COLOMBO: The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake have warned against repetition of past tragedies in Sri Lanka if urgent steps are not taken by the Lankan government and the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to prevent it.
“As the opportunities for post-war peace and reconciliation gradually slip away, the members of the UNHRC must act urgently to prevent an ominous slide towards a recurrence of tragedies of the past,” said R Sampanthan, TNA president, in a statement on Wednesday. Speaking to AP in Washington, US Assistant Secretary of State for Central and South Asia Robert Blake said: “Experience in many civil conflicts around the world has shown that countries that don’t take adequate measures to address reconciliation and accountability frequently experience a regeneration of the insurgency they faced.”
Culture of Impunity
The TNA leader pointed out that in the past five months alone, 32 Tamils had either been abducted or had gone missing. At least 10 bodies, most of which bore marks of execution, had been found.
“Women from the North (a Tamil-speaking area) are increasingly being rendered vulnerable to paramilitary-run prostitution rackets and trafficking, while many are coerced into playing the role of comfort women to military personnel stationed in the North,” Sampanthan charged.
“The government is engaged in irretrievably altering the demographic composition of the North and East (predominantly Tamil-speaking areas) through the establishment of Sinhala settlements; the entrenchment of the military; and the systematic exclusion of the Tamil people from the civil service,” he said.