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
15.12.18 13:16  
Sinhala officials intimidate Tamil, Muslim land-owners at Kuchchave'li in Trincomalee
14.12.18 22:09  
SL military threatens to re-introduce discriminatory pass system in Batticaloa North
13.12.18 22:42  
Ex-Land Commissioner observes systematic ethnic discrimination in issuing land documents in East
12.12.18 21:45   Photo
SL military erects giant Buddha statue at controversial heritage site in Mullaiththeevu
11.12.18 22:31  
SL military wants Cooray to liaise with Tamil diaspora industrialists from islets off Jaffna
10.12.18 23:08   Photo
HR Day protests in North-East met with violence, SL Police displays hostility
09.12.18 23:16   Photo
Monks incite SL paramilitary to Sinhalicise Tamil heritage site in Trincomalee North
08.12.18 22:19   Photo
Occupying Colombo reintroduces war-time harassments in North-East
07.12.18 19:26   Photo
Washington set to downgrade ‘human rights politics’ to association level in Indo-Pacific
06.12.18 23:31   Photo
Skeletal remains with shackled legs exhumed in Mannaar mass grave
05.12.18 23:16  
Colombo withdrew Wigneswaran's security after his Remembrance Day statement
04.12.18 23:21   Photo
USA wants India and Japan to look after smaller states in IOR, Modi says ‘Jai’
03.12.18 19:03  
SL State becomes prime reference for ‘debt trap diplomacy’ of China in US rhetorics
02.12.18 14:45   Photo
USA, China agree on 90-day ceasefire on trade war, India to reaffirm US defence ties
01.12.18 14:17  
Occupying Colombo intentionally targets ex-LTTE members for murder of SL policemen
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=37277