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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Disappearances in Sri Lanka video on Human Rights Watch site

Great (well made but sad & troubling) video, check it out here.

Some background: the Sri Lankan government is fighting the separatist Tamil Tigers (who are worse than the government; uses suicide bombers, child soldiers, is a military dictatorship, kills Tamil dissidents & moderate politicians, kills innocents/non-combatants through bombing passenger buses, etc.) at the moment. One of the unofficial tools being used in this war by the government is the kidnapping & murder of anyone that they perceive is a threat to the government (the government will deny this, but people who live in Sri Lanka know this is happening, as well as outside observers). A tactic that the government of that time employed successfully to put down the Sinhala/JVP insurrection in the late 1980's.

It would be far more effective & useful for the Sri Lankan government to adopt generally accepted human rights & security practices, protection of civil liberties - including the right to dissent - during wartime, in their war against the Tigers. Have arrests & trials - real trials - by actual judges & juries - for example, of the accused as opposed to executions of suspects by the military. Extra-judicial killings & "disappearances" will fan the flames of hatred in the hearts of victims/families causing another generation of people to become easily motivated to attempt to overthrow an unjust government by force, resulting in counter action by government forces, resulting in the continuation of the state of war on the island that has kept it poor, underdeveloped & hellish for the past two decades.

Get smart Sri Lanka, stop kidnapping & killing your own citizens, start behaving like a normal/developed government, and maybe then you'll get that coveted seat in the UN human rights council that should, at present, definitely be denied to you.

Also, stop harassing & killing journalists.

Evil tactics against citizens and media is not going to help you win the war against terrorism and separatism. In fact, such tactics - disappearances of suspects & harassment of journalists - will win you fresh enemies at home and abroad, thus further delaying the return of peace & prosperity to Sri Lanka.

Once again, the link to HRW's video re: disappearances in Sri Lanka.

When this war against the Tigers is over & terrorism & separatism is defeated, Sri Lankans should definitely hold war crimes trials covering the behavior of various agents of the government during the past 20 plus years or even since the start of the independent era; 1948 on.

- Sujewa

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