Report Says Lanka Violates Rights of Minorities
Sri Lanka continues to violate human rights of its religious and ethnic minorities even six years after the end of civil war in the country that resulted in the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), according to a new independent report.
The report “The Long Shadow of War: Struggle for Justice in Post War Sri Lanka,” by California-based Oakland Institute states that the traditional Tamil homeland is still under heavy military occupation by at least 160,000 mostly Sinhalese soldiers, one for every 6 Tamil civilians, the Press Trust of India reported.
While the Sri Lankan army has engaged in large-scale property development, running luxury tourist resorts and business ventures on land seized from local populations, thousands of Tamil families remain displaced on their own land, the report that was released yesterday said. “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.
“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.
“Over the past six years, the process of Signalisation has intensified with an aggressive government-led effort that systematically replaces Tamil culture and history with victory monuments dedicated to Sinhalese hegemony and Buddhist religion on the ruins of the Tamil homeland,” the report alleges.