving political entities i don't think that is that we have reached a tipping point and it's very unlikely that we are the cause that keeping point with that in 2006 to 2008 when the n.t.t. rules are not and the east and they were they were carrying on a massive temp in a general when children were being recruited as for combat but that there are
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civilians. at random it's not happening in where is this dipping point i don't think it is a tipping point. also this question about thousands of civilians speak has anybody done it come to this country then at the graves of the civilians who apparently died over cuba during the last stages of conflict nobody 7 found them nobody has found the bones. fikir southie a let me ask you about this draft resolution that's been submitted to the un h r c i mean do you believe that ultimately it will pass and if so what happens next when i think there is a reasonable chance of it. what happens next is i think entirely up to the member states as we all know human rights council whatever it is that can only make
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recommendations on mandates to x. and y. and after that is up to the states decide the high commissioner has talked about individual sanctions travel sanctions freezing of assets she has. is to consider it a message of restriction and going to the international middle or about the last one of course is i.b.m. back to the shock to the russian and chinese we as to what the security council because straight up about 7 or. that's never the less i think there are steps that can be taken by the individual contributors in full servant of this resolution and the recommendations and indeed i mean the pressure i think needs to be kept on the government of sri lanka to meaningful engage in reconciliation in 2022 all swore serious reskill in that police force is
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not in a conflict that has the roots. we've produced and certainly not sustained. garcia based on your observations is there a chance that we could see a reoccurrence of violence in treelike i mean are you worried about that being a possibility going forward definitely and i think kind of tied into the resolution and and sort of the sentiments of communities on the island recently we saw this humongous march that was jointly between the tumble and muslim communities of the north east from an eastern point on the island to northern point on the island p.t.p. and trap to some estimates put it at about 50000 individuals it it kind of talked about the number of issues that these communities are still facing ranging from force cremations to increased militarization to a lot of accountability for these really heinous atrocity crimes that occurred
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during the end of the war and and despite the government's assertions are incredibly well documented both by u.n. entities as well as international organizations and so i think there is like a real kind of concern that if there aren't any checks and balances put in place and if this kind of continues this sort of thing now but as nationalism that in a way underpins this government continues on checked that we are going to see kind of a real risk of recurrence of violence and and i think me and mark for example in the recent coup there is an important lesson in how unchecked military power can leave real problematic breakdowns in the rule of law polythene last year sri lanka pulled out of a 2015 you in resolution calling for accountability for alleged excesses carried out by sri lankan troops and reparations for victims what was the justification for doing so 22 important just one is that some of the commitments
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made under that resolution well not consistent with the constitutional st roch or in fact had been suggestions made that don't commit to sri lanka. under that receives them by co-sponsoring it should be hauled up before the coats trawl acting contrary to the constitution secondly. they must a massive sentiment in the country against sectors and in a democracy any government will have to respond to public pressure the current government just be luck was elected with that 2 thirds majority and none of the she can some which it meant to the public to the electorate was that the resolution of 201530 sashed one and that the electorate expressed itself in no
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uncertain terms about what it felt and their way up the 2 very good reasons for the drawing from that from that co-sponsorship as you know very that around them but in democracies countries tend not comply or going ahead with their commitments to comply with international obligations then confronted by domestic opposition the united states is a classic example of that so in the circumstances there was no option for the government but to be drop its signature and then of course. having said that hasn't at the government not done. i think taken i think that mission has to comply with whatever form interlude it has and that has other things that it continues to to trade some tracing up missing persons not complete and i don't think anything
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that you could trace on the missing presence in a conflict in a space of 20 has that us people still missing after the 2nd boat or that we have now. they have been traced so why should. a developing country that has limited krystle's be pushed to the wall and told to find a contact everybody that in fact in the case of some missing since they have been discovered living happy is said in this time country in fact recently an individual was tried before quarter low in germany and he was listed as missing something i think this is all of there's a lot of propaganda a lot of pressure. exerted by entities who have a stake in this and them this is this has become
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a game now who's going to win at the end of that the. rich or. not the international community is we sent to invest in a country we're going to this doctor or trip that by the way i'm sorry i'm sorry you know obviously an issue that we're starting to run out of time so i just want to it looked to me as though darshan may have wanted to jump in and respond to some of what you were saying please go ahead i mean i think it's sort of ridiculous to kind of dismiss that holds as families of the disappeared across the island who have loved ones who were taken and disappeared by perpetrators that were primarily the shrunken state and this kind of allegation that these individuals are in the diocese flora and you know simply because it is missing it doesn't line up with the facts. continues to remain the country that has a 2nd highest number of complaints filed with the u.n. working group on arbitrary detention a lot of the woman who are protesting on the roads right now spent years after the
