Colombo should allow UN's independent investigations: NYT editorial

[TamilNet, Sunday, 29 June 2014, 01:58 GMT]
Condemning Sri Lanka's violence against the Muslim community, the New York Times editorial Friday, while noting that "[h]ate-mongering Buddhist extremists in Sri Lanka have set off the country’s worst wave of anti-Muslim violence in years," admonished Colombo that "He [Rajapakse] should move immediately to allow the independent investigation called for by the United Nations; accept the technical assistance offered by the council to address human rights concerns; and put in place the recommendations of Sri Lanka’s own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission for dealing with the aftermath of the civil war."

Full text of the editorial follows:

Hate-mongering Buddhist extremists in Sri Lanka have set off the country’s worst wave of anti-Muslim violence in years. A bloody rampage on June 15 in and near the southern city of Aluthgama left four Muslims dead, at least 78 people injured, and Muslim homes and businesses destroyed. The attacks followed an anti-Muslim rally organized by the Bodu Bala Sena, which roughly translates as Buddhist Power Force, an ultranationalist group linked to the governing Rajapaksa family. Tensions remain high.

This latest round of attacks against one of Sri Lanka’s minority communities underscores the urgent need to shed a bright light on the relationship between the hard-line Bodu Bala Sena, Sri Lankan security forces and the Rajapaksas.

Following global condemnation of his government’s inability to rein in the Bodu Bala Sena and prevent the June 15 attacks, President Mahinda Rajapaksa toured the afflicted area, while his government promised the United Nations Human Rights Council that it would conduct an investigation and bring the perpetrators to justice. Whether it will do so is an open question in view of its refusal to allow an investigation into allegations of human rights abuses during the recent civil war as called for in a resolution by the council on March 27.

The president has good reason to be concerned — and to act. Among other things, the violence threatens Sri Lanka’s recovering tourism industry and business development directly tied to members of his family. The violence elicited rare criticism in Sri Lanka’s press of the government’s failure to protect the Muslim minority. And Sri Lanka’s justice minister, one of the country’s most senior Muslim officials, Rauf Hakeem, publicly lamented the government’s failure to prevent the attacks.

Most Sri Lankans, including the overwhelming Buddhist majority, want nothing to do with the Bodu Balu Sena. Sri Lanka needs healing. Mr. Rajapaksa’s statements on Monday directing the police to act against any individual or group fomenting ethnic or religious hatred are welcome. But the president did not repudiate the Bodu Bala Sena by name. He should move immediately to allow the independent investigation called for by the United Nations; accept the technical assistance offered by the council to address human rights concerns; and put in place the recommendations of Sri Lanka’s own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission for dealing with the aftermath of the civil war.

Only these tangible steps will allow Sri Lanka to move forward toward reconciliation and justice for all Sri Lankans.


External Links:
NYT: Sri Lanka’s Agony

 

Latest 15 Reports
16.08.19 13:25   Photo
SL Archaeology Department resumes plans to construct controversial ‘chaitya’ at Koonith-theevu
15.08.19 21:39  
Wickramasinghe lacks courage to meet protesting Tamil mothers in North
14.08.19 23:31   Photo
2006 genocidal massacre at Chengchoalai campus marked in Vanni, Jaffna amidst PTA-threats
13.08.19 17:45   Photo
Tamil awareness urged on geopolitics-driven genocidal ‘development’ in Mannaar
12.08.19 20:04   Photo
Percival's 19th century Tamil proverb compilations collated and sorted in new publication
11.08.19 20:32   Photo
PTA-threats against constructing memorial arch for student victims of 2006 aerial massacre
10.08.19 22:49   Photo
Sinhala encroachers storm into 100 acres of lands at Kanneeraavi in Pulmoaddai
09.08.19 14:28  
SL Forest Department retains 8,034 hectares of pasturelands in Paduvaan-karai, Batticaloa
08.08.19 20:05   Photo
Colombo converts 2000 acres of ex-HSZ lands citing India-assisted airport expansion in Jaffna
07.08.19 23:28   Photo
Book on Santhiya becomes narration of Tamil struggle incorporating Marxist ideas in early 80s
06.08.19 23:27   Photo
State discrimination causes death of 1000 cows, milk production drops by 5,500 litres in Batticaloa
05.08.19 23:55   Photo
Pirapaharan’s statements between 1984 and 1993 reproduced in book form in Europe
04.08.19 23:47   Photo
Threatened female activist suffers injuries in suspicious ‘accident’ in Batticaloa
03.08.19 23:55  
SL Army puts up military post, Buddhist chanting dominates Kanniyaa
02.08.19 21:18  
Tamils must fight back against illegal seizure of lands by SL Forest Department: Kurunathan
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=37277