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Senate Foreign Relations Chair Supports UN Resolution on Sri Lankan War Crimes Investigation March 19th, 2014


Catholic Nuns in northern Sri Lanka protest the arrest of human rights defender, Balendran Jeyakumari

Senator Robert Menendez, Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, sent a letter earlier today addressed to Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The letter supports the US-sponsored Resolution before the UN HR Council in Geneva calling for an international investigation into crimes committed during the Sri Lankan civil war. In his letter, Chairman Menendez also said: “Over the past year, this committee has noted with concern the deteriorating environment for the democratic process and human rights in Sri Lanka. While this is particularly acute in the north, there are also disturbing reports of an increasingly authoritarian approach across the South and East.”

Read Chairman Menendez’s letter here…

Immigration Reform Legislation Introduced April 18th, 2013

550348_493525247363661_99657107_nSenators introduced, late on Tuesday, an 844-page immigration reform bill in Congress called the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act.” The bill aims to make the most substantive changes to immigration laws in nearly three decades.

The bi-partisan “Gang of Eight” Senators and staff have been working tirelessly to create a bi-partisan solution that attempts to fix the broken immigration system in the United States. Read the bill here…

In the coming weeks the bill will be analyzed, and the JPIC Office will share opportunities to get involved.

Thanks to the Senators involved, who should be commended for having the courage to tackle this difficult issue.



The Imploding Banking Sector July 24th, 2012

Read Fr. Finn’s latest blog on Huffington Post – his commentary on the latest implosion of the banking sector. It begins…

Summer months here in Washington, D.C. are generally characterized by the slower pace that is associated with southern cities and the rush of Congress and government employees to get in some vacationing with their families before Labor Day. Even the traffic reporters usually sprinkle their reports with comments about the decreased traffic flows or the early exits for the eastern shore that usually start on Thursday afternoon.

Unfortunately, if you are on the House Financial Services Committee or the Senate Banking committee or one of the regulators for the numerous corporations that operate in the financial services sector, there has been very little down time since the famous early May JPMC announcement about the huge trading loss in their Chief Investment Office in London. Since then the amount of the loss has more than doubled and numerous investigations into the actions of individuals involved in the loss have been opened. All of these activities promise to keep a number of folks at their desks for longer than expected.

Read the blog…


Senate Foreign Relations South Asia Subcommittee holds Hearing on Sri Lanka February 25th, 2009

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee room was standing room only on Tuesday afternoon for a Hearing called by the South Asia Subcommittee on “The Present Situation in Sri Lanka.” Senator Bob Casey (Dem-PA) chaired the Hearing.

The Honorable Jeffrey J. Lunstead, former U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Dr. Anna Neistat, Senior Researcher, Human Rights Watch, and Mr. Bob Dietz, Asia Program Coordinator, Committee to Protect Journalists presented testimony. Highlighted were the humanitarian crisis in the north (Vanni), problems associated with government camps established to intern civilians fleeing the fighting, and the increasingly brutal attacks against journalists. The need for a durable political solution to address the legitimate grievances of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka was also emphasized.


The Honorable Jeffrey J. Lunstead
Former U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka

Dr. Anna Neistat
Senior Researcher
Human Rights Watch

Mr. Bob Dietz
Asia Program Coordinator
Committee to Protect Journalists

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