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war and going from military camp to police station in groups to protect themselves from being potentially disappeared and possibly sexually assaulted looking for their disappeared children their husbands their wives and you know to the question of where these individuals are why is the government is so confident that this issue is one that they're not afraid of handling then why i try so do so try so hard to suppress the voices of the families of the disappeared you know a mother that i spoke to last week said that she was being visited multiple times a day by intelligence officers and that's true of women who need these protests across the northeast their police are taking out court order to prevent them from protesting while the military continues to have parades in the south and we're told that these so-called court orders are because of code. so i you know i think it's just such a shame that the sri lankan government fails to recognize the pain and suffering you know in forces appearance takes such
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a psychological toll on the family members of the victim and to not address the issues on the fact that the government and its representatives still today are denying the very fact of those disappearances and the importance of addressing them is to me the perfect example of the sri lankan government attitude towards its subnational populations whether that be the community or the muslim community and again reiterate the need for international intervention thank you so think i want to ask you about this 20th constitutional amendment there are many groups that have expressed concern that the independence of the judiciary in sri lanka as well as other bodies such as the human rights commission that they have been significantly weakened by this constitutional amendment what have the ramifications of this amendment been throughout the country. well that effectively what the amendment has done is to remove any chance balances on the exercise of executive authority and by the elected president we had
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a constitutional council that was by no means perfect but at least it vetted if you like the various appointments to state institutions as well as chattels etc the list goes the president will appoint and there is a solid bench of counsel which will just give him give their observations as to who he chooses and getting their observations in itself is not mandatory and so what we have here is the consolidation and centralize ocean of in the office of one person which is you know has terrible riba passions for democracy for the whole question of the institutions. of democracy in our country volatile let me throw that question to you as well i mean what do you say to critics of this 20th constitutional amendment treason from once the 19th amendment which the 20th so to replace was not the most popular amendment to the country this is very abundantly
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clear in the way the electorate voted at the presidential election and the parliamentary election of a government that has a mandate to mentis changes on history has to respond to that man didn't deliver on that mandate and i don't think he just mount up true preved or even promise a bill to say on the government give the wrong thing the government going to the electorate with certain promises and it has to be good and then mom will find the trace the ridiculousness is not the rock the government deny. deny the existence of disappearing. the ridiculousness is about. keeping on making this over and over again. without any substantiation you couldn't stir up the population you could stir up certain segments of the
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population to march up and down the streets it's not a difficult thing in the modern. communication facilities you can do that and it's being done in the what again in st and so let me finish on this point. to say that. mothers crying of course i cry that's my last they're there not points to put it for the sisters and looks their presence but the father is a lost sons and daughters yes i try to do but to keep on making these i like without any substantiated really concrete substance i think it's. a propaganda and political. grandstanding there are so we just have less than a minute left i want to ask you very quickly about the chilling effect all of this has had on civil society in sri lanka you know i mean i think i think it has had an enormous chilling effect on civil society in fact the secretariat of n.g.o.s has
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now been brought under the ministry of defense which is headed by khaled going to run who is in himself named in several u.n. reports as an as having alleged to have been committed and committed war crimes and so a number of civil society organizations across the northeast and across the island in fact every at least self-centered to make sure that they can survive this regime and that includes kind of families of the disappeared who despite the government's real efforts islands their claims continue to protest on the roads because what they really want to be reunited with their loved ones or at least know what happened to them all right we've run out of times we're going to have to leave the conversation there thank you so much to all of our guests pockets at the start of an m o 2 polytech ohana and jay got the swara and thank you too for watching you can watch this and our previous programs any time by visiting our website of 0 dot com and for further discussion go to our facebook page that's facebook dot com forward slash a.j. inside story you can also join the conversation on twitter we are apt at a.j.
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inside story for me about how much i'm doing the whole team here by for now. joggers in new delhi take advantage of the relatively clean air after weeks of toxic small stopped people from venturing outside institutions including hobgood say air pollution is leading to more severe cases of the coronavirus and more deaths from it and nowhere in india is the situation was that in daddy the number of cases auto record highs and where
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a desperate situation of the indian government set up a new commission to monitor success of evolution across 5 no 50 in states health experts and bod mentioned this and been wanting for months that the easing of the lockdown would lead to an increase in pollution and the impact that would have on those because of 19 the politics of division have pushed india into the grip of a historical reckoning i am afraid because i know on the minority of media afraid of where do these ideas come from tragedy of more than news how much we've tried to send a close getting to school a happy family move on to other forms of joining me opticians us here on the final part of my journey when i do become a target of the hindu 1st policy in search of india's soul on al-jazeera. mount vesuvius is one of the most dangerous active volcanoes in the world. but not everyone feels living in its shadow. with good forces there or something like that
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a good book lascivious good people who don't live up on the stuff. goes to the red so near naples. to understand this unusual love of. living with a volcano on al-jazeera. madison in doha the top stories on 0 the u.s. has carried out an airstrike in syria targeting iranian backed fighters the pentagon says it's in response to recent attacks against u.s. personnel in iraq for more on this let's go to shihab rattansi in washington d.c. what more do we know about this it's actually how well we have a statement from the pentagon confirming that yes this was in retaliation to those attacks on u.s. troops and coalition forces it was a border check.

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