United Nations Urges Sri Lanka To Reduce Army’s Grasp
A UN rights expert reiterated calls for Sri Lanka to step up reconciliation efforts and reduce the military’s presence in former war zones seven years after the end of fighting.
UN minority rights expert Rita Izsak-Ndiaye urged the government to press ahead with healing the wounds of the conflict, after coming to power last year promising reforms and reconciliation.
“The government must put in place some urgent, important and concrete measures to clearly demonstrate its political will and commitment to better protect Sri Lanka’s minorities,” she said at the end of a 10-day visit to Sri Lanka.
The government should return military-occupied land and disengage troops from civilian activities, a key demand of ethnic Tamils in the island’s war-battered north.
She also asked Colombo to either indict or free Tamil detainees who have been held in custody for long periods without charge.
“This includes… taking visible steps to gradually transfer military powers to civilian authorities,” she said.
Government forces still maintain a large presence in the former conflict zones and keep a close watch on the local Tamil population despite the end of the war in 2009.
The ethnic Sinhalese-dominated military also runs hotels, transport services and other enterprises in competition with local Tamil businesses.
Tamil rebels fighting for a separate homeland for the ethnic minority were defeated in a final military push after years of conflict.
She said some 6,000 acres (2,420 hectares) of private land still occupied by the military in the northern province, which saw some of the heaviest fighting, should be swiftly returned.
During a visit by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to Sri Lanka last month, President Maithripala Sirisena pleaded for more time to bring about ethnic reconciliation and also investigate war crimes.
Sri Lanka had faced international censure after Sirisena’s predecessor Mahinda Rajapakse insisted that not a single civilian was killed by troops under his command.
Rajapakse also refused to investigate allegations that up to 40,000 minority Tamil civilians perished in the final stages of the war.
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Oh! Don’t take any notice of this dis functioning UN. Bunch of lunatics say things without knowing the reality, because they have nothing better to do.
See what they did to Iraq, Libya and Syria. We don’t that in Sri Lanka.
She will write all this stuff in her report to the UNHRC sessions due in March 2017 and the prince, who is the boss of that place will not be happy.
So, Sri Lanka is up the sh** creek with the Bribery Commissioner sacked while the PM was enjoying Belgian chocolates and viewing diamonds and now, a censure resolution coming up in March.
Ranjith . I fully agree with you. No one should take any notice of these idiots. Why don’t they ask the US to remove their solders from other countries and mind their own business. The Sri Lankan army camps are in Sri Lanka, not in another country. It is our right to protect our country from the tigers. As for the Tamils they will never stop complaining to any foreign jokers who visits the North. If they can they claim owner ship to all the land that belongs the nation.
She ought to visit a place like Fiji where 65 percent of the population has no right to vote but then it is considered a democracy run by the military population nearly 900,000 member of the UN has never been questioned for violating human rights. I wonder whether this expert has any idea where is or is waiting to be sent by the UN on a fact finding mission
Dear Mr S Fernando . How can people forget the carnage these cowered Tamil tigers did in Sri Lanka.
Murdering so many civilians in Anuradapura and burning bus loads of people including children. No other terrorist group in the world target children . But this barbaric paper tigers did.
It surprise me how Sri lankens and the world forget the appalling crimes this basters Tamil Tigers did and put the blame on the defending SriLanken goverment and the forces at that time.
Now that we have a puppet goverment we can change our national flag to pure white color flag because we are surrendering to all the countries and minorities.
This UN under dogs of USA did nothing about USA when they threw living people from helicopters during the Vietnam war. They also forgotten the landing of atom bombs in Japan
So first of let them put there house in order and I like to remind USA that we treat our minorities much better than there minorities ie Red Indians and Afro- Carabian people.