HRW raps Lanka govt over Tamils
NEW YORK THE SRI Lankan government has failed to advance justice and accountability for victims of the country’s 25-year-old armed conflict, Human Rights Watch said on Monday.
While Sri Lanka’s war-ravaged north and east became more open after the Tamil Tigers were crushed, the government had deepened repression of basic freedoms throughout the country, it said in its World Report.
The government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa continued to stall on accountability for abuses by the security forces, threatened media and civil society groups, and largely ignored complaints of insecurity and land grabbing in the north and east, Human Rights Watch said.
The long-awaited report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), published in December, largely absolved the military for its conduct in the final months of the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The war ended in May 2009.
“In 2011, accountability remained a dead issue, the media faced increasing censorship, and the long-standing grievances which led to the conflict were not seriously addressed,” said Brad Adams, the group’s Asia director.” Sri º face a lack of justice, weak rule of law, land grabbing, and a censored media from a government that is increasingly authoritarian.” In its 676-page report, Human Rights Watch assessed progress on human rights during the past year in more than 90 countries, including popular uprisings in the Arab world that few would have imagined.