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Minority Rights Being Violated by Govt: Oakland Institute Report

May 29, 2015
Sunday Times

A report by the California Based Oakland Institute claimed Sri Lanka continues to violate human rights of its religious and ethnic minorities, six years after the end of the civil war in the country.

The report “The Long Shadow of War: Struggle for Justice in Post War Sri Lanka,” claimed the traditional Tamil homeland is still under heavy military occupation by at least 160,000 mostly Sinhalese soldiers, one for every six Tamil civilians.

“Tamil culture and history are being systematically suppressed by a government-led effort to construct victory monuments and Buddhist shrines that speak to Sinhalese domination in former Tamil homelands, where even now few Buddhists live,” it said.

A statement by the Oakland Institute  regarding the release of the report said  : “The recent appointment of Major General Jagath Dias as the Army Chief of Staff, one of the armed forces’ highest post, despite the fact that under his command the 57th division was implicated in serious human rights abuses, rebuffs current government pledges to credibly investigate alleged war crimes through a domestic accountability mechanism,” said Ms. Mittal.

“Thousands of people continue to be missing since the war ended in spite of the government’s promise to engage in a process of truth and reconciliation. 

A 2012 UN report referred to more than 70,000 missing while other estimates are twice that number,” the report said. The 39-page report, authored by Anuradha Mittal, is based on research and fieldwork conducted between January 2014 and April 2015.