Monday, March 12, 2012

Reconciliation is not happening in Sri Lanka, and the problem isn't a question of time...

Three years since the armed conflict between the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) ended, the Tamil speaking areas remain gripped by repression, ethnic tension and widespread suffering, rather than emergent reconciliation and peace - and the problem is not a question of time.

The war itself ended in a cataclysm of violence in which, according to a UN expert panel’s report ↑ , over 40,000 Tamil civilians were massacred, largely by government shelling of safe zones and hospitals ↑ . The period after the war’s end in May 2009 saw the internment of hundreds of thousands of shell-shocked civilian survivors in squalid camps ↑ (run by Sri Lanka’s ethnically pure Sinhala military), from which reports of deprivation, abductions, torture and rape were persistently emerging. Although after intense international pressure the camps were eventually closed, large numbers of Tamils are still prevented from resettling.


Whilst the government purports that Tamils, and those of the island’s minority communities, are welcome into and belong within an overarching ‘Sri Lankan’ identity, this welcome is in fact offered on the premise that a Sinhala Buddhist identity is adopted, feigned, or at the very least, its hegemony over the island is willingly accepted. That such an identity should be seen as the righteous and natural state of the island has long been enshrined within the country’s constitution and its numerous amendments, including the Sinhala Only Act and the state’s explicit duty to ‘protect and foster’ Buddhism, giving it the ‘foremost place’ on the island. Full story...

Don't miss:
  1. Sri Lanka's killing fields (Graphic)
  2. Sri Lanka and the Tamil genocide...
  3. The Sri Lankan soldiers "whose hearts turned to stone..." 
  4. Footage of Sri Lankan soldiers' atrocities against Tamils (Graphic)
  5. Sri Lanka: Protest in Jaffna over “disappearances”
  6. Sri Lanka condemned over aid workers' murders...
  7. Sri Lanka’s white vans deliver fear and oppression...
  8. Sri Lankan army commanders 'assassinated surrendering Tamils'

